To start making sense of the shutdown debacle, follow the money
IT'S PERHAPS AN UNDERSTANDABLE, if by no means a pardonable, oversight to greet the spectacle of a corps of well-dressed, extravagantly staffed, rhetorically skilled lawmakers and imagine that they are devoted to the public's business. No matter that they stand economic reality on its head, and use the routine mechanisms of budget approval to try to block implementation of already enacted federal law upheld by the Supreme Court. Nor did it merit notice in official Washington that as the members of the Tea Party Right strained over and over again to justify the whole unprecedented legislative debauch known as the 2013 government shutdown, they were apparently subscribing en masse (without citing it, of course) to reactionary slave-ocrat John Calhoun's mystic theory of "concurrent majorities." This nullificationist reverie, much like the counterconstitutional fever dream of the House shutdown supporters, holds that ill-specified shared organic "interests" must trump the merely "numerical majorities" that can sway democratic legislatures.
Never mind, as well, that the destructionists behind this systematic bludgeoning of democratic procedure also tried, out of the other sides of their mouths, to invoke narrow polled majorities coming out against the 2010 health-care overhaul—without ever mentioning that still-stronger majorities have consistently and explicitly opposed using the budget process to defund the program. An even more dizzying act of mental gymnastics from our new era of Edward Lear conservatism pivoted around the Tea Party claim that the Affordable Care Act is