Friday, April 01, 2011

Shutting down the government...

From the article:

That helps contribute to the irony: shutting down the government is expensive.

What does 'government shutdown' mean?
(By Katie Connolly BBC News, Washington 31 March 2011 Last updated at 17:00 ET)

As pointed out in this article, this sounds quite a bit like a repeat of similar events during the Clinton years, where the Republicans were playing chicken with the White House over budget issues, and the long-term effects made them look silly and petty and almost guaranteed Clinton's re-election.

From the article:

For Democrats, the last government shutdowns - led by congressional Republicans during the Clinton years - worked out quite well.

Republicans were mostly blamed for the negative effects of the shutdown, and were portrayed as selfish and petty.

Many commentators credit the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns with helping President Bill Clinton coast to an easy victory in the 1996 presidential election.

Some Democrats are quietly hopeful for a repeat performance. Especially because - even though the term is dramatic - the government mostly continues to function during a shutdown.

I really see no reason why it will go down any differently this time.  I hesitate to say "bring it on" because there are some real negative effects to a shut down and because it actually costs quite a bit of money once things start up again, but a part of me really enjoys watching the Republicans repeat the same foolish mistakes over and over while achieving the same results.

Really, this is all due to Tea Party influence.  These freshman want to be seen as doing something, no matter what, and their constituency is getting grumpy fast because they have not "done anything" yet.  These voters are impatient and will turn on their own flock quickly.  And the Tea Party politicians know this.  They will sacrifice long term goals for short term gains because they know the voters who brought them into office have the attention span of fruit flies.  Of course, they also will be depending on this in 2012, hoping that any negative consequences of bringing about a shut down will be forgotten in roughly 18 months.

Probably, cooler, wiser and more experienced heads will prevail here.  I think if a shut down were going to happen it would have happened a month ago.  So let the right wing circular firing squad start lining up, I've got my popcorn and soda ready.  It could be a good show.

I just thought of something else...  Another side effect of the Clinton era shutdowns were that the President got to spend a lot of time with unpaid workers around the White House, specifically, interns...  The right wing definitely did gain some ammunition from that.  Maybe the Tea Partiers are hoping for some other sort of windfall from a shut down.  Obviously not something like that, but just something, anything, they can use to propel themselves ahead within the Republican Party and the general public as we move towards the next elections.

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