You no doubt are asking, “If the Tea Party won, and Mitch McConnell won, and John Boehner won, then how come Obama is doing his ‘Dance-at-Versailles’ “?
In part, it’s a show. But in part, it’s not.
Yes, this has all been a mystery in three acts, Act II to roll out shortly. In fact, it’s a Len Deighton-Bernard Sampson spy mystery, with every single player acting out parts that no one knows for sure to be real. Every word, every step and every gesture could have any of two-three different meanings depending on who’s listening, watching, and yes, who’s being spoken to.
On that account alone, the People have a right to be very angry here, for it is they (us) who are being spoken to, as the audience, when in fact we’re supposed to be the producers of this show. We were never intended to be the object of a media event.
We have every intention of making that the case again, even if we have to run through three or four more directors to this play before getting it right. This debt ceiling deal did nothing to change that.
We will continue to stay engaged, and continue to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the prize. What we got from this deal was a lot more knowledge as to how some play the Washington game. We will be more aware, and wary, as days go on.
So I can’t give you a score on this week’s escapades. But I can give you a kind of scorecard. (I do like what Queen Hotchibobo said yesterday.) The can has been kicked on down the road, the same issues to arise in coming months. The end-game winners and losers are still to be determined. There’s enough iffiness in this deal, as you already know, to turn princes into paupers (or vice versa) by year’s end. Both sides are betting on the next card, which explains why Obama was expelled from the negotiations in July.
Obama really wasn’t part of the deal. The Congress had to fix this deal for themselves.
My greatest sadness is that Obama could have been a big, big loser right here and now, left kicking and screaming on the floor, a dejected loser. Instead, we let him off the hook. In just a few weeks hindsight will prove me correct as bad days having nothing to do with the debt deal still lay ahead for Mr Obama, and I want to be the first to point the finger of “I told you so” to Messrs Boehner, Cantor and McConnell for having let him off. Why they couldn’t pull the trigger is instructive.
They all may win anyway, but I’ve backed into enough accidental wins myself to know one I didn’t deserve. They won’t deserve this if they win, as we shall see.
Obama did not get what he wanted, which was a brokered tax increase levied against the wealthy, to finance his plans to even more speedily stop job growth and wreck the economy. (Yes that is the plan and it’s all intentional.)
But Obama is justified to feel he won, nonetheless, as expressed in his Tuesday afternoon end zone dance; for he was able to double down by calling for even more spending. That was the curtain call for Act II, knowing the GOP had handed him a fall-guy on a silver platter when he can’t get those increases put forward. He wore that “none of this ever really happened” saunter on Tuesday. It was January, 2009 all over again.
When our bond rating in lowered, as it surely will before the next election, he will have a finger pointed squarely at the guys who only this week he and the Dems were lauding as bi-partisan compromisers. As I said, Deightonesque.
We, the Enemy People
These congratulations also were extended to the tea parties (although I’m never sure who they’re talking about here…Big Tea Party or the real citizen mom and pop movement, or just conservatives, all of whom they’re dying to bottle up and entrap.
They are trying to buy Big Tea Party off the same way the Euros tried to buy off Yassar Arafat, with a phony respectability. I don’t think it will work as I’m certain real tea partiers will accepted nothing extended by the Left, least of all congratulations. They will remain mercurial, hard to define, even harder to grab…yet still growing with every passing week.
They seek him here, they seek him there, / Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. / Is he in heaven? Or is he in hell? / That damned elusive Pimpernel!
But what Obama got most was to learn the flexibility of the Republican spine, which seems as elastic as Mr Fantastic, aka Reed Phillips (that’s for those of you who read) in order to get a deal, any deal, in any crisis. The GOP has no taste for rolled up sleeves, mussed up blazers, bloody noses or bloody knuckles.
This is a secret I’d just as soon the Democrats didn’t know so early, although I suspect Harry Reid had been read into the senate side for years.
True, GOP leaders may indeed have simply been hoodwinked here, which speaks volumes as to how bright or savvy they are. But I doubt it. No matter, the people have a right, even a duty to be suspicious that the GOP leadership were inside-players instead, playing their own constituents, and their own members, from the very beginning. The fix might have been in early on, so we can never never know what was real from weeks ago, including Obama’s banishment.
