The only sliver of silver in the lining of the Republican party’s crushing defeat over the shutdown was that, in theory, the US federal government will only be funded until January next year, and the debt ceiling will start getting a concern again a month after that… The next round of this soap opera, which the house speaker John Boehner called fighting the good fight, will take place much closer to the mid-term elections.
This should matter but, there again, it may not. Let us not forget that we are dealing with a group of people who don’t accept that they lost the last election, in November 2012. In a poll fought largely on the issue of healthcare, Barack Obama had five million more popular votes than his challenger, Democrats in the Senate had 10 million more votes, and in the House of Representatives one-and-a-half million more than the Republicans. No matter, the Republicans thought they won. In the house, they won a majority largely because of a deeply flawed system which allows states, dominated by one party or another, to gerrymander the seats by districting and redistricting…
Gerrymandered districts are not that safe for the Tea Party wing, because according to one analysis the Republicans lost twice as much support over the government shutdown in gerrymandered districts than in those whose boundaries were not politically redrawn. If this is true, the Tea Party will be drained of its self-righteous populism by the popular vote itself.
From a leader in ‘The Guardian’, London