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Life Lesson: Without Feasible Alternatives, Resistance is Futile

There should be some rule in politics for the less discerning that says: if you're going to attempt a political coup, you better make sure you win, or at least come close. There's a valuable lesson to be learned from yesterday's attempt to fire Speaker Boehner, a "teachable moment," if you will.  How 27 members of Congress thought they could unseat Boehner on their own, is well, curious. Not to mention incredibly unrealistic. 

There's little disagreement that we should expect better than the somewhat lackluster leadership of Boehner.  No doubt Congress can and should pass better legislation spearheaded by principled, gutsy individuals. But for many, this is where the "strategy" stops; with the acknowledgement that change is requisite for success.  In doing so, they perpetrate the same atrocity they readily accuse their leftist counterparts of committing -- having no plan of their own while lambasting the alternatives.

In order to effect change, there has to be some road map, blue print or at the very least, a plan. Plans must be reasonable given situational realities. For example, with a majority in only one third of the legislative branches, chances of completely repealing Obamacare this session are slim to none, so alternatives to mitigate damage can and should be explored.  Resistance can be successful, but to be so, it must provide a map for the electorate to follow. It's not enough to say, "onward to change" unless the plan is to leave many lost, confused and frustrated along the way. The art of the possible does not always mean the end result will be perfect or even ideal, but it often means inching our way towards something better. Progressives know this, they do it better then we do.  They're often content to accept minimal or incremental gain toward a goal knowing that once the door has been opened further progress is more easily attainable. 

Poor planning, lack of alternatives or feasible solutions and general unreasonableness aren't our only afflictions.  There's another issue the failed coupsters exposed and one that's too prevalent for comfort.  We have to learn to smartly pick our battles and we need to pick battles we stand a chance of winning. 

There's a faction that advocates fighting everything all the time, regardless of consequence. And while the spirit behind this mantra is noble, the practice is unwise. Sacrificing what little political capital, leverage and credibility we have for fruitless causes does more harm than good.  "With high risk comes high reward," is mostly true. Except that it assumes inevitable success. High risk also means epic failure if unsuccessful.  

November didn't pan out as we'd planned and consequently, we must be even more prudent with our limited resources. It's not as if the GOP has a storehouse of credibility to waste. We'd be better served finding a way to work together to fight the Obama agenda rather than maligning those that agree with us 90% of the time.  There will be principled battles again, against Republicans and Democrats.  We had better keep our powder dry for those moments when it's most needed.  We can continue to beclown ourselves and act like amatuers or we can get our act together and work towards changing the conversation and realistic, achievable goals . I prefer the latter.