Some Democrats, particularly the slime ball of the Senate, Chuckie Shumer, seem gleeful over the possibility of a government shutdown. Apparently they think this could be good for the Democrats. Not so fast, Chuck…
From Matthew Dowd, writing at NationalJournal.com:
Here’s five differences in the two pictures:
1-At the beginning of the shutdown, Clinton’s Gallup job approval numbers were 6 to 7 points higher than Obama’s today. A much better place to communicate from for Clinton.
2-Republicans held both branches of Congress in 1995 and so the clarity of blame was much easier than today when only the House is controlled by Republicans.
3-The unemployment rate in 1995 going into the shutdown was 5.6 percent, down nearly two points since Clinton took office. And while the unemployment rate has dropped a bit in last few months, it sits at 8.8 percent, higher than when Obama took office. In 1995, folks were relatively satisfied with Clinton’s handling of the economy, today voters are very dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of it, and anxiety and dismay persist through the country.
4-Going into the shutdown in 1995, the budget deficit was approximately $150 billion and had been cut in half since Clinton took office. Today the deficit is nearly 10 times higher than 1995 and has nearly doubled since Obama has been in office.
5-Republicans were led in 1995 by a very polarizing and offputting figure (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich) and it was much easier for Clinton to demonize him. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is relatively unknown to most Americans and comes across much less divisive.
So, Obama’s staff, supporters and political strategists should be careful what they wish for in thinking they will do another Clinton on a shutdown and benefit. The circumstances are vastly different. In the end, if there is a shutdown, Americans are likely to blame both political parties and continue turning away from Washington as a place that is disconnected from their lives and can’t seem to get past partisan bickering.
So, will the federal government shut down? Listen to a special Saturday Night KaibCast: The Budget Showdown. You won’t want to miss it (live at 6 PM Saturday on the east coast), and if you do, you can go to that link and listen to it on-demand. Also listen to the regular KaibCast from Friday.