A few short observations regarding the shutdown *UPDATED*

Unlike past shutdowns, which were indeed quibbles about this or that, the current shutdown is a big deal.  The question posed is a fundamental one about the very nature of this nation:  Is the federal government the servant or the master of the American people.  Our Constitution says the former; sixty-years of federal expansion says the latter.

The WWII Memorial showdown in Washington makes concrete this abstract battle.  It forces us to ask whether a government separate from and dominant over citizens owns that open air memorial, or whether a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has gotten too big for its britches and needs to be knocked down a peg.

There can be no doubt that what the House is doing is constitutional.  Having said that, they are doing a terrible job of selling it, and that’s separate from the fact that the drive-by media is doing its best to tar and feather them.  It’s a reminder of something I’ve learned in the 12 years since I crossed the Rubicon and changed political affiliations:  Republicans are the party of smart ideologies and poor strategies.  Democrats/Progressives, while their ideas may be disastrous, as is proven by every time and place in which they been put into effect, are master strategists.  (And in that regard, Saul Alinsky is definitely their Sun Tzu.)

This problem is, in part, built into the system.  To the extent there are still conservatives in the Republican party, their individualism makes them as easy to herd as angry cats.  Democrats, on the other hand, find meaning in collective action.  Even when their ideas are bad, their monolithic front gives them power.

UPDATE:  James Taranto notes that, in this go-round, the usually tactically disciplined Democrat party  has been unusually maladroit.  Hubris or something else?

UPDATE 2:  David Stockman sees also sees what’s happening as a determinative moment, but for different reasons.

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  • http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Innsmouth-ebook/dp/B009WWJ44A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361504109&amp raymondjelli

    The oddest part of the shutdown is that we have forgotten about the Occupy Movement which was about the Left illegally occupying areas because it was somehow brave and was a reminder of “higher” issues.  Suddenly we now have calls that Obamacare is the law of the land and that’s that.
    We have LefItists proclaiming Obamacare is the law of the land and declared constitutional by the Supreme Court and that a legitimate function of what Congress can or can’t do which is decide how taxes are disbursed is wrong.
    These same Leftists were celebrating the illegal takeover of parks, the purposeful bypass of permits and the extreme health dangers that professional slobs presented.  More importantly none of the protestors said that the parks were anyway owned by them.  They were the amorphous people that owned nothing and everything. They were entitled because mere laws on paper meant nothing.
    Here we have the exact opposite. The monument the WW II veterans were visiting was in tribute to their own sacrifice. It is not something set aside for public entertainment and leisure. They in effect collectively own it because it was their sacrifice towards the nation that it is in remembrance of. The fact of their collective sacrifice does not end because of governmental procedures. Yet there were barriers and police tape.  Occupy got a free ride.
    We are hearing arguments that we have to close these monuments because of possible accumulation of trash, etc. Yet we know this is not a population that we have to worry about.  They are ex-soldiers and will honor the monuments. We also know Tea Party rallies have left areas cleaner than before they came. Occupiers created mounds of trash, had hygiene issues and were spreading serious diseases. Occupy got a pass.
    The shutdown is because of an impasse between representatives of America’s citizens and our taxpaying population. This is happening because a sizable part of the population is concerned about where their tax dollars are going and wish to do so within the arena of representational government. Maybe some or all of the laws are distasteful to some or all of the citizenry but once settled the laws will be carried out. This is the real rule of  law.  The process by which we agree to have at least a fundamental collection of rules by which we live even if we disagree with some or most of them.  Occupy was quite different. It asserted an illegitimacy of government and believed that purposely disregarding any and all laws was a higher calling. Now these same people assert Obamacare is somehow the law but not subject to any oversight even by the legislative body that creates the laws. Not all of these people are aware that this is a test case for real tyranny but plenty are.
    Occupy was coddled and protected by all levels of government for partisan political reasons. The veterans made a collective sacrifice but those same government personnel and party hacks don’t see what the veterans and other Americans have done for them lately so they are shut out and made to know it.
    This is the very opposite of republican government. This is about celebrating the so called people over the citizenry. It means that what constitutes the 99% is determined outside of the electoral process and once done government will decide who benefits. It is starting out as petty but it is a perfect test case for the Left. If they can screw over 90 year old veterans who destroyed Nazism and get it away with  they can certainly do it the generations that are right now in public schools.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    You should consider the effect of Democrat blackmail and threats (Ted Stevens, Sarah palin), in addition to the Democrat ability to hold a line. Ever wonder why Democrats hold a line, if it weren’t for the officers threatening to execute anyone that retreats from the line?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I recently said that I wasn’t going to do anything to convince people of the truth. I relied on the Left to change the world and change people’s opinions.
    That seems to be working out well so far. So how’s evil looking so far?