August Is Here!
Posted on August 5, 2013What issue will dominate August of 2013?
Will it be war?
In 1914, as Barbara Tuchman wrote in the Guns of August, war dominated the discussion, more specifically, the First World War.
The Great War, as it was called until the Second World War, forever ushered in modernity, with all of its terrifying warts.
We were allies of the British in those wars, but in the War of 1812, they burned the Capitol building in August.
When I first started on Capitol Hill, war invaded August when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
The Viet Nam War officially started in August when the Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.
The State Department just closed a bunch of embassies in anticipation of possible terrorist attack. Could this restart the war on terror and could security once again become the dominant issue of this coming August?
Or will it be taxes?
Dave Camp and Max Baucus certainly hope so.
And there is some historic precedent.
Abraham Lincoln instituted the first income tax in American history in the middle of the American Civil War. He needed revenue and he imposed the income tax through the power of martial law, although the tax collecting authority never actually got set up.
The first real Tea Party tax protest (outside of the actual one in Boston) brewed into an actual armed conflict, when the Shay’s Rebellion broke out. The Federal government wanted to tax potent potables, but some North Easterners found that to be so objectionable, that they threatened to break away.
George Washington had to let them rebels know, in no uncertain terms, that a rebellion was not acceptable. And he did.
All of this happened in August.
Protest movements aren’t just reserved for tax rebellions.
The Tea Party earned its bones by protesting countless town hall meetings over the specter of Obamacare.
Scandals can dominate the headlines in August.
Will Weinergate and Filnergate continue to spark the attention of the news media?
Remember, Bill Clinton danced around the Monica Lewinsky issue in August.
“I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” I guess he called whatever she did with him a different thing than sex.
And I guess you can call whatever Anthony Weiner and Bob Filner have been doing in their free time something other than sex, although sex is certainly something that is on their minds.
Great social and civil rights movements get their mojo in August. Could this be immigration reforms great chance?
After all, it was in August where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream speech.” And it was in August when Woodstock happened.
There are plenty of dreamers who want to see our broken immigration system fixed.
Maybe there will be a big moment that will teach our children well how we move this country forward.
August can be a tough month for iconic celebrities.
Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Elvis Presley and Warren G. Harding all died in August. (I threw Harding in because he partied like a rock star).
There was a good story in today’s Washington Post (good story because I was quoted in it) about how a bunch of grassroots operators are trying hard to manipulate the narrative in the favor of their clients this August.
That means sending out operatives to ping questions at Congressional members at the assorted town hall meetings that will happen this month.
We will see if the operatives are successful or if history will rear its ugly head once again.