Politics

Will Success Spoil The GOP? Most Signs Point to Yes

|

Reason contributor and Claremont McKenna political scientist John J. Pitney Jr. writes about the GOP's coming victory in The Wall Street Journal:

Above all, power means responsibility. As political scientist William F. Connelly Jr. reminds us in his splendid new book, "James Madison Rules America," no party in the U.S. Congress is ever simply the "opposition." Like it or not, a Republican majority will have to work with the president to pass budgets and conduct the routine business of government. As the 1995-1996 government shutdowns showed, failures can cause enormous political turmoil. And with vastly larger deficits nowadays, Congress's responsibilities will be heavy indeed.

Republicans hold the keys to majority status in their hands. They won't like everything that's on the other side of the door.

If the past is prologue, neither will we. Whole thing here. 

Pitney just talked to Reason.tv about the libertarian electorate and the likely role it will play in the midterm elections. Take a look-see:

NEXT: Last Week's Top 5 Hits at Reason.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I think a prolonged government shut down is just what the doctor order. The problem with the 1995 shutdown was the Republicans chickened out. They don’t really shut down the government. The cops and the military still operate. And people still get their social security and welfare checks. It just shuts everything else down. And what does that do? The longer it went on, the more people would realize the feds really don’t do a lot beyond spend money.

    1. +1776

      But why not include the cops and military as well?

      1. If we really shut down the military, it might make things a little too tempting for our enemies. You can’t go a long time, like months or even a year with no military and customs service and things like. But you sure as hell can go a year without HUD, the Department of Education and about everything else the government does.

        1. Costa Rica has gone months and years without a military.

          1. Costa Rica is not the size or strategic importance of the US. Still, there would be ways to make a partial military shutdown leaving the US no more vulnerable.

  2. A shutdown of both parties would be a good start.

    The death of both parties would be even better.

  3. Will Success Spoil The GOP?

    As soon as any newly-elected congressperson sets foot on Capitol Hill for the first time, they already smell like they’re well past the use-by date marked on their package.

  4. “And with vastly larger deficits nowadays, Congress’s responsibilities will be heavy indeed.”

    With all due respect, fuck you Mr. Pitney Jr. There is nothing heavy about it all. You write a budget that cuts spending and does something about the deficit and forward it to a Obama with a highlighted copy of Article I of the constitution. If he doesn’t like it, he can veto it and put his own supporters in the government out of work for a while. In the meantime, you can’t run a deficit if most of the government is shut down.

  5. I saw Mitch McConnell on the teevee yesterday morning. What a disgusting, repugnant sleazebag that guy is.

    I do not anticipate anything good happening with him and his cronies in charge.

    1. If enough tea party senate candidates get elected, he wont be.

      1. Jim DeMint for Senate majority leader

        1. I don’t want to see DeMint on my pillow.

          1. Don’t reach so far, man, you’ll pull a muscle.

  6. For the first year, GOP needs to pass (within reason) any budget Obama wants, but with a health care bill reversal attached.

    Nothing should pass without overturning the health care bill. Nothing.

    1. Nope. The GOP needs to pass a budget that Obama hates, with the health care reversal attached.

      Let him veto it, and deal with the political fallout from the fact that HE shut down the government, not the Rs.

  7. Hey, we belive in limited gov’t – limited to having jurisdiction over your bloodstream and money.

  8. As the 1995-1996 government shutdowns showed, failures can cause enormous political turmoil.

    Not any actual ill effects on people outside the beltway, mind you, but LOTS of political turmoil.

  9. ‘Will Success Spoil The GOP?’

    That’s like worrying if a pile of maggoty meat will spoil. It’s too late.

  10. I’m suing!

  11. As the 1995-1996 government shutdowns showed, failures can cause enormous political turmoil. And with vastly larger deficits nowadays, Congress’s responsibilities will be heavy indeed.

    The aftermath of the 1995-1996 budget shutdown was… less spending and closer to balanced budget. Remind us why that’s a bad thing?

    The GOP behaving like it did then would be the opposite of success spoiling them.

    1. Yeah. It resulted in a surplus by 1999. That doesn’t sound too bad to me.

      1. We havent run a surplus since the early 50s. We had a projected surplus in the late Clinton era, we never actually had one.

        1. This. There was no year in the 1990s or 2000s in which the total US debt decreased.

  12. I don’t care if the GOP smells like a dead beached whale after the election, so long as they manage to institute some serious gridlock in DC.

  13. Will Success Spoil The GOP?

    They aren’t spoiled already?

  14. yes, they have not been sufficiently spanked. Unfortunately, the Democrats seriously need to get spanked EVEN HARDER.

  15. yes, they have not been sufficiently spanked. Unfortunately, the Democrats seriously need to get spanked EVEN HARDER.

    1. you can say that again!

  16. In the past, a party would enter power ready to try to do some good but then get sidetracked and corrupted and the other party – having just finished cleaning house – enters ready to try to do some good.

    When the Dems regained power in 2006, it wasn’t because they earned it but because the GOP was so awful that they entered without the cleanup. If the GOP enters in 2010 it will be the same thing.

    The Republicans don’t deserve to win right now, just as the Democrats didn’t deserve to win in 2006. But the Democrats do deserve to lose, just as the Republicans deserved to lose in 2006.

    If there was only some way for one side to lose without the other side winning …

  17. Did you see “High School Musical 3”? There’s this hall, this corridor that’s on a pivot, turning like a cement truck’s barrel. Inside is an American voter who first smashes himself against the Democrat Wall (when Bush is in office) — kicking out all the Republicans and making both the Senate and the House pretty much Democrat.

    It’s now 2010 and The Hall turns again. The voter is miffed at who’s in office and he smashes himself against the opposite wall — this time kicking out all the Democrats and making both the Senate and the House pretty much Republican.

    Makes you want to scream, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, this goes on, election year after election year … until the voter “wakes up” on stage, sees the light sitting in the dark, and says to himself, “But of course! I should’ve voted Libertarian from the beginning! No more tumbling corridors for me, thank you!”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.