What amazes me is that those people seriously considered a situation that could have had a devastating economical effect on the US. Things like this cause nations to implode. A bankrupt, non-functional state has time and again led to violent overthrow and civil war. This is what their game of chicken was risking. And when you listen to some of their backers they would welcome this in the hopes to build a different state from the ashes. Only their vision is really frightening.
Indeed it should be, but I hope you're not under the impression that this is anything unprecedented in any way, shape or form. The actions of the Tea Party are perfectly rational given their underpinnings. Here's a thought-provoking (and well-researched) analysis about their origins, motives and strategies: Tea Party radicalism is misunderstood: Meet the "Newest Right"