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Not Ready for Primetime

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The government shutdown proves an incontrovertible fact: The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

The Republican-led House of Representatives disgracefully comingled their notion of what is right with the collective will of the American people to bring international shame on America.

In spite of talking points to the contrary, shutting down the government is a brazenly unpatriotic act that is unworthy of anyone who is a member of Congress.

Are we to believe the current impasse was so great that it warrants 800,000 government employees being put out of work, over a million more working without pay, closing the offices that provide important services and programs to those on society's margin?

Low-income women, along with infants and children are among the front line victims of the Republican House of Representatives' hubris.

Furthering this imbecilic behavior, the cabal that ensured approximately 1.8 million government workers must go without pay, along with countless numbers of those dependent on government services, will continue to receive their salaries.

Let me preemptively state before someone is compelled to run to his or her computer and fire off the predictable and sophomoric email that asks: "Would you feel the same if the Democrats shutdown the government?"

Yes, I would.

A number of analysts predict that a two-week partial government shutdown would shave 0.3 to 0.4 of a percentage point from economic growth in the fourth quarter. While this is not a large amount, it could be harmful to an economy that has been growing at a feeble 2 percent rate annually.

Moreover, are we to believe the kerfuffle is over healthcare? Did the House of Representatives shut down the government over legislation that was passed by both houses of Congress, signed into law by President Barack Obama, and upheld by the Supreme Court?

Assuming the Republican Congress was successful, it wouldn't stop most of the major aspects of the healthcare law, some of which have already gone into effect.

What's more, they decry that the president and the Democratic leadership won't compromise their differences. Congress passes bills that go to the president. Once signed by the executive branch they become law. There is nothing to compromise; the Affordable Care Act is law.

If every doomsday scenario about the impending healthcare law came to fruition, the burden would then be on Congress to revise the law, not shut down the government.

This is nothing more than irresponsible brinksmanship. Only those who are beholden more to party allegiance than constitutional values could support such irreverent behavior.

It is a tragic commentary for any nation when the prospects of providing healthcare to millions who currently go without warrants shutting down the government, but nary a word for a misguided war that was funded on the public credit card.

Maybe the issue is not how bad the Affordable Healthcare Act will be, but rather the opposite. If the outcomes are positive, the party that opposed Social Security and Medicare could once again have the distinction of being on the wrong side of history.

How long will the American citizenry send men and women to represent them whose belief in our constitutional values is weaker than wet toilet paper? Meanwhile, the country is held hostage by an intramural battle between the so-called "young guns" and establishment Republicans.

They claim Washington is ungovernable, which it is, but instead of working to make it better they opt for the low road of bringing the rest of nation down into the dysfunctional swamp that they've grown accustom.

The government shutdown is not about the inability of the two parties to come to terms; this is about the incalcitrant and supercilious Republican-led House of Representatives, who in spite of their vainglory are simply not ready for primetime.