The Congress promptly left Washington once the shutdown-debt ceiling debacle was concluded, leaving nothing for the papers to talk about…except for the shutdown. Reporters have been piecing together what happened behind the scenes and throughout the whole saga and pundits have been weighing how these events will help or harm Republicans and Democrats.

The shutdown-ending legislation passed the House of Representatives because the Democrats voted for it along with a minority of Republicans—a sizeable one to be sure, but a minority nonetheless. This has led some to wonder whether some kind-of-middle of the road coalition could form between the two—they did after all, pass this bill and two other big ones. (Our initial reaction is to remain skeptical of the durability of such a coalition: Two of the three bills cited in the National Journal were for emergencies, which aren’t the most stable foundation to build on.)

National Journal: The House GOP Coalition that Could Break the Gridlock

Those speculating on some future Democrat-moderate Republican coalition are probably over-hyping it: The legislation, after all, was the result of a deal between the Democratic Senate Majority Leader and the Republican Senate Minority Leader. Most Americans have no clue who Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, but he was instrumental in ending the shutdown and preventing a default. National Review’s Robert Costa—who had some of the most interesting leads on GOP strategy during the crisis—sat down with Senator McConnell to find out what happened in the lead up to it, and what the prospects for future budget deals are.

National Review: McConnell’s Exit Interview

Senator McConnell was front and center in ending the impasse, but his fellow Kentucky Senator, Dr. Rand Paul, an unabashed conservative well loved by the Tea Party, was practically invisible throughout the fight—and to his benefit.

Politico: Shutdown Brings Out Rand Paul’s Softer Side

Senator Paul might have played his cards right, but how about the rest of the Republican Party? Most people are saying that they were hurt in this, but how will it affect the races next year?

RealClearPolitics: The Electoral Aftermath of the Shutdown

And because great minds think alike, we include a column with a title very, very similar to one of our own.

Wall Street Journal: The Charge of the Defund Brigade

And for our latest blog post: Will the Senate Shutdown-Debt Ceiling Deal Pass the Hastert Rule?