The way the GOP handled their end of the budget crisis that resulted in the first federal government shutdown in 17 years was a textbook example of how to take a resurgent political party, an opposition party with a president slumping in the polls, and completely reverse the paradigm.
In one of the most -- if not the most -- self-destructive displays of political comic opera since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, the Republican Party allowed a comic super villain in the Senate to dictate the fortunes of the Republicans in the House of Representatives while the GOP Speaker of the House stood by helplessly, stammering, apparently under the influence of a double scotch on the rocks or two, screaming at the solid wall of "no, you don't" built by the Democratic party as if the sound of his quavering, stuttering voice could cause the wall of solidarity to crumble.
The only thing that crumbled at midnight Tuesday morning were the hopes of a resurgent GOP.
Consider for a moment: It had been a horrible month for President Obama. He ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes by getting the paint of his Syrian "red line" all over his wingtips, finding himself in a struggle with his own party, the chuckling Republicans, and the world over his seeming determination to launch cruise missiles at Damascus because the regime used chemical weapons on his own people. Obama looked like a president who couldn't even get out of his own way.
Now, this morning, the GOP is in shambles. Ruins. Shattered and dispirited after their intransigence led to the first government shutdown since 1995-1996. With their attempt to re-litigate the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Grand Old Party has shown itself as vindictive, bitter, out of control and beholding to the ultra right wing faction of its own party.
The one thing everyone seems to agree on: This shutdown may go on for quite some time. And another battle looms on the horizon -- whether or not to raise the country's debt ceiling.
If the Republicans take the same line, tying what should be the routine passage of a simple resolution to Obamacare -- which takes effect today regardless of the shutdown -- it won't only be the American economy they are damaging. If the Republicans flush the good faith and credit of the United States of America because they don't like the winner of the past two presidential elections, this time it will be the entire world economy that feels the heat from their self-immolation.