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It occurred to me this morning that we're experiencing the 2nd act of a three act script.
Screenwriting and story telling 101: A story consists of 3 acts - the beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, the major players are introduced, and the stage for the conflict is set. In act 2, the conflict materializes, and may (or may not) be resolved. Act 3 is the "reveal" - what motivated the protagonists / antagonists, and the plot twists that orbit the resolution.
In Act 1, the nihilists / anarchists forced the sequester.
In Act 2, the nihilists / anarchists shut down the government.
In Act 3, the nihilists / anarchists are poised to force the debt ceiling over a cliff.
If they succeed in Act 3, they will (in their own fevered minds) have birthed the second American revolution - only, it will look something closer to Mad Max than the shining city on the hill.
Here's my point: Act 2 isn't the end game for the GOP nihilists / anarchists. It's the combination of Act 2 and Act 3. The conclusion of Act 3 ends with the government in complete chaos, with no clear central command - dismantled in Act 2, and in total economic meltdown in Act 3.
I do not believe that furloughed federal workers will be back to work anytime prior to the debt limit ceiling showdown. I hope I'm wrong. Because if we do get to that historic juncture...well, at this moment I don't even want to think about the end result.