OK, so I think I’ve figured out how to (a) have the House Republicans do their job passing a clean continuing resolution, and (b) let the House Republicans claim victory. Senate Democrats should load up a continuing resolution with some things they’d like. They can have a public option, or lower Medicare age (preferably to birth). Basically, they should negotiate this funding the government thing with the same bad faith as the Republicans.
Then when the Republicans inevitably, eventually do their job and fund the government, they can say to their Tea Party constituency, “Oh hey, we totally stopped the public option. Health care could have been more affordable still, but no.”
Since now the conversation is between the GOP doing their jobs and passing a clean resolution, or the GOP plan to continue their hissy fit for a little longer and demanding delays to the Affordable Care Act, when the Republicans eventually do their job, it will look like they’ve caved. Under the Carl Ballard plan, when they do their job, they can have saved the republic from socialism or whatever.