Paul Krugman: Shorting Out The Wiring:
For the moment, at least, the shutdown and the general scene of insanity in Congress is clearly hurting the Republican brand…. For now the conventional wisdom is that the impact will be small, not nearly enough to restore Democratic control…. There’s a subtler but possibly profound form of damage the GOP is doing to itself, one that will cast its shadow for a long time…. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo used to say… Washington is, in effect, wired for Republicans. Ever since Reagan, the Beltway has treated Republicans as the natural party of government…. And there was a general presumption of Republican competence. It’s hard to believe now, but Bush was treated as a highly effective leader who knew what he was doing right up to Katrina, while Clinton… was treated as a bungling interloper for much of his presidency. Even in the last few years there was a rush to canonize Paul Ryan as a superwonk, when it was quite obvious if you looked that politics aside, he was just incompetent at number-crunching. But I think the last two years have finally killed that presumption…. Romney lost… his campaign was deluded… the antics of the Boehner bumblers… that’s going to color narratives and shape campaigns for a long time.