General George McClellan had built a huge army during the Civil War. It was known as the Army of the Potomac. The problem was he built it and built it. And almost never used it. It seemed as if his objective was simply to make his army larger rather than actually using it to win the war. Eventually Lincoln had to fire him.
The parallels are striking. Rahm Emanuel seems to think his job is to grow the Democratic Party larger and larger, but he's forgotten that his real objective is to win the war. We're supposed to be aiming for real policy changes in the end. If we don't get those policies, then Rahm's Army of the Potomac will be useless.
The Democrats had huge majorities in the House and 60 senators, but Rahm kept telling us it's not enough. There are too many conservative Democrats in the Senate, we need more than sixty we were told. That if we just gave Rahm a little larger army then he could engage the enemy. Now we're down to 59 senators and I can guarantee you, we're going to get the same argument but even louder. Build my army, build my army!
Fifty-nine senators is a perfectly sufficient army. Go forward. Engage. Fire. You have a colossal 18 senator lead. If you don't fight with that kind of lead, you're never going to fight and obviously you don't know how to win.
It's a really sad day when you turn Mitch McConnell into General Robert E. Lee. Obama has to at some point come to the same conclusion that Lincoln did when he said, "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time."
At some point we have to fight this war. I hope Obama gets there a little quicker than Lincoln did. I also hope he doesn't go through the same kind of generals for years on end before he realizes he should bring in a guy like Ulysses S. Grant who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, using his troops and winning the war.
So, who is our Ulysses? If you ask me, it's General Dean. You might be thinking it'll be a cold day in hell before the placid Obama brings in a real fighter like Dean. I agree, except if the war is almost lost and you're desperate for someone who can actually get the job done.
How do I know Howard Dean can get the job done? While he was at the DNC in the 2006 and 2008 campaigns, he was the one that whipped the Republicans and built that Democratic Army of the Potomac in the first place.
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