Chris Hayes offered an interesting observation today after witnessing House members' calm and appreciative response to Boehner's total defeat. His observation was delivered in consecutive Tweets:
Few Republican House members, save the deluded Tea Party core, thought that this shutdown would yield any tangible policy gains, particularly with regard to Obamacare. And as the country weighed in, as the polls were published, it became clear that not only would Republicans fail to gain anything from this act of political terrorism; it became clear that the shutdown would be a political catastrophe for the GOP as well.
Today's reaction from conservatives in house -- which is calm and appreciative of Boehner's willingness to fight -- shows <...>— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 16, 2013
that even they knew they would lose. They just needed this tantrum and destruction as some kind of pathological catharsis.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 16, 2013
And yet they carried on, willing to do damage to the U.S. economy, furlough workers, shutter critical health and science institutions, close National Parks, prevent gravely ill patients from receiving clinical trials ...
... in order to have a cathartic, angry experience. In order to throw vases upon the floor, toss plates across the room and punch holes in the wall, only to finish, panting and out of breath, with a single thought:
This is what passes for representation today from the Republican party: throwing destructive tantrums to express political positions, and angst.
It's precisely the type of representation, come 2014, I suspect we will see less of.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.