Author Topic: The Lesson of Dunkirk It’s one Ted Cruz Republicans must learn. Thomas Sowell  (Read 2835 times)

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Offline Once-Ler

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http://spectator.org/articles/57888/lesson-dunkirk

Politics is often like war. Unfortunately, politicians, the media and the voting public seldom have the same degree of realism and discipline with which professional soldiers fight wars. You can indulge your emotions and base your decisions on wishful thinking in politics, in a way that you are not likely to when your own life is on the line in battle.

One of the most dramatic and heartening events of World War II was the miraculous evacuation of British troops trapped on the beaches of France in 1940, at Dunkirk. And its lesson is still relevant today.

The British troops were in France to help the French fight off the invading army from Nazi Germany. But the sudden collapse of the French army left the Brits stranded on the beaches, with the German army closing in on them.

The British navy’s ships in the area were too large to move into the shallow waters close to the beaches, so as to evacuate the troops. Instead, hundreds of British civilians headed for Dunkirk in their fishing boats, recreational craft and practically anything else that would float.

These civilians, who risked their lives going into a war zone, helped nearly a hundred thousand British soldiers get back home across the English Channel.

How does this tie in with politics, especially with politics today?

Many Republicans wanted their party to fight the Obama administration before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, in hopes of extracting at least some concession — on spending, on the Keystone pipeline or whatever.

Unfortunately, the Republicans had no more chance of winning that fight than the stranded British troops had of winning a battle against Hitler’s army.

Whatever the Republicans threatened, President Obama could call their bluff. They would either have to back down or have a second government shutdown for which they would be blamed. Another shutdown could doom their chances of winning the Senate in the 2014 elections, and perhaps even cost them the House of Representatives.

In a war, you do not fight battles that you are certain to lose, if only because you will need your troops to fight later in battles you can win.

The British troops who escaped from Dunkirk came back to France four years later, as part of the massive invasion forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy, liberated France, and pushed on into Germany for the final defeat of the Nazi regime.

In politics, as in war, you need power to win, and you don’t dissipate your forces fighting battles that you are sure to lose. Symbolism and emotional self-indulgence are just not worth it.

None of this says that the Republicans’ leadership had a great track record prior to the most recent confrontations with the Democrats.

For that matter, the British government had a terrible track record in the years leading up to the desperate situation on the beaches at Dunkirk. But that was no reason to sacrifice troops who would be urgently needed for later battles, where the odds would be different.

There would not be a United States of America today if George Washington had followed the tactics being urged by people like Senator Ted Cruz and his supporters.

The army under General Washington was no match for the British army, in either military experience or firepower. The American army repeatedly had to withdraw, retreat, and even flee to avoid being annihilated.

George Washington did not have to fight futile battles in order to prove his courage. He was already well known for being in the thick of battles, with bullets whistling around his head. But he had to wait for situations where he had the enemy at a disadvantage, and then strike.

When Washington made his celebrated crossing of the Delaware, he was headed for a dramatic victory, using soldiers he had saved for just such a moment. Wars are about winning, not futile symbolic gestures that leave you worse off. Politics must be the same, if you are serious about the issues.
A frog trapped in a well does not understand the sea.

Offline aligncare

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Whatever the Republicans threatened, President Obama could call their bluff. They would either have to back down or have a second government shutdown for which they would be blamed.

So, a Marxist president can do whatever he wants? And, nothing in the Constitution gives the minority, these so-called Cruz Republicans, a way of fighting back? Capitulate? That's Sowell's Solution?

He's wrong. We use this and every step of our resistance as a teachable moment for the electorate to learn the difference between fascism and freedom. We don't "win to fight" we "fight to win," to repeat something Mark Levin said last night. We draw clear bold lines that highlight our difference with the socialists in Congress and the Marxist in the White House. That's how we win converts.
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Offline Right_in_Virginia

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So ... in the hope of winning a majority in Congress, Republicans should surrender, hide and accommodate.   

