This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," October 12, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Up next on the "Journal Editorial Report," week two of the government shutdown leaves both sides scrambling to end the stalemate. So who's bearing the brunt of the blame?
Plus, is Janet Yellen good for the economy? What President Obama's Fed nominee means for your money.
And a pair of terror raids ends with a big Al Qaeda capture in Africa and reignites the political debate over Guantanamo Bay here at home.
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
Well, week two of the government shutdown. And as the parties work around the clock to end the standoff, it appears neither side is coming out of the budget fight unscathed. Gallup reports that 50 percent of Americans now say they disapprove of the way President Obama is doing his job and just 28 percent view the Republican Party favorably, down from 38 percent last month.
Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; Washington columnist, Kim Strassel; and senior economics writer, Steve Moore.
So, Kim, lots to blame in Washington this week about how the administration is managing this shutdown. Some people say they're trying to increase the pain, make it look as hard as possible, closing the monuments and denying death benefits for the casualties coming back from Afghanistan. How do you see it?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Yes, this has been in some way a repeat of their sequester strategy, which is to do similar things to make this as hard as possible for average Americans. Because the reality is, Paul, that not much of the government is shut down. Something like 83 percent of spending is still going out on the major things that people care about most, like Social Security, the mail service, et cetera. So what they've done is focused on these small points of pressure.
But that has backfired to a certain degree as it has come out. And that's what happened in the sequester, too. The headlines started to roll about whether or not the White House has had to take some of these actions that they had. They found that they haven't had to do it. They've had to roll back some of this because of the bad press.
GIGOT: Not surprising that if you're running the executive branch, you want to increase the pressure, put maximum pressure on the Congress. That seems to be what they're doing.
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: And it seems as though they're succeeding, Paul. The Congress is supposed to vote to allow these two things to happen.
And, yes, the Republicans are really getting hit hard. There's no question about it. I think it's going to cause significant problems for them going forward in these elections, such as the Governor (sic) Cuccinelli in Virginia, whose got all those --
GIGOT: This November.
HENNINGER: This November -- all those suburbs in northern Virginia, a lot of federal workers. So, you know, Virginia could go Democratic.
But let's not doubt the fact Democrats are being hurt as well. Nobody in these polls is above 50 percent. The American people are pretty disgusted with Washington generally. It's hard to predict where there's going play out over the next three years.
GIGOT: Steve, how do you see the blame game here in terms of who is taking most of the hits for the shutdown? Which is not popular with the American people.
STEVE MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMICS WRITER: Right, look, this is the Hatfields versus the McCoys. There's just no love lost between these two parties right now.
Let me just defend the Republicans for a minute. I agree with Dan's analysis. But what they would say, Paul, is, look, the Congress and the House of Representatives has the power of the purse. And when I talk to Republican leaders and some of the Tea Party members, their argument, Paul, is we have the authority to decide what we want to fund and what we don't want to fund. And that's the argument that --
GIGOT: Hold it. Hold it, Steve.
MOORE: -- Democrats are saying no to.
GIGOT: Yeah, but wait a minute. Yes, they have the power of the purse --
GIGOT: -- with the Senate --
GIGOT: -- not just one house of Congress. This is Constitution 101, OK?
GIGOT: I mean, you can -- only one House of Congress. You need two.
MOORE: That's true.
GIGOT: And then you have to get the president's signature. So there is this natural thing.
MOORE: Of course.
GIGOT: You can't just dictate from the House of Representatives. I'm not saying blame the Republicans.
GIGOT: That's just the reality.
MOORE: That is the reality. And this is one of the first times in a long time the Republicans have basically put their foot down and said, look, we're not funding -- remember, everyone knows this really comes down to ObamaCare. Now I don't think they're -- in the end, they're probably going to win that fight but they are saying, look, we have the authority to decide if we don't want to fund something and that's what it's about.
GIGOT: You think this is working for them, Steve, though? I mean, is it working out?
MOORE: No. Politically --
MOORE: Politically it is not. But what they would say though, Paul, again, in Republicans' defense, we have elevated this issue of ObamaCare to a whole new sphere. And it is true as Congress' approval ratings have fallen, so have the approval ratings of ObamaCare.