Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Confusion to the French - and to Tom Delay

Tom “The Hammer” Delay has resigned! Huzzah! Huzzah! Confusion to the French!

Now, if that last seems a bit strange, it reflects my appreciation for the Hornblower novels of C. S. Forester and the Aubrey/Maturin novels of Patrick O’Brien. Much of the actions in both series takes place during wars between England and France. Both authors describe banquets involving military officers, both on land and at sea. Those banquets commonly end with stories and toasts given over wine and cheese, and one of the common toasts was, “Confusion to the French!” The point was that the French should experience bad communication and information, and uncertain leadership in battle and military campaigns; and that as a result the French should experience defeat, preferably at the hands of the British.

For some time now when I read the paper and observed setbacks for the militant social conservatives in this country, who were almost exclusively in the Republican Party, I would have a similar hope. I would hope that this would be a sign that their poor and uncompassionate leadership, and some significant corruption, was catching up with them. I would hope that this would result in better, more socially responsible, more compassionate leadership from both parties, and a rejection of policies of division of society and abandonment of the weakest among us. And so I would come out with the ancient toast as a sign of my hope.

Tom Delay has realized that the corruption that surrounded him will not wash over him, but will wash him away, especially if it is determined that he participated. Those who took him as a model of leadership, of governing by monopolizing power and manipulating policies and structures to suit their own ends, are seeing the consequences. The results are not yet what I would hope; but this is a significant step forward. I hope to see more. Confusion to the French!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes you find kindred spirits in obligue ways. I had searched "Confusion to the French" as it is a favorite quote I also like to use, but usually requires some explanation.

I too am a fan of the C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brien series. (Although I've been told that usually only men read these)!

Then to see a similarity in taste in hobbies, movies and port should not be surprising I suppose.

What does surprise me (a former Catholic) is your liberal views on politics and other issues. I would have thought to be at odds with your religous beliefs and work.

Thanks for demonstrating to cynics like me, that there are people who manage to reconcile their religious beliefs in a positive and liberal social construct.

Marshall Scott said...

Anon, come and stop by again. I don't think I'm unique. I find across the spectrum that progressive religious folk are all around. We just don't get as much air time.