His Majesty shall grant the peasants a reprieve from the imperial mandate
This is starting to become something of a hot topic on the Left. Obama will have little choice but to delay the individual mandate, exactly as the Republicans wanted. He just insists on doing it the wrong way, after inflicting the maximum possible damage to our constitutional order. He'll wave his imperial baton and rewrite the law on the fly once more, using despotic powers envisioned nowhere in American law until now. And he'll expect the grubby little peons to thank him for his benevolence. Isn't it wonderful how the King spared us from this terrible mandate we couldn't possibly escape, because his crummy bureaucrat-designed, crony-engineered web system doesn't work?
Republicans would be fools to let him get away with this. They should hammer Democrats into the ground when Obama tries to shift the mandate, throwing his own stupid rhetoric about the "settled law of the land" back in his face, insisting on a proper congressional vote (which they won't get, despite assurances that it would pass.) Remind America that Obama and his pal Harry Reid shut the government down, killing a dozen Republican bills that would have funded it, and unleashed the Park Police goon squads on everyone from hoteliers to elderly war veterans, all to avoid doing what he's going to present to us as blessed crumbs from his royal plate in a couple of months.
I suspect that message will find purchase with a public that's already angry about ObamaCare. Republicans only need to suffer lasting damage to their "brand" from the shutdown if they insist on dealing it to themselves. This was one of Ted Cruz's points all along: by the dawn of 2014, the public should remember October as a time when Republicans stood tall and tried to save them from a disaster. All of them - even Republican politicians privately miffed at Cruz - should present themselves that way, without fail, in every interview they give. And if Obama doesn't cut the public a break on the individual mandate, Republicans should have a huge pitchforks-and-torches mob - many of them lifelong Democrats - they can lead on a march to the polls in the midterm elections.
Ted Cruz and his posse are right about ObamaCare, and they know it. If their colleagues are smart, they'll never stop making Democrats pay for their "victory" in the shutdown/debt ceiling battle. And if Republicans come out of this with an energized base, a public increasingly disgusted by ObamaCare (and which already thought the country was headed in the wrong direction) and independents who were temporarily cross with them remembering that only one party is interested in standing up for their independence, I don't know that history will record this as any sort of "victory" for the Left at all.