In a narrower political sense, this was one of those (relatively) rare Washington battles in which one side clearly prevailed. It was the Democrats. When this episode started, they said they were determined not to make major concessions simply because Republicans were threatening shutdown and default. Sure enough, here we are -- with a new continuing resolution, a higher debt limit, and no major changes in law. Democrats achieved the policy outcome they had sought, while establishing a precedent for the future: No more negotiating while under such threats.