Collender wonders whether “a government shutdown could be the point that historians one day point to as the beginning of the end for the tea partiers in Congress”:
[G]iven that Gingrich and congressional Republicans were far more popular in the mid-1990s than the tea party is today, and in light of the fact that the tea party and not House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is most likely to bear the blame if a shutdown occurs, there’s a good reason to think that at least some of the [Tea Party’s] supporters will find themselves cursing the tea party’s name very soon, especially when the shutdown begins to affect them negatively.
This group will still agree with the tea party’s goals, just not with its tactics. But the tea party will alienate its more intense supporters if it moderates those tactics. Either way, at least some of its base will be lost.
John Bellinger wants the Tea Party to “remember that the United States remains a country at war, not only in Afghanistan, but with al-Qaida and its affiliates around the world”:
Republicans should take no solace in the likelihood that much of DHS, DoD, the FBI, and the intelligence community will remain in place as “essential personnel” during a shutdown. The rank-and-file who work long and stressful hours protecting the country may technically remain on the job, but they and their leaders (including agency heads) already are having to spend much of their time dealing with the distractions of the coming shutdown. Do Tea Party Republicans want the leaders of our intelligence and security agencies focused on protecting the nation, or managing the shutdown of their agencies?
In short, if there were another attack against the United States or its facilities around the world (such as an Embassy), Tea Party Republicans and the American people would not be able to blame the Executive branch — and call for Benghazi-like investigations — for failing to keep the country safe. Members of Congress who had forced a government shutdown would themselves be blamed.