As everyone quickly and breathlessly reported, Congress finally approved a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, averting default, just hours before Thursday' midnight deadline.
The Senate that made it happen, passing their bill by an 81 to 18 vote. The House then passed the bill by a vote of 285-144 and sent it to the White House where the president signed it.
The deal funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
If a perspective could be put on the futility of it all, perhaps it's this: After 16 days of theatrics, it took less than three hours for the House and Senate to approve the package.
If you're keeping track, Ted Cruz was one of 18 Senate Republicans who voted against the final deal, along with Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, and in the House, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan also voted no. All four are possible presidential contenders in 2016.
The president will address the nation Thursday morning at 10:30.
So what's the takeaway in all this? It was a complete capitulation by Republicans, made worse by the beating they’ve taken in the court of public opinion. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s calculates that the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy, shaving at least 0.6 percent off of GDP in the fourth quarter. The agency had originally predicted a 3 percent growth rate in GDP this quarter.
For some reason, no one can find any sources for how many jobs this created surely it's in the tens of negative thousands.
How this plays out in the 2014 midterm elections remains to be seen but as the CEO for the Heritage Foundation's funding arm, Heritage Action, said Wednesday morning in an interview with Fox News, "Everybody understands that we'll not be able to repeal this law until 2017."
Well, duh? Everyone understood that you can't get Barack Obama to sign a bill gutting Obamacare, yet that was the case the Heritage Foundation spent the summer making, their funding arm touring the country with Ted Cruz as their poster boy, arguing that the House could refuse to pass any funding bill that provided funding for Obamacare, and forcing Obama to reject the proposal. The strategy was at best flawed and at worst --and most likely-- a cynical attempt to bolster the conservative bona fides and pocketbooks of the organization and the senator. Given that view, one could argue that Heritage inadvertently admitted that it lied to its followers so that they could raise campaign dollars off of its lies.
Sure enough, it didn't take long to hear Republicans say, "We fought the good fight" Speaker John Boehner said exactly that Wednesday in an interview with Cincinnati radio station, WLW. To quote Bill Maher, "Yeah, it all woulda been worth it if we could have prevented just one poor kid from getting a free inhaler."
So the Republicans have tried this with two different presidential candidate and a Supreme Court challenge and had it blow up in their faces all three times. Now this. And I thought these were the people who valued the lessons of history. Oh, wait, they only value the lessons from the history they make up to fit their narrative. (Our candidates were too liberal!)
But we all know how America loves sequels, even though the sequel is never as good as the original, so bring on 2017! What will that be, the fourth or fifth sequel? The eleventeenth? Can we at least have the House Republicans engage in more money-wasting symbolism by voting another 42 more times to repeal the law?
Ironic, isn't it? After closing the government for two weeks the only thing that got shut down was the Republicans.
No worries, though. In the short term, here's a way to make a fast buck: It's a t-shirt that reads, "I survived the shutdown and all I got was salmonella."