It confuses me that they don't shut down stuff that isn't really essential, but deeply inconvenient. I get that they shut down the National Parks because they're only leisure-time inconvenient and very media friendly. Meaning, of course, that they can report on it without taking sides--there's no panda party.
But if the Democrats want to make the point that you need government to function, why not do something like send the FAA home? You could even accompany it with one of those stupid "get everyone into a room until it's settled" bits. "We're not letting the Congress go home until they've restored the government." This time especially, why the half-measures?
(Yes, I know some things are funded for a while when there are no funds, and other things have their own funds or are already funded.....But, you know, shutting down air travel, for instance, would make the point that we really do need a government that even Bill O'Reilly's pinheads might comprehend.)