With the U.S. government officially shut down, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pointed out a very interesting fact about the current state of the Republican party.
When the clock struck midnight on October 1st, the government was shut down for the first time in nearly 20 years. The finger pointing soon followed in what has turned into the ultimate blame game, with the American people as the pawns and playing pieces.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) attempted to put the Republicans in the drivers seat, insisting that they wanted to sit down with Democrats and now famously shouted "this isn't some damn game!"
“All I’m asking for is let’s sit down, like the American people would expect us, and talk to one another about getting the government open and dealing with the significant problems that we face...This isn't some damn game.”
While Speaker Boehner is saying the right things, he has bigger problems to deal with than the Democrats in Congress and President Obama. Despite how one might feel about the Democrats and their agenda, you can't argue that they are more organized and unified than the Republican party. The Republican party is split into multiple factions, the loudest being the Tea Party members who swept into power during the historic 2010 mid term elections. With Tea Party new comers demanding that the Speaker not give in or compromise on any issue with President Obama, Boehner is left with a big dilemma: How do you do what's right for the country while pleasing a portion of your current party whose demands are unreasonable and not popular with the majority of the American people?
Also speaking to reporters this weekend was former Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali). Pelosi noted that it's nearly impossible to negotiate with Republicans when they can't even negotiate with each other.
"It will take some coming together on the Republican side...It’s very hard to negotiate with the Republicans when they can’t negotiate with themselves.”
Most expect the government to reopen sometime soon, whether it's a few days or a few weeks, but the stench of political negativity is being worn primarily by the Republican party and their stubborn Tea Party caucus. Liberal blogs and Democratic leaning editorial pages were expected to point out the Tea Party's inability to compromise, but even historically conservative news outlets had to be honest. The Wall Street Journal even urged Republicans to back off the defunding of "Obamacare" and focus on smaller, more winnable tasks.
Compromise in Washington has always been a dirty word, but never more than in 2013. Unless established Republicans can get a grip on Tea Party extremists, tension and disarray will only continue to exist in the Capitol.