My must read is "Countdown to Shutdown; Think 1996 was bad for the GOP? This time will be much, much worse," by Noam Scheiber in the New Republic.
There is, of course, much to be said for the 1996 analogy given that it’s our most recent example. But I’d argue that the more relevant case study is the payroll tax fight of late 2011, which involved the same players as today, the same internecine Republican dynamics (Tea Partiers versus Speaker John Boehner and a number of Senate Republicans), and the same media environment. The bad news for Republicans is that 2011 was every bit the rout 1996 was—arguably much more so. Republicans were able to hold out for a respectable 21 days back then. The 2011 fight was over in 48 hours.
The part I was interested in Scheiber’s piece was whether or not the GOP members leading this charge will actually stick to their guns, as they did in 1996 or fold like 2011. If they fold like 2011, then this entire thing was as useless as Obama’s symbolic congressional authorization bit for intervening in Syria.
I don’t think there should be a shutdown. I think it’s high risk and low gain because even if the House and Senate passed a bill defunding the ACA the president would never sign it. But right now Republicans are in a good position to take back the Senate, and for the broader party goals, it isn’t worth possibly losing in those purple-ish states.
If they’re going to do it, tying it to the debt-ceiling makes more sense to me because that vote needs a super-majority, so Senate Dems need to compromise a little.