Next Week: The Battle of Leipzig
A decisive defeat for the empire.
10:35 AM, Oct 27, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
I was reminded, reading Fred Bauer's interesting post, that on the day after Obamacare passed, I'd compared President Obama's legislative success to Napoleon's catastrophic victory at Borodino.
Here's what I wrote on March 22nd:
I suppose the question now is, if Obamacare was Borodino, and the 2012 presidential election is Waterloo, what does that make Nov. 2, 2010? I defer to Napoleonic experts, but perhaps the answer is the Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of the Nations, fought in October 1813. It involved over 600,000 troops, was the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I, and was a decisive defeat for Napoleon, leading to his retreat into France and his abdication the next year--followed by his comeback and his final defeat at Waterloo.
So Napoleon's "victory" of Borodino paved the way for his defeat at Leipzig. But his defeat at Waterloo did not inevitably follow--as the Duke of Wellington famously remarked, the victory there was a near-run thing. Therefore, a comment: There will be no time for conservative complacency after next week's "Leipzig." And a question: Who will be the GOP's Wellington?