The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson is a poem that honors the soldiers led in a misdirected cavalry charge because of a miscommunication. For me the poem brings out the folly of following orders without question as well as the tragedy and waste of war. The general, the Earl of Cardigan, who led the charge survived. With 118 of his men killed and 127 wounded, Cardigan didn't bother to find out what happened to those who survived. He left the field and returned to his yacht in the harbor.
Shamelessly stolen from Talking Points Memo.
With that in mind, I'm certain Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has no clue about her reference to The Charge of the Light Brigade. And from the cheers, I believe the crowd is also unaware that the brigade was senselessly led by a general who did not care what happened to those who followed him. The unnecessary sacrifice prompted French Marshal Pierre Bosquet to note, "It is magnificent, but it is not war. It is madness."