President Obama must be shocked that his usual demagogic tricks aren't working this time, that instead of the Republicans caving in deference to his dictatorial demands, they are united and holding firm, and that he, not the Republicans, is cratering in the polls.
The apparent panic of the mainstream media liberals is another good barometer. From ABC to NBC to CNN, liberal hosts are increasingly anxious and combative toward Republican congressional leaders who fearlessly accept their invitations to sit for combative ambush interviews.
CNN's Candy Crowley was particularly frustrated with Sen. Ted Cruz's unwillingness to affirm any of her negative predispositions and accusations against him and other Republican leaders. He simply would not take the bait as she pressed, over and over, to get him to openly concede that the GOP is responsible for having shut the government down.
At every turn, Cruz batted away Crowley's pointed jabs, allowing her no openings -- not even any courtesy sympathy points. No, he would not admit that the Republicans had shut down the government or were obstructing a compromise. President Obama flat-out refused to negotiate, and House Republicans have sent him bill after bill authorizing the funding of government, with each one being summarily rejected by his First Person-ness.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Rand Paul similarly denied host Savannah Guthrie any foothold in her attempted battle formation to take him down. He would not permit her to characterize the shutdown as the fault of the GOP or confess that Republicans had failed to submit the dictatorial Obama a "clean CR."
To the contrary, Paul insisted that Congress had sent the Senate no fewer than six clean bills, which it could have approved as is and sent to President Obama for his signature.
She thought she'd nail him, though, by playing a clip of Paul talking to Sen. Mitch McConnell wherein Paul said he believed that the GOP strategy is working and that they are going to "win." Paul would not take the bait and assured her that the Republicans aren't viewing this as some partisan game but that the best interests of the nation dictate that Obamacare be stopped in its tracks. By "winning," Paul meant that he thinks the Republicans are going to succeed if they maintain their current course.
"We've been offering compromise after compromise," said Paul. "But you hear from the president and his men and his women, 'No negotiation.'"