For days I have tried to put into words my thoughts about the mess of a government shutdown. I needn't have bothered. Fareed Zakaria did it for me in the following Facebook post yesterday:
What cannot be allowed to stand is the notion that if a group of legislators cannot convince a majority in both houses and the president to agree with them, they will shut down the government or threaten to default until they can get their way. That is extortion not democracy.
I would be happy to see President Obama compromise on the budget, taxes, spending – even healthcare. But he cannot compromise on the principal that the rules of democracy must be respected, whatever the outcome. If Democrats had threatened to shut down the government to force the repeal of the Bush tax cuts or defund the Iraq War, I would have hoped President Bush would have also been uncompromising.
It is going to be difficult living in a Banana Republic but I guess I'll get used to it. The alternatives are not particularly attractive. As for our Congress - we are reaping what we sowed.