The United States Congress failed to pass a spending bill as their fiscal year ended at midnight on September 30th, which led to a partial shutdown of the federal government. The House and the Senate were unable to resolve their long standing differences over the President’s signature heath care law, the Affordable Care Act, which resulted in stalling the funding bill.
The government shutdown forced thousands of federal workers to take an ‘unpaid holiday’ and suspended most of the non-essential federal services until the dispute over the spending bill could be resolved. Federal workers were required to report in for duty for half of the day, though this was only to shut down the agencies and inform consumer through social media sites, following necessary procedures of contingency plans.
The continued shutdown of the non-essential services that spread across the United States over the following days resulted in a lot of turmoil and inconvenience. From weddings planned at monuments and national parks to tourists that were upset over cancelled tours, millions of peoples had to face unnecessary complications due the inability of the country’s Congress.
Social Media Reactions
Reactions from the public on social media sites were both bitter and comical. Funny and snide tweets, pictures and videos went viral over this hot topic. Tweets managed to associate the government shutdown to hundreds of popular fandoms, sharing hilarious views on the situation. Celebrities like Britney Spears openly ridiculed the government, tweeting to tell them to get back to work. As the end of the extremely popular TV series, Breaking Bad, and the government’s shutdown coincided together, sarcastic Twitter connections between the two were rampant. It was not long before parody connections between Miley Cyrus and John Boehner as a ‘Wrecking Ball’ went viral over Twitter as well. Hundreds of celebrities tweeted with japes at the government’s predicament, each finding then own original and innovative way to create humor.
The most popular tweets were those that brought out a relation between the government shutdown and popular fandoms such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars. “Professor Snape” was seen to remark that the government shutdown was a cover up for the rise of the Dark Lord. Tweets stating that “Dumbledore would never let this happen” have also been quite common and widely retweeted.
Another extremely prevalent from of ridiculing the government was to use the current situation and turn it into a cheesy pick-up line. Such tweets were extensively seen all over the site displaying the hilarious quotients of creativity the public had to offer. The resourcefulness of the “Tweeple” to relate the incompetence of the government to all possible offshoots was quite commendable.
Tweets comparing the country to the iPhone, unsuccessful football teams, newly released games and movies were innumerable. The tweets were not limited to only the general public though; the American President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were seen exchanging hashtag pleasantries as well.
The huge number of tweets and fearless expression of opinion on the situation goes to show that the American public has an openly expressed opinion and view. They willingly and explicitly express this view whether it is regarding matters of the country’s governance or even an ipage review of a famous web hosting service.
Featured image courtesy of business.financialpost.com