Here's what the TeaPublicans' excellent adventure in trashing the United States looks like to sane democratic countries:
The overwhelming consensus among the German press is that the Republicans are the most to blame for the gridlock. In a Tuesday commentary, SPIEGEL ONLINE's Gregor Peter Schmitz dubbed them the "kamikaze party." He attributed the gridlock to America's mercenary political culture -- where directly elected lawmakers run for re-election every two years and campaigns are privately financed -- as well as to the lack of party infrastructure compared to Germany's parliamentary model with its publicly funded campaigns.
"It's circumstances like these," writes Schmitz, "that explain why a brigade of Republicans conduct themselves like a bunch of Berlusconis -- as enemies of the state from within who want to cripple the country because that's the desire of their conservative voters at home."
When it came to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, the German press was not pulling any punches. "There are fundamentalists within the world's largest democracy: The hardline wing of the Republican Party are once more crippling the United States," writes Nuremberg's Nachrichten. The Tea Party movement, it concludes, "does not engage in democracy, but in dogmatism."
"Here are fundamentalists at work who hold up their country to ridicule to advance their pure doctrine," wrote a commentator in Collogne's Stadt-Anzeiger. "What a tragedy!" 'Self-Destruction' of a Democracy.
'Self-Destruction' of a Democracy
Munich's national Süddeutsche Zeitung offers a slightly more depressing take, pointing blame at all sides. "What has already been apparent in America for a few years now is the self-destruction of one of the world's oldest democracies. And the great tragedy here is that this work of destruction isn't being wrought by enemies of democracy, greedy lobbyists or sinister major party donors. America's democracy is bring broken by the very people who are supposed to carry and preserve it: the voters, the parties and the politicians."
The argument? The Republicans who have brought Washington to still-stand are repeatedly and democratically elected by voters and given a mandate to block. The parties themselves are fomenting an increasingly radicalized culture that deepens political, societal and geographic divisions in the country, argues the newspaper. And finally, there are few politicians in America who are willing or capable of thinking beyond their own electoral constituencies. "
At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the county will still be solvent in three weeks," the paper concludes. "What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt."
Another example from the Philippines:
"Obama cancelled a planned trip to the Philippines this week due to the shutdown, but the nation’s commentators seem less offended than simply perplexed.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer ran an editorial on Friday calling the shutdown “baffling.” “How did the world’s lone superpower come to such a sorry pass?” the editorial asks.
It answers its own question by bluntly blaming Republicans: “We will not pretend that both the Democrats and the Republicans are equally at fault…Let’s just say it: Insurgent Republicans have a problem with their country’s first black president.”.
And here's what the TeaPublicans' excellent adventure in trashing the United States is doing to the GOP:
The political consequences of a government shutdown are bad, and they're bad for everyone.
But there's good evidence that it may be far worse for Republicans than for Democrats.
New polling out this week finds that Republicans are not winning either on their strategy or on the substance of the issue. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to shutting down the government in an attempt to block the implementation of the health care law -- 72 percent of Americans oppose the strategy and only 22 percent support it according to a new Quinnipiac Poll.
And they are basically split when it comes to how they feel about the law in general:
45 percent support the law and 47 percent oppose it.
That's not exactly a sturdy branch for Republicans to hang an unpopular government shutdown.