We're analysts by profession. But we also have a dog in this fight, so are always cautioning ourselves about putting our want-to's in front of our findings.
I've found that analysis by consultants is made mostly in light of their own self interests, and those interests are most often tied to their rice bowl; money and rank. We most admire those who can step back and detach their own interests from any outcome, as the first duty of a consultant is to tell his client how it is, before rushing into solutions or cures, where the big bucks lie.
But there are other interests that are more difficult to step away from. Augmenting financial-based interests, and at other times, standing opposite them, like that little angel on one shoulder, and little devil on the other, we find philosophical, some may even say instinctive (territorial), interests that are very personal to us. Family, love of country, the Constitution, liberty, a sense of justice, honor, ethics, integrity, also are closely-held interests...even when held in the negative, as things we want to circumvent. Sadly, in a world now redefined by the Left, that all human behavior should be subject to the political process (Mary McGrory, c1976), even the most ancient planks of human society are now part of a "partisan" dialogue. Truth...are you for it, or against it?
Americans, probably more than any other race, have been driven by non-monetary considerations in so many of our human endeavors. We marry for love first, money and station second, despite all our European forebears tried to teach us. We are the most color/religion/rank-indifferent society that ever existed. We will walk over a thousand years of Greek, Italian, Roman Catholic, Irish, Baptist, Lutheran or Muslim heritage just to be with Tayshaun. We do it all the time. We still think Someone Up There is watching and that we may be punished even if no one else is watching us. We believe in a Final Judgment, and as Bill Clinton proved, will line the walls of our closet with plaintiff's brief to God that a b-j isn't really sex, just because we fear that judgment. So it stands to reason that in America, most atheists still aren't...really. They just hate being judged.
So, by the time we are adults we all have a kind of internal ranking of these interests, i.e., what trumps what, and much of our politics in America, as we were seeing Joe Lieberman for a few days, and now Ben Nelson, twist in the wind, has been a contest between these "other" interests with money and power, things which would never cross the mind of most Europeans or Asians.
This makes cold objective analysis, as a doctor might diagnose cancer, seem almost impossible. It's hard to size up a situation without some element of "want-to" in the analysis.
Still, we have to try, since as I read in a lot of blogs and comments in blogs, even published articles, I see an awful lot of want-to's leading what is purported to be critical analysis, as well as lot of anger over, quite frankly, dogs behaving as dogs. "If only Mitch McConnell, or Michael Steele, or (fill in the blank) had a pair as big as mine." Well, they don't. That's a cold fact. But instead of weepy lamentations about what they could be or should be, (but can't) we should be spending that precious time...and time now is precious...trying to determine just why they are that way. What are the mechanisms that led a man like Mitch McConnell to go from a kick-butt candidate running Dee Huddleston (I was a friend with Dee's brother Charles, at the time) out of Washington in 1984 to a cowering Caspar Milquetoast, in a long line of Casper Milquetoasts. Mitch was a true Reaganite.
So what is it about the institution that changes the man? Don't say it is because the body is so deliberative.
Why we go through this exercise is because we want to know if Mitch is indeed cowering. Maybe, maybe not. But if not, what buttons does he (do they) have that we don't know they have that can turn them back into standard bearers of the Constitution? I am convinced that the entire Beltway culture has become so insulated that they genuinely are unaware of what's going on out here anymore. A lady from Nebraska went to meet Ben Nelson only this week, with a list of questions they wanted answers to back home. He gave her three minutes only but in that short time she found out he'd never heard of the 9/12 movement. Work that equation backwards in your mind to see the depth of the problem we confront. The beltway culture has become positively feudal, French feudal, in nature; a nobility who only goes into the hustings to gather up income from their holdings.
I won't dwell on this except to say Mitch McConnell, who probably hasn't given the Constitution a second thought since he was sworn in in 1985, probably still has a red button. Al Franken might well have found it for him, and the rest of the GOP, the other day when he "illegally" shut off the reading of Bernie Sanders' amendment. Every theory about the GOP, from Mitch to Michael Steele, cowards or laying in the weeds?, will issue forth from that one event, for if they do not now know that the Democrats are playing for keeps, as in "Forever, man" (George Carlin), they will never know.
To the heart of my analysis then, when we see certain events occur, we have a fairly good idea what will follow...whether we want them to, or not. If the GOP does not now go nuclear, throw "all in" and completely revise their strategy from delay, slash and burn, whatever, to total last man standing, calling down the thunder of the (still) vast majority of the American people on Congress' head...then, here, in Round One, we lose.
The only real question then is, will there even be a Round Two...at least one in which the fight will still be "as fair as it is now".
