Instapundit. I know there’s a blog by that name in the Pajamas Media network, but it’s the most accurate descriptor for the modern age of political punditry.

Scan your news feed. Scan your cable channels. What are all these folks’ qualifications for pontificating?

They use words like “unprecedented behavior by House Republicans,” and “not following due process,” and “holding the nation hostage.”

These are people who not only don’t understand history, but can’t be bothered to go to Wikipedia to see the long storied history of government shutdowns and US politics.

The second government shutdown was in 1977. You know what it was over? Use of Medicare funds to pay for abortions. House Democrats didn’t want to pay for abortions at all. Senate Democrats said it was OK, as long as it was from a rape or situation of incest.

In fact, in 15 of the 18 shutdowns, either the House, the Senate, or both, were Democratically controlled. Forget the Senate; in fact, in 15 of the 18 shutdowns, the House was Democratically controlled, regardless of Senate control. If you wake up from a 50-year cryogenic sleep, and the government is shut down, you don’t need to pick up a newspaper to find out who controls the House – odds are, it’s the Democrats.

To hear the President and his sycophants tell the story, the House is always responsible for holding the country hostage in a government shut down. I actually read, earlier tonight, that “Democrats have never been guilty of holding the country hostage over a trivial issue.” A cursory glance at history tells you otherwise. In the 15 cases where governmental shutdowns occurred under Democratic House rule, the reasons were (chiefly, in order of each shutdown): too much spending on education, too much funding for abortion, more abortion debate, even more abortion debate, too much spending on defense, not enough pay for members of congress, too much spending cut, an inability to show up to work on time by congress, too much spending on defense (3x), and too much of a spending cut.

So yeah. Democrats are totally blameless, and would never stoop to the level we’re seeing from a faction of the House Republicans.


Reading is fundamental, people. If you want to debate this issue with me, fine. Let’s debate. But if you’re going to make assertions that simply aren’t historically accurate, I’m going to think you’re dumb, and probably walk away from the conversation.

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