Over a year’s time, from October 1934 to the following October, the Chinese Red Army undertook “The Long March”—a grueling 6,000 mile circling retreat from the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek. During that year, the Red Army suffered nearly 90 percent losses, crossing 18 mountain ranges and 24 rivers to arrive at its new base at Shaanxi, in northwest China.
The GOP has many lessons to learn from the Chinese Communists.
When the Long March began, Zhu De and Zhou Enlai led the Chinese Communist Party. By the end, Mao Zedong was in complete control. Prior to 1934, Mao’s guerilla tactics proved successful in fighting off Kai-shek’s attempts to encircle and crush the Red Army, but then Mao was ousted in favor of more traditional strategy. Zhu thought the Red Army could take on the Nationalists in a direct confrontation.
With every single one of President Obama’s wishes fulfilled like lit candles on a birthday cake by a GOP-controlled Congress—both houses, mind you—Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner are the Republican Zhu and Zhou. They, for some reason, think that they can use regular political discussion and compromise to stave off the Democrats, who control the Administrative State and the White House (and most of the media to boot).
Kai-shek saw what the new Red Army leaders were doing, and raised up a 700,000-strong force, supported by an interlocking series of blockhouses (similar to the Maginot Line in many respects), to encircle and destroy the Red Army. Since Mao was out of power, his focus on internal security (purges, bordering on raw paranoia) and guerrilla warfare was dropped in favor of orthodox military tactics.
The result was a rout for the Communists, who were forced to regroup, leaving a rear-guard of 16,000 men to die while the remaining 130,000 broke out of the stranglehold.
The GOP is in a stranglehold right now. In Congress, the Republicans in the majority have been completely and utterly ineffective in stopping a single measure that the president wants, frequently working with the White House to further Obama’s aims—hoping for some scraps for their own paltry partisan (as in local pork) projects while the country burns like Rome with Nero playing fiddle.
Take, for example, the latest humiliation, this terrible Iran Deal, which Congress handed to Obama back in May, when they passed legislation giving Congress a 30-day review period (the one they are now facing), and requiring Congress to disapprove a deal that Obama agrees to. Then Obama had the right to veto the disapproval.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) applauded the vote, saying the legislation was the only way Congress would be able to stop a the president from negotiating “a bad deal” with Iran.
Guess what? Obama negotiated a bad deal, probably a worse deal than we would have gotten had Congress not passed the “30-day” poison pill in May. And now, oh-so-sad McConnell caved and Obama has won, gaining the 39th vote which prevents a veto override.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., grudgingly acknowledged that his side would not be able to block the deal after Obama, in his words, secured “the tepid, restricted and partisan support of one-third of one house of Congress.” McConnell spared the accord no criticism, saying it leaves Iran “with a threshold nuclear capability.”
The Republican Party needs a Long March.
After the Red Army escaped the Nationalist’s noose, they had to hike 6,000 miles, with only about 8,000 survivors, before they linked up with other Communists outside the control of Kuomintang forces. There they stayed until well after World War II, with Mao as their leader again.
You see, Mao wasn’t interested in defeating the Kuomintang (Nationalists) militarily. He only wanted to hold them off while he won the cultural battle for the hearts and minds of China. Mao was more interested in making martyrs than military heroes. The Long March shed the Red Army of the power-seekers and sycophants, leaving a core of committed individuals, while losing many faithful along the way. This only served to build legends among the people as the Red Army passed through village after village.
It took an almost complete devastation of the Red Army to rebuild the structure that eventually evicted the Nationalists from the mainland.
Of course, the Communist Chinese were (are) Godless, brutal, and pitiless. But we’re talking tactics, not justification of their cause.
The Democrats who wag the GOP dog are largely Godless, brutal and pitiless also (with some exceptions, but we’re talking generalities). And the Republicans leaders and the yeomen of the party are interested in flying banners, constructing elaborate set-piece battles for their own glory, and standing on the ramparts while the faithful are mowed down repeatedly by the interlocking fire of the political left.
Look at the Trade Promotion Authority bill, a set-piece, which ended giving Obama exactly what he wanted. Look at killing Obamacare, which McConnell trumpeted in July in a set-piece that ended with the ExIm Bank dying (an actual good thing, which the leaders actually tried to reverse and just may do that later this year). Obamacare lives on with zero Republican opposition or even remorse. I would venture to guess that the whole flap over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is just smoke at this point and by year’s end, we’ll see it passed with much faked-chagrin from the party leadership.
Republican leadership folded on every hand because Obama played to win and the GOP is fighting like the Red Army before the Long March, being ground to dust under an encircling assault.
The GOP needs a Long March where 90 percent of the party is attritted and new leadership with a will to win hearts and minds, not set-piece disasters, is put in place.
But here’s the problem: in order to “break out” somebody’s got to be left behind to fight the rear guard. In an election cycle with the richest field of good conservative candidates in anyone’s memory, someone’s got to be the martyr.
So here’s the deal: if Donald Trump remains on top of the field, regardless of what we might think of his pedigree or the veracity of his claims to conservative values, we must force ourselves to make him “electable” and not dwell on the “he’s unelectable” argument. Why? Because if we hand this election over to the Democrats and end up with President H.R. Clinton, or President Sanders, or (gasp!) President Biden, we’re doomed—we meaning the GOP, and possibly the nation as a continuing super power—but certainly the GOP.
If Ben Carson somehow emerges, we must make him “electable.”
If Sen. Ted Cruz emerges, we must make him “electable” to the entire electorate. The same with Walker, Fiorina, Huckabee, or even near-dead Sen. Rand Paul.
If Jeb Bush somehow rises out of his ashes, we must hold our noses, but push through—although Jeb is a perfect example of Zhu and Zhou—fighting with the last war’s tactics against an enemy using the next war’s tech.
This is not the time for third party plays or palace coups. It’s the time for gritty, determined, 6,000-mile marches over mountains and across rivers. It’s the time to primary every single RINO. It’s the time to obsess over purging the party of the unfaithful, the tainted, and the uncommitted.
The Republican Party, with majorities in both houses of Congress, 31 governor’s desks, and 30 state legislatures, is on the ropes and sucking wind as a party because it refuses to fight for our nation. Regardless of what we have at the state level, the growth of the Administrative State at the hands of our representatives in Washington D.C. has cancelled, corrupted, or co-opted the party into a surrounded army fighting a losing battle because of poor leadership.
It’s time for The Long March.