I had a quick trip to D.C. this morning, returning this afternoon, and it was a downer. In addition to the torrential rains and bleak skies, and the bumper-to-bumper, constant-honking, angry-gesturing traffic that made what should be a 15-minute taxi ride into an hour-long ordeal, the news on the radio was all about shutdown, shutdown, shutdown. I saw tangible evidence of our inert government when the cab drove past the Lincoln Memorial and I saw the “closed” sign and the barriers blocking off the area around the noblest structure on the National Mall.
Everybody on the streets, from the surly drivers to the sodden pedestrians, seemed deep in gloom, and I found myself sinking deeper into the mire with each fresh blast from a car horn. It’s hard not to be depressed about the state of our nation when petty politics causes the closure of even public areas that are supposed to remind us of our nation’s glory.