What Democrats Win in a Shutdown Fight

What Democrats Win in a Shutdown Fight

What Democrats Win in a Shutdown Fight

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 26 2011 5:59 PM

What Democrats Win in a Shutdown Fight

Close Boehner ally Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, frames the FEMA funding fight:

The people in the Democrat leadership are saying that, "We can get a partisan advantage by having a government shut-down." I’m sorry. That’s just simply wrong.
Advertisement

This is jujitsu that happens to be right. I don't think my mailbox is sagging with DCCC e-mails about the shocking threat of a shutdown because Democrats think the shutdown threat is bad for them. Ezra Klein mind-melded with Democrats earlier today, and explained.

A shutdown wouldn't be a good thing for the economy, but it wouldn't be a fiasco on the scale of defaulting on the national debt. Similarly, a shutdown wouldn't make any politicians in Washington look particularly good, but at this point, there might be more upside for the two parties in confrontation than there is in continued unsatisfying compromises. That's a particularly popular interpretation among Democrats, who worry that Republicans have become too accustomed to legislating through fiscal brinksmanship, and the only way to reset the budget process and end these constant threats of shutdowns and defaults is to let a shutdown actually happen and show Republicans what that means for them, both economically and politically.

Right. There are Democrats who think, in retrospect, that they should have held their ground before the CR fight, let the GOP own a shutdown, and weakened their willpower before the debt limit fight, which was always a bigger threat then a few days of closed parks.

"B-b-b-but can these people really have so little trust in one another?" Yes.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.