As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

More Americans Would Blame Republicans for Shutdown. But . . .

Washington is erupting in a chorus of “I told you so’s” because of a new CNN poll headlined “Blame on GOP,” asserting congressional Republicans would be held at fault if the government shuts down.

Let’s talk about that.

First of all, here’s the information in the poll that is not making the headlines: 57 percent say they oppose Obamacare – up three points since May – compared to 38 percent who support it. Even independents oppose the law by 67-27 percent.

So Obama and the Democrats are seeking to enforce, without argument or negotiation, the most sweeping, society-altering legislation in nearly fifty years even though it’s down 19 points in the polls. Is that not “extremism,” as President Obama has put it to describe Republicans?

Now, in answer to the question, “If the federal government shuts down, do you think that Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress would be more responsible for that?”, 46 percent said “Republicans in Congress,” 36 percent said “Obama,” and 13 percent said “both.”

First of all, let’s note that the question doesn’t mention Obamacare in any way. Nor does it offer the option “Democrats in Congress.” In fact, as a procedural matter, Obama is not technically shutting down the government. The House bill that funds the government but delays Obamacare for a year is never going to get to him because Democrats in the Senate will block it.

So with the action happening solely in Congress, many who might have chosen Obama if given more information about the role of Obamacare in this fight, or chosen the congressional Democrats if that were an option, may have defaulted to “Republicans in Congress.”

Finally, at 46 percent, the “Republicans in Congress” is down a full five points from the 51 percent it was at just three weeks ago, suggesting Ted Cruz’s filibuster may have had an effect on people’s opinions. Other polls have shown the blame to be more equally shared. And even in this poll, independents are evenly divided – with 39 percent pointing the finger at Republicans and 38 percent at Obama.

What’s more, if you view this through the general unpopularity of Congress as a whole, “Republicans in Congress” are getting pretty good numbers.

It’s not at all clear to me that Obama and the Democrats aren’t going to suffer politically for a shutdown. It’s a callow approach to think history always repeats itself, as is the general assumption in Washington, and that Republicans will suffer the same fate they did in the 1990s when the last shutdown occurred. We must learn from history, but history does not always repeat itself.

And either way, the public in this fight is being educated by the likes of Ted Cruz about the flaws in the law and being informed that conservatives would do way with it. That is the most significant thing going on here.

17 Responses to More Americans Would Blame Republicans for Shutdown. But . . .

  1. Well, you picked that poll apart! As an independent or non-affiliated voter, which I prefer, I just want to say that we are not people blown hither and dither by public opinion or popularity issues. We just do not want to commit to a corruptible organization such as a political party. Yes, both parties are corruptible and corrupted right now. Also, I am a conservative who will not succumb to that ridiculous idea of a ‘big tent’ where we all go along to get along. Independents, who make up over 1/3 of the electorate, are like the swing vote on the Supreme Court, btw, and whichever way we go, the country goes. So that CNN poll showing independents split 67-27 is good news in a big way.

  2. The ruling class just doesn’t get it. As Senator Cruz said during his 21+ hour filibuster on Obamacare, “The real divide in American politics isn’t between Republican and Democrat – it’s between the people and the entrenched politicians in Washington, D.C.” We’re weary of the political gamesmanship, just do the job the American people sent you to do. Once Obamacare is fully implemented, it will destroy America. Stop it from taking effect, or we’ll send you packing.

    • I just read–on the crybaby WaPo I think–that if there is a government shutdown, the D.C. area will lose over $200 million a day. Now, there are some people I like here who live in the D.C. area, but maybe the government will start realizing that life in the rest of the country compared to life in the D.C. area (actually D.C. to Boston corridor) is, as the Brits say, like chalk to cheese. They should get a chalky taste of what it’s like for us in the ‘rest of the country’.

      • Oh my, $200 million a day! What a tragedy for Crapitol Hill. Guess all those K Street lobbyists will have to turn to careers in fast food. Then they might just experience what the rest of America is forced to live with – the 29-hour work week with no fringe benefits.

  3. The Dems and their MSM chorus can sing-song ‘you’re gonna be sorry’ all they want, but when the reality of Obamacare’s mandate hits the public their wrath will fall on all of Washington.
    Right now, the word out of DC is that SenReid will table the current bill from Congress without any chance of anyone voting Yay or Nay. He thinks he can protect the vulnerable Dems by avoiding a vote on this budget and forcing a government shutdown.

