Washington’s wild,wearying week — and it’s not over yet

Will this week never end?

Enough.

We’ve been through worse, that’s for sure. But there’s something wearying about this mess we’re in right now, something in­trac­table and interminable, nettlesome and noisome.


MONDAY lights out (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The shutdown turned our war memorials into beachheads, stormed by vets in wheelchairs. The boys of Normandy and Okinawa should have been met with applause and gratitude but instead were greeted by barricades. Cancer kids locked out of treatment. National parks padlocked. Comity headlocked.


TUESDAY shutdown (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post)

Washington labeled droves of employees as “nonessentials,” while much of the Congress that stripped civil servants of modest pay kept pocketing its salaries.


WEDNESDAY sign-ups  (Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Health exchanges opened, promising coverage to millions of uninsured, but their Web pages often didn’t. For many, the sign that the new health-care law had arrived was an error message on their computer screens: “This webpage is not available. Internal server error. Login issues.” Don’t worry, we were told: Even Apple finds glitches when it rolls out new iPhones.

Unfortunately, when it comes to reversing Washington’s dysfunction, there is simply no app for that.


THURSDAY locked down (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

And just when the city seemed to get uncomfortably numb, a black Infiniti screeched at the White House. Then it roared savagely toward the Capitol, propelled by a seeming ill intent.

Gunshots startled. Congress stopped bickering and “sheltered in place,” obeying a command that has become all too familiar.

Members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, were eyewitness tweeters. Capitol Police silenced the threat, shooting a woman who had driven the hurtling vehicle.

Now.

Dare we ask?

What else?

Manuel Roig-Franzia is a writer in The Washington Post’s Style section. His long-form articles span a broad range of subjects, including politics, power and the culture of Washington, as well as profiling major political figures and authors.
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Ron Charles · October 3, 2013