Shutdown ‘crisis’ ends, debt default ‘crisis’ avoided — mostly for yawns


It’s over.

Or, it’s postponed to 2014.

Or, as the recent hot cliché has it, the can is kicked down the road to a new deadline in 2014.

The huge, historic, hysterical Armageddon of government shutdown and debt default ended last night. There is no shortage of reputational shards on the ground to pick up.

There’s political fallout — Obama emerged victorious, the Republicans caved, Speaker John Boehner barely retained his job; the Wall Street fallout, with Warren Buffett and Steve Schwarzman speaking of dire consequences that people heeded; the international fallout, will other nations see the dollar the same way anymore? and, the comics’ fallout:

****BREAKING NEWS**** The Washington Redskins have announced that they will be dropping the name “Washington” from their name because it’s just too embarrassing.
From a crisis management standpoint, what was hot inside the Beltway barely resonated above lukewarm in the rest of the country. Surely, for those who lost two weeks of pay — will Congress restore that retroactively? — this was more than a charley horse. And for those who needed government services — Head Start, CDC testing, answers to a million questions — this was an inconvenience.
But to most Americans, it was clearly a look inside the political slaughterhouse at how steaks and burgers are made and everyone turning away in revulsion and promising to become vegetarian.
This was not a crisis, although for some it did affect business as usual. And the costs were real. But real costs and getting the country off its game do not necessarily combine to form a crisis. Banks stayed open, trucks, trains and planes moved mostly on schedule, Wall Street actually rebounded, and people went about their lives.
For all those who think “government” is too intrusive in their lives, think about how unaffected most Americans were by this whole comedic theater of the Congressional absurd.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.
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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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