What we are witnessing (through rips in the curtain of official secrecy) may be an example of what the Germans call the flucht nach vorne – the "flight forward." This refers to ta situation in which an individual or institution seeks a way out of a crisis by becoming ever more daring and aggressive (or, as the White House propaganda department might put it: "bold") A familar analogy is the gambler in Vegas, who tries to get out of a hole by doubling down on each successive bet.
Classic historical examples of the flucht nach vornes include Napoleon's attempt to break the long stalemate with Britain by invading Russia,the decision of the Deep South slaveholding states to secede from the Union after Lincoln's election, and Milosevic's bid to create a "greater Serbia" after Yugoslavia fell apart.
As these examples suggest, flights forward usually don't end well – just as relatively few gamblers emerge from a doubling-down spree with their shirts still on their backs
Could this be what is behind the madness this week? Perhaps the Conservative outlook on the polls is worse (for them) than we expect. Perhaps they have decided that the only chance they have is to get bigger wedges and drive them deeper.
Maybe. Maybe not. But at least I was able to quote from Billmon once in my career as a blogger. And that has to count for something.
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