How is shutdown both parties’ fault, if GOP always wanted it?

While lazy pundits claim both sides are to blame for shutdown, here's proof Republicans have plotted it for years SLIDE SHOW

Topics: slideshow, Tea Party, Republican Party, GOP, Government shutdown, Ron Paul, Joe Walsh, Lynn Westmoreland, Louie Gohmert, Mike Pence, The Right,

How is shutdown both parties' fault, if GOP always wanted it?Joe Walsh (Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Although the mainstream media has largely covered the government shutdown as a heightened case of typical Washington gridlock, President Obama was much closer to the truth when he described it as the doing of “one faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government.”

But in truth, even Obama didn’t go quite far enough. While it’s the case that Tea Party intransigence is to blame for the shutdown, it would be a mistake to conclude that this was the unforeseen consequence of a series of separate tactical maneuvers. As Rachel Maddow has reported, the reality is that a government shutdown has long been seen by Replublicans as a useful tool for extracting concessions from Democrats.

Sometimes the goal was big spending cuts. Other times it was to roll back Obamacare. Whatever the desired result, the chosen weapon was the same: a government shutdown, the first in 17 years.

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    The GOP’s always wanted a government shutdown

    Mike Pence

    Back when he was a congressman, Indiana Governor Mike Pence told reporters that if Democrats were unwilling to slash government spending, "then I say, shut it down."
    credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

    The GOP’s always wanted a government shutdown

    Louie Gohmert

    The Texas Congressman told ThinkProgress in 2010, "Government is going to have to shut down until you runaway-spending people get it under control."
    credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

    The GOP’s always wanted a government shutdown

    Ron Paul

    When he was still in Congress, in 2010, Paul said of a potential government shutdown, "I don't think it would hurt one bit."
    credit: Reuters/Scott Audette

    The GOP’s always wanted a government shutdown

    Joe Walsh

    Walsh lost his seat in the 2012 election, but when he was still a Congressman he told CBS News, "If we need a jolt, if we need the government shutdown for a few days for us to really get serious, I think the American people are with that."
    credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

    The GOP’s always wanted a government shutdown

    Lynn Westmoreland

    In 2010, the Georgia Congressman told a crowd of conservative activists, "If the government shuts down, we want you with us." Westmoreland urged his audience to support Republicans if the effects of a government shutdown led to public fury.
    credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

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Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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