Schieffer to Congress: Stop with the games

Capitol Hill dome in silhouette
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

(CBS News) I can't remember how many times over the past year that I've said, "I've never seen anything like this."

But as I watched Congress turn away from so many things it should be doing and revert to yet another rerun of "Let's shut down the government," I find myself saying it again:

"I've never seen anything like this."

There is a reason that last week seemed to make no sense: It made no sense!

The Wall Street Journal told House Republican firebrands not to do it, Republican strategist Karl Rove told them not to do it, the business community said don't. Senate Republicans said don't.

But they did.

My question: If they shut down the government, will Congress shut down, too? Will it furlough itself, and stop its own paychecks?

They don't like Obamacare. We get that. I have a lot of problems myself with the process of how it became law. But it is the law and Republicans don't have the votes to kill it. So wouldn't it be wiser to fight that fight when you have a chance to win?

There are just too many other vital issues to deal with. The country is going broke -- not only vital social programs, but our national defense must be drastically scaled back unless something is done soon.

In the Kabuki theater that is Washington, the firebrands have made their point, again.

But time's a'wasting. It is time for all sides to get to work.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.