This is not a negotiation: The Tea Party has already won.
Everything I'm reading and everything I study about this United States government shutdown seems to ignore the basic message that the Tea Party has promoted since before their election. They have maintained a desire for "small government". "That government is best which governs least" is Thomas Jefferson's words and the mantra of Ted Cruz. Remember when Gov. Rick Perry wanted to shut down three Federal departments, and Ron Paul, the spiritual godfather of the Tea Party movement (before it went off the rails), basically said "I'll see your three and raise you two more!" Were dealing with the ideological children of those Republicans.
Think they haven't won? How many departments are shut right now.
If the goal is to have minimal government, what do we have now? What would be a better victory for the tea party, then what exists right now with the shutdown?
It's not that we have no government right now. We have limited government. All military is getting paid. Our military support personnel is now getting paid. Anyone designated essential personnel is getting paid. Isn't that what Republicans have been pushing for since the election? Any government branch which is not strictly essential should not exist.
This is not a negotiation. Why should they come to the table, they've won!
What government department does the Tea Party want to be funded that is not currently being funded right now during the shutdown? I can't think of one.
For them to negotiate means Barack Obama or the Democrats might have something they want, or might stand in the way of something they want to achieve. But what do they want? Small government, a "slimdown". This is not a negotiation tactic, this is the goal.
As a long term strategy it is flawed, but short term becomes long term. Democrats (and Republicans) need to stop looking at this as though it is about the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act is a straw man. The goal is to have a government at "essential" levels.
And that is what they have achieved.