In December I wrote that this is not likely to end pretty. We saw, since the '09 summer of our discontent, that rather then retreating, the Obamailis were actually quickening their pace, as if to negate any effect the coming November election might have...not only on health care, but their grander design and the fate of the nation. Although we could be wrong, pray we are in fact, that feeling has only intensified. With the advancement of this "Slaughter Rule" to bypass the very essence of this republic, I am convinced now more than ever that they are in a Victory-now-at-all-costs mode, and we must plan ahead for the unpretty-case scenario...which will reveal itself very soon, not November.
A little cold analysis.
We also wrote here about the tacit understandings as to who the players are in the Constitutional framework. You know, the Enemies, who are like a fixed star in the heavens, "Those guys". They've been there from the beginning. Then there are The People. Finally, there are the Protectors, made of the 1) elected and 2) un-elected sort. We here at RedState are of the un-elected sort. But we are also the People.
There are several things that we can do here at RedState as protectors, but much of what has to be done now is with our other hat on, as a part of The People. So strap it on, folks. There are many things the People must do very quickly, and continue to do until this is over. The ball is about to start rolling.
First among them is to re-establish that most fundamental of relationships with our elected representatives. Fear.
What follows is only about the redefining of that relationship.
The Constitution assumed, in fact, expected, that elected representatives would be afraid of the People. That was always its major fail safe. Now without going all philosophical on you, the Constitution inferred that elected officials would be held in check from their natural tendency toward excess and corruption that the power to tax would confer on them, by the fear that the people would find them out and at the very least, throw them out of office.
But the notion that this resort (throwing them out of office) was also the only resort is rather modern in American politics. Arguably, the Constitution seemed to expect that the People, being of the more common sort, would have a variety of ways to convey this sense of fear to their representatives. We've tarred and feathered them, run them out of town on a rail, hung them in effigy, stormed their offices, poured white paint on their favorite black poodle, cow dung on their cars, and a host of other things, which, while only slightly illegal, resulted in no deaths or serious injuries that I can find. And it really did seem to do the good job of always keeping the threat in front of the representatives' noses that they (and their families) could come to a lot of inconvenience, up to and including financial ruin, if they betrayed the People's trust. (By the way, these are the same threats, by way of blackmail, held over their heads already by the special interest purchasers of their votes, including now, the Party leadership.) We're just leveling the playing field...back in the Constitution's favor....when we bring fear back to its proper place in the constitutional scheme.
The past fourteen months have proved what many of us in the analysis business have seen trending since the Clinton years: Not only is the elected class no longer afraid of the People, but so much so they have become indifferent to us. Now, they barely send us a card while courting their purchasers with wine, flowers and fine chocolates...which makes the job of a Marxist insider who rubs elbows with them daily all the more easy.
The invoking of the Slaughter Rule (highlighted here this week by E Pluribus Unum, then Mike DeVine, then Ausonius, and AndrewHyman) is that bridge too far, the straw that broke the camel's back, that one egg too many for an edible omelet. In my view, it is criminal. (See below.) In the Comments of EPU's piece, you can see the questions, the what ifs, coming from every direction. What will the courts do? What about the GOP? The states? Even the Armed Forces and National Guard?
But not a lot is really speculated about what the People can do...or should do. I see no suggestions of civil disobedience, by open outrage or by stealth and skulduggery, i.e, what can we get away with? (A lot, you betcha) But everyone does agree, we should not take up arms, or even take to the streets with pitchforks. I agree as well. But neither can we, I argue, simply bide our time, or take the Gandhi-MLK Jr-Glenn Beck tack, by linking arms and peaceably protesting and getting in touch with our inner selves if this Slaughter Rule actually materializes. (Right now it is just a floating balloon.) For one, the other side, once secure in power, will be far more ruthless than anything Gandhi or Dr King faced. More importantly, as we've seen, after their initial impact, our Tea Party marches and protests and sit-in, while still necessary, did not serve to make them afraid for very long. We saw this after the summer recess. When things got hot out in the districts, they simply left the fief and returned to the central castle, barricading themselves in the manor house, content that we would not only just have to get over it, but we would also have to lump it.
