What’s the Upside for the GOP in Shutting Down the Government?

Essays

Frankly, I don’t get it.  The GOP seems to think there is some kind of advantage in closing the government down this weekend.  But this strikes me as just as wrongheaded as it was in 1995.

There is some delusion at work here, namely the extreme conservative one that middle America, who always responds favorably to anti-government rhetoric, actually shares the views of the extremist.  They don’t. The same middle Americans who mouth the anti-government slogans, when actually polled on the nuts and bolts of what the government actually is and how it actually serves them turn out to like it an awful lot.

I think that if the Democrats can sit on their hands and avoid the panic reactions which have characterized their leadership for the last two years they can use the coming shutdown to their political advantage, because the people are going to recall all the reasons they have had the government we do.

“Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”

The only way that this will play to the GOP’s interests, as I see it, is if the Democrats panic and make a deal too soon, lest the sky fall.  And this does seem to me to have a high degree of probability of occurring given how they have been so prone to capitulate in the recent past.

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