This is no shutdown. The lights are still on. They're all still up there walking around, feeling important, wasting their time and our money getting paid to play childish games with the government of the United States of America. What shutdown? This is no shutdown. This is as phony as a wooden nickel.
The only people on the federal payroll who aren't going to be paid are the only people without any power to influence the decision to yank their paychecks (aka the decision to "shut down the government"). It's no small number. They say it is 800,000 people, and after you remember they probably all have families and other people who depend on their paychecks to pay their bills at colleges, hospitals, doctor's offices and credit card companies, and to buy gas and groceries and clothes and the occasional night out at the movies, as big a number as 800,000 is, the loss of those paychecks will hurt many more people than that. But then they don't matter because, like I said -- they have no say in the decision. So since they don't really matter, I guess all that cheering I'm seeing in tea party meet-ups at the joyful news that they suceeded at "shutting the government down" (yeah right) can proceed apace. The fact that they didn't really succeed at anything other than cementing everyone else's already pretty firmly held opinion that they are heartless, brainless fools doesn't seem to penetrate their consciousness. They succeeded! How proud they are! They hurt a whole lot of decent, hardworking people just to make a point they didn't even really make. And this is who is running things.
Congress will still get paid. They will still be pulling up to gas stations to get those big 40 gallon Suburban gas tanks filled at our expense whenever they need to. Some shutdown. The offices are still lit and air conditioned, the support staff is still still there to wait on them so they can keep getting the paychecks that some of them earn but most of them don't -- all during this so-called shutdown. Air traffic controllers are on the job, and they hustled around a few days ago to make sure the troops would get paid. Can't have that kind of political blowback, can we?
I really don't know what procedure they used to exempt everybody but the unlucky 800,000. But much like the way they quickly exempted air travel from the sequester so they could all jump on airplanes (on our dime of course) and fly around at will after inflicting the sequester on, again, those of us who don't have a say, this is just another example of just how rigged a game this is.
If there were an authentic shutdown, meaning the paychecks of not only soldiers fighting in Afghanistan but also those that go to members of Congress, would stop, the lights would go out on Capitol Hill and in every single member of Congress's lush office or cush townhouse nearby, as would the heat, the air conditioning, the gardeners the janitors blah blah blah, and we would never again have to worry about a handful of fools in the House of Representatives using government shutdown as a political football ever again. I mean, it sure was easy to come up with all the exemptions. Can't be too hard to take them away again, right?
What are the odds?