Yesterday I again warned that the temporary extension vote was volatile and could easily slip crumble...and once again, it didn't happen. Still, if you're interested in what I have to say about it today, I have a post up over at Greg Sargent's blog. Short version: I think a shutdown is very likely, and I think the only play for Speaker John Boehner that has any hope of succeeding is to convince movement conservatives to take what they've done so far and declare victory.
Which gets me thinking...I wouldn't be surprised if this is an age-cohort effect, but I tend to see opportunities to declare victory and move on (as opposed to either admitting defeat or fighting on) all the time, and generally believe that it's a vastly underutilized governing technique. Perhaps not as useful as the classic "let others take the credit" move, but still quite helpful in a wide array of situations. Most recently, it was nicely deployed by George W. Bush in Iraq in 2007-2008, even as he was pursuing a policy that objective observers might have described the way Sir Robin's minstrels described that gallant knight's actions in the face of danger.
I'm not aware of any serious cataloging of governing techniques for politicians such as those, by the way. If there is one that I should know about, please pass it on! The two best contemporary-ish sources I'm aware of (that is, not Machiavelli) are Robert Caro's classic study of Robert Moses and, well, Yes, Minister.