Excuse the metaphor but there is only so long and so far you can kick the can down the road. Those of us Boomers with experience understand that there is an immutable law in kicking the can: eventually you don’t kick it straight and it simply disappears.

There are also immutable laws that become apparent when you have been polling professionally for about four decades. One of them is that you get to a point when you no longer need fresh poll numbers. Opinion is formed and remains solid. Here we are as a nation and our federal government is about to default. Frankly, even if it doesn’t default and someone reaches a mangy paw down the sewer to retrieve the can, it really doesn’t matter because the resolution will only be for a few months and no real issues will get resolved. It will only be a temporary fix and a partial face-saving gesture. I will let the economists on these pages explain what they know (better than I) about the impact of a government default. But for me here are some of those lessons that I have derived from many, many years of sifting through public opinion and observing our public leaders acting out during serious crises.

1. This annual event of screwing around with the budget and the credit of the United States is purely manufactured and has nothing to do with principle or a higher calling. Men and women by the tens of thousands depend on employment, benefits, and services. They are simply too big and too many to fail. Any serious attempt to reduce the size of the government must be phased in over years after serious negotiations and plans over several years. Does anyone really think that is going on?

2. If efforts to kill a deal are based on positioning for the 2014 elections, just what country are those elections taking place in? Let me only repeat what I have said over and over for months: Americans may not like government nor trust it, but they never vote to kill it. They, the ultimate arbiters of what this country needs and how much it spends are waiting for good government, not dead government.

3. The GOP is killing itself with an Ebola virus. How can they move to the vital center when their various strains of Right are eating each other to death? Initially, the GOP sought to fight the issue of Obamacare and use that as leverage against the Democrats to get them to cut a deal. The more they raised the issue the more they lost. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t see in poll after poll after poll that the Republicans are shooting themselves the more they obstruct?

4. What of the Tea Party? Is there anyone who really believes that the party that lost 18 freshmen from 2010 to 2012 can actually send its incumbents back into their districts to say “re-elect me, I accomplished nothing, I didn’t stop Obamacare, and I am a dying breed that most of my colleagues cannot stand”?

I don’t only just do polls. I spend most of my time on the road giving speeches and meeting with small groups. No one likes the position we are in and most, including longtime GOP leaders, are blaming their own party.

This is really insane. It is so hard to watch.