Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sun Tzu and Lame Ducks

For at least a year now I've been perplexed by the insistence on calling Bush a lame duck. I mean, lefties trotted out this meme mere months after he won reelection, which means we've been subjected to a tedious cycle of MSM stories about how he's triumphantly overcome his lame duck status, then reverted to it, then overcome it again, ad nauseum.

Opponents of Bush need to reread their Chinese philosophy.

As noted in the Tao Te Ching,

There is no greater calamity than underestimating the enemy. If I take my enemy too lightly, I am in danger of losing my treasures.
Or, from the 36 Strategies,

"Pretend to be a pig in order to eat the tiger."

(spend a moment pondering that one, tadpole)

Or take what Sun Tzu (Karl Rove's personal Jesus) had to write on the subject of underestimating enemies:

If we respect the enemy’s strength and carefully study his movements, we will win. If we underestimate the enemy and do not consider the meaning of his movements, we will succumb in every battle.


Thus one who is skilful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

(By the way, take some time reading the (very short) text of the Art of War in that link. It's remarkable how Bush's Iraq War violates every single principle.)

UPDATE: Using another animal world metaphor, I love this exercise in wishful thinking, but c'mon, who exactly are meant to be the sharks? Barack Obama and his pals?

Tags: politics, lame duck, bush, war


  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    "Lame duck" has its purposes. We shouldn't discount the power Bush has left, but the more he is perceived to be weak, the more the cracks in the Republican congressional coalition show.

    That cartoon makes no sense at all, by the way. Why is Bush drowning in blood? Is that a subtle reference to war? Why is he clutching a smiley face? Why are there helicopters in the background?

  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    What, I like that cartoon.

    The sharks are circling because there's blood in the water, because Bush is wounded, and he's trying to clutch a life preserver of fact-defying optimism (putting a smiley face on hell), but it's pointless, since the sharks smell blood.

    The helicopters are less clear to m, though presumably it's to indicate the connection to Iraq as the particular problem that has wounded him.

    The only thing I don't like about the cartoon is that the Dems are not acting like sharks smelling blood in the water.

    Anyhow, I think the lame duck thing is way overused, and that it gives him a lot of time to exceed artificially low expectations. It also sort of lets Congressional republicans off the hook since it allows them to potentially use him as a scapegoat this fall.

    Basically, any stategy or tactic endorsed by the Democratic Congressional king-un-makers is automatically deserving of skepticism.


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