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The Hiller Instinct

The government shutdown blame game

Less than 24 hours after the shutdown began, it's not too early, because it's never too early, to get to what really matters:

Who's winning? Who's losing? And who's to blame?

"You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in congress," President Barack Obama said.

The president makes it sound as if he's just like us, helplessly watching what's happening in Washington when, in fact, "Obamacare" puts him right in the middle of it.

Asking the president to cut back on his legacy health plan is like asking President Kennedy to give up his dream of putting a man on the moon: it's not going to happen.

But the president is paying a price. Put all the polls together and 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the way he's doing his job, while 44 percent approve.

So he may win later, but he's not now.

And then there's Congress, which is really the Republican house and the Democratic senate.

Republicans are betting the house Americans don't want "Obamacare," and a new poll shows 57 percent are against it, but the same poll shows 60 percent don't want the government shut down if that's what it takes to gut the president's healthcare plan.

Which is why, today, Republicans are in a deeper hole than the president and the Democrats, and most likely to lose the blame game.

"The house has voted to keep the government open but we also want basic fairness for all Americans under 'Obamacare,'" Speaker of the House John Boehner said.

Sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I think that's a losing argument. If "Obamacare" is so bad, why don't you let us find out for ourselves? Wouldn't that be fair?

It's really pretty simple: the Republicans don't have the votes to kill "Obamacare," and the Democrats don't have the votes to pass a budget.

Until that changes, nothing changes.