One of the more surreal aspects of the current government shutdown is the fact that the people responsible for shutting down the government appear to be very surprised that the government has, you know, actually shut down. So last week we had the spectacle of some Congressmen re-opening Arlington Cemetery after it had closed, and of one (Texas, of course) Congressman yelling at a National Park employee as if the shutdown were her fault. Some Congressmen appear surprised that they would be asked to give up their paychecks just because government workers aren’t being paid.
There’s more, of course. How could there not be? Newt Gingrich, who one would think would actually understand something about government shutdowns, expresses disappointment that the panda cam at the National Zoo is no longer in operation. And we’ve already seen the Defence Department recall most of the furloughed civilian Pentagon employees. Remember, you had some of the brighter lights of the Republican party saying things like this when the shutdown started:
“You may see a partial shutdown for several days,” Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News. “People are going to realize they can live with a lot less government.”
And in spite of the news stories you see that some Republicans are upset with Ted Cruz and John Boehner, it’s good to know that most of them still think they’re doing the right thing. In fact, there are even some who are actually looking forward to the United States of America defaulting on its debt. How cool will that be?
Won’t they be surprised when they see what actually happens?