The federal government shut down at midnight, when Congress proved to be unable to agree on a another stopgap spending bill. As is usually the case, the Democrats and the Republicans used the looming shutdown to try to increase their leverage to obtain their political goals — whether those goals are immigration reform, or health care funding, or something else — and when neither side blinked, the shutdown occurred. Of course, each side then blamed the other.
We’ve been through this scenario multiple times before, most recently in 2013. We somehow made it through each of those prior cataclysms, and I’m pretty sure that the sun will come up today as well.
I may be wrong about this, but out here in the heartland I’m sensing a lot less angst, generally, about this shutdown than seemed to be the case with prior shutdowns. Maybe it’s because we’ve been through this same, pointless charade multiple times before, and the country just has a lingering case of shutdown fatigue. Maybe it’s because, with the flood of scandals and tweetstorms and investigations and unseemly behavior that has been washing over the nation in recent months, we’ve already used up our storehouses of outrage and have just been psychologically bludgeoned until we’re functionally insensate. Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve come to recognize that all of this shutdown stuff is just more callous political maneuvering by both parties, and we’re heartily sick and tired of being viewed as mere pawns to be manipulated in the stupid power games that are always being played in Washington, D.C.
Whatever the cause, we’ll just go on living our lives, without paying too much attention to the yammering politicos and their efforts to pin all of the blame for this unnecessary disruption and unending dysfunctionality and irresponsibility somewhere else. Who knows? Maybe if we just ignore this latest shutdown, the politicians might realize that their shutdown gambit isn’t working anymore and actually go back to doing their jobs.