It’s increasingly looking like a government shutdown is the GOP’s fallback position on the debt ceiling fight. If a government default is too risky politically and economically, then a government shutdown still get Republicans a genuine primal scream moment, with arguably less severe consequences to the economy. As for the political consequences of a shutdown, Republicans seem more focused on the internal party politics involved than the larger body politic. Here’s how one adviser put it to Politico:
House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. “We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.”
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.