The United States Congress has careened into a government shutdown, and everybody wants to find someone to blame. But in the accusatory frenzy, they're missing the real culprit: the voting rules that drive the political behavior of Congress.
The president has a lot of nerve to actually run the country while the GOP harms millions of people shutting down the U.S. government. The reality is that the press is not helping by paying far too much attention to the ilk of Senator Ted Cruz.
Although most Americans are exasperated by the stalemate in Washington and by the extreme tactics of the Tea Party, students of history will recognize the symptoms of generational change.
It's one thing for the GOP to demand cuts in government spending as a way to enforce fiscal responsibility on Washington, but it is quite another for them to hold the federal budget hostage in order to backdoor a political agenda. That is so far from governing that it is laughable, if not downright impeachable.
I have fought in the trenches on issues as contentious as gun control and campaign finance reform, but I have never seen anything quite like this. This is visceral. And, quite frankly, it frightens me.
How did we get to this point? How we can avoid being in this position in the future? We don't yet have the perspective necessary to answer these questions fully.
We cheerfully allow domineering corporations, which are not in fact living human beings, the kind of bailout that outrages us when we reward flesh-and-blood tyrants with the same privilege -- impunity for the damages they cause to others.
The House actually pinged two bills back to the Senate: one that conditions funding the government on defunding the health care law, and the other that exempts military pay from the shutdown. I suspect the Senate will unanimously approve the latter. The former will lead to the shutdown.
Giving in to bullies just encourages them to escalate their demands.The president gave in at the end of 2011 when Republican bullies threatened to go over the fiscal cliff and take the rest of the nation with them.
Scripture has a lot to say about how we should treat the widow, the orphan, the sick and the desperately poor. Only in the ideological bubble of conservative Washington would taking food away from them qualify as Biblical.
Doing better begins by thinking about things differently and contemplating our nation's current confrontational and judgmental culture which places blame and finds fault rather than searching for solutions and common ground.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz knows exactly what he is doing and he thinks he is achieving all of his goals. His disruptive tactics are winning him acclaim from conservative Americans who disdain all things Washington, while the Republican establishment is fuming with anger.
I am constantly cheering against the Patriots. My dislike of the Patriots has grown to such an extent that I am willing to give up on my favorite division and conference as long as it means a Patriots' defeat. Our Congress seems to be behaving in a similar way.
Despite how it looks right now, there is a solution to this mess in sight. In approving the continuing resolution tied to defunding Obamacare, John Boehner got rolled by the unhinged extremists. But he knows better. He started in the right place -- he should go back.
As gridlock shifts into overdrive and the self-inflicting wound squad are sharpening their knives, here's my abbreviated take: It's all about Boehner.
It is surely an irony of our political moment that as we marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we are witnessing the return of the strategy of "massive resistance" -- this time not against a black president and his agenda.