That Time When DC Stopped Funding Domestic Violence Shelters While Both Congressional Gyms Stayed Open

Mattea Kramer and Jo Comerford write for The Nation: “In reality, that government shutdown was partial and selective. Paychecks, for example, kept flowing to the very lawmakers who most fervently supported it, while the plush congressional gym with its heated pool, paddleball courts and flat-screen televisions remained open. That’s because ‘essential’ services continued, even as ‘nonessential’ ones ceased. And it turned out that whether the services you cared about were essential or not was a matter of just who got to do the defining. In that distinction between what was necessary and what wasn’t, it was easy enough to spot the values of the people’s representatives. And what we saw was gut-wrenching. Stomach-churning.”