According to the liberal New Republic, the GOP is faring better than it did during the last shutdown. They are concerned that Dems are getting too cocky about turning this into electoral gold in 2014. No doubt polls show Republicans still getting more of the blame than Dems and Obama, but the differential isn't that wide. Plus, we have more conservative media outlets this time around, meaning the public hears and reads a broader perspective, including concrete examples of how bloated and unresponsive much of the government has become. Nothing illustrates the voraciousness of the federal behemoth better than recent stories about how 87 percent of government spending is on autopilot. Or revelations that even during the federal "shutdown," the Social Security and Medicare offices are still hiring scores of high-paid "media relations" employees. Your tax dollars at work? Hardly. You don't have to be a Buckley conservative to discern that something is way out of whack.