Friday, September 10, 2010
GOP Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, in comments made today before a group of Republican activists, predicted that a GOP takeover of Congress could very well lead to a government shutdown.
Well... it might, but what is the point in talking about that now? What does Westmoreland, vice chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and thus supposedly focused on getting Republicans elected to Congress, think the public's reaction is going to be?
GOP voters are already heavily motivated to come out and vote, not a single additional GOP voter is going to show up for the opportunity to shut down the government.
The challenge (for both parties) is to win the votes of the mushy middle, those who, by definition, aren't as solidly conservative as the right. These people shy away from confrontation, they like taking baby steps in what they think is the right direction and not what they think of as big scary leaps into the unknown (one of the reasons they opposed Obamacare, it was too much, too fast).
And as much as these voters might not like the big government spending, they have no appetite for actually shutting down the government. These people don't want their national parks and Social Security offices and local FBI offices all closed. They don't want food inspectors told to stay home nor do they want disruptions to the air traffic system.
One of the last chances the Democrats have to keep control is to convince the mushy middle that, as bad as the Democrats have been, the GOP is just too scary and rash to be trusted with the somber responsibility of keeping the country running.
And with Westmoreland going on like he is, the Democrats can use the GOP's own words against the GOP.
So, Representative Westmoreland, please stop talking, you're not doing yourself or anyone on your side of the aisle any good. Just step away from the microphone... at least until the day after Election Day.