Obama, Democrats Call Government Shutdown a Sign of Failure, Except in Wisconsin
posted at 9:00 am on February 18, 2011 by John Sexton
For several days now Democrats have been using the media to warn us of the dangers of a government shutdown by Republicans. Harry Reid called it an “extreme step.” He also accused Speaker Boehner of “resorting to threats.” Reid’s spokesman added that if Republicans wanted and “adult conversation” they could start one by “taking a government shutdown off the table.”
Speaker Pelosi preemptively called the idea of a shutdown a “failure” of GOP leadership. CBS quoted a couple of ex-Senators agreeing with the former speaker, “It’s just stamping a big word, failure, over the political process…”
Senator Chuck Schumer (who now runs a Democratic messaging team for the Senate) said Republicans needed to “stop with the games” and rule it out once and for all.
President Obama weighed in as well suggesting that the entire economy could be at stake, “Basic functions shut down. And it — that, also, would have a adverse effect on our economic recovery.” You get the idea. Government shutdowns are horrible things according to Democrats.
And then today, a group of Wisconsin Democrats shut down the state Senate by fleeing to a hotel in another state so they could not be dragged back to work. Meanwhile, public schools around the state were also shut down as over a thousand teachers put their own interests above those of their pupils, many for the second day in a row. Finally, we learned that Organizing for America (formerly Obama for America and now an official arm of the DNC) was helping to organize those “grassroots” protests.
And what was the response to this government shutdown by Democrats? Well, the President offered an expression of support for unions (including “ill” teachers). And, as mentioned, his political operation went into full swing planning the protests that eventually shut down Wisconsin schools (and may do so again today).
It seems Democrats have two distinct views on government shutdowns simultaneously. If Republicans talk about shutting down the government, they are dangerous, juvenile failures for even thinking about such a thing. But if Democrats actually do shut down significant portions of state government for several days, that’s just fine.
Maybe someone could ask the President about this apparent inconsistency?