As the dust has settled after the federal government shutdown that ended last week, Republicans have taken hit in the polls. Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, however, doesn’t see that hit as a long-term problem for the GOP.
Kristol made an appearance on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC to make that case. He argued that a month from now, the shutdown would be a distant memory.
“I would say there’s [a] totally ridiculous amount of hysteria among Republicans in Washington and among donors across the country,” Kristol said. “They didn’t like the shutdown. I didn’t like it much either. I think Republican tactics left something to be desired. And they’re now in total meltdown and panic as if a two-week shutdown that had basically no effect on anything in October of 2013, it’s going to be forgotten in a month, is going to make a difference a year from now.”
The Weekly Standard editor compared the shutdown to the cause the led to the shutdown, which was taking on Obamacare and said the latter would have a larger impact on the overall economy.
“It was a minor derailment in my view,” he added. “And I’m actually more sympathetic probably than anyone else here to the people who did the derailment in the sense that I think leadership failed in the first place by not fighting earlier on in an intelligent way, which then led to Ted Cruz and others [pushing the shutdown]. It is appropriate to fight Obamacare as we’re now learning. Two months from now, I believe the minor derailment of the shutdown will look like nothing compared to the train wreck of Obamacare. Talk to that businessman. Is that businessman more worried about the cost Obamacare is going to impose on him or about a two-week shutdown that might have inconvenienced him slightly?”
Host Joe Scarborough countered Kristol’s claim by saying that businessmen view Washington as an impediment because of the uncertainty surrounding Congress on the fiscal votes. Kristol pointed to the most recent shutdown, noting that economic metric didn’t necessary suggest a panic by the business community.
“They can plan a year ahead,” Kristol replied. “I don’t even buy that. Businessmen love to complain about Washington. The stock market went up two percentage points during the shutdown, right? Did interest rates soar? Will we see any effect at the end of the year? I don’t buy it.”