How Government Shutdowns Help America

The government shutdown is probably improving the future of the United States. That may seem impossible, given the hyperbole flying about the public sphere this week as the partial shutdown of the federal government began.  But understanding why the crisis represents real political progress begins by re-examining the archetypal case study: the 1995 federal government shutdown.  The traditional media memes tell us that President Clinton destroyed Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the classic Democrat-meets-Republican showdown of government shutdowns.  It is upon this template that the Obama team build their current paradigm of argumentation. 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....(Read Full Article)

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