Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bangalore Torpedo, Part 2...


As the
excoriation continues from all Corners of the Right, I had thought to take the opportunity to reiterate and expand on my observations regarding the President's choice of Harriet Miers for his second SCOTUS nomination, even as Major Mike has provided a profound illustration of the point.

Given the war that is being waged with regard to Presidential nominees, the battle over Supreme Court vacancies was certain to be epic. Liberal Republicans in the Senate have provided shameless Democrats with the power to emasculate a governing popular majority using procedural tricks and legislative
star chambers. Complain as we might, the fact cannot be ignored. It can however be remedied in 2006, given unified devotion on the part of Americans fed up with an elite aristocracy circumventing popular will.

As ready as many might have been for a battle with the reprehensible little men and women on the Left side of the Senate, passion in this case did not beget prudence. Running more good candidates like Pickering, Estrada, and Bolton directly into Democrat guns both diminishes the President's political capital and subjects good people to a murderous barrage of contemptuous abuse. It is not fair to those honorable Americans and discourages them and others from future service. Furthermore, a loss in that event would effectively crush the momentum of the Bush administration in this final term.

But, the President has clearly formulated a strategy for gaining the objective with his own sort of Bangalore Torpedo. By systematically advancing the sections of human ordinance into place, he is successfully undermining the defensive lines of the opposition. Chief Justice John Roberts provides clear proof of the success of the strategy. Now, one may legitimately question how Harriet Miers will serve the objective. But as it looks, her stealthy incursion has clearly taken the defense by surprise. She may yet prove to be an explosive element within the lines of the opposition, reigniting the battle over Congressional procedures. Clearly, she is formidable... and expendable. Acceptable as she seems to be to so many Senators, a fight over her nomination may very well unify Republicans to dispense with the filibuster of judicial nominees once and for all. Yet even if she slides through confirmation, her selection as a unifying candidate subdues the severe partisan environment which might preclude the retirement of one and perhaps two other SCOTUS Justices prior to 2008. The smart Commander knows that he has one and even two more links to fasten along the length of the torpedo before committing the charge.

Republican indignation now threatens the strategy entirely. With the front line pickets breaking ranks, the opposition might be encouraged to charge forward into the chaos; overrunning firm positions and spreading a plague of confusion and disunity among Conservatives just in time for the 2006 election season. With the choice made, what now is the hope for those displeased with the nominee?



Or is this a temper tantrum of sorts? If so, what purpose does it serve except to trade momentum for inertia with the opposition. Deliver an easy defeat of Miers by invitation and the advance stops. There will be no additional opportunity. Is that a noble objective?

The Chief Executive of the United States has made his decision for this nomination as he was elected to do. Republicans like Democrats must be willing to accept that decision, and trust that the choice is a responsible one. Confirmation now is in the hands of the United States Senate to vote accordingly as they were elected to do.

Bangalore Torpedo, Part 1


bethtopaz said...

Just found this blog - via Hugh Hewitt. Another excellent link. I read your Part I and now Part II and Major Mike's most fascinating and profound Moosemuss strategy.

I trust President Bush. He is an excellent poker player. Also, while the Dems play checkers, reacting to every move made by Republicans -- he is quietly playing chess.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Mr.Atos said...

Well said, bethtopaz. And thank you for your comments. Come back anytime.

Anonymous said...

I too am a Hugh Hewitt reader. And I totally agree with what you and Major Mike are saying. (I'm sorry about the following long comment by the way).

