I sent this to a friend yesterday, and I think it works fairly well:
Imagine the country is a car heading toward a cliff. Republicans are sitting in the driver’s seat, the passenger’s seat, and one of the back seats. Democrats are sitting in the two remaining passenger seats. Democrats can either loudly protest driving over a cliff, or they can say “this is normal!” and accept their fate. Perhaps the loud protesting will be raccoons enough to get the driver to veer off of its self destructive course, or at the very least slow down significantly. Perhaps slowing down would mean that the car would be without gas for a little while, and the Republicans would have to turn around and head to the gas station. Regardless of the outcome, the Democrats don’t have the keys to the car or even access to the front seats.
This isn’t to diminish the real impacts that a government shut down. It’s devastating for some, and a clear symbol of the dysfunction of the government. I hope it doesn’t shut down! But, let’s blame the right folks if it does.