I think today's Republicans think that the public is with them, same as in '96. I think they will find out they are wrong, but the public is a fickle beast. It depends on who is seen as being unreasonable.
I think the real question (same as in Wisconsin) is what are those in the middle going to think. Independents voted for Obama in '08 because of "change". They got a lot of what I would consider good stuff, things that were pretty apparent from the campaign that they were going to get. They weren't happy with getting the promised change so they moved right on '10.
Now they are going to get some other things that were also pretty apparent in the campaign like reduced spending, slashed services and budget showdowns. Will they once again claim to be surprised and unhappy or will they say "yes, this is what we want"? The Republicans are assuming voters really want what they campaigned on. I think that is an iffy assumption.
I dont think they will shut down. the dems will show the lack balls that they have shown since they were elected the majority in congress. They are only interested in reelection.
well, to quote the silent majority, "I don't care if the government shuts down as long as none of the services I need or want are effected."
Found this good news today, though...