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Republicans “aren’t capable of doing the first task of a government,” wrote one French columnist.

The US government shutdown down was, of course, massive international news — it’s essentially the world’s most powerful country and its largest economy going haywire. How does this chaos look through international eyes?

To find out, I spent the morning reading press coverage from a number of countries — from neighbors like Canada and Mexico to European allies to state-run media in Russia and China. What I found was a remarkable convergence on a single theme: The shutdown happened because there is something deeply wrong with the American political system.

“Canadians like to think their system of governance is better than the American one. If they want more evidence, they need only look at what’s happening now — a government shutdown in Washington — and be thankful their system doesn’t allow the same shenanigans,” writes Lawrence Martin, a columnist for Canada’s right-leaning Globe and Mail newspaper.

Reporters in democratic nations like Britain and France are stunned; authoritarian propagandists are downright giddy that America’s political system could collapse into chaos so easily.

Some of the blame seems to be apportioned to President Trump and the Republican Party in general, and some to the basic design of the American political system. But overall, there is a sense that the shutdown has exposed something very wrong about the United States.

“The president’s own people are in a state of rolling confusion”

A lot of the international press was interested in the nuts and bolts of the shutdown, especially as it affected their citizens’ travel plans. “The US Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin has clarified that offices there are open as scheduled despite the US government shutdown,” Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE clarified.

But the world, like many Americans, was also interested in playing the Read More Here