William Faulkner  on Pickett’s Charge::
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two oclock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is stll time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago….
I have not the least doubt that had Faulkner been fourteen on that July afternoon, he too would stepped over the rail fence and into the guns.
From the Associated Press :
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue’s massive role in this election year.
Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program “This Week.”
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”
Alas two problems. One unlike George Pickett, Nancy Pelosi is not going to lead the charge. Pelosi is from a die hard San Francisco district, and her seat is not at risk. Further, unlike the soldiers in the divisions of Pickett, Pettigrew, and Trimble who put their cause above their personal security. Pelosi’s troops will not put their political careers ahead of Mrs. Pelosi’s ideology. I expect Mrs. Peloso to wave her bonnet. I don’t expect her would be troops to actually follow her.