Waterloo (or, The Republican Guard’s Last Stand Against Healthcare)

March 22nd, 2010

Inspired by Keith’s 3/22/10 report (watch it below) and David Frum’s CNN article.

“When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say — but what is equally true — is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed — if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office — Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less and hear fewer ads for Sleep Number beds. So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, however, the “Waterloo” threatened by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint last year regarding Obama and health care has finally arrived all right: Only it turns out to be our own.” – Former GB2 speechwriter David Frum, How GOP can rebound from its ‘Waterloo’ (CNN.com 3/22/10 1:29 pm)
“We won the battle. We won the war.” — Napoleon at Waterloo, shortly before losing the battle and the war (watch the video below)
La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!” – General Claude-Etienne Michel of Napoleon’s Old Guard, surrounded after the defeat at Waterloo and offered the chance to surrender. He refused.

Mr. Boehner, you  tweet happily about the CNN poll

To “prove” Americans oppose the healthcare bill’s government control.

You include as “opposed” 14% that think reform didn’t go far enough

(It’s too bad that Keith Olbermann called your bluff).

I doubt you’ll mention this at your next Teabagger rally,

But when that 14% is included in the “support reform” tally,

The CNN poll shows that 52 percent support this bill and more

(Still not resounding, but higher than before).

Some see glory in going down bravely in defeat,

But that’s only if one with honor the end does meet.

The GOP can’t make that claim

And so is undeserving of the Old Guard’s fame.

You’re more comparable to Saddam’s Republican Guard in Iraq,

Protecting a cruel and corrupt system from the liberator’s attack.

And like the Republican Guard, you’re better at gassing Kurds

Than engaging in an actual battle of words.

Dems gave you plenty of chances to make a contribution,

To have a role in reform’s birth, rather than its execution.

Obama tried to work with you for over a year,

But all you wanted to do was incite hatred and fear.

Like Napoleon (and Saddam), you foresaw a decisive victory.

It was, just not for the GOP.

But this much is true about the GOP disaster:

You sacrificed yourselves for your Big Health master.


Here’s Keith Olbermann’s 3/22/10 report on the Republican Waterloo.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s your theme music for today, Waterloo by Stonewall Jackson.

Here’s Abba’s version.

Here’s the real Napoleon (or at least the movie version) committing his Guard in a last-ditch chance to win the battle (t failed).

Here’s a scene form another great Waterloo movie, Sharpe’s Waterloo from the excellent BBC/Masterpiece Theater Sharpe’s Rifles series that introduced American viewers to Sean Bean (LOTR’s Boromir) as Sharpe (a fictional character, but still a compelling one). The scene opens with the French heavy cavalry charge (without infantry support) against the British line (another risky move that failed), and ends with the Guard’s charge.

And I leave you with this final quote:

“In Black’s reckoning, the French emperor is overconfident and lethargic, sitting in the rear and launching masses of infantry, artillery, and cavalry in unimaginative frontal assaults. Wellington, by contrast, is brave, shrewd, and energetic, always up front and under fire, encouraging his men and waiting for an opening to counterattack.” – Amazon editorial review of The Battle of Waterloo by Jeremy Black. Do those descriptions sound like anyone you know?

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