    If there’s a shutdown, if the Repubs have to bow to pressure, and if budget that pleases the Dems passes, how this plays out in 2014 will probably be the way 2016 elections will be formed.
    The Repubs will boast they tried save the economy, to restore people to a 40hr work week, to eliminate provisions in Obamacare that violated religious principles, to repeal the onerous tax on Dad’s pace-maker, and to give the public the same grace as the Dems give to their friends.

    I don’t see a downside for the Repubs holding the line, or eventualy bowing to Dem pressure. No matter which way it goes, or even how viciously hysterical the Dems and the MSM behave, the Repubs have right on their side.

  4. Something @Susan wrote on the previous post brought a question to mind; we’ve seen all the young, firebrand Repubs come forth. They bring new ideas, fresh modern perspectives to Old DC and they’re out there, unafraid of the system.
    Where are the “young” Dems to take their party to the future?
    So far, the only Dems mentioned for 2016 are a man and woman who would have been forcibly retired if they worked in the private sector.

    Where is the young Dem who will stand in front of the camera and support Obamacare? Are there any?

  5. ” So Obama and the Democrats are seeking to enforce…” – Keith Koffler

    Thank you for the analysis, very detailed and will hopefully stiffen some RINO spines – at least as long as folks keep yelling at them, that is.

    But I WOULD add one word that makes a LOT of difference in the statement above. I would have it read thus;

    “So Obama and the Democrats are seeking to SELECTIVELY enforce…”

    THAT’s the rub. They want Prezzy to have some imaginary and unconstitutional line item veto where he can ignore the “take care” clause and turn parts of laws on and off like the sultan he seems to think he is, when it’s politicallly convenient for HIM.

    THAT’S the biggest reason to oppose it.

    NO indifidual in the Government should have this power. If he can do THIS, it is truly a dictatorship.

    What’s ultimately depressing about all this is not that it’s new, but that it’s NOT. I’ve read this book before – in German, Russian, Spanish, a dozen different languages in at least as many countries. I KNOW how it ends, as would any student of history know how it ends. The Big Book of Socialism always has a binder of blood, no matter the language it’s written in, because force will ultimately be needed for these fanatisies to even have a chance – and even THAT won’t work in the end.

    It was once wisely said that “those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it”. It seems those who DO remember history are likewise doomed ,because a critical mass of U.S. Persons are not willing to see beyond their own wants, needs, predjudices, and desires. You can use this to stir up resentments to your own purposes, fomenting discontent, and ultimately making the Government into whatever serves YOU best.

    That’s in the book too, by the way, and one that Obama would have read…

    “”‘The organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems,’ and ‘organizations must be based on many issues.’ The organizer ‘must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act. . . . An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent.'” – Saul Alinsky, “Rules For Radicals”.

    This won’t end well, come what may. He doesn’t WANT it to.

  6. Why doesn’t someone poll the offer on the table? Are you in favor
    of Funding the entire government except for delaying Obamacare
    for one year and removing the tax on medical appliances like
    artificial joints, etc. Yes or No? I believe the yeas would have it!

  7. For those in the know, it is evident that Obummer would rather negotiate with the terrorist of Iran but not with the American people!! I don’t care who does the poll but one after the other says that the AMERICAN PEOPLE ( you know those pesky tax-payers that still believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights) DO NOT want ObummerCare! The House of Reps so far has got the message and the Senate ignores all of us. Harry Reid and his band of BANDITS would rather see the whole country go down than concede that the monstrosity is indeed a trainwreck. Shame on the Commie Dems for pulling this stunt. Disgusting! They are indeed to blame for any shutdown and the 800,000 FEDERAL employees that won’t get a paycheck–hmm oh well. The SS, military and so forth will still be funded…..only the whacko lame stream media will never tell you that!

  8. Thanks Keith. Nicely done. To the undertow of discontent with Obama and the Dems please take a look at this Instapundit link to Glenn Reynolds USA Today Column. It is about the public’s assessment of the use of the IRS for political coercion. It also includes, to my personal satisfaction, reference to James Taranto’s Obama as marking President Asterisk — the winning of the election in 2012 through intimidation of the opposition akin to awarding a steroid ridden athlete.

    And I like that Reynolds has this column in USA Today. Found in airports and hotels everywhere.