Trust the Tea Party to keep stirring it up for president
NOW the American government is open again, I wonder what tactic the Tea Party will try next to get their way. One favourite must be chilli powder down Barack Obama's underpants.
One of their senators will explain in a live interview from Washington: "We have no choice but to do this until the president shows he is willing to negotiate", while in the background we can hear: "Yeaaagh, they're on fire".
Whatever they do, to them it seems utterly reasonable, so they make statements such as: "It's the president who is causing this conflict, by insisting on implementing the policies he was elected on. So what choice did we have but to urinate over the Democrat senators in alphabetical order? It's only what Abraham Lincoln would have done?"
The issue that's angered them this time is Obama's healthcare plan, designed to address the problem of millions of Americans having no access to healthcare. The Tea Party has a carefully considered objection to this policy, which is on the home page of its website.
It goes: "Destroy Obamacare. This abomination from hell must be eradicated."
As with all the best political writing, it's the delicate details that make it so engaging. To start with, this displays an impressive knowledge of The Bible, as few people are aware of the section that goes: "And God saw that Satan had spread his wickedness among the people. And he did say unto Abraham: 'Eradicateth this abomination for they will burn in hellfire who are carried upon a stretcher with no charge'."
To be fair, the Tea Party takes up other issues as well as healthcare, employing the same subtle arguments. Their supporter Stephen Schwarzmann, a hedge-fund billionaire, contributed to the tax debate by saying: "Tax rises on equity firms is a signal for war, like when Hitler invaded Poland."
It could be argued it's even worse, because at least when Hitler invaded Poland the casualties couldn't run crying to the Third Reich for free medical care.
But maybe there is logic to their strategy. Because since Obama became president, the Tea Party Republicans have been able to undermine everything he's attempted.
Even the budget following this agreement is 7pc less than the amount Obama originally proposed. The healthcare plan will still leave around one-fifth of the population with no care, and many of the promises, such as closing Guantanamo Bay or on gun control, have been abandoned altogether.
Because for many of the rich and powerful, why bother going through all the hassle of winning an election to get your way, when it's much easier and more fun to let the other side win, then refuse to accept the result and bring everything to a halt until they do as you want anyway. (© Independent News Service)