What a terrific way to motivate an electorate.   :whistle:
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:09:11 AM by Right_in_Virginia »
"January 20th 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again."  --  President Donald J. Trump

Offline Once-Ler

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So ... in the hope of winning a majority in Congress, Republicans should surrender, hide and accommodate.   

What a terrific way to motivate an electorate.   :whistle:

It's better than pushing through with a strategy that 75% of America thinks is wrong.

Eric Hoffer — 'Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.'
A frog trapped in a well does not understand the sea.

Online massadvj

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Sowell is investing quite a bit of his personal political capital to trash a junior senator.  Cruz's mission may have been quixotic over the short term, but it reinvigorated disheartened conservatives and brought them back into the game.  That may well be why the GOPe holds him in such disdain.

Much as I respect Sowell, I must say that I recognize that Ted Cruz is ours and he is trying to make a difference.  He holds no position of leadership in the congress.  Whatever the GOP did that is considered foolish or a failure had to have the imprimatur of the leadership or it would not have been done. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:53:28 AM by massadvj »
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Right_in_Virginia

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It's better than pushing through with a strategy that 75% of America thinks is wrong

If 75% of America thinks conservatism is wrong ... well, we may as well stop now.  We're doomed.

I happen to disagree with your 75% "statistic".  We've not had an articulate, courageous conservative with the ability  to connect with the America citizen since Reagan.  That is until now with Cruz. 

I find it interesting that Republican entrenched political operatives feel the same threat to their political model from Cruz as they did with  Reagan.  Interesting, indeed.   :smokin:


« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:41:52 AM by Right_in_Virginia »
"January 20th 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again."  --  President Donald J. Trump

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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If 75% of America thinks conservatism is wrong ... well, we may as well stop now.  We're doomed.

I happen to disagree with your 75% "statistic".  We've not had an articulate, courageous conservative with the ability  to connect with the America citizen since Reagan.  That is until now with Cruz. 

I thought that Mitt Romney did a terrific job articulating The Message to the masses.   Boy, was I wrong.  :thud:

Online massadvj

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I thought that Mitt Romney did a terrific job articulating The Message to the masses.   Boy, was I wrong.  :thud:

Lips, I don't think 2012 had much to do with ideology, to tell you the truth.  Besides all the shennanigans in some key places like Philadelphia, the election fundamentally turned on the fact that the kind-hearted people did not want to deny a second term to the first black president.  They wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt while at the same time neutering whatever severe damage he might do by re-electing a GOP congress.  I honestly don't think the election was any more complicated than that.  We conservatives too often read ideology into things when the average folks don't abide by political philosophy at all.  They just try to do what they think is "right" based on their emotions.     
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Once-Ler

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If 75% of America thinks conservatism is wrong ... well, we may as well stop now.  We're doomed.

I happen to disagree with your 75% "statistic".  We've not had an articulate, courageous conservative with the ability  to connect with the America citizen since Reagan.  That is until now with Cruz.

Let us not be coy here.  75% of America rejected the Oct 1st shutdown.  Cruz's fight for the sake of fighting strategy is stupid.  and I'm not the only one who noticed.

Quote
I find it interesting that Republican entrenched political operatives feel the same threat to their political model from Cruz as they did with  Reagan.  Interesting, indeed.   :smokin:

I find it interesting you believe that because you read on a conservative forum.  Can you show me some proof of this assertion?  What many conservatives are finally saying is they agree with Ted Cruz's goals, but the guy doesn't have a clue how to get there.  Is that what they said about Reagan?  I don't know.  Show me what the entrenched political operatives said or did that is similar.  Did they say Reagan is self serving or in it to make a fast buck?  Did they say Reagan is willing to give the GOP a black eye to advance his agenda?  explain please. 

A frog trapped in a well does not understand the sea.

Offline aligncare

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I gave you one. George Will editorial, Washington Post, November 12, 1974, "Ronald Reagan, the GOP and '76."

And his was by no means the only attack on Ronald Reagan by establishment Republicans for challenging the moderate-to-liberal sitting Pres. Gerald Ford.

