Whither the Government Shutdown?


CNN is out with some new polling data this morning that doesn’t bode especially well for the GOP on the eve of a likely government shutdown:

According to the poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday, 46% say they would blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible and 13% pointing fingers at both the GOP in Congress and Obama.

Rand Paul, for his part, is making the argument that the blame should be directed at the White House:

In an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Paul placed the blame of a potential government shutdown squarely on Obama’s shoulders.

“The president’s the one saying, ‘I will shut down government if you don’t give me everything I want on Obamacare,’ ” Paul said. “That, to me, is the president being intransigent and being unwilling to compromise.”

“I’ve said all along it’s not a good idea to shut down government… but I also think that it’s not a good idea to give the president 100 percent of what he wants on ‘Obamacare’ without compromise,” he added. “Our new compromise is not getting rid of his signature achievement, but delaying it to make sure that it doesn’t totally destroy the insurance market in our country.”

How do you envision a shutdown playing out politically? And what advice would you give congressional Republicans to minimize the damage/maximize the benefit from this showdown?

There are 36 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    This poll probably represents the GOP high water mark because this morning the MSM went into full blame the GOP for shutdown mode. I was just flipping channels and there were blame GOP comments on CNN, CNBC and not surprisingly MSNBC. The real surprise was how testy Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC’s Squawk Box became when Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was being interviewed. It was pretty obvious he was not buying Rep. Blackburn’s talking points.

    This is why the GOP is going to get clobbered if the gov’t shuts down. The Pro-Shutdown side has to go through all these contortions to make an argument, for example, Cruz saying one needs to filibuster the bill he wanted, while the other side can simply say the GOP is refusing to follow the status quo and fund the gov’t.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member

    My advice would be for the Republicans to have spent the last year explaining that the lawful and Constitutional process for appropriation of funds requires that the Congress appropriate those funds, and that Obama is trying to extort money out of the Congress by threatening a government shutdown rather than following the lawful budgeting process.  Obama has never submitted a budget to Congress as required by law.  Instead, he forces these CR’s where the whole government is funded by a single bill, and then he insists that the CR be exactly what he wants and refuses to negotiate over anything.  Obama is, in short, behaving like a lawless thug.

    We could have made that case, if we had started early and spoken clearly.  But we didn’t, and now it’s too late.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Coolidge

    But, but, slightly more than 50% of the population doesn’t like Obamacare, which means there is nothing that the GOP can do wrong, they’re infallible!

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member

    I’m not clever enough to have a strategy to delay/defund obamacare and still prevent a shut down, and frankly a shut down would bother me not at all.

    But I do know that there is NO WAY for the Republicans to avoid a political hit — even a potential loss of seats in 2014 — if a shutdown occurs.   The left has too much power over a misinformed electorate via the press and the President’s personal popularity.  Sadly I see no way this ends well for us…and by us I mean Americans, not just libertarians and conservatives.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive

    At this point I don’t really care. The media lap dogs will spin any outcome to the benefit of the dems. As long as HR 3210 gets passed and signed so the military (and me) gets paid I almost want a shutdown. It will be the strongest leverage we can get over Reid and Obama. Sure, we’ll take most of the blame, but I think we might be able to get some kind of concessions from Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber out of it. Of course, this is an entirely different political environment than 1996. I think these two get a rush from exercising such power, and they might keep the government shut down just to prolong the high.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    How do you envision a shutdown playing out politically?

    The Republicans will be blamed by the President, the Democrats, and the Media. The public will buy this explanation.

    Troy Senik, Ed.

    And what advice would you give congressional Republicans to minimize the damage/maximize the benefit from this showdown?

    Shut it down anyway.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Coolidge

    As Michael said, the main stream media are in BRM:  Blame Republicans Mode.  Well, they are always in that mode, but over the weekend and today they’ve poured a little gasoline on it.  I am supremely confident that many if not most American’s will blame the Republicans because they are being told to blame republicans.  If anyone has any doubt that there is a liberal bias in the media, they need only watch the talking heads over the last few days.  

