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Someone actually thought it was a good idea to bring a Confederate flag to protests at the White House, ones attended by Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. Shockingly the flag's presence is backfiring for conservatives who hoped today's protests would be the big momentum turn in their favor. 

Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, flanked by former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, headlined protests at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall Sunday morning, as they helped push through barriers and lead a contingent of veterans into the government site closed due to the shutdown. The goal was simple: use this stand to blame Obama for shutdown and, while side-by-side with a crew of veterans, accuse the President of using veterans as a pawn in the shutdown game. For a while the effort seemed to be working, at least on the right. The National Review's Robert Costa explained on Twitter: 

When I say "big story," I mean big story to those on Right on Hill who have some sway/decisions to make in the coming days

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 13, 2013

As groups of truckers converged on the protest with the veterans, the unrest in Washington only grew. Everything was looking up for the right. The base was taking a stand and literally tearing down barriers put up by the government. But then all the momentum the Right had seemingly gained went straight down the toilet: 

Never mind the horrible polling numbers that show Republicans taking a huge hit for the shutdown. At their big turnaround effort to win public opinion, the Confederate flag reared its ugly head and undid any progress or good will they hoped to earn on Sunday. Many were quick to explain just how terribly, impossibly bad this looks for Republicans: 

Some members of the conservative media tried to defend the guy carrying the Confederate flag: 

But others disputed that weak defense, because the Confederate flag pops up in conservative controversies every few months. Saying that one guy is an outlier doesn't work, the argument goes, because that one guy is popping up too often: 

Meanwhile, negotiations are still stalled in the Senate with no signs of a breakthrough coming. 

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