Howard Dean suggests government shutdown would be good for Dems
If Howard Dean were still the head of the Democratic National Committee, he would be “quietly rooting” for a government shutdown, he said while speaking on a National Journal Insider’s Conference panel Tuesday, according to the National Journal.
“From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown,” the former DNC chairman said. “I know who’s going to get blamed. We’ve been down this road before.”
Dean clarified that during the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, it was the Republican Party that took the blame, which Dean believes, improved former President Bill Clinton’s reelection chances.
“All these tea party people who are dependent on Social Security and Medicare and all these other things, when those checks stop coming, believe me, their constituency’s going to go even lower than it has been after the fiasco in Wisconsin,” Dean said, before he was reminded that Social Security checks will not stop coming in the event of a shutdown.
“Yes,” he countered. “But there’s going to be a lot of talk about it and there’s going to be a lot of nervousness and there are going to be some things that do stop and who knows what’s going to stop?”
Panelists Steve Elmendorf, top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, former Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia and former Republican Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, disagreed with Dean on all points, saying a shutdown would be bad for the American people and would not assist either party politically.
Dean said he wouldn’t like a shutdown from a statesman point of view.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Tuesday that the House will not pass another short-term federal funding bill if Congress cannot finalize a 2011 spending agreement by April 8, according to the Boston Globe.
Here’s video of Dean speaking on the National Journal Insider’s Conference panel: