While political consequences of the government shutdown are unknown, one outcome is certain—The Democrats and the main stream median will portray Republicans as holding America hostage. Oh the Republicans will try to argue that the charge is untrue but the drumbeat from the liberals and their allies will convince the average American that it is true. We can pretend that this will not happen or we can prepare for it.
I suggest we embrace the hostage taker persona. Hostage taking is an act of terrorism, however, sometimes terrorist achieve their political objective. As Martha Crenshaw points out in her 2005 article “The Strategic Logic of Terrorism”:
Terrorism has an extremely useful agenda setting function. If the reasons behind violence are skillfully articulated, terrorism can put the issue of political change on the public agenda. By attracting attention it makes the claims of the resistance a salient issue in the public mind. The government can reject but not ignore an opposition's demands.
Republicans need to attract the public’s attention to the abuses of the last congress and President Obama. It is only by exposing the government’s excesses that the conservative movement, like the effective hostage taker, will derive moral sympathy and win the public’s support.
So if we are the hostage takers, we must first list our complaints against the Democrats.
1) The Democrats have allowed unelected agencies to write laws without the consent of the people and allowed these agencies take power that rightfully belongs to the people.
2) The Democrats have used public funds to give money to their political supporters.
3) The Democrats’ have allowed unelected agencies to exempt the political connected from following laws that the rest of us must follow.
4) The Democrats have violated the public trust and our children’s future with their reckless spending.
And as any good hostage taker we must list our demands: (These demands must be specific)
Demand 1: To check the power of unelected agencies, upon the signature of ¼ of the members of congress or by order of the president demand a vote on any agency regulation.
Demand 2: Since the right of the people to control over their health decisions is supreme, it cannot be controlled by panels or agencies. Therefore, we demand the abolishment of all panels and agencies in the legislation commonly called ObamaCare.
Demand 3: To regain public trust, no funds should be given to any company or group that is not also available to all taxpayers.
Demand 4: To restore fiscal sanity, congress will not authorize any spending unless it puts the United States on a path to balancing the budget in 4 years.
Demand 5: Agree to negotiations to limit the future projected debt in any year to less than GDP and government taxation to less than 20% of GDP.
Finally, like any good hostage taker we must deliver an ultimatum.
If these demands are not met, we will keep the government closed until $100 billion in deficit reduction is achieved.