< < Go Back

from The Gray Area:

In politics today it is important to control the language of the debate. With language control, every other detail is communicated in your terms. The current Congressional debate on the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government is no different. In addition to the debate on the issues surrounding the CR is the public definition of whether the lack of a CR will result in a “Shutdown” of the government or a “Slimdown“.

The left, and the mainstream media, favor the more historical descriptor, “shutdown”. The “shutdown” connotes that the government is wholly unfunded and every expense of the government will be halted more or less immediately. For example, left wing site Mother Jones offers “48 Ways the government shutdown with screw you over“. The left and the mainstream media largely blame the House Republicans for the “shutdown”.

The right is attempting to introduce a new label, “slimdown”. FOXNews is really the only organization regularly describing the ongoing CR stalemate as a “slimdown”. The “slimdown’ label introduces the concept that not all government functions are affected at the same time and initially, very little is affected. Fox and the right are blaming President Obama and his refusal to negotiate for the “slimdown”.

It appears the “slimdown” is the more accurate label at this point. CNBC offers a “fair and balanced” view of what is and will happen to government functions. Initially, the first days and weeks the only functions seriously and immediately affected will be for tourists of our national parks and monuments. Home buyers seeking government backed mortgages could face delays. That is not a dramatic “shutdown”. Everyday and week that the CR is not approved in Congress will find more and more functions will be affected and US citizens will be impacted.