Since the fight over Obamacare defunding began, the news media and politicians have focused on the political damage the GOP took in 1995. For all the claims of how awful a temporary shutdown would be, it’s interesting that news media has ignored the more than dozen shutdowns that took place in the 70s and 80s, and how life was just fine.

In April 2011, it appeared that Congress might shut down the government. NBC’s Brian Williams reported at the time that such a shutdown would be the 18th one since 1976. Here is the full list:

Year        Beginning date       Length in Days            Ending date
(at midnight)

1976        Thursday, Sept 30            10                        Monday, Oct 11

1977        Friday, Sept 30                12                        Thursday, Oct 13
Monday, Oct 31                8                         Wednesday, Nov 9
Wednesday, Nov 30          8                         Friday, Dec 9

1978        Saturday, Sept 30             17                       Wednesday, Oct 18

1979        Sunday, Sept 30               11                       Friday, Oct 12

1981        Friday, Nov 20                   2                        Monday, Nov 23

1982        Thursday, Sept 30             1                        Saturday, Oct 2
Friday, Dec 17                  3                        Tuesday, Dec 21

1983        Thursday, Nov 10              3                        Monday, Nov 14

1984        Sunday, Sept 30               2                        Wednesday, Oct 3
Wednesday, Oct 3            1                        Friday, Oct 5

1986        Thursday, Oct 16              1                        Saturday, Oct 18

1987        Friday, Dec 18                  1                        Sunday, Dec 20

1990        Friday, Oct 5                    3                        Tuesday, Oct 9

1995        Monday, Nov 13                5                        Sunday, Nov 19
Friday, Dec 15                  21                      Saturday, Jan 6, 1996

And therein lies the secret of the big, bad government shutdown: America has survived just fine. The shutdowns didn’t cause strife across our great nation. Thunder didn’t come down from the sky, and volcanoes didn’t erupt.

With this reality, now seems like a great time to remind our Senators that a government “shutdown” isn’t so bad. The GOP could do better by standing FOR something, rather than continuing its fear-based capitulations to the President.