Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shutdown Politics Divide GOP

“Perhaps the most unconcealed aspect of American politics is the obvious gall with which politicians secretly try to secure reelection” -Daniel Jun, speaker of quotes and claimer of random years since 2013.

An upcoming government shutdown is creating a divide between Republican senators. This shutdown, scheduled to happen at the end of September, has elicited both support and vehement rejection. This vehemence specifically stems from two Republican senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The two claim that having a government shutdown would only hinder the Republican Party, but there are realistic queries as to their motive, namely reelection. And this cynical worry is actually bolstered with hard evidence.

The article states that “the GOP paid no political price in the 2014 election for shutting down the government in 2013… it is not irrational of [Cruz, a Republican in favor of the government shutdown] to think that shutting down the government will be a cost-free endeavor (from a GOP political perspective).”

However, there are several aspects of election that may make the government shutdown less than simple for the Republicans. In presidential election years more Democrats tend to be politically active, meaning that a 2016 government shutdown could have unexpected consequences. In addition, Johnson is a weak candidate in his state, so a shutdown may actually create negative results while not affecting those already in good standing with their constituents. This is also the second government shutdown in two years, and the cumulative effect that this could have is completely unknown. Finally, the Republicans are attempting to gain control “over the House, the Senate, and the White House, simultaneously, for the first time in a decade” and Democrats may be less than happy with this grab for power.

Is a government shutdown really a good idea? And, as a side note because this came up earlier in the article, should we have elected officials who can run for as long as they are reelected?

Link to the article here.

1 comment:

hlo323 said...

I think that the prospect of a government shutdown is definitely motivated by reelection politics. The reason why some Republicans want a shutdown is to cut funding from Planned Parenthood, and 31 Republicans have already committed to oppose any spending bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood. By doing this, they would appeal to the more conservative voters and show that they are willing to fight against the main leadership of the GOP, including House speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who are trying to avoid a shutdown, probably because they don’t want to alienate independent voters.

However, Republican Representative Mick Mulvaney believes that “My leadership is trying to appeal to independent and swing voters who don’t care what we do right now and won’t until two or three months before the election.” In this case, the GOP would retain its conservative base as well as not lose any swing voters.

I think that having elected officials who can run unlimited times could potentially tie into the idea of having more experienced people who have already spent years working in Congress representing the whole population. However, having them constantly worry about reelection and appealing to their electorate could also make them more influenced by the changing opinions of the general people.