By now everyone paying attention knows that the only thing Republican leaders fear more than the responsibility of a majority is the dreaded government shutdown.
Moderately-Republican squishes in both houses of Congress seem to believe a shutdown must be avoided even even if it means funding Obamacare or allowing the criminal profiteers at Planned Parenthood to continue receiving taxpayer dollars.
[sharequote align="center"]Republicans are the party of limited government. It's time we started acting like it.[/sharequote]
The rationale for this avoidance is threefold.
First, it allows government to keep growing - a goal that Republican corporatists like Rep. John Boehner share with President Barack Obama and Democratic leadership.
Second, it keeps Republicans out of a fight with the mainstream media. They prefer to concede before the first punch is thrown.
Third, Republican leadership knows that voters have short memories and shorter attention spans. Thus, they prefer to take empty show votes for the sake of derrière-coverage, while allowing must-pass bills to speed through Congress unmolested by principled conservatives who would otherwise leverage them to effect real policy change over the president's objections.
AFP Photo/Karen BLEIER
But things don't have to be this way. Hard-fought battles on necessary legislation were exactly what the founders intended, and one reason they instituted the separation of powers in the first place.
There is a way for Republicans in Congress to reassert their constitutional authority, tighten their grip on the purse strings, and even walk away with another electoral win. All it takes is common-sense messaging and a little John Wayne-esque true grit.
In fact, it's so simple that it would take precisely the caliber of our current legislative leadership to blow it. Guess conservatives are just lucky like that.
So before boldly brave Sir Boehner and his Senate counterpart can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again, let's establish a realistic strategy for not only winning the coming legislative battle, but winning the support of the American people as well.
Be First Out of the Gate
Nearly every article about the impending standoff includes quotes showing that Republican leadership has already tucked tail and preemptively accepted the blame for something they merely assume the Democrats will do.
Think about that for a second.
Before a spending bill has even been brought up for a vote, Sen. Mitch McConnell is in the press saying that Republicans should not shut the government down.
By adopting the Democrat narrative, McConnell preemptively undercut any attempt to leverage Congressional priorities and national outrage against the White House.
Now is the time to get in front of messaging. Every single Republican statement should drop the weight of the government shutdown squarely in the lap of obstructionist Democrats beholden to the Planned Parenthood lobby.
Place the Responsibility Where it Belongs
Republicans need to embrace the power of the purse and show that the People's Branch will not be blackmailed by a vulnerable Senate minority or an out-of-control executive.
Republicans aren't planning to shut the government down. They are simply planning to exercise their constitutional prerogative to pass a spending bill that does not include funding for things their constituents object to - namely, the murder and organ harvesting of unborn children.
The only way the government can remain unfunded is if the president and Senate Democrats join together to block that funding from getting through, in order to appease the death dealers at Planned Parenthood - who, by the way, form exactly zero percent of the federal government.
It's time to show that Democrats do not care about about keeping the government open nearly as much as they care about appeasing their extremist sugar daddies in the $1.4 billion dollar Planned Parenthood abortion industry.
Claiming that Republicans want to shut down the government because they won't fund Planned Parenthood is like saying your parents want to starve you because they won't buy you an iPhone.
It's Time to Retake the Word "Clean"
Every time a shutdown looms the left cries, "Republicans must pass a clean bill!" before launching into stories of single mothers waiting in vain for welfare checks that weren't mailed.
To Democrats, "clean" means "gives us everything we want."
Republicans should grab the term, and run with it.
We do need clean bills - bills that don't fund a host of ridiculous pork projects, reward people who burn American flags, and pour millions of dollars into non-government organizations that engage in a pattern of gruesome criminal behavior.
A truly clean bill would fund the military, the federal judiciary, and a handful of other things expressly authorized by the Constitution. Everything else is dirty, and the Democrats are just demanding that more dirt be shoveled on.
Embrace the Shutdown
Poll after poll shows that the American people are increasingly resentful of the power and influence of government over our lives - particularly the young and very libertarian millennial generation, a group that Republicans desperately need on their side in 2016.
Rather than joining the Democrats in fear-mongering about the repercussions of a shutdown, Republicans should take a cue from my generation, among whom the 2013 shutdown was widely celebrated as a great example of just how unnecessary and worthless many government functions are.
Oh, and Republicans won historic electoral victories exactly one year later.
Shutting down the measly 17 percent of the government that isn't automatically funded through a slew of other standing legislation and department fees is an opportunity for us to make the point that Americans can live - and thrive - without continuing to grease the wheels of a perenially abusive federal bureaucracy.
Republicans are the party of limited government. It's time we started acting like it.
Time to gear up for the Obama shutdown of 2015, Republicans. This time lives are at stake. This is a shutdown we have to win.
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