Shutdown Charade Was Bad Theater

Brinkmanship game disingenuous, reckless
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2011 4:45 PM CDT
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speak to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Last night’s “needless, reckless, game of shutdown chicken” was a sham, with both sides drawing out the drama, complains Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Sure, Barack Obama, John Boehner and Harry Reid all said they wanted to reach a resolution. But “If that were so, a government shutdown would have been averted weeks before it was,” Milbank argues. “Instead, they decided to go to DefCon 1 over a skirmish involving a fraction of 1% of the federal budget.”

These guys drew this out intentionally, because giving any ground at all before the last minute would look like surrender. Both sides used the crisis to play to their bases, with Democrats even sending out a fundraising plea. And so each day followed an eerily similar two-steps-forward, three-steps-back pattern, with generous doses of trash talk thrown in. “Even in a town known for its kabuki theater,” Milbank writes, “this one takes the kimono.”

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