Government Shutdown OverNow that the government shutdown is over, it’s back to business as usual, right?

Let’s hope not. Oh, the right wing Tea Party Republican House members who threw this economic disaster of a temper tantrum are still defiantly insisting they were in the right and when asked if in hindsight, they would do it again — they say they would.

This does not bode well for January 15, when last night’s continuing resolution expires and we go through the process all over again.

John McCain thinks the House Republicans have learned their lesson. I don’t think they have. And neither does Elizabeth Warren, who has posted this message on her blog:

I’m glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I’m relieved that we didn’t default on our debt.

But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.

Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.

According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.

$24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?

The Republicans keep saying, “Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets.” They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.

So I’m relieved, but I’m also pretty angry.

We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.

It’s time for the hostage taking to end. It’s time for every one of us to say, “No more.”

I hope Wall Street is angry. Companies that were saved from financial disaster in 2009 showed their gratitude to the Obama Administration and the Democrats by donating campaign funds to Republican lawmakers who have no interest in governing the country. I wonder what’s worse: Some regulation and taxes that will allow the economy to hum along and grow so that we may all share in its bounty — or another worldwide economic disaster? Because these Tea Party idiots floated the idea that defaulting on our obligations would be a good thing. I hope the 1% thinks about that as we start the 2014 election cycle.

I know I’m angry. And I hope you’re angry, too, because if you’re angry, you are likely to make the time to go to the polls in an off-Presidential year and VOTE. Vote to re-elect your Democratic representative who fought to keep the government open. Vote to send a message to your Republican representative who put their ideology above what’s good for our nation. Vote to replace these nihilistic Tea Party Republicans who would bomb the economy and take away your right to affordable health insurance and even your contraception with progressive Democrats. And if you vote for progressive Democratic women, all the better.

Stay angry long enough for us to put sanity back into our government. Don’t wait until 2014: In just a couple of weeks, elections will be held in some states and municipalities around the country. If you live in one of those regions, take a moment to get out and VOTE. Our friends at EMILY’s List and Women’s Campaign Fund have helped us identify progressive women who are running for office RIGHT NOW.

This is not the time to give up on politics. Have the last few years been unbearably ugly? YES. Is it discouraging? Oh, yes. Does it make you angry?

We hope it makes you angry enough to do something about it.