Paul Waldman has an excellent article in The American Prospect, “The Finger of Blame Points Only One Way“. It points out why Republican efforts to convince Americans that a government shutdown would be Obama’s fault are doomed to fail.
His main point is that everybody knows that the Republican party is the one that hates the government, who want to drown it in a bathtub. Heck, they even accuse the Democrats of being the pro-government party (with all that taxing and spending). So they are going to be able to blame a government shutdown on Obama? Hardly. Nobody bought that line back when Newt Gingrich was Speaker and forced a shutdown, even though the shutdown itself was triggered by Clinton vetoing a spending bill. Why would they, when it is the Republicans who never learned that lesson and keep bringing us to the brink of a government shutdown.
Just as bad, the Republicans have already proclaimed “if we don’t get what we want, we will force a government shutdown”. I know American voters have short attention spans, but not that short.
Even worse, what they are demanding — that Obama defund his own major achievement — is patently ridiculous. As Waldman puts it if someone came up to you and said that their demands were to take your car, sill your dog, and burn down your house, nobody would think that you were being unreasonable if you said NO.
And Ezra Klein points out that there is basically no time left to avoid a government shutdown, unless the GOP totally caves. Will they?
UPDATE: Senator Ted Cruz is throwing a temper tantrum that is annoying even his fellow Republicans.