Aug 16, 2009

No Second Cannae

The news this weekend is that the Democrat leadership is retreating from the "government option." Whenever I hear that a party with control of the House, Senate and Executive branch is retreating, I hear the name "Cannae" echo in my brain. It was at Cannae during the Second Punic War that the Carthaginian general Hannibal invented "rope-a-dope." He had the center of his battle line simulate a retreat. The eager Romans charged into the gap anticipating victory. Instead they were encircled by the Carthaginians and slaughtered. So beware when the clever and powerful retreat. Check your flanks.

And as I have called this post "No Second Cannae" I am also reminded of one of my favorite poems, "No Second Troy" by W.B. Yeats. I would have loved to meet her. But I would have checked my flanks.


WHY should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great.
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

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