To the Tea Party, there is no difference, and, therefore, they don't know.
As I post this, the House has adjourned for the night, again failing to bring a vote to the floor of a body politic which the GOP controls. The TP has given the finger to the leaders of their own party. When a bill contains spending cuts, signifying concessions by the Democrats, they defiantly scream "not enough", all in the context of refusing to give an inch on the question of revenues. This position of non-compromise raises a specter more alarming than failing to raise the debt ceiling. I'm fearful of a threat to the essence of democracy, where a country should be controlled by the majority of its citizens.
During the mid-election campaigns, certain politicians adhered to the voice of a group that was thought of as a right wing minority. They pandered to it and begged for its votes, swearing to follow its orders if elected. That's what's happening now. The TP train runs too fast for them to jump off. They made a Faustian bargain and the country is stuck with it. Even the moderate Republicans are afraid to buck them. So, are they really a right-wing minority if they have the House in deadlock? Perhaps not. And that's scary.
Speaker John Boehner can't get the necessary votes to pass a bill which is a "victory" for the GOP. He is trying to appeal to the reason of a group which doesn't have any. And they are immune to the effect of an Epiphany. They revel in the national interest crisis which they have created.
What's the solution? We must engage in a dangerous waiting game, as the doomsday clock ticks on, while the House, gridlocked by the TP, implodes. When the smoke clears, the Senate will step in and present a bill, so immersed in reasonable compromise, that the triple power of a congressional- citizen majority and the President of the United States shall, finally, hold sway. Neither party may "win" to their satisfaction, but the nation's best interests shall have been served.
Am I smoking something? We'd better hope not.