trenchesRep. John Boehner may just get his Armageddon after all, but the only thing he had right, is that the horseman delivering it is indeed President Barack Obama.  I’m not talking about an extinction-event kind of Armageddon, I’m talking about a bruising round of defeats that are going to leave his Grand Obstructionist Party of the last year pummeled.
The worst news for the GOP?  It will come in the form of an army of their own making, an army whose essence is sustained from the negative poles of “No.”  Note here to Sarah Palin, you better get some nail polish remover because you’re about to have to change the notes on your hand, “Hell No!” is going to get you nothing more than one big headache from here on out.  
This move on drilling was held close to the vest in Obamaland, because timing is everything, and I think it is slowly coming to light that Barack Obama has the timing of a trapeze artist. He is fresh off of a victory of historic proportions.  He did what everyone said couldn’t be done, and he did it in spite of Scott Brown and the odds, cementing himself as a reformative President no matter what happens from here.
What better time to shake some trees, gather some low lying fruit, and move the property line a bit, so that at the end of the day you’ve got more bushels of fruit to take to market than your neighbor does come November.  You know the neighbor I’m talking about, he’s the one that is standing around perplexed, “didn’t those trees used to be on my side of the line?”
This stance on drilling should not have come as a surprise to anyone.  All the way back in August 2008, Barack Obama said during the campaign that he would be open to expanding “some” drilling in an effort to pass comprehensive, bipartisan energy reform.  He sold the greater good of it then, and he will again.  But just like clockwork, the second this was announced, letters started flying in from incensed environmentalists and the far left of the democratic base.  How could he?  How dare he?  My, what difference a week can make.
The strategy though, is as simple as it is brilliant.  Look at this like an old fight in the trenches during WWI.  You’ve got two sides slugging it out in close quarters, looking to gain mere inches at a time.  That’s where we’ve been since the Health Care Reform battle wound down, dug in deep.  Even before their fruitless efforts to stop Health Care Reform at every turn, the Republicans had already devised their battle plan for the next great war, the war of November 2010.  The standing order is something along the lines of surrender nothing, give no victory to this opposing general that has already tasted more glory than they ever imagined, and stand united, no matter the cost.  Anyone not following these simple orders will be sacrificed by the RNC come campaign time. Then it is simply battle of wills, something the Democrats have flinched on too many times in the past.  They have had trouble when they were relentlessly worn down by an entrenched opposition and have far too often been defeated in the inevitable bayonet fight, a form of combat the GOP have proven much more proficient in, until just recently.  It also happens to be their only real  alternative because their supply of munitions has been running dangerously low for awhile now. 
But now, Obama gives a seemingly out-of-the-blue  order to abandon a forward trench, relieving the tension on that line, changing the complexion of the fight, leaving no enemy for them to target.  As presumed, Rep. Boehner takes the bait straight away and instantly let’s loose the same ol’ battle-cry …  No Way!, Not Enough!  Take that land!  No Mercy! 
Funny thing about trench warfare though, the trench itself is your only protection if you’re outnumbered.  But as expected, one by one curious heads start popping up over the fire line to take a look, if for no other reason than sheer curiosity.  Their position has been getting shelled forever and the quiet now is eerily unnerving.  
Slowly the cheers start. They’ve retreated! They’ve ceded precious ground!  When the news makes it to the Dems at home, they are livid. Why in the world would the general that proved himself so resolute, fearless and successful in the last historic battle cede such precious ground now?. What could he possibly be thinking? And so, the aforementioned letters start pouring in.  They’ve started to doubt the general on the field, giving even more courage to the enemy, fracturing the support at home. 
This is where the fight stands today.
Well Dems, environmentalists and anyone else that found themselves screaming at their computer or TV upon hearing the drilling news from Obama himself, let me to try talk you in from the ledge.  The troops that disappeared from that forward trench didn’t simply vanish, they have quietly been repositioned on both flanks.  They are hiding there in the fog of war, barely detectable, waiting to see the whites of the enemy’s eyes. And because of your vocal unease and fever pitch, the now emboldened opposing force is going to do what comes naturally, they are going to be tempted to crawl out from the cover of their trench and move forward to take that abandoned ground, and they will suffer heavy casualties in the open space between.
Hopefully they will be smart enough not to deploy Mustard Gas in the ensuing panic, because you just never know which way the wind will be blowing from one moment to the next and that could spell big trouble for every single one of us.
Now, I may not be an all-knowing dinosaur of the political scene like some of the other talking heads out there, but I have followed every single step of Barack Obama since 2004 and this is what I believe to be true.  On his watch, not one single drop of oil will be extracted from anyplace in America that is not producing oil right now, but a comprehensive energy reform bill focused on a sustainable, renewable future will be realized.  I also believe the GOP is going to have some big image problems in the foreseeable future that is going to change the political landscape from complete partisan gridlock into something more conducive to actual governing and progress. 
So beware of all the doomsayers and media spin of today, there is a method to the madness, I’m sure of it.  Remember, those same dinosaurs told me Barack Obama had no chance in Iowa, no chance against Hillary Clinton, no chance to weather Reverend Wright, no chance against the republican war machine during the general election, no chance to pass Health Care Reform. 
Yet, here I stand, with our defiant President, right on all counts.  So, have a little faith, what you see may not be what you get, it may just turn out to be another masterfully designed distraction in our struggle to move ever forward against all odds.
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7 Responses to “Obama’s Battle of the Drill”

  • Starm:

    Great piece, I like your way of thinking. I agree with your evaluation and analysis. Loved the trench warfare and ground giving analogy.

    I think people are use to things done a certain way and find it hard to adjust to new thinking. For example, they view the President’s wiliness to give first, as a sign of weakness. It shows they don’t get him, and they probably never will.

    Like you, I have listened to Obama since 04, so I am hardly shocked by his stance on most issues. I think people are addicted to being outraged, and tend to overact at the drop of a hat, and I think some really enjoy the rush it gives.

    Lastly, I would like to think the GOP will extinguish them self at some point, but I remind myself that a large number of folks voted for George Bush twice.

    Keep writing

  • Jocelyne:

    Now Aris, that is what I had been waiting for! Great analogy and analysis!

  • LunarSea:

    Agreed and I’m laughing my butt off with this masterful move by the chessmaster.

    Damn if he didn’t just take the wind out of their sail. They have used this drilling none sense as a battling cry for so long and he just removed it from their arsenal. I only hope that environmentalist come to realize the shear genius of it before they too go off the deep end.
    a) they wanted drilling 5-8 miles off shore, he’s making it 100 miles;
    b) it is now up to the states, which populations on both sides of the fence are opposed (no longer dems vs repubs);
    c) they have to pass the rigors of environmental testing;
    d) it can’t interfere with military training exercises which use those waters.

    We know this is none sense because they’ve had leases for years that they are not using because it just isn’t worth it. It has always been nothing but a rallying cry.

    So environmentalists and renewable energy advocates, now is our time to seize the opportunities presenting by the stimulous and other incentives and really push the renewal energy while they sit in the dark trying to figure out their replacement battle cry. lol love a good chessmaster!

  • Daniel McKernan:

    It does appear that President Obama has outflanked his opponents once again. That’s what calm, rational, STRATEGIC thinking will do. Nicely written piece Aris, entertaining yet educational!

  • Dr. Vigilance:

    Congratulations! Ever the perceptive chronicler, you have delivered yourself of still another persuasive argument, Aris. This surprising historical analysis – WWl trench warfare, yet! – comes out of nowhere and irresistably drives a refreshing point of view home. Our president’s supposed “flip-flop” on deep-sea oil drilling is probably based on an increased appreciation of the ephemeral political borderline between the desirable and the feasible. It is best seen in the light of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s terse statement: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” While you have studied and understand Barack Obama to a fault, the Republican Party’s Right Wing has not and does not. Sadly lacking in leadership of stature and a credible alternative vision, it has nothing of substance to offer. I’d gladly award you a medal, Aris, for the yeoman’s work you have done for so long in an idealistic cause. But I suspect that a suitably material reward might be more welcome at this particular time. Have courage!

  • Dr. Vigilance:

    A P.S. to my previous note!
    Looking back to your impressive body of work to-date, I commend you once again “professor” Aris.You have been battling valiantly in the frontlines, rallying the troops and even managing to persuade some open-minded sitters-on-the-fence to join the ranks of the enlightened faithful. Your readers appreciate your thoughtfully provocative posts – they inform, entertain and strongly enrich what is perhaps the most formidable political debate currently going on in our beloved country. That debate will critically determine the course of the nation for years to come. In spite of the prevailing turmoil and much rancor, you do so optimistically – weaving exotic tapestries of prose in the process. You have earned admiration and gratitude and surely a well-deserved material reward now and then. We therefore are happy to contribute a small “donation” towards your continued career. It may give your upcoming birthday a welcome jolt of happiness. You have been giving that in generous measure to your many readers. Your voice, Aris, must under no circumstance be silenced!

  • TSAQ:

    THANK YOU ARIS!!! Keep sharing your [God-given] wisdom! May [GOD] bless you and your family this [Resurrection Sunday] and always.

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