This was always going to end badly for the Republican Party.
We all knew that the government would eventually have to re-open and that the debt ceiling would have to be raised.
We all knew that there was a better chance of pigs falling from the sky than Republicans being able to defund or even delay Obamacare.
And we all knew that President Obama and the Democratic Party had absolutely no reason whatsoever to negotiate with Republicans over Obamacare, the government shutdown and the debt ceiling.
Two weeks later and at a cost of $24 billion to the American economy, this whole ordeal ended in a way that could have been predicted from the moment the Republican Party decided to go along with their extremist Tea Party wing – with Republicans completely surrendering after being absolutely mauled in the polls.
There are very few instances in the history of American politics where an entire party intentionally decided to jump off of a cliff while knowing full well that the outcome of their actions would lead to the decimation of their party.
If there was ever an instance of true political suicide, we have just witnessed it.
Everyone took a hit in the polling over the past two weeks. Obama’s approval ratings hit a new low and people’s dissatisfaction with government in general hit a new high. However, no one suffered nearly as much as the Republican Party during this shutdown.
In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, by a 22 point margin Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown (51 percent to 31 percent). 75% of Americans disapproved of the way the Republican Congress handled the shutdown.
But the much more dire number that came out of this polling was that only 24% of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party – this is the lowest favorability rating for the GOP in the history of polling.
A turn in favorability rating this extreme is not just a short-term hit to the Republican Party. When you are talking about 76% of the country having an unfavorable view of an entire political party, you are talking about an epic collapse that could take many years to clean up.
But what makes this mess even more difficult for the Republican Party to clean up is that there is essentially no Republican Party right now, there are only several factions of conservatives residing under the umbrella of the former Republican Party.
We have the extremist Tea Party wing of the party, the moderate level-headed Republicans, Republicans that are leaning further to the right because they are terrified of a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate and Republicans stuck in the middle that have no idea which way they want to lean.
The voting public had already been leaning away from the Republican Party over the past 5-8 years, but this was something that Republicans could have changed with a simple party makeover.
However, instead of changing the positions that have caused many Americans to abandon the Republican Party, the Republican Party has decided to make a turn towards the extreme right, which is proving to be the political equivalent of jumping off of a cliff.
October 16, 2013 may be the day that the government re-opened and the debt ceiling crises was averted, but October 1, 2013 could very well be viewed by history as the day that Republicans made a conscious decision to throw in the towel on national elections and become nothing more than a local congressional party.
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