The entire spectacle was a reminder of the sorry state of Beltway politics. Even a bipartisan deal blessed by party leaders of both chambers can get caught up in extraneous drama.

In fact, a shutdown had been so unthinkable that the Office of Management and Budget did not issue guidance to agencies until dinner time, hours before funding would run dry. Around that time, when Paul took his protest public, exasperated lawmakers and staffers settled in for an all-nighter Thursday evening with the sole purpose of allowing federal employees to show up for work in the morning.

“This is the stupidest thing to happen to Congress in three weeks,” said one Senate GOP aide. “This is even more stupid than the name of the new Kardashian baby (Stormi). This is dumber than a screen door on a submarine. This is even stupider than the kid who didn’t recognize Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl.”