[promoted by consensus. --streiff]
Sofia, 1700 hours, Thursday
I'm waiting to be picked up for dinner, which around here starts at 2200. Last night I spent in the mountains, no computer access, so wrote a few notes longhand, as I was bowled over by the depth of Coldwarrior's piece on Tea Partiers and Precinct Committees, and his personal effort to push it forward, as it threw into stark contrast the difference between Conservative "vision" and activism and Republican trench digging, just trying to hold the line.
First, about CW's vision thing. He has it exactly right. More than that, he has a key element of the solution right, and a ready-to-use map to get it done. General Eisenhower once said that 80% of the solution of any problem is in asking the right question. Bingo!
But there's vision afoot, and vision in a Porsche Roadster, and we're still without a horse. For all I know CW has a million dollar grant to take his solution on the road this spring, but in all likelihood he doesn't. But he should. Five or six million in fact, because if he were a Lefty and one of George Soros' associates had gotten wind of this, CW would have had that money literally forced on him, and in short order. Whattaya mean you got a job and family? How much they paying you? We'll triple it. Just get every state in the union on the same page with this. Do it. Here's the check. Fill in the amount.
How do you think the Secretary of State Project was born? Vision.
In fact, if there is a downside to CW's vision-quest it's that some of the Enemy who read ReadState may have already passed his plan up stairs. After all, anyone who can get 10 signatures...anybody...can be a Republican precinct committeeman. Think about it. As sure as you're sitting there, I can guarantee there are sources inside the enemy camp right now assessing where they can get a seat in Republican councils, and how many. I'd hate to think CW started a race in which there ends up being more Lefties running than conservatives.
So my advice is that someone send CW $2000 and a rented tux so he can run the room at CPAC two weeks from now looking for open checkbooks.
The sad thing, and a point we've been stressing here since before the election, conservative money should be out, scouring the countryside looking for good ideas, vision, and solid action plans rather than waiting for someone to come up with a begging bowl. This is not how the Left does it. They are always on the prowl, looking for talent and any new way to move their football down the field. And until January 19th, they had us backed up on our own one-yard line. A helluva job, if you ask me.
So obviously, vision has been tucked away in our sock drawer for a long time. In fact, for over fifty years now, the action-vision-factor has belonged almost exclusively to the Left, while our side, mostly the GOP, has been furiously digging trenches to shore up its imaginary Maginot line, not knowing the Left long ago invented tanks and mechanized warfare, and hired Heinz Guderion, out-flanking them, and now are sitting in Paris sipping apertifs and dancing around rail cars. And conservatives? Well they've just filled the air, and pages, with words, and logic, and reason, assuming the contagion would spread. The Left changed the nature of warfare, from local to total, but we just kept on digging.
I raise this "trench digging" metaphor because it really does gall me when my team gets outclassed in vision and planning. I think Streiff would agree. I once wrote here about "What Is to Be Done, A Question", and still have on the drawing board, "What Is to be Done, an Answer", which is drawn along FM 100-5, as I knew it in the Vietnam days. (I am sure it is much more sophisticated these days, which is why I bring Streiff into the equation. He knows this stuff much better.) CW has shown what can be done and needs to be done. He'd be running his own department right now in G-3, I think.
But the Tea Parties represent a step forward on reacquiring that vision...as usual...from the bottom. And ColdWarrior's plan is several steps beyond and above what even most Tea Party groups are envisioning.
Step back and take the big view and you will see what I mean. In 1932, after the Crash, FDR ran against guess what? The banks, profligacy by the wealthy, oppression of the poor, Hoover's Katrina, called the Dust Bowl. Ever hear any of those themes lately? FDR won.
Of course he won. He won because, when America hit a rough spot in the road, the people behind FDR stepped quickly into the breach with a plan they'd had on file for years."Things aren't just bad, they're broke, and here's what we have to fix it...from the bottom up." With the power to make things worse, or seem worse than they were, it was an easy sell.
That was 75 years ago and most of those fixes have actually brought us to this next really big rough spot in the road.
So what happened in the 2000's? The Left, envisioning that some of their more recent fixes at Fannie & Freddy had gotten a little out of hand, then completely otherworldly with the rise of the sub-prime market, saw the coming train wreck a full two years before anyone bothered to tell Bush. After all, for the Left they also saw a lot of jail time involved. (I'll bet they had to strap Chris Dodd down a couple of times to keep him in the country.) A good crook always looks a little further down the road than the agents chasing him. So, when the wreck came, instead of buying dark glasses, growing moustaches and getting one-way tickets to Rio, they attacked. How? Once again, they stepped out from behind the curtain and into the breach, with a brand new fix, once again blaming the same old demons FDR had in '32.
And the reason they got away with it is the Republicans had no plan of their own. Why? Most people in the Republican party, and possibly even the conservative movement, were still busy digging trenches trying to stop a very sophisticated army already with a plan, but according to a theory of warfare that went back to WWI...they never knew, never saw, (stupid?, naive?, complacent? we've discussed all this before) that this rough spot was caused by the Enemy in the first place, not them, and that since 1940, it should have been us, not the Left using the vision of the Founders to arrive at new plans as to how to first, drain the cesspool, then restore that old vision.
We see this vision problem now in Virginia and I write this paragraph up for the Virginia Tea Party, who may be peeking in. What better time to lay on the table options about re-thinking and re-defining government? The legislature has convened in Virginia, faced with the almost impossible task of balancing the budget as the Constitution requires, and school teachers, as I was leaving for Europe, were holding protests down there saying they couldn't be laid off. Not us. Anyone else. Not us. Still, everyone...everyone...knows that in order to balance the budget many government programs have to be cut....or taxes raised...and this legislature is not going to raise taxes. (That's the only reason the Republicans regained much of their power.) So, what better time to rethink the whole design, rather than, as usual, skimming a little off here, there, and topping it all of with a little accounting prestidigitation? No, more likely the legislature will fold, and we will lose key front line services, and not a single deadbeat teacher will be let go, or a single unnecessary course dropped at any of her state universities. Why? Because there was no one there with a plan, to suddenly step into the breach...and say, "Hey, wouldn't this be a good time to rethink our school systems back to the basics, like they used to be? Why is a university? Howzabout we take John Dewey and give him a swift kick in the arse? You know what, I just happen to have this plan in my hip pocket. First of all, we strip away everything but core curricula, and we sit down and decide all over again just what public schools are there for. We build back up from there. If you say schools are there "to serve as surrogate parents", well there you have it, that's 10% of the high school budget right off the top. Fire 'em. If you say they're to "to acculturate children", there's another 10%. Get rid of the school lunch program. Just milk and bag lunches of peanut-butter and Jelly, crackers. That's all I ever got when I flew Air America. And don't get me started on universities. I could cut their budgets by a quarter, and student tuition by 20% and balance the budget, all with the same sling blade. And I might even start hiring young professors who can teach Western civilization and American history with enthusiasm. Whattaya think about that?
But you know what, no one has a plan, and the idea of stepping into the breach with one is the last thing on the Virginia GOP's mind. Or the RNC? When government is drowning in the weight of its own shite, you'd think at least one Republican would consider draining the cesspool, rather than digging trenches to divert it away.
So to ColdWarrior I say, you're doing God's work on a much larger scale than you can ever know.