The Tea Party extremists made fools of themselves, and the GOP is mired in civil war, but this is a time of danger for momentarily victorious Democrats. Democratic politicians need to face up to the fact that Obamacare, while marvelous in theory, is so imbued with gifts to Big Pharma that it constitutes endless ammunition for the Tea Party. Obama needs to become a real leader and focus on arresting financial criminals, but perhaps only second in domestic priorities is to clean up Obamacare so as to solidify support for the principle that health care is a natural right, not a privilege for the lucky. Obama would look very good if he were to follow up this shutdown victory with a serious effort to reform Obamacare to cut costs while strengthening the principle of a national health care safety net for every citizen.
If, instead, Democrats get overconfident, they will play directly into the hands of the Tea Party extremists and their elitist millionaire backers, who are playing everyone for fools in their attempt to bleed the public for their private profit. The goal of those rich Tea Party bankers appears to be the weakening of government to facilitate their own selfish priorities, i.e., various get-rich schemes requiring weak government regulation of Big Finance, the food industry, the environment, etc. Failure to address weaknesses in Obamacare, like failure to arrest powerful financial criminals, just makes Democrats appear hypocritical and empowers extremists who really want to reverse the rise of the American middle class.
Although the true agendas of Republican radicals is profoundly dangerous to the American way of life, the Tea Party and their hidden bankers are correct that Democrats waste money, that health care is too expensive, that corruption is widespread in government, just as the Bolsheviks in 1917 were correct that the Tsars were corrupt, elitist, and oppressive. But the Tsars were too arrogant to reform, so the impotent Bolsheviks were able to burn the house to the ground to serve their own private agenda. Extremists win because they focus on real problems.
With extremists making the GOP look like the enemy of society, now is the time, indeed perhaps the last opportunity, for Obama to turn his back on the elite and demonstrate that the Democrats really are friends of society.