As I type this — having gone to bed around 1 a.m. and back up now just after 4 — the government is still shut down.
I know what you're thinking. "How am I still alive?" Seriously. The government is shut down and the world is spinning on. You and I are still alive. In a few hours, my kids will go off to a school that will still be open.
In fact, essential government services, which might be called constitutional functions of government, will continue. Your mail is going to be delivered. The TSA will still feel you up before your plane ride, which will still take off. The President promised us horror upon horror with sequestration and we didn't get it. They'll do the same now.
But here now, this morning, let's be frank and candid.
The GOP now has no winning hand. None. The medical device tax is laughably ridiculous and just a crony capitalist ploy. The Vitter amendment is just for show. They've already stripped from it a prohibition on in house doctors. If Congress passes the Vitter amendment, they'll just give staff big pay raises and use your tax dollars to hire a bunch of doctors just for Congress.
What else does the GOP have? Nothing.
The GOP only has something if it now stands its ground and demands defunding Obamacare. They must be in this to win this. Their leaders have handled themselves embarrassingly and they've been rolled by Harry Reid. Just like in 1995, the GOP must wait this out now that we are here.
It is the only way to improve their hand. A quick shutdown will do nothing but embarrass them, as it should.
The fight must be to either now keep government shut down till the Democrats blink or drive from office Republicans who vote to fund Obamacare.
In the meantime, life will go on. Americans will see they really can get along without Washington's constant, daily interference in their lives.