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The New House Leadership: A Myriad of Choices III: Dont Know's on Third?
grey_whiskers ^ | 11-05-2010 | grey_whiskers

Posted on 11/04/2010 10:49:17 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

In a pair of earlier pieces, I considered the recent GOP recapture of the House of Representatives and considered some of the choices necessary for the House leadership as they attempt to capitalize on their position after the elections, and wrest control of the agenda away from Obama and the Democrat Party -- with an eye to holding on against the inevitable counterattack, and moving forward starting in the 2012 elections.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that a year, or a bit more has gone by: that the Congressional leadership has managed to stifle the worst excesses of the Administration, and defund or otherwise neuter, Obamacare. The elections of 2012 are coming up, and the Republicans (note that I don't say "Conservatives" for I do not consider RINOs to be Republicans) are looking to expand their position. What are the most likely opportunities and obstacles? People were first, and short-term legislative goals second; how is the transition to a long-term conservative coalition possible in this center-right country? "I Don't Know" is on third.

The biggest thing to keep in mind, when one is considering the Republicans approaching the 2010 elections and beyond, is threefold;

1) Of all strategic situations, one of the most dangerous is a two-front war;

2) There have been many military commanders in the past, and there are known techniques for dealing with such.

3) History teaches us that we liberals learn nothing from history

What do I mean by a two-front war? Simply this: that facing the conservative movement, we have both the enemies in front of us (the Socialist, the Greens, the Globalists, the jihadists) and the enemies behind us and within our ranks (the RINOs and the country-club Republicans). Some of them fear that we will jeopardize their cozy perch deep in the armpit of the Democrat Party, and they will gladlly knife us in the back rather than have to venture out in the cold world all alone; still others despise the true conservatives on account of their social and moral views, and would gladly knife us in the back rather than re-examine their views -- say, on abortion or homosexuality.

So this means that the conservatives, in order to be successful, for the long term, have to fight both enemies at once. Nor is this a new problem: many people feel that the Republican Party lost its chance to restore the country when Ronald Reagan named George Herbert Walker Bush as his Vice President. Remember how Bush '41 reneged even on his fiscal conservatism ("read my lips") and opened himself up to challenges, after his approval rating was in the 90% range during Gulf War I? Remember how reluctant he was to challenge Bill Clinton during the campaign? ("Wouldn't be...prudent.")

And of course, we have the moral failings of Newt Gingrich, Denny Hastert, and others during the Clinton impeachment; and George Bush '43 coining the phrase "compassionate conservatism" (spend like a Democrat on social programs) which gave the voters the worst of both worlds and bid fair to ruin the GOP brand for a generation -- and which is what gave Barack Obama, Teh One, his tinder box of discontent on which to run.

But, as I said, this is not a new problem. And throughout history, there have been a number of successful approaches to the military problem of having multiple battles at once. Some of the most successful, say Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, simply out-maneuvered their enemies -- splitting their own outnumbered forces even more and acheiving victory not through overwhelming force, but by audacity and surprise. Others relied on tactical victory -- as the French naval forces against the British, who would not fight a set-piece battle in which they were outgunned, but who settled for firing cannon into the rigging of the British capital ships to attain a "mission kill", and slipping away to fight again. And Oriental writers have come up with what is perhaps the most effective technique of all: attack the weaker opponent first, not enough to kill, but to disable. Then whirl around and defeat the stronger opponent, and finally, finish off the first, wounded adversary.

It is the third approach, or a modification of it, which I wish to explore, for reasons which will be clear later. The weaker enemy is NOT the Democrats, as they have an existing base of power in the Senate, and in the White House; and as they have what amount to fortifications in places such as California and New York, which cannot be taken without preparation. (Note I do not say it is hopeless: the GOP has taken the state legislatures of Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota in the most recent election. If you have faith you can move mountains!)

What is the best way, then, to neutralize the ankle-biters, the RINOs, bitterly clinging to their Rolexes and Country Club memberships? The answer, I think, is to remember that their power is not innate: like all power in this Constitution Republic, it flows from the people. If the RINOs wish to play the blame game, and call out conservatives as unelectable, then it is time to start telling the truth about the RINOs to the voters. What do I mean? Look at their voting records, on things such as Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, Amnesty for Illegals, and the like. Many of the conservative voters, many of the independents, did not like these bills at the time, but did not bother to vote because "it won't do any good anyway." The conservatives need to reinforce the lessons of this election in the minds of voters: if we stand together, it canmake a difference. No, we didn't get rid of Harry Reid: but the wide suspicion of ballot box stuffing is there, as well as the union involvment...and Gov. Christie of New Jersey is showing how strong fiscal discipline can tame the Unions. (But I'm getting ahead of myself.) The point is, between Rubio, Rand Paul, and a number of other House and Local Seats, we the people have the power.

