Frustration with Washington is high because politics, as the Founders understood, has disintegrated to a form of barbarianism.

Designed as a system of limited powers by the Framers to force compromise, dissension in government has led to a near collapse, where one side argues the supremacy of executive authority and majority rule, summarily dismissing and erroneously invalidating the other side's call for smaller, limited government, refusing to compromise and labeling them crazies - or, worse, terrorists.

Even within the Republican Party, they've resorted to name-calling. Meanwhile, Democrats remain mostly united amid the chaos, advancing failed policies like socialized medicine they've championed for 50 years.

Media have widely declared the GOP losses in the 16-day government shutdown, while conservative pundits have even sharply criticized the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican from Texas, who led the shutdown.

Still somewhat lost in the drama is the nation's mounting $17 trillion debt, an unsustainable, destructive path both parties cut.

Liberals have finally managed to shove ObamaCare down the throats of the American people with disastrous consequences. The country needs meaningful healthcare reform, but ObamaCare isn't the answer.

The extremist in Washington is not Sen. Cruz. The extremist is President Barack Obama, who refuses to compromise or lead as a President should.

Unlimited executive power like Mr. Obama seeks is celebrated by the left and dictators, but the Framers intended to keep Presidential powers in check, limiting any single faction, interest or branch of government.

Perhaps ObamaCare's impending failure will be the death of American liberalism and a call to reform for the Democratic Party.

The answer for conservatives isn't to be more like liberals, but to stand on the principle of smaller, limited government.

Dismissing the tea party is horribly misguided since many voters - a lot of them under 30 and libertarian-leaning - are fed up with both political parties.

Republicans need the tea party inside the GOP, not out, and can emerge stronger by reconciling without breaking dishes.

Republican obsession with idealogical and moral purity doesn't always make for good public policy that wins national elections.

As a political party, the GOP would be better off, for example, strongly defending religious liberty, leaving the stonings for certain sins to church discipline and the judgement of God.

The religious liberty of Christians, especially, has come under attack with ObamaCare. Don't let the government impose upon religion. Fight!

If Republicans can unite and hold the ranks on Constitutional principles, conservatives can win the day.

The GOP must attract and embrace new talent, not push away future generations of leaders. Democrats just need to start over.

Arguments about the Constitution have abounded since ratification, so there's nothing un-American about the friction, which gives hope for compromise and leadership.