October 11, 2013
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE (profanity alert):
The Six Big Takeaways From the Government Shutdown (Nate Silver, October 10, 2013, Grantland)
1. The media is probably overstating the magnitude of the shutdown's political impact.Remember Syria? The fiscal cliff? Benghazi? The IRS scandal? The collapse of immigration reform? All of these were hyped as game-changing political moments by the news media, just as so many stories were during the election last year. In each case, the public's interest quickly waned once the news cycle turned over to another story. Most political stories have a fairly short half-life and won't turn out to be as consequential as they seem at the time.Or consider the other story from President Obama's tenure in office that has the most parallels to the shutdown: the tense negotiations, in 2011, over the federal debt ceiling. The resolution to that crisis, which left voters across the political spectrum dissatisfied, did have some medium-term political impact: Obama's approval ratings declined to the low 40s from the high 40s, crossing a threshold that historically marks the difference between a reelected president and a one-termer, and congressional approval ratings plunged to record lows.But Obama's approval ratings reverted to the high 40s by early 2012, enough to facilitate his reelection. Meanwhile, reelection rates for congressional incumbents were close to their long-term averages.
It's a minor squabble over how quickly to balance the budget. It's fun, but essentially meaningless.Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2013 4:40 AM