There is a kind of victory called a Pyrrhic Victory. It is a victory in battle that is so costly for the victor that it leads to his undoing in the larger war. It’s not a perfect analogy (Obama-Reid-Pelosi are witless buffoons in comparison with King Pyrrhus, for starters), but history is instructive. So let me introduce you, if you’re unacquainted, to King Pyrrhus.
This is the short and grossly oversimplified version, to be sure. He was neither fool nor idiot, and in fact was a great field general possessed of considerable courage and creativity. He was king of Epirus in NW Greece, and landed in southern Italy in 280 BC ostensibly to free the Greek colony of Tarentum there from Roman tyranny.
He brought with him 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, and 30 elephants (this is before Hannibal, btw). The Tarentine colonists had promised him they’d have 350,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry waiting for him – a large enough army to completely topple Rome. In reality they provided no more than 20,000 total (details are sketchy and in conflict). The Romans had no less than 60,000 soldiers available, and could raise many more on short notice.
The first major battle of Pyrrhus’ campaign was fought in Heraclea in 280 BC, a decisive win for Pyrrhus. The ongoing campaign showed his forces able to take territory but not hold it, in the face of superior Roman numbers. The Romans, as one might expect, were meanwhile raising a much larger army from their armed and capable citizenry. The second and final major battle was at Asculum, a 2-day battle in 279 BC, again won decisively by Pyrrhus, thanks to some brilliant tactics in terrain disadvantageous to him. But his losses were steep, and included many of his finest officers.
Upon being congratulated for this victory, he is said to have replied “If we defeat the Romans in one more such battle, we shall be completely ruined.” While the Romans could continually raise more troops, he could not. All they had to do was outlast him. Which they did. And there you have a Pyrrhic Victory.
I don’t think I need to say all that much about the Alamo. In February, 1836, About 200 defenders were dug in against about 2000-3000 soldiers under Santa Anna, hoping in vain to last until reinforcements came. They were wiped out after an 12-day siege, but took about 500 of the enemy with them.
Santa Anna continued his rampage, but 6 weeks later, at San Jacinto, Texicans shouting Remember the Alamo surprised and demolished Santa Anna’s army in 18 minutes, inflicting 800 casualties and capturing 700, while losing only 9 men. The next day they captured Santa Anna himself, and soon forced the agreement that won Texas its independence.
The Democrats’ Asculum
- I won — indeed they did. They got their fat payoffs to all their backers and wholly owned subsidiaries like the unions and ACORN, they got a large foothold on socialized medicine, they got more tax credits for those who pay little or no taxes.
- Support base is wide but not deep — as the economy goes, so goes their fortunes. The race card is wearing thin, and people have noticed that Little Lord Fauntleroy is not all that glib and charming once the teleprompter is off.
- They already spent most of their capital — by forcing Porkulus through with no debate, GOP shut out of the conference report, no time to read the bill before passing it, under the banner of “emergency!!!” “now!” “the world is collapsing, we must act now, now NOW!!!!”– yet Obama waited 4 days to sign it while his husband dragged him off to Chicago for a Valentines’ date. Everybody noticed it – and the GOP near-shutout finally gave Americans a chance to notice the difference between Republicans and Democrats. The polls should disturb the Dems.
- Overreaching — They crammed through Porkulus with no debate. They have displayed an epic amount of hubris by nominating a Thug’s Row of dirty cabinet secretaries. They have openly signaled that Labor rules, and business will be trampled at every opportunity. People are noticing.
- They want much more — They are already drawing up Porkulus 2. They want card check, they absolutely will let the Bush tax cuts expire, and they want government-run health care. If they were a bit more subtle and made this all an 8-year plan, they might pull it off. But their insatiable appetite has gotten attention.
