There is a frustrating tendency in American political reporting to adopt a position of "both sides-ism" – as in, "both sides" are equally to blame for the nation's chronic political dysfunction. Sometimes, it must be said, this assessment is correct. After all, the US political system was practically designed to breed legislative gridlock.
Not this time, however.
There is one party that is solely to blame for the first government shutdown in 17 years. And it's the Republican party.