Yes, there are hundreds of examples from 1976 and 1980. Reagan threatened the status quo, just as  Cruz is threatening the status quote today.
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Online mystery-ak

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You believe Cruz is giving the GOP a black eye to advance his agenda?....and you get this information from the liberal press that is their job to destroy the GOP and advance liberal causes?.....the few *conservative* reporters trashing Cruz are nothing more than the GOPe's mouth pieces and should go the same way as the dinosaurs....

Support the USO

Online kevindavis

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Good article.....
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

The US Constitution is a result of compromise and ideals... and I think it's pretty darn great.

Offline sinkspur

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If 75% of America thinks conservatism is wrong ... well, we may as well stop now.  We're doomed.

I happen to disagree with your 75% "statistic".  We've not had an articulate, courageous conservative with the ability  to connect with the America citizen since Reagan.  That is until now with Cruz. 

I find it interesting that Republican entrenched political operatives feel the same threat to their political model from Cruz as they did with  Reagan.  Interesting, indeed.   :smokin:

Ronald Reagan compromised, retreated, and came back to fight another day.  You better check your stats:  Cruz connects with a narrow sliver of the GOP, maybe 22%.  The rest of America thinks he's a blustering fool.
Reagan worked with Democrats; that's not Cruz's model. 

Comparing Cruz to Reagan is the equivalent of comparing Howdy Doody to Winston Churchill.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

To "A global laughingstock"

Offline sinkspur

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You believe Cruz is giving the GOP a black eye to advance his agenda?....and you get this information from the liberal press that is their job to destroy the GOP and advance liberal causes?.....the few *conservative* reporters trashing Cruz are nothing more than the GOPe's mouth pieces and should go the same way as the dinosaurs....

Of course Cruz is giving the GOP a black eye in order to advance his own prospects.  He's said he DOES NOT CARE that "the elites" don't agree with him. 

The Republicans in COngress had to get the budget and debt ceiling off the table for the next year to keep Cruz from coming back every three or four months and trying to screw up their election prospects.

The numbers are not on the side of Ted Cruz or TPers. They never will be as long as Cruz's tactics are lauded by his followers.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

To "A global laughingstock"

Online Lando Lincoln

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Levin's take (audio):

Mark Levin: A look back at the attacks on Reagan, how they are similar to attacks on conservatives today

http://therightscoop.com/mark-levin-a-look-back-at-the-attacks-on-reagan-how-they-are-similar-to-attacks-on-conservatives-today/
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 10:39:11 AM by Lando Lincoln »
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline mountaineer

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I'm so glad we have nothing else to talk about than intra-GOP Cruz-bashing!
Just being unique doesn't make you useful.

Offline aligncare

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I was hoping someone would post that. Thank you, Lando.

It's all there. Just listen.
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over

Offline sinkspur

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I'm so glad we have nothing else to talk about than intra-GOP Cruz-bashing!



The good news is there are no more opportunities over the next year for Cruz to bring the GOP to near ruin by pulling a stunt.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

To "A global laughingstock"

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Lips, I don't think 2012 had much to do with ideology, to tell you the truth.  Besides all the shennanigans in some key places like Philadelphia, the election fundamentally turned on the fact that the kind-hearted people did not want to deny a second term to the first black president.  They wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt while at the same time neutering whatever severe damage he might do by re-electing a GOP congress.  I honestly don't think the election was any more complicated than that.  We conservatives too often read ideology into things when the average folks don't abide by political philosophy at all.  They just try to do what they think is "right" based on their emotions.   


I hope you're right.  Had dinner with some friends on Wed, and what you are saying started to dawn on me then.  One gal there (a math teacher at a junior college around here) voted for Obama twice.   She said to me "I'm not political at all."  It was almost like she was speaking an unfamiliar language to me-I couldn't wrap my mind around it.  But then I began to arrive at just what you are saying.   Or maybe "accepting" it would be a better word... I dunno.

Offline aligncare

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"I'm not political at all."