- Blago-Burris leaves an unsightly stain — Rahm Emanuel’s contacts with Blago are well-established. Burris is turning into a great big “oops”. Ayers has dedicated his book to Sirhan Sirhan. The whole Chicago Machine is getting exposure, and operations like that work much better in the dark than they do in the sunshine. But the bottom line here is that the public is starting to fill in the blanks on who Obama is and where he came from.
- They are incompetent at managing a nation — I think they are pretty good at operating according to the Saul Alinsky playbook. They probably have a pretty effective plan for turning the US into Cuba. But in the meantime there is a nation to govern.With Porkulus, the economy becomes their economy. Funding ACORN, empowering unions, and shutting down conservative talk radio might be great campaign strategy, but it won’t make the trains run on time, so to speak. And the trains are starting already not to run on time. Kentucky ice storm, anyone?
- They are incompetent at managing our place in the world — Meanwhile, our nation has powerful and deadly enemies, and some of them – Russia, China, Iran, the Islamist terrorists, and Western Europe – are getting restless, and we will to a moral certainly be sorely “tested”. And this administration seems to have not a single clue how to deal with other nations. Witness the little “Buy American” flap. When Russia invades Georgia, and China invades Taiwan, Obama will sit on his hands – not because he wants to, but because he’s a babe in the woods – this moron could not find his ass with both hands, a map, a GPS and a snow shovel. And his staff is stupider than he is.
In short, the Dems have used up their political capital. In getting their Porkulus victory, they guaranteed their defeat in the long war. Their knavery is no longer secret, nor is it appreciated. They are done. There will be no Fairness Doctrine (including the on-the-sly version they are planning). There will be no Porkulus 2. There will be no socialized medicine. There will be no statistical sampling (aka “cheating”) on the 2010 census. And they will get MASSACRED in 2010, with an economy bordering on depression and the Dems’ socialist vision for America both exposed and rejected. Obama’s last two years will be useless.
The Republicans’ Alamo
- Porkulus could not be stopped — The Democrats’ electoral successes in 2006 and 2008, coupled with a substantial squish element of the Republican Party – plus the Republicans’ notorious inability to properly conduct decent back-alley knifings – assured Porkulus had no chance to be stopped. This was a suicide mission from the beginning.
- Republicans were stomped into the ground — In both houses, they were completely locked out of debate, locked out of meetings, locked out of the conference report. They never were able to wrest even modest changes out of the Democrats.
- We fought to the last man, save the 3 who surrendered — Our effort was magnificent. The House GOP pitched two shut outs — and even scored some Dem crossovers, making Oppo-Porkulus a bipartisan effort. Nobody expected it, not really. The Senate GOP, famous for compromise, weaseling, folding like cheap tents – instead formed a wall of defense, with the noted 3 exceptions.
- But in defeat, we found clarity — After 8 years of Dem-Lite fiscal policy and spending, 8 years of ‘let’s make a deal’, endless McCain-[fill in Dem name here] deals, 8 years of playing nice and not calling a spade a spade – finally we grew fangs, and claws. Democrats were publicly called liars and cheats. And not only that, we found our own conservative souls.
- Conservatism, the Constitution, and free-market capitalism are cool again — Once the Repubs decided to fight back, suddenly all of these guys are talking like Madison, Adams, Burke, Friedman, Hayek, and Goldwater. Instead of offering watered-down compromises, finally we offer “screw off, Democrats”, “let them go bankrupt”, and “get government out of the way”.
- Sam Houston’s army is locked, cocked, and ready to rock. — the 100-1 (or higher) ratio of calls into Democrat congressmen, the open rejection of the majority media’s message, the CME’s Chicago Tea Party talk. My friends, the bomb is ticking. The Republican grassroots are now fully charged, chomping at the bit to go to battle. Making phone calls. Locating primary opponents for squishes. Looking at a 50-state strategy. Taking shots across the bow in reference to the Fairness Doctrine. We were dead on Nov 5. Porkulus spawned this.
- “Remember the Alamo” — Porkulus will turn out to have been the turning point. Trust EPU on that one.