What good can come from the shutdown over Obamacare? The shutdown fight really isn't about Obamacare; that program is the jus ad bellum, and a symptom of far larger problems.
In general, then, what good can come from the shutdown? The immediate answer is that individual rights are *always* worth fighting for. And that it is not the government's job to be in the health care business. And that we deserve better than to have a Supreme Court that invents the "Broccoli Test" - and then fails it. And that the fight separates those who actually care for individual rights from those who merely pay lip service.
But there are less immediate consequences to the shutdown.
On the first day of the shutdown, the sun rose. Food continued to grow. And loe, it was good. And those things continue to happen, despite the blatant fear-mongering by the media. Droves of federal workers - upset that their unemployability is now matched by their unemployment - have not invaded the countryside, pillaging and plundering as though they were still worked for Uncle Sucker.
The first lesson from the shutdown is just how bloated and irrelevant so much of the government is. We have all the "services" that the Feds are constitutionally mandated to provide, as well as almost all the unconstitutional ones, at a fraction of the workforce. Yay!
Another consequence is the fragmentation of large spending bills.
Twenty-five years ago, government spending was either done one agency at a time, or a small number of small agencies at a time. By the early 2000s, omnibus spending bills became the norm. They combined the spending for large programs together with large amounts of pork. A good example of this style of "budgeting" is the combination of the food stamp program with the Farm Bill.
Congress hasn't passed a budget since 1997, and that eventually became the trigger for sequestration. In place of an actual budget or omnibus spending bills, the government budgeting has been done using continuing resolutions.
Look at how things have changed: WIC and the Farm Bill are now separate entities from a legislative standpoint, and we have tightly-focused spending bills - like the one recently proposed by Republicans which funds the NPS, the VA, and a few others.
Harry Reid said that Congress cannot pick and choose the departments they want to fund. Why not? It is called the power of the purse. It is called being fiscally responsible. It is called doing their job.
We also have the changes we're witnessing within the Republican Party. The GOP has been the handmaiden of big business for far too long - for proof, look for Boehner's collusion with the Democrats on Syria. As the Obamacare showdown began, Boehner and McCain distanced themselves from Cruz and other "dangerous Tea Party anarchists". Then we have the e-mails between Boehner and Reed. The Republicans talk of small government was all a smokescreen. The Tea Party is now holding them to their words.
Sure, the Republicans have a long way to go, but like people in recovery programs say, admitting you have a problem is the first step.
Finally, we have the number of things for which private individuals are willing to pay out of their own pockets:
- The WW2 Memorial in DC was built with private funds, and is maintained by private funds, but was shuttered by "barry-cades".
- Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Virginia, also privately funded, was closed by the National Park Service police. Yes, they have their own police force.
- Ford's Theater was shuttered by the NPS even though it is funded by a private non-profit group. Perhaps the NPS didn't want people learning about John Wilkes Booth.
- The Miramar Air Show was cancelled, but private individuals contributed their own funds and their own airplanes to put on a private version of the show. That was cancelled, too.
- There are other examples.
If all this isn't convincing enough, and you, Gentle Reader, still think that the shutdown is crying over the spilled rancid milk that is Obamacare, maybe a picture might help. Imagine you're at your doctor, and a little circus car drives into the office. The car door opens, and lots of clown bureaucrats, clown lawyers, and clown politicians come piling out and cause mayhem. The fight against Obamacare is really the fight against circus clowns. So there.