VIETNAM REDUX….Are we really going to be forced to seriously debate George Bush’s Rambo-esque notion that we could have won in Vietnam if only we’d stuck it out a little longer? Let’s check out what’s happening on the left and the right.
On the right: the Weekly Standard has posted not one, not two, but three separate pieces — two by idiot savant David Gelernter — that have been hauled up from the archives. Verdict: you bet your ass we could have won in Vietnam.
National Review also has three pieces on the same theme, and Peter Rodman’s pretty clearly wins the Wingnut History award for the day. He’s not content merely to suggest that the United States could have won in Vietnam — a trope that’s common enough on the right — but claims that this is practically a “consensus” among military historians. That’s chutzpah! Move along boys, nothing left to argue about here.
And on the left? Nothing at the New Republic. Nothing at the Nation. Nothing at the American Prospect.
There are two possibilities here. The first, and happier one, is that lefties and the rest of the mainstream are simply going to ignore the frothing on the right and allow them to burble meaninglessly among themselves about this. The rest of us will decline the invitation to get distracted and instead spend our time on actual adult issues.
The second, less happy notion, is that the right is, as usual, merely reacting faster than the left. Liberals will respond, they’ll just do it several days or a week too late, thus not only looking lame, but actually extending the lifespan of this trumped up “controversy.”
All things considered — and I say this with some sadness — the left really needs to react. The president has spoken, after all. But if that’s the case, can’t we react a little faster? And wouldn’t it be nice if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama responded immediately with a serious speech taking on the president’s fantasies? Or am I just having fantasies of my own?