ANDREW SULLIVAN: "When ideologies become as calcified, as cocooned and as extremist as those galvanizing the GOP, the American system of government cannot work. But I fear this nullification of the last two elections is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the American system of government as we have known it cannot work. It cannot, must not work, in the mindset of these radicals, because they simply do not accept the legitimacy of a President and Congress of the opposing party. The GOP does not regard the president as merely wrong – but as illegitimate. Not misguided – illegitimate. This is not about ending Obamacare as such (although that is a preliminary scalp); it is about nullifying this presidency, the way the GOP attempted to nullify the last Democratic presidency by impeachment."
JONATHAN CHAIT: "If you want to grasp why Republicans are careening toward a potential federal government shutdown, and possibly toward provoking a sovereign debt crisis after that, you need to understand that this is the inevitable product of a conscious party strategy. Just as Republicans responded to their 2008 defeat by moving farther right, they responded to the 2012 defeat by moving right yet again. Since they had begun from a position of total opposition to the entire Obama agenda, the newer rightward lurch took the form of trying to wrest concessions from Obama by provoking a series of crises."
NICK GILLESPIE: "Whether it turns truly apocalyptic or ends up just being a short break in standard operating procedure, there's plenty of blame to go around when it comes assigning responsibility for the government shutdown. The one thing that shouldn't be slighted, though, is that it is ultimately Barack Obama's fault. He's the deciderer, right, the top dog? The eight years of his time in office will be known to future generations as the Obama Years and not the Boehner Perplex or the Reid Interregnum."
BRENDAN GREELEY: "It’s tempting to feel sorry for House Speaker John Boehner. He seems like a reasonable man caught in a trap. His Republican majority in the House can’t decide whether a repeal or delay of the Affordable Care Act needs to be a condition of any agreement on anything else. But Boehner, along with the rest of the Republican leadership at the time, built this trap for himself in 2009 and early 2010, before the Tea Party caucus was formed."
JOSHUA E. KEATING: "In fact, the shutdown has only been a feature of U.S. politics for the last 30 years. The Anti-Deficiency Act, originally enacted in 1884, prohibits federal agencies from conducting activities or entering into contracts that haven't been fully funded by congressional appropriations. But for most of the country's history, federal agencies simply continued operating during funding gap periods while trying to minimize unnecessary expenditures, believing that the law didn't intend for them to shut down entirely."
Sorry, but I won't be tweeting/responding to replies during the government shutdown. Back as soon as possible. http://t.co/XjL1JDaotz
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) October 1, 2013
RYAN KEARNEY: "[T]the shutdown barely registers on the nation's top conservative websites.The Weekly Standard is leading with a story about first lady Michelle Obama's apparently insidious campaign to get Americans to drink more water, The National Review has a piece about how Obama's agenda is "Transforming America," and although The Daily Caller's lead story, "Shutdown Party for Big Democrats," claims to be on topic, it's actually about a fundraiser Hillary Clinton hosted Monday night for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. It seems the editors of these websites have read the polls, too, and would just as soon downplay, or outright ignore, that our government is grinding to a halt—lest the GOP be rightly blamed."
ROGER L. SIMON: "Mount a 'charm offensive' toward the American people. Start to seduce them. Almost everyone believes in conservative ideas, especially in the economic area, when they stop to think about it. It’s what most parents normally teach their children. They’re just not allowed to admit it in the heat of partisan debate. They have to pull for their team or face unpleasant feedback from family and friends. Also, they’re prey to the foregone conclusions of the media."
PETER WEHNER: "[B]ecause compromise as a concept is so unpopular these days–at least if my recent correspondence and conversations with those on the right is any indication–it is important that those of us who are conservative remind ourselves of its virtues. To point out that compromise is not always synonymous with weakness."