Right-wing media figures are displeased after the likelihood of a government shutdown seemed to fade following a breakthrough after days of failed negotiations and speculation. Specifically, right-wing media figures cheered the idea of a shutdown because they wanted to make sure that “Democrats get blamed” and to exact revenge after, as they claimed, Democrats made previous shutdowns “as painful as possible.”
Government Could Shut Down If Republicans, Democrats Can’t Agree On Funding Provisions
Politico: Government Shutdown Could Still Happen Despite Republicans And Democrats Coming Together On Legislation. According to an April 26 piece in Politico, the White House has decided to drop its demand for border wall funding and agreed to make payments subsidizing low-income Americans’ health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. However, the agreement only covers what is most likely a one week extension until a final deal can be hammered out, which given disagreements on paying for health insurance subsidies, could still present a roadblock to avoiding a shutdown. [Politico, 4/26/17]
Right-Wing Media Call On Trump, GOP To Shut Down The Government
Fox’s Taya Kyle: Republicans Should Call Democrats’ “Bluff” On A Government Shutdown. Fox News contributor Taya Kyle advocated for President Donald Trump to “call” the Democrats’ “bluff” on the potential of a government shutdown and dismissed the consequences of a shutdown, claiming, “There is no real shutdown of government. All it is is a bullying tactic.” From the April 25 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered:
TAYA KYLE: When they talk about government shutdown, I'm baffled at why Donald Trump isn't calling them out on this. A government shutdown, from what I understand, and I want you to correct me if I'm wrong, but congressmen are telling me that it's 9 percent to 17 percent of nonessential government employees go home, sit on their couch for two weeks, when they come back they get all their back pay, and life goes on --
HARRIS FAULKNER (HOST): Are you advocating for a government shutdown?
KYLE: No, what I'm saying is, call their bluff. There is no real shutdown of government. All it is is a bullying tactic to say “we’re going to shut down the government.” The government doesn't shut down. A few people go home, they get back pay, they come back. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 4/25/17]
Fox’s Erick Erickson: “We Ought To Go Through A Government Shutdown … Because The Last Two Times Have Been Run By Democrats. And They Always Made It As Painful As Possible.” Fox News contributor Erick Erickson told Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, “The reason I think we ought to go through a government shutdown is because the last two times have been run by Democrats. And they always made it as painful as possible.” Doocy agreed, saying, “When you look at history, the Republicans get the blame for it,” and concluding that even during shutdown, “people still get their government checks.” From the April 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (HOST): Well, Congress returns to work later this morning with a major job on its plate: try to reach a deal to keep the government running in the next three days or it's going to shut down. But our next guest says, please. Let it shut down. What's he talking about? Let’s talk to Fox News contributor Erick Erickson joining us now from down in Georgia. Erick, look your daughter is heading to Washington, D.C., for a school field trip. You want her to be able to go into the Smithsonian, don't you?
ERICK ERICKSON: Right. Yes, I do, but you know, that's kind of the point. The media is already blaming the president for a government shutdown that hasn't happened. It seems like the media always blames Republicans when it's the Democrats who are obstructing things right now. And yet, they are not getting any of the blame. The reason I think we ought to go through a government shutdown is because the last two times have been run by Democrats. And they always made it as painful as possible. And I think it would be great for people to see that the government can close down, and the world isn't going to end. The Smithsonian doesn't necessarily have to close up shop. It's just that President Obama made them close up shop to make tourists mad at the Republicans.
DOOCY: And you know what? That worked. When you look at history, the Republicans get the blame for it. Part of it is just the way things work and part of it, as you know, Erick, is the mainstream media is always going to portray guys like you, you evil conservatives, as the troublemakers.
ERICKSON: Right. That's the point of highlighting this and the absurdity of the media reporting on the government shutdown. The president is working to actually get a budget passed, and the Democrats want more and more and more spending. And they're the ones holding the budget hostage. And yet, if you read The New York Times, for example, you're going to see blame towards Republicans and the president as opposed towards Chuck Schumer and the Democrats of the Senate. I think if the president were to shut down the government and he wanted to target closings of government, he could make it pay for the Democrats, make it painful for them.
