An influential band of conservatives is pushing congressional Republicans to risk a government shutdown as leverage to block Obamacare, but most in the GOP worry the strategy could backfire politically. The worriers have a point.
Nearly two decades ago, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate during a 28-day government shutdown over federal spending that began at the end of 1995 and spilled over into January 1996. Even so, they lost the public-relations battle to a Democratic president who was on the political ropes. In November 1996, President Bill Clinton won re-election by a landslide.