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Barack Cornwallis and the Tides of 1781 and 2012

History is full of curious and sometimes eerie parallels. On November 7 there will be many to be drawn, but in my humble opinion the amazing facts on the ground of 1781 that belied British martial superiority, already match up interestingly with 2012.

In the fall of 1781 an overconfident British general met his comeuppance only months after a pyrrhic spring campaign. In the fall of 2012 a brash American president will suffer a similar humiliation only months after winning a pyrrhic court fight and punishing political foes by administrative fiat. In the fall of 1781 freak storms, a French flotilla and a God fearing determined foe conspired to bring the world’s most powerful military force to its knees. In the fall of 2012 no freak event will be able to save the most heavy-handed administration in 40 years from the fate of another energized electorate once again demanding change. The die has been cast and the Supreme Court’s ruling that Obamacare can proceed as a tax will only add the baggage that this president has so arrogantly saddled himself with.

General Cornwallis won such a pyrrhic victory at Guilford’s Court House where he used tactics that showed no regard for his own men, sacrificing some of his troops on the front lines to
friendly fire to beat back American General Nathaniel Greene. But in winning the battle Cornwallis helped lose the war. When Cornwallis took his battered army to Virginia to recuperate, General Greene methodically took back the hard won territorial gains made by Cornwallis in the Carolinas. In the spring of 2012 an administration that has already shown a disturbing ability to cast aside America’s allies (just ask Komorowski, Mubarak or Peres) won another such conquest with its contraception mandate. The result will be similar to Cornwallis’ victory at Guilford’s in the spring of 1781 as the harsh tactics employed will lay the foundation for ultimate defeat later.

Barack Obama is under siege and the magic teleprompter can no longer comfort him, in fact about 40% of the electorate (according to Rasmussen) is consistently repelled by Mr. Know-it-all and his increasingly mendacious proclamations. Just as Lord Charles Cornwallis erroneously thought that the Royal Navy was his backstop against any misadventure in the coming battle with George Washington and Marquis de La Fayette, the president believes his orations can overcome any difficulties on the road to reelection. In the same way that General Cornwallis’ overconfidence stemmed from a life of privilege so does the president’s. Cornwallis viewed the Continental Army as a ragtag and unworthy opponent and so this president views the Tea Party and those who hold religious convictions that counter his statist decrees.

The Blue Wall of democratic states will be proven a fiction and the 2012 reality is instead a Blue Ceiling of democratic voters that Barack Cornwallis has built beam by beam over himself. An insurmountable demographic ceiling of about 47% has been slowly cemented into place. Many groups including Catholics, blue collar whites and small business owners have been injured and even insulted by this administration’s policies and spokesmen. The wave he rode in on will now take him out in a near mirror image, and nothing he can now do will stop it. The persuadable middle has been persuaded that the president is a leftist ideologue and any centrist or populist moves at this stage will be seen as nakedly political. Witness the sudden
executive move on immigration; had a bipartisan effort with a Marco Rubio been made a year or so ago it may have garnered some support beyond his base, but in the current heated election climate the polls didn’t budge. Just as the British Fleet left Virginia, the middle of the electorate has left Obama and will not return to his party until sometime after the November showdown.

This contest will become a fait accompli by early October (just after the first debate fails to move the needle for team Obama) and just like that fateful October of 1781 when Lord Cornwallis could not accept his own role in his fortune (and could not bring himself to surrender personally to George Washington) this president will find it impossible to be
gracious in defeat. By early fall it will be clear that Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio are secure for the GOP and that the blue firewall will be in tatters as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon and others will be must win toss-ups. Barack Obama will flail wildly as he desperately tries to save himself. But the overriding question will be one of determining who to blame for the flameout of the smartest man ever to hold the office.

The final result (53-46) will reveal a familiar red heartland with bicoastal deep blue states and a scattershot of others that will buck in vain the harsh tide of providence. And just as Yorktown did not end the Revolutionary War entirely, the president’s apologists will decry racism and a failure to recognize his singular greatness. In the United Kingdom circa1781-82
there was a deep divide and introspection over how to proceed and this also will befall the Democratic Party in 2012-13 over which direction to follow out of the ruins of the election. The statists will follow Reid and Pelosi and blame the electorate for not knowing what is best for us, while another faction will seek a path back to the party’s pre 1968 blue collar roots. It should be fun to watch.

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