But this will be part of our learning curve. Fool us once…
The Enemy House Members
The big question is, will it be part of the learning curve of the majority of conservatives who found themselves voting “yes” for this deal, knowing they will have to defend it to voters back home in just a few short months? Especially the freshmen?
I gave them a pass, as you already know. And the reason I did is that they will be tested by this same leadership again in the coming months. If there are amends to be made or comeuppances due from their leadership, I think they’ll let that be known in their own way soon enough. We’ll see. Fool them once…
While we in the audience have a right to feel snookered here, the GOP newbies and other conservatives have an even greater right, and in the short term, they can do more about it. All we can do is rage. But from this week forward the GOP conservatives are pros, no longer neophytes. They’ve had their one mulligan and baptism under fire all at the same time.
But while I will not fault any GOP member his/her vote, I will advise all of them to sit down and reflect alone, then sit with their staff and closet confidants, then with the colleagues they’ve acquired in these short months. Do some serious after-action soul searching. This deal wasn’t a crude back-alley snatch-and-grab, it was a carefully crafted theft by artifice.
Hands Across the Aisle; the Enemy of My Enemy
What House newbies should come away learning is that when they made their pledge to their constituents to clean things up in Washington is now they know the depth of the problem. They have to carry the fight to the whole institution…both parties. It’s partisan all right, only not GOP v Democrat.
While they came primarily to clean up the economic mess in Washington, they should by now know that mess is inextricably linked to the Left, and that it cannot be de-linked. That’s fight #1.
They should also know that the ring that binds both parties is what we call the “ruling class ethos,” and that ethos can be found almost everywhere in Washington. That’s fight #2. It’s like dog poop on the Mall, you have to be constantly on the lookout lest you step in it.
This ethos is as great an enemy to conservatives as the Left, for while the Left will try to defeat you even kill you, the ruling class ethos will try to consume you, and when you look at Mitch McConnell, circa 1984, or John Boehner in 1994, you can see what I mean. Both were staunch conservatives.
To be among the elite runs deep in men and is the greatest weakness of conservatives in Christendom.
To understand this, what our newer conservative members have to understand, is this: as in all relationships that are sexual in nature, and power is, there can only be one on top, and that one on top, regardless of numerical majorities, has been the Democrat Party since at least 1960. You can spot submissiveness a mile away, just as you can spot a sneak or a back-stabber. Over fifty years the Democrat Left has turned the GOP leadership into “elitism junkies.” Hooked on smack, so to speak.
And anything that threatens it is the “enemy.”
That’s what our new congressmen must know, and so eloquently expressed in this latest debt ceiling deal. Much as the only thing Osama bin Laden and Ahmadenijab ever shared was a visceral hatred for Israel and the United States, the one thing the GOP establishment and Democrats equally hate (and fear) are conservatives and tea parties, who would upset their miscegenous, drug-induced union.
Our new Congressmen then should know there is a much larger job at hand. As a minority in the House and in the general population, they must plan this fight for the long term. They aren’t enough. Yet.
For all of you, just don’t believe what you read or see. Trust but verify, as my mother always said. (And she’s been quoted by so many.) The Left is in full-shrill-curse mode. They say Obama screwed them, and with the rank and fragile it may even be genuine. Likewise for Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul and a handful of others. But look for crocodile tears from the rest, from Obama down to Reid to the likes of Paul Krugman. Media screeds are largely plants. This has been a big win for the Ruling Class. Anti-Obama rhetoric is intended to lull you into believing they’ll be staying home next November. They are all betting on tomorrow, and this deal insured 15 months of tomorrows.
We may have “changed the conversation” but we didn’t cut spending. Or even the budget. All we did was cut the rate of growth, looking down the barrel of massive tax increases if Obama is re-elected and Obamacare made real, and possibly even if he is a not, for I can see at least one or two GOP candidates who wouldn’t want to take on the Senate if still in the hands of the Democrats.
So our “changed conversation” may end up being just that, all talk. Big Tea Party will be out there trying to primary all but the 38 who voted “no” on this last vote, but what they should do instead is spend all their efforts to double those numbers, and see to it that the weak-of-spine leaders who want oh so badly to continually sleep in the ruling class’s seraglio are farmed out. For good.
If we win the Left we will no doubt have to confront in the streets, but these leaders we still can remove by process. There are enough of us already to begin that process right away.
Scheme away, gentlemen.