Monthly Archives: March 2017

POTUS Waterloo

I have waited till now to comment on the debacle of the GOP/Trump Healthcare reform also know as the AHCA in hope that things might settle down a little, silly me.  So here goes.

Ever since the Speaker withdrew the AHCA last Friday I have been hearing that it is going to be Waterloo for the Democratics and the ACA.  I agree, but not for the reasons most people think.  There were three armies at Waterloo and two of them won.  The battle the last few weeks over AHCA is a little like the campaign of the 100 Days that climaxed with the Battle of Waterloo.  In both cases the side that was expected to win easily, lost.  In both cases the side that won, won because of stubborn refusal to give up and by sudden break in the will to continue fighting by the other side when the  invincible is shown to not be invincible.

Everyone expected the Trump Whitehouse to be unstoppable with the Master Deal maker leading the way.  What they didn’t understand, even thought it was obvious from the start, was that Donald Trump had no understanding of how deals were made in politics.  Like many businessmen, Donald Trump, failed to understand one simple thing, you don’t make deals in politics the same way you do in business.  The rules are different,  measurement  of success are different, and the payoffs are different.  The people we would be working with to make the deal(s), some new this and some didn’t, and some didn’t care.

He also didn’t understand that you have to have credibility to make threats and that his business rep didn’t translate over to the political arena. What does this have to do with Waterloo you ask?  Well, Napoleon also didn’t understand the battlefield he was facing at Waterloo.  He underestimated the Generalship of Wellington and the misunderstood the tactics used by the British.  He also overestimated the drive of his Generals he detailed to ‘vigorously’ pursue the ‘defeated’ Prussians.  He also didn’t really understand the men he was leading, while brave and tenacious they were no longer the men who could face adverse results and comeback for more.

Like Napoleon, Trump, did not and does not understand the 247 people who make up the GOP delegation in the House.  These men and women have their own base of support and in many cases own little or nothing to either the National party or Trump himself for there seat in congress.  Unlike Trump, many hold very firm idialogical ideals that they will not abandon for a simple win, nor can mere money be their payoff. (Not only is it often illegal it is not why there are were they are.)  First he ignored them when he crafted the bill, or as some think excepted the bill crafted by the Speaker and just expected them to quietly vote for the bill.  When that didn’t work he tried threatening them, which most looked as simple bluster, and then he tried placating them, which they took as weakness.

Like Napoleon’s battle plan at Waterloo, Trump tried to just blast his way thru what he saw as just the weak oposition of the Democrats he found them stand firm.  Then he found out that people he had depended to gruard his flank weren’t there for him.  Finally when he asked his people to make a last ditch stand they turned their backs on him and said ‘NO’.

So yes, the AHCA defeat last Friday was a Waterloo, and the Democratics were Wellington.  BUT the Ogre is only bloodied and there is still a great deal of fight left in him so like Wellington they must follow up both closely and carefully.  The Freedom Caucus is still a power to be contended with as is Speaker Ryan.  All maybe wounded but as any experienced hunter, or plotico, knows, that is when they are most dangerous.


For those of you who will like to question my knowledge of the 100 Days and the Battle of Waterloo I attach here short bibliophile of books I have read on the subject.  It is not, I assure you exhaustive but merely the ones I still own after my drastic reduction library space a few years back.

The Waterloo Letters Ed. By H. T. Siborne

The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler

The Anatomy of Glory by Henry Lachouque and Anne S. K. Brown


Pres. Jackson & Trump

To be completely open and above board let me state from the start I have great differences of opinions with President Trump on Political and Philosophical grounds.  That said, let me say that’s I an not in the least surprised that he personally ranks President  Andrew Jackson as one of the great presidents.  I, on the other hand, do not.  To be honest, before I started reading both constitutional law and the history of the Native Tribes, I too thought he was a great General and President.  Of course my opinion was formed from what I saw in “Davy Crocket:  King of the Wild Frontier” (Disney) and “The  Buccaneer ” but hey, I was a kid.

After digging into the history of Pres. Jackson, both before and during his Presidency, I decided I did not like the man.  Some years later, as I got my degree in Political Science, I figured out that it was mostly because he was one of the first Populist of note.  He was a firm believer in the Manifest Destiny of the United States, but only for white  protestant men, the battle of New  Orleans not withstanding.

As President he is mostly know for two things, the political battle over the 2nd Bank of the United States.  I shan’t boor you by going into details of the fight, it is enough to say Pres. Jackson was against the Bank and did everything in his power to destroy it.  It was in this battle that he started to but heads with the Supreme Court and it’s first Great Chief Justice, Justice Marshall.  This is important because it was in the early 1800s that we as a nation decided that it was to be the body that would decide what was and was not Constitutional.  An it happened mostly because of Justice Marshall’s work.

This is significant in that in the 1830’s was the start of the ‘Trail of Tears’ or Indian Removals from the south east.  For me it is the Trail of the Cherokee and the case Worcester v. Georgia where the court ruled against Georgia and in favor of the Cherokees.  A decision that was written by Justice Marshall.  It is this decision that Pres. Jackson is supposed to have said “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” An let the removal of the Cherokees and the other four nations begin.  This not only resulted in the deaths of, at a minimum, of 25% of these nations it also was a harsh lesson to the Court that it did not have any means to enforce it decision if the executive does not cooperate.

That an Authoritarian like our current president admires Pres. Jackson does not  surprise me, his entire adult life Donald Trump was free to act, and does act, in an Authoritarian manner.  It kind of goes with being a multimillionaire (or billionaire) who has only worked in business that they own.  He, like Pres. Jackson, is used to just giving orders and have them followed out.  He has never, ever, really had to deal with being told “NO, you can’t do that.”  So, people, get ready for the following…..

Someday, maybe someday soon, Pres. Trump will be told by the Courts, or the Congress, or someone, that he can’t do what he wants to do and he will just go ahead an try and do it.  If it is with the Courts be ready for a Major Constitutional Crisis, if it is with Congress be ready for a Political Crisis that could destroy one or both of the major political parties.  In any case be ready for a country that is not like the country we had just a few short years ago.  An just like Pres. Jackson, Pres Trump will be used by Historians to make the point that the great change started.