The media and the GOP, and sadly too many conservatives seem to have fallen into the trap of believing that the People's power is limited to throwing those dirty rotten scoundrels out. But as early as summer '09, those DRS's have been telegraphing a sense of "so what?" Not, "I dare you.", but "So what?", as in "It won't matter by then." (by Nov 2010.)
Do they know something we don't know? Probably. Do they have another shoe to drop, another plan? Possibly. But in both cases, those plans, that other shoe, are also based on the same notion laid out above, that all the People (us) can do is wait til November then try to throw those DRB's out.
Obvious, we have to do much more, and very soon...without taking to the streets with Old Betsy.
Another regular diarist here, RoguePolitics, carries a quote from Orwell about the liberals of his own time, who were playing with fire, without ever knowing it was hot. This is the one imponderable about this standoff existing now between the Democrats in Congress and the People. (Forget about the Republicans, if they come to our aid, good, just don't rely on it. Assume you are on your own.) Do they really know what they've let themselves in for here? Are they naive and silly, even a little stupid, or do they really have all their ducks lined up in a row as their body language suggests? Who will blink?
With the Slaughter Rule vote, if it takes place, win or lose, they have gone all-in coming out on the blind, and dared us to call. Do they really know what this means? Do we also? Maybe we should tell them, now, before the vote. I think so.
Do they not understand that once the thunder begins to roll, we are not just going to go back to 2005. We are going back to 1860 and begin by freeing the slaves all over again. And this time, for real. We will take back the schools. The universities. We will be writing new textbooks. And we will also be building new jails. We need to let them know what we have in store for them. Not what Mitch & the Gang have. What we have.
So, what can the people do now, for E Pluribus Unum is right, if the Slaughter Rules is actually enacted, the ball starts to roll. The Rubicon has been crossed. Whether by mere expedience and accident, or by long term design, the Slaughter Rule signals a naked attempt to dismantle the Constitution. It is an imminent threat. A crime. A high crime And don't be surprised if the Supreme Court probably can't so easily undo it, without the several militaries choosing up sides. For all Obama has to say is "OK, you made your ruling. Now enforce it." to make that so.
These are mere speculations by me, but they are not mindless ramblings, for as I've said for some years now, the Enemy has gone "all in", so what we confront is a new reality with this vote.
So what do the People do once again to make their elected representatives be afraid? This I consider a first step.
We're sort of in this kind of business, (Agitprop of various dimensions) but I'm never comfortable talking much about it in the public domain, for fear I'll be "Stokely Carmichaeled". We've witnessed local wrecking operations all over the world. We instituted a few. We've seen them work. And seen them fail. So, what I write below is intentionally a little cavalier and tongue in cheek.
Wreck, Defy, and Agitprop.
First, make it personal. Put a face and a name on your wrath. Let every Congressman who votes for this bill know that every act of defiance, or wrecking in his district comes embossed with this name on it.
Wrecking is but one part. And it comes in all forms. It can be done solo. With or without the help of your state legislature, we can deny the federal government what it wants to achieve. People are already lining up to do this with the census. Moses was a born wrecker. He died without ever letting the state know he was dead, and he chuckled all the way up that roost in the Rockies where he went to sleep, I am quite sure. But wrecking only creates an atmosphere for your target congressman. Much like the bleak shades of black and grey of Gotham City, it makes his world much darker than he wants it to be, and from time to time, in various ways, you let him know the darkness and gloom is his doing, and it won't be sunny again until he's out of office, in jail or working for 7.50 an hour down at Taco Bell.
Agitprop involves more stealth and planning. It also requires teamwork, and some risk of being arrested and cited, and seeing your name in the paper. We've had some success with this in various parts of the country. Agitprop generally involves a series of events always keeping an issue in the public eye. It can work just as well to keep a person (a bad guy) constantly in the public eye. It is constant, pulsating, coming from all different directions, sometimes singly and sometimes all altogether. It can be as bodacious as a truck load of manure in the front yard, a 2 AM wake up call to a very loud hidden cassette of Klaus Nomi going falsetto, or a simple quavering, crooked middle finger from a 90 year woman in a wheelchair at a rally.
Here I are only speaking of the things that can keep an Democrat congressman worried, annoyed, inconvenienced and eventually fearful. He will still pay close attention to you even though he does not always know who "you" are. All Congressmen have their own notions as to what is "too close for comfort" (see below), and what deserves serious consideration. I think the folks in each district know better than I what those soft, exposed or sore points are. Just poke them as often as possible. Swarm like flies and sting like bees. Whatever comfort they require, deny them.
