Chait considers it a real possibility. Bernstein predicts that a shutdown would backfire, at least for the pols:

[W]hile a government shutdown, especially an early confrontation over the debt limit, would likely be a disaster for House Republicans, it stands to be a big winner for Fox News, conservative talk radio hosts, and anyone who makes money from getting grass roots Republicans angry enough to buy books, visit web sites, and give money to conservative causes.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.