Iíve been trying unsuccessfully to avoid ongoing news reporting about the government being shut down.

Iíve been trying unsuccessfully to avoid ongoing news reporting about the government being shut down. Itís sobering if not downright depressing knowing this president represents the interests of ďhisĒ half of the country and pretty much ignores folks like me in the other half.

But thatís OK. Elections have consequences, and heís simply one of the more destructive consequences. Thankfully, weíre on the downhill side of this nasty eight-year ride, and this will eventually pass.

But in his defense, I wouldíve never believed one administration could so damage a culture as this one has. Itís truly an amazing feat.

Regarding this recent budget battle, I give him credit as a good poker player. For reasons I canít fathom, Republicans have chosen to bet the farm on an impossibly weak hand.

As any good poker player would, Obama will let the cards run through the flop, turn and river winning the moment. He has all the time in the world.

Of course under normal circumstances, the overall good and well-being of the country would call time, but not at this table. Obamaís charted his socialist trajectory for the country and wonít adjust his aim to the right even by a few degrees.

Obamaís on a mission to change America, and so far he has succeeded to our detriment. Of course, I agree that sound fiscal principles are important to defend and fight for, but this quixotic stand by the House Republicans is a stupid one.

Once Republicans peeked at their hole cards, they should have folded, content to wait for a better deal. Losing a few hands simply isnít the same as losing the whole game.

And on the broad scale, we already hold the most powerful anti-Obamacare weapon courtesy of liberal Democrats. Republicans neednít fall on their swords to stop this thing.

The Affordable Care Act is a Rube Goldberg Humpty-Dumpty with 22,000 moving parts. Itís just been a few days and cracks are already showing.

I think once this legislative monstrosity is really turned loose on the villagers, it wonít be long before we peasants pick up our rakes and torches and chase it away.

Nothing is all bad, and so it is with this shutdown. Over the past few days, Iíve been amazed at how much of the government is deemed by the government to be ďnon-essential.Ē

Of course that begs the question: Why are we paying for non-essential stuff? Based upon furlough statistics, it looks like a pretty good chunk of this budget and deficit mess could be cleared up by simply closing down the Departments of Education and Energy.

Oh yeah, while weíre at it we could shutter the Environmental Protection Agency. Thereís clearly a need for overview regarding environmental impacts, but the current incarnation of the EPA is as a political arm of this administration.

The same truth applies to the Department of Justice, but we absolutely canít do without it. When Obama leaves and takes Holder with him, ďjusticeĒ will return to the DOJ.

Until then your politics determine whether youíre dealt a subpoena or pass. Yes I know. Elections have consequences.

Otis Gardnerís column appears here weekly. He can be reached at ogardner@embarqmail.com.