("It seemed like such a good idea at the time.")
The Republican Revolution of 1994 didn't last long. It quickly went south when reports of in-fighting, tantrums and hypocrisy started coming to light. By the end of 1995 a full-on war of ideologies had erupted with President Clinton and Republicans in a standoff over the budget. Republicans blamed Clinton for grandstanding and not yielding to pressure. Clinton refused to sign a budget laced with Republican earmarks that cut Medicare, education and environmental funding. Both sides weren't ready to budge. The first of two shutdowns occurred on November 14, lasting a few days before an extension was signed. The second shutdown lasted longer, starting in December and going into January. By the time the crisis passed, there was enough animosity to keep people busy for years.
As a perplexing bonus, I've included a clip of the Singing Senators, who were recorded at a function the weekend just before the shutdown. Trent Lott, Larry Craig, John Ashcroft and James Jeffords proved once again that you really can fiddle while Rome is in the process of burning.
NPR - All Things Considered from November 11, 1995