It happened: faced with both a legislative majority AND a Supreme Court who declared the Affordable Care Act the Law of the Land, the lunatic fringe of the once-revered Republican Party exercised the nuclear option - the Government was shut down on Tuesday, October 1.
Next up? Perhaps a refusal to raise the debt ceiling, a default - the full faith and credit of the United States may well become a joke whose ultimate punchline will be the value of the average American's 401K.
Okay, enough doom.
The Government Shutdown of 2013 was responsible for a fair dose of sweet, delicious irony, but my personal favorite was the disabling of E-Verify: employers couldn't check with Immigration to see if their new hires were really 'Murican. The online processing of I-9 forms ground to a halt.
The NY Daily News cover on the subject went viral almost immediately after publication: John Boehner, blood dripping from his fingertips, sits in Lincoln's stone chair beneath the headline 'House of Turds'. Boehner's expression in the cover shot is perfect - he's morose, almost tearful, seemingly aware that his Grand Old Party has been utterly hijacked by crazies and bumpkins who firmly believe one can translate the business practices of a Mom-and-Pop grocery to the harrowingly complex machinations of the vast US economy.
Twitter, naturally, exploded - of all the hashtags that appeared, one of the most popular that popped up virtually in seconds was #shutdownpickuplines. Some of the more inventive:
Austin Swafford @Astros290 19m
Ever been filibustered for 21 hours straight? Do you wanna be? #ShutdownPickupLines
Nice, right? The references to Ted Cruz and his band of radical malcontents continued:
Everlasting Light @ELPFilms 16m
#shutdownpickuplines I'm just like the Tea Party, baby. Complete surrender is all I want
While some went after Boehner's party as a whole:
Carly Nuttall @carlynuttall 47m
@joegibson917 Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Hope not, because the GOP doesn't want us to have healthcare.
(Oh, and by the way, 'Boehner' inserted in place of 'boner' - pun intended - got a LOT of traction.)
A lot of folks brought the Carly Rae Jepsen tribute to the table:
daddyjeph @daddyjeph 12h
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but I'm on furlough, so call me, maybe? #ShutdownPickupLines
And some looked ahead to the next bleak showdown:
Austin Ouellette @ArchdukeAustria 10h
You can raise my debt ceiling anytime. #ShutdownPickupLines
Kidding aside, the truly depressing aspect of the shutdown was the potential interruption of services for those truly in need - among them, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children - WIC. A click on the Federal page for the program yielded a redirect to the grim URL 'http://www.usda.gov/fundinglapse.htm'. The message therein:
Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.