The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Start the War From Right Here’

Posted on | May 9, 2011 | 31 Comments

One of my favorite tales of World War II is the D-Day landing at Utah Beach. Everybody knows about the horrible carnage at Omaha Beach, but relatively few people know what went wrong at Utah Beach: Because of an unexpected cross-current offshore, the Fourth Infantry Division was landed more than a mile from its objectives.

The unit commanders on the beach checked their maps and were confused. German artillery was beginning to get the range on their position. Should they hike up the coast and try to capture their assigned objectives, despite having now lost the advantage of surprise?

One man on Utah Beach knew exactly what to do, and made the decision that changed everything.

“We’ll start the war from right here!” Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. proclaimed, ordering the troops to forget about the original plan and instead advance inland from where they were.

That story came to mind today when I read a Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader editorial about pundits trying to pick winners and losers — deciding who is “first tier” and who isn’t — in the GOP 2012 primary field. Then I thought about Teddy Jr. at Utah Beach when I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about the claim that Mitch Daniels in the man to beat and when I saw the ABC News story about GOP money sitting on the sidelines. And it came to mind again when I read Byron York’s Washington Examiner column about Republicans hoping for a “super-hero” candidate to swoop in and rescue them.

What’s all this “let’s-wait-and-see crap” about? Did we have a debate in South Carolina last week or not? And did we have a winner last week or not? Here’s Byron York:

And yet Republicans are fighting the idea, heard not just in the press but among some of their own colleagues, that a president in the mid-40s can’t be defeated. It doesn’t make sense to them. So they hope for some new way out of the problem.
The one candidate already in the field who is generating excitement as a genuinely new face is Herman Cain, the talk radio host and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. It’s not because Cain is young — at 65, he is the oldest candidate in the field, aside from Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich — but because he brings a businessman’s credibility to a race dominated by economic issues; has a gift for commonsense talk; and does it all with a little showmanship . . . After Thursday’s debate, when Frank Luntz conducted a focus group discussion for Fox News, Cain was the big winner.

But, but, but . . . I’ve heard all the objections, and I don’t care. I’m tired of people hesitating, waiting around for Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels or whoever their GOP “Dream Date” may be. Team Obama is talking about raising $1 billion — that’s $1,000,000,000.oo — to re-elect this disastrous president. We can’t sit around waiting and hoping. It’s time to get busy.

More than 300 people are expected to attend a Herman Cain fundraiser tonight in Milton, Ga., hosted by former UPS chairman Ron Wallace. That could easily raise in excess of a quarter-million dollars.

And you can go to and donate now.

C’mon, who’s with me? “We’ll start the war from right here!”

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! I saw a sudden spike in traffic and thought it was just because I got re-Tweeted by Alyssa Milano. (Seriously, her Twitter feed throws some heavy traffic.) Meanwhile, we are just two weeks from a key special election in New York’s 26th District.


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