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The Politico reports that on Monday night, House Speaker John Boehner told a closed-door meeting of House Republicans: “The Democrats think they benefit from a government shutdown. I agree.”

Other veteran Republicans also agreed – including Ohio congressman Steve LaTourette, who told Politico: “If you look at the government shutdown of 1995, it guaranteed President Clinton’s reelection. And that’s what this would do. If you want to cede the Presidential race in 2012, you shut down the government.”

Many House freshman, backed by the Tea Party, aren’t buying it. Their reasoning is: this isn’t 1995; Obama isn’t Clinton; and there are many more outlets other than the state-controlled media to get out their message … which is simple: to cut spending dramatically. Like they promised to do.

Here’s what we know for sure. Democrats oppose spending cuts, and oppose significantly reducing the size and influence of government. Last year, when they controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress, they refused to produce a budget at all – too afraid of facing voters during an election year. Democrats have never produced any serious entitlement reform, even though they – and everybody else – knows that entitlement spending is putting us on a path to bankruptcy.

Yes. Obama and Democrats want a government shutdown because they think it will be politically beneficial. But this battle isn’t about 2012, or “good media optics” … it’s about the economic survival, and prosperity, of this nation. And, Mr. Speaker: fear is no reason to capitulate.

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