At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government -- all because they didn't like one law.Can we start calling the Tea Party Caucus zealots from now on? How about bullies? How about ignorant ideologues who have no idea what governing means?
This Republican shutdown did not have to happen. But I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.
I am surprised they didn't demand the president's REAL birth certificate (or a confession for Benghazi, or the IRS or Climategate) as a prerequisite for "bipartisan negotiations" where they get everything they want and the twice elected president gets nothing in return.