I am reminded of a strategic move during the start of the ground war of the Gulf War in 1991. There were, I believe, 10,000 Marines off of the waters of occupied Kuwait and they were told to prepare for an amphibious landing. Well, just before the ground war started, it turns out that small teams of Navy Seals landed on the Kawait beaches and destroyed obstacles that were set up by the Iraqi army to an amphibious landing. This prompted a mass movement of Iraqi troops to the shores which made the end run around the western defenses of Iraq-Kuwait much easier and resulted in "only" few hundred deaths from this campaign instead of possibly few thousands from a frontal assault on the beaches by U.S. Marines. Now, when the U.S. Marine Brass heard of the change in plans, they were furious and objected to not only being in the dark about the true strategy but also the central role played by the Army in the ground campaign (even then, some Army generals wanted to fight head-on with the Iraqis at their line of defenses). Now, here is why I bring up this ancedote - one can identify the conservative activists as the political shock troops of the Republician party as the U.S. Marines are the shock troops of the U.S. Armed Forces. When the list of names of conservatives for the Supreme Court appointment was floated those were the "Navy Seal" White house leakers (or whomever) at work and caused the liberals and Democrats to shift their resources as to focusing on these possible nominees. These conservatives (myself included) had been mentally preparing for this head-on judicial fight, because they knew that the liberals and Democrats were gearing off for a fight as well. The conservative activist (Harriet Miers? Oh, Bollocks!)/Marine Brass ("What do you mean we are not a go!?!") are/were upset that the playbook has/had been taken away from them just as they were mentally prepared to use it. Mr. Atos pointed out that a direct political fight would have spent lots of political capital and while the fight would have scored a bitterly fought-victory - it would not complete the ulimate objective faster which is a judicary that does not super-legislate. Just as a bitterly fought U.S. Marine victory on the shores would still have had to deal with ever expanding the foothold they had on the beaches, a bitterly fought judicial confirmation battle would have made it more difficult in the future to make that end run possible. The only reason why Normandy was amphibiously invaded in WWII was because they HAD to - 2,000 U.S. soldiers died the FIRST day of the 30-40 day campaign to achieve the breakout end run that Patton's Tanks were able to disrupt the Germans all the way to the French border until the beginning of September. Let me tell you it must not have been pleasant to be an infantry soldier in Normandy during June 1944. In the Gulf War, the feint on the shores enabled the Western end run without several days (weeks?) of high-casualty combat. Now this is not the obvious end all of military analysis, but my point is that in this era of instant communication where perception DOES MATTER, we have to remember that OUR ARMY is not JUST the conservative shock troops, but the average "mom-and-pop" Republican volunteers and their voters (our true 61 million Army of the legendary 72-hr GOTV campaign of 2004) that really doesn't read every press release from the conservative activists and doesn't go online every hour/day/week to the blogs arguing about this nomination. What matters to such people is RESULTS. The average soldier/Marine "doesn't care a whit" - that might be true in past wars up to Vietnam, but in today's professional Army, that might be much less true now - due to the complex and additional battlefield/ speciality training an average recruit graduate will have - "doesn't care a whit" what the U.S. Marine or Army brass cares about military doctrine and philosophies and what not, these soldiers want to stay alive, want their buddies to stay alive and to win the damn war and go home. So the average GOTV volunteer/voter doesn't care a whit that there is not going to be a big fight over "judicial philosophical considerations," what they want is to pull that level in favor or center-right politics and to live the rest of their lives in peace in regards to politics without having to see and be disgusted by the intense partisan bickering (which is more of a Democrat/liberal problem these days). George Bush KNOWS that most voters hate partisan bickering just as soldiers hate casualities and ALSO are upset about the judicary overstepping their bounds - they want the problem solved - they don't care how (although in my opinion they should as philosophy is an important consideration in the formation of ideas) - most voters don't care about philosophy - they would rather LIVE life. These voters (The army that did the end run around the Democrats in 2004 and might just do so again in 2006 and 2008 and beyond) will go out and VOTE to elect center-right politicans that will appoint judges that will not legislate from the bench and they will reward him if HE can do it without any partisan bickering. There will always be a time to unleash/utilize the conservative shock troops, but remember that even U.S. Marines are taught "no greater friend/no worst enemy" in regards to the MISSION.

Conservatives - no matter our personal feelings and disappointments (include me in your group), let's keep out our eye on the ball and be "no greater friend" to the center-right and "no greater enemy" to the liberals and their Democrat allies. Listen to what our center-right President want from us on this judicial nomination - HE HAS NOT LET US DOWN - EVER - ON THIS PARTICULAR TOPIC.

I'm Matthew of Maine, by the way (not anonymous).

dueler88 said...

excellent analogy, matthew. what matters in tactics or strategy is the OUTCOME. as the unofficial Marine Gunfight rules state: "Always cheat. Always win." in this context, though, the term "unconventional" should replace "cheating".
the battle we find ourselves in is a fever-pitch one of thoughts and ideas. but a clear view of strategy, i.e. long-term RESULTS, is what always matters most.