It's come to this. About 20 years of Republican ascendency and roughly 10 more years of Republican dominance (it still dominates, effectively) have produced this not-so-whimsical definition, by Ezra Klein, of modern American government: one that is "almost functional."
In its latest manifestation, our almost functional government's success can be gauged by the possibility that that government maybe, just maybe, won't shut down. Again.
At the hair-raising rate that Republicans are forcing us into Third World, banana-republic status, it won't be long before we're receiving development aid and greeting economic advisers and accepting goo-goo counseling from Romania, Ghana, and Belize.