The United States government since 2011 has been engaged in a series of ongoing crises. Starting with the debt ceiling, onto the fiscal cliff, and now with the sequestration cuts Washington has been dealing with problems of its own creation and has been unable to deal with larger matters. It is difficult for those who do not understand the dynamic of the beltway to understand why the government is in a perpetual state of crisis.
The crisis starts out with some government fiscal deadline. The dead ceiling, the budget, whatever it does not matter. Tea party Republicans start demanding massive budget cuts because they do not believe in the existence of the federal government outside defense. Establishment Republicans go along with the rhetoric to embarrass the President. Then the President and moderate Democrats in congress make some concession and start to talk about cuts. This gives the establishment Republicans the idea they can force Obama to cut domestic spending so they don’t have to.
Moderates Democrats then face a backlash from liberals and, well, everyone the government does anything for that is smart enough to realize it. They then withdraw the concessions they made. At this point the establishment Republicans would rather go along with the Democrats than create financial chaos, but their base has its hackles up and they can’t back down.
So the crisis drags on until the last possible moment when the establishment Republicans just can’t go any further and they have manage to wring a few concessions out the White House. The resulting compromise pisses of liberals and conservatives and drags the overall popularity of the government down a few points more.
At the end of the day the issue here is the overall gutlessness of the Republican leadership. They either need to stand up for the principles of the tea party and destroy the financial system and the federal government (which they all espouse to hate); or stand up to the tea party and say the government has to function at a basic level, if you want to govern stop losing us elections.