On most issues I try to avoid a partisan perspective, because both parties have played a hand in creating the war-ravaged, poorly regulated, poor-punishing state of our society. One party is sensible enough to view this as a problem, but is either too ineffectual or too indebted to its corporate donors to do what really needs doing. The other party is pretty callous, cold and without shame. But this current shutdown of the government can be blamed squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans in Congress, particularly the House, where a determined group of ideologues have cowed the establishment. We have seen this scenario many times before. Were people not suffering as a result of losing the government programs that serve them, this whole thing would be comical.