I’ve been too absorbed by my book projects and by Australian politics (of which more soon) to pay a lot of attention to the forthcoming US elections, but it seems to be widely projected that the Republicans could regain control of the House of Representatives. What surprises me is that no-one has drawn the obvious inference as to what will follow, namely a shutdown of the US government.
It seems obvious to me that a shutdown will happen – the Republicans of today are both more extreme and more disciplined than last time they were in a position to shut down the government, and they did it then. And they hate Obama at least as much now as they hated Clinton in 1995 (maybe not quite as much as they hated him by 2000, but they are getting there faster this time).
The obvious question is how a shutdown will be resolved. It seems to me that it will be a lot harder for Obama to induce the Republicans to back down than it was for Clinton.
Now from Paul Kurgman at the NYTimes:
I’ve been thinking the same thing. Also, expect many, many fake scandals; we’ll be having hearings over accusations of corruption on the part of Michelle Obama’s hairdresser, janitors at the Treasury, and Larry Summers’s doctor’s dog. If you don’t believe me, you weren’t paying attention during the Clinton years; remember, we had months of hearings over claims that something was fishy in the White House travel office (nothing was).
And if anyone remotely connected to the administration should die — oh, boy.
Oh, and you can be sure that many media figures will play right along.