In a bit linguistic trick that would make the most synergistic corporate consultant proud, Fox News has determined that the what the country is going through today isn't really a "shutdown" after all. Despite the closure of thousands of parks, monuments, museums, and government offices across the country, the furlough of 800,000 employees is really just a "slimdown," where Washington temporarily trims the fat off day-to-day government business. After all:
...hundreds of thousands of other workers are reporting for work, and a patchwork of services remains open to the public as lawmakers and the White House continue to battle over a spending package.
Much like when corporations refer to layoffs as "rightsizing" or impending bankruptcy as a "pivot," all the euphemisms probably don't mean much to the people who lost their paychecks today. Especially, when one thing that isn't being slimmed down is paychecks for lawmakers.
The unspoken secret, of course, is that for many of the most conservative Conservatives out there, shutting down the government is exactly what they want. (Rep. Michele Bachmann has also taken to shutdown denialism, calling it a "slowdown.") As far as they're concerned, we need a military, a few roads, and maybe a post office, but beyond that, all "non-essential" services could disappear forever and that would be just fine with them.
Technically they are correct, of course. The government is still running, even if it's just that meager 'patchwork.' But it's not really a slimdown either. At least, not a permanent one. Like the worst, yo-yo dieter, sooner or later, a continuing resolution will be passed and the government will regain its pesky spare tire of 800,000 pounds. Sorry, jobs.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.