Photo by ilovememphis

(photo: ilovememphis)

(Note: There is a decent chance that this post will be overtaken by events if the GOP doesn’t move the goalposts again, but I believe it is still a pretty accurate reflection of what we’ve been seeing for the past weeks/months/years.)

So here’s what I don’t get: Why all the finger-pointing back and forth about who’s responsible for shutting down the government?  The Republicans have branded themselves as the anti-government party for years, so why aren’t they bragging about shutting it down?

Any minute now I expect Michele Bachmann or Paul Ryan or some other “small-government” loon to issue a statement along the lines of:

This vacation from socialist big government is brought to you by the Republican Party.  Please take a moment to savor the sweet sensation of freedom and liberty, so that you can remember how good it feels when you cast your ballot next November.

One amusing potential side effect would be the sight of President Obama falling all over himself trying to claim that the shutdown was really his idea all along.

In all seriousness though, how is there even a debate about whether the shutdown was caused by the pro-government party that’s nominally in power, or the anti-government opposition party that knows economic losses lead to electoral windfalls?  Cui bono?

And furthermore, if the message of the 2010 elections truly was “Please replace my safety net with a pit of spikes so Jamie Dimon can keep his tax cuts” as Republicans like to claim, then the polling for Scott Walker, John Kasich, Tom Corbett, Chris Christie and Rick Scott suggests that the voters changed their minds pretty damn quickly when the bathtub walls started closing in.  It’s just too bad that Obama and the Democrats don’t know the difference between capitalizing and capitulating… or pretend not to.