Why Is the Government Still Shut Down?

Because no one is listening to each other

Political Essays

Those who follow me know this: I rarely write about politics. Now and then I’ll retweet something that I really feel passionate about, but that’s it.

For a long time, I saw no point in writing political essays. So far, writing has been my escape from the madness that is the current U.S. political landscape.

I also think political writing has lost its bite, because a) it won’t change anyone’s mind, and b) there are so many issues that what’s outrageous one day is forgotten in favor of the next, increasingly outrageous, news item.

Enter: a government shutdown.

[image_carousel_alternative images=”873,872″ onclick=”lightbox” items=”1″ items_on_small_screens=”3″ navigation=”1″ slide_by=”by_page” navigation_style=”2″ slide_number_status=”1″ style=”1″ fade=”1″ lazyload=”1″ img_size=”large” css_class=”dark”]

These things happen. There have been shutdowns in the past. Interestingly, the last two major ones were from Democrats: 21 days in Clinton’s administration, and 17 days in Obama’s.

What’s troubling about this one is that there are no signs of it stopping anytime soon.

When the government shut down 15 days ago, I asked someone more politically informed than me about it. He said it would be up and running again soon after New Year’s Day. Well, it’s Three Kings Day, and there is no sign of the government starting up until at least Martin Luther King Day, if that. We might be headed into Valentine’s Day with no functioning government.

I can’t predict the future. The shutdown could miraculously end tomorrow, and we’ll all be talking about the next big scandal. But the president doesn’t seem interested in ending it. There is no work toward a compromise. Previously, he said he was looking forward to a shutdown.