There are two negatives that stop a hostage taker from shooting a hostage. One is that once the hostage is dead, they lose the leverage to make demands; the other is that without the hostage, the police will come at them without restraint and with the intent to punish them even more severely. Thanks to the pathetic Democratic response during this budget battle, however, Republicans can enjoy all the benefits of hostage-taking without these drawbacks.
To begin with, if the government does shutdown, the House Republicans wouldn’t have lost any leverage to make demands because Obama has made it clear he is desperate to make any government shutdown as short as possible. The GOP can effectively show they are serious by shooting the hostage while still keeping the hostage.
Democrats, President Obama have failed to lay the groundwork to blame shutdown on the GOP
It is no wonder than that so many House Republican are willing to allow or are even eager for a shutdown. Their base supports a shutdown if that is required for Republican leaders to stand up for their “principles.” In addition, polling shows Democrats haven’t convinced the public that House Republicans should be held responsible for the shutdown. The timing is even right, if Republicans cause the government to shutdown for just the weekend and agree to a compromise on Monday, the shutdown would effect very few. Shooting the hostage seems to cary little downside.
Democrats have allowed Republicans to get to a really good position. In fact, after watching President Obama’s pathetic negotiation skills of near daily new concessions and his past statement that he “must” give in to Republican hostage-taking if they are serious, if I were Speaker Boehner, and already had an acceptable deal in hand, I still might shutdown the government for the weekend just to show that I could.
The Republicans should get the blame for the shutdown if it happens. Unfortunately, President Obama has made forcing a shutdown a smart move for the GOP with his continuous one-sided concessions, a clearly voiced desperation to avoid shutdown, and little effort to convince the public to blame the Republicnas.