With President Obama's rejection of the House Republican offer of a 6-week debt ceiling extension in exchange for giving them something (anything) they want to get them to reopen the government, the clock keeps ticking to an October 17 national debt default, and the shutdown continues.
Yet there are indications that senior Republican Senators like John McCain and Mitch McConnell may be positioning themselves to pull the tablecloth out from under the House Tea Party, sending caucus members responsible for the government shutdown into a congressional corner for a much-needed time-out.
This comes as more and more Americans reject the endlessly repeated GOP storyline that President Obama is "unwilling to negotiate" and realize that no partisan congressional contingent ever has or should go so far as to shut down our government to force negotiation.
McCain yesterday referred to House Republican extremists who shut down the government as:
“...people that convinced so many millions of Americans, tea partiers specifically we’re talking about, that there was some way to defund Obamacare. We can’t."
Meanwhile, Minority Leader McConnell is reportedly considering a fallback position demanding repeal of the Affordable Care Act's medical device tax (which falls predominantly on very large and profitable companies), rather than defunding or repeal of the law itself.
It's clear that millions of conservative Republicans and Independents nationwide who for years have been misinformed and manipulated into hating the Affordable Care Act and the president, who made it possible, have now been misled into believing a government shutdown would somehow cut off funding for the nearly 4-year-old national health reform law.
It hasn't. And it won't. And over-ambitious, limelight-loving power-and-profit-seekers like Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, they all knew that was the case, all along.
But these instigators also knew that what was even more important than repealing Obamacare to most of the people they were stirring into such a frenzy for so long, was to show up this particular president and his party, to teach them a lesson, to force them to...negotiate, with the Tea Party.
All along, these political and media instigators counted on having created enough mistrust and anger in enough people to allow for sudden course corrections on this unprecedented, unpatriotic path they chose to put our country on - as long as the course corrections still involve showing up this president and his party.
And so in the days to come, we'll have to wait out the sad spectacle of counting down to defaulting on our national debt obligations, as the more mature Republicans in Congress try to sell the go-for-broke Young Guns on a course correction package of demands; likely including some combination of repealing or modifying the Affordable Care Act medical device tax, lowering taxes for rich individuals and corporations, and cutbacks on middle class safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.
If the millions of grassroots conservatives lied to so long about what this president is all about, what the Affordable Care Act is all about, and what this government shutdown is all about, if they're willing to live with the bait and switch BS of charlatans like Cruz, Bachmann, Limbaugh and Beck...then we may really be in for some big trouble in the weeks and months to come.
But if even a small percentage of good-at-heart people finally see they've been badly misused as just so many pawns in an out-of-control chess game played by power-hungry fear-mongers; if they join the growing chorus of American voices crying out that enough is enough with this scorched-earth brand of Politics; then maybe, just maybe...we'll get our country back.