The Republican Shutdown Looks a Lot Like ‘Breaking Bad’

Republicans seem to have no conception of the damage they’re causing.

By + More
Bryan Cranston plays Walter White in the series finale of "Breaking Bad."
Bryan Cranston plays Walter White in the series finale of "Breaking Bad."

I am not the first to point this out, I am sure, but this government shutdown, this insanity over raising the debt limit, this readiness on the part of the Republicans to devastate the economy sure looks like "Breaking Bad."

Do Republicans not understand the implications of their actions? Do they not see what is happening to the country because of the choices they made? It reminds me of Walter White in the finale when he admitted that his descent into a life of disaster made him feel "alive." 

Some Republicans were giddy about the shutdown and the havoc they were causing: "Beautiful" said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.; "People went bonkers, they were very excited" exclaimed Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.; "It's exactly what we asked for and we got it!" said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the government shutdown.]

Can you imagine what would have happened if "Breaking Bad" had shown not only the devastation that Walter White was causing to those around him but the effects of his meth production on the tens of thousands who were using his product? 

The Republicans are doing real harm to real people in and out of government. The ripple effects of this shutdown and a possible refusal to raise the debt limit will devastate retirees' savings, result in lost jobs and a slowdown in hiring, hurt the housing market and cost taxpayers dearly. The last government shutdown in the 90s cost us $1.4 billion -- this could be much more. And this is fiscally conservative? I don't think so.

And neither do the American people. According to a Quinnipiac poll out this morning, American voters oppose by 72-22 percent shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, voters oppose blocking an increase in the debt ceiling to stop Obamacare by 64-27 percent. 

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

The public is almost evenly divided on Obamacare – 45 percent in favor, 47 percent opposed. But by 58-34 percent they are opposed to Congress cutting off the law's funding to stop its implementation.

The scary thing for the Republican crazy caucus is that the government shutdown that Republicans have instigated is opposed 74-19 percent by independent voters, 90-6 by Democrats and only supported 49-44 by Republicans.

There is no doubt this is truly breaking bad for the Republicans – and for the country.

  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Why a Government Shutdown? Ask the Obamacare-Obsessed GOP
  • Read Jamie Chandler: A Government Shutdown Would Show Just How Silly Congress Has Become
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, now availableon iPad