But where was that realization when everyone was negotiating the sequester just a few months after the election? It's not as if widely read progressive bloggers and even a few traditional columnists haven't been pointing out this dynamic at length for the better part of a decade, and doing so with increasing alarm.
This is going to sound bitter, but it can't be helped. Why is it that the people who realize political realities years too late still get to be the pundits and advisers, while the people who were right all along are still using blogs to shout from the outside looking in?
Unfortunately, we can't attribute this to any sudden wising up or, God forbid, change of heart on the part of the Democrats. Mostly what's happened is the Republicans have decided to start a pissing contest over something the Dems will actually piss back over.
What has "taken them so long" is that they actually care about defending Obamacare. Not because Obamacare is something to be especially proud of. It's a mincing over-complication designed to benefit the insurance companies... but that's not important right now. They want to defend it because it's their "signature piece of legislation" and they don't want that taken away from them.
The previous round of shutdown shit fit was over real social safety net spending of the sort that Democrats really don't mind giving away anymore. But they'll defend Obamacare because it's their trophy.