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September 24, 2013

NBC: Rand Paul Privately Objected to Ted Cruz's Filibuster-the-Defund Tactic


You know the thing that bothers me here? It's not whether or not Cruz wins or not (he won't), and it's not whether the Establishment is vindicated or not (and when you're partly arranging for your own vindication, that's not such an achievement).

What bothers me is the Hot Talk about crap that most of us, frankly, know very little about, and I include myself. I'll confess that when Gabe and Drew were discussing defund vs. delay on the podcast, I honestly had no idea what they were talking about. I was just silent, because I was listening. Learning.

Right now there are all these Narratives cooked up -- by our side; we have our own Narratives too -- about Cruz the Hero and how anyone who thought this plan was a bit cockamamie is a RINO.

And everyone's shouting, and everyone's full of emotion, and shouting crowds out talking and emotion crowds out thinking.

Well, this Rand Paul thing, if true, sort of pricks the balloon of the easy Narratives where the world gets divided neatly into Black Hats and White Hats.

Which is something we all should have known, and when I say "we" I mean me first of all.

I personally ventured a lot of conveniently vague opinions on this stuff without really having much good thinking to support those opinions.

I think online stuff is very much geared to produce "momentum" for ideas, or people, or products. And there's a viral mindset we online (I include myself again) have, where "success" is determined by whether one can help gin up some viral momentum for something.

It's sort of the Drudge Siren idea (which I of course swiped and made a Flaming Skull). There's a certain amount of fun or satisfaction in pushing something out there, or pushing something along. But I think maybe it's too much fun, or there's too much satisfaction in it.

To the extent it becomes overvalued, or over-rewarded, and therefore over-done.

And this requires, as any political campaign does, the excision of facts that messy up clean Narratives. And it also requires an application of heat to get the soup boiling.

And in the end, what? This is all foolish. This wasn't going to work. So what was all the fighting about? The symbolism of it? Do we usually have Enormous Bruising Fights over stuff that is completely symbolic and without force?

This reminds me again that we seem to want to fight other conservative-leaning people more than we want to fight Democrats. We don't like Reid, but we hate the RINOs among us.

I don't know. People will probably tell me not to give up the fight, and actually I intended to not say anything about how cockamamie I've come to think this all is until it was over, so as not to hurt the cause.

But I'm not sure what the cause is, here, exactly. It seems pretty obvious that Cruz is not going to prevail on this point. So it's not about that.

It seems pretty plain to me now at this point this was a purely tactical argument about a hypothetical plan to defund ObamaCare (which was never in the cards). It is largely about political positioning.

And it doesn't seem to me, then, this being about procedure over a hypothetical plan, that so much emotion should have attached to it.

This isn't to say that there was no debate to be had. But given that this was largely just about procedure and tactics for a doomed cause, should there have been so much emotional debate over it? Should this have been trigger for the 6,000th RINO vs. TrueCon meltdown?*

This is just how I'm feeling right now. I'm feeling like, "What the hell was all this about?" Apparently nothing, it turns out.

* I'm not knocking the TrueCons, actually. I'm knocking everyone. The RINOs sure got pretty hot over all this too. The oppo dumb to Chris Wallace was a nice, classy touch.

It's like one of those arguments that people in doomed marriages have in which they start screaming at each other over the most trivial things -- "Did you wear my sweatshirt without asking me?!"

Because the argument is not about the sweatshirt; it's about the fact that both parties want to split and go their separate ways.

Eh. This is part of the reason I don't even want to be a part of this party. The party is in an unstable state and really cannot do much of anything until it works its own shit about.

Now here's something heartwarming.

Uh, ignore the fact that the lyrics aren't quite appropriate here. Don't overthink it.

Thanks to @Andrews_Dad.

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posted by Ace at 04:36 PM

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