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    Spare me your self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies

    Spare me your self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies

    A frequent commenter quoted this post by Erick Erickson at RedState:

    A week ago, the United States House of Representatives sent a bipartisan measure to the United States Senate where it fell five votes short of a majority.

    Today, John Boehner sent over legislation that couldn’t even get all the Republicans to support it, didn’t get any Democrats to support it, and will get less support in the Senate than last week’s plan.

    And now the Democrats have a talking point they didn’t have with last week’s plan — that this plan is not bipartisan and also that Boehner had to appease the far right, all of which was lined up behind last weeks plan in even greater numbers.

    Adding horror and humor upon humor and horror, now Boehner syncophants are telling the Democrats that they’ve got to do something since the GOP has finally done something.

    Were these people asleep last week when the GOP did something with Democratic help?

    Oh, and some of the same people on our side who’ve been pooh-poohing those of us who said to stick with Cut, Cap, and Balance, suddenly, after the Boehner vote, are lamenting that something wicked this way comes.

    Lord, please give me smarter enemies within my own tent.

    That analysis is superficial.

    First, the only reason Cut, Cap and Balance passed the House with “bipartisan” support (i.e., 5 Democrats voted for it) was that it was far enough in advance of the August 2 so-called deadline that Nancy Pelosi didn’t feel the need to hammer her caucus the way she did against Boehner 3.0.  Pelosi was able to allow some — but not too many — Democrats to give themselves electoral cover.  If CCB was brought to a vote yesterday there isn’t a single Democrat who would have had the guts to vote for it.  That “bipartisan support” meant absolutely nothing, as the CCB bill immediately was tabled by Harry Reid, who proclaimed it “perhaps some of the worst legislation in the history of this country.”

    Second, the reason that Boehner 3.0 didn’t have total Republican support in the House was that 22 House members at the urging of Erickson and others opposed it even after the Balanced Budget Amendment was added back in.  As to the Senate, six Republicans, in the face of opposition to the bill from Erickson among others, voted with the Democrats to table it.  There was no reason — on the merits or strategically — for those six to vote to table the bill; they could have voted against it later if they wanted after debate.  The opposition to Boehner 3.0 by people like Erickson gave Harry Reid a public relations gift, which oddly enough now is being used by Erickson to attack “Boehner sycophants.”

    Third, Erickson has the narrative completely backwards as far as “appeasing the far right” goes.  The difficulty Boehner had in passing 2.0 resulting in 3.0 actually gives an argument that this is the best deal available, and that Boehner’s plan — but for the BBA — is disliked by the “far right.”  And, who is the “far right” Boehner was trying to appease?  Well, it’s people like Erickson.

    Erickson’s arguments simply don’t hold up.  Erickson and others created the very problems which they now use against “Boehner sycophants.”  I don’t disparage their views the way Erickson disparages the views of the “Boehner sycophants;” as I indicated yesterday I agreed with them on the ultimate goal but disagreed as to how to get there.

    I don’t know which strategy ultimately will or would have been vindicated.  Perhaps none of them, since Harry Reid was going to table whatever came out of the House.

    But please, don’t use your own self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies in an attempt to prove that you are smarter than the rest of us.

    There is one thing Erickson says with which I wholeheartedly agree:  We need smarter enemies within our own tent.


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    Subotai Bahadur | July 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    A lot of the commenters here have a chunk of the truth. It is telling that no one here is claiming that the entire fiasco was well fought, or has had a positive outcome. The best that is said about it, is that we can’t win anyway, so this is the best that we can hope for.

    Third Coast above has hit on something.

    The Tea Partiers, Rush, Erick, Hannity and the rest of the echo chamber crowd are correct strategically, but wrong tactically. There is an corollary here that can be drawn. The opposition to the TEA Partiers, et. al., the Institutional Republican Party, are wrong strategically and correct tactically.

