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General Foch, Ted Cruz, and what to do about bugetary trench-warfare…..

“My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking” – Gen Foch, WWI

The above quote appears to be about how certain factions of the GOP view the current situation (defined: Obama, Ried’s Senate, and the GOP House wrestling with the budget, Obamacare, et-al)….

Namely: It doesn’t matter how much damage you’re taking, how badly things are going – so long as you’re on the attack everything is golden…

Thanks to that approach, we expended great amounts of political capital, and got… The pre-September status-quo. Now, granted, things could have ended worse… But all that noise and fury to get nothing should stand as a lesson to folks who think that ‘heart’ and ‘ferocity’ can overcome a complete lack of strategy….

So, the question becomes… What to do different next time…

The answer:

1) You have to offer the other side *something* that they want, to get what you want… Asking for everything you want, while giving them nothing, gets you nothing. Especially when they are playing the ‘I do not negotiate’ game – they have no reason *TO* negotiate if there is nothing on the table…

2) Media support matters. You can’t win a war without artillery & you can’t beat the Democrats if you can’t get your message out to people who don’t listen to AM Radio/read RedState.

3) It doesn’t matter how fiercely you fight, or how hard you try, IF YOU LOSE.

With that said, how do we apply this to the next budget fight?

Well, first we offer the Democrats something they ostensibly should want: A ‘clean’ budget for each non-controversial agency of the federal government, as an individual bill. I would go so far as to offer a budget good through fiscal-2016 (eg, a biennial budget).

By ‘clean’ I mean status-quo. No carve-outs, no special political priorities… No (for example) sticking a provision against Obamacare into the budget for the Park Service….

What we demand from them in return, is that there be no more all-encompassing budget legislation, that legislation codifying the full-faith-and-credit of the US to it’s bondholders be passed (call it the ‘Anti-Default Act’), and that sequester-level overall-spending-caps be maintained. Each agency gets it’s budget written as a separate bill, and the non-controversial ones can be brought to a vote in rapid succession…

However, the politically ‘hot’ budgets would logically be debated on a per-agency basis… EPA. HHS. Energy. And yes, probably DoD as well – if we go down this road we have to indulge them a bit to get what we want…

The end result of this would be (A) a better budget process vs the behemoth bills (Farm Bill? 500BN? YEACK!) we pass now, and (B) an end to ‘Shutdown Theater’ since it would be only individual agencies that would be shut down if their individual budgets don’t pass…

Then, if we want a fight over O-care we do it in the HHS budget… Over Coal? Well, the EPA may be harder to fund this time through – but everything else will pass in separate bills… And so on….

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