Who to Blame for Government Shutdown? Nobody Has Chanted ‘Cut It or Shut It’ and ‘Shut It Down’ But the Tea Party

Signs calling for government shut-down at tea party rally on April 6, 2011
Signs calling for government shut-down at tea party rally on April 6, 2011

We’re on another countdown to a government shutdown, and, as usual, the question is who will the public blame for the late checks, closed parks and many other inconveniences.

At this point, polls show the public is divided on whom to blame. A Pew poll released April 4 found 39 percent blaming Republicans versus 36 percent who blame the White House, with 16 percent blaming both sides and 9 percent undecided. The NBC News/Wall St.Journal poll on April 6 found that 37 percent blamed Republicans, while 20 percent blamed the White House and 20 percent blamed Democrats in Congress.

If the shutdown happens, however, things will start to look differently, especially if it causes major disruptions or, as some experts suggest, triggers a double-dip recession. At that point, nuances of the back and forth going on now will be reduced to video clips and soundbites that will be replayed on a continuous loop as the controversy sorts itself out.

If logic finds a place in the post-shutdown blamecasting, the record will show that the Democrats’ compromise of $33 billion in cuts now is identical to the figure Republicans’ proposed cuts at the outset of negotiations. It was only after the hard-right tea partyists in the House forced Speaker Boehner and his team to up the ante to $100 billion — which they later unilaterally reduced to around $60 billion.

The record will show that $33 billion in cuts became so objectionable to the GOP that it would force a government shutdown because it is the tea party, not their poodle, Speaker Boehner, that is driving events in the House.

But the most damning evidence against the tea party will come in video clips like the one posted above, which was shot at a tea bagger rally last week on the Capitol Grounds. In it, tea party-evangelical Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., does a fancy two-step. He attempts to blame liberals in the U.S. Senate for the shutdown to come, but then, in the next breath, essentially says “bring it on.” Notice the cheerleader in the red shirt behind him — does that guy look like he works for a lobbying firm, or what? See how, upon hearing his cue in Pence’s remarks, the cheerleader starts the chant: “Cut it or shut it! Cut it or shut it!”

There was more of the same at another rally at the Capitol yesterday:

Hundreds of conservative activists rallied Wednesday near the steps of the U.S. Capitol chanting, “Shut it down.”

“It’s time for taxpayers to take back the government. And let’s shut it down for a few days. It’s not going to come to a catastrophic end,” said David Williams with the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.

It’s going to be really hard to walk back those chants when the post-shutdown blamestorming begins in earnest.

One comment

  • Allen Stevens
    April 7, 2011 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    These GOP/TP/Koch puppets take the cake. Here are people that rely on Medicare/Medicade, VA benefits, and other gov services wanting to shut-down the gov. These people are going to have a rude awakening when these services do get cut. They will be crying rivers, and all I can say, be careful of what you ask for. It still amazes me that a MINORITY party can get what they want, and the MAJORITY party can’t. These fools have no idea what the U.S. budget consist of. They think that foreign aide consumes 10% of the budget when only 1% comes from the budget. These people need to go back to school and take another civics class to learn how this country works. So all you GOP/TP/Koch $uckers want a shutdown, I hope it bites everyone of you in the butt. Look in the dictionary (if you know how) and lookup “compromise”, something ya’ll know NOTHING ABOUT!!!!

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