The Corner

Fights Fair and Unfair

I have a couple of follow-ups to Impromptus today. One item in that column concerns Ted Cruz, who’s about to enter the Senate. He was elected to the Senate on his first run for office — and not from Delaware, or from another small state, or from a sparsely populated one. From Texas, our second-most-populous state. A state teeming with ambitious, and veteran, politicians. Remarkable, absolutely remarkable.

I write, “I’d love to see a list of people whose first run for office landed them in the Senate. Almost all, I bet, had more advantages than Ted did (famous fathers, private fortunes, what have you).” I’ve since thought of a senator who was elected on his first run for office: Ron Johnson, the junior senator from Wisconsin. Two years ago, he was a businessman who was alarmed about the direction of our country — so alarmed, he threw his hat in the ring. And was elected to the Senate.

Okay, the second follow-up: In another item, I mention Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He visited our offices a couple of days ago. I quote him on a few things — and would now like to record this:

He says that, when it comes to the international scene and relative military strength, he doesn’t like a “fair fight.” A fair fight may be right and honorable in other departments of life. But American servicemen, ideally, will never face a fair fight: We should have overwhelming strength. We should strive to benefit from an unfair fight.

In fact, you could almost make up a slogan: “No Fair Fight.” That’s certainly what I believe. (Besides which, overwhelming strength acts as a deterrent — a deterrent to fighting in the first place.)

P.S. You recall General Patton, at least as played by George C. Scott: “Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

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