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GOP plan to shut down government and blame Democrats backfires spectacularly

By       Message Eric Boehlert       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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A new poll shows the public sees right through the White House spin.

From flickr.com: Mitch McConnell {MID-231899}
Mitch McConnell
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For any Republicans still in denial about how the looming government shutdown might play politically, a new poll confirms their worst fears.

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"A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds substantially greater Republican risk in a government shutdown, with Americans by a 20-point margin saying they're more likely to blame Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress than the congressional Democrats if one occurs," ABC News reported on Friday, just hours before the possible shutdown takes place.

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The new survey finds 48 percent say they'd blame Trump and the GOP for a shutdown, compared to just 28 percent who would blame the Democrats in Congress.

While Democrats oppose Trump and Republicans support him, independent voters are firmly in the Democratic camp regarding a shutdown: 46 percent would fault Republicans, compared to 25 percent who would blame Democrats.

For the GOP, it's de'jvu, since independent voters overwhelmingly blamed Republicans for government shutdowns in 1996 and 2013.

All of this torpedoes the White House's jumbled attempt to blame Democrats for the fate of federal government, even though Republicans today control the federal government. It's a talking point that defies common sense.

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As Fox News' Shephard Smith noted on Thursday, "I mean, never in the history -- at least modern history -- of the country has there been a government shutdown when a single party is in charge of Washington."

Still, the White House and the GOP continue to insist that Senate Democrats are engineering an impasse by refusing to support yet another short-term spending bill to keep the government's lights on. The government is currently operating on its third temporary funding measure since the new fiscal year began in October.

Torpedoing that talking point is the fact that some Republican senators are likely to join with Democrats in voting against the spending resolution. "In addition to strong Democratic opposition, at least three Republican senators have said they will not back the continuing resolution in its current form," Reuters reports.

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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a (more...)
 

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