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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'll have the Beef Wellington, courtesy of the GOP

With the passage of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by the House of Representatives on Sunday, many commentators have been quick to say that Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) was wrong last July when he referred to health care reform as President Obama's Waterloo:

'If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him and we will show that we can, along with the American people, begin to push those freedom solutions that work in every area of our society.' (audio link)
DeMint may be demented, but he was right about one thing: health care reform is indeed Obama's Waterloo. DeMint was just wrong about which side had the Napoleon complex.

In warfare, there is typically a winning side and a losing side. Pacifists may prefer to think that in war everyone loses, yet ABBA grasped the essential zero-sum nature of war in their 1974 hit single 'Waterloo': 'Waterloo—I was defeated, you won the war.'

The British military leader credited with the victory at Waterloo was Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington. So epic was the victory that a dish was named for him: Beef Wellington.

As at Waterloo, someone had to win the epic battle to determine whether Americans deserve, like their counterparts in the other industrialized democracies, to receive medical treatment when they are ill. Waterloo was not just an epic defeat; it was also an epic victory. And like Wellington, Obama's name has already entered everyday speech by being attached to his unprecedented achievement in law: Obamacare.

Yet the Republicans in Congress still don't get it. Today they continued to try to impede passage of the so-called Senate reconciliation bill, intended by the Democrats to fix the shortcomings in H.R. 3590. Here, too, they would be well-advised to learn from the lyrics of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus:
'My my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger.
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight.
And how could I ever refuse?
I feel like I win when I lose.'
Let's hope the Republicans keep on feeling like winners. Their delusional behavior only drives them deeper into defeat at the hands of President Obama, our modern-day Duke of Wellington.

Props also to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, our Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.

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Anonymous 42 said...

I loved the idea behind your post, but ABBA? I'm sure you could have found a more relevant source for a victory at war quote than one from the undeserving recent inductees into The R&R HOF.
While I realize you were trying to tie this in to the whole Waterloo
metaphor, but ABBA?
I'm sure there is something from David Byrne, Sting, Bono or Chrissie Hynde that was relevant, but ABBA?
Perhaps, you could have used Procol Harum's Conquistador to describe the Republican's total defeat:

"Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
and though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
and as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
and though you came with sword held high
you did not conquer, only die."


1:12 PM, March 24, 2010

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

None of the musicians suggested by 42 ever recorded a song that referred to Waterloo. The band Dirty Pretty Things named their 2006 debut album Waterloo to Anywhere. I thought of invoking it in connection with the idea that post-Waterloo, i.e. after the passage of health care reform legislation, the Obama administration could go anywhere with its legislative agenda, but I decided that was too much of a stretch and not all that witty.

As for ABBA, I fail to see what could possibly be wrong with giving credit to one of the most beloved bands the world over.

3:26 PM, March 24, 2010

Anonymous 42 said...

I hope that last sentence was written with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek.

6:40 PM, March 24, 2010

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

I stand by the truth of what I said. ABBA has a positive message for the world of dancing and singing and acting silly. The people of the world would do well to follow their example. I invite all of my readers to study the work of ABBA and to live it every day. Consider their most famous lyric:

'You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.'

Anyone who has danced knows this feeling. Let us join together and work to make the world a place where it can flourish.

6:59 PM, March 24, 2010

Anonymous Luke said...

I am dancing as you write.

8:33 PM, March 24, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Props also to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, our Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.

But to heck with Harry Reid, because fuck that guy!

4:25 PM, March 25, 2010

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could have stopped the Republicans' procedural shenanigans sooner. Pelosi held out for a more liberal bill.

6:09 PM, March 25, 2010


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