First Week Of Great Shutdown of 2013 Went Exactly As Boehner Wanted
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pretty much got what he wanted from week 1 of The Great Shutdown of 2013. Boehner demonstrated to his caucus what he was willing to do for it -- allow the government to be shutdown -- and it seems to be very appreciative of his efforts.
For that matter, the White House and congressional Democrats also got what they wanted in week 1. The White House and House and Senate Ds held firm to their no negotiating strategy and appear to be more unified than they've been in years. And the polls showed that, as expected but hardly guaranteed, it is the GOP rather than the Democrats that are being increasingly blamed for the shutdown.
All sides are now in a better position to cut a deal. Boehner, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have all now amply demonstrated to their respective constituencies that they are indeed the hard asses they wanted them to be. All of the leader are, therefore, are in a better position to convince their colleagues that a shutdown-ending deal is acceptable.
But the irony of the situation is that their hard line positions in week 1 have also made it harder for Boehner, Obama and Reid to come together in week 2.
This is the political version of a classic prisoner's dilemma situation. Each of the participants would do better overall if they worked together. But working together may now be so difficult that it's possible the worst possible outcome -- a longer and more destructive shutdown -- is the result.
For that reason, I see the shutdown lasting at least another week...and two or three more weeks after that are becoming increasingly likely.
I'm also raising the likelihood of the debt ceiling not being raised by October 17 -- the date Treasury says it will be needed -- to 1 in 3 instead of my previous estimate of 1 in 4.