City of Loafers: Snowfall brings out true Washington spirit

Tim Cavanaugh Contributor
Font Size:

A mid-morning snowfall succeeded in doing what the Obamacare war couldn’t Tuesday, shutting down the nation’s capital.

The government of the District of Columbia, federal offices in Washington, D.C., District of Columbia public schools, and public schools in Virginia and Maryland announced full-day closings hours before any snow began to fall.

Snow did not stay the U.S. Postal Service from the swift completion of its appointed rounds. Mail service was proceeding normally in the Beltway Tuesday morning.

All non-essential offices were closed, however, just a day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, creating a situation similar to the government “shutdown” that briefly lifted America’s economy and spirits in October 2013.

Old Hickory tries to rally a slumbering Washington.

That shutdown was attended by dire warnings from government and media that closing government offices would strangle a putative economic recovery in its Keynesian crib. President Obama warned that “just a few days” of a shutdown would be more damaging to the economy than the full force of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

All of those predictions proved false as unemployment held steady in October and dropped in November. Previous federal shutdowns have also correlated with periods of relative economic health. (RELATED: US economy boomed during 1995/1996 shutdown)

The January 2014 snowstorm, which includes cold and rapid winds, does not appear to have caused any such panic. Congress is in a period of relaxation while President Obama appears not to have been invigorated by his month-long Hawaiian vacation.

Even the Washington Post’s “commuter” tabloid appears to have been published from everybody’s apartments, with the front page featuring a rehash of a two-day-old New Yorker story.


Snow is expected to continue through the night, accompanied by dropping temperatures.

Follow Tim on Twitter and Facebook