I’m not a big fan of Obama either, but Bob McManus’s ipse dixit about what would happen strikes me as wildly eccentric. But at any rate, it seems to me that in any showdown Obama is bound to win. The Republicans don’t have a party leader, as Obama is the de facto leader of the Democrats. And nobody can get more media attention than the President of the United States. So in terms of “messaging,” Obama easily comes out ahead; he will win any public relations war. Also, keep in mind that Republicans in Congress now take pride in being—- and more importantly, are publicly identified as—- the Party of No (forgive the shopworn phrase). The Republican base sees this as good; Democrats see it as bad; and the rest of public is mostly somewhere in between. But the point is that they are publicly identified as reflexively obstructionist. If a shutdown comes, then, the Republicans will naturally be seen as the cause, rather than Obama.
Those are my two cents, but the only special insight I have is American citizenship, nothing more.