Choose Your Own Budget Adventure!

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As the shutdown grinds on for weeks, the nation is getting tired of all this.

On "Meet the Press," Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), David Brooks, William Kristol, and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew all wonder in unison how things have gone so badly.

Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich accuse you of bungling these negotiations so, so epically. Gingrich wonders if you might be part of a "secular-socialist" nexus that has infiltrated the U.S. government. Glenn Beck cries.

Bill O'Reilly likes your plan. He shrugs on camera, asking every guest, for three days straight, "Tell me: What's wrong with Boehner's plan." He does this to foreign-policy experts, even.

President Obama says you have lost credibility. "I don't see the point of meeting with John Boehner at this point," he says at a press conference.

Bill Clinton is quoted as saying your idea "seems reasonable," but that President Obama already offered a deal that would put the government back to work and get the nation's fiscal house in order. He doesn't understand why you've gone about things this way.

Do you:

  • Back away from your proposal, contact the president and conservative House members, and try to secure the $33 billion deal that was once on the table (Go to Page 10)
  • Call another press conference and announce, "No other deal exists that could win the support of multiple sides in this debate," and mock both Democrats and conservative Republicans for retreating from spending plans they once supported. Tell them, "The American people should be disgusted with all of you." Cast yourself as the only responsible player in this charade. (Go to Page 15)
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Chris Good and Alex Hoyt

Chris Good is an associate editor and online politics writer for The Atlantic. Alex Hoyt does story research for The Atlantic and illustrations for TheAtlantic.com.

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