The GOP can do better. The party will be haunted by the legacy of a pointless shutdown of the federal government, and the looming threat of the first-ever default on U.S. government debt. Republicans need to look at their bench, and mount challenges to that timid, stodgy crew snugly in place on Capitol Hill.
My column makes that point. The shutdown has idled tens of thousands of workers outside of government for lack of access to federal services and regulatory needs. The closure of national parks has devastated tourist-dependent communities. None of this will be forgotten by voters at election time.
The crisis is grounded in the hostility of a small band of Republicans upset about the Affordable Care Act. The political issue is the failure of the larger party and its leaders to run the legislative chamber it controls. A political disaster morphed into an economic tragedy for American families. Shameful.