If you watch every the slightest bit of even the most local of news programs, you’re probably aware that if the Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on a budget for the rest of this fiscal year, the federal government will be shutting down as of midnight tonight. Both sides are doing a fantastic job of blaming each other and are all around doing a fantastic job of claiming that the other side is the one refusing to negotiate. Likewise, both sides are adamantly insisting that they do not actually want a government shutdown. Openly contradicting what the Republican leadership is saying, however, is the Tea Party. They are actively hoping that the government does indeed shut down. Some of them have even been chanting it at rallies and their elected officials have been, albeit not publicly, excited about the prospects of a shutdown. In fact, it is the Tea Party caucus in the House that keeps coming back to Boehner with their thumbs pointed to the ground.
Although there is plenty of blame to go around, there’s really only one force that continually blocks compromise and and wants a shutdown. This isn’t the Democrat’s government shutdown. It isn’t even the Republican’s government shutdown. This is a Tea Party Shutdown.