The shutdown hits our house.

The shutdown hits our house. In this picture we’re enjoying lunch in Annapolis, Maryland.

the partial closing of the government and the looming confrontation over the nation’s borrowing limit highlight the remarkable drop in the business community’s influence among House Republicans, who increasingly respond more to tea party conservatives than to the Chamber of Commerce. [Associated Press]

IN VIRGINIA, the government shutdown is very real. Today, it hit our house.

My hubby is an electronics repairman working on large appliances for one of the biggest companies in the nation. He’s in very big demand, because he’s one of the gold standard technicians, having started as a gas technician over 25 years ago. It’s not cheap to have him come to your home, but he actually fixes what’s broken, dealing with computer terminals inside new machines that smaller company techs can’t quite master.

Every day he has a long roster of orders. Today he has very few.

That’s because the northern Virginia territory that he services has a lot of people on furlough, with “no end in sight” because of the shutdown.

That means starting today my husband’s paycheck gets smaller, because he’s not salaried, he’s hourly. To hear this former Republican rail against the current crop of GOP is something else. He shifted away from the Republican Party long before I met him, during the mid-1990s when he used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, but got sick of his attacks on President Bill Clinton. There is now no bigger fan of the Big Dawg than my hubby.

As the Virginia governor’s race enters the last weeks, it will be interesting to see if Terry McAuliffe benefits, since Ken Cuccinelli is one of the Tea Party extremists who has gradually lost the support of a lot of Virginia business leaders as the campaign has gone on.

We’re just another middle class family trying to get by. No one’s furloughed in this house, but we’re an example of the ripple effect of what the Republican shutdown is costing average Americans caught in its wave.