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April 8, 2011

No One Wants A Shutdown ... Except Republicans

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

Since the election the entire Republican structure, from the bottom to the top, has been rejoicing that they are in a position to shut down the government again. Their radio and TV and blogs and articles and speeches have been talking demanding a shutdown, strategizing it, planning it, and just itching to do it. They live for it. This time, we’ll do it right, they say. This time, we'll get away with it, they say. They have also been talking about how they can blame the other side. Don't let them.

When former Republican Senator Alan Simpson said he "can't wait" for the “bloodbath” that would come when Republicans got the chance to shut down the government, it confirmed what many of us had been seeing on the right: they are itching for and demanding a government shutdown. They just couldn’t wait, and were even saying so in public!

From January’s post, "Gut Or Shut" -- Is America Ready?,

Republicans are saying they are going to either gut the government or shut it down.They mean it. It's gut or shut, and they are not going to allow a third choice. This is not just posturing and they are not likely to engage in bipartisan bargaining. Their rhetoric has painted them into a corner with their base. We should take them at their word and prepare.

... One after another Republicans -- the very people responsible for the massive debt -- have been outlining their "conditions" for a vote to prevent default and allow the country's economy to survive. They maintain they are not going to pass a budget that does not gut the government, and if the Senate and President do not go along with this they will just let the government default. They say they "can't wait" for a "bloodbath." Senator Jim DeMint, for example, said today,

"We need to have a showdown at this point that we are not going to increase our debt ceiling anymore," he said. "We are going to cut things necessary to stay within the current levels, which is over $14 trillion. This needs to be a big showdown."

This "gut or shut" threat is so far beyond anything the country has experienced thatthe country really has no idea what is about to happen in the next few months. But this is just the next step in a 30-year plan and we should understand it that way.

In fact, over a year ago President Obama warned Republicans that their inflated rhetoric would make it difficult for them to compromise, forcing them to shut down the government again. From TPM, the President,

"[I]f the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don't have a lot of room to negotiate with me."
So Here We Are

So here we are. They have been promising for months to do this – whether they do it tonite or later with the debt ceiling vote. Don’t be surprised, and don’t let them even try to shift the blame. They demanded it and they are rejoicing in it.

Here are just a few examples of Republican demands to shut or gut the government. Just a few. (Conservative media first, scroll down for Republican elected officials.)

Conservative Media Demanding Shutdown

Limbaugh Brushes Off Concerns About A Government Shutdown: The Government Has Shut Down "Several Times" Due To Snow

Fox News' Whip Count: Napolitano Pushes GOP Congressmen To Support A Government Shutdown,

Cavuto Tells Americans Worried About Shutdown To "Shut Up"

Cavuto Promotes "Fiscal Upside" To A Government Shutdown

Fox's Cameron: Dems Must Accept GOP Strings On Short-Term Spending Bill Or "Deny Funds To The Troops"

Dick Morris Invents "Targeted Shutdown" Solution To Budget Battle

Hannity Advice For GOP: Don't Compromise To Avoid A Shutdown

Dick Morris: GOP Will Exhibit "Cowardice" If They Compromise To Avoid Shutdown

Town Hall, "Shut It Down!":

CNN report, Tea Party: Bring on a government shutdown,

...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.

Stossel: People Affected By Government Shutdown "Shouldn't Be Getting Those Handouts Anyway"

Stossel Dreams Of Government Under Lock And Key

Wash. Times' Kuhner Advocates For Government Shutdown,

"[I]f the budget crisis leads to a government shutdown, so be it. It will be Mr. Obama's fault. He is the one who is bleeding the country white. A shutdown will unmask the destruction he is wreaking upon America."

Michael Steele: ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With A Government Shutdown’,

STEELE: Well I think there’s — I personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with a government shutdown. I’ve been an advocate for it for six, seven months now. For the simple reason that it is the shocker. It is the reality check that the spenders need to have, that those who are trying to chart a different course need to have.

Conservative Media Push For Government Shutdown While Claiming Any Shutdown Would Be Dems' Fault

Right-Wing Media Agitate For Government Shutdown...

Kudlow In Wash. Examiner: A Government Shutdown "Doesn't Sound That Bad To Me." In a March 8 op-ed in The Washington Examiner, columnist Lawrence Kudlow wrote that a government shutdown "doesn't sound that bad to me.":

Hannity: "Shut The Government Down" "Until We Cut A Trillion Dollars From The Budget." From the March 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity: ...

Varney And Crowley Insist American People Would Love A Government Shut Down. From the February 17 edition of Fox Business Networks' Varney & Co.: ...

Limbaugh: "All I Wanted Was A Government Shutdown" For Christmas. From the December 17 edition of Rush Limbaugh's radio show:

LIMBAUGH: Ah, darn it. Does this mean there's not gonna be a government shutdown? That's the only thing I really wanted for Christmas. I got everything else. My Christmas is giving stuff. All I wanted was a government shutdown. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/17/10]

Carlson: "The Public Needs To Be Let In On A Little Secret: We Can Survive" A Government Shutdown. On the March 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson noted some services that would be affected by a government shutdown and stated: "They've done a study to show that the public needs to be let in on a little secret: We can survive when the government shuts down for a short period of time." She continued: "And that, I think, would raise a lot of questions about whether or not there's bloating in the federal government." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/2/11]

Doocy: Shutdown Could Make Americans Realize "They Don't Really Need That Gigantic Mechanism." Later on the March 2 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that "some Democrats worry that if there was a shutdown that barely affected the everyday lives of a lot of people, that would reinforce your argument on the conservative side that a lot of government is wasteful, and they don't really need that gigantic a mechanism." [Fox News,Fox & Friends, 3/2/11]

Washington Times: Government Shutdown "Wouldn't Be A Bad Thing." In a February 25 editorial,The Washington Times stated that "a shutdown of the non-essential functions of the federal government ... wouldn't be a bad thing." The Times further wrote that "[s]pending our way out of a recession has been a failure, and the public is ready for change - even if that means living for a few weeks without government functions that, by definition, we can live without." [The Washington Times, 2/25/11]

Fox's MacCallum and Bolling Agree That A Government Shutdown Wouldn't Be "The End Of The World." On the December 16, 2010, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum suggested it wouldn't be "the end of the world" if "the government stops operating for a little while."

