President Obama and The Shutdown Games

On Friday, an unnamed senior staffer at the White House made the following statement:

Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

There’s so much wrong here, it could take all day to respond. But here are two:

1) “Winning” is only a good thing if it’s for the good of the American people. Political victories to enhance a person’s or party’s image is worse than useless if that’s the end goal.
2) Which “end result” is the staffer talking about? A clean CR that gets passed? Obamacare being fully implemented? The GOP losing the public relations battle?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wasted no time in responding:

.@morningmoneyben So am I, Ben. We utterly disavow idea WH doesn’t care when it ends. House should act now, no strings attached. #JustVote

— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) October 4, 2013

Other people on Twitter called out Carney for disavowing the idea of the White House not caring when the “shutdown” ends, but not actually refuting the quote itself. Political doublespeak is par for the White House Press Secretary course, so without a clear statement rejecting the tweet, we have to assume the Administration agrees with the staffer.

With the White House now firmly on the side of political gamesmanship over helping the American people, Speaker of the House John Boehner wasted no time in calling out the President:

“The American people expect their leaders to sit down and try to resolve their differences,” the Ohioan Republican began. “I was at the White House the other night and listening to the president some 20 times explain to me why he wasn’t going to negotiate; sat there and listened to the Majority Leader [Harry Reid] saying to me that we’re not going to talk until we surrender.”

“… This isn’t some damn game!” Boehner said. “The American people don’t want their government shut down, and neither do I!”

Speaker Boehner has long been criticized by the Tea Party for being weak on negotiations and for not fighting back against President Obama and Senator Reid. With the White House continuing its self-inflicted injuries – including the WWII Memorial snafu and Reid’s comments about a child and cancer – we look forward to further standing with him on this battle for equality under the law and a better future for the American people.