October 17, 2013
The Constitutional confrontation with President Obama is coming regardless of what House Republicans do short of total capitulation to his demands. If the House does surrender or settles for a token concession, voters will wonder if there is any point to electing Republicans as the opposition party if they refuse to oppose. One thing for certain is that Republicans held the high ground, rallied their base and then yielded to the fear of pacifists seeking cover in the swamp of politics as usual. The dilemma the Republicans face was inevitable, but the position from which they face the dilemma was not.
If the Republicans choose to surrender, they will condemn the party to an internal struggle for control. That infighting will doom any chance of success in the 2014 elections. The establishment Republican strategists do not and never will understand leadership. They do understand bullying but that only works internally. You cannot bully the voters. Furthermore, poll driven tactics are not leading the faithful and building a following, but following the transients who are not firmly committed to anything. The shifting message in pursuit of votes portrays a party without principle where betrayal is business as usual.
The other component of the dilemma is that President Obama and the Democrat Senate refuse the watered down proposals of the House Republicans. This sets the stage for a presidential usurpation of the House's Constitutional powers. People will ask why the Republicans, having backed down from such a strong position, refuse to give up trivial demands to reach an agreement and avoid a real Constitutional crisis. In other words, if you know the showdown is inevitable, why make it over something trivial when you had something important?
The growing fear among conservatives is that Obama will usurp power and the establishment Republicans will let it happen. The House may resort to impeachment but the Democrat controlled Senate will never convict. Where most presidents would bear impeachment as a stain on their reputation, Obama will wear it as a badge of honor with media concurrence. Is there anyway Republicans can effectively block Obama's usurpation? I see no constitutional remedy except winning both the House and Senate in 2014 and delaying impeachment and trial until then. That will be an uphill battle and the media will pull out every stop to make Republicans look like the party of sour grapes. Vote for us to remove Obama? That is going to be a tough sell, especially in view of their lack of resolve to fight him in the first place.
What should Republicans do?
Retake the high ground. Killing Obamacare was and remains a winning issue. Putting forward bills to fund one department at a time as was done in the past makes perfect sense and is defensible. Make getting the debt under control an issue. Make reducing the debt an issue. Make President Obama's lawless presidency an issue. Go on the attack from the high ground rather than be mired on the defensive in the swamp. This ground must be retaken before the imminent usurpation.
There is one other thing that must be done. Stop listening to strategists and corporatists who have manufactured one loss after another. Stand for something and stop twitching in the wind with every new poll. Consider some of the following quotes from George S. Patton:
"Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy."
"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
"In case of doubt, attack."
"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."
"Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men."
"You shouldn't underestimate an enemy, but it is just as fatal to overestimate him."
"Never let the enemy pick the battle site."
"It's the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory."
"In war the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of the offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it."
We are in a war to save our country. Should we take advice from a Rove, Bush or Mitchell, or from a Patton, Cruz or Palin? It depends on if we want to lose, or we want to win.
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