The time to fight arrives.
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What do conservatives do? How do they respond?
In a nutshell, that is the difference that emerged in the heat over the fiscal cliff.
Thus far, Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell have given the impression that when dealing with President Obama they are dealing only with the issue at hand. An issue totally unrelated to every other issue.
Others saw the fiscal cliff negotiations as part and parcel of dealing with a man — President Obama — with a plan. They believed that events are proceeding down the road without a single thought to a long-term conservative strategy of how to deal with this president and his frequently expressed goal of “transforming” America.
Some saw the fiscal cliff deal as a fiscal cliff deal.
Others saw the fiscal cliff deal as the Conservative Anschluss Moment.
The problem ahead?
There will be many more such problems ahead for conservatives. Disguised as debates over the debt ceiling, immigration policy, health care, climate change, Supreme Court nominees, and more. Will the response from conservatives be one of Churchillian vigor, imagination, and a willingness to risk? Or will it be the equivalent of the Chamberlain approach to the Austrian Anschluss — simply protesting while passively accepting.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles,” wrote the legendary strategist Sun Tzu.
At this moment, it seems that conservatives may know neither President Obama’s mind — or their own.
The clock ticks.
It’s time — past time — to fight.