Congress' failure to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government's operations on Monday has led to the shutdown that seemed more inevitable the closer the deadline came.
The tea-party members of the Republican House Caucus were determined to make this simple procedural vote a battle ground, someplace to thump their chests and shout their defiance to the political reality of the day over their favorite issue, dismantling the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."
No one was going to go along with them. Senate Democrats, and even some Republicans voiced their objection. House Republicans who would vote for a clean continuing resolution, one that wasn't loaded with policy change demands, had to sit by as Speaker John Boehner did as his conservative masters told him.
So the deadline passed, with Democrats and Republicans deadlocked, and the government has shut down. Who knows how long it will take them to resolve this situation.
In the meantime, a more important deadline approaches. The federal debt limit has to be raised or the federal government will be forced to default on its debts. If that happens, the repercussions will be disastrous and far reaching, impacting the international economy, not just the U.S.
We fear that Congress' inability to function, whomever you choose to blame, sets up another disaster in the making. A quick solution to the shutdown would provide some hope that and even greater disaster can be averted.