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Maybe Senator DeMint was wrong. ObamaCare isn’t actually Obama’s Waterloo, it’s his Stalingrad.
Hitler made three big mistakes in 1942 fighting the Russians. First, he tried to do three things in the Russian South in the summer of 1942: Take Caucasus oil fields, take the black sea ports and take Stalingrad. He bit off more than he could chew. His 6th Army got bogged down in street fighting in Stalingrad, and a city that had a deadline to be taken in August, which slipped into October and then November, with the city not fully in his control. Then he underestimated the Russians, setting himself up for a trap. In November, the Russians under Genreal Zhukov counterattacked in a pincer movement and in a week were able to surround the German Army in Stalingrad. Hitler then made the third mistake that cost him the whole 6th Army – instead of having them try a breakout retreat, he forced them to hold their ground, as he didnt want to give up Stalingrad. But his Lufwaffe lacked the air superiority to supply the surrounded troops. He lost both the city and his army.
Far be it from me to make comparisons that invoke Godwin’s Law, but President Obama and the Democrat leaders have made parallel mistakes this year to those made by German High Command in 1942: First, they were over-ambitious and put too much politically risky things on the plate. They went in three directions, instead of one consistent vector. The ambitious over-reach ignited a conservative reaction in Tea Parties, and pegged Obama as a left-liberal. The legistative division, in particular the cap-and-trade House vote in June, started to make the wheels fall off of Congressional discipline. Deadlines for legislative accomplishments have been blown, and the big-ticket legislative front – cap-and-trade, immigration amnesty, card check, big spending, ObamaCare – has had middling success, with only the “Stimulus” as the big ticket that has actually passed Obama’s desk. Obama failed to “choose his battles.”
Second, they underestimated the opposition, both disorganized and organized. They’ve insulted the “Teabaggers” and put Republicans they might have got on board bipartisan bills out in the cold, taking a very partisan approach simply because they felt the numbers insulate them. The failed to consider that an energized minority has powerful ability to shape, if not the final votes, at least the debate – as the August recess showed.
Now, they are on mistake number three: Holding on to the ObamaCare prize even as the legislative and lobbying street-fighting make it impossible to fully win a clean bill. Will they make it? Only yesterday, it seemed that maybe they had; they first tried a “Medicare buy-in” trial balloon, and that didn’t work, and then, having given up finally on public option to win over Senator Lieberman, find that progressives are now off the reservation and calling for the bill to be killed. Oh, and Senator Nelson is still a “NO” too.
The bill without public option is the ‘all-pain no-gain’ version, as I mentioned three months back. That is why – even though the votes aren’t really there – they are trying to put public option in. With it out, the liberals say stuff like: “I’ll be D @ M N E D if I’m going to be forced to buy something that is costly and inefficient. ” on HuffPost. The coup de grace may be Senator Burris being a ‘no’ vote if public option is excluded.
Obama’s polling numbers are worse than ever, and the ObamaCare bill gets more and more unpopular. Must be something to do with the trillions it will tax and spend in the next decade. So trying to hold on to a bill for the sake of holding on to it could be the costliest and final mistake of a very mistake-prone first year for President Obama. A flawed reform will only energize and anger opponents, while at the same time demoralizing his own base who a defecting from the bill. Time has run out for Senator Reid’s “A bill by Christmas” deadline.
The Bad Obamacare Bill should just be killed – kick it to January, get out a clean sheet, and do a tailored targeted bill that only does the minimum popular things. But Democrats will probably decide to throw good political capital after already-spent political capital in a desperate gamble of losing teams. Holding the ground didn’t work in Stalingrad 1942 and it won’t work here.
Originally posted at Travis Monitor.