I do so wish the BBC would stop reporting this whole thing as a tiff. Nicholas Kristoff isn't the greatest but he gets it right here:

The House Republican hard-liners lost their battle against Obamacare in the democratic process, just as President Obama lost his battle for an assault-weapons ban. But instead of accepting their loss as Obama did, members of the Gang of 40 took hostages. Unless Obamacare is defunded, they’ll cause billions of dollars in damage to the American economy.

The G.O.P. claims to be the party particularly concerned by budget deficits. Yet its tantrum caused a government shutdown that cost the country $1.6 billion last week alone.

As for the debt limit, the costs of missing that deadline could be infinitely greater. Already, interest rates are spiking for one-month Treasury bills to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis.The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank, calculates that the 2011 debt-ceiling confrontation will, over a decade, cost American taxpayers an extra $18.9 billion.

And that was the price tag for a crisis in which the debt-limit deadline was eventually met. If this deadline is missed, the costs in higher interest rates in the years ahead will be billions more.

Members of the Gang of 40 are unwilling to pay for early childhood education, but they’re O.K. with paying untold billions for a government shutdown and debt-limit crisis? That’s not governance, but extremism.