He should have known he was beaten but he didn’t
Marvin Albert on John Paul Jones Broadsides and Boarders 1957
I never mind men running as long as they come back.
Wellington: Sharpe’s Waterloo 1977
Keep up the Skeer
Nathan Bedford Forrest
The single most important factor in any kind of battle is morale. If you can break the morale of our opponent their physical advantages are irreverent. And as many frustrated players of the old Avalon Game Up Front can tell you, if you can’t rally your side, you are headed for defeat.
2010 should be remembered as a year when democrats were like the frustrated gamer looking for a rally card. It started with the big red wave and continued with democrats running from the administration over and over even in deep blue areas, the only victories managed by the left came by either dividing the electorate or by keeping the White House at a distance.
It should have ended the same way. The White House’s demands for the extension of the payroll tax cut, which directly funds social security was a contentious issue. The GOP over the objections of some, decided to go along with the idea of the payroll tax extension. The question being: would they finish the job or go for a temporary fix to get it out-of-the-way for Christmas?
While the House passed a full year extension the Senate version managed only two months and that after intense negotiation within the body. The media, being the media, jumped on the House’s failure to pass the Senate version, ignoring the house own bill, accusing the GOP of opposing a middle class tax cut, a lie on its face.
The house was faced with a dilemma: Do you pass the Senate bill or stand for the full year against the MSM? Although the pressure was on, I submit the situation was worse for the White House:
First of all it was amply demonstrated that the House Bill’s tax cut was considerably larger then the senate version.
Secondly; the idea that GOP prospects in the senate were in danger is again wrong on its face, many more democratic senate seats are in trouble than house seats and if the bill didn’t get passed they would have been part of the problem (and if the occasional blue state senate candidate wanted to point to his compromise with democrats as a positive that would still work too).
Thirdly; no matter how it is spun the man in charge is the man in charge. The president can attempt to run against congress all he wants but he is a single person vs 535 members, success or failure as the executive rests on him and if the extension didn’t get done it would have been his impotence that would have been the problem.
Finally the number of people in the country actually paying attention at this time is the smallest it would ever be. The MSM’s and the president’s ability to whip up support would never be lowest than between now and New Years day.
Instead of exploiting these advantages the GOP leadership panicked.
Let’s immediately give the caveat that beyond the ephemeral advantages that NRO sees there are a few concrete improvements here.
1. The change in reporting rules removes one of the most egregious issues with the two month extension that would have hurt small business.
2. The Keystone Pipeline decision forced on the president during an election year will be a GOP win no matter how he decides. If he allows it (he will) the GOP can note they pushed him into it. If he blocks it, then it’s a jobs issue.
Even so by caving the GOP has made two critical errors:
The first is to upset the grass-roots that gave them the majority that they possess:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said. “We were sent here with a clear set of instructions from the American people to put an end to business as usual in Washington, yet here we are being asked to sign off on yet another gimmick.”
The GOP does not retain the house without those tea party votes. These groups have already noted they don’t trust the GOP. If the GOP gives them further reason to abandon them, they will.
The more critical error is giving the democrats a desperately needed, a change in momentum.
All year the democrats have been in retreat, and all year my argument has been “Charge right through them they’re demoralized as hell.” Until today the confident pronouncements of the left and their sites have been an empty shell concealing panic.
Now the House has given the democrats the one thing they that needed more than anything else, a morale boost. By caving directly as the president was calling for them to cave they create a different environment.
Two days ago the only words coming out of the mouth of the media was “bi-partisan” when pointing to the senate bill quoting GOP senators who supported it, now that the house has folded those GOP senators are afterthoughts like the useful idiots they were. The only words out of the media’s mouth is “Victory for democrats“, “Victory for Obama! and “Republicans cave!”
Amazing once it was time to give credit how the word “bipartisan” disappeared from the media lexicon.
Bottom line the GOP allowed the left and the Democrats a victory they desperately needed at a time when their morale was as low as it could be.
The GOP should have understood this, the idiots in the senate who were hitting their fellow republicans should have understood this, and frankly Scott Brown should have understood that the tea party people who worked their asses off for him last time might still vote for him but aren’t going to work for him if he attacks them.
But I shouldn’t be surprised, after all they didn’t even have the good sense to wait a day so it would be reported on the Saturday before Christmas instead of on the Friday morning shows. That is even more foolish than trusting the promises of Harry Reid who will do his best to repeat this nonsense at a time when more people are paying attention
It was a critical mistake. What remains to be seen is if the GOP will allow the democrats to exploit this mistake to recover or if they will learn from it and avoid repeating it.