...regarding the Government Shutdown, and found strange, calm waters beyond. I just saw someone on Facebook arguing (very politely, but very, very stupidly) that both parties were equally to blame for the shutdown. It wasn't even on a friend's wall, but on a friend of a friend's (specifically, my best friend, who had commented to shoot down a lot of this guy's points). Ordinarily, I would never comment on the wall of anyone I don't know, but this...I just couldn't stop myself. Here is my unedited response, which is surprisingly free of any ad hominem attacks whatsoever:

"Ordinarily I avoid posting on walls of anyone who isn't my friend, because I think it's creepy (sorry Nathan), but Eric...you are objectively wrong. Seriously. This isn't a matter of opinion: you are WRONG.

Not about the ACA. We're not talking about the ACA. The ACA itself (which I despise, because it's a well-intentioned bag of infinite loopholes) is completely irrelevant to this discussion. IT IS SETTLED LAW. I'm going to say that again, because I think you'll try to argue around it and I want to not let you: IT IS SETTLED LAW, PASSED BY THE LEGISLATIVE, SIGNED BY THE EXECUTIVE, AND UPHELD BY THE JUDICIAL. Seriously, stop making your point by saying "well, the ACA is bad." Stop. STAHP. NO1CURR. When you keep bringing up the ACA's flaws, what you're really saying is, "it's ok for a small minority of lunatics to bully and strongarm to try to prevent a law from going into effect using tactics that are at best unethical and at worst blatantly unconstitutional as long as it's a law I disagree with."

Do you know what kind of precedent that sets? Do you understand how UNFATHOMABLY screwed-up that sort of statement is? I hated and continue to hate the Bush-era tax cuts; they were, as the economic meltdown evidences, one of the dumbest things we've done to ourselves as a country in generations. But I would be DAMNED before I would be happy to see any Democrats at the time attempt to dismantle and circumvent the legislative process just to prevent them from going into effect, because that would shake the very notion of Democracy to its foundations purely out of spite and lunacy.

Don't try to say that how the ACA was passed is somehow equivalent to the bullshit the Republicans are perpetrating here because of some stupid crap about the majority of Americans not supporting it. It was passed because it had the votes to pass under a full session of Congress. No shenanigans took place. The GOP wants it repealed? Fine by me — that puts us inexorably back on the path to single-payer, like, y'know, every single other wealthy western Democracy. But in order to do that, they need to do what our Democratic system requires them to do and GET THE DAMN VOTES.

See, Democracy may appear byzantine and complicated, but at its core it is supposed to be very simple: if you get the votes, there's no Presidential veto (or you have enough votes to override the veto), and what you're doing passes Constitutional muster...a thing becomes a law. Anything that attempts to circumvent or undermine that process is treason. I'm not being hyperbolic — what the Tea Party is doing is straight-up, no frills treason, just as sure as if they'd picked up an AK and joined the Taliban. That's what it's called when you deliberately attack your own government, whether your weapon of choice is a gun or a sociopathic procedural loophole.

Simply put: there is no defending the actions of the Republican party here, or claiming that "both parties are equally to blame." You are factually, substantively, and in every possible way incorrect if you try to blame Democrats even one iota for this. This is not an opinion. This is objective fact."