The Internet’s Best Responses to the Government Shutdown (So Far)


Happy Day 11 of the Government Shutdown, everybody! Here’s hoping you’re one of the lucky ones who’s been able to spend the time just enjoying an epic run of Daily Shows, as opposed to, y’know, losing your paycheck with no end in sight while a bunch of Tea Party assholes crow about how unessential you are, but I digress. In this period of anger and frustration, we flock to our Internet, and thankfully, in our time of need, our Internet has not let us down. Here are a few of the sites, writers, and savvy Web folks who have come through for us.

Is the Government Shut Down?

Ah, the simple yes/no website, the refuge of spotty Internet receivers and Lost fans, is here to advise us as to whether our government is currently operating. Spoiler: it’s not.

Fuck You Congress

The expletive-laden look at the shutdown that we all so direly desire, “Fuck You Congress” is a slideshow site, detailing the various rage-inducing details of this Congress and their current handiwork. The next page button is a bitter “There’s Fucking More,” and guess what? There’s always fucking more.

Drunk Dial Congress

And if raging at your computer impotently isn’t a visceral enough experience, you can always rage over the phone impotently. Enter “Drunk Dial Congress,” which encourages you, the voter/taxpayer, to “call and yell at a random member of Congress,” and even provides such helpful talking points (with links!) as, “If you can yell at a Park Ranger after forcing the Government to shut down, then I get to yell at you” and “You guys aren’t funding the police that are protecting you???”

Then Came The Memes

We are a meme-loving people, so the collapse of democracy has, at the very least, given us some funny image-and-text juxtapositions. We’ve seen all your old favorites: Willy Wonka, Futurama, Hyperbole and a Half, and (of course) Hitler’s reaction. It’s almost as though we’re retreating into comfortable imagery and old jokes because we don’t know how else to wrap our heads around this nonsense!

And the Retweet Parade Began

Twitter has provided us with plenty of laughs at the shutdown’s expense, but the single tweet that this writer has seen the most — and which seemed to best encapsulate the frustration of so many — was this missive from Think Progress editor-in-chief Jedd Legum. With over 22,000 official retweets and viral impact across all social media, Legum beautifully sums up the inanity of the “compromise” argument.

“Ted Cruz Shuts Down the Government”

But when all else fails, it’s good to know you can always just Photoshop a numbskull into a Ghostbusters clip and call it a day.

The Onion Gets to the Heart of the Matter

“Tea Party Leaders Announce Support for Deal in Exchange for Malia Obama,” went the headline of this widely shared Onion headline from October 4, which placed the stand-off into an only slightly hyperbolic framework:

“The girl. Bring us the girl,” said Congressman Steve King (R-IA) as he stood beside fellow Tea Party leaders during this morning’s press conference on the steps of the Capitol. “The bill may pass, but the firstborn shall be ours.” “Heed our bidding,” added an unblinking Phil Gingrey (R-GA). “And thy wish shall be granted.”

“The Reign of Morons Is Here”

But the most vicious, entertaining, and satisfying shutdown-related thing we’ve seen on the Internet popped up on day one, when Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce wrote this brilliant, scorched-earth treatise on where we are, how we got there, and where we’re (not) going. Good political writing can inform, or provoke debate, or promote empathy. But sometimes you just want a wordsmith like Pierce to put your rage into well-crafted prose, and, well:

We have elected the people sitting on hold, waiting for their moment on an evening drive-time radio talk show. We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government.

That’s the best shutdown-related stuff we’ve seen on the Internet; feel free to add your own in the comments.