The Shutdown Syndrome

Trump's shutdown talk and actions show just how normalized this extreme tactic has become for our dysfunctional government.

For conservatives, particularly libertarians, who regularly talk about how we don’t need an overarching government interfering with American lives, the shutdown of large chunks of the U.S. federal government might be a dream come true. But for roughly 800,000 federal employees who won’t be receiving paychecks, it feels dire. And for the many contract employees, who won’t receive reimbursement for the days they are not working, the situation is even worse.

President Trump is now insisting he is willing to keep the shutdown going for years if he can’t get the money he wants for his wall. But even a shutdown designed to affect a relatively small part of the nation is beginning to undermine significant components of the U.S. government. It will do far more damage if it extends into next month.

And, as The Washington Post reports, it turns out that many in the Trump administration had no idea what they were unleashing.