Divide and conquer is the age-old strategy and fractures are showing on the Republican front. Bloomberg reports:

More than a dozen House Republicans who want to drop attempts to undermine the health-care law and reopen the government are meeting among themselves and with House Speaker John Boehner — and he’s listening.

Democrats, meanwhile, continue to show a united front and Obama refused to negotiate yesterday, comfortable that Republicans will bear the brunt of the blame for a shutdown. The end game is growing clearer by the moment and the result is Republicans backing down on most of their demands, perhaps earning a token concession.

If the Democrats can seize the opportunity and forge a comprehensive budget and debt ceiling deal, that kind of certainty would be the best thing for the economy. The risk is that they overplay their hand and try to undo all the sequester spending cuts, giving Republicans a chance to regroup.