GOP playing losing game – for America

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The numbers are appalling. There are 800,000 federal employees out of work, lost wages and productivity run $300 million a day – that’s every 24 hours. Wall Street is getting nervous the country will default on its international debts in less than two weeks.

The congressional impasse just continues to grind on like a mindless juggernaut, and no one seems inclined to do anything about it.

It is chilling to think how thousands of NSA workers were sent home at a time when national security needs have perhaps never been higher. Many have been brought back it seems, but without funding to supply the materials they need the NSA may soon have to send them home again.

Why is this latest and unnecessary crisis allowed to go on? We all know. It is stamped Made in the USA, or to be specific the halls of Congress. The Republican Party has shut the government down in what may be the biggest tantrum ever thrown.

Like everyone else in the country, I have had to listen to the ongoing rhetoric about Obama care. I still could not tell anyone what Obama care will mean to the country good or bad. The rhetoric from both sides is so unremitting, where can you find a truly neutral examination of the legislation. I do know health care in America is off the rails when 50 million Americans are uninsured.

So now the House Republicans have painted the entire country into a corner and it is becoming a game of who will blink first. They say they are not the ones responsible for this, but they are the ones holding the paintbrushes.

Of course these politicians are saying they are not to blame. Didn’t they warn everyone this is what they would do? So now the Senate and the president can meekly say OK and bow down to extreme blackmail by what everyone says is a minority of hard case Tea Party Republicans.

So this government shutdown is no longer about Obama care – if it ever was. These are a bunch of politicians trying to make as much hay over the issue as they possibly can. Each day the rhetoric goes up another few decibels and lines get drawn in the sand.

We have the Senate and the president have vowed not to negotiate while a gun is held to the head of the American people. They have a point. If they give in now, this will give any minority faction the ability to pick up the gun again.

On the other side, the House Republicans are saying we have no choice because as one House member said, “We won’t be disrespected. We have to get something out of this.”

He was chastised by his own party members for being a blithering idiot, but the damage was done. If you want to be respected, find some way to gain your aims other than through issuing ultimata that can only be backed up by plunging the country into fiscal chaos.

And no, that does not get you “something out of this.”

This sounds like some South American banana republic’s comic opera not the purported government of the Leader of the Free World.

Now the giddiness of the world’s attention is beginning to lose its bouquet, and the GOP is scrambling for some face-saving way out this mess.

So of course they broaden their list of demands. Certainly the Senate and the president will sit down to negotiations about reducing government spending.

OK, they get it. Obama is not going to budge on Obama care which is, like it or not, the law of the land. But what they need now is cover. Something they can take back to their hardline constituents besides their tails between their legs.

But the other side is not going to do that because of the precedent it would set. The threat could always be called up again. The Democrats want this sort of blackmail to be seen as no way to try to govern, and if the Republicans push it, let it be on their heads.

So here we are, having driven the country to the brink of financial chaos. That's why they call it brinksmanship.

So what happens now? When the demands of the hostage takers are not met, they can only prove their resolve by killing the hostage. And the hostage is we.