As the US careens towards yet another self imposed crisis over Obamacare, the government shutdown and the national debt, I am struck by the political cartoons.

Some play on a false equivalence that views Democrats and Republicans as equally partisan, extreme and responsible for the mess.


Others look more deeply into the issue, espying the core problem of minority tyranny being attempted by Tea Party Republicans.

This modern world

When I think back over my American political history courses, I cannot recall a time — except for the civil war era — when one party sought to expressly harm the nation in order to extract political goals that they could not win through either elections or legislation. Back then it was threatening to succeed from the Union and attacking federal garrisons in southern states. Now it is a government shutdown, the threat of defaulting on the national debt, and the subsequent economic depression. Both amount to the same thing — extortion.

Images: Blish; This Modern World.

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