Clinton himself knew all of this, and used the situation to his advantage. “Since I took office, we have cut the federal deficit nearly in half [and] it is important that the people of the United States know that the United States now has proportionately the lowest government budget deficit of any large industrial nation,” he said in his speech announcing the shutdown. “Republicans are following a very explicit strategy announced last April by Speaker Gingrich, to use the threat of a government shutdown to force America to accept their cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, to accept their cuts in education and technology and the environment.”Pretty much boils down to who and what the American people support during these standoffs. The only question remaining is whether or not this Congress maintains the courage of its convictions and will hold the line against Dubya's bully-pulpit bullying. Given the recent polling (And who needs courage when you've got the masses?), here's betting that it does.
This is exactly the opposite of where Bush will be when he vetoes the supplemental. Polls consistently show the public opposes the war, is against Bush’s surge, and has lost almost all faith in Bush’s handling of the situation. Democrats consistently get higher marks from the public on Iraq than Bush or Republicans, with the most recent PIPA poll showing 70 percent of the public believes Democrats’ proposals in Congress to end the war are either “about right” or “not going far enough” (in fact, “not far enough” gets the highest marks overall, meaning there’s a lot of running room for Democrats). Even on the issue of “terrorism”, Democrats are even with Bush and, in some polls, ahead, meaning Bush’s absurd efforts to conflate 9/11 and Iraq will fall flat. In sum, Bush, unlike Clinton, will be digging in AGAINST public opposition to his policies, and in confrontation with opponents who the public trusts more on the issue at hand.
Friday, March 30, 2007
after the veto...
David Sirota, with a deft bit of logic, explains how this Congress, by not giving in to Dubya's insistence on a "no-strings" funding for the troops, will have no correlation with Gingrich's Congress, i.e., after they shut down the government in '90-something because Bill Clinton wouldn't give them what they wanted: