11/07/2004

Daily Kos :: "Helmsman, bring her about!"

Daily Kos :: "Helmsman, bring her about!"

if you have a smaller and less-heavily armed ship, you use your own advantages of speed and maneuverability. You don't let the other captain corral you into a parallel crossfire situation where you really have no hope except luck because he outguns you.

And then you get into a position where you can clobber him, and he can't really touch you, and you let him have it.

Diaries :: bellatrys's diary ::

The way that this is done is by stragegically running away, or tacking across diagonally and sometimes looping around in a cloverleaf and waiting until you 'cross their T' by having your ship form the top of the T, and the other ship facing you nose or tail on, and then delivering your broadside all down the length of them while they only have one or two small cannons able to fire at you, the bow guns or sternchasers, and you wreak havoc in relative safety.

You may look like a coward to your enemy, a 'pussy' perhaps, running and hiding and ducking and weaving all about, instead of closing manfully and fighting it out mano a mano with parallel broadsides, but at the end of the engagement, it will be you whose ship is undamaged and him whose ship is dismasted and who is now a prisoner."

II. Running out the Guns

So what does all this ancient maritime history have to do with the RNC? No, I haven't gone over the edge of what dubious sanity I possessed.

I'm explaining why we're going to win.

The GOP, holding the greater firepower - that is to say, the incumbency and more wealth - is like a great ship of the line, a first-rate vessel with a hundred guns or more. Go up against them with a mere 54-guns, in "fair fight," broadside to broadside? If you've got a death-wish, bucko. Otherwise, you play them till you can cross their T.

Since firing a warning shot across their bows at the DNC, our lads have tacked about all night, keeping mostly out of range as they've fired at us, trying to hit our masts but not able to fix on us. This week - that's them hoving into range at last and letting loose with a broadside - only they've miscalculated, badly, because they're too far off for most of their shots to hit - and they didn't count on "Ironsides" oaken planking.

This was their high-point. They've fired off their big guns, they're letting loose with their 24-pounders tonight and then? Then they've got to reload, and meanwhile their shots have bounced off or fallen short (no one thinks that Bush II will give the Speech for the Ages tonight, really?)...

...and now it's our turn, the hatchcovers are coming off, time to swing about, run out the guns, and now that we know what they're capable of, now they've given us their best shot, - let them have it.

It takes nerves of steel to pull off the waiting game, not to give in to the urge to fire too soon, but to wait until the enemy's inertia carries them past you and time it so that you're ready to strike when they're most vulnerable. It takes extreme self-confidence, and confidence in your people, no less. It also takes a lot of experience.

So remind me--

How many times did Bush II win an election?

How many times has he campaigned successfully in a hostile environment?

And how many years has Kerry been elected in the unrespectful and unmerciful waters of Boston?

--O ye of little faith, here endeth the lesson.

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