I don't know much about birthin' no babies but hand me those forceps.
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over

Online massadvj

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I hope you're right.  Had dinner with some friends on Wed, and what you are saying started to dawn on me then.  One gal there (a math teacher at a junior college around here) voted for Obama twice.   She said to me "I'm not political at all."  It was almost like she was speaking an unfamiliar language to me-I couldn't wrap my mind around it.  But then I began to arrive at just what you are saying.   Or maybe "accepting" it would be a better word... I dunno.

Yeah, there's a lot of voter remorse out there.  That's why the GOPe types are worried about making waves.  It might distract the voters from their own dissonance.  These establishment types are probably right, but to me if it just means the party gets a victory without any fundamental shift in the way it conducts its business, then we will not have won anything. 
"She only coughs when she lies."

Online DCPatriot

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It's simple to compare Reagan with Cruz...in a sense that both had/have the "establishment" trying to discredit them.

The problem in drawing it out is that today's Democrat leadership are Marxists.  Tip O'Neill attended 'Happy Hours' with Reagan after the typical workday finished.

The Establishment is like the guy who thinks he's being effective by refusing to rewind his rental DVDs.

The crowds Cruz will attract in the coming months will constitute more than 22% of the voters.   

Say a prayer for his safety......if anything.
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Offline Right_in_Virginia

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Let us not be coy here. 

Right back at 'ya.
"January 20th 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again."  --  President Donald J. Trump

Offline katzenjammer

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Many Republicans wanted their party to fight the Obama administration before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, in hopes of extracting at least some concession — on spending, on the Keystone pipeline or whatever.

Not really.  Many (myself included) wanted them to not "raise" it at all.  (And can we call a spade, a spade?  What they've done is SUSPENDED it, not raised it.  They've done this the last couple of times as well.  Personally I never thought this nation would devolve to the point that we pass legislation that pretends that things like a Debt Ceiling simply don't exist.  But that may just be me....)

And before we stoop to the level of entertaining the utter BS about "default" that is spread around by the media and political establishment (that would be both "parties" for those that seem to have a difficult time facing reality), the FACT of the matter is that this behemoth sucks out enough dollars on a monthly and annual basis to more than adequately service the debt.  At this point the administration would have to explicitly direct the Treasury to default for other reasons, certainly not a lack of incoming revenue.  So do we need to accept the fact that we are at the point of being complete hostages to what this monster may do?  Oh, if we don't cooperate and authorize taking on more debt onto the pile that is already far too high to ever pay down, they might default on some obligations??  If we've reached that point (and apparently we have), it is all over but for the singing...

And maybe it is high time to start to insist that we deal in FACTS rather than that so so scary "perception" that so many are concerned with.  Dealing with, and trying to manage perceptions (while ignoring facts!), has contributed a great deal to why we have arrived at the point we have.  And why are any of us supposed to believe that any of these mighty providers of "perception" are worth a damn to begin with??  Polling?  Seriously?  Everybody here knows damn well you can get any result that you want when you poll, so why even entertain these results as anything more than they are, tools of spin.

But let me take it a step further.....  let's pretend that the polls are accurate?  Does that imply that principles (which at this point are about the survival of the Republic (and no less)) should be set aside because of "popular opinion?"  Let the beast float right over the edge, because people won't "like us" if we try to stop it??  Really?


Would it be too much to ask to have one of our supposed "leaders" get up in front of the press and dispel the BS about "default" that comes up every time we arrive at this point?  Too much for them to have a couple of simple charts that show the FACTS about the incoming tax revenue and the current debt obligations?  Maybe make a statement as to the fact that while we are able to service it now, we certainly won't be able to in the not too distant future, ESPECIALLY IF WE KEEP ADDING MORE TO THE MOUNTAIN??  Is this really too much to expect?  I guess that it is, sadly.

Offline katzenjammer

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Levin's take (audio):

Mark Levin: A look back at the attacks on Reagan, how they are similar to attacks on conservatives today

http://therightscoop.com/mark-levin-a-look-back-at-the-attacks-on-reagan-how-they-are-similar-to-attacks-on-conservatives-today/


Thank you for posting this video.


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