Washington held hostage by tea partiers

President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (Sept. 27, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and ...

People who hate cooking shouldn't work in restaurant kitchens. Atheists by and large don't become priests.

So why is Washington being held hostage by congressmen and senators who abhor the very idea of government?

Shut it down! they say. Ignore its obligations! Scuttle any progress that's been made! To these government-hating government officials, government is always the problem -- never the solution to anything.

That's the tea party worldview. It has a passionate, niche audience. But why would someone who feels that way choose to work in government? Like doctors who don't believe in medicine, like accountants who adamantly refuse to count, their firmest beliefs put them directly at odds with exactly what government does.

"There will be areas where we can work together," President Barack Obama said at the end of a very high-risk week. "There will be areas where we disagree. But do not threaten to burn the house down simply because you haven't gotten a hundred percent of your way."

That truly is the core of the disconnect here. We've never seen anything like it before.

As the president spoke, the government was screeching toward an imminent shutdown, the nation's debt was at genuine risk of default and the president's health care reform was still being pummeled by his never-say-die opponents.

You could tell things were growing even more tense as the shutdown deadline approached. Ted Cruz was assembling the circular firing squad. "Far too many Republicans joined Harry Reid in giving the Democrats the ability to fund Obamacare," the Texas Republican said after losing a vote in the Senate.

Yes, the government remains in the hands of government officials who can't stand government.

McHEALTHY

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1. Not-as-Big-as-You-Were-Expecting Mac

2. Egg-whites McMuffin

3. Tofu McNuggets

4. Sixteenth pounder

5. Mini Size Me!

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Email ellis@henican.com

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