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member

    Those of us here naturally follow this whole thing rather closely. In all the back and forth though, I haven’t seen any GOP Pol/Leader, on a ‘white board’ similar to Karl Roves simply write down the dollar amount of total spending that the GOP has authorized (3.5 trillion?) and the dollar amount that would have been allocated to Obamacare this year ($?).

    I’m guessing that Obama currently is getting about 97% of what ‘he demands’ and won’t compromise on. I realize these guys have a hard time making that semantic case that the Dems are the ones shutting things down – show numbers and percentages. Two numbers: the numerical % of what Obama demands that we are willing to agree to right now. The numerical % of what we want.

    Who is being unreasonable.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive

    I think no matter what the outcome, the Progressives/Democrats/Communists will say it is the GOP’s fault.  Just as every day they pound into people how “mean” conservatives are, how they “don’t care” about poor people.  I’m fine with the gvmt shut down.  If anything big happens, they’ll get busy, but with BO in charge, probably busy doing nothing. 

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive

    Wow, even with the full-court-press of the media, the president, and the permanent bureaucracy flogging the GOP-is-to-blame narrative, the Democrats can only muster a 10% PR edge.

    Think of it: every Democrat and most Republicans have put themselves on the record wanting to fund government at any cost. Despite that juggernaut of Conventional Wisdom more than a third of respondents can still see through the haze and pin blame where it actually belongs.

    Imagine where we’d be if our side had a unified strategy.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Coolidge

    Essentially, the Dems are always willing to shoot the hostage because they couldn’t care less about America, only their continued power and elite status.

    We’re negotiating with maniacs with a PR firm. Being completely unreasonable can be a very good negotiating tactic, especially when it always seems to work out in your favor.

    Dang, it must feel really good to be a Democrat. Everything goes your way, especially in the long run.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member

    Also, it may have helped those poll numbers if these GOP House & Senate ‘Masters of Tactics & Strategy’ would have demanded that Congress, Staff and the Judiciary (I understand that they aren’t?) that are exempt from Obamacare would be subject to it.

    But there isn’t an entrenched/complicit establishment. Perhaps they could tie the CR to “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Coolidge
    J.Maestro: Wow, even with the full-court-press of the media, the president, and the permanent bureaucracy flogging the GOP-is-to-blame narrative, the Democrats can only muster a 10% PR edge.

    That 10% edge is what wins them elections.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive

    Everyone leave town and say “We’ll come back when the President has something for us.”

    Then golf.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member

    Somebody needs to help me here. Look, I’m opposed to Obamacare and agree MSM is totally biased. But I can’t get past the idea that it seems to me that the HOuse Repubs are essentially impounding Obamacare funds: Refusing to release $ for fairly passed laws. This reminds me of what Nixon and California governors used to do with  projects they didn’t like. I can remember an unfinished overpass over Highway 101 on the peninsula in the Bay Area that remained unfinished for years because Brown had impounded the highway funds. It just doesn’t seem right for one branch of gov’t to have a veto over spending that’s already been approved. What am I missing?

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive

    Obamacare is the President’s signature domestic political achievement. He spent a massive amount of political capital on it, and the better part of the first year of his administration campaigning for it.

    If we had a President who was seriously concerned with public opinion–either because it was a first-term situation where he was concerned with his political fortunes, or because his personality was such that he wanted to be loved by the people (a la, Bill Clinton)–we might have a hope of forcing a concession. 

    But time and again, Obama has shown the stubborn willingness not to yield to pressures within his own party, or from the opposition, or from the public. He continues, as he promised, “Forward”. 

    Moreover, I simply do not see Republicans gaining any political capital from a shutdown. The American people, in the 2012 exit polls, showed that while they were unhappy with Obama and some of his agenda, they simply did not trust the Republican party on some of these issues. 

    Perhaps, with some experience of this law’s costs in practice, the public will be disenchanted with Obama, Reid, and Pelosi enough to re-open its ears to our arguments.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Member

    Government shutdown = less traffic for me. So I say go for it.

    Our side will get blamed for everything anyway, so why not ease the commute?

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive

    How did Rand Paul get on Face the Nation?  Can other Repubs get on TV? How bout the interwebs?