So, I want to sound a kind of cautionary tone here, for things, as we see them unfolding, are very close to getting ugly, whether we win or we lose in the coming months.
Our profession is to predict the probable "natural" outcome of events, then, when possible, lay out various alternatives that might change the course of that outcome. E.g, The majority of pleas to the GOP on the front page of Red State have been of this nature...what the GOP should do, or can do, to reverse circumstances that seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
Clearly, we have no issue with that, especially on a site that is actually read among political leaders. My mission here is to forewarn you that the way things are breaking out, the forces on this side, and that, and how they are aligned, with each passing day, lead to the conclusion that ugly events lay ahead.
We want to defeat this health care "reform" bill in any shape. Does the health care bill really kill the Constitution, or just wound it? We think the former, but we must be able to say and think this with the same grim, jutted jaw and furrowed brow of a man who must take his favorite dog out to the woods to shoot him. (Remember that look on the faces of the ranch hands in "Hud" who had to shoot all the cattle?")
The health care bill is primal, as it attacks those fundamental, most closely held beliefs of ours...namely the primacy of the Constitution, and all that follows, the pursuit of life, liberty, etc. These transcend anything having to do with the nuts and bolts of medical care (Higher fees, lesser care), or even other tenets of our personal beliefs, such as abortion. (At least this is why I hope you're against it, for most of the people against it right now don't see the death of Constitution as a primary cause for concern...and the Enemy takes great solace in that fact.)
What is not so easy to understand is how other people (on both sides) are going to react to the subsequent fight, not the one going on now...1) if the bill is defeated, 2) if the bill is enacted and becomes permanent, after 3 years, 3) if the bill is enacted, then in a year and three months is repealed and rolled back, 4) if the bill is repealed and rolled back in three years and three months....or 5) if the GOP reclaims Congress and/or the White House, but does not repeal and roll back the bill.
Obviously, among our want-to's is that the GOP leadership do certain things. (Yes, I know things we wish they'd done a month ago, a year ago.) We even (alas) still yearn for the media to do certain things???? Yet, in the cold light of day, we know the GOP leadership can't do many of the things that we would do, for reasons that should be understandable, for it not much different than dogs who have lived a good part of their lives mooching snacks underneath the dinner table, who also have given up a part of their manhood in order to secure that sweeeet position.
They are acting for the most part, according to their nature, which explains why the wisest of you have already assessed that the Dem's are playing a game based on the calculation that everyone in Congress will indeed stay inside their box, and as long as they do they have a counter-punch already planned out. On the other hand, you (we) are asking that one man, or a few men and women, step outside the box and make a statement or act that is so bodacious it has to get national attention and drive the danger we are in home. I have my ideas as to what will work best, you have yours, but our thinking is correct because it came from cold observation of the circumstances on the ground.
As for people like Landrieu and Ben Nelson, and the others who will likely cave before Christmas Eve, both have acted and will act according to their nature. Of course she is a whore, and the Left expects (plans on) us spending a good deal of valuable time in lamentations, gnashing of teeth and pulling our hair, when a quick, dismissive wave of the hand, "She's a whore. Be done with her. Now onto the whore-mongers." would be much better. With people like Landrieu, being dismissed as insignificant matters. Good. Moreover, say that a few times in print and the Enemy will pause and size you up more carefully, as they will know you get it, and they want to know who on our side does. (They are more interested in us, as enemies, than we seem to be about them.)
The same for Ben Nelson, who is and never has been anything more than a steer who escaped from an unlocked barn...which at one time held only prize bulls. The time for lamentations has long since passed in Nebraska...not for leaving the barn door open, but for occupying it with such a lesser quality of beef. He, too, will act in accordance with his nature, which is not to say he may not yet surprise us. Just don't spend too much time crossing your fingers that Nelson, or men like Jim Webb of Virginia might reach down and find that soul they once had. They may never have had it. In the cold light of day what they are most likely looking for is language and other considerations that will cover all their bases...with Nelson, literally. (Remember, it's the cloture vote that will put health care over. Ten of them can vote "No" on final passage, then go back home and try to wrap themselves in halos. Webb will be out in 2012 no matter, so he'll need a little extra grease, but he'll likely get it.) Don't look for miracles. Al Franken gave us probably the only one we will get.
As for the media, we just are losing valuable time, sleep and even blood pressure getting angry at jackals for being jackals. (We take a darker, more sinister view of the media than say, Rush Limbaugh. We think they are not tag-a-longs and groupies, but real players, a few even planners at the upper echelons of power)
So, how about the people? The People? What will the majority of people, by their natures, do when thrown into this situation? What they will do, of course, is make decisions based on their own self-interests...their jobs, income, home, family. They first consider survival, and try to see if they can cope with the new cost of health care. The details of health care, cost, convenience, will matter most to them, while the loss of liberty will not register at all to the majority of them for many years. Few will ever even hear the death rattles of the Constitution.
