Military tactics for Speaker Boehner: be swift, execute, take casualties

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The fiscal cliff battle is over.  Conservatives  deem it a defeat, if not a total rout.

Based on details of the deal reported on The Brenner Brief it is understandable: Obama and Democrats have avoided culpability;  systemic budgetary problems and deficit are not addressed; for every $1 cu” there are $44 in taxes; 77 percent of Americans will see a tax increase; and, the deal adds $4 trillion to the deficit. Conservatives are justifiably outraged.  However, I contend it is not a total loss and there is an opportunity to significantly change the dynamics of battlefield.

Mike Ruffing is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @MikeRuffing1

Mike Ruffing is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @MikeRuffing1

Outside conservative circles, the optics of not signing the deal would have provided the Democrats a lethal arsenal to be used from now through the 2016 election. Recall how, in great measure, they won the war of 2012 with the mantra “it was Bush’s fault”?  That weapon’s radioactive half-life is almost up and the Democrats are looking for a replacement.  Imagine hearing from now through the mid-terms and 2016, “The Republicans sent us over the cliff!  They raised your taxes! They tried protecting the rich and drove our country into the ground!”  Of course it would be ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than the Bush excuse of the last four years.

The fiscal cliff was just one of the battles in the ongoing war for America. It  may be remembered as a mere skirmish someday. We must resist the urge to lament the current lay of the land and temptation to make Republican heads to roll (for now). We need to get over it now — as in, today. The battlefield for the next engagement has already been set with the debt ceiling and budget. By ignoring the former and focusing on the latter, there is a chance to make the next budgetary go-round the Gettysburg of this war.

The President and Democrat generals can’t resist the tactics of campaigning. They so enjoy hitting the road, or going to Hawaii, and telling America that they saved us from the Republicans. It’s a tactic that has been immensely effective for over four years now. Hubris, pride, and a leader of the opposition who doesn’t really lead — what a perfect time to execute a flanking maneuver. To be effective, it must be swift, well executed, and with full knowledge that casualties will be a necessary evil.

Imagine if Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans met today after catching up on some sleep, put together a budget more to our liking and values, and passed it immediately (swiftness and execution). Now the hard part for conservatives: do not tie anything to the debt ceiling issue for now (the casualties).  Let it go. Don’t give the enemy any excuse. Pass a budget that has something we like. Pass one now while the enemy is gloating or swimming in Hawaii.

What would happen if they then sent it over to the Democrat controlled Senate and screamed from the roof-tops, “hey, we have a budget, it’s up to the Democrats now”? First, it is a way for the Republicans to go on the offensive. And, if properly communicated by every Republican and conservative outlet, it would put the Democrats on the clock to do something. The budget is an opportunity to start real negotiations, slow down the socialist train, and stop their winning streak. And maybe most importantly, it is the only option available today that can be immediately executed on our terms and force Obama and Democrats to finally, at long last, “own it”.

Yes, the fiscal cliff battle hurts. But, conservatives must keep their eye on winning the war. We must recognize the situation as it is today and worry about political purity later. The enemy is on the march.

Are conservatives of today more like the Civil War General McClellan, afraid of what lay over the hill?  Or, are we more similar to General William Tecumseh Sherman marching to the sea?

Pass a budget now and we can change the optics of the entire fiscal debate, deny the enemy weapons of propaganda, achieve the high ground, and go on the offensive.

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  1. Yeah Mike! We need to stop fighting with each other because the next fight is right around the corner and we need a plan and the discipline to stick to it for once. Funny, seems you offered once but I am not sure what Boehner is up to. Let’s ask the Speaker.

  2. Obama and Democrats will find a way to blame Republicans no matter what they do.

    • Michael Ruffing says:

      Hi, Pamela. Agree, but taking the offensive will reduce or eliminate their blame sticking in the voter’s minds. Optics as well as starting the negotiation process in a stronger position. In any event-thanks.


  1. […] Military tactics for Speaker Boehner: be swift, execute, take casualties ( […]

  2. […] Military tactics for Speaker Boehner: be swift, execute, take casualties ( […]

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