Why Some Conservatives Love the Shutdown

Why Some Conservatives Love the Shutdown

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The Washington Post reports that the prolonged shutdown is giving some small-government conservatives who have the president’s ear just what they’ve long wanted: a smaller government and a chance to publicly highlight what’s “essential” and what isn’t. “Conservatives have for decades questioned the size and effectiveness of the federal bureaucracy. The shutdown has in some ways underscored their view that government can function with fewer employees,” the Post’s Lisa Rein, Robert Costa and Danielle Paquette write. They quote anti-tax activist Grover Norquist: “There’s a moment when people say, ‘Did you notice what percentage of this agency was viewed as nonessential?’”

An anonymous op-ed published on Monday at The Daily Caller, a conservative website, by someone identified as “a senior Trump administration official” called for a long shutdown and criticized federal workers as doing “nothing of external value” for the most part. “The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall,” the author wrote. “It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.” He or she also said that, while essential employees working on national security should be paid, furloughed workers “should find other work, never return and not be paid.”

President Trump shared the Daily Caller piece on Twitter late Monday, retweeting a tweet by his son, Donald Trump Jr.