Lady Butler's British Squares holding at Quatre Bras
I am referring to yesterday's passage of the 'Healthcare Reform' Bill in the United States House of Representatives, of course. Of course - this Bill has nothing to do with Healthcare, or Reform of any kind. Nor is it a decisive victory for the side that prevailed in this legislative effort - the Democratic Party.
Queen Nancy Signing the Democratic Party's Suicide Pact
The Battle of Waterloo was the utter rout and total destruction of Napoleon's Imperial French army by the combined armies of the Seventh Coalition; the Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher; fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in what is now Belgium.
Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo put an end of his Hundred Days' return from exile and marked the end to his rule as Emperor of the French.
End of the Line for le Empereur
Yesterday's events in the House of Representatives was far from such a decisive victory. Au contraire - the Leadership of the Democratic Party had to resort to bribery, blackmail and good old-fashioned strongarm tactics to accomplish their purpose. By now everyone is familiar with the year-long saga - the Louisiana Purchase; the Nebraska Buy-off Exemption; the infamous Rahm Emmanuel Nude Shower Incident; Bart Stupak's little shuck-and-jive two step there . . . this is what it took for the Democratic Party to pull off their so-called 'decisive victory' - hardly an overwhelming 'Will of the People' . . .
. . . AND . . . the Republican Party is FAR from destroyed!
The Republicans have the power and support to defeat these bastards in November. We will wipe them out. We will chase them out of town. We will elect conservatives in the primaries and defeat the Democrats - every last one of them - and then we start the repeal process.
We have much power, still. We will use every single legislative and bureaucratic tactic to obstruct, derail, and defeat them. We're going to turn out en masse in November and stop the Liberals. We have seen that the law will not stop them, the Constitution will not stop them, hoping that they will do the right thing will not stop them because their definition of "the right thing" has nothing in common with ours.
They will be hounded out of office. Every single Democrat who voted for this knows that they are going to be exposed and hassled and chased from office.
No, this is by no means a victory for the Democrats along the lines of Wellington's victory at Waterloo. For it to be such, the Republicans would have had to have been utterly destroyed. If anything, this is a 'Pyrrhic Victory'.
The phrase is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC:
Roman Legionnaires in close combat.
In both of engagements, the Romans had more casualties than Pyrrhus did. However, the Romans had a much larger supply of men from which to draw soldiers, so their casualties did less damage to their war effort than Pyrrhus's casualties did to his.
Pyrrhus' battle report: "Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone."
There is a North American equivalent of such a Pyrrhic victory: on March 15, 1781 the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought in present-day Greensboro, North Carolina. 1,900 British troops under General Lord Cornwallis, fought an American force of 4,400 under General Nathanael Greene.
The Battle of Guilford Courthouse
Despite the relatively small numbers of troops involved, the battle is considered decisive. Before the battle, the British appeared to have successfully reconquered Georgia and South Carolina with the aid of strong Loyalist factions, and thought that North Carolina might be within their grasp.
The battle had lasted only ninety minutes; the British took the field, fighting with accustomed tenacity when engaged by superior numbers. Technically and tactically the British were the victors of this contest. However, their victory cost them over a quarter of their own men.
Seeing this as a classic Pyrrhic victory, British Whig Party leader Charles James Fox echoed Plutarch's famous words by saying, "Another such victory would ruin the British Army!
In the wake of the battle, Cornwallis retreated via forced march south (through present day Fort Bragg) to Wilmington, where his forces embarked upon ships to Yorktown, Virginia and ultimate defeat and surrender.
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown
Waterloo was a decisive battle in more than one sense. It definitively ended the series of wars that had convulsed Europe, and involved many other regions of the world, since the French Revolution of the early 1790s. It also ended the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history. Finally, it ushered in almost half a century of international peace in Europe; no major conflict was to occur until the Crimean War.
Barack Obama and every Democrat in Congress could only wish of such a victory - they know they will pay a heavy price for yesterday's events.
We are not defeated. Not by a long shot.