Blaming the Republicans for the government shutdown is too easy.
It doesn’t explain anything. Despite the rancor and crisis activity both major parties are complicit and in collusion as both are getting more than they’re giving. Politics is about getting more, and our system is badly regulated, and yes it is possible to take some of the politics out of politics.
Back to the point: Republicans get stoked by their financial and ideological, if misguided base, they get to impair governance, which if it worked well would be more problematic for them than the current crisis, they get out of the burden of being constructive, and the cover to deregulate Wall Street the din of crisis. The Democrats get a very low bar to clear in presenting themselves as an alternative, and get the cover to deregulate Wall Street without substantial discussion given the artificial shutdown and debt limit tumult.
If our political system afforded at least five viable competing parties, it’s a sure bet one or more would be offering reform such that this expensive on-the-brink-of-disaster stuff (or the obedience to wealth) would not be possible. Votes taken in the midst of crisis, artificial or otherwise, are bad votes having less to do with the merits of a proposal than avoiding the lesser of two bad options.
The two-party system is undermining America.