The term "government shutdown" gives the public the false impression that the entire government is being shut down, when in reality, only a small percentage of the government gets shut down -- and for starkly ideological reasons.
What we are really facing is a liberal government shutdown -- which is to say programs designed to help the vulnerable and poor are gutted, while institutions designed to serve the rich and powerful remain unscathed. [...]
In principle, the criteria of what is and isn't "essential" is determined by unelected agency and department heads using guidance [that] defines "essential" activities as those that "protect life and property" -- a fundamentally reactionary (and curiously unexamined) criterion that elevates property over justice, feeding people, and protecting the vulnerable. [...]
There's the broader ideological coup as well. [...] By calling it a "government shutdown" the left runs the risks that many Americans will not notice their lives change in a clear way as the months roll on. The "return on investment" of liberal government -- education, science, children's health -- are not noticeable in an immediate and demonstrable way. Each day the "government shutdown" rolls on is another day the far right achieves another propaganda victory by giving the public the impression that government must not be very important if its wholesale closure has no impact on people's lives. [...]
Starving liberal institutions by triaging programs on ideological grounds without input from the public isn't a "shutdown"; it's a coup by another name. The media should start calling it one.