Tensions have risen dramatically after the recent U.S. Federal Government shutdown that has left thousands of government workers furloughed and many public services unfunded. The first in almost 20 years, House Republicans refused to pass funding measures until the Democrats delayed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This follows close to 40 separate attempts made by Republicans to repeal Obamacare, which went into effect at the start of this month.
Constitutional scholar, Michel Rosenfeld, described the situation as a typical reaction when a major party tries to force its ideology over the consent of popular opinion and prevailing law, adding, “from what I understand, if it’s a legitimate impasse, the Constitution has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
The forced shutdown has not gone without unintended hostility though. Violence has broken out in educational institutions across the country as academics take advantage of the lack of security by defiantly occupying museums, zoos, and national parks. The typically tranquil exhibits at the Smithsonian have played host to looting and vandalising with militant squads of palaeontologists armed with pick axes and tiny brushes taking hold of priceless specimens. Andrew Greenwald, recently unemployed spokesperson for the Smithsonian, pleaded, “If you want to go see million-year-old, white fossils, don’t loot the museum, go to Capitol Hill!”
In the country’s national parks, militant birdwatchers have coordinated an insurgency utilising a sophisticated code of chirps and whistles. Similarly, roving gangs of biologists have taken over zoos and sent a direct message to Republicans by vindictively burning all the elephants in effigy. Revenge attacks by GOP sympathisers have targeted their efforts on donkeys, proving their loyalty by continuing to beat the animals long after they’ve died.
Effects of the cutbacks on the nation’s top defence, space, and aeronautics installations were even more dramatic. 97% of NASA staff was cut, coinciding with the closure of a local graphic design business that had flourished for almost 50 years. Area 51 lifted its borders, resulting in the escape of millions of Mexicans who had been secretly experimented on by a joint initiative between the government and Monsanto seeking to reverse engineer their hardy, desert-tolerant genes. Worst of all, the International Space Station, once relieved of the funding that keeps it afloat, fell out of orbit directly over New York City, crashing into the Freedom Tower in an unforgettable tragedy that has been latched onto by the Obama administration as clear justification for intervention in Syria.
Compromise between Republicans and Democrats is yet to be reached, with only empty promises made by each side. Republicans have agreed to increase the debt ceiling only if Democrats agree to reinforce it with a glass ceiling, and Democrats have agreed to keep public schools closed only because doing so has dropped gun crime rates precipitously.