This excellent metaphor comes to us (by way of Jim Geraghty) from blogger Bruce Webster, who coined it to describe a phenomenon that he observed, originally, while analyzing the ways in which large-scale software projects can fail. In this post, he notes that it applies also to the slow-motion catastrophe we call “Obamacare”. The post is dense with links, which are worth following.
Meanwhile, into the shutdown we go, it seems. There is much infighting on the Right over this (though there is no disagreement that this bill is a monstrosity that should be resisted tooth and nail for the sake of the nation). Many say that because fiscal conservatives in Congress will be blamed, fairly or not, for a shutdown, the better strategy is just to let Obamacare run its disastrous course, and make the Left own it. The problem, though, is that entitlement programs generate constituencies — and in a democracy, if those constituencies are large enough, programs become immortal, even if they increase the overall morbidity of the nation. Like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, we can see the baby cobras curled up inside the eggs, and know that once hatched, they can kill a mongoose, or a man.
The shutdown, however, will cause a great deal of pain, and likely accomplish nothing.