Barely a month ago, the U.S. government shut down.
Because of the insistence of a minority faction within the Republican Party, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, unhappy with Obamacare.
When asked afterwards by ABC News correspondent Jon Karl about the possibility of a second government shutdown, Cruz responded, “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.”
The prospect of another government shutdown is all the more likely and frightening in light of recent events.
Senate Democrats recently enacted a measure, popularly known as the “nuclear option,” to limit filibusters over judicial and executive nominees. The move has angered many Republican leaders, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who likened the move to a Democratic “power grab.”
The recent exercise of the nuclear option expounded by upcoming midterm elections has certainly put pressure on congressional Republicans to oppose most any Democratic legislation and further divided the two parties.
While many Republican leaders such as Sen. John McCain and McConnell assured us that we will not have another shutdown, I have yet to be convinced.
With Cruz pushing for another stand against Obamacare and Republicans further divided over recent events, as the Jan. 15 deadline approaches it seems all the more likely that a second shutdown is inevitable.
However, if history is any indication, a second government shutdown will not bode well for the economy, the American people or the Republican Party.
Remember 1995? The second government shutdown led to midterm Republican losses in the House and the re-election of former President Bill Clinton over Republican contender Bob Dole.
When a balanced budget was finally reached afterwards, it was almost completely on President Clinton’s terms and was hailed as his signature achievement — not that of Republicans. Should history dare repeat itself, I fear the consequences will likely be the same.
“It would be political suicide to have a second government shutdown after the disaster of this last one,” said Voehringer Professor of Economics Robert G. Williams.
“Even worse than the government shutdown is questioning the debt limit of the U.S. government; it showed sheer idiocy on the part of those wanting to hold up the increase in the debt limit over the political debate over Obamacare,” he said.
In addition, Republicans may soon lose key donors.
“Businesses are starting to lose confidence in congressional Republicans,” said junior and business major Edward Praley. “Should a second government shutdown be realized, we may indeed see former Republican donors start to reconsider their funding.”
Surely the Republicans know better.
We were once a model nation. An exemplar of progress, democratic debate and stirring compromise. A nation of Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise, JFK and the space shuttle.
Since the Civil War, we have not been a country which succumbed to the pressures of factionalism and risked the fate of its people over ideological values and irrational stubbornness.
We had a government that functioned, a government that did not inflict self-imposed punishments. What happened?
Our country cannot keep going from crisis to crisis. We cannot shut down our government every time we have a political disagreement. Another government shutdown means another economic depression. Another wave of furloughed workers and unemployed citizens. Another Republican who will not be elected or will not be funded.
While I am no forecaster, all the conditions point to another shutdown. If my prediction is true, assuredly nobody will escape unscathed.