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Thursday, March 25, 2010


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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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