The Politics of the Shutdown

I urge you to read Sean Trende’s analysis of the politics of the shutdown. In it he makes four basic points:

  1. While the GOP’s tactics are similar to those employed in the mid-’90s, the goals are different.
  2. John Boehner is not Newt Gingrich, and Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton.
  3. The net effect of the shutdown was small in the 1990s.
  4. What happens to red state Senate Democrats?

His bottom line is that the shutdown is likely to be an unforced error by the Republicans:

In other words, there’s a decent chance that we’ll encounter a downturn in the economy in the next year, and a very good chance that we’ll encounter one in the next three years. Obama is probably reaching the end of the time period where his predecessor can be blamed for the state of the economy. But a lengthy shutdown could conceivably give Democrats ammunition to place the blame back on Republicans.

The bottom line is this: The shutdown will probably not be a good thing for the GOP, and there’s a good chance Republicans won’t achieve their intended goal of limiting Obamacare’s reach. But at the same time, a lot of the prophecies of doom for Republicans are heavily overwrought. Unless things get too far out of control, the predictions of heavy GOP losses from a shutdown are likely overstated.

My position is not that the shutdown will be an economic disaster but that it won’t help. The political outcome will depend entirely on its effect on the Senate. If the shutdown results in the Republicans losing a few seats in the House while gaining control over the Senate (for the reasons Mr. Trende describes), it will be a disaster for the president, both politically and personally.

5 comments… add one
  • jan Link

    The shutdown will not economically help the country, except maybe for the stock market, which magically went up after the last shutdown. But, it may provide a higher coalesce of people, either for or against one particular party. So far the dems are betting that it will be “tag you’re it,” the republicans. However, that may or not be the case, this time around. Even though the tea party has been trivialized, it was not a presence, during the Clinton-Gingrich stand-off. And, although this group may be deemed small and irrelevant by some, it is hardy, resilient and should not be counted out in their effectiveness of rallying people to the polls, especially after such a clash of the party titans and ideology as we have going on now.

  • Red Barchetta Link

    I feel the tension rising on the board. Chill. This is in the presence of genius. Check out live You Tube versions. Enjoy.

    No, I’m not going to go on a multi- Neil Young YouTube rant, or Politics of Dancing……..

  • Red Barchetta Link

    OK, since you all insisted.

    This where PD tells me the song sucks. But that’s not the point, of course it sucks. Its the 80’s in a nutshell – pure kitsch. When you were out on a Friday or Saturday night after too many beers and every chick in the place looked good, and some had, er, “talent.”

    It wasn’t reality, but it was fun. Lighten up.

  • steve Link

    You know, I had remembered the music of the 80s as largely sucking, but since I travel a lot more and got satellite radio, I have come to appreciate it more. There was a lot more bad music in the 70s that I thought I remembered.


  • Red Barchetta Link

    70’s were the worst. Period, full stop.

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