Donald Lambro

So here we are in the midst of another government shut down, testing once again if those fire and brimstone predictions will come to pass and the fabric of our nation will be torn to shreds.

And of course it won't. There have been 17 government shut downs since 1977. Most lasted little more than three days or less, according to the Congressional Research Service.

This one could last a little longer, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. As for a long term political impact against the Republicans, don't bet on that, either. There's evidence it will have no impact.

I'll get to that in a moment.

An estimated 800,000 federal workers here and around the country will be furloughed for a period of time, and for some, the loss of pay will pose problems. But there is no more secure employment anywhere than those enjoyed by government bureaucrats, with generous benefits that tens of millions of private sector workers can only dream about.

The shutdown will end and federal workers will return to their jobs. But for millions of unemployed Americans who have lost their jobs or are working fewer hours as a result of looming health care mandates from Obamacare -- or a dreadful Obama economy -- their nightmare doesn't end.

The networks' nightly news will be saturated with stories about furloughed federal workers who were immune from the worst of the recession. But stories about the millions of workers who've been jobless in the Obama economy have been a rarity on the TV news shows.

You won't see this on the news tonight, but this is the reason why House Republicans are calling for a one year delay in Obamacare's individual mandate. Employers are laying off workers or halting new hiring because they fear Obama's health care costs will drive them out of business.

If we are to believe the Democrats, the Republicans are going to pay for this shutdown with heavy political losses in the 2014 midterm elections.

While a Washington Post poll says 63 percent of voters blame House Republicans for the shutdown, they're not happy with the way Democrats are dealing the impasse, either.

Fifty percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling it, while 56 percent think Senate Democrats are wrong not to discuss the issue with House GOP leaders.

Don't be fooled by those polls showing public approval of Congress has fallen into the teens or single digits. Other polls routinely show voters overwhelmingly approve of the job their own representatives are doing.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.