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Lawrence D. Elliott Headshot

GOP Shutdown: The Tea Party Fiddles as America's Image Burns

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If it was the intention of the GOP to make the United States of America look foolish, you all can lift your glasses in congratulations. A job well done! We've officially become a joke before the world. But if you don't mind, please stop before you make total idiots of all us!

Or is it too late?

The US government is officially in shutdown mode, with the exception of essential services. Of course, "essential" is up to each individual's definition. We can all agree that the military is essential to our country's defense, but what if you rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (also known as "WIC")? That's pretty essential to you, right?

No matter how much they are trying spin the story now, the Republicans in the House are responsible for this shutdown. The House GOP leadership is being pimped by the billionaire Koch Brothers via the Tea Party mob who are on some ideological crusade. And like any ordinary pimp on the street, they're demanding their payoff. This comes in the form of a government shutdown.

In an article from October 3, 2013, at ThinkProgress.org, Republican Rep. Greg Walden from Oregon revealed the "secret" we all knew:

Walden, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee (the House GOP's campaign arm), reportedly told a group of top Republican donors that the Tea Party's organizational strength meant that Republicans had to shutdown the government and obstruct a debt-ceiling increase.

"Listen," Walden told them, "We have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don't, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary." Noting that he often hears complaints from the pro-business wing of the party, he noted none of them get involved at the local level. "The Tea Party gets involved at the local level," he added.

The GOP leadership is so frightened of the Tea Party mob, they're willing to do their bidding to avoid being primaried.

Shutting down the government and damaging the economy doesn't matter. Of course, the American people feel the pain while these gutless politicians still collect their pay.

Our once recovering economy is now losing $300 million a day in lost economic output and our country has been brought to a near stop due to a group of GOP leaders who don't have the balls to keep their most insane members and their supporters in line. And our standing it the world becomes a bigger joke every single day we're shut down! The articles in the most influential newspapers around the globe show this.

I'm currently in Germany. Compared to the questions and comments I deal with on a daily basis, these papers are being quite nice.

Okay, guys. You wanted the opportunity to lead. Is this how you want to be remembered? It's not how I want be remembered. It sucks! It's like the legend of Nero fiddling as Rome burned, with one big difference. We have an orchestra of fiddlers as America's economic, political, and moral standing go up in flames. That's how the world sees it and so do I.

If you can't lead, get the hell out of the way and let someone else do it. Do it now before you create a mess no one will be able to fix.