Will the US Government shut down Friday night?

It is quite possible.  And the fundamental driving force, CNN tells us, is this:

Such commitment to the cause of shrinking the government explains why Tea Party supporters, including some members of Congress they helped elect, welcome a possible government shutdown as soon as midnight Friday. Bringing to a halt what they consider to be a bloated and misguided federal government would be a tangible success for their citizen activism that claims allegiance to no single party.

The NY Times is pessimistic:

After meeting with the Republicans, Mr. Obama suggested with some bitterness that they were still trying to score political points, demanding victories on abortion or gutting environmental regulation to keep the government open. He made it clear that that was not acceptable, and neither are demands to cut 60,000 Head Start teaching positions, or medical research, or other items that are vital to many Americans and the fragile economic recovery.

There will still be a few more meetings before the shutdown deadline, but leaders on both sides say they are more pessimistic about reaching agreement. The public may need to rely on the pain of an actual shutdown to bring radical House lawmakers back to reality.

Some across the pond, such as the Guardian, appear to think it is less likely to happen, but include a shocking point:

The negotiations may turn out to be Republican brinkmanship. The last shutdown, which lasted for six days in November 1995 and a further three weeks from December 1995 to January 1996, cost $1.4bn and backfired on the Republicans, setting up the then President Bill Clinton for re-election in November 1996.

Although the Republicans are under pressure from members of the Tea Party movement who backed them in November’s Congressional elections on promises to cut the federal deficit, they are conscious of what happened in 1996 and of current polls. A CNN poll on Monday showed 46% of those surveyed backed Obama’s approach to the budget negotiations and 45% the Republican approach.

45% back the Republican approach?!? Closing down the government could seem like hitting rock bottom, but given the beliefs swirling around in the States, one wonders if there isn’t a further bottom to fall to.

6 thoughts on “Will the US Government shut down Friday night?

  1. It’s a toss-up whether the government does “shut down” but if it does it will hurt the Republicans.

    The Tea Party has pushed them further to the right than most Americans, including most Republicans are willing to go. The budget Republicans are after is like a parody of conservatism: cut everything except the military, take the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans down to 25%, cut health care, cut everything that benefits most Americans.

    The Tea Party has been losing support. It was all fun and games when they got to dress up in tea bags and shout in the streets, but seeing the actual proposals is giving lots of supporters cold feet. But now the Republican party is locked into their agenda and the rightward momentum is so strong that they can’t stop it.

    So if they shut down the government Obama or some surrogate will, I hope, get on TV and ridicule the Republicans for their disruptive, childish behavior which will cost the taxpayer.

  2. HEB, my hopes are the same. I’m worried about the amount of support the Repubs seem to have. Perhaps it’s less meaningful than one might think in more normal times.

  3. Perhaps the Tea Party should take the floor and argue for a lowering of representation numbers…

    yes. we’ve all ‘grown up’ with the ‘issue presenting’ of the Tea Party, if they could only identify the governmental relations whereupon these issues are found.

    The simple truth about the Tea Party is that they’re Lazy, and cause they speak the language of the media/public fold one may not even be able to tell. to make Politics a task. To leaden and buck from a system that is naive and barely told to the American People. To be bores of speech…

  4. This sort of polling has to be taken for what it is, namely a measure of public inclinations on an issue they really aren’t all that worried about right now because they aren’t paying close attention to it. If the shutdown *actually happens*, I think we’d see a great deal of movement in those poll numbers.

  5. Newt Gingrich’s antics certainly hurt the GOP in the 90’s. We can only hope these shenanigans will have a similar effect.

  6. Matt – thanks for the good sense.

    CJ, the NY Times are reporting numbers now that look exactly like those that occurred the last go-round. Maybe we should be cheered a bit by it all.

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