We're now getting poll after poll showing the American public blames one party - the Republicans - more than the other for causing the government shutdown of 2013, which began on Oct. 1.
Public opinion serves to muddy the issue, however. Conservative Republicans have already owned up to picking a fight they knew very well would lead to the 18th government shutdown in modern political history.
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The New York Times reports that several conservative groups seeking to undermine the federal health care overhaul of 2010 believed they could potentially force a repeal of Obamacare by taking funding of the federal government as their hostage.
"We felt very strongly at the start of this year that the House needed to use the power of the purse," Michael A. Needham, who runs the conservative Heritage Action for America, told The Times. "At least at Heritage Action, we felt very strongly from the start that this was a fight that we were going to pick."
The Times report goes on to state that the activists anticipated a shutdown could occur while working with members of the Tea Party caucus in Congress "who were excited about drawing a red line against a law they despise."
Reports the Times:
"A defunding 'tool kit' created in early September included talking points for the question, 'What happens when you shut down the government and you are blamed for it?' The suggested answer was the one House Republicans give today: 'We are simply calling to fund the entire government except for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.'"
Given the willingness of conservative Republicans to own the government shutdown of 2013, it remains someone of a mystery why nearly a third of Americans blame President Barack Obama in a Pew Research Center and Washington Post/ABC News poll. (Thirty-eight percent of Americans said Republicans were to blame for the shutdown, and 19 percent who blame both, according to the Pew poll.)
A CNN/ORC International survey found that only "slightly" more people are angry at Republicans than Democrats or President Barack Obama for the shutdown, and that both sides are taking a hit.
Let's cue the tape to perhaps the biggest cheerleader for the government shutdown of 2013 in the House, Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
Here's what she said on the eve of the shutdown:
"We're very excited. It's exactly what we wanted, and we got it."