Focusing on how the handling of the shutdown affected, or did not affect, the vote this week ignores a more potent way in which it is impacting Republicans: making voters less likely to be Republicans in the first place.
The governmental shutdown had a number of unexpected consequences. One of the more important, in our opinion, is that it elevated the visibility and importance of what the government does or does not do in the mind of the American public.
It really is an honor and privilege to be there, and such a pleasure too. So why can't it be a harmonious environment instead of a place of rancor, infighting and dysfunction, as revealed to the entire world during the recent shutdown?
Most serious are the long-term public health and safety consequences of this government shutdown. The CDC, for example, announced a suspension of its annual seasonal flu activities just as influenza season kicked off.