Litigating the last election, by fusing Obamacare to the Continuing Resolution permitting the U.S. government to pay its bills has to be one of the more moronic and booze infested decisions of any United States government in two-plus centuries.
Even reasonable Republican members of the House of Representatives like Peter King of New York blasted his hostage-taking colleagues for having been seduced by Ted Cruz and his wild rantings.
There will be more prices that those already documents in furloughed workers, program suspensions, and market uncertainties.
It is in the foreign policy files that we could see the most serious damage. If the U.S. government is seen to be unable to manage its own affairs, as is now clearly the case, what kind of confidence will that inspire among the world community of leaders, governments, international agencies like the IMF and the World Bank and even the United Nations all of which have had the significant contributions of the United States and the full force of the U.S. government, although under George W. Bush United Nations support was highly restrained, to put it mildly.
A culture that thrives on both sides of the Roman candle of human enterprise, the massive and sensational explosion of an individual's public profile and the equally massive and sensational demise of the flaming burnout, in entertainment, sports, business, and now in government, all of it dependent on the media's voracious appetite (and the public's that feeds the pursuit of ratings) for both conflict and personality-based news.
Ideas, as opposed to ideology, have fallen into the trash-bin of the last century.
Formal debate, including and even focussing on the intellectual skills of framing issues and debating them on their merits has given way to phoney filibusters by a phony narcissistic self-proclaimed Texan Roman candle on his way to burning out, and the media have given the kind of coverage that once went to authentic filibusters by authentic men and women who actually respected both the institutions of government and the American people.
A cheap Hollywood movie, great for box-office receipts, apparently the only ingredient with which to measure success, is not and never will be a surrogate for the hard work and the complicated negotiations of governing.
And we awoke this morning to the latest redaction of the cheapest of Hollywood movies, only this time, the lives of real people, including those flying, are in jeopardy. What air-traffic controller, to take just one example, will be as conscientious knowing that his/her salary will be delayed through the childish and tragic behaviour of the government which pays that salary?
And it will take one close call or worse one serious incident to pour the kind of shame that is merited on these clowns....
And yet, one has to wonder if that is the problem....they have no shame; they do not understand the word shame, nor the humility that accompanies its rearing its head.
Blaming the other has replaced personal responsibility and shame for not doing one's job. Looking out for the inflated self, linked to the headlines back home, where everyone knows only a few are even paying close attention to the nuances of the situation.
Gun-slinger politicians, in the metaphoric sense, are no more civilized than the gun-slinging outlaws who ruled the "wild west" proudly and with impunity. They were bigger than the law, and they flaunted that largesse, as their claim to infamy.
It seems the archetype has moved to Washington, put on some fancy clothes, and replaced the gun with the tongue, unattached as we might have expected to the full functioning of the brain that claimed responsibility for its use.
This is nothing short of political madness, and China, the U.S.'s largest supporter of Treasury Bonds must be looking at Washington this morning and smiling, knowing full well that interest on those bonds will likely rise, providing even more billions on their 'investment' in a country that has quite literally lost its way in its own hubris.