I had written part of this before the Republican collapse last Friday, the 23rd. At the time things looked a little hopeful. But having been there before, I was wise to wait, for like the Cubs in September, no one ever went broke betting the Republican leadership would let that stiff jaw of resolve melt into the toothless frown of surrender come the eleventh hour.
But to be honest, I was not expecting such a total surrender…as in USS Missouri total…replete with Obama’s rail car dance at Compiegne. In the real world, it’s not a good thing to let your mark know you’ve rolled him, but in the case of the GOP, well, it doesn’t seem to matter.
So, how many times has this happened? This year? Four? Five? Over the past twenty years? Dozens.
Let’s see, there were the several continuing resolutions, plus the month-long debt ceiling farce that gave birth to the super committee…and not one single promised tax cut. (There’s still some more mischief to arise from that debacle.) Considering the House GOP’s wistful lapse into courage during that period, where Boehner not only didn’t return the president’s phone call, but even banished him from some negotiations, we thought we might get so much more than we did get, which turned out to be a raising of the debt limit by 1.2 trillion this week…with no quid pro quo of any kind. Not even a parting gift like the home version of Jeopardy.
The GOP leadership was, however, gentle enough to let us find out four months later we’d been fleeced, thus easing the pain.
It was the most egregious defeat for the GOP since Obama came to office, for it was snatched entirely from the jaws of victory…
But for sheer “optics” (last week’s word of the week), nothing can top the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives public surrender last Friday as women quietly wept at his funereal death song, and men from Idaho to Kentucky reached deep into their pockets just to reassure themselves they were still men.
The cynical view is that Boehner was in on the scam all along, and wanted to use this hang-dog public beating as a way to teach those rascally freshmen to get back into line.
I hope the freshmen did learn a lesson here, only not that one. For if that’s the lesson they learned we’ll just replace them, too…since, in less than a minute the GOP leadership lost all hope for redemption with the American people…
…and also, I hope, with a significant number of the House freshmen and members, plus the new ones who will come on board in 2013.
Our “new frontier” that began in 2010 will continue apace.
What we lost was the ability to take the Democrats by surprise by taking advantage of their one real weakness in their relationship with the Republicans.
The GOP leadership, as currently constituted, just couldn’t pull the trigger.
That weakness, if you’re wondering, is the belief of every Democrat that the GOP, while talking tough for the folks back home, will always surrender in the end.
In fact, this has become a source of some amusement for the Democrats….to fake outrage, then fake being offended, then fake a pout, then fake empathy, then compassion…which is why Harry Reid gets that big officeat the end of the hall…he does them all so well. I am quite sure that the unwillingness of the Democrats to present a budget since Obama has been president has in part been simply because it is so much fun to flummox the Republicans…under the leadership and steady hand of their favorite patsy, Mitch McConnell, who I might add, is handsomely paid to be that patsy. (Hold that thought.)
It has been this way as far back as Denny Hastert, Bob Dole, Trent Lott and Bill Frist, when the GOP actually had the bigger voting bloc. They’ve had the same fears, the same hang-ups, the same trepidations, all the way back to when Bill Clinton called Newt Gingrich’s bluff and shut down the government. The Republicans are perpetually shielding themselves from the next blow.
The Original Wheel-and-Turn Strategy
As I said, The Democrats’ greatest weakness is their cock-sure belief the GOP will always fold in the end. All the GOP ever had to do to counter this, especially after those stunning victories at the polls in 2010 when the people said “we have your back,” was to wheel and turn, with a mean look in their eye, say “no,” refuse to back down, then carry that mean look past Zero hour, where they usually wilt…then, once the shock had worn off and the Dems launched their expected media counter-attack…instead of wringing their hands and running for cover, give it back to the Democrats in spades.
Now, there are reasons why the Republicans have always been unable to do this, going back to when Gingrich took them only half way with Clinton, then retreated in humiliation. In 1995, it was not in the GOP’s nature (and never has been) to play political hardball the way both Gingrich or Clinton was willing to play it. As I have said many times, the GOP of that day, (and many even unto this day) consider it unthinkable that the Democrats are actually playing an entirely different game, on an entirely different field, for entirely different spoils, by an entirely different script, than the one they are reading from.
This fact has become so blatant in recent years…many of the actions of Clinton were questionable constitutionally, and almost all of Obama’s have been…we can no longer blame this reticence to fight back on good-natured innocence or ignorance by the GOP.
To some extent they are, and have been, a part of this criminal enterprise. And in part, they have been psychologically beaten to a pulp.
Think of it like the abused wife syndrome, which is why the sudden wheel-and-turn would have caught the Dem’s so off guard. Sort of a political “burning bed” (for you Farrah Fawcett..and sweeeeet revenge fans.)
In 1995, the Gingrich people actually did understand a little of the “new game” the Clintons had brought to town; part criminal corruption and part big government statism. They just didn’t know how to handle the ground game, the battlefield tactics after face-down, and, now, those survivors have now become the most squeamish of the lot in the House.
Bottom line, since Newt’s big blink of ’95, the Republicans have never had even the remotest interest in knowing what lay on the other side of courage.
Consequently, few Americans on either side of the aisle have ever known a Republican leadership who said what it meant, and meant what it said.
I do know Harry Reid never lost a minute’s sleep worrying whether Mitch McConnell would ever pull that trigger.
