I did sort of a summary post at Greg's place yesterday on the whole shutdown/debt limit showdown situation. One of the key differences, it seems, between those of us who think a disaster is relatively unlikely and those (Chait and Benen, for example) who think it's more likely turns out to be views of John Boehner. I think he's pretty good at what he does -- in very difficult circumstances -- while others don't see a long-term plan, and think that's dangerous.
I'll toss in another point here that I should have made in one of my pieces yesterday. I talked about the importance for conservative hard-liners for the leadership to sell them out; that's what they need to prove that they are the real conservatives. What I should have added -- and it's important -- is that it's only necessary because of the absence of real policy differences. Liberals in Congress, for example, can and do differentiate themselves from moderate Democrats by, say, prefering single-payer health care to the ACA. In fact, among Democrats, it works both ways; we could just as easily say that the moderates differentiate themselves from the liberals by choosing ACA over single-payer. It breaks down on the Republican side in part because there aren't very many Republicans at all who want to be seen as moderates, and because the post-policy GOP doesn't really supply very many policy alternatives for Members to use for these purposes. That is, there is no mainstream conservative health care plan or any radical conservative alternative; without those, politicians trying to prove their differences have to invent crazy ACA opposition strategies to embrace, so that they can bash those who sell them out over those strategies.
Others from this week:
Just how stupid does Heritage think Republican politicians are?
Reading invisible tea leaves
Not all Hastert violations are alike