Monday, October 7, 2013

If you'd been paying attention, you'd have known the shutdown was going to happen

I'm a little behind on posting this, but I must say I was just a bit bothered by a comment that was apparently left on the Facebook page of a local news station. The comment was in regards to a question about what concerns people had about the potential government shutdown (as this was on the Monday morning prior). The comment was read on-air and said something about how a deal had been reached last minute the last few times, so they were sure the same was going to happen this time.

To me, it was obvious that either this person wasn't paying close attention or that they don't have a good understanding of the state of politics in this country. It should have been obvious to just about anyone paying the slightest attention by Monday morning that the shutdown was going to happen as there weren't even talks about having negotiations! So how could a last minute deal even be made if no one was trying to reach a deal. That would seem to be a crucial prerequisite.

I would also say that events like Ted Cruz's fake filibusterer should have been a good clue that this was really going to happen this time. Then again, as Rachel Maddow discussed on her show last week Monday, many Republicans campaigned back in 2010 on the idea of shutting down government.

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So even with Cruz's dog and pony show, nothing really seems too different than two years ago. So what has changed? I'd suggest that Republicans could back down from a shutdown because they used to have fallbacks. One was the 2012 election where they could potentially gain more negotiating power. Ultimately, they I think they wanted to take back the presidency, but even more control of the Senate was likely in their sights. With more power, they could perhaps get their way while avoiding a shutdown. But they didn't gain power after that election. They actually lost a bit of power. 2014 isn't looking too bright (plus, the presidency isn't an option) and 2016 is too far away. The second was the court system. But that too was lost with last year's decision. (EDIT: Oy! I forgot to mention that this was in reference to the case over the Affordable Care Act.) Now there are no fallbacks that I can see. Shutdown is now the primary option. Hopefully this can be settled before the debt ceiling becomes an issue again!

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