Which is the other part of how the RINOs can be defeated. The Senators gain their power through money: 100 Senators set to appropriate some $3 trillion (with a "T") dollars. We need to devolve some of the power and wealth AWAY from Washington, and back the states, the localities...and the people. And this is consistent with the calling and the mission of Reaganite conservatives, and the Tea Party. ("In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems...government IS the problem.")

If we link the RINOs to big government in the minds of the voters, we force *them* to play defense. And of course, the more small government, and the devolution of power from Washington is advanced, the more the RINOs will identify with the liberals...making it easier to hold their feet to the fire.

Now, as to the liberals. In weakening the power of Washington, it is true, we help weaken the power of liberals. But there are other sources of power and money from which they draw. In addition to the power to hand out money in a way which deTocqueville warned about, the left relies on government workers, on Unions (and union money), and (let's be honest) dirty money and voter fraud. And by dirty money, I don't just mean the 'walking around money' of Chicago and Philadelphia; I mean the 527 organizations allowed by McCain-Feingold (see how easy it is to tie together RINOs and liberals?), funded either by Union donations, or seeded by George Soros and other far-left-wing sugar daddies, or bundled together from sources as far flung as China (Buddhist monks) and the Middle East (anonymous debit card contributions online to Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign site).

And, of course, the voter fraud.

The Republicans ought to get the word out directly about the problems with the system, loopholes which allow the Democrats to usurp election after election. Americans have never liked cheaters. And without the promise of illicit money, without voter fraud and boxes of absentee ballots in inner-city areas appearing to be counted after the Republican totals are known, the number of invincible Democrat candidates will decrease.

But the liberals know no other way. Barack Obama, and his reliance on soaring rhetoric when he is in front of the country, and the race card among his friends, is all he knows. If we change the mood and expectations of the Electorate, all of the Democrats cards become useless.

Tell me the last time the Democrats in a campaign used substance instead of style, logic instead of personal attacks, consensus instead of bullying. History teaches us that liberals learn nothing from History. (Which applies, by the way, to National Defense and the War on Terror as well. God grant that we do not have to pay the price in horror, blood, and death yet ANOTHER time after 9-11 for their willful blindness.)

And this, in turn, will further help to diminish the RINOs. For two reasons. First, the RINOs thrive on saying that such-and-such a conservative is "unelectable". But this expectation is dependent on existing liberal strongholds. As these dry up, more and more conservative candidates will gain more and more traction. And this itself leads to the other reason. Like the "teachers of the law and the Pharisees," the RINOs love the place of honor at the banquets, and to be seen and recognized on the street. As long as they have a source of prestige, they'll learn to nestle in. (As John McCain once said, "I'll build the d@mn wall if they want it.")

Our job, then, and that of the Congress, will not be easy. But it is the surest way forward, and the best for the sake of the country.

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Government; History; Politics
KEYWORDS: boehner; congress; gop; teanami; whiskersvanity
1 posted on 11/04/2010 10:49:21 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
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To: grey_whiskers
For a season now the spokesperson for the Republican Party will be John Boehner ex officio, from his position as Speaker of the House and third in line for the presidency. The speakership is something of an autocratic office which devolves great power to the speaker but only for as long as he can control his troops. He is top dog so long as he can beat every other dog in the pack.

John Boehner's ability to control his troops rests on several props. He must credibly wage the polemical war against the Democrats, especially so since he has become the de facto spokesperson of the party. If he fails in that job, as Michael Steele has failed the Republican National Committee as its Secretary, the troops will eventually revolt. How effectively he manages the propaganda wars affects how well he manages the inevitable schisms which will grow among his troops. Above all, he must present a united front to the Rats, to conservatives, to Republicans, and to the mushy middle which ultimately decides elections.

His ability to accomplish his role depends largely on his ability to appear proactive and stay off his back foot. That means he must pick his battles with an eye toward choosing fights that he can win and fights that will be approved by the people. The problem is that the media will attempt to divide the people from the representatives whom they just elected and from the policies upon which they elected those representatives. But there is, as you point out, another dimension which is that some policies which he must advance because the Republican victory was predicated upon them, run counter to the personal interests of many Rinos.

