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    Will Democrats Shut Down The Government?

    Will Democrats Shut Down The Government?

    That seems to be the question the media does not want to ask.  Instead, it all is about whether Republicans have taken a government shut down, or at least a refusal to lift the debt ceiling, off the table.

    This meme has it backwards.

    The Republicans in the House will pass a budget which extends the current marginal tax rates and contains budget cuts, and will vote to lift the debt ceiling in conjunction with such budget.  The Republicans in the Senate will vote for such legislation.

    It will be up to Democrats in the Senate to reject the legislation which would prevent a shut down of government or a default.

    And if, by some long-shot, the measures made their way through the Senate, it would be up to Obama to veto the legislation.

    There will be no Republican decision to shut the government or default on debt.  It will be a Democratic Party decision, taken out of ideological commitment to raising taxes and refusing to rein in spending.

    Update:  Thanks to Instapundit for the link.  I think Glenn had it right this weekend that Republicans need to frame the issues so as to provide clarity.  The government “shut down” issue is a good example.  Republicans need to be clear that Republicans are not shutting down anything; rather, it is the Democrats who are holding the nation hostage to tax increases.

    Democrats are playing a game of chicken with the budget and debt, but now that Repubicans have the House, Repubicans get to frame the debate — if they do it right.  The mainstream media will accept the Democratic narrative, so clarity is key.

    And, Jim DeMint seemed to signal what I am saying (emphasis mine):

    Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, was asked Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he would vote to raise the debt ceiling, and said, “No, I won’t.”

    Not unless this debt ceiling is combined with some path to balancing our budget, returning to 2008 spending levels, repealing Obamacare. We have got to demonstrate that we have the resolve to cut spending … we cannot allow that to go through the Congress without showing the American people that we are going to balance the budget, and we’re not going to continue to raise the debt in America,” he said.

    I’m not sure how John Boehner’s decision to hold a stand-alone up or down vote on the debt ceiling fits into this narrative.

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    Cubanbob: That isn't what happened with public opinion in 1994 and won't be what happens this time either… It'll be a problem that needs to be managed, and perception that Democrat obstruction to fiscal sanity is the cause of it will be a critical factor in how 2012 goes down.

    Isn't Boehner's approach a different path to the same destination?

    Either the Dem's reject the proposed ceiling – bringing government to a halt.

    Or they the vote in favor of the new debt ceiling, but fail to go along with the votes needed to bring the budget in line with the new limit – bringing government to a halt.

    Either way, it is Democrat intransigence over reigning in runaway debt that would result in government shut down.

    The debt ceiling will be raised just like it did every time it was up to be raised from 1994-2006 when Republicans controlled Congress. The consequences of not raising it are pretty globally catastrophic and no party wants to go down in history as the party responsible for that.

    The bigger question is: why propose legislation that has no chance of passing, simply to say "we tried and they blocked us", when it was obviously never realistic to pass in the first place? If that's Boehner's strategy, it will be a long and boring 2 years.

    Nice spin job, but it didn't work in 1994 and it's not going to work now, for the same reason. It's fairly easy to put together a 30 second commercial showing members of the Republican leadership openly talking about shutting down the Federal government– someone will put those together and start running TV spots if such begins to be the case. It will be difficult for the GOP to dodge their own words replayed over and over again.

    I'd be happy to "shut the government down", but I don't receive social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.

    When those who are expecting to receive checks don't, all hell will break loose, and guess which party will be blamed, regardless of the truth of the matter?

    The Republicans will have to be uncharacteristically politically savvy in a budget confrontation.

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