The media will go into overdrive to highlight the impact of the government shutdown. If they didn’t do this, we may not notice. It’s not like there will be rioting in the streets.
I’m reminded of the old 60s expression (and film), Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? Most of the government affects the government itself, as well as its contractors. It’s like a huge, overgrown student council, filled with people who think what they do is important, and they’re perennially frustrated that others don’t quite care so much about what they’re doing. Half or more of us pay taxes and get almost nothing in the way of government services, other than generic military protection. Social security recipients and medicare beneficiaries benefit a lot, but those things will go on. But what we realized in the 90s and should realize again is that thousands and thousands of people do “make work” at the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Labor, and the like. They do little for us, and we won’t miss them when they’re gone. Even in the military tens of thousands of contractors and civilians do unnecessary work that can be eliminated or reduced.
This may not end well for Republicans, but we should all pay attention to how little this really matters, and it’s nice to see the Congress has some gumption reflecting the mood of the country.