Here’s something that – no matter what your political affiliation – ought to give pause:

When it came time to vote on a measure to pay the government’s bills and avoid the first default in the nation’s history, most Republican members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation voted to let the nation default.

Rep. Paul Ryan, the party’s vice presidential nominee a year ago, voted for default. So did Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Sean Duffy. So did Sen. Ron Johnson. Only Rep. Reid Ribble voted to preserve the nation’s credit.

This was not a symbolic vote. The deadline for default was just a couple of hours away.

We don't know what would have happened had their position prevailed. Every economist I read predicted such an action would devastate the economy, perhaps to a greater extent than the 2008 recession did.

The finance ministers of many foreign nations saw worldwide catastrophe in the offing. No one predicted a good outcome from such a momentous decision.

That vote was a big deal. The national honor was at stake, and every Republican in the Wisconsin congressional delegation except Ribble voted to spit on our national honor.

I can’t imagine what our reaction would be if some foreign entity attempted to destroy this nation’s full faith and credit. I rather suspect we wouldn’t be too happy about it.

This isn’t even taking into account the other outcome of Wednesday’s vote. Had the measure been defeated – which Ryan, Duffy, Petri, Sensenbrenner and Johnson desired – the government would remain closed.

What, in heaven’s name, were they thinking?

How can a man run for vice president of the United States one year and vote to close the government the next?

It wasn’t a matter of party loyalty. The measure they voted against had been endorsed by the leaders of their party in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.

If they had a greater cause, they never spelled out what it might be – or, rather, they spelled out a new cause almost every single day.

Duffy said at one point he wanted to force the president to get his health insurance under Obamacare. Really? He wants the president to fire his personal White House physician and give up his right to be treated at Walter Reed Medical Center?

It is hard to believe that this guy replaced Dave Obey in the House of Representatives, but that’s the kind of reasoning we received from our representatives.

They are our representatives. We voted for them. We elected them.

It’s all pretty embarrassing.