Waterloo: Massive Democratic casualties predicted

The classic military blunder often revolves around underestimating the enemy's strength and then refusing to adjust the plan, committing troops and assets to a losing proposition. It always starts with a commander convincing himself that the battle is too important to avoid and that fighting another day in better circumstances is somehow not possible. Think about Martin Sheen's portrayal of Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg (1993) as Longstreet (Tom Berringer) tries to convince him to forgo the frontal assault.

Graphic: Hougoumont portion of Battle of Waterloo. Source: timegun.org

Just about everyone, including me, predicted that Obama's reaction to the growing resistance to Democrats' health care legislation would be to try to tough it out. This appears to be happening, perhaps even more stridently than expected. As Victor Davis Hanson notes: "Because of his inexperience and unfamiliarity with political hostility, I think Obama will press ahead on the present course, heightening partisan tensions, dividing the country, and ultimately diminishing his presidency further still." The military analogy is to A Bridge Too Far when ranking British intelligence officers brashly dismiss new intelligence that two German Panzer Divisions are in Arnhem....much like dismissing the town hall protests as "AstroTurf" or "evil-mongers."

An attempt to use parliamentary procedures on budget reconciliation to avoid a filibuster would be the political equivalent to becoming a suicide bomber detonating his load two blocks from the target among his fellow jihadists. Yet Obama and Congressional Democrat leaders seem unable to find a solution to keep even their own party on the same page. Intra-party disputes and disorganization seem to be growing not subsiding. So besides charging uphill against an resilient enemy that is pouring in reinforcements faster than his own troops, the Obama forces are seeing growing fratricide.

The "Waterloo" analogy seems more and more apt. Not because of any right-wing conspiracy, but because of vain and inexperienced decisions by the least experienced man to ever hold the office of President. Fortunately, because of the awakening of the American public this summer, the only casualties that this inept commander will inflict will be on his own troops.


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