<b>Reporter:</b> The Republicans have been calling Obamacare "a massive failure" and there are calls to immediately remove it. If they schedule it, the Democrats don't have the votes to stop them. Mr. President, your response?<p/><b>Obama:</b> <p/><b>Obama:</b> <p/><b>Obama:</b> <p/><b>Obama:</b> but they don't HAVE a plan, they just hate MINE.<p/></p>
Republican soldiers at the Battle of the Ebro, 1938
The Battle of the Ebro was a major military engagement between the forces of the Second Spanish Republic and Francisco Franco’s Nationalist revolutionaries during the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939). The battle, which took place from July to November 1938 and saw the largest concentration of infantry, vehicles and aircraft in any one place during the war, was fought along the bottom of the River Ebro. It was a desperate attempt by the ailing Republic to repel the advance of the Nationalists, who had by this point taken control of the West of Spain and were headed for Valencia, the Republic’s capital. Although the Republican forces had plenty of manpower, including foreign volunteers from the International Brigades, they lacked air support and were poorly-equipped compared to the Nationalists, who had hundreds of aircraft and tanks at their disposal, as well as almost 100,000 men.
The battle ended in disaster for the Republic, who suffered devastating casualties and failed to complete their objective. The Nationalist advance continued unhindered, and the battle had only served to weaken the Republic further. It was very much the death knell of the Second Spanish Republic; Franco would emerge victorious by less than a year, and would rule Spain under a totalitarian fascist government until 1975.
“The victorious cause pleased the gods, but the vanquished (pleased) Cato.”
- Lucan, Pharsalia, I.128
The Roman poet Lucan, writing about the civil war between Julius Caesar and the Roman Senate (49-45 BC) in his epic poem on the subject, expresses his sentiments on the subject.
Cato the Younger (95-46 BC) was a prominent Roman statesman and aristocrat in the late Roman Republic, known for his stubbornness, personal integrity, and spartan lifestyle. He assisted Cicero in opposing the Catilinian Conspiracy in 63 BC, and was also a firm opponent of the First Triumvirate of Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Licinius Crassus.
After the defeat of the Republican forces at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, Cato and Metellus Scipio escaped to Utica, in modern-day Tunisia, with fifteen cohorts, to continue the fight against Caesar. Hearing of the defeat of Metellus Scipio at the Battle of Thapsus, Cato committed suicide rather than allow Caesar to capture or pardon him. Plutarch records that when a doctor found him and attempted to save his life, Cato pushed him away.
If you’re as heavily invested in politics as I am (and I have a feeling you are), you also tend to spend a lot of time fixating on what’s happening in Washington. But in recent years, perpetual gridlock has kept Congress from even functioning properly, let alone taking innovative steps to rebuild our middle class.
In the meantime, the true battleground for the heart and soul of our country has shifted to the states, where we now face an uphill battle. Republicans – with the help of a massive, well-funded network of corporate-backed, radical right-wing organizations – have staged an unprecedented coup of state legislatures.
Right now, the GOP controls 68 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers, more than they have in the history of their party. And they’re using that power to pass unpopular legislation that actively undermines the ability of middle-class families to make ends meet.
Democrats need to make a concerted effort to win in 2016 – and that’s where Democracy for America comes in. Since 2004, DFA has been focused on making the 50 State Strategy a reality, supporting Democratic candidates in every state running for every level of office. We have successfully helped elect 831 DFA-endorsed candidates running for everything from the local school board to the U.S. Senate – and we are setting ambitious goals again for the 2016 electoral cycle.
DFA wants to train and empower 25,000 volunteers by 2016 – the kind of grassroots army that could tip the balance for Democrats in hundreds of close elections nationwide. Will you help us make that goal a reality by chipping in $3 or more a month from now until Election Day?
It could get much worse if we don’t fight back now.
In 2020, voters will elect state lawmakers who will be responsible for redrawing districts all over the country – a fundamental driver of who will control Congress and state legislatures for the next decade.
That’s why we cannot let Republicans continue to out-organize us on the state level. Not only are we losing important policy battles that are moving these states backwards, but we are also missing out on the opportunity to build the bench of future leaders necessary if we are going to grow our power in Washington in the years to come.
Through the Purple to Blue Project, DFA is intentionally working to counteract the Republican takeover of state legislatures by identifying winnable states and pro-actively recruiting and endorsing candidates in those states who can help to tip the balance. In 2015, we’re working with candidates on the ground in places like New York, New Hampshire and Virginia to run winning campaigns and build progressive power – and we will expand the program again to include more states in 2016.
It’s no longer enough for Democrats to sit back and complain about Republican dominance in the states. It is time for us to take action – and I am proud to say that DFA is and will continue to be a trailblazer when it comes to implementing the 50 State Strategy.
A transgender North Carolina resident and the University of North Carolina College Republicans are currently battling it out over an alleged conversation that took place between the two parties when the student approached the group to organize to repeal the state’s recently passed anti-trans law, House Bill 2. The student posted screenshots of the alleged conversation on Reddit,but the GOP club is disputing their authenticity.