After spending weeks torturing credit markets, receiving warnings from ratings agencies, and arguing that Obamacare's funding of contraception was worth putting America's world standing in question, the tea party ultimately accomplished what they want government to accomplish: nothing.
Maybe it was a feeling of early holiday spirit that made a majority Republicans in the Senate and nearly 90 in the House vote to delay destroying America's economy until the new year. Or maybe it was temporary case of reason. Either way, the president is right -- there are no winners here.
But there are clearly some losers (Republican poll numbers and U.S. economic growth to name a few).
Is it possible this was actually a brilliant ploy to paralyze Congress so much, and distract from crazy things like policymaking, that tea party goals of super sequestration and ineffective government would come to reality?
If only they deserved that much credit.
A few things became clear during this latest debacle. The Republican Party has strengthened its brand it has cultivated so strongly over the last few years - the Party of No. And the tea party strengthened their core message: "we despise the President so much we are willing to destroy our economy and world standing just so he doesn't get a victory. Oh, and then we'll blame HIM for it!"
The real question is where does this end?
How many stays of economic execution do our elected leaders get? Let's hope this political theater is over. And let's hope the American people have had enough of "nothing." Only then can we get back to real policymaking and away from these self-generated crises.