Alex Altman at Time thinks congressional dysfunction is here to stay. The current political landscape, made possible by gerrymandering, suggests that epic budget fights will continue. Altman explains, "A substantial faction of House Republicans, who hail from deep-red districts and have only the threat of a primary challenge to fear, could care less that the party’s disapproval ratings have skyrocketed to record highs. Their quixotic quest to gut Obamacare was what their constituents wanted." And "for Democrats, of course, the episode paid political dividends, and party leaders are apt to maintain their hard-line stance." Further, the crisis hasn't done anything for personal relationships in Congress — Altman points out that the House GOP dislikes Harry Reid more than ever, and President Obama and John Boehner haven't spoken since Friday. GOP media strategist Rick Wilson responds that the electorate will forget about the shutdown by election season: "2014 and 2016 won't be about the shutdown clownshow."
Alex Burns at Politico on who to blame for the shutdown. "If there’s general consensus that the [Republican] party got burned, there are already competing narratives on the right about whose hand it was that touched the burner," explains Burns. Different members of the GOP blame Ted Cruz, GOP leadership for "wimping out," or about 20 members of the House who just wanted to fight. These rebel members "stopped defining themselves by ideology and started defining themselves by the distance between them and the rest of the Republican conference." Dan Hirschorn, a Time news editor who used to work for Politico, tweets this line in the post: "Some men just want to watch the world burn."
Amy Davidson at The New Yorker on Obama's stubborn victory. Once the Senate passed the budget bill Wednesday night, Obama came out to speak. "It was telling that he didn’t wait for the House to actually vote. Why subject oneself to the theatrics, or pretend that they had much to say?" Davidson asks. "He didn’t use phrases like 'hostage-takers.' But he wasn’t pinning any roses, either." And of course, "this is not an end to the drama of Republican dissension." Hazem Sika, a news writer at Al Jazeera English, tweets this line in the post: Obama looked like he had had "too many evenings ruined because he had to drive home a drunk colleague he didn’t even like."
Ann Friedman at The Cut suggests college men stop getting drunk. Emily Yoffe at Slate penned a much-criticized column on Wednesday suggesting that the best rape prevention is for college women to stop drinking. Friedman responds by directing Yoffe's suggestions towards college men: "More than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently, both the man and the woman have been drinking. The men tend to use the drinking to justify their behavior, as this survey of research on alcohol-related campus sexual assault by Antonia Abbey, professor of psychology at Wayne State University, illustrates, while for many of the women, having been drunk becomes a source of guilt and shame." Megan Garber, a technology writer at The Atlantic, tweets, "Let's be totally clear: @annfriedman is a genius. (But you already knew that.)"
Jeffrey Goldberg at Bloomberg View on America's plan to reward Iran without lifting sanctions. Right now, "more than $50 billion of Iranian money is frozen, or semi-frozen, in banks around the world." Goldberg, who also contributes to The Atlantic, explains "U.S. negotiators currently in Geneva for the Iran negotiations are prepared to offer Iran access to at least some of this money in exchange for verifiable concessions." Goldberg's interest is piqued by the plan: "This idea is elegant, and it is canny, and I hope it’s one the Obama administration will pursue further." Toula Vlahou, who covers Iran for CBS News, recommends the piece.