Let me first make this VERY clear, this is not a concern trolling diary. This is a "Wake The Freak Up and prepare for the long battle" warning.
I want the government opened, a clean CR bill passed, and the debt ceiling raised WITHOUT pre-conditions.
HOWEVER, if this thing drags on and the Dems don't start fighting Rand Paul will be right when he was caught during that hot mic moment saying "We're going to win this thing".
It's not enough for the POTUS and Democrats to say we won't negotiate on the CR and the debt ceiling. Calling the republicans names no matter how truthful (i.e. blackmailers, extortionist, hostage takers to name a few) is not going to work alone. For those who only follow politics loosely it is going to become a "both sides are to blame" meme. The MSM is trying really hard already to frame it that way but so far have been unsuccessful ONLY because of how badly the Republicans initially played the government shutdown. But, make no mistake the Republicans are developing a long game strategy. If you haven't noticed there have been subtle changes in their policy positions already. Initially they were:
1. Defund Obamacare and we'll pass a clean CR; then
2. Delay Obamacare and we'll pass a clean CR
Those first two were easy to battle against. No one in their right (and wrong) minds actually thought shutting down the government for that reason was worth it or would be successful. Polls showed on average about 70% of the people disagreed with it. HOWEVER, when you looked at who was to blame the Republicans only received maybe 10% more of the blame than Democrats. That number should have been WAY higher than that. 10% is not a lot of ground to make up.
Later on in the week, their policy position started shifting even more. Their demands seemingly even murkier. It also seemed like the general public was confused as to what they wanted as well. However, the R's are in the process of shifting from shutting the government down over Obamacare posturing to budget negotiations (fiscal responsibility..yada yada yada). All the mean while they are passing piece-meal legislation to fund parts of the government. We think it's silly. I think it could work. Public perception could be the R's are trying to do something. Whereas, the D's are just saying "NO". I've heard all weekend about Boehner's "It's Not A Damn Game" soundbite reaction to an anonomyous source supposedly from the White House. Is he angry on behalf of the American people? No matter that the minority leader of the Senate and Rand Paul said essentially the same thing. The R's are also getting plenty of photo ops in what we think is ridiculous political posturing (i.e. WWII Memorial) that no one would believe. I'm not so sure.
They are working a stealth operation in what we thinking folks believe is silly and unbelievable. I’ve learned time and time again to never underestimate what the public will believe. What are the Dem’s doing to counter? We are putting out silly commercials like John Boehner crying.
The result is the public is getting more confused as to who’s to blame for this shutdown as it continues:
Who’s to Blame Polls
I've said it before and I'll said it again. We all know there are real consequences for shutting down government. There were real consequences in that sequester. The public at large doesn't see it and doesn't feel it. Democrats need to be making the case on a visceral level as to WHY this shutdown is hurting America. Sometimes political posturing is necessary.
We need our photo ops with those mother's who are not going to be receiving WIC, the devastating photos of those children who can no longer attend head start, those World War II vets who won't be receiving their meals on wheels, and so forth. Then, we need to run a commercial where we pit them against each other in terms of which one should we fund? And, make sure the public knows that it is the Republicans who want us to pit Americans against Americans by trying to make us choose which part of the government should be opened.
It's way past time to go to war with these Republicans. Our very democracy depends on the Democrats being persuasive. We all know that there are about 5-10 Dems on the Senate side who will start caving as soon as the winds change.
If we don't gear up for battle it will turn out just like I thought.. Dems winning the initial battle losing the war. This is one war we've got to win.