Daily Meme: Countdown to Shutdown

  • So, it looks like we're headed for a government shutdown, if Speaker John Boehner's red baseball cap (and his onerous caucusproves destiny.
  • But turn that frown upside down! All this doom and gloom does nothing but good for political campaign coffers ... even if the Washington region could bleed over $200 million a day and see 700,000 jobs affected.
  • And, conservatives aren't sure this is all that big of a deal. As The Wall Street Journal points out, "Many Americans will be inconvenienced, but tens of millions may come to realize how easily they can do without most of the vast federal Leviathan."
  • And, truth be told, this is an odd battle for the Tea Party to bet all their chips on. As Edward Luce puts it, "Tea Party Republicans have chosen a highly idiosyncratic piece of turf to re-enact Custer’s last stand. Only on psychological grounds can their recklessness be fully understood." 
  • And the fact that over half of American health care is already run by the federal government fails to take account of the fact the the evil socialist overlord Barack Obama presides over it all.
  • In the end, however, could this be the stubborn stick that breaks the far reaches of the right's back? Matt Yglesias writes, "A little government shutdown isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’s much better to have this fight now rather than entertain months of herky-jerky crisis."
  • Mainstream Republicans are hoping they can shut down their less than reasonable relatives.
  • Noam Scheiber taunts, "So go ahead, Tea Partiers. Shut down the government. But when you do, just keep in mind that 1996 is the favorable scenario. The throttling you’re now courting is likely to be a whole lot worse."
  • Heck, Joshua Green is crossing his fingers for a government shutdown!
  • To which Molly Ball replies, uh, I think not. "The majority of House Republicans already want to prevent a shutdown and a default. But there's a small group that insists on defunding Obamacare as an ultimatum, and they are not likely to be placated by a little government shutdown. Many believe that the government shutdown of 1995 either didn't hurt Republicans politically or only hurt Republicans because they gave in rather than standing firm."
  • As David Frum notes, the party has no idea how to govern itself anymore. "It can't think strategically. Even when pressed to do something overwhelmingly likely to end in disaster, as this shutdown looks likely to do for Republicans, the party has no way to stop itself. It stumbles into fights it cannot win, gets mad, and then in its anger lurches into yet another fight that ends in yet another loss." It stands to reason that another loss will prompt the same response it has for the past few years—another sashay into the crazy moors of the far right.
  • In short, buckle up. This probably won't be pretty.


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