David B. Grinberg

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and feedback, Kathryn.

You raise a great point. As President Obama said, one (minority) faction, of one party, of one chamber of Congress, of one branch of government has caused this mess because — like spoiled children — these newly elected kids on the block could not get their way.

However, as you noted, this specific faction took the senseless action of bullying its party leadership to cause the government shutdown. They did so to protect themselves politically from challenges from their party’s extreme right flank during the next election. In these gerrymandered districts the incumbent party is basically guaranteed the seat. Thus the only political opposition to worry about is at the primary level.

As former House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “all politics is local.” But what this party’s faction may gain at the local level will be lost at the national level where the moderate middle and centrist political ideology drives elections — not radical extremism.

Thus, in that sense, this faction may win some battles but will ultimately lose the war by inflicting serious damage to its own party at the national level — and national elections matter, especially for control of the White House.

Thanks again for sharing your valuable insights, Kathryn, which are very much appreciated.