James Fallows in The Atlantic:
If the House of Representatives voted on a “clean” budget bill—one that opened up the closed federal offices but did not attempt to defund the Obama health care program—that bill would pass, and the shutdown would be over. Nearly all Democrats would vote for it, as would enough Republicans to end the shutdown and its related damage. (And of course it has already passed the Senate, repeatedly, and would be signed by the president.) […]
So far House Speaker John Boehner has refused to let this vote occur. His Tea Party contingent knows how the vote would go and therefore does not want it to happen; and such is Boehner’s fear of them, and fear for his job as Speaker, that he will not let it take place.
Shame on John Boehner for bowing to these extremists. Shame on the Tea Party for acting like children. And shame on all of us for putting them into office in the first place. We need to reform our parliamentary procedures as soon as possible so that this kind of obstinacy cannot bring the entire federal government to a halt.