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When Everyone’s to Blame for the Shutdown, No One Is to Blame

Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer thinks that if there is a government shutdown, the American people aren’t going to be specific in their blame, they are just going to blame everyone.

“They’ve got to get off that and get to thinking about the people that sent them Washington to represent them. This is a shameful episode in the history of the Congress, and I think if this government does shut down for any length of time people are not going to look for who to blame, they’re going to blame all of them.”

He is probably correct. Polling shows the public divided on whether to blame Democrats or Republicans. The establishment media doesn’t want to be seen as choosing sides. And since there is an even split of powers in our Constitution, unlike many other democracies, there isn’t the clear accountability of being able to point to the party that controls this one specific chamber/office as the obvious offender.

The other problem is that in a two-party system, when the public blames both parties, as far as electoral consequences go, they are effectively blaming no one. Politically, it doesn’t matter if your party becomes less popular as long as the other party is dragged down as much or more.

Sadly, with the Constitution evenly splitting responsibility on this issue, and a rigged voting system insulating both parties, as long as the American people blame them equally, we have a recipe for no accountability. . . which breeds this kind of irresponsible behavior.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at