Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What's New from the Dems? 

Nothing, as far as I can tell.

If you listen to what they're saying (if you can stand to), there's little material difference between what the Dems talking points are now and what they were pushing back in the late 1960s and early 70s. With one exception, perhaps. This is from the 1968 Dem platform, on Vietnam: "We reject as unacceptable a unilateral withdrawal of our forces which would allow that aggression and subversion to succeed." Congresspersons Murtha and Pelosi certainly wouldn't abide by that nowadays.

But three paragraphs later, there's this:
"Bombing: Stop all bombing of North Vietnam when this action would not endanger the lives of our troops in the field; this action should take into account the response form Hanoi.

Troop Withdrawal: Negotiate with Hanoi an immediate end or limitation of hostilities and the withdrawal from South Vietnam of all foreign forces—both United States and allied forces, and forces infiltrated from North Vietnam.

Election of Postwar Government: Encourage all parties and interests to agree that the choice of the postwar government of South Vietnam should be determined by fair and safeguarded elections, open to all major political factions and parties prepared to accept peaceful political processes. We would favor an effective international presence to facilitate the transition from war to peace and to assure the protection of minorities against reprisal."

History shows which part of the platform actually meant anything.

I'm concerned that the Dems may take back the House, but the thought brings back a one-liner joke that was going around in the fall of 1965:
"Just think, if Goldwater had been elected, we'd be bombing North Vietnam right now."
(Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing campaign against North Vietnam, began in March 1965, about a month after President Johnson told his national security advisors, "I've had enough of this." (From The History Place - Vietnam War1965 - 1968).

Trouble is, I don't see any Dem today who's anywhere near as strong a leader as LBJ was.

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