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It's Time for Obama to Study Machiavelli and Learn to Fight

Mr. President, take it from an ex-Marine: 'There is no fair fight. There is only the fight you win, or the fight you lose.'

It may have come as a shock to my "Flower Power" generation, but human nature has changed very little since the beginning of recorded history. This is especially so when it comes to war and politics. That's why Tzu Sun's 6th-century text, The Art of War is still required reading for military brass, and why Niccolo Machiavelli's 14th-century leadership handbook, The Prince is as informative today to those who wish to govern as it was five centuries ago.

Now don't get me wrong. Both these guys were about as amoral as it gets. Neither was a fan of taking prisoners, either on the physical or political fields of battle. Still each man knew his enemies. They each understood something my Marine Corps drill instructor pounded into my head way back in 1965: "If you find yourself in a fight, remember this...there's no such thing as a fair fight. There's only the fight you win or the fight you lose."

I only mention this because I'd like to suggest that President Obama, who I assume has read The Prince at some point in his academic life, curl up with the book at Camp David for a brush-up. He's in the hole he's in right now because he violated some of Machiavelli's prime-est of prime directives.

Here, let me get Barry started on this review (Machiavelli—aka Mac the Knife—quotes are in italics):

"I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

So far, so good. That's exactly, nearly word for word, what Barack promised us during the campaign.

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

And again, spot on Big O. He's been telling us this for a year now, so we assumed he understood none of this would be easy -- which, as the old saying goes, also means, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.

Oops. Barry dropped that ball, hasn't he? Mac the Knife would never have missed the opportunity to strike when his enemy was at its weakest.

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

Oops #2. Obama tried to avoid going "to war" with Republicans and conservative Dems, thereby allowing them time to unbraid him and his health care reforms and financial reforms. As Mac warned, "Tardiness robs us of opportunity," And so it came to pass, advantage the enemy.

Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits.

Yeah, well, there we go. Obama had to know he was going to have to step on a lot of powerful and sensitive toes in order to get his health and fiscal reforms passed. And he should have gotten about it the second he took the oath of office. He should have leveraged his "a new broom sweeps clean," momentum to get the bloodshed over with. Instead he tarried, and now he's stuck doling out all that pain in drips and drabs -- like pulling off a bandage real slow instead of quickly. As a result he will be hated by more, for longer:

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