GOP Misremembering the lessons of 1968

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4 comments posted
Absolutely!

I keep hearing about McCarthy Democrats, as if they carried the banner. But Gene did not win the nomination, Hubert Humphrey did. And lost.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 20 August 2006 - 11:53am
GOP's Iraqification

Indeed. Humphrey proved to be the pro-war candidate and he lost. The GOP is misreading the events of 1968.

The dark side of this is that while Vietnam was needless and tragic, pulling out of Vietnam did not cost the national a great deal, except for its ego. The Middle East, on the other hand, is far worse. The fact that so much petroleum flows from the Middle East changes this equation drastically.

The end-game in Vietnam was pretty clear. The North would take over the South once the United States pulled out. The outcome of an American pullout from Iraq is less clear. A unification on Iraq is by no means a done deal if the Americans pull out. The continued future of Iraq is in question. The result of a pullout might be similar to what we saw in the Balkans at the end of the last century. Without a strong man (Tito or Saddam) the relatively artificial creation (Iraq) simply disappears ... or rather, its pieces are up for grabs.

The GOP claims the Democrats and others are offering a policy of cut-and-run, but the GOP has forgotten the story of the "Tar Baby" from Brer Rabbit. The GOP tries to say it is noble and brave and strong and right, when in actually it's stuck to the Tar Baby and does not know how to let go -- the more it fights, the more entangle it becomes.

One of the best things that might have happened to John Kerry was to NOT win the 2004 election. But it should be cold comfort to us all, for this misadventure into the Middle East has consequences that are beyond our seeing, even if we stay ... and that's the most frightening part of all.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 20 August 2006 - 12:39pm
On the other hand
One of the best things that might have happened to John Kerry was to NOT win the 2004 election.

On the other hand, consider how much better off we'd be had Al Gore won (or been allowed to take office after the election he won) in 2000.

No Bush-league Iraq war.

Real focus on al-Qaeda.

Real focus on Afghanistan.

Someone to veto the Republican Congress's profligate spending.

Oh, and some saner energy policies.

But we cannot play what-if, alas. Bush & Co. made a mess of things, and we and our children and our children's children get to clean it up, long after Bush and Cheney are gone in comfortable retirement.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 20 August 2006 - 12:48pm
Deck chairs on the Titanic

I agree with mediagirl, that things might have gone better. My fear is that with the United States in so deep, that once we extricate ourselves, the United States will have been weakened far more than we know.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 20 August 2006 - 12:56pm