The Shutdown has begun. Echoing across this great land and around the globe is a question of competence (or maybe better-phrased proof of incompetence) in our President, our Congress, in the very mechanisms of government. Our friends and allies in foreign lands surely stare in disbelief. Our foes eagerly wish for greater instability and opportunities for their opportunism. And those of us who call this land home, what are we to think?

There will be grandstanding. There will be finger-pointing. There will be recriminations. But in our polarized environment, will there be a deal? How long will this last, especially as President Trump seems to revel in defying political gravity? This is less a game of chicken where two sides careen towards each other. Rather we spiral outwards, in opposite directions. The base of each political pole will accept no compromise.

This is the first time there has been a shutdown with one political party controlling the White House and both Houses of Congress. And I think that will be instructive in the ultimate judgment of history. I am not sure how this all ends. But I know how it has begun. It was born out of a cynical calculus from those who seek to maximize their own advantage, achieve their own ends, the rest of the country be damned.