So the government has totally ground to a halt, paralyzed by petty partisan squabbling. Or as they say inside the Beltway these days: a typical Thursday. Republicans complain Obama is not negotiating. Garnering their begrudging respect for following Reagan’s unbreakable dictum to refuse to negotiate with terrorists.
Besides, bills are negotiated, not settled law. If the Kamikaze Caucus gets their way on this, what’s next? Another showdown, shutdown, shakedown demanding Democrats dismantle NPR?
A single representative from Oklahoma threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue if an oil derrick doesn’t replace George Washington on the $1 bill? Preschool intimidation to spur the repeal of the laws of gravity?
The extreme right wing of the party of the right is obviously convinced the public will regard this as one of those “a pox on both of their houses” deals. And they may be right. If Congress’ approval rating goes any lower, they’ll be able to look up to snake bellies. Losing ground on poisonous ticks. Pillow thorns.
And for a group ostensibly consumed with the deficit, these cry-cry-crybabies don’t seem too upset by the $300 million the shutdown is costing every day. Because, hey! $300 million here. $300 million there. As Everett Dirksen is said to have pointed out, pretty soon you’re talking real money.
Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio.