Thursday, May 7, 2009

Barack von Schlieffen

There are reports this week about the secret plan for health-care reform. Bill writers are apparently not leaking as they beaver away to produce a plan that will utterly transform health care in America as we know it.

And that is saying nothing about the grand plan to transform energy production and use with the Obama administration's cap-and-trade plan.

For those of us with a little historical memory there is something eerily familiar about all this. But what is it?

The "It" is, of course, the Schlieffen Plan. It was the audacious plan of the Great German General Staff to take out France in six weeks with a stunning right hook through Belgium so that they could turn their armies eastward and deal with the Russians.

In the event, in 1914, they muffed it.

The question that General von Schlieffen did not ask is: What do you do with a defeated France and a defeated Russia after you are done whipping them? The Germans had already beaten France in 1870 and then stood around embarrassed for nearly a year while the French refused to capitulate.

In fact the Schlieffen Plan was an admission of failure, that Germany had weakened itself by becoming the strongest nation in Europe. If the Germans had merely taught France a short, sharp lesson in 1870 they could have gone home and returned to being merely the most advanced nation in the world, with the best philosophers, the best composers, the best scientists, and the best engineers, and the best universities.

Our liberal friends have a word for this deemphasis of "hard" military and political power. They call it "soft power." So then why are they not following their own advice and going slowly on their plans for health care reform and energy reform?

Because they must sense that time is running out on their project. They feel that strange and awful forces are gathering to plot their downfall. And they are right. Here are a few markers:

  • The vast administrative apparatus they have built up in health care, in education, and in welfare is starting to crack. Designed over a century ago, it just doesn't do the job in the 21st century. Major reform is needed, but liberals can't allow reform because they might lose power.
  • The liberal hegemony over the business and financial sector is a failure. Remember, all this regulation of business and government central banking was put together because you couldn't trust businessmen like Rockefeller and bankers like Morgan with the power to make or break the nation. But the recent credit crack-up demonstrates that the political hacks in charge of the financial system are clueless and the banking welfare queens that government financial welfare has created are as mindless and irresponsible as the underclass clients of the social workers.
  • Liberal hegemony over the culture is a failure. Liberals are unmasked. In their personal lives they just want to fritter themselves away on projects of "creativity" while abandoning the real work of creating families and children. There is a simple word for a culture like this: Dead end.
So it makes complete sense that the Obama administration is executing the political equivalent of the famous Schlieffen Plan with its audacious left hook through health care and energy. The Obamunists sense that their liberal hour is coming to a close. It's now or never for them.

But liberals should remember what happened to Germany after its desperate effort to break out of its encirclement. It led to the utter defeat and humiliation of Germany, because the whole world ganged up to defeat the Bloody Hun.

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