When Your Enemy Is Destroying Himself …

By Rich Galen | December 10, 2010 | 4:54am EST

A basic text on military theory is "The Art of War," which is generally credited to the Chinese writer, Sun Tzu. It dates to the 2nd century BC.

The fact that every military school in the world still teaches the lessons embodied in "The Art of War" 2,200 years after it was written is further evidence that Darwin may have been wrong.

But that's a discussion for another day.

One of the most quoted axioms from "The Art of War" is some variant on the theme: "When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way."


I scanned all 13 sections of old Sun's book and didn't actually see that quote. However I saw this one: "If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in" which, it seems to me, fits the current situation between Obama and his Liberal Congressional base.


Nancy Pelosi's Democrat caucus in the House, while officially still in charge of the 111th Congress, have become the ugly kids in the back of the late bus as power brokers in Washington.

They adopted a caucus resolution opposing the deal that President Obama made with the Congressional Republicans on taxes and unemployment benefits.

No. One. Cared.

There are about 80 lame duck Members of Congress who are working out of a cube -- a CUBE -- in a cafeteria in the House Office Building because they were kicked out of their offices the week after Thanksgiving by the Clerk of the House so their offices could be repainted and made ready for their successors.

Two months ago they were Princes and Princesses, with young staffers bringing them coffee and opening doors which had the temerity of having been placed in their path.

This week they are working out of a cube and ANWERING THEIR OWN PHONES.

"Oh," as Col. Kurtz so aptly put it in Apocalypse Now, "the horror."

On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Obama is trying to find a center of gravity.

After more than two years of bashing the "Bush-era Tax Cuts" the White House is now engaged in Orwellian New-Speak as it attempts to justify President Obama turning his back on one of the cornerstones of his campaign: Raising taxes on the wealthiest earners.

Yesterday the White House trotted out economic advisor Larry Summers to, according to the New York Times, warn House Dems "that the nation could slip back into recession if Congress did not pass the administration's tax cut deal with Republicans."

Really? After all the trash talking about how rich folks should have their taxes raised because THAT would be good for the economy?

Has Larry Summers agreed to work for the Heritage Foundation after he leaves the White House?

The Senate, next week will take up the Tax Bill that the House passed last week. That bill is not the deal that the President made, but as you well know, Article I Section 7 of the Constitution requires that, "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives."

So that's the bill the Senate will consider. Happily that same clause also states: "but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

So, sometime mid-week next week the Senate will consider and vote for amendments to the House Bill which will bring it in line with what the President and the GOP agreed to. They will send that bill, as amended, back to the House.

The Speaker will have to decide whether to bring that amended bill back to the floor for a vote knowing that many of her caucus will not have returned to Washington after the weekend what with having to work out of cubes, get their own coffee, open their own doors AND having to look for a job starting on January 3, 2011.

In the end, House Democrat leadership will bring the bill to the floor. It will pass. It will go to the President and the deal will get done.

The few Democrats who will be returning to Washington for the start of the 112th Congress on January 5 will be almost all be members of the Liberal wing. Their fury at President Obama for making this deal will not soon abate.

Republicans would do well to stand aside so as to not get between the finger pointing and taunting of the House Democrats toward the White House which the Washington press corps which will be very eager to cover.

As Sun Tzu never actually said: "When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way."

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to Sun Tzu, Apocalypse Now, and the New York Times article. Also a pretty amazing license plate Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

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