Civil disobedience works, but this involves a little more than just showing up with a bunch of placards on the Capitol steps. Show up at 2 AM at his home in Georgetown. Remember how quickly those Koreans pulled out some loudspeakers, sang a song, then disappeared? Or that aforementioned loud cassette player hidden in a bush under the bedroom window. (Wear gloves.) But always leave a card. Let him know it is not random. Even the call into the cops is an annoyance and aggravation. As for ideas, read up on PETA; they are very clever and aren't afraid to take risks. But so were Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges, if you like gags. (Actually I don't like custard pies...unless there are fifty all at once blotting out the sun as they rain down on an entourage. That I like.) There are all sorts of things you can do inside his office, and never get caught. We've known people to set off alarms and sprinkler systems with cigarettes, then skedaddle. But you may get caught. One alarm may cause a commotion, but five in two weeks will really annoy a lot of people, all with Congressman X's name on that card. Always leave a card.
(There are even a few flatulence tricks I learned from the Russians, but can't seem to find any useful purpose for them here. If you do, let me know. I'm always for expanding my repertoire.)
And you can even up the ante in violence, if you are willing to be arrested, and go before a judge and plead Not Guilty for hitting a person across the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Really? No, try it. Hurts like hell. A park ranger in the Smokies told me about that several years ago during a bear outbreak. The great things about a rolled-up paper is you can carry it openly and anywhere. Pitchforks are better, yes, but you can never get them through security. Besides, they're just for show anyway.
I can take my trusty newspaper with me everywhere. I've been contacted by various Tea Party groups asking me to join and I say, "But I already come to meetings. I'm the one with the newspaper." (Being anonymous is twice the fun, and in reading this, you're beginning to see why.) I even got to use it once, at a rally, when a twerpy little Leftist got in my face a bit too close (both for comfort and for me not to get a good arms-length whack at her), but even a short chop stings. The nice things is, who's going to run off crying to the cops that some mean old man hit me with a newspaper?
I have visions of Tea Partiers carrying rolled up newspapers to rallies. Just watch the union thugs hunker back. Watch the Congressman poop his pants the next town hall when 200 citizens stride in striking the palm of their hands with a rolled up newspaper. When they put up signs saying "Please check your newspapers at the front door" you'll know they are afraid. Just remember, you hit someone with it, it is a battery. Expect to be arrested. Just ask for as a jury trial and look for one of "our" lawyers. Acquittal's a sure thing.
The ONE MAJOR thing we must never do is behave like those children who protest the G8 summits. Adults don't go around breaking the law intentionally, and then pitching a fit because they were caught at it. Draft card burners always annoyed me on that account. Don't curse, don't scream or screech, or kick. Always carry the squared jaw of resolve and the furrowed brow of sorrow, as someone who has just had to go out and shoot his favorite dog, who'd become rabid. This is a dirty job, it has to be done, but is also a terribly sad thing for fine decent folks to have to do. So, be arrested with class, like adults...for many of the police will be on your side. And anyone who sees you on television will also.
As I've laid out, there are hundreds of way to publicly put yourself on the line and 1) wreck, 2) defy and 3) instill fear. Agitprop is as Agitprop does. Our intention is to intimidate, and, to the extent a rolled up newspaper can convey it, terrorize.
But if you've noticed, what I've just outlined hardly makes congressmen afraid. It just makes them nervous. But like those 50 soldiers guarding the fort all night, while just outside, in the pitch dark, the drumbeats going on relentlessly, it does keep a fellow on edge. It is necessary.
These are the things they Fear.
What we want the left side of Congress to do is to have to sneak back to the home district under the cover of darkness. To peep around corners. And over the shoulder. Make them think they are quarry, being hunted. Hell, they are so paranoid, just a cruel smile can send that message. Make them afraid to shake hands with anyone they don't know, especially 90-year old ladies. Cause them to drive to work in a dressed-down '94 Toyota, and around to the back door of the congressional office building, where the kitchen help comes in. Have them wondering why DeMint and Boehner can still come in the front door and they have to sneak in the back? Do that and Boehner may break out his Parrothead shirt and wear it in one day.
