We are in the eighth day of a government shutdown in the United States. This is because Republicans in Congress are resorting to this extreme tactic in an effort to stop the Affordable Care Act which would virtually eliminate the ranks of the uninsured with no access to health care in the United States. This is anathema to the Republicans, even though Mitt Romney, their most recent Presidential candidate, enacted almost the same legislation for his own state at the state level first.
Republican Congressmen Lamborn and Coffman from Colorado have essentially acknowledge that the effort is a failure and want to back down from this artificially created crisis. In less than two weeks, the same Republicans want to force the United States to default on the national debt.
The rest of the world thinks this is insane, which isn't that different from how the American public sees the matter.
If Republicans keep up this stance, federal government employees and contractors impacted by the shutdown and businesses indirectly impacted by it, will be unable to pay their bills, lose their cars, see their homes go into foreclosure, miss credit card payments and thus harm their credit, all of which will harm the economy. A default on the national debt would almost surely trigger a global financial crisis and would cost the American public hundreds of billions of dollars a year in interest payments.
If Republicans think that any of these tactics will help them get re-elected in 2014, they are sadly mistaken. This may be a rare off year in which the President's party gains ground in Congress rather than losing it.