What everyone knows is that this year, with a modest at best economic recovery underway, no one can run the risk of failing to raise the nation's debt limit. And even the most conservative of Republicans will feel that, by shutting down government, their bite has been made as serious as their bark.
In the end, there will likely be some short-term moment of panic, likely involving what might be a miniature version of the true stock market panic of 2008, followed by a decision by all parties to increase the debt ceiling and crank the government back up.
In the end, President Obama will at least know that Republicans can back their rhetoric up with real action.
More importantly, the more faint-hearted of Republicans will be able to rest their heads knowing that no true harm was done to the nation.
In fact, most of these shutdowns have been followed by a period of "economic euphoria." And with the debt ceiling issue likely out of the way, such a boom is likely again.
But this entire episode, contrary to the opinion of so many pundits, will not be a permanent black eye for the conservative Republicans who pushed a "slim down" for whatever period of time it might last.
If history is any indication, the "Newt Gingrich" side of the GOP in this modern version of the shutdown showdown will likely suffer no long-term political side effects from their decision to take on President Obama and Harry Reid. Indeed, Speaker Boehner may have rescued himself from a likely mutiny next year.
It's the "Bob Dole" types -- those who mourn for a day of civility that never really existed -- who may well have problems in the coming years for their failure to take a stronger stand on a shutdown.
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