Dear Sara: A dispatch from the front lines of the shutdown

Michael Knowles | Actor and Political Spokesman

CAMP CLARK, WASHINGTON, DC: My very dear Sara,

It has been a long time since I had an opportunity of writing to you, and I gladly avail myself of the present one. Communication outside Washington, D.C., has become tedious and I suppose uncertain. The indications are very strong that your N.I.H. email address will continue to be unavailable for days, perhaps a week. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel compelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Tuesday morning, the Senate failed to pass the House’s continuing resolution to fund the federal Government and briefly delay funding for an unpopular law that the President himself has in part unilaterally delayed, resulting in a shutdown. Our shutdown may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure — and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine God’s, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for a slightly quickened funding of Obamacare, deprived of all services of non-essential federal employees, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter.

I know how strongly our American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of a year of funding for Obamacare. For as with sweet Providence, the threshold must be crossed so we can find out what’s in it. I know how great a debt we owe to those who went before us, through the blood and suffering of ramming through a bloated stimulus bill, as it grew putrid with pork. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, all my non-essential Government services, to help maintain this massively unpopular law, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear girlfriend, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, indeed even your N.I.H. email address, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows, merely essential Government services — when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of Gmail myself, I must offer it as the only sustenance to my dear friends — it is weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling girlfriend and friends, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of deeply unpopular, job-killing, new entitlement programs.

Sara, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Obamnipotence could break; and yet my love of Obamacare comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on, absent all of these non-essential Government services, to the shutdown.

Oh Sara! Do not mourn me, bereft of visits to some national parks! Think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

Michael

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