Saturday, July 17, 2010

The crisis of 2011? — Crooked Timber

John Quiggin makes a good point:
I’ve been too absorbed by my book projects and by Australian politics (of which more soon) to pay a lot of attention to the forthcoming US elections, but it seems to be widely projected that the Republicans could regain control of the House of Representatives. What surprises me is that no-one has drawn the obvious inference as to what will follow, namely a shutdown of the US government.
Once the Republicans have some leverage, the country will be paralyzed. Nothing will get done, and none of our long term problems will be addressed. It will be pure entropy as the Republicans embolden themselves in hopes of a Palin victory in 2012. Meanwhile the Dems will be hoping that something in the legislation they've passed since Obama's election will bear fruit. It will be an ugly uglier couple of years.

On the other hand, Obama could probably get a lot mileage out of pwning a Republican House for a couple of years which would help his re-election chances. He'd be able to propose the expansion of popular programs while having some one to blame for obstructionist. I'd also like the Democrats get some kind of traction out of arguing that the 00s were the bad-old-days and that the Republicans are sending us back to them.