One reason Republicans have been successful so far in their stand-off with the president is that the general concept of “government shutdown” doesn’t sound so bad to most Americans.
We created ourselves by revolting against the most powerful and effective government on the planet at the time. And Americans ever since have been suspicious of “government.” You’ve heard the jokes about shut down meaning no taxes.
Democrats once again are losing the debate. Instead of their airy confusing talking points, they should more directly discuss activities from everyday life. A better term would be “shutdown of our country,” according to Anat Shenker-Osorio, political communications consultant
Here’s another fascinating line from Shenker-Osorio: “When you activate a metaphor, you activate all of its implications.”
Very illuminating interview at Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/09/dont_say_government_shutdown_how_the_left_gets_rolled_by_tea_party_talk/