With polls showing many Americans blame Republicans in the House of Representatives for the partial government shutdown, GOP leaders would be wise to exploit the tiniest of cracks that has appeared in President Barack Obama's refusal to let the democratic process work.
Obama and Democrats who control the Senate are the real problem that caused the shutdown. They have refused to negotiate anything about the federal budget. That left House Republicans falling back on the position our nation's founders envisioned - refusal to approve a government spending bill.
On Tuesday, however, Obama indicated he would negotiate if the House and Senate first approve a short-term "clean" spending bill and an increase in the debt ceiling. In other words, it's still his way or the highway for now, but he may be willing to talk later.
House Republicans should take him up on that. But then, once the bills Obama seeks are passed, the American people should hold him to his pledge to negotiate in good faith.