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All Politics, All The Time

- March 29, 2011

Democrats Have Repeatedly Proven To Be More Interested In Playing Politics Than Avoiding A Government Shutdown

“For All The Effort Democrats Have Put Into Portraying Republicans To Be Hot On The Idea Of A Shutdown, It’s Really Democrats Who Are Talking Much More About It — Almost Incessantly.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER’S MARCHING ORDERS TO DEMOCRATS: CALL EVERYTHING EXTREME

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Was Caught Ordering His Fellow Democrats On A Conference Call To Call Republicans “Extreme” Instead Of Working In Good Faith To Pass A Budget. “After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme.  ‘I always use the word extreme,’ Mr. Schumer said, ‘That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.’” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “On  A Senate Call, A Glimpse Of Marching Orders,” The New York Times’ “The Caucus” Blog, 3/29/11)

FORMER DNC CHAIR HOWARD DEAN: DEMOCRATS SHOULD ROOT FOR A SHUTDOWN

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean Said Democrats Should Be “Quietly Rooting” For A Government Shutdown. “‘If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it,’ said Dean, speaking on a National Journal Insider’s Conference panel Tuesday morning. ‘I know who’s going to get blamed – we’ve been down this road before.’” (Alex Roarty, “Howard Dean: Democrats Should Be 'Quietly Rooting' for Shutdown,” National Journal, 3/29/11)

  • Dean Said It Would Be “The Best Thing In The World To Have A Shutdown.” “‘From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown,’ said Dean.” (Alex Roarty, “Howard Dean: Democrats Should Be 'Quietly Rooting' for Shutdown,” National Journal, 3/29/11)

DEMOCRATS WANT SHUTDOWN FOR PURELY PARTISAN REASONS

Democrats Believe They Would Have “Political Edge On The Issue” If The Government Were To Shut Down. “Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling. The three highest-ranking Senate Democratic leaders warned on Thursday that a shutdown is a real possibility.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans,” The Hill2/4/11)

CNN Headline: “Democrats Eager To Talk Of Government Shutdown.”  “Senate Democratic leaders held a news conference Thursday to warn about the dangers of a Republican-forced government shutdown. But as one reporter aptly noted to the leaders, it is the Democrats talking most about shutting down the government.” (Dana Bash et al, “Democrats Eager To Talk Of Government Shutdown,” CNN’s “Political Ticker” Blog, 2/3/11)

OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS PLAY POLITICS ON SERIOUS ENTITLEMENT REFORM

A Senior Democrat Aide Called Republicans “Suckers” For Offering To Show Leadership On Entitlements. “‘They are suckers,’ said one senior Democratic Congressional aide of the House GOP plans to release the first detailed proposals to reduce entitlement spending. ‘They have painted themselves into a corner.’” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?”  Politico2/16/11)

“Obama’s Decision To Avoid Entitlements Was Instantly Deemed As Irresponsible” But It Was Seen As A Gift For Congressional Democrats Who Hope To Set A Trap For Republicans.  “Obama’s decision to avoid entitlements was instantly deemed as irresponsible. Progressive blogger Andrew Sullivan interpreted the message as ‘screw you, suckers’ to future generations. The usually Obama-friendly Washington Post editorial page pithily described him as ‘Punter-in-Chief.’ Republicans expressed outrage.  But for Hill Democrats — so often at odds with Obama for the past two years — this omission was no sin. It was a gift, in their view, the setting of a political trap for a Republican Party…” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?”  Politico2/16/11)

DEMOCRATS FAILED TO PASS A BUDGET LAST YEAR FOR FEAR OF “VOTER REBELLION” OVER THEIR SPENDING

“Some Version Of The CR Is Needed To Avoid A Shutdown Since The Democratic-Led Congress Failed To Pass A Budget Last Year.” (Stephanie Condon, “Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

Last Year, The House Failed To Pass A Budget For The First Time Since 1974, Because Democrats Didn’t “Want To Make Vulnerable Democrats Vote For Another Spending Bill.” ABC’s Jake Tapper:  “I want to say, the theory is that you don't want to make vulnerable Democrats vote for another spending bill, and that's why, for the first time since 1974 there isn't going to be a house budget.”  (ABC’s “This Week,” 6/13/10)

  • Democrats Didn’t Want To Encourage More “Voter Rebellion” In November After Voting For ObamaCare. “After betting their political future on a government-mandated expansion of health care to include millions more Americans, Democrats appear to have little appetite for more legislative showdowns given voter rebellion against government spending amid trillion dollar-plus annual deficits.” (Laurie Kellman, “Election Spooks Lawmakers, Curbs Congress Spending,” The Associated Press, 6/7/10)

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