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The analogy of Republican tactics to hostage-taking is a popular way to describe things on the internet.

I turn now to master thespian Keanu Reeves for one strategy for dealing with hostage-takers.

From the 1994 film Speed:

Harry Temple: Alright, pop quiz. Airport, gunman with a hostage. He's using her for cover. He's almost to a plane. You're one hundred feet away.
[Jack doesn't respond]
Harry Temple: Jack?
Jack: Shoot the hostage.
Harry Temple: What?
Jack: Take her out of the equation. Go for the good wound and he can't get to the plane with her. Clear shot.

Taken to the extreme, one could call it the Keyser Soze method, after the shadowy underworld figure who reportedly shot his own family when someone tried to use them as hostages against them.

So, how would one go about shooting the hostage in negotiations with Republicans?  Let's use the budget as an example.  When the GOP throws out a number for cuts, then makes that number bigger and adds unrelated policy riders, the counteroffer that should be proffered is to accept some of the policy riders with a price tag applied;  if Republicans want to defund NPR and other junk ideas, then Democrats should long as we take back a lot of the budget cuts, agree to raise taxes to raise revenue, and maybe pour some of that money into high-speed rail.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was thinking about that line last week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was having similar thoughts last week, but wasn't able to come up with a good answer.

    The basic plan would be something like this: negotiate with the Republicans up to a point, then halt. Make them shut down the government.  At that point, the hostage is now shot, and you have much more room to maneuver.

    The next move is essentially to go for the kill shot, which means blasting the Republicans with everything you have, and destroying them politically. You have to make sure they take massive wounds from the battle for their actions.  However, that only works if the media cooperates, and the right sympathizers publicly shift back to the left.

    Ideally, a number of moderate Republicans come to their senses and side with the Dems to restart everything based more on the Dem plan. At that point, the Republicans are split in two, horribly wounded, and we have a much better chance down the road.

    The problem is, Obama just isn't vicious enough. His goal is to find a path to reconciliation between the two sides, not to destroy one side utterly. I kinda like having a president who isn't vicious, but I also kinda wish he was a little meaner from time to time. Biden is supposed to be more free to act as an attack dog, but he's really a pretty nice guy as well. I suppose it's possible that Hillary would have been more vicious, but she's probably doing more good in her present job then attacking on behalf of Obama.

  •  It's the "Burn Notice" strategy, right? (0+ / 0-)

    Guy's holding the hero hostage.
    The hero's buddy shoots through him (high outside chest wound) and kills the hostage-taker.

    Downside: our hero is now bleeding out and crippled.
    Upside: hostage-taker is dead. Ransom didn't have to be discussed, let alone paid.

    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 08:23:42 AM PDT

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