While many still believe the shutdown will happen, Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza shares why he believes that won’t happen. Part of the recommended article:
And, while it’s FAR less certain how the two sides will come together to pass a longer-term funding mechanism, there are powerful political reasons for the two sides to try and work out a compromise.
Because the politics of a shutdown are wildly unpredictable and would almost certainly play out in such a way as to make the stakes incredibly high for each side.
Let’s tackle the unpredictability piece first.
Gallup released poll numbers late last week that suggested an American public deeply divided over who is doing more to balance the budget as well as the best way forward on the issue.
Forty two percent said Republicans were doing a better job on “current efforts to agree on a new federal budget” while 39 percent said President Obama/Democrats in Congress were doing the better job.
Among electorally critical independents, 37 percent said congressional Republicans were doing the superior job while 33 percent named Obama/Democrats.
And, while 60 percent of those tested said Congress should “agree to a compromise budget plan even if that means they pass a budget you disagree with”, nearly half — 48 percent — said that the budget proposals put forward by President Obama don’t go far enough.
Add those numbers up — figuratively not literally, of course — and you are left with a public that doesn’t really know what it wants or who to blame if they don’t get it.
As a general rule, politicians — from the local level right up to the presidency — hate uncertainty. When the public is as deeply divided (or confused) about such a major issue as the budget and the possibility of a government shutdown, politicians are left with no obvious course of action to move forward. In the face of such uncertainty, politicians typically punt — pushing off the hardest decisions until there is more clarity in public opinion.