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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Ryan’s Budget and the Impending Government Shutdown

There’s no actual connection between the release of a draft budget resolution by Rep. Paul Ryan yesterday, and what appears to be a stalemate in negotiations over a short-term appropriations measure, that could trigger a partial shutdown of the federal government.
But you have to wonder, given all the talk from Republicans about Ryan’s incredible boldness and courage, and from Democrats about the dire consequences of what he is proposing, if the public is going to make a connection on its own. As Mark Blumenthal explains at Pollster today, polls show a very volatile situation in terms of the “blame” assigned if the government shuts down. Self-identified Democrats are much more supportive of a compromise by their side than are Republicans. But the perception that Republicans have introduced a new, radical note in the “budget” negotiations (which is how most media have described the appropriations battle) could influence the reactions of both self-identified Democrats and independents in the direction of anger towards the GOP for upsetting a delicate situation.
We’ll soon see how it plays out, but it is worth remembering that most folks make little or no distinction between short-term and long-term budget fights, and have every reason to figure that Paul Ryan is leading Republicans into a confrontation with Democrats over his aspirations to end Medicare and Medicaid as we’ve know them.

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