Oh. My. Lord.
Not this again. Apparently the reason Republicans are caving on the budget talks is they're afraid the Government will shut down again. Well, guess what geniuses, it might. Guess what else? Too bad.
First off, despite what the MFM and inside-the-Beltway types believe, the shutdown earlier this year did not actually hurt Republicans. Here in Middle America, most people were for it. Secondly, there's no reason you can't parley this into being the Democrats fault. Yes, it might be hard, but so what? You can even do it by sounding more reasonable than they do.
Now, for those who don't know, the issue is (once again) the debt ceiling. OMG, if we don't raise the debt ceiling we can't pay our bills!!
Let's not discuss the absurdity of that statement. Maybe I'll get to it in a future post. Let's just look at just one possible Republican tactic. I call it "raising the debt ceiling."
Look, I'm as fire-breathing as the next Ultra-Con, and I don't like raising the debt ceiling. However, as a practical matter, ObamaCare is going down in flames, and we really don't want anything to give the President cover on that. We don't want him to be able to distract the public from the train-wreck that is ObamaCare.
So, we say this: "Alright, we'll raise the debt ceiling by 2 Trillion dollars. That should last us at least one more full year." And that's it. No discussing budgetary matters ("that's settled law") no fee increases, nothing. Republicans should simply say, "You're right, it would be irresponsible not to pay our debts, we'll agree to increase the debt ceiling by 2 Trillion dollars."
Then, when Chrissy Matthews spews the Democrat talking points of "you want to shut down government!" a simple rejoinder of, "Chris, we've agreed to raise the debt limit with no other preconditions. So how is that wanting to shut down the government?" What, really, can the Democrats say? "But we want to increase spending?" "But Democrats won't vote for that?" It will become quite clear to everyone that it is the Democrats agitating for a shutdown because they don't like sequester- not Republicans.
Okay, fine, we can't ask for more budget cuts. I don't like that, but I can accept it. That doesn't mean we have to agree to budget increases. The budget is set for FY2014 and FY2015- by sequester. So the only reason to "shut down" the government is over the debt limit. So let's take that off the table. At the very least we can turn it around so that anyone with half a brain (I know this excepts most Democrats, but they weren't going to be on our side anyway) will understand that it is the Democrats "shutting down" the government, not Republicans, which would take away most, if not all, of any "cover" they would hope to gain.