The media is shooting its load all over the House dissent over the continuing resolution vote. The Times, Huffpo, Drudge, Politico, et. al. can't print enough stories about how Boehner needed Dem votes to pass the continuing resolution. The Teabagger Representatives opposed the deal on the principle that there simply weren't enough cuts embedded in the 11th hour deal.
The experiment we'll never get to run is how these legislators would have voted if their votes mattered. What if the House Dems didn't care about the White House and acted as a true opposition, refusing to vote with Boehner? What if the vote was tied 217-217, and one more Representative was required for that final vote? How many Representatives would have still opposed the Continuing Resolution on principle and truly been willing to shut down the government? (Side question: how many actually appreciate what this would mean?) You have to think some of these Congressmen would have abandoned their stance in order to prevent such a scenario.
Courage is defined by the beholder. Some would consider courage being willing to stand on principle, even if it means shutting down the feds and the economic destruction this would entail. Others would consider this idiocy, and define courage as willing to compromise in the face of radical political pressures. The ability to change one's vote means that there can never be a situation wherein only one person dictates the outcome by their vote, so this remains a theoretical game. It's still an interesting one to play.
And for the record, Paul Ryan is not courageous. Smart guy? Sure. Good guy? Yeah - Paul Ryan truly wants to help his country. But courageous? His Road Map wasn't back in 2009, and the only thing I've seen change over the past two years has been Committee Chairmanship.