I really don't know how to put it other than that.
I've seen this movie before here in Michigan, where the Republicans simply say "no" to everything, insult the office of the executive (and the voters) by declaring that they are in charge, and then proceed to insist on getting everything done their way - or they shut down the government. I predicted this last year...
The Bishop Pure Obstruction Playbook is currently being applied in the US Senate, and if Republicans take back the US House, you can guarantee that we will see "pure politics trumping good public policy" on a scale like you wouldn't believe.
... more than once as a matter of fact, and to my horror, it's worse than I thought it would be. I honestly didn't think they would take it this far.
And on the flip, the fact that the President put Social Security on the table when there was absolutely no reason to offer it up is very, very disturbing to me. Suddenly, defending the elderly and the sick has become the "partisan fringe" position, even though the vast majority of Americans want to see those programs protected.
Well, call me a crazy socialist, but I want to protect Social Security*. And if that isn't the position of the Democratic Party anymore, well, I guess I've got some decisions to make, don't I. And that's most of the problem right there. I have no idea where the bottom line is, what the Democrats are willing to fight for... and I imagine I'm not alone in that.
All I know is that the Republicans are hell-bent on turning this country into a full-blown banana republic where regulations are gutted, the government is destroyed, and all the money goes to the wealthy (one look at the budgets being suggested and/or passed out of committee in the House will verify that fact) - and if no one is willing to take a stand against them, where does that leave us?
* = and yes, we do know the facts on the Social Security offer that was placed on the table. Got a problem with the numbers or the reporting of such? Take your argument to Klein. Was it a head fake, knowing the Republicans wouldn't raise taxes or the Democrats wouldn't vote for it? Unknown. Point is - it was unnecessary. SS is solvent until 2037, and has nothing to do with current deficit issues.
Update: Check this WaPo poll for "what the American people want" when it comes to reducing the national debt.
(7/27: One last thing to add- we are starting to use the words "debt" and "deficit" like they are interchangeable, when I believe that "debt" is used to describe what we already owe, and "deficit" refers to a shortfall in a current and perhaps future year budget(s). Meaning, running a deficit can add to the debt. You get the gist.)