Most will not take to the streets. To be more specific, the people with jobs, income, home and family will not take to the streets. The Left is relying on this, in fact. It's part of their plan. Most people who feel powerless to control events hunker down. As a natural law, this is a fair generality.
But if some do take to the street, the others, clients of the state class who don't have real jobs, income, family, etc, can and will take to the streets also, at the urging of at least a half-dozen well-planned-in-advance promptings. Maxine Waters has as much as promised this. Those plans are already drawn up. (If you haven't noticed "the quickening" as we call it, including now changing the Clean Water Act, and other under-reported legislative agenda items, is coming at a pace that indicates a broad, and well executed plan by teams(s) of people who clearly are not the creation of three or four guys sitting around a table tossing back a beer with Barack Obama.)
Stifling our anger, what we should make ourselves see (at first) are actors, not people we hate, playing narrow roles that are only a portion of the overall play (plan). As the objects of our hate they do us no good. Harry Reid fills just one of many slots. So does Lady Nan, Barney Frank, Schumer. Not all of the people we "hate" are even part of the long term plan anyway, and will eventually be dispatched...even if they win. We've always seen Chris Dodd as a crook, like his old man, with no real future to this "new thing" being set up in Washington. But hating Chris Dodd does expend a lot of our energy. The same for John Murtha, and God, do we love to dislike John Murtha here. Semper FU. (OH, we can hate them, just don't let that drive your reasoning.)
Among that giant wall we call the Left, who is or is not a "soldier", a "player" and a "planner" will not surface until the trial(s), if we win, or the newest round of postage stamps and xenophobic posters for the school rooms, honoring heroes of the revolution...if they win. Say 20 years. There will be many names up there you never heard of, but who your children and grandchildren will be taught to revere.
What we do know is that between here and there, now and then, depending on the five possible scenarios I listed, there is going to be some ugly, ugly scenes, even if we kill health care dead in its tracks this week. My want-to's is to say all this can be prevented, but with each passing day, I think it less and less likely. As I have written in other places, what seems important to me, in an eventual series of clashes, I would prefer the law, besides the right, to be on my side. If we find ourselves on the outside looking in, the road back will be very, very long, indeed. My caution to you who may be squeamish about this, is that wishing it not so won't change it. When your neighbor wishes you dead, and there is no police to protect you, only one of you will emerge, and those are the stakes the Left has proclaimed.
We may take Congress back in 2010, but they will not allow it to be taken back without mayhem, destruction or worse. This I am fairly certain. They will put people in the streets. So, we, still without really knowing who "WE" are, leaderless and not yet of one mind in the tactical and strategic sense, have to begin planning now on what has to be done if we do get power back, for we cannot simply go back to four years off, four years on, of this sort of give and take, because they gain five new miles for every mile we try to take back in each cycle. They have called the stakes of this contest, winner take all...most of them without ever really considering what that means, and will continue to do so until our side calls down the thunder and douses them with a cold case of reality. That too will be ugly.
Some analysts have known this would be the case since Clinton talked Newt out of his knickers, over a decade ago. Their grand plan, the Great Game, was known to some even then. Now we are dealing with out and out-in-the-open criminality, and dare I use it here, the t-word. It doesn't matter if we realize this yet or not. They know it. They know their intention is to take over this country, and hold it by force, and destroy the US Constitution, and all it stands for...and a little unused legal term like "treason" is not going to stand in their way. They will assume we will react toward them just as they would, and want to now, with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Why that hasn't happened already is simply a matter of timing. Wait til health care passes. You can see this in the Coming Attractions at the cineplex come February.
But some of the People, Tea Partiers, 9/12'ers, do get it. Actually more get it, as a percent of the population, than did in 1776. They have taken this very personally. They have already taken to the streets, metaphorically, but with the sign of a clear willingness to put a little counter punch behind it. And yes, we think the other side plans on this occurring, and maybe even is encouraging it. They certainly have several ways to respond and are prepared. Worse, without leadership on our side, I am not certain any of this can be prevented or deferred...a very resistible force rushing headlong into what so far has proven to be an immovable, and ugly-mean, object. It took George Washington some years to be able to raise and train an army, while constantly on the run, trying to evade a superior army. We seem to still be in that "rabble in arms" phase (Kenneth Roberts' term) used that assaulted Quebec in 1775. We are a few years away from being the kind of army that can stand up in front of Cornwallis.
Again, they know this, even if we don't, so I don't see any of this ending pretty.
Still, the coldest fact of all...
.... fight or surrender.