Let's get one thing straight, only congress can shut down the government.  This shutdown is 100% the fault of congress.  We need a way to turn them out en masse when they can't work together. 

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The divisive nature of American Politics has now gone too far. There are moms and kids not getting milk, elders not getting meals on wheels and vets not getting disability payments.  All of this because one side wants to change something that was already passed into law.

It's simple, when you get beaten in politics, you gather yourself, your support and if the will of the people is behind you, you get re-elected and change the law. You don't refuse to do anything like a child holding it's breath.

Even worse in American politics is that our representatives have forgotten the word "representative".  They are elected not to support their party or other interests.  Did you elect anyone to "shut down the government"?  I'm betting the answer to that question is "no".  You elected them with the hopes that they would take your best interests in mind and negotiate the best deal they could.

We need an "emergency provision" in the constitution, when the two sides refuse to work together, both sides should be sent packing and we should be allowed to elect an all new congress.  If government is not working anyway, we might as well be using that downtime to vote on a new one.