What extreme really means
This shutdown and now default fight isn’t about right vs left, liberal vs conservative, Republican vs Democrat, or pro-ACA vs anti-ACA. Democrats can bargain and compromise with Republicans, and they have in the past, but Democrats aren’t dealing with Republicans. They’re dealing with the Tea Party faction.
You can’t bargain or compromise with a faction that sees the federal government’s existence as illegitimate, and that’s what the Tea Party Congressmen in the House of Representatives believe. Shutting down the government and keeping it closed is a bigger win for the Tea Party than repealing the Affordable Care Act would have been.
These are true believers and that’s what makes them dangerous. True believers don’t act rationally, care about the welfare of others, and won’t ever compromise. They’ll harm themselves to get what they want. Harming everyone else isn’t an unfortunate but necessary side effect, it’s a tool and desirable outcome.
I don’t think much more needs to be said than that, but I’ll quickly hit you with another one. The most radical elements on the left that I can think of would like to dump Obamacare in favor of single-payer health care. The government is the sole insurance provider and decides all or most medical costs. It’s so socialist and awful that nearly every major civilized country in the world other than America uses it, and they all have better care outcomes and spend less money than we do.
The most radical conservatives would dismantle the federal government by ending Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, getting rid of the FDA, EPA, Department of Education, and who knows what else.
The result of left-wing radicals getting what they want is that health care would be better and cheaper. If right-wing radicals got what they want — by their own admission, I’m pulling this crazy shit straight from the 2012 GOP presidential primary debates — you wouldn’t be able to trust that your food is safe, that your meds won’t kill you, rivers would start catching on fire again from pollution, old people wouldn’t have health insurance at all and many would be homeless without Social Security, and children growing up in the south would be retarded compared to children in northern and western states because they weren’t even taught basic science.
Good luck blaming both sides for that.