The GOP is hostage taking because it works. Thanks to the Hastart rule and a willingness to "crazy dance" the GOP was able to extort anti-democratic concessions from the Democrats in 2011 -- by threatening the faith and credit of the USA treasury. In 2011 they used the crazy dance to extract a "sequester" rule to fund the government in the face of GOP obduracy with constant cuts. They grabbed the democrats, refused to raise the debt limit, and jumped up and down on the edge of the "fiscal cliff" until the Democrats either caved to them or the economy collapsed. They were willing to risk economic collapse and this was reemphasized by the rating companies lowering our ratting to AA. Another debt collapse would cause our cost of borrowing to rise and restart inflation. I suspect the Koch's and other folks paying for the far right want that outcome. They can charge higher interest on their own loans, and buy up the country at bargain rates with their money. They already own most of it. We are seeing the plans outlined in "Atlas Shrugged" being implemented. The Democrats agreed to the sequester if they couldn't get a clean vote.
As a result they've refused to negotiate and deal with Democrats since then and managed to accomplish a lot of their goals of stiffing the 99% by using the Sequester compromise from the 2011 hostage taking. In fact, they've cut funds to old people, poor people, women and children using the sequester. This time they figured they could use the crazy dance to dump the ACA. But tricks like this only work once. Once people see that the extortionist is going to kill the hostage whatever they do, they can't put up with it anymore. As a result this sequester has run into a wall of refusal to deal. All the spinning, lying, and efforts to pass a budget piecemeal are now PR efforts by the Republicans to shift the blame for their extortion effort to the Democrats. They are counting on low information voters to not be paying attention. But the extortion efforts are ongoing. A minority in the republican party are pushing a seditious and anarchist agenda on the rest of the country. And it has to stop. This is a call for a Parliamentary style House of Representatives and dividing the government into a Presidency and a Prime Minister. Then the President could dissolve the House and call new elections. But that is pie in the sky in this country.
Meanwhile: As the cops say: "Drop the gun, release the hostages, and then we'll talk."
Meanwhile we can hope that the Democrats coupled with a few sane Republicans can come up with a way to get this insanity ended. Unfortunately the crazies have safe seats with crazy local majorities, so it will be hard to dislodge them in 2014. But we have to try.