Michele Bachmann Compares Tea Partiers to Doomed 'Light Brigade'

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at a "Code Red" rally against health care reform Tuesday in Washington, compared the Tea Party movement to a famous battle of the Crimean War, Talking Points Memo reports.

"It's the charge of the light brigade!" Bachmann shouted, referring to the brigade immortalized in Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The only problem is that the poem describes a disastrous, badly orchestrated charge by the British cavalry in the Battle of Balaclava. It became a symbol of loyalty and courage in the face of certain defeat, particularly after being described by Tennyson. The poem's ominous tone makes a lovely ode to fallen British soldiers, but is an unlikely battle cry for conservative protesters:

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred."