Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Of War and Plates

Actually, I was thinking about Sun Tzu today when I heard about Harry Reid's strategic manuever of the day. (This also applies to his handling of the Harriet Miers nomination - feign weakness, and exploit divisions within your enemies' ranks.)

"Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."

It is also something that a friend has proposed, that perhaps the Democrats are feigning disorder or weakness to lure in the Republicans, a possible method behind the seeming mayhem.

But perhaps the American people have simply tired of Bush, for he does not maintain the manner of a sage as described by the Tao Te Ching:

" In this manner the sage cares for people:
He provides for the belly, not for the senses;
He ignores abstraction and holds fast to substance."

Most recently, with Hurricane Katrina, the public saw that Bush was unable to provide for Gulf Coast residents' hunger for both food and leadership. Instead, he gave Americans photo ops (sitting comfortably on Air Force One surverying the damage) and canned speeches, instead of fulfilling the needs of his constituents.

Reid and the Democratic party seem to be taking advantage of the leadership void. As a tactician, he has earned my trust, and a few of my dollars. I believe in rewarding gutsy behavior.

Second, White House officials anonymously admit that their agenda for this year is scuttled and that they will try to cast Bush in a new, favorable light in January with his State of the Union address. However, I believe that if the GOP grants that the next 2 months are a wash, and Reid and the Democrats can keep BushCo. off kilter for the majority of that time, then Bush will have lost his ability to dictate the national agenda.

When I think of Bush right now, I see the stereotypical joker/juggler, trying to spin umpteen sets of plates, or scandals, on a dining room table. He's got a look of trepidation mixed with severe concentration on his face, like when he was reading My Pet Goat to elementary school kids. He's looking nervously at the stacks, trying to figure out which one, which one to save. One tall stack, wobbling something ferocious, curving towards the ground is Scooter Libby. Another set is Rove - I always thought he was made of Pyrex, but he's looking more and more like clay to me. The war on Iraq represents a third, Delay a fourth Corningware pile with large tacky corporate logos emblazoned all over. Frist makes an aristocratic Waterford fifth. Domestic issues make for a sixth tower that is no less deadly to step on when shattered. The joker veers far far away from this one. He glances up and down the table, back and forth at these rotating piles of plates in front of him in an attempt to judge who is worthy of being saved. Then he rolls up his sleeves, grabs his beloved Courvoisier XO, and hightails it outta there.

Who ever said he was a man of the people?

I think it's quite possible that Democrats can keep Bush running to prevent the scandals, I mean plates from breaking for the rest of the year because Rove is under increased scrutiny and therefore cannot operate with his usual impunity. Furthermore, if Reid's actions today and for the next 2 weeks don't solidly unite the republican base, then Democrats will have successfully wrested the momentum away. I think that the media might even cede more print and TV time to the Democrats, since they will be eager to watch a true opposition party in action, with a definite David vs Goliath backstory. (And yes, it gets boring to continuously watch and report that David got trounced and to note his many fractures and visits to the ER.)

General Reid fired a warning shot the size of a cannonball, and I think it will pay off. That sonic boom sent the plates a-spinning off-course.


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