Again with this ‘the shutdown was bad for the GOP’ thing!


  • Point: “Republicans largely took the blame for 2013’s government shutdown, so Democrats are calculating that the GOP would again be under fire in a new shutdown crisis, particularly now that they run the Senate as well.”
  • Counter-point: Senate +9 GOP, House +14 GOP, GOV +2 GOP, State SEN control +4 GOP, and State House control +5 GOP in the 2014 election.

Yeah, that danged shutdown really ended up hurting us a lot.

Shutdown to be revisited in fall of 2015?

Let’s just stamp on this nonsense on stilts right now, because it is nonsense on stilts:

A shutdown fight would be risky for both sides, but would be particularly perilous for Republicans as they seek to retain control of Congress and win back the White House. The last shutdown fight sent the GOP’s poll numbers to historic lows, though the party’s brand recovered ahead of a historic midterm elections triumph.

Here’s why it’s nonsense on stilts:

  1. The shutdown fight in 2013 took place because the Republican-run House and the Democratic-run Senate could not agree on a budget, spending priorities, you name it. A government shutdown in 2015 would be because the President vetoed duly-passed appropriations bills.  Which is totally his privilege – but Barack Obama would then also be responsible, in a way that he’s never had to be before.
  2. Building on that… it is very possible that Barack Obama does not understand just how much he’s been able to lean for support on a complaisant, Democratic-controlled Congress. Or that ‘I’m shutting down the government because I want Republicans to spend more’ will not have the same resonance with the American people as ‘the Republicans are shutting down the government because they can’t make a deal with the Senate.’
  3. Lastly… I will concede that the timing of the 2013 shutdown was awful for Ken Cuccinelli.  Truly, truly awful.  Otherwise… oh, yes, God forbid that we should have another fight where the GOP fights out a government shutdown for about two, three weeks longer than most political observers (including myself) thought they would.  How could we ever recover from that? Why, if we had only not had that 2013 shutdown then in 2014 we might have won eighteen seats in the Senate, twenty-six seats in the House, and four net governorships! Somehow!

Bottom line is this: for the first time since 2009 we have the classic divided government that everybody says that the American people hate… and that the American people keep voting into existence anyway. Under normal circumstances we’d have an executive branch that understood that the tactics that work under a super-majority in Congress – or even a divided Congress – will not work when the opposition party can send bills to his desk. There’s a reason why the Democrats never passed a budget when they could possibly help it, after all.

But these aren’t normal circumstances. President Barack Obama probably either thinks that he can veto a budget and not have it slop over onto his party and the next candidate, or he thinks that he doesn’t have to care.  Probably the latter – and while I agree that the Republican Congressional caucuses can drive a thoughtful man mad sometimes, in this particular case the fight will be under conditions that my often-exasperating party is most comfortable with. We can do a Return To Normalcy campaign in our sleep – and, frankly? We’ll need the practice for 2016 anyway.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

I enjoy listening to the Left assure itself that the Senate’s Iran Letter was a disaster…

…about as much as I enjoyed listening to it assure itself that the 2013 government shutdown was a disaster.  Which is to say: I quite enjoyed it.  But probably not as much as I’ll enjoy it next year.

Oh, I’m sorry. I’m supposed to be worried about this, right? I keep forgetting my lines in these little vignettes, I’m afraid.  My bad…

…Oh, yes. Let us fear another shutdown. FEAR it!

I know that I already wrote about this guy, but:

“You’re a minority. You’re a minority in Congress and you’re a minority in the country,” [John McCain staffer Mark Salter] lectured the tea party wing ahead of the ill-fated government shutdown of 2013. “So go ahead and follow Sarah Palin. Let’s put the Senate on Cruz control. Let’s shame those squishes to the firing line. Filibuster the bill. Let Harry Reid pull it off the Senate floor. Shut down the government. I think you’ll find the Democrats you expected to yield to the persuasive power of your kamikaze tactics are only too happy to test your resolve.”

Continue reading …Oh, yes. Let us fear another shutdown. FEAR it!

White House won’t say if Barack Obama gave up 5% of his salary for shutdown solidarity.

Because Barack Obama said that he would – voluntarily, mind you; it’d be illegal to dock the President’s pay – only when the Washington Free Beacon called to check, well…

Staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon Ellison Barber was interviewed today on Fox News about a report from the WFB’s Elizabeth Harrington calling into question whether President Obama followed through on his promise to return five percent of his salary.

Barber said by that metric President Obama owes about $20,000. The White House has so far refused to confirm whether the president has actually written a $20,000 check to the Treasury.

Five bucks says that the White House forgot, and is now scrambling to cut a check and backdate it somehow.  Mind you, that assumes that there’s somebody in this administration smart enough to realize that Presidents need to follow through on the grandiose promises that they make on various topics.  I am not entirely convinced that there is anybody that smart there.  Or that mature.

Via Legal Insurrection.

Moe Lane

PS: If we don’t call them on this stuff, they’ll just get worse.

Tweet of the Day, Tell Me Again How Great The #Shutdown Was For Democrats edition.

Seriously, since the Democrats are going to try to do everything that the GOP suggested anyway, why did they even bother shutting down the government in the first place?

I don’t want to be rude, here – but is this all just a, hrm, performance issue for the Democratic leadership?  Did they not want to be seen as being politically impotent? – If so, my (somewhat detached) sympathies.  I understand that such things can play merry havoc with one’s self-image.

Moe Lane

So, @barackobama threw away his #shutdown advantage over #obamacare. Why?

Jonah Goldberg and I may have originally disagreed over who ‘won’ the shutdown – but Jonah is as startled as I am at how horribly Barack Obama handled the situation, given what Obama knew:

…consider Obama’s only clear-cut political victory since his reelection. Republican demands were a bit of a moving target, but basically the GOP wanted either an all-out repeal of Obamacare or, as a fallback, a one-year delay of the individual mandate. By the end, they would have taken even less.

But Obama wouldn’t consider it. Instead, he played hardball with everything from national-park closures to, temporarily at least, denying death benefits to military families. As the debt ceiling loomed, the GOP relented. Conventional wisdom says Obama won, and I basically agree with the conventional wisdom.

Or at least I did. There’s something those of us scoring that bout didn’t know: The president desperately, urgently, and indisputably needed to delay the rollout of Obamacare.

Continue reading So, @barackobama threw away his #shutdown advantage over #obamacare. Why?

And the #shutdown ends on a somewhat disquieting ritual note.

With a stenographer screaming about Masonic conspiracies.

Minutes before the House finished voting for the Senate compromise, a stenographer was pulled out of the chamber while yelling about conspiracies. A few people physically removed her from the chamber and took her to an adjacent elevator. She continued to yell. They were followed by a crowd of reporters and members of Congress, including Representatives Al Green (D., Texas) and Louie Gohmert (R., Texas). It took a few moments for the elevator doors to open, so the people who removed her from the chamber held her against the elevator as she yelled.

This is what I recorded of her yelling: “This is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been – no – it would not have been – the Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise Jesus [recording unclear]. Lord Jesus Christ!”

Continue reading And the #shutdown ends on a somewhat disquieting ritual note.

#MillionVetMarch assembles peacefully, pulls down Lincoln Memorial #barrycades.

The Lincoln Memorial is not the federal government’s prop.

Barack Obama is not a king.

We are not his subjects.

So, here. Have your goram barrycades back.

Mister President.

Twitchy is covering this: see here and here. I may also get some access to photos from a buddy of mine who was there; I’ll let you know if I do.

Moe Lane (crosspost)