We’re shutting down satellites and Mars Rovers for the duration of the governnment shutdown, and hoping that the damage won’t be irreparable.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan writes, correctly:

It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.

Fallows, who has performed an essential public service with Your False Equivalence Guide To The Days Ahead, points out that this is essentially Calhounism, an insistence by the Republicans that their policy must prevail and that, if it does not, the nation shall be destroyed. We are, all of us, back at Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech:

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. This, plainly stated, is your language…

In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"

But perhaps the answer is that, if this fight must come, let it come now. Perhaps the answer is that the Democrats should in fact no longer accept merely a clean continuing resolution. That deal was available before the damage the Republican revolutionaries have wrought. Now, perhaps, the Democrats must hold out for capitulation — ending the sequester, ending the debt limit, and ending the filibuster on all of Obama’s appointments. If we are bound to deal with insurrection and terror, than we must deal with it. And if the Republican Party seeks to damage the nation for its narrow partisan purposes, we must do our best not merely to block it for a time, but to ensure that it can do no further harm.