Nightly News   |  October 03, 2013

Dear Congress: ‘Get your act together!”

Angry Americans sound off, fueling a fire that begs the question: How did it come to this? For many, it doesn’t feel like an American we can be proud of. NBC’s Harry Smith reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally here tonight it's been another event ful day in this country, certain in the nation's capital. against the already dim backdrop of the government shutdown and the open partisan warfare we saw that frightening scene unfold today at the capitol. all of it feeding into americans' general growing uneasy ness of what's happening in this country where they are supposed to be running things. at times it seems things are coming apart a bit. some thoughts on this tonight from nbc's harry smith .

>> reporter: chaos. a woman tries to ram her car through the white house gates. a chase ensues on d.c. streets. neither her motive nor her state of mind seem important because we are transfixed by pictures of a capitol paralyzed. it feel thes like a metaphor. there is a standoff in washington these days. patience has worn thin.

>> why are we letting this happen?

>> do your work.

>> reporter: emotions are raw.

>> wake up, guys. we don't like you.

>> reporter: most of the people we spoke with have had it.

>> dear congress, i would like for you to go without pay for one month.

>> stop acting in your own self-interest. get your act together. do what's right for the country.

>> i hope to god in next year's election all of you are booted out.

>> obama care is not a justifiable reason to shut down the country.

>> reporter: we asked you to share your thoughts on twitter, too. dear congress, i can assure you that i will not be checking incumbent next time i i go to the polls. you have failed us. stop blaming each other like children. start acting like responsible adults and work together. i'm embarrassed to be an american today. stop hurting the people that voted for you.

>> i definitely blame the republicans.

>> i blame this completely on the democrats.

>> reporter: blame and indignation fuelled an angry fire. this doesn't feel like the america we are most proud of. we are weary of the conflict. while which side prevails is important, we wonder why it has come to this. harry smith , nbc news.