Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I think the article speculates that the GOP wants a shutdown because they feel like the public will blame the Dems. In ‘95, the poll in this article shows that the Dems had the upper hand among the public, which turned out to be the case and certainly helped the party significantly. Now as the polling is closer between the two parties, the GOP thinks they’ll come out of a shutdown victorious. I can’t help but think that the GOP’s confidence will pay off. While you’re previous post does a good job showing the hypocrisies in Ryan’s budget plan I think you are widely over-estimating support for democrats’ stubbornness during the budget process. Yes, the GOP is making ideological based cuts that are seemingly unnecessary in the grand scheme of things but do you think the country will respond well when the dems don’t approve a budget solely based on something NPR or planned parenthood? While the people aren’t going to love the tax cuts for the rich or Medicare deductions I think the bottom-line number is going to be more appealing to a lot of people. There will have to be compromise, but I think basing opinions on someone’s “shit eating grin” is going to play into the GOP’s hand and make it look that the dems are just complaining rather than provoking meaningful dialogue.
Firstly, no Dems in public have talked about Ryan's shit-eating grin. I just brought it up because I think the GOP is using his Midwestern mild-manneredness and seeming niceness to sell a plan that screws the poor and the elderly. On the shutdown. I agree somewhat with your analysis that the GOP thinks they will win the publicity battle on this, but I think there are some tea partiers who just want a shutdown for shutdown's sake. Their cheering on a shutdown also highlights how hard it will be to negotiate anything with these people because they have no interest in averting a shutdown.Now, onto who will win this battle. I think Dems will be in much better shape if Obama gets into the ring, which he started to do today by calling out the GOP during a press conference and calling for immediate negotiations to solve this problem. If he can outline what has actually happened, the American people (or the ones who don't watch Fox) will take his side. The GOP came out at first with nearly 70 billion in cuts from Obama's 2011 budget. Obama and Dems creeped up to that number, and now that they have actually reached it, the GOP is saying they need more cuts. If Americans actually knew how insincere the House GOP has been during these negotiations, they will take the Dems' side.
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