Regardless of what the weather is like in the other Washington (DC that is), the political climate is very cold and bleak. It’s hard to imagine a good outcome. The budget shutdown is serious enough, but in a couple of weeks it will combine with the debt limit to provoke a real crisis.
It’s impossible to understand the mindset of the current Republican party. There is a smug and self-righteous zealotry there that is not possible to reason with. Republicans say Obama won’t negotiate Obamacare, but I don’t blame him for not negotiating with teahadists and teatards. He did that a couple of years ago, and the Sequester was the result. Obamacare is the law of the land and has been for over three years. In that time there has been a Presidential election and a Supreme Court ruling that validated the law. Republicans are all about law and order, but only for laws they like.
I’m going to give you an alternative history analogy that may shed some light on the current situation. Generally I hate alternative history analogies because conservatives use them so often and because their logic in framing those analogies is usually so tortured so as to make the analogies irrelevant. I find it hard to see how the following alternative history breaks down.
The Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate in the elections of 2006, but still did not control the Presidency. The Democrats hated the Bush tax cuts with a passion and did everything they could within their power and within legislative norms to overturn those laws. They failed. Imagine how President would have howled had the Democrats shut down the government unless those tax cuts were repealed.
Then again, no analogy or reasonable argument can get through to these thugs. It’s like trying to argue philosophy with a born-again Christian.