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September 30, 2013

Why a Shutdown Will Be Worse for Republicans This Time

Noam Scheiber: "As 2011 showed, the pre-showdown and post-showdown worlds bear almost no resemblance to one another. Before the two parties plunge into an all-out confrontation, the story mostly resides inside-the-Beltway, followed primarily by well-informed, politically engaged voters. These are the people who would know that Republican Senators like Coburn and Burr (and their reliably anti-Tea Party colleagues, like John McCain and Bob Corker) have been critical of House conservatives. But once the battle is joined--once we're officially into the payroll tax standoff or the shutdown--the media covers it breathlessly, and like a national story, not a political one. It leads the evening news (both national and local); it seizes newspaper headlines across the country; it works its way into late night talk-show routines. The amount of damage you sustain when members of your own party are sniping at you amid this sort of media glare is simply impossible to imagine beforehand."

"So go ahead, Tea Partiers. Shut down the government. But when you do, just keep in mind that 1996 is the favorable scenario. The throttling you're now courting is likely to be a whole lot worse."


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