    The Institutionals really do not have the same strategic goals as the TEA Party, Conservatives, and Patriot Independents. Aside from being beneficiaries of the collapsing system; they want to win less than they want their “friends and colleagues” across the aisle not to lose. Every time the tide is running in our favor on an issue, we can depend on some member of the Republican “Leadership” to do something to derail us. They do not regard the Democrats as the enemy, or their programs as things that must be defeated for the survival of the nation. To them, the whole process is a very profitable Glasperlenspiel where they are quite content to be second string players so long as they are still in the game and deriving its benefits. As in the novel referenced, the real world we live in is not part of their calculus.

    As one simple example, once it became clear that the Democrats were going to table any legislation that came from the House that was short of unconditional surrender; Boehner could have made the point that there are differences in the operations of the two houses of Congress. “The Senate proceeds with more formal courtesy and protocol than the House. The House will, therefore, on this matter take note of this. If the Senate Leadership will pre-emptively refuse to allow consideration, debate, and open votes on the merits of the House’s bills on the National Debt Ceiling, the House will return the exact same level of courtesy and consideration for the Senate’s bills.”

    Of course, such would never happen. It would be considered crass, rude, ne kulturny, and downright “uppity” by the Institutionals for Republicans to treat Democrats the way that Democrats treat them.

    The Institutionals are subject matter experts on the Tactics of Congress. They have got the courtship dance of submission to the Democrats down to a science; be the steps pas a deux, minuet, or an 8-some reel. Starting with the core belief that they are not going to win, they rarely miss a step on the way to that end.

    Which is harder? To realize that your strategy is correct, and modify your tactics to win, or to change your entire strategy which is counterproductive and stop snatching defeat from the jaws of the victory that your tactics could win? Note that if Clausewitz is right, strategy is an outgrowth of the interests of the strategist(s).

    I ran into a phrase yesterday that sums the situation up nicely. “A Third Party may well not be ‘viable’. But the Republican Party gives every appearance of not being ‘viable’ now.”

    My own SWAG is that the active Republican base is maybe 1/3 to 1/2 TEA Party and Conservative/Patriot. The elected officials of the Republican party are maybe 1/4 [or less] TEA Party and Conservative/Patriot. Before we can defeat the larger enemy, the Left; we have to defeat the Institutional Republicans who abet them.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall says:

    I’ve heard and read a couple of nationally prominent Tea Party figures say that it could take two or more additional election cycles to remove enough RINOs to get the party where it needs to be, which seems to make sense.

    That may well be true, if these were normal times. However, we may not have two or more additional election cycles before the Constitution, the economy, and the country are trashed. And if we reach that point, our talk about electoral and political tactics here will be irrelevant. For matters will have moved to other levels that we do not want them to go to.

    Precisely to avoid having that come to pass [which avoidance is one of the prime motivations of the Patriot Movement], the political and electoral battles with the Enemy have to be fought with an intensity and seriousness of purpose. It will not suffice to dabble in the politics between fraternizing with the Enemy. Indeed, as I said above, the Institutionals do not recognize the Left as a real enemy. If the Institutionals will not seriously fight politically against them and their goals, then it may be necessary to form an organization that will.

    As has been said above in reference to Harry Reid; the ball is in the Institutional’s court. I suspect that by mid to late September we will know if it is feasible to stay with them.

    One prediction. IF there are elections in 2012 that are fair, honest, and with a proper vote count; and the Republicans take the Senate, with or without the presidency [and obviously I am hoping with, and I do have a candidate in mind]; the strongest weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal is going to be Mitch McConnell, a half dozen or so other DIABLO Senators, and the Institutional Republican leadership. If McConnell becomes Majority Leader any attempts to fix things in this country will be almost as hard as if the Democrats held the Senate.

    Subotai Bahadur

    “Boehner could have made the point that there are differences in the operations of the two houses of Congress. “The Senate proceeds with more formal courtesy and protocol than the House. The House will, therefore, on this matter take note of this. If the Senate Leadership will pre-emptively refuse to allow consideration, debate, and open votes on the merits of the House’s bills on the National Debt Ceiling, the House will return the exact same level of courtesy and consideration for the Senate’s bills.””


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