gop elephant (upside down)*Was last Wednesday the absolute death knell of the Republican party as we know it?

The GOP’s final red-faced capitulation to things like “logic” and “common sense” finally ended one of the single dumbest moments in the history of American politics – a utterly useless temper tantrum by the most extreme, out-of-touch part of the right wing, causing an eighteen-day government shutdown.

What came out of it? Well, aside from some of the funniest “Daily Show” clips we’ve ever seen, plenty of government workers missing paychecks and a whole lot of “laughingstock” comments from the rest of the world, absolutely nothing. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it was a ton of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

These eighteen days showed the fractured state of American politics at the worst, shining a harsh light on an obstructionist, paranoid and delusional segment of a teetering political party, fractured and rudderless, yet still possessing the technical power to throw a giant wrench into the machine for the absolute betterment of none. What rational person can see the Republican party as anything else now? Their blind adherence to the conservative, backwards ideologies of nuts like Michelle Bachman, Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert plunged them down this disastrous path.

It’s not healthy for anyone – particularly the country. There needs to be choice and rational debate amongst our leaders. There needs to be a spectrum to choose from. There is a place in America for conservative thought and ideas, brought forth by open-minded and thoughtful men and women working to move the country forward. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have that. Instead, we have – as conservative columnist John Podhoretz says in his Post column – “Otter” and “Bluto” from Animal House running the show. That’s not good. At least the food fights in the congressional cafeteria will be epic.