The most extraordinary development in the big federal budget showdown - was that the original reason for the whole thing evaporated.
The fuss about Obamacare taking over the health care system ended up buried in a string of national embarrassments - over closed War Memorials and cutting off benefits to the widows of fallen soldiers - consequences which Congress was warned about before they started this.
Republicans say the president has been manipulating the shutdown for maximum pain - which he may well be doing.
But the inescapable fact is that by forcing the issue, they're the ones who gave him the chance to do it! They gave this president - a man they don't trust - a free hand to decide what to keep open and what to close! How dumb was that?
But the ultimate reversal, was hearing Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz making passionate arguments IN FAVOR of Government-run health care!
Here's the boiled-down version of that little gunfight.
"I would happily work with the majority leader to fund every bit of the VA as it is right now," said Cruz.
"Would the senator yield for a question? I'm wondering if your motion includes the full funding of the VA medical system, which is a government run health care system?" asked a fellow senator.
Said Cruz, "It is a promise we have made and it is unrelated to Obamacare."
"I just wanted to be clear that the fully government run, with government doctors system, is something that you are advocating," she clarified.
Replied Cruz, "The answer is yes."
So what exactly are we fighting about?