Grover Norquist wants to party like it’s 1995. The Americans for Tax Reform chief and noted Ronald Reagan fan says that Republicans would really do themselves a favor by forcing another government shutdown like they did the last time they took over the House when a Democratic president was in office.
Speaking to Politico, Norquist said that if the Republicans shut down the government over spending concerns this time around, it’ll be a lot different than when they did it in 1995. The shutdowns that year are generally seen as a victory for then-President Clinton, who used the images of shuttered Social Security offices and other government agencies to paint the GOP as fanatical.
If the government were to be shut down thanks to a budget dispute between the White House and the Republicans in Congress next year, however, Norquist says the only person who’d suffer politically would be President Obama.
“He will be less popular if in service of overspending and wasting people’s money, he closes the government down,” he said.Norquist said that not only would a government shutdown be a good idea, it’s also probably going to happen. Though he says he hasn’t had any specific discussions with Congressional Republican leaders, Norquist says it’s clear to him that the government is headed for another 1995-style showdown.
“It’s the path that I recommend and I think that it’s the path that is likely to be followed,” Norquist said.
As TPM’s Brian Beutler reported back in September, Norquist isn’t the only conservative who’s stoked about the idea of a government shut down — or who says that despite the epic Republican political fail of 1995, a 2011 shutdown will be all about destroying Obama.