It is always interesting to get back to the States these days. Even more so the past two weeks, because of the current political standoff between President Obama along with Congressional Democrats, and the House Republicans along with the Junior Teapublican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.
For my friends on this side of the Atlantic who are wondering what all the drama is about, it boils down to this: The United States Government is required to have a budget by a certain date each year. The Congress and the President rarely, if ever manage to agree on one in time to make that deadline. So the Congress has to pass a series of "continuing resolutions". These are mini-funding bills that allow the Government to keep operating while a budget is worked out. The use of CR's to keep the Government up and running is not new, but the frequency of the need to pass them is what has sharply increased over the last decade.
In the past a Government Shutdown resulted when the President and the Congress couldn't reach agreement on either an overall budget or a continuing resolution to keep the Federal Government up and running. The last time this happened was in 1995 when President Clinton and the Republican controlled Congress, led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich failed to reach agreement on a budget or passing a CR to keep the Government running.
This obsession with repealing the ACA is not because these Conservatives have philosophical differences on Heath Reform, but simply because the far right wing of the GOP cannot accept that they lost the last two Presidential Elections.
What we are seeing play out in the United States this week, is the political and legislative equivalent of a temper tantrum thrown by a childish cabal of sore losers.
The sad fact is, this is a tantrum that is not even driven by political ideology, but rather by a nonsensical hatred of this President. The core tenants of the Affordable Care Act are in fact, Republican ideas. Ideas that were enacted by their recent Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, when he was Governor of Massachusetts. The obsession by the Tea Party Republicans with repealing the ACA is not Political, it is not even Philosophical, it is Pathological. It is driven by a deep seeded hatred of President Obama that has no basis in facts or reality.
What we are witnessing is nothing short of the death knell of the Republican Party, as it self destructs from within, and tries desperately to drag the rest of America down with it.