This diary will be short.
If a group of people threatened to destroy the US economy unless they got what they want, what would we call them? Most likely we'd refer to them as terrorists. We certainly referred to al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization for destroying the World Trade Center towers; not just for the physical destruction and death, but also for striking a blow at the economic well-being of the country.
The Republicans in the House have said that they will shut down the government unless they get what they want: defunding the Affordable Care Act, which is tantamount to repealing it (presumably they would never fund it, so it could never go into effect). They have further threatened to renege on the country's debt -- place the country in default -- unless they get further bits and pieces of their agenda. This will not just affect our country; due to the interdependence of the world's economies, it will greatly harm the entire world.
Either of these actions alone would have a disastrous effect on the economy, which fact they clearly recognize -- they have stated as much. Both would be far worse, which they also fully comprehend. Other than the lack of physical destruction (which will eventually happen if our infrastructure is allowed to go without maintenance), this isn't any different (except in the much vaster scale) from a physical attack on our country. The intent, though, is exactly the same: to achieve their goals by creating fear in the hearts of others.
I doubt my Republican friends will greatly appreciate my use of a word that has traditionally been used for those who create fear by means of physical destruction and death for members of their own party. But I think it's time to call members of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives what they are.
3:09 PM PT: To be clear: when I refer to "terrorism", I am referring specifically to threats to shut the government down or default on our payments. I am not referring to policy disagreements, or even endless attempts to repeal the ACA. Those are legitimate expressions of political disagreement.
6:08 PM PT: I've changed the title to further try to clarify that my issue is with the specific actions of threatening to shut down government and not raise the debt ceiling. While I don't care for what the Republicans have otherwise done, such as endless attempts to repeal the ACA, I do not consider those to be terror tactics.