Had McConnell or Boehner done this just once, it would have thrown every Democrat playbook out the window.
But it is not to be.
There’s a reason the GOP is this way, which I just alluded to.
Today, the GOP leadership and the Democrat leadership both yearn for the same thing, and both answer to the same siren’s song of the fatted sow. They see none of us, the people, as their constituents. We are only their intravenous feeding tube. Their constituents are those federal piglets feeding at the government teat who rely on them for nourishment. The GOP are by far the more honest, indeed, more honorable. But they are also more gullible. They got sucked in by a big lie, then became a (junior) co-owner of it because their own vanity would not allow them to risk their own place at the seat before the fatted sow. That lie has since grown.
The Big Lie, How Democrats sucked Republicans in
For years, the GOP leadership has been unable to step out and call the Democrats on their lies, for they have, in many little ways, become partners in those lies. At first, being innocent, they were snookered. But rather than rise up and start afresh (which we will now have to do for them), like the battered wife, they cling to their satin sheets and jewelry. So, every time the Dems up the ante in lying, which has become almost surreal in recent years, including a full-fledged theft of the public treasury, the GOP while always frowning disapprovingly, after a bloodied lip, meekly concedes.
It’s their participation in the lie that always makes them feel so “used’ in the morning. But, like Tammy Wynette and Whitney Houston, they always come back once the black eye had healed. They have to stand by their man. (I’ll spare you the song.)
And vanity helps in securing this compliance. The KGB were pros at recruiting young impressionable, extra-smart people, then using them until they finally saw the error in their judgment. The KGB knew those vain, arrogant children could never publicly admit their bad choices, so, in the end they had not only secured their complicity, but their silence. Game, set, match.
This is why the Democrats can call the GOP racists, homophobes, beaters of the poor, make allusions to Hitler…when all of those attributes belong to them…and the GOP, rather than fight back, will do anything only to make them stop calling them names.
The people are big losers here, for, in Orwellspeak no one “up there” can fix this because no one will.
Wheel and Turn, Part Deux (Play music)
Still, Wheel-and-Turn is a winning strategy, but for the freshmen not the leadership. For the real cavaliers.
After Friday’s surrender Allan West of Florida said:
“It’s about time that we take a chance with some of the young leaders that we have sent to Washington, D.C., and move away from this establishment rhetoric and [these] games that they play in Washington, D.C,” West said.
“This is not a 24-hour wound,” he added. “We’ve had some email discussions back and forth within the freshman class, and we’re pretty let down, upset. But that does not mean we will continue to fight against the business-as-usual Beltway two-step, because as you just said, this is going to be a kabuki dance that continues on. And we will never get to the point where we rectify the fiscal situation of the United States of America if we keep having these sound-bite policies.”
Wheel and turn is guaranteed to win. And why? Because 1) they don’t have to attack Barack Obama personally, and 2) as the inestimable Queen Hotchibobo said, Congress is “less popular than syphilis.” This is the Dems new Achilles heel. Congress has fallen so low in public esteem that the media cannot protect them (and the GOP leadership) should any organized movement inside Congress openly declare against them. Holding McConnell and Boehner in thrall will do them no good from attacks by freshmen such as Allen West.
And the freshman can play the “liar” and “crook” card to their heart’s content while their leadership cannot (will not).
“Too bad Obama’s a Democrat, he’d have been a great president as a Republican”.
As for Obama, there is something to be said about the Congress not beating him up too publicly. (Let the GOP candidate do it) It can turn a lot of people against them. Not that I feel sorry for him, mind you, but it is true that women do want to clutch effete men to their breast when they feel they are being picked on. Instead, make the Democrat Congress and the Democrat Party the object of derision here. You need not say a single ugly word about Obama, except to say he chose poorly. Damn him with faint praise, such as “Poor Barry, too bad he’s a Democrat. He could have done such wonders for America if only he’d been a Republican.” Make Barry out to be a victim of the Democrat leadership and you will really gafoodle-up the media counter game.
Go up against the GOP leadership by usurping the brand. The Leadership doesn’t believe that “the people rule” mumbo-jumbo from the Constitution anyway. You don’t have to go after the GOP leadership directly (although I would). Just speak and act as if they aren’t there.
Include them out, thereby creating your own power cell. The media won’t be able to stay away from the story. You’ll be too juicy. They think they will be covering the disintegration of the Republican Party when in fact, you will be rebuilding it, brick by brick, in front of them, for you will slowly begin peeling away other members as the public sounds its approval of this new flair for taking Democrat hides.
Do this right, starting this year, 2012, and in only one more election cycle, it will be complete.
If forced to do so, disavow the GOP leadership, yes, vote with them when they are in “the right” (as opposed to the wrong) but otherwise, give them the skunk-eye. The sign of anathema. Keep your own council. Meet in secret, if you think it would help stir the pot. Never let them know who all of you are, for trust me, your numbers will grow from day one.
You won’t need to worry about the state GOP or Reince Preibus cutting you off from funds. You won’t need to worry about committee positions next term, for one of you will likely be the new Speaker.
Just know, from that great quote by Sean Connery in The Untouchables: when you cross that line there will be no going back until it is finished.
Do it right and the outcome is assured.
We have two Americas now, the one that gets embarrassed when men behave as cowards, and the other who think it is only politics.
Choose your side.