The federal government is shutdown. While I'm sympathetic to the smaller government impulses driving the Republicans behind this particular charge, I think it's the wrong way to go about it.
In some ways I am glad to see things finally come to a head -- Congress hasn't passed a budget since 2009, so it's not like things have been running along smoothly. Congress had almost refined can-kicking to an art form, and I for one would like them to actually, you know, do their job.
Now I get making principled stands on issues that are important to you and your constituencies. Rand Paul's filibuster against the domestic usage of drones should be applauded. But this? This reeks of sour grapes and desperation.
"Obamacare" was debated for years, and the Republicans had their chance, many of them in fact. The 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as the various Congressional elections, gave them the chance to make their point and win definitive majorities.
They had the chance to kill it in Congress. They didn't. They argued it all the way to the Supreme Court and lost. To go through all that, to be on the eve of implementation, and to hold the federal budget hostage in one last doomed attempt to win is idiotic. And yes, it is doomed -- there's no way that the healthcare-less budget is getting through the Senate, and even if it did, the Republicans don't have the votes to override President Obama's veto.
The Republicans should be figuring a coherent healthcare alternative of their own, not throwing a temper tantrum.