Would a Government Shutdown Risk the GOP’s House Majority?
High drama continues in the looming government shut down. Wire and broadcast news reports say government workers are being told to prepare for a government shut down. Each side is blaming the other although even a Martian landing in Washington would have to conclude: the Republicans are steadily moving the goalposts when they have “won” their initial cut demands.
An MSNBC poll not yet out has been discussed in general terms on MSNBC today: it shows the public would blame all sides but Congressional Republicans would take the biggest hit. Former DNC Chair Howard Dean flatly predicted on Chuck Todd’s show this morning that a shutdown could mean the GOP would lose the House and probably also gift the Senate to them if the government shuts down — particularly after what he calls an “awful week’ for the GOP:
MSNBC’s First Read (REQUIRED READING for political junkies) underscores the danger to GOPers:
From NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg
*** The importance of quitting while you’re ahead… : If congressional Republicans should have learned any lesson from the budget showdown in Wisconsin, it was this: quit while you’re ahead. Despite being offered concession after concession on the budget — as long as he didn’t touch collective-bargaining rights for public employees — Gov. Scott Walker (R) went big for everything, including the collective bargaining rights. And he’s since paid a steep political price, even though the legislation ultimately passed. Walker’s poll numbers have plummeted. The legislation is now locked up in the courts. The Democratic opposition remains fired up (see last night’s elections in the state; more on them below). And the state appears headed for a slew of recall elections this spring and summer. The political lesson from Wisconsin: If you’re offered 70%-80% of what you want and will look like a hero in accepting the deal, take it. But if you go for everything, be prepared for the backlash.
Is this indeed the conclusion reached by GOP bigwigs who don’t want to follow the strategy demanded by Tea Party members or by talk show hosts who talk about needing to reduce entitlements to the poor before they hop onto their costly private jets? Perhaps:
As talks continue on an eleventh-hour budget deal that could forestall a government shutdown, House Republican members have been given guidance to stick around this weekend rather than leave Washington for their home districts, a House aide tells NBC News.
The instructions mean that House leaders could be planning for a weekend session of Congress to pass some form of compromise legislation to keep a potential government shutdown from spilling into the work week next Monday.
But, while House and Senate aides say that talks are still ongoing, a concrete plan to avoid a shutdown is far from in place. The administration and congressional leaders scuttled a potential White House meeting this morning until after further negotiations.
The president, who is traveling to Philadelphia and New York today, may call congressional leaders back to the White House late tonight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told NBC News.
The most significant things going on here:
NOTE TO REPUBLICANS: If John Boehner complains about not being seated on Air Force One after a shut down, watch out.