Having been up on the House side for the last two days, I can report that the fog of war has enveloped the Speaker and will attempt to explain why the Speaker is losing. CNN puts the Speaker down 11 votes, FireDogLake puts the Speaker down 25 — Yes at 190 — she needs 216.
This is a classic political battle: conflicting reports, disinformation and propaganda (two distinct things) moles, the light and dark roles of key operatives, overlaid with the impact of time — and those “inside the decision cycle” of their enemy.
The basic problem for the Speaker and her team is the enemy (to them, that’s us) is inside their decision cycle.
The greatest defense the Speaker has had against this happening before now has been her irrational behavior. But the predictability factor has skyrocketed because the Speaker and the White House — aka Axelrod and Valerie J. and the One — are fully committed to a knowingly destructive course of action: a vote to “pass the Senate bill without voting on it.”
This is what we know:
The Dem Leaders and White House will not acknowledge the political damage they are inflicting on their friends and colleagues. The White House and Speaker are destructively arrogant and irrational — the Joker — writ large.
They do not care, are not cognizant and really are blind to the poison they are spreading to Dems, while they insist their friends and colleagues eat it.
Second, they have created a habit of irrationality. A key part of this habit is rejecting information that shows the political damage they are doing to their friends and colleagues.
This habit of rejecting information that does not fit in their Groupthink world is well known in military history. Russia had a spy who repeatedly warned of German attack during World War II. Russia ignored, ridiculed and discredited this spy. The spy did not know his reports were ridiculed. Similarly, the Speaker and her team have ridiculed, discredited and ignored many Dems and pro-lifers when they wrote the bill.
Dem staffers report having repeated circular discussions with Leadership and Committee staff: we say the language of the bill says and means this, and the leadership staff and committee staff say, no it does not say and mean this, and we are not changing it.
Other key strategic advice rejected by the Speaker and the White House are Charlie Cook’s political and campaign analysis and Lawrence O’Donnell’s legislative strategy. Instead, they listen to the inexperienced and the dangerously Pollyanna Axelrod, Valerie J and the President. (And the Dems wonder how they got to this place.)
Part of this Groupthink pattern is that the delusionals listened to Chairman Waxman and Chairman Miller to craft their bill — and rejected writ large the suggestions of moderate Dems and completely locked out the GOP. The fact is, they have made a habit of not listening to their own members, the GOP and the public. When the Committee staff met with various factions of the Dem House, they did not take notes, they did not follow up, and universally rejected their suggestions.
Third, (and this next mistake is unforgivable in political warfare, and leads to huge, catastrophic disasters) the delusionals believe their own propaganda. Dem staff reports that the House leadership repeat the mantra that since the public has listed health care as the their number two concern in polls, ObamaCare must pass! The White House and the Leadership refuse to acknowledge that ObamaCare is hated, or is the source of their current political problems.
The leadership is wearing out their members with I-know-there-are-problems-but-we-must-pass-something-RIGHT-NOW-and-something-is-better-than-nothing.