    If only there was a way to get the word out …..

    Congress’s aprroval rating sucks the same for the governement.  Why do we care if it shuts down?  Its an abbusive relationship!

    Im not anti governement, Im anti THIS government.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    Mike H

    J.Maestro: Wow, even with the full-court-press of the media, the president, and the permanent bureaucracy flogging the GOP-is-to-blame narrative, the Democrats can only muster a 10% PR edge.

    That 10% edge is what wins them elections. · 19 minutes ago

    Really? I suppose the unaffordable and unsustainable entitlements programs are just a sweetener.

    Or is it a PR faux pas to mention how our unsustainable welfare systems have distorted both economic and political functioning?

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member

    I think the bigger question is how the shutdown would play among people who aren’t already locked in to voting Democrat.  Would it turn off the Republican base, and how would it sway those without actual principles (the undecided swing voters).

    Without any data I’d bet that it perks up the base while skewing the swingers somewhat D. But it’ll be largely forgotten by the time the midterms get here.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Member

    I unambiguous win if it goes on long enough.

    Essential services will still happen and will continue on, so the actual impact will be minimal, and after the new normal sets in and people adapt to most of the stuff that never impacted them anyway and the screaming on the news about other things goes on well we will have won more than we could ever have achieved otherwise.

    We just have to tough it out a month or 3 of passing bills that fund the government and the senate voting them down.  Every sunday point out that republicans did in fact fund the government and start listing bills numbers, point out and label lies as lies, point out that services are still happening, point out there is no default, point out all these things every sunday with force behind them.  Get your inner Newt on, and dismember the question.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive

    What were the pre-sequester numbers?  How did that turn out?

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Inactive
    Boymoose: If only there was a way to get the word out …..

    Youtube or those interwebs would be a great way to reach all the young Americans whose premiums are about to skyrocket. It would have to be an appropriately anti-status quo video series that exploits the falsehoods behind Obamacare (and the other anxieties about debt, education, and employment the young have) and would have to work its effects through mockery, but it could absolutely be done.

    That is if we didn’t have a media wing of the GOP that was staffed alternatively by the humorless and the feckless.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive

    Is it wise to govern according to polls? (That’s not really a rhetorical question. Maybe we’ve come to this.)

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive

    The question is how much political impact this will have on voters, especially in the next elections.

    You know, voters … the people who pay so much attention.

    If this showdown happened in an election year (assuming politicians would have let it happen in an election year), then the fallout would have been a huge negative blot, and might have been the deciding factor in who takes Congress.

    But in this electorate, we’re pretty safe. Whatever memory voters have is regularly wiped clean, and new campaigns of manipulation begin afresh every spring-before-election.

    They’ll have forgotten about it by next year anyway.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Contributor

    The left is so much better than we are at controlling the narrative. 

    Anyone who can turn “racial quotas”  into “Affirmative Action” is a genius at rhetoric.

    Here is my prediction:

    At some point in the future, when ObamaCare is choking America into submission, the Democrats will successfully sell this line:

    “Well, the Republicans controlled the House in 2013 and they were the ones who funded it.  They could have not funded it but they did; so it’s their fault!”

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive

    When you are a complete and total failure then perhaps it is time you fall on your sword.  Republicans have lost in every way to Obama since the start.  Enough talk about “aww shucks, it’s just hard for conservatives articulate this, or punch below the belt”, it’s time to call for these people to get into the mud and get dirty.  Pontificating aside, Republicans are led by people who have lost to the likes of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama for too long.  Either they should fight or step aside, there are people behind them waiting for a turn who would not place political well-being over principle every single time.  At least I hope there are.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Coolidge

    Shouldn’t we say that the republicans get “credit” for shutting down the government?  I don’t really see a down side to it such that someone would be blamed.  

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Member

    Shut it down already. Good heavens. Reminds me of the coming apocalypse if we entered into the sequester. We’re still here folks. What a bunch of garbage. Shut it down.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Podcaster

    We believe in the future of America. If you define the future as the outcome of the next election cycle. Pathetic.

    • #30

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