These are the things they fear: 1) The aggravation, 2) the Inconvenience 3) the inability to enjoy the perqs of their station, 4) the loss of their wealth 5) going to jail, and 6) physical pain...more or less in that order. Loss of reputation actually is involved in each.
1)The aggravation comes from what I have just described above, a relentless, never-ending cacophony of outrage, displayed to them daily, from the first moment they open the local newspaper back home, to the daily email and phone briefing from the local office. It is just noise, but it is essential. They think they are important but the squeakiest portion of their constituency wheel does not agree. It's not the disagreement that aggravates, it's the noise! (Sound familiar? So, go the Left one better, for remember Evil cannot aggravate Good the same way Good can aggravate Evil using the same device. It's a law...the law of inner peace.)
2) The inconvenience comes when the Congressman's wife comes home, or calls from from St Louis, screeching "I can't even go to the mall to buy some underwear anymore! Look at me! Is custard really my best color on this new Nino Cerruti pants suit?" Despite what you hear, the most important people in the Congressman's life is not the guys down at the House racquetball court. They are their significant others...and their inner staff. The people they see daily. When your chief of staff is afraid, you're inconvenienced. When your secretaries are crying you are inconvenienced. When you wife is bitching because the only place she can shop in peace is at Big Lots or Dollar Generals Store, you are inconvenienced. Bernie learned this some time ago, when a friend of his on the West Coast called her congressperson, and in a very condescending and rude manner, was blown off by a staffer. She taped the whole thing, a la the Wilsons, told Bernie, who then called in a favor from another staffer working in the same building in DC, who, over a period of a month, took photos of that staffer...you know, the type that makes you think you're under the watchful eye of a stalker out there...going into the building, in the parking area, that sort of thing...then simply sent them to her, one at a time, in a plain envelope over a period of a month. She quit and returned to Washington State within a month. The Congressman was no doubt inconvenienced.
Lesson: you have many friends inside the belly of beast you don't know about, and with some networking, you can connect to them. Also, you don't have to do a single thing to the congressman directly to let him know he should once again be afraid.
3) Take away the perqs of power. This is already happening to a degree, for many congressman already cannot move freely about their districts anymore. Just intensify it. And as described above, make the only custard-less shopping day for the congressman's wife be at Dollar General, not Sachs. Rearrange her perqs of power and fame and the congressman will suffer mightily. Make him sneak, always looking over his shoulder, around corners. Make him feel besieged. Destroy his visual horizons. Don't let him drive down the street without seeing a sign, or a big middle finger, obstructing his view. Leave them asking why Republicans can move around so much freely than they can. Signal this is your intent and few Republicans may even play along.
These are they they fear the most, and are things you only need to threaten.
4) Make them fearful for the financial wealth they've amassed while in Congress.
5) Make them fearful of being indicted and going to jail
This is where we turn from semi-serious to deadly serious.
Assume corruption and that they have a lot of money stashed away in the wife's name or other safe houses. (This can get sophisticated.) Many Democrats in Congress have been engaged in a criminal enterprise for a very long time...so long, and so successful, that many no longer even believe what they do is a crime. The Slaughter Rule is a different, but in many way, far more serious crime than the mere pilfering of billions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Make sure ALL these Congress members know this is how we see it, and make sure they know that throwing them out of office will not be the end it, but only the first step. Putting them in jail for 36 months on the front end of a 10 year sentence while the wife bathes in the sun of the Virgin Islands, will not be the end of it. Reducing the entire family fortune to the size of an illegal's stash inside the gas tank of his Honda will. Let them know we'll go after the retirement plan, the 401K, the whole shooting match. And when they bring up ex post facto, tell them to consult with Bill Clinton. Special dispensation. This i consider to the lynchpin of their fear...to have spent so many years being legal "criminal" and ending up paupers anyway/
6) They fear the threat of physical pain. I know everyone out there has his or her own personal one-arm tied-behind-your-back fantasy of just slapping the snot out of at least 100 of these criminals, but still, it's the fear that hurts the most. That's as it should be. You don't have to lay a glove on them.
All the rest is very doable. Just let them know you mean business. The House side of Congress has already promised to make the "repeal" of health care the central campaign issue in 2010. This they don't fear...unless tied to those things, above, they do fear.