Today's issue of USA Today has a short editorial worth reading, not least for its willingness to say something flat out that too many try to avoid saying (see the Jon Stewart clip a few posts back), namely, that for once the blame isn't on both parties:
In this case, however, the "they're all bums" reaction is off-base. This shutdown is not the result of the two parties acting equally irresponsibly. It is the product of an increasingly radicalized Republican Party, controlled by a deeply disaffected base that demands legislative hostage-taking in an effort to get what it has not been able to attain through the electoral process or the judiciary.
Republicans in the House are making demands that are both preposterous and largely unrelated to budgetary matters. In return for keeping government running (and, even more ominously, for paying its bills), they want President Obama to undermine the health care law that he ran on in 2008 and 2012, and now considers his signature domestic accomplishment.
No president of either party could accept that kind of badgering. No president should, as it would set a terrible precedent.