You have sex with goats 15 times and for some reason…
Washington is reaching a consensus: the government will shut down in 10 days — and Republicans will bear the brunt of voter disgust over it.
With House GOP leadership on Wednesday again showing little progress in moving a stopgap funding bill to prevent a shutdown, officials have begun a two-pronged effort to prepare for a shutdown that seems less avoidable every day.
There is the official side of government, where the Biden administration’s Office of Management and Budget has been working with agencies to make contingency plans for when funding runs out. And there is the political arena, where party operatives are focused on a different goal: inflicting maximum pain on their Republican adversaries and seeking to pin them with blame for an interruption in federal services and paychecks for government workers.
POLITICO reported Wednesday there have been some back-channel talks between centrist Democrats and Republicans about cobbling together a bipartisan plan to keep the government open, but it was entirely unclear whether or when those conversations might yield any result.
There is little optimism in most quarters for a last-minute rescue plan. And Republicans are feeling a keen sense of apprehension that their party will suffer badly should a shutdown transpire.
“We always get the blame,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a senior appropriator. “Name one time that we’ve shut the government down and we haven’t got the blame.”
Admittedly. you can kind of understand why Republicans feel entitled to “Both Sides Do It Equally” coverage irrespective of who is responsible — it certainly is the default — but in the particular context of their government shutdowns it never works. But they keep doing it anyway because expressing random nihilism — whether to court the support of your nuttiest donors and voters or for its own sake — is more important than mere politics.