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A lot was made last week over who won the shutdown showdown and its pretty unanimous President Obama endured the least amount of damage in his clear victory. It's a pyrrhic victory to be sure but it's better than a pyrrhic loss. Fumbling among republicans drowned out the disastrous start to Obamacare and this week's drama will do the same. To be sure Washington has become a battlefield with the kind of panic, anger and fear that often pushes common sense and fair play out of the equation.
The fact is neither side seems to have studied principles of war or even strategy. Consequently reenacting that kind of carnage results in no real winners. It recalls many famous battles including:
Frederick at Zorndorf
Seven Years' War
August 25, 1758
His plan was for his usual attack in "oblique order." thrusting the best of his infantry on the left forward against the Russian right, which consisted mostly of inexperienced conscripts, while his own right was "refused" (held back from contact). Frederick's plan failed.
Throughout the afternoon, the battle disintegrated into a series of savage melees fought with bayonets, swords, and musket butts. In the heat and dust confusion reigned, cavalry and artillery on both sides at times attacking their own infantry.
Frederick rode back and forth in the thick of the action, a fearless but impotent observer of a battle beyond his control.
Finally, on September 1, the Russians withdrew, allowing Frederick to claim a strategic victory, commenting, "It is easier to kill these Russians to the last man than to defeat them."
Excerpts above from "Commanders: History's Greatest Military Leaders"
13,000 of the 36,000 Prussians that fought died
19,000 of the 43,000 Russians that fought died
You can decide who are the Prussians and who are the Russians in today's battle in Washington, but make no mistake there are some willing to fight to the death, others looking to retreat, and more "friendly fire" than you could imagine. Yet there is one place where the Democrats are clearly outmaneuvering Republicans and that's bringing in more troops. Efforts are under way to completely tilt the balance so Republicans could be shut out of the White House for decades... maybe even dissolve into new parties.
Bringing in More Troops
While efforts to give illegal immigrants rights including voting are blatantly political yet gaining more steam, there's another campaign with less press that could give Democrats an additional five million voters: allowing felons to vote from prison. It's a big movement in Washington DC, the city and other places. California announced last week its state and local governments will not ask about criminal records before first determining if job applicants are qualified for the job. There is a big difference between being arrested, being convicted of a misdemeanor and going to prison for a felony.
Proponents are co-mingling them all which are intellectually dishonest.
This is part of the public rehabilitation plan. The biggest thrust is allowing felons to vote even while incarcerated. Two states already allow this, Vermont and Maine, which some say are the 'whitest' states and proves discrimination by other states. Of course the race angle is being used suggesting blacks are inherently going to commit crimes.
The thing is at some point without a countercheck this tactic could provide a political windfall coupled with illegal voting that will forever change the landscape.
Right is right and wrong is wrong. Someone that robs others at gunpoint, murders and rapes never truly pays a debt to society. Their victims and families are scared forever and that element of fear stains the community. Making crime pay less is on the moral ground of making poverty so comfortable there is no deterrent or incentive to take different paths in life. In this case those poor old criminals will slowly but surely become the victims, and society that denies them privileges such as voting will be the mean people holding the nation from going forward.
There are so many Republicans fighting themselves and stuck in bubbles that they don't see the massive infantry gathering on the horizon. Many underestimate such plans like Frederick underestimated Russian conscripts. For me this isn't about politics but the integrity of the nation.
Either way this week's fighting will kick up a lot of heat and dust, but hopefully fewer savage melees. The clock is ticking on the debt ceiling debate and funding the government. Big time decisions with huge ramifications. But what's happening behind the scenes promises to turn future battles into routs.