Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Am I Crazy -- Like a Fox?

My line, ever since the Obama administration decided to go ahead with their entire lefty agenda in 2009, is that the Democrats were making a strategic error for the ages.

I thought then that the right thing to do, for the Democratic Party's power down the years, would have been to push a moderate agenda, focused on fixing the economy and cementing the youth, women, and minorities into the Emerging Democratic Majority.

Instead, the Obamis figured that this was their once in a generation chance to ram through their lefty wish list, featuring a "stimulus" that paid off Democratic constituencies, Obamacare that hammered the middle class, green energy that ran up electricity bills, and Dodd-Frank that enmeshed the financial industry in stupid regulation and hampered its role of getting money from people who have it to people that want it.

But it got worse. Instead of reaching out to the middle and picking off moderate Republicans into the emerging Democratic consensus, Obama has been openly combative towards Republicans, thus heightening divisions. And he has clearly encouraged all the left-wing activist groups to go for the gold.

My understanding of conflict, politics, and strategy, such as it is, tells me that almost all the actions of the Obama administration have been strategically foolish: they hurt the long-term interest of the United States, the Democratic party, and the liberal movement.

Now we learn from Jonah Goldberg that the strategic vision of President Obama towards Iran is to help them:
He says he wants to bring Iran out of the cold, to "break through (their) isolation" and help them become a "very successful regional power."
But Iran is a revolutionary power. I doubt that treating it as a status-quo power and a partner in the concert of nations is really in anyone's interest.

And anyway, let's adjust the president's rhetoric and imagine him applying it to the Republicans.
He says he wants to bring Tea Party activists out of the cold, to "break through (their) isolation" and help them contribute to the emerging consensus. 
In fact the president is talking nonsense. In no sensible world would a status-quo power like the US want to encourage a revolutionary expansionist power like Iran. What we want, and what the rest of the world probably wants, is for no single power in the Middle East to dominate the rest of the region. That was the point of interfering in Iraq: to put a block in the path of Iranian expansion. The strategic interest of the US in the Middle East is to make sure that no single power gets its hands on all the oil.

On the other hand it would be immensely cunning for the president to cut out the moderate wing of the Republican Party, wine and dine the "beltway" Republicans and get them on board, say, with his immigration reform. Imagine the rage, the bloodletting in the Republican Party! Why, that way he might even succeed in dividing the Republican Party and set up Hillary Clinton for a win in 2016.

You see, I think that the business with Lois Lerner running interference on the Tea Party was a strategic mistake. I think that the race activism on Trayvon Martin and Ferguson are strategic mistakes. I think that the whole "rape crisis" effort is a strategic mistake. I think that the ruckus on the Indiana RFRA act is a strategic mistake. That's because if I were a moderate non-political woman I would wonder what on earth was going on. (And if I were a working-class white man I'd vow never to vote for a Democrat again.)

Today the intrepid Vox Day is invoking the wisdom of Sun Tzu, the First Strategist.
If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
If I were to describe President Obama and the liberals I would say that they know themselves, particularly their vision of themselves. But they don't know too much about others, except that they are racists, sexists, homophobes, and they don't seem to know much about what other people think about them.

The strength of President Clinton was that, as a governor of a state that was trending conservative, and as a brilliant politician, he knew how to present himself to the great middle of America. And he learned it the hard way by losing reelection as governor of Arkansas in 1980.

Maybe the Obamis are geniuses, and everything I know about politics and conflict is wrong.

We'll See. 

1 comment:

  1. Netanyahu accused Iran of “gobbling up the nations” of the Middle East. To the applause of Congress, he claimed “Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.”

    His choice of capitals was peculiar because Iran took none of those capitals by force and, indeed, was simply supporting the embattled government of Syria and was allied with elements of the government of Lebanon. As for Iraq, Iran’s allies were installed not by Iran but by President George W. Bush via the U.S. invasion. And, in Yemen, a long-festering sectarian conflict has led to the capture of Sanaa by Houthi rebels who deny that they are supported by Iran (although Iran may have provided some limited help).

    Amid the wild and inchoate cheering by Republicans and many Democrats, Netanyahu continued: “We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.” But, in reality, there has been no “march of conquest.” There have been no images of Iranian armies on the march or a single case of Iranian forces crossing a border against the will of a government.