Forget Waterloo… This Was Obama’s Midway

The irrepressible Dennis the Peasant examines the results of Tuesday’s Massachusetts’ Senate election, and declares it more like Imperial Japan’s experience in the 1942 Battle of Midway, than the more common metaphor of Napoleon’s Waterloo.

The third and final type of failure is catastrophic failure, and it is also a complex failure. For catastrophic failure to occur, the failures of learning, anticipation and adaptation must all be present at the same time. As one would suspect, catastrophic failure is nearly always as wide in scope as it is irredeemable. A perfect example of catastrophic failure would be the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy at Midway in 1942. (See Parshall and Tully’s superb Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway for a detailed application of Cohen and Gooch’s methodology.)

Although Cohen and Gooch never suggest so, it seems obvious to me that their methodology has an obvious application in the analysis of political – as opposed to military– failure. Here’s my stab at just an analysis of the defeat of Obamacare in 2010.

This is one of those read the whole thing times.

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