Shutdown polls will back the winner

After the House passed three separate Continuing Budget Resolutions to fund the government, the Senate has balked and non-essential government services have shut down.

But only one thing will matter in the minds of the American people – which party wins this debate.  Most Americans don’t care what a filibuster is, they don’t understand what a continuing resolution is, they don’t understand Congress’s power of the purse or where that authority is rooted.  They don’t care about grand ideological battles wherein the government for the first time in 200 years compels individuals to buy a product from big business.

At the end of today, or tomorrow or whenever the shutdown ends, the only thing Americans will care about is who won the debate.  Who held strong to their beliefs.   Because that party will be deemed the winner.  The other party will be deemed the irresponsible trouble-maker.  Republicans worry that a shutdown will reflect badly on them.  It won’t, unless they are the loser.  Americans like to believe that they believe in grand principals and they like to root for winners, especially underdog winners.

Harry Reid’s motto is NO COMPROMISE.  If Republicans keep watering down their CR until eventually it is nothing but a clean Obamacare CR, they will pay the price.  Americans will blame republicans for putting the country through a pointless ordeal, and honestly, Tea Party Republicans should also be angry with the House for putting us through a pointless ordeal if they don’t demand something in return for it.  Their fate is in their own hands.  I don’t see Senate moderates angling for a deal the way moderate House Republicans are.  Republicans must beware, the Peter King’s of the world, who are always ready to stab Republicans in the back will cave here if possible.

Republicans aren’t obligated to pass a deal here that doesn’t defund or delay, no matter what Democrats want.  The reason D’s want this is because that is it, game over, they win.


There is now no compromise.  The time for a deal passed yesterday as the Democrats refused to strike a deal.  History does not judge the strength of the 22nd or 68th or 113th House of Representatives.  History judges Presidents.  Historians don’t win Pulitzer’s for books on Congresses.  They write on the legacy of Presidents.  Today, the ultimate battle for Barack Obama’s legacy could begin.  His rigid partisanship is what will ultimately be blamed for this shutdown if Republicans demand a concession.  He won the White House but the people returned the same House of Representatives to hold him accountable.  The House can break this President they just have to hold longer.

Barack Obama caved on Guantanamo.  He caved on military tribunals for civilian criminals.  Reid is the strong man here.  But push Obama far enough and he will give Republicans what they want.  This is a man that loves his legacy too much not to.  The risk of prolonged shutdown frightens him too much. R’s should bring the debt ceiling debate into this if they have to.  But Republicans should know that Reid smells blood in the water and they will have to act accordingly.  Hold strong and win.  For this class of Republicans might never recover from an embarrassing loss.