If the GOP were planning a shutdown, we'd know about it

Remember: When Republican lawmakers played the shutdown game in 2013, which started with votes to defund the Affordable Care Act, they did an excellent job advertising the issue, going on television and radio to explain the strategy. There were social media campaigns and there were multiple, in-depth press interviews. Republicans were not coy about the ploy, the American public knew it was coming and the press reported accordingly.

But now, with just a few passing comments that have already been clarified by GOP lawmakers and their staffers, we’re supposed to believe that Republicans have a plan to shut down the government? Even Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who led the fall 2013 defund effort, emphatically declared on Saturday that, “There is one person, and one person only, talking about a government shutdown, and that is the White House.”

Which is more likely: That Republicans have a devilishly secret plan that they’ve managed to hide from the world or that this story was concocted by Democratic strategists to raise money and ding the GOP ahead of the November midterm elections?