The government-shutdown list grows

THE GOVERNMENT-SHUTDOWN LIST GROWS…. I find it rather interesting, in and of itself, that we’ve reached the point at which interviews with Republican candidates include inquiries about government shutdowns — and no one finds that unusual. It’s evidence, I suppose, of how common the idea is among GOP candidates and officeholders right now.

Over the weekend, for example, ThinkProgress caught up with Teresa Collett (R), who’s running against Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), and who spoke at disgraced GOP lobbyist Ralph Reed’s event in D.C.

TP: I spoke to several of the delegates here, and some of the speakers, who said — including Newt Gingrich — who said it might come down to a budget battle where the federal government might need to be stopped temporarily to force President Obama to the table. What do you think about that?

COLLETT: I think if the stakes are high enough, we might have to do that.

In fairness, Collett went on to say that a shutdown isn’t “the first best option” — she’s not, in other words, looking forward to the train wreck — but she added that “what’s at stake is very important.”

I’m thinking we’re probably at the point at which a running tally is needed, listing those Republicans who are willing (or even anxious) to shut down the government next year in the event of a GOP majority in either chamber. A quick review suggests the list should include one House Republican lawmaker (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia); one Republican Senate candidate (Joe Miller of Alaska); one Republican House candidate (Teresa Collett of Minnesota); and a variety of prominent Republican voices (Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, and Erick Erickson).

Have I missed anyone? Have officials and/or candidates for federal office in your area also raised the specter of a shutdown? Email me and I’ll keep a running pre-election tally.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.