Grab Your Preservers, We're Gonna Go Over the Cliff...

Paul Evans

...the modern [national] Republican Party cannot structurally adjust to a new paradigm. It is sustained through the exercise of expanding power or its pursuit through structurally irrational rhetorical tropes. The quest is neither rational governance, nor practicality.

The Republican Party has lost the ability to act without dysfunction at the national level. After investing four long years in a strategy to defeat President Obama and reclaim the power of the Presidency, they failed.

In fact, in a year many widely expected an expansion of the Republican Brand within the Congress, there was a significant number of losses in the House and the Senate.

However, the modern [national] Republican Party cannot structurally adjust to a new paradigm. It is sustained through the exercise of expanding power or its pursuit through structurally irrational rhetorical tropes. The quest is neither rational governance, nor practicality.

The quest is a crusade: to reclaim a moment when the many were content with the scraps from the few because of a common faith sustained through the mechanics of hegemony. A hegemony that our own short-term economic policies, inspired by the few, have wrought.

It is a world where people are certain, even when wrong. A world where being wrong can be recast as being right... before (or after) it was proven... A world where the line between fable, myth, and reality is fixed by the shamans of the cause.

There is no place among the membership for those capable of the nuanced skillsets associated with governance. In fact, the men and women called by conscience to attempt reconciliation with the Democratic Party are often marginalized - and then replaced with a true believer (ref: Lugar in 2012).

Why are we surprised when the men and women dependent upon the most extreme elements of their ideological realms are bound to extreme positions - without the capacity (or inclination) to move away from the claims that all rational people understand as unsustainable (as well as reckless)?

Rationality is not the lifeblood of the Republican Leadership in the Congress. It therefore is not, cannot, and will never be the motives for action - until there is an understanding of boundaries...

President Obama, Harry Reid, and the organizations reenergized by the recent campaigns are rationally motivated: the notion of knowingly burning the village in order to save it is neither favored, nor fully accepted.

And yet, the political chiefs and warriors in the battles recently concluded with the Reelection of the President and Congress remain ready, willing, and unblinking in the face of this impending catastrophe.

With respect to Farragut, "Damn the torpedoes... let's increase engine speed into the rapids to the falls below..."

Ironically, the foot-soldiers of the Republican Party are willing to reengage in the losing contest.

And like Jeff Davis, Boehner knows the war is lost. While I'm not certain he would wear a disguise to escape DC if it was available, I am quite certain that he has thought about it at least once.

He is caught in a Catch 22. Boehner cannot tell the troops the truth, because rational truth about the world of reality, matters less to these ideological warriors than the imaginary world of never-never-land.

Because of this, the Republicans will likely continue to push past the edge of propriety until they are forced to confront the ashes of what could have been averted.

Pain is the best teacher for those unable or unwilling to learn through history.

I suspect even a "marginal" deal offered by Reid will be denied by the Boehner/Cantor Majority because the risk to the country associated with falling off the cliff is understood as less impactful to their personal lives (and likely loss of institutional power) than the risk of being "weak" in the face of a challenge from the Democrats.

The great strength of faith - at least in secular terms - is that the faithful can always forgive failure. They cannot forgive, or forget, disloyalty or weakness...

Obama should plan for the worst through maximizing his administrative powers. The Administration should implement policies that can only be undone by a Congress that has now proven itself the very model of what our Founders had sought to establish: a federal government wholly incapable of tyranny because of an inability to act with a singular voice.

Yes, there is every likelihood that Obama's policies could be brought before the courts. In some instances, a few rules may even be found unconstitutional. There are worse things that being decisive and saving a country, to be found later - when there is ample time for such things - guilty of expanding the power of the Executive beyond its boundaries.

Lincoln saved a nation, even if major elements of his tactics were later proven to be wrongfully implemented.

His strategy prevailed, a Union was saved.

The Republicans more than anyone else, should remember the inherent dangers of irrelevance and secession.

When the Congress becomes totally irrelevant, the People will support and sustain creative interpretations of Executive powers. Most Americans are tired of the decay and delay of the modern Congress.

Our structures and systems are flexible; our leaders answerable only to the willingness of the People to accept even the most visible overreach - as long as it is understood as necessary.

Boehner really should make a deal, because in this environment, Obama is gaining support for NOT making a deal - at least with Congress.

Should be an interesting week; we should ready ourselves for a replay of the “Lucy and the football” again (and again). However, in this instance, Charlie Brown gains stature each, every time that the nation is lied to.

The Republicans cannot accept anything less than total victory as “compromise” and that will not happen.

Boehner is relying upon Obama's sense of rationality and responsibility to accept a bad deal.

He is pursuing a strategy that has been successful in the past, but he is pursuing it at the wrong time.

Much of the damage of the fiscal cliff is generated from the perception of economic leaders. Once they have concluded that Boehner is irrelevant, they too will accept new, creatively fashioned, solutions to the immediate problems.

Obama has a greater responsibility than preventing the near-term impacts that will come with falling off the cliff; he has the responsibility to restore America as a leading power in an increasingly interrelated global environment.

At the end of the day, I suspect Obama will win either way this plays out. In truth, Boehner has already lost, he just isn't fully aware of the costs - yet.

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