President Barack Obama conferred with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday for the first time since a partial government shutdown began, but there were no signs of progress toward ending an impasse that has idled hundreds of thousands of federal workers and curbed federal services around the country.
Obama “refuses to negotiate,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio., told reporters after private talks that lasted more than an hour. “All we’re asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare.”
Some on Capitol Hill ominously suggested the impasse might last for weeks, but not everyone thinks it will be that drawn out.
“People should keep in mind this is not … a meeting like Panmunjon, where they’re negotiating, negotiating and negotiating. This is a meeting like Appomattox where General Lee, in this case John Boehner, has to find a graceful way to hand over the sword,” said 770 KTTH host Michael Medved on The David Boze Show Wednesday.
“What is astonishing here has been how quickly the Republican strategy, or lack of strategy has damaged the conservative cause.”
The American people hate this shutdown and not by a small margin, Medved said, “This is not 2-to-1, this is 10-to-1.”
“The national news featured an interview with a guy here from Seattle, works for the FAA. He starts crying in the middle. This is a guy who spent nine years in the military. His father was career military Air Force, and he spent nine years in the Air Force and then he’s worked 21 years for the FAA.”
The man starts crying, Medved said, not over what being furloughed will mean for him personally, but what it means for the country. And “It’s not one interview, it’s tons of them,” said Medved.
Medved sees the government shutdown as entirely pointless, and doesn’t feel it’s doing anything to help the conservative cause.
“If conservatives ever want to win again – I mean actually win something other than feeling good about going down in principal, you have to make the point that we’re working and fighting for people, not fighting for things or for ideas,” said Medved, seconding ideas from American Enterprise Institute think tank president Arthur Brooks.
The reason the shutdown is so frustrating, Medved said, is because most people feel there’s only one way this can go.
“The reason you’re inconvenienced and frustrated by it is because we already know how this ends. I have been unable to find anyone in hours and hours of broadcasting who could call my show and explain how this ends well for our side.”
“Ted Cruz was on the air Tuesday saying we’re winning, we’re winning, we’re winning, which I think damages his credibility even more,” said Medved. “My challenge to people today is going to be on what aspect of this are conservatives winning?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.