But the most hopeful sign of all is that the shutdown reminded Americans that our country depends on an active, well-functioning government. This has emboldened Democrats to challenge the tea party’s sweeping anti-government bromides with an unapologetic case for the public sector.
“We hear all the time about how government is the problem,” Obama said
when he welcomed the end of the crisis. “Well, it turns out we rely on
it in a whole lot of ways. . . . So let’s work together to make
government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or
purposely making it work worse.”
So, "the shutdown reminded Americans that our country depends on an active, well-functioning government." That would imply that prior to the shutdown the government was active and well-functioning. Active? Yes! Well functioning? Well, NO!
That "we rely on it in a whole lot of ways", is the saddest of commentaries. For "it" would be that cast of characters whom we've elected to office. Virtually all of it's functions---other than, ideally, providing protection against foreign enemies, adjudicating our disputes and protecting our property rights---involve it confiscating one person's resources to distribute to another in a manner it deems most politically profitable (and self-perpetuating)---fostering a culture of dependency (individual and institutional)---under the guise of the common good.
"I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." Adam Smith