From the Internet:
It’s long been obvious that the Republicans had a special gift for “I know you are but what am I” politics. (Some people refer to this as “projection” in which someone applies their own faults and flaws onto another.)
One example of this is how they routinely threaten to shut down the government unless the Democrats acquiesce to their outrageous demands by insisting that it’s the Democrats who are shutting down the government by failing to acquiesce to their outrageous demands.
It’s a very common right-wing tactic designed to twist liberals into pretzels trying to explain why that makes no sense.
I do not want to go into details here, but first of all, some background to the craziness of the notion of a government shutdown in the first place.
Before the Republicans started shutting down the US government under Newt Gingrich’s Contract on America, Congress rarely if ever shut down or threatened to shut down the government for political reasons. But most folks do not seem to know this. I have even had liberals argue vociferously that Congress used to regularly shut down the government pre-Gingrich.
These people need to offer me some proof. Based on my analysis of US political history, I am not aware of one single incident of the US Congress shutting down or even threatening to shut down the US government if a certain bill doesn’t pass that they demand. I am not even aware of a single case of a US political party shutting down or even threatening to shut down the government unless they get what they want. But I am all ears. If you can show me one single case of Congress or even one party even threatening a government shutdown, God forbid enacting one, pre-1996, show me your cards. Because I don’t believe you.
People say to me, “Well of course the government got shut down or was at least threatened with a shutdown in past.” Because we all know that Congress has always voted on outrageous must-pass funding bills that had “If you don’t sign this bill, we will kill this dog” poison pills in them.
First of all, I am not aware that legislative outrages were regularly put into must-pass government funding laws before 1996.
But I do seem to recall some logjams where the parties could not agree on some aspects of a must-pass funding bill. The way I remember it is that in these cases, Congress routinely passed what is called a “continuing resolution” which would simply reinstate last year’s funding bill as this year’s. Federal budgets for each agency would be funded at the previous year’s level, and the buck would be passed on until the next trip around the Sun.
Yet there is a method to the madness of Republican government shutdowns, and it is rooted in ideology. There is a reason why the Republicans started shutting down the government in 1996.
The Republicans have shut down the US government many times in the last 18 years. Poll after poll shows that despite the idiotic government-hatred of Americans, the public is furious about every one of these government shutdowns. They’re not popular.
Nevertheless the Republicans have nothing if not huevos, and they don’t care about popular opinion about much of anything they want to do. They just say, “Damn the polls, people are idiots,” count on the corporate media to cover for them, and go ahead and do it anyway. After the Republicans do something that has say 2% public support, the public yawns, the corporate press writes what a great idea it is and how it has mass support, the Overton Window gets reinstalled even further Right, and the goalposts move to barely within squinting distance as the latest reactionary outrage becomes yet another New Normal.
So we can see that in terms of government shutdowns, American society seems to have Borderline Personality Disorder at least in their view of the state, the hallmark of which is, “I hate you, don’t leave me.”
Apparently the Republicans seem to have gotten the memo that the US public is getting sick and tired of these idiotic shutdowns. So now the latest scam is to say that the Republicans are not shutting down the government. It is the Democrats are shutting down the government.
I was stunned when I first heard this, so I asked for details about how the Democrats were shutting down the government.
Of course it turned out they weren’t, but everyone was saying they were anyway. All the Democrats were doing was refusing to vote for the Republican must-pass funding bill which included a lot of the usual Republican poison pills. Because the Democrats refused to vote for a funding bill with these diabolical poison pills in them, the Democrats were “shutting down the government.”
It is an insane argument that makes no sense, but there is a nutty “logic” behind it.