FILE - In this Jan. 4, 1996, file photo the sun gleams down on the still-closed Washington Monument as the federal budget impasse continued in Washington.
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 1996, file photo the sun gleams down on the still-closed Washington Monument as the federal budget impasse continued in Washington. OK, gridlocked politicians we're used to. But why padlock the Statue of Liberty? You don't see other democracies shuttering landmarks and sending civil servants home just because their political parties can't get along. The potential for a shutdown is a quirk of American history. So if you're tired of blaming tea party Republicans or President Barack Obama, you can lay some responsibility on the Founding Fathers. Or blame Jimmy Carter. Or Newt Gingrich's temper tantrum. A quick history of government shutdowns, American-style. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File) (Dennis Cook)