That catastrophe is the collapse of the way the House of Representatives is supposed to work and has tended to work for a long time.
A book by Chris Matthews shows that, historically, conservatives and liberals have generally been able to do what they are elected and paid to do.
That is, to do the business of government in a civil manner that is beneficial to the nation and to its citizens.
The extreme right wing of the GOP has thrown a temper tantrum after losing two presidential elections, and is now using historically forbidden tactics which many observers see as a catastrophic failure and defect:
Remember, if the debt ceiling isn't lifted by Oct. 17, then the Treasury Department will only bring in enough tax revenue to pay about 65 percent of the bills that arrive over the next month. And it won't be able to borrow any more money to pay the rest. That means some of the government's bills will go unpaid.(Washington Post). Other nations are calling for a "new world order" where the rest of the world is not dependent on the U.S. dollar:
Upset that the fiscal stalemate in Washington is threatening the global economy, China called for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the international reserve currency as well as for broader steps to create a "de-Americanized world."(LA Times). This ongoing loss of the U.S. reputation is a catastrophe in itself, however, if this failure of the GOP political mind gets too crazy, the U.S. may experience losing the currency wars that Dredd Blog has been warning about for years:
China also called for an end to the "pernicious impasse" in the U.S. over the raising the debt limit and ending the partial government shutdown, saying the world needed another reserve currency so nations could protect themselves "from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States."
Most countries hold their foreign exchange reserves in U.S. dollars because the currency is viewed as the world's most stable. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, with about $1.3 trillion in Treasury bonds, and is concerned about the impact of a U.S. failure to raise the debt limit on those holdings.
China’s central bank governor has issued a bold proposal to overhaul the global monetary system and one day replace the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Special Drawing Right(First Shots Fired In The Currency Wars, 3/23/09, quoting The Times). We also noted the loss of reputation taking place due to the alleged reason the GOP is holding us hostage: "ObamaCare" (ObamaCare: Good Foreign Policy, see also Phase Five Of The Currency Wars? - 3).
These unwise, risqué, hostile, and unprofessional tactics (of an emotionally infantile gang within the House of Representatives) are foolhardy at best.
The ideology is not unlike the ideology of feudal nations of long ago, and such ideology at work is creating and perpetuating American Feudalism (a.k.a. neoFeudalism).