- - Sunday, August 31, 2014

Right now, it appears that the GOP has momentum, with many polls indicating a very strong Republican showing likely in the November midterms. However, this all could change in an instant, the hoped-for victory lap turned into a postmortem.

Everything that Republicans should fear is contained in a single term: “government shutdown.” Any government shutdown in October will be blamed on the Republicans, and the Democrats are absolute masters at manipulating budget talks and debt-ceiling talks into situations that cause a government shutdown. Who could forget Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s famous “Send me a clean bill and the Senate will vote” tactic?

The media will blame the Republicans, no matter what they do. The media will frame the issue such that Republicans will lose their base if they cave and will lose independents if they do not. The longer a shutdown goes on, the worse it will be for Republicans.

Republicans, be afraid, be very afraid.

TERRY GERNSTEIN

McLean