What do you think about a senior Obama administration person saying “We don’t care what’s happening in the US?”

An anonymous Obama administration insider explained why the President and the Senate are refusing to compromise, even to the point of refusing to accept piecemeal funding for expenditures everyone supports:

Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

Allahpundit thinks that the administration official is correct:  the public blames the Republicans, and that won’t change.  While it wasn’t a smart thing to say out loud, it’s true and saying it won’t change that truth:

That the White House feels this way is a “secret” the way Israel’s nukes are a “secret.” The reality is clear to everyone, but no good can come from formal acknowledgment.


The corollary to that, of course, is that the more the public suffers from the government being closed, the more the White House “wins.” That’s the essence of shutdown theater. Crazy theory: Maybe the reason the White House isn’t factoring public hardship into its strategic thinking is because, for all its blather, it doesn’t believe that there is much hardship. Furloughed workers will get back pay; people who can’t visit national parks are inconvenienced, but not so much so that Democrats will give up their opportunity to “win” politically because of it. And what about the cases of real, life-or-death hardship that need to be addressed urgently? You already got your answer on that.

Troy Senik has a more sanguine view, which is that this is the kind of statement the administration is desperately wishing it could walk back.  It speaks to the sociopathy within the White House, where politics is the only game, and the well-being of both America and Americanis irrelevant:

Whatever the case, this Administration has a gift for handing the press the worst possible characterization of their actions. Remember, it was an unattributed source who gave us “leading from behind” as the rallying cry for Libya. Ditto the recent declaration that the Administration’s response to Syria would be “just muscular enough to not get mocked.” (Step 1: Set bar incredibly low, Step 2: trip over it). Now, in today’s Wall Street Journal, yet another verbal kamikaze is in the cockpit:

Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

If you characterize the shutdown as a disaster in the making and then publicly declare that you’re willing to ride it out as long as necessary to maximize your political advantage, there’s only two possible interpretations: (1) you were lying about the severity of the situation in the first place or (2) you’re happy to let the country suffer as long as it allows you to put points on the board.

John Boehner gave one of the hardest-hitting, angriest press conferences I’ve ever seen him give.  I thought it was quite good, and wish he could get roused to that kind of passion more often.

You know, when we have a crisis like we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their leaders to sat down and try to resolve their differences. I was at the White House the other night and listened to the president some twenty times explain to me why he wasn’t going to negotiate. I sat there and listened to the majority leader in the United States Senate describe to me that he’s not gonna talk until we “surrender.” And then this morning, I get the Wall Street Journal out, and it says “Well, we don’t go how long this thing lasts because we’re winning .

This isn’t some damn game! The American people don’t want their government shutdown and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness, reopen the government, and to bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It’s as simple as that but, it all has to begin with a simple discussion (Emphasis in original.)

What do you think?  Is it all over except for the victory shouting on the Obama side?  Or is the administration displaying some serious hubris here.

Before you answer, a little data about the Gingrich-led shutdown, which is what’s guiding the Democrat strategy this time around:

But what really happened in 1995?  A Gallup set of surveys illuminates:

1. President Clinton’s popularity rating went down by 10%, from 52% before the shutdown to 42% after.

2. Gingrich’s approval went up slightly.  You have to read Gallup’s fine print in the survey to actually figure this out.

3. Congressional approval went up from 30% to 35%.  The Congress was Republican.  Realize that today’s approval numbers are around 10%.

President Clinton did go on to win re-election in 1996, with the help of Ross Perot, though he did not get a majority of the votes.  Furthermore, Clinton won by signaling his compliance with the Republican Congress’s demands for fiscal limits — in fact, in January of 1996, Clinton famously declared in his State of the Union message that “the era of big government is over.”  He was met by thunderous applause and sustained interruption in a Republican chamber that viewed the moment as a political signal of defeat for Democrats.

