Counting Coup: The Invisible Victories
Generals are often the last to know about their victories. Fragmented reports of a platoon leader accepting an enemy squad’s surrender or a company commander overrunning a position never reach the commander until the staff has confirmed prisoner counts and an inventory of weapons captured. They know from experience to disregard early reports of both victory and defeat. It takes a while to assemble fragmented information from various units in the field and confirm a victory.
In local politics where each activist is more or less his or her own general, it’s even tougher to assess victory. Is it too early to utter the shrill ululation of counting coup after the race for RNC chair and the Texas Speaker didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped? Let’s examine the evidence with the jaundiced eye of a chief of staff.
Here in Los Angeles county where I serve on the GOP, we did a bit of planning at our biennial caucuses and organizational meeting. Since the LA GOP is not a continuing body, the organizational meeting first swears and seats the newly elected members who then (usually) accept the by-laws that governed the previous body.
Then the fun starts, and it happens fast.
As had been arranged, I was selected as chair for my own assembly district (one of 26 in LA County). I then instructed my district committee members (seven of us in all) to attend the succeeding caucuses (ones for senate and congressional districts) and seek the chairs of those caucuses. They returned from those caucuses with their respective gavels in hand (figuratively). That gave my one little committee of seven a total of three votes on the county executive committee. And we are gathering more and can probably soon count on 5 county executive committee votes. And my district committee has yet to identify or make liaison with the other ‘tea party’ districts in the county. Wait until that happens.
But there’s more. Much, much more. Selection of delegates to the state GOP committee is about to begin.
It’s much easier to join the state committee in CA (and many other places) than one may think. This would be the same state committee that chooses our RNC Committeemen. Yes, I am saying that it’s only one step up the party ladder from initial involvement to choosing RNC Committeemen. Candidates, even unsuccessful ones, for state offices such as assembly or senate, other state offices, and US offices get to appoint state delegates. Now how many on our local district committee of seven do you think worked those campaigns and are deserving of the appointment? Since we know the candidates intimately, try seven out of seven. While no political IOU is bankable until actually paid, we have padded our preliminary counts with enough extra requests of candidates to allow fully for some not coming through for us.
Influence, when it accrues, sometimes accrues very, very quickly.
If it’s happening (fast) in my own corner of the county, then it’s happening in counties (and states) elsewhere. And even without the victories we wanted so badly recently, the RNC chair and Texas speaker will soon begin showing signs that they heard us clearly. The RNC Chair already has.
The Tea Parties have no general staff to assess reports and assemble a picture of victory or defeat. But platoons are reporting in from CA just as Coldwarrior reports (with hard metrics satisfactory to any secretary of the general staff, as pilgrim knows) that the tea party has a 70% plurality in the urban counties in AZ. Regiments report advances and victories in UT, MI, WI, OH, NY and NV. Tea Party Nation and Patriotic Action Network (Resistnet) have both placed the PC Strategy at the top of their battle plans for 2011, and these are prize battalions. Erick at Redstate.com has called for deployment of the PC Strategy in 2011.
When the smell of victory is in the air, even an amateur military historian doesn’t need the centralized authority of a general staff to conclude:
It’s time to conduct a major offensive.