******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Obama as World War II Analogy

It is not good for any President when bloody World War II analogies are all that supportive columnists and bloggers can muster in defense of your inability to get things done:
  • Paul Krugman: Obama as Anzio. "Allied forces landed far behind enemy lines, catching their opponents by surprise. Instead of following up on this advantage, however, the American commander hunkered down in his beachhead — and soon found himself penned in by German forces on the surrounding hills, suffering heavy casualties." So does that mean WE are the enemy, Obama snuck in behind our lines, and we should want him to attack us harder? Now I get it.

  • Jonathan Chait: Suggesting an alternative to Krugman's Anzio analogy in favor of Obama as impotent 1938 Czechoslovakia being carved up in the 1938 Munich Accords, to which OpenLeft responds "Obama as 1938 Czechoslovakia? That's the defense?"
Maybe the comparisons of Obama to FDR are coming true, although not in the way Obama supporters expected a year ago.

Related Posts:
Jeezy-Hawks Against Israel
Dems Stuck With Blog Hero Grayson
Obama To Judge Karzai On His Appointments!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook


  1. Obama's health care plan represents the new Maginot Line against the catastrophic escalation of health care costs.

  2. I thought it odd that Krugman would reach for a military analogy and an old one that's fairly obscure for most of today's Americans, at that.

    Like all analogies, it's deeply flawed. Although it's always bothered me when people split hairs over analogies -- we know what Krugman was trying to say, after all -- I can't resist here.

    The Anzio amphibious attempt to turn the German Gustav Line south of Rome where Allied forces had become bogged down in a bloody slog across an endless series of mountains was Winston Churchill's brainchild. It was opposed fiercely by Marshall and the Americans as just one more pointless step in the Mediteranean campaigns that Churchill fought relentlessly for.

    Major Gen. Lucas, who was chosen to command the assault was a poor choice, a man who probably was not up to the task. But both he and his superior, Fifth Army Commander Gen. Mark Clark, believed strongly that the enterprise was under-resourced by at least half with only two reinforced divisions, a limitation that could not be overcome due to a shortage of troops and landing craft. Clark nonetheless got on board, being a guy who liked to please Prime Ministers.

    So the Anzio attack should be seen as a brazen but foolhardy attempt to redeem an even larger fiasco (the Italian campaign) at the cost of thousands of soldiers lives. Yes, it's conceivable that Lucas could have moved rapidly toward Rome across the German line of communications, enabling a Fifth Army advance up the peninsula. But Kesselring's unexpectedly fast response in concentrating troops to oppose the landing and the difficulties of reinforcing and supplying Lucas led him to conclude, not unreasonably as the man on the spot, that moving inland would result only in the destruction of his own force.

    Eventually, Lucas was relieved and replaced by that general's fighting general, Lucian K. Truscott, Jr. The Anzio force was greatly enlarged to seven divisions and a breakout was achieved. Then, all that turned sour when Clark insisted that Truscott move on Rome (the better to beat the Brits there), rather than cut off and destroy the German 10th Army, which was able to fall back and continue to fight for many months at still higher cost in Allied blood.

    So what current analogy is there to a series of events in which a high political command demands an unwise extention of scarce resources in pursuit of wildly ambitious gains against unpredicatable but powerful opposing forces and then, in combination with its military chieftains, manages to forfeit tangible benefits in order to win a PR prize for the folks back home?