Welcome to the inaugural edition of Under The Wire, a weekly review of what’s being discussed by the commenters at The Atlantic Wire. As a service to readers, we’ve culled through the thousands of comments from this week and selected the ones we believe are worthy of praise. This week commenters were particularly enthusiastic in their discussions of the shutdown, trolls, and Tortilla Coast.
Comment of the Week
The shutdown finally ended this week after sixteen grueling days. Despite being disproportionately affected by the shutdown, the voices of furloughed federal workers were largely absent from media accounts about it. Commenter marykellogg remedied that by providing us with her first-hand account of what it feels like to have endured two shutdowns during her career as a federal worker.
I am a GS7 and I can testify I don’t make a huge wage. But I love what I do. I have had numerous opportunities but rejected them to do what I love. In the furlough in the 90s I worked three weeks without pay. Ordered to come to work. I was a single parent, had to pay for gas, parking, before/after school care for my son. It was an extreme hardship and only a portion of our office had to come in to work. Others were afforded a three week vacation and after 20 years believe me it still stings. This time, as a 28 year fed employee, I have been furloughed and remain at home until the shut down is over.
Marykellogg went on to write that she will retire in two years. She is “tired of being thrown under the bus” and “forsaken” by elected officials. Mary’s comment reveals everything that is wrong with Congress and the amount of damage that this type of political brinkmanship has wrought. But her comment also provides us with an example of everything that is right with our federal workers: tireless, selfless, and passionate, these employees of the American people want nothing more than to just do their jobs. Congress finally obliged them yesterday.