A Shutdown Hunch

by Steven F. Hayward

Just a hunch here: Back in 1995, it was Republicans who were most eager for a government shutdown. Rightly or wrongly, they took it in the neck from the public over the shutdown, notwithstanding Newt’s elegant and partly persuasive arguments that it worked out in the end for the GOP.

Now it is Obama and the Democrats who are most eager for a government shutdown, thinking it will be repeat of 1995. I’m not so sure. I think it is possible that the party seen by the public to be most eager for a shutdown, done for mostly political posturing, will lose. The Ryan budget, talking real dollars next to this year’s budget pennies, introduces a wild card into the calculations this week that redounds to the benefit of Republicans, if they keep a steady nerve and stay on message. If Obama and the Democrats are seen as the agent of a government shutdown, this time I think they lose. Stay the course, Mr. Speaker.

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