The Democrats know that if the government shuts down the republicans will get the blame. How do they know? Because it has happened over and over again. With the press on their side, the Democrats just keep painting a scenario of gloom and doom. History repeats.
That’s why Obama and the Democrats propose cuts that will do the most damage. The naïve Republicans think that they are sincere and buy into it.
The Republicans should have demanded a consequence that would have punished Obama and the Congress and rejected a consequence which could be used to to punish the voter. But then the Republicans would have been on the receiving end of the punishment also and they don’t have the courage, the fortitude or the honor to bite the bullet.