Thomas Sowell

None of this says that the Republicans' leadership had a great track record prior to the most recent confrontations with the Democrats.

For that matter, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had a terrible track record in the years leading up to the desperate situation on the beaches at Dunkirk. But that was no reason to sacrifice troops who would be urgently needed for later battles, where the odds would be different.

There would not be a United States of America today if George Washington had followed the tactics being urged by people like Senator Ted Cruz and his supporters.

The army under General Washington was no match for the British army, in either military experience or firepower. The American army repeatedly had to withdraw, retreat and even flee to avoid being annihilated.

George Washington did not have to fight futile battles in order to prove his courage. He was already well known for being in the thick of battles, with bullets whistling around his head. But he had to wait for situations where he had the enemy at a disadvantage, and then strike.

When Washington made his celebrated crossing of the Delaware, he was headed for a dramatic victory, using soldiers he had saved for just such a moment. Wars are about winning, not futile symbolic gestures that leave you worse off. Politics must be the same, if you are serious about the issues.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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