There is a Republican Party establishment which is not motivated by ideology but by careerism. Obvious examples of this mentality include people like Trent Lott who has seamlessly transitioned from Republican majority leader and spokesman to back room lobbyist. The careerist is not in the political fray to win the war and advance the common weal, he is in the game to be in the game, to be a player. Indeed, total victory is contrary to his self-interest which is why, for example, we cannot repeal income tax laws or even seriously reform them-they are a careerist's/lobbyist's/rino' s ATM machine. These people never want the problem to be solved they want it always to be their raison d'être. Do you really think that the people who profit from our byzantine tax laws really want to repeal or even reform what promises to be an equally byzantine health care system?

In this the rinos are natural allies, not of the Republicans with whom they superficially caucus, but with the Democrats who enact and expand these burdensome regulations.

One of the things that makes politics endlessly fascinating is that these issues are rarely aired, debated, or campaigned upon. All of the players, starting with the media, have a stake in shaping the issues to advance their own interests. The media want to sell advertising so they personalizes these issues and help the Democrats to demonize the players and profit from the discord which they so piously deplore. The rinos do not want to have issues put to the people on the basis, for example, of the constitutionality of the matter because their rice bowl is filled in Washington and they are quite content to see federalism die an unmourned death. The Democrats certainly do not want issues debated on their merits and they have been very successful so far in avoiding that by playing the race card-or the gender card, or the gay card, or the bigotry card, or the class card. All the while deploring the Republicans unwillingness to compromise. To some degree even conservatives are unwilling to stake their elections on basic reform of entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. So instead they will run their election campaigns on social issues where they can or on cutting taxes and fraudulent promises of balancing the budget by cutting "waste, fraud, and abuse."

But let not cynicism prevail. Although America is not perfect, it is exceptional and it is capable of moments of sublimity; I think we are experiencing one now. Like rogue waves cruising the fetch of our far oceans, reform waves crest in America without forewarning but with immense power and inevitability. John Boehner's job is to find the sweet spot on that wave and ride it to exhaustion. If he is too far behind the sweet spot he will be left behind; if he gets ahead, he will be crushed. The good news is that he will start out with a welter of support. The next piece of good news is that he must ride the wave for only about a year or a year and a half until the Republican presidential nominee emerges who will then be responsible for representing the party and keeping it in the sweet spot.

Believe it or not, there is a point to this analogy: the special circumstance of the tea party uprising washes away many of the structural realities which normally shape American politics and this, if Boehner is clever enough, can work greatly to his advantage. The wave will force the rinos to shut up for many months. Yes, I am aware that they are trying to shape the debate even now, but the real thrust and power belongs with the conservatives. The rinos and even the administration to some extent, must give way to Boehner for a season. He will get running room and if he does not stumble he can carry the ball right up to the time it is to be handed off to the Republican presidential nominee.

This is a rare opportunity in American politics to actually change structure, to alter the architecture which permits the rinos and the Democrats to conduct elections in a parallel universe.

Thanks Whiskers for a good post.

2 posted on 11/05/2010 3:06:09 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: grey_whiskers

bttt good read.

3 posted on 11/05/2010 9:00:23 AM PDT by riri
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To: nathanbedford
Do you really think that the people who profit from our byzantine tax laws really want to repeal or even reform what promises to be an equally byzantine health care system?


THAT is the way to hang this like a flaming tire around the Democrats' neck: "You've dealt with the IRS. Do you want to trust Grandma -- or your CHILDREN -- to their tender mercies as well?" (Given that Obamacare empowers 16,000 additional IRS agents, this is -- for a politician -- about as "fact-based" as you can get!)

The rinos and even the administration to some extent, must give way to Boehner for a season. He will get running room and if he does not stumble he can carry the ball right up to the time it is to be handed off to the Republican presidential nominee.

This is a rare opportunity in American politics to actually change structure, to alter the architecture which permits the rinos and the Democrats to conduct elections in a parallel universe.

Zounds, you're right. Time to put in voter-integrity laws (of which I'm sure there are a few, tucked away in drawers, and carefully crafted to be liberal-judge-proof).

Then on to other items to break apart the Democrats' illegitimate power base...

You ROCK, sir!


4 posted on 11/05/2010 7:49:43 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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