Monday, October 28, 2013

True Patriots Stop Train Wrecks

Ted Cruz’s filibuster and the House Freshmen’s battle against Obama Care have drawn media derision and establishment Republican “I told you so’s.” Suicide-vest, unhinged, insane, extortionist, and Astroturf metaphors dominated political discourse as Democratic Schadenfreuders cited polls that Americans blame Republicans more for the government shutdown and debt ceiling near miss.

The Charge of the Light Brigade, led by Lord Cardigan as ordered by his commander Lord Raglan against an entrenched Russian artillery battery (and immortalized by Tennyson six weeks later),  has been pounced upon as the historical analogy for the “failed” Tea Party attack on Obama Care. Pundits say the Light Brigade, which symbolizes gratuitous loss (of life) for a futile cause exacerbated by poor planning and confusion, exemplifies the Tea Party’s huge political losses in pursuit of an impossible cause – the defunding or delay of Obama Care.

A more appropriate analogy is found in Jimmy Stewart’s 1951 classic film “No Highway in the Sky.” In it, Stewart plays an aeronautical engineer whose wind tunnel tests predict that a newly-introduced aircraft will break apart in mid air. Jimmy deliberately sabotages a doomed flight and is branded a mental case. His daughter even pleads to skip school because of teasing. Jimmy Stewart turns from goat to hero when the plane he sabotaged loses its tail section as it rolls down the runway for its next take off.

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