Whom The Shutdown Hurt Most

Americans like John Anderson:

He is a line cook at the American Indian Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall. Anderson is not a government employee. He’s a contract worker – the government hires his company to make the food for visitors to the museum. When the shutdown closed the museum, Anderson lost his job. He’ll now presumably be able to go back to work, but unlike federal workers, he won’t get back pay. And he could use that back pay: Anderson is a divorced father of two who usually brings home about $350 a week after taxes and child support. His 16-year-old son lives with him in Washington but commutes by bus and train to high school in Maryland every day.

Anderson has no savings – his wages don’t leave much cushion for savings – and struggled through the shutdown to pay his rent, put food on the table and pay for his son to travel back and forth to school.

When you think of the actual Americans that the Tea Party is playing with, like so many pawns on a chessboard, the repulsiveness of the ego of Ted Cruz and the fanaticism of Erick Erickson becomes even clearer. For them, for all their protestations to the contrary, this was a game. And nameless, struggling Americans were the losers.