-- by Dave
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Bill O'Reilly seems to think it would be a good thing for the government to shut down. Last night in his opening "Talking Points Memo" monologue:
If the feds don't pass a new spending bill, the government might shut down in a few days, and I say good. These pinheads need some time off.
And of course, in O'Reilly's book, only "patriots" are the folks trying to create the shutdown.
Wait until such a thing comes to pass, though, and suddenly half the economy and a gazillion non-essential government functions come to a screeching halt. Then it'll be a catastrophe, and here's a prediction: Bill O'Reilly will say it's President Obama's fault.
O'Reilly wasn't the only one egging on a shutdown on Fox. On Fox Business News, David Asman was pontificating: "We have to shrink the government, and if that means shutting down the government then so be it":
Evidently Republicans don't remember what happened the last time they tried this tactic, in 1995. Not even the guy who engineered it, Newt Gingrich, seems to remember. He was on Fox too yesterday, likewise justifying a shutdown:
I especially like the part where Gingrich says he has no regrets about what happened. Well, here's what happened:
The Republicans blamed Clinton for the shutdown, and Clinton blamed the Republicans. Public opinion favored the president; Clinton's approval rating rose to the highest it had been since his election. The Republicans' support was further diminished two days later when Gingrich made a widely-reported complaint about being snubbed by Clinton; Tom DeLay called it "the mistake of his [Gingrich's] life".
DeLay writes in his book No Retreat, No Surrender:
"He told a room full of reporters that he forced the shutdown because Clinton had rudely made him and Bob Dole sit at the back of Air Force One... Newt had been careless to say such a thing, and now the whole moral tone of the shutdown had been lost. What had been a noble battle for fiscal sanity began to look like the tirade of a spoiled child. The revolution, I can tell you, was never the same."
Gingrich's complaint gave rise to the perception of his behaving in a petty egotistical manner, and Clinton defended the seating arrangement as a courtesy to Gingrich, the back of the plane being closer to his pickup car. Later, the polls suggested that the event badly damaged Gingrich politically.
Go for it, bully boys.
[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]