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When a last-minute funding bill ended the shutdown ...


Lookups spiked on October 17, 2013.


When a last-minute funding bill ended the 16-day government shutdown, both sides claimed victory - a "Pyrrhic victory" according to some commentators.

Pyrrhic means "achieved at excessive cost" or "costly to the point of negating or outweighing expected benefits."

"The Tea Party's Pyrrhic Victory," an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, explained the use and origin of the phrase:

"In political terms, the Tea Party's scorched earth strategy has produced some impressive legislative wins but damaged the movement's popularity. Now its blunt tactics threaten to make deficit reduction seem like a fringe issue, one of concern only to extremists. The Greek king Pyrrhus, after whom Pyrrhic victories are named, once said, 'If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.'"

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