Okay, your opinions, please.
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  • JKB

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Clinton may have won the shutdown in the funny papers but after, he pretty much assumed all the Republican ideas.  The big lament of the Clinton administration by the Republicans was that he kept stealing their ideas.  I always thought, hey, who cares as long as the policies are implemented.  
    Somehow, I don’t see Obama swinging over to push Republican policies. 
    And now doubt the Dems will win in the press.  But if you had doubts about the increasing interference by the federal government into you life, does the petty blocking of parking lots and scenic lookouts give you the big government warm and fuzzies?  They had a shot but went absurd.  
    I do think Boehner should ostentatiously sit for a hour or so at the “negotiating” table everyday to demonstrate that he’s there but where is Obama and Reid.  Maybe set it up in the rotunda or the most public, open area he can muster on his own.  Ohh, Boehner, McConnell, and two empty chairs….

  • MacG

    “You know, when we have a crisis like we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their leaders to sat down and try to resolve their differences.”
    The Speaker and all TEA Party ‘leaders’ ought to be saying things like above like this: ”
    You know, when we have a crisis like we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their ELECTEES to sit down and try to resolve their differences.” They are no leaders, they are servants.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    So if the Shutdown gets a woman killed, it’s okay so long as soldiers under Bush didn’t do the killing?
    Something like what just happened in DC, right?

  • Texan99

    For what it’s worth, the 1995 shutdown is what began my separation me from the Democratic Party.  Until then, I thought they were serious about balancing the budget.  During the shutdown, all they wanted to talk about was federal workers who weren’t getting their paychecks.
    Maybe there are some Democrats out there today who aren’t primarily interested in the government as a source of freebies.  They may be opening their eyes right now and wondering what in the heck is wrong with the press.

  • Mike Devx

    The media no longer has the widespread credibility they still had in the mid 90’s.  Their extreme bias in favor of the Democrats has taken its toll, year after year, and it will only continue.  We are already past the tipping point on this, and it is all downhill from here.  But it’s a slow process, so have patience.
    The best part is, the media is FRANTICALLY spinning this, in collusion with the White House, highlighting the stories that benefit them, deep-sixing the stories that don’t.  The bias and partisanship is breathtaking.  We will take hits in the short term, but remember the long game.  This is all fine; this is all good.  More of the truth will come out over time, and they WILL pay a price for all of these outrageous shenanigans.  Shutdown Theatre indeed!
    It’s frustrating, I know.  It would be useful if the Republicans would pull some stunts that the media couldn’t help but cover due to its entertainment value, and then hit them with the truths.  I know they see such behavior as demagoguery and classless, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
    I’m encouraged so far.  The left’s rhetoric has been outrageous, almost rabid, and I don’t think that is a sign of confidence.  I think they can tell their iron control over the media spin is slowly slipping away, and they have no idea what to do about it.  When shouting at the top of your lungs no longer works, you hurl yourself to floor and have a frenzied temper tantrum.  That’s what I see them doing.  I’m not worried, this is all good so far.

  • lee

    My cynacism kicked in this morning over the al Qaeda news. Timing sooooooo convenient: The Won screws up, and pullsthis out of his… hat. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    One of the Left’s propaganda judo moves was to reinforce the concept that the MSM were biased. However, they didn’t say how it was biased, so 70+% of Americans believed the MSM were biased.
    But that was merely preparation for Leftist agents to claim that the MSM was “right wingers” when it suited them.
    Do you see how it works? First they build a foundation where many people spout off A, then they subtly change things so that B from A favors them.Worst comes to worst, they can deny Media “Bias” in favor of the Left, while saying if any bias exists, it is for right wingers. And a bias for progressive humanism is “good” anyways.
    In the future, try to recognize when the Left does these preparatory moves, since it’s often like a chess opening. The clueless newbies are often taken for a ride.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    To put the stake in the vampire’s heart, polls should be asking (and influencing people) with this question.
    Q: Do you think the mainstream media networks most commonly seen by the public are supporting evil tyrants or supporting the good of humanity?
    That question will influence things in the right way, a clear, no excuse, format. The results will tell you a lot more than “do you think there’s bias in the media”. With half of the respondents saying yes, being revolutionary terrorist baby killing fers.