The White House Squirrels Won the Shutdown

A hungry ground squirrel that looks pretty well fed hunts for food in Lafayette Park across from the White House early 10 April, 2002 as the sun starts to rise over the Washington, DC, area.
Tea party squirrel. Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

At this point, it’s clear the government shutdown has been an unmitigated disaster for hundreds of thousands of federal workers, millions of Americans who rely on government services, and basically the entire Republican Party. Even the Democrats seem like they’re basically going to come away with what they should have had in the first place — a functioning federal government and an increase in the debt ceiling. So did anybody “win” the showdown? Yes. The White House squirrels. 

One of the ripple effects of the White House shutdown is that Michelle Obama’s White House garden is now rotting away as the staff that typically picks its fruits and vegetables is barred from doing so:

In the eleven days since the shutdown began on Oct. 1, the pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty have gone to waste.  The vegetables filling the 1,500 square-foot plot are now rotting away on the vines and in the boxed beds, thanks to the mandate for “minimal maintenance” placed on the skeletal crew of National Park Service gardeners who remain on duty at 1600 Penn.  

The gardeners are not allowed to harvest the crops, a White House source told Obama Foodorama. Weeds are springing up everywhere, and the vegetables that have already fallen off the vines are now mouldering on the ground. 

To us humans, this is a depressing metaphor for America’s wasted potential. To the White House squirrels, however, it’s Valhalla: 

The bushy-tailed residents are feasting on the ripe Sungolds on the vines, as well as on other tomatoes and peppers littering the ground, as are the many birds who call the White House home.

In a three-hour powwow at a D.C. steakhouse last night, the White House squirrels urged Ted Cruz to do whatever it takes to stop the socialist nightmare of Obamacare from taking hold, even if it means extending the government shutdown until all the tomatoes are eate— Um, until the end of the human calendar year, or whatever.