Push finally came to shove in Washington this past week as the battle for health care escalated from scattered sniper fire into all-out combat. If it all seems to be getting more and more confusing, join the club. It's hard to see what's happening through all the gun smoke.
The Republicans have more than health care reform in their bombsights -- they want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees and restore GOP control of Congress after next year's elections.
In the words of Republican Senator Jim DeMint, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
The "Waterloo" of DeMint's metaphor, of course, is not the 1974 Abba hit but the battle in 1815 that ended Napoleon Bonaparte's rule as Emperor of France -- a humiliating defeat and a turning point in European history. Right-wingers like Glenn Beck see Obama as Napoleon incarnate, a popular emperor who must be stopped.
Here's what Beck said on his television show Monday, July 20: "I'm telling you, this guy is dangerous. He's never lost before. He won't understand ... like, 'Who are you to question me?' I mean, this guy is practically an imperial President now. When he starts to lose and people start to question him and push him back against the wall, he's not gonna know how to react."