Nate Silver is in the process of moving from the NYT to ESPN, but he’s got an interim website up and today he has weighed in on the political ramifications of the gov’t shutdown. It’s a fairly long, informative piece and does a really good job at providing an expert, level-headed assessment of what we know.
Which is: not that much. Nate’s main points seem to be first: that we don’t really know if there will be any long-term consequences of the shut down (and, as a corollary, that Democrats still face stiff headwinds in 2014) and second: that the uncertainty that does exist is primarily about the future of the GOP. Washington DC is, according to many sources, more polarized than at any other time in our nation’s history and a lot of the reason for that is the GOP shift to the right (not a corresponding move by Democrats to the left). This means we’re in fairly unprecedented times, and the future may largely depend on what shakes out internally within the Republican Party.