I took a little heat from TAS readers a week ago when I compared the government shutdown to a game of chicken, and said the Republicans were showing signs of blinking. I was accused of defeatism — but it was pessimism, not defeatism.
From my perspective, you see, Mark Steyn is a giddy optimist. In any event, the breakdown in talks isn’t much of a cause for optimism, is it? What the Republicans offered yesterday was complete surrender plus a solitary fig leaf for them. And Obama nixed the fig leaf. What he wants is the complete humiliation of his ideological enemies. And he may get it. It’s what his allies in the media want. It’s really hypocrisy for them to say that it’s about what’s good for the country. Instead, it’s the black flag of no quarter.
But look, I’m not a complete pessimist. A complete pessimist would be asking why we even have a Congress, if it doesn’t have the power of the purse. I, on the other hand, think we shall always need to have a Congress. How else could we have a State of the Union Address?