We do! We do have a deal!


Our long national nightmare is over: Joe Biden brought muffins to EPA headquarters, and the federal government is open for business again. Congress reached an agreement last night, after conservative Republicans in the House finally agreed to settle for defunding of Obamacare delay of the individual mandate delay of the medical device tax nothing. I’m glad the government is working again. I’m super glad the US didn’t default on its debts and cause Cthulhu to rise from his oceanic trench. And I’m somewhere between those two levels of glad that Tea Party extortion was not rewarded. Threatening to wreck the country does not get you want you want. We proved it. The events of the last three weeks will stand, hopefully, as a lesson to future generations of jerks. The constitutional system is not your weapon. It’s not your hostage. It’s your tool.

That’s probably enough crowing for now. Perhaps the most pernicious effect of the shutdown was the way it reduced Combat! blog to a single, obsessive focus. Okay, it was the $24 billion it took out of the economy, but it had some bad editorial effects as well. I’m not going to lie: there were some days when I spent hours staring at the news, trying to figure out if my government would commit seppuku. It turns out we were just fondling the knife, but that’s bad for your head, to do or to watch.

Fortunately, we thought about other stuff besides the federal government in the last few weeks. This week is the ten-year anniversary of the death of Elliott Smith, whom I wrote about for the Missoula Independent. It’s kind of sad, but it’s way more heartening than a bunch of millionaires holding up Washington for concessions and then shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe it’s not. Evil is punished in that story, whereas good is punished in the story of Elliott Smith. The moral is that all will be punished, everywhere. Now go out there and govern the world.

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