No, Congress didn't re-fund ObamaCare by ending the shutdown

The most you can say of last week’s defeat is that Congress (or the Senate, at least) failed to pass a law removing existing funding from Obamacare.

There was never such a thing as “funding the rest of government without funding Obamacare.” The defunding of Obamacare required a positive act. A mere omission was never sufficient.

This may seem like a minor detail, but the failure to grasp (or accept) this reality has been the central fallacy and rallying point of the “defund” movement all along.

In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges went live October 1, oblivious to the shutdown, because Obamacare never needed Congress to act again this year.

When two thought-leaders in the conservative media with large audiences buy into such a falsehood, it’s a sign of how widely it has been disseminated and how deeply it is believed…

But for the moment, a pointless, superficial parliamentary exercise has destroyed the conservative base’s enthusiasm and unity on the one issue where every single moderate and conservative Republican officeholder – from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz – had been united in substantive terms.