Gingrich Defends Government Shutdown In Advising GOP To Absolutely Stop Passage Of Spending Bill. Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended a government shutdown on the December 16, 2010, edition of Fox News' Happening Now:

O'Reilly On Possible Government Shutdown: "Good. These Pinheads Need Some Time Off." On the December 16, 2010, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly stated: ...

Erickson: "I'm Almost Giddy Thinking About A Government Shutdown Next Year. I Cannot Wait!" Via Twitter

See a long list at: Right-Wing Media Dismiss Potential Effects Of A Government Shutdown

Republican Elected Officials

Steve King Demands ‘Blood Oath’ From Boehner To Shut Down The Government

NY Times, Conservatives Balk at Stopgap Spending Measure

Frustrated with the pace of budget negotiations, Congressional conservatives are lining up against a new stopgap spending measure in a challenge to Republican leaders who back the legislation needed to avert a government shutdown.

Bachmann: Vote Against CR is "Our Mice or Men Moment"

Representative Todd Rokita:

“I feel I have no choice given what I ran on, given what I got 70 percent of the vote on, I have to shut down the government.”

Representative David Schweikert,

“A shutdown is not out of the question.”

GOP Rep.-Elect Nunnelee Vows To Shut Down The Government If Health Care Reform Is Not Repealed

Rep.-Elect Steve Womack Joins Shutdown Caucus

Rep. Mike Pence:

Rep. Joe Walsh:

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who has argued that a government shutdown might actually be good for the country, did not back down from that claim today when he spoke to CBS News' Nancy Cordes on Washington Unplugged today.

Rep. Gohmert On Government Shutdown: ‘Yes We Can’

NY Times, As Budget Talks Continue, Hard-Liners Get Support From Tea Party

At a two hour-plus Tea Party rally outside the Capitol, some members, raising their fists to the chants of “Cut it or shut it,” suggested they would stand firm.

“It’s time to pick a fight,” said Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, one of his party’s more combative supporters of smaller government.

… The immediate question, though, remained whether Mr. Boehner could bring House Republicans along on a deal for a $33 billion cut. “If that’s the number, it ain’t good enough,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah.

… Several lawmakers spoke at the rally, including Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, with raucous cheers following her every word, and the Republican Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Politico, Eric Cantor draws line at new stopgap bills

It’s not just freshmen or rank-and-file Republicans who are balking at approving another stop-gap measure, which will come up for a vote on Tuesday.

On Monday, Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he won’t vote for the measure because it doesn’t stop funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics that also provide abortions. The resolution for the rest of the year, which the House passed last month but which hasn’t garnered enough support in the Senate, cuts $317 million in family planning funding.

In the Senate, Republicans Marco Rubio and Mike Lee said Monday they won’t support the three-week stopgap.
Last week, freshmen Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) also said he won’t support the bill and implied that a government shutdown might actually be good for the budget debate.

Sen. Mitch McConnell,

MR. GREGORY: Is the prospect of a government shutdown over any potential fight over spending, is that an option in your mind? Is it a viable alternative? SEN. McCONNELL: We, we have two opportunities coming up. We have the continuing resolution on March 4th, and then the president has asked us to raise the debt ceiling. So we have two opportunities here to do something important for this country on the issue of spending and debt. We ought not to lose that opportunity. The president ought to work with us on both those occasions to address this important issue.

MR. GREGORY: Is a government shutdown a viable alternative in your mind?

SEN. McCONNELL: As I said, we have two opportunities, opportunities...

Ron Paul Catches Shutdown Fever: ‘I Don’t Think It Would Hurt One Bit’

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland eyes government shutdown (September),

A prominent Republican congressman raised the specter Friday of a government shutdown if the GOP wins control of the House.

Speaking to hundreds of activists gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington for the Faith and Freedom Conference, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) urged the audience to stand with House Republicans when they go toe-to-toe with President Barack Obama.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: Stand With Republicans When We Shut Down the Government, (September),

"The government shut down," said Westmoreland -- and the crowd started cheering. "That's what I wanted to hear! A good clap for that!"

Caught On Tape: Republicans Touting Support For Government Shutdown

Sen. Mike Lee, Politico, Mike Lee: Shutdown may be 'necessary'

The interviewer followed up, asking, “Even if it leads to government default or a shutdown?”

“It’s an inconvenience. It would be frustrating to many, many people, and it’s not a great thing,” Lee responded. “And yet at the same time, it’s not something that we can rule out.”

“It may be absolutely necessary,” he said.

Sen. Sessions: Top Senate Budget Republican not ruling out government shutdown

The Alabama Republican says he wants no less than a 10 percent across the board spending cut in exchange for his vote to raise the debt limit.

Republicans Gave Standing Ovation To Shutdown

Washington Post, Monday,

"House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown"

It's pretty clear who wants the government shut down.


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Posted by Dave Johnson at April 8, 2011 5:19 PM


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