Many conservatives anticipated that the mainstream media would fault Republicans no matter what the outcome in the government shutdown, which may end Thursday after nearly three weeks.
But the GOP may not have expected such heavy fire from media on the right.
"This is the quality of thinking—or lack thereof—that has afflicted many GOP conservatives from the beginning of this budget showdown," the conservative Wall Street Journal editiorialized Wednesday about Congressional Republicans' fruitless attempts to defund "Obamacare."
The editorial continued: "They picked a goal they couldn't achieve in trying to defund ObamaCare from one House of Congress, and then they picked a means they couldn't sustain politically by pursuing a long government shutdown and threatening to blow through the debt limit."
The Washington Times, which is about three miles to the ideological right of the Journal, wasn't anymore kind. "Never pick a fight you don’t intend to win," the paper wrote Wednesday. "That’s wisdom from the schoolyard, but it’s the lesson many Republicans never learned. It’s more important than ever when you’re going toe-to-toe with a president and the stakes include a catastrophic health care scheme and funding for the national debt." Later in the editorial: "Republicans have shifted position so often that they’re no longer coherent. They don’t understand there’s no point in taking a stand for a vague, barely articulated principle."
And then there's Rush Limbaugh, who railed against the GOP Wednesday after Senate leadership announced they were close to a deal that would both reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling without any concessions on Obamacare. "I have never seen a major political party simply occupy placeholders as the Republican Party is doing," he said. "There hasn’t been any opposition. Not any serious opposition."