One of the rules of thumb of this blog is that, when politicians offer political advice to their opponents, it is probably not genuine. So it is with a jaundiced eye that I read numerous leading Democrats serving up quotes about how terrified they are that Republicans will shut down the government in an attempt to de-fund the Affordable Care Act:

"I am real concerned," Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) said. "We do operate on yearly budgets that could exact great harm if they are dedicated to that proposition. You still have to work with the Senate. So what happens when you reach that kind of impasse? We have this gridlock ... There is no doubt in my mind that the Republican leadership ... has already charted a course. They are very disciplined and very good at what they do."
"This is only the beginning," Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said. "I'm also fearful that they are going to try and eviscerate the legislation by denying it funding [and] by harassing the administration."
"I'm very concerned," Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said. "There are a lot of things that need funding in order to be implemented ... Here is the point: these guys are serious. Give them credit. They said what they were going to do with repeal and now they are doing it ... There is no ambiguity here and anyone who doesn't see [defunding] as a deadly serious effort on the part of GOP leadership is naive."

We're deeply concerned! Frightened, even! What on Earth would we do if the Republicans threw us into that briar patch?

Hey, maybe Democrats are thinking that, since polls show the public overwhelmingly thinks President Obama wants to cooperate with Republicans, and almost as overwhelmingly thinks Republicans don't want to cooperate with him, a government shutdown would create a huge backlash against the GOP?