Stan Collender recalls, during the 1995 government shutdown, watching a TV report that “showed a video of cars, vans, and campers not being allowed to get into a national park … because, like other federal offices not deemed essential, the park was closed”:
As I remember, the video showed two things. First, the lines were long because, even though the shutdown was widely reported, many people didn’t realize that national parks would be affected. Many of those shown said that they didn’t know the national parks were federal facilities. Second, to put it mildly, the people shown on camera were irate. The government shutdown that was just an abstraction to most people up to that point immediately became very real and personal.
Jonathan Bernstein predicts that such disruptions would favor the Democrats:
Obama can argue that he wants to restore what’s been cut; Republicans can only offer … more cuts.