Thursday, December 11, 2003

A useful analogy

There's a quote making the rounds the last couple of days (I just saw it posted on Dean Nation) that I think we should etch in our hearts. It comes from Gen. Sherman in response to criticism about the way Grant was executing the campaign against the South.

"Wilson, I'm a damned sight smarter man than Grant; I know more about organization, supply and administration and about everything else than he does; but I'll tell you where he beats me and where he beats the world. He don't give a damn for what the enemy does out of his sight but it scares me like hell. I'm more nervous than he is. I am much more likely to change my orders or to countermarch my command than he is. He uses such information as he has according to his best judgment; he issues his orders and does his level best to carry them out without much reference to what is going on about him...."

The Dean campaign succeeds because it doesn't suffer from the analysis-paralysis that has characterized the Democrats so much over the last few years. In fact, the Dems of today could be compared to Gen. McLellan. He had all the resources he needed to beat the South, but his hesitancy in the face of risky battles effectively stalled the Northern campaign for nearly a year and probably extended the Southern hope for victory even longer.

There comes a time when you have to stop theorizing and you just have to do. Now is the time.


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