DOOCY: When you look at what a government shutdown actually means, as I remember, from last time, people still get their government checks. The people who work for the federal government still get paid. They might get paid a week later or something like that. But the main thing is, the national monuments close, and that's the most visible sign of it. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/26/17]
Fox’s Jon Scott: If Democrats Are “Threatening To Shut Down The Government,” Why Wouldn’t The President “Welcome The Consequent Beating Democrats Might Take In The Polls?” On the April 25 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott asked The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, “If Democrats were threatening to shut it down over the border wall, why would the president not welcome the consequent beating Democrats might take in the polls?” From the April 25 interview:
JON SCOTT (HOST): So Sarah, is the president getting buffaloed by Congress? Maybe specifically Democrats in Congress? Is he backing away with a fight with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi?
SARAH WESTWOOD: I think President Trump recognizes this is largely a process fight. Whether the wall is appropriated now, whether that is legislated later in the year. Voters don't care if the can gets kicked down the road as long as Trump doesn't concede the fight completely. President Trump doesn't want to shut down on his 100th day in office. Republicans don't want a shutdown because they want to look like a party that can govern, and Democrats don't want a shutdown either because they want to look like a party that can do something other than obstruct Trump's agenda whole cloth. So, everyone involved wants to avoid a shutdown at all costs. Republicans are willing to concede appropriations specifically for the border wall, and Democrats are willing to concede that they can beef up funding for border security in general as long as the government stays open
SCOTT: Philip, it’s maybe not a question you can answer, but the last couple of government shutdowns were blamed on the Republicans and the party took a beating in public opinion polls. So why -- if Democrats were threatening to shut down over the border wall, why would the president not welcome the consequent beating Democrats might take in the polls?
BUMP: I think it’'s important to remember, yes, there's a government shutdown in 2013. Republicans were pilloried for doing so, and then they demolished the Democrats in 2014. That's not necessarily the case that that decision hurt them in the polls. That said, I also don't think it's a clear cut case here where the Democrats would be blamed. [Fox News, Happening Now, 4/25/17]
Radio Host Rush Limbaugh: “I Was Hoping That Trump Would Throw This Shutdown Thing Right Back In [The Democrats’] Face.” On the April 25 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Program, Limbaugh reported that he’s “very, very troubled to have to pass this on” but that, despite his “hoping that Trump would throw this shutdown thing” in the Democrats’ face, it “looks like Trump is caving” on his border wall plan to avoid a government shutdown. From the April 25 show:
RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on, and I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case, but it looks like -- from here, right here, right now -- it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico. The Democrats are threatening a government shutdown. It’s the same old, same old and I was hoping that Trump would throw this shutdown thing right back in their face.
I’d like to see somebody take this on and reverse this, so if the government shuts down, the Democrats get blamed for it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Program, 4/25/17]
National Review: “If Democrats Want To Shut The Government Down, The White House Should Let Them, And Make Them Own The Consequences.” In a March 15 post, National Review’s Jonathan S. Tobin wrote, “The media will never blame Democrats for forcing a shutdown, but President Trump should call their bluff anyway” and concluded, “If Democrats want to shut the government down, the White House should let them, and make them own the consequences.” From the March 15 article:
The media will never blame Democrats for forcing a shutdown, but President Trump should call their bluff anyway.
This time, the GOP should not be the party that fears blame and is unwilling to stand on principle. If Democrats want to shut the government down, the White House should let them, and make them own the consequences. Rather than being the victims of media bias, conservatives should look forward to an opportunity to expose the mainstream press as an arm of the Democrats. If Schumer thinks he can beat Trump in a standoff the way Obama always beat Boehner, let him try. [National Review, 3/17/17]
American Spectator: Trump Should “Make Even A Partial Shutdown Look Like The Democrats’ Fault.” In an April 24 article, The American Spectator’s Larry Schweikart, in an article titled “Trump Wins YUGE In A Government Shutdown,” contended that Trump “can not only make even a partial shutdown look like the Democrats’ fault but shield many of the (normally) loudest voices from the pain.” He added, “More important, every minute the bloated government is shut down reinforces the perception of Trump as a businessman” who “makes the U.S. government more like a business.” From the April 24 article:
We’re looking at a possible government shutdown next Saturday, and that’s got some conservatives nervous. They shouldn’t be. Admittedly, past government shutdowns — or threats of shutdowns — have worked against conservatives. With Trump, however, it would likely be a different story.
In short, Trump can not only make even a partial shutdown look like the Democrats’ fault but shield many of the (normally) loudest voices from the pain.
More important, every minute the bloated government is shut down reinforces the perception of Trump as a businessman who cuts the fat, extracts more efficiency, and makes the U.S. government more like a business. [The American Spectator, 4/24/17]