From last night’s Brit Hume panel on Fox News:
HUME: The Tet offensive . . . was very bloody, it lasted a while, it surprised and shocked a lot of Americans and while it turned out to have been an horrific defeat with massive casualties for the North Vietnamese, it was — it is now widely regarded and was determined as the turning point that drove Johnson from power and America out of Vietnam . . .
Well, a lot of people have been comparing Iraq to Vietnam for a long time, but not the president. So was it surprising or not surprising to hear him say what he said?
MORT KONDRACKE, ROLL CALL: No, I don’t think so because he — the context in which he said it was that the enemy is trying to use high casualties and bad press as a means of forcing us to leave, which is the equivalent. . . . and you know, the Tom Friedman column the — which triggered all of this, comparing it to Tet implies rather strongly that the enemy has decided to mount this the increase in infliction of casualties on our side in order to help the Democrats.
Now, that ought to be something that a skillful press operation, if it were capable, to turn back against the democrats, somehow . . .
BARNES: And Walter Cronkite — remember Walter Cronkite was there at the time or afterwards and said America can’t win or something to that effect and that became the prevailing view in elite opinion. We haven’t reached that in the United States yet, but I think we’re getting there . . .
HUME: . . .if the Republicans take a bath in the elections because of this — where are they going to stand on this war between now and the next time they’re up? And what will anybody running for president in 2008 on either party have as a position on this war?
BARNES: . . . I can’t see the next president, if the war is where it is roughly today or not won anyway, inheriting that war and following Bush’s policy of staying the course . . .
HUME: Do we now face a landscape which is legitimately akin to the landscape of 1994 in which the Republicans swept the Democrats out of the House of Representatives for the first time in four decades?
MARA LIASSON: . . . Republican incumbents [who] could very well lose the House — were put on notice early. The wave didn’t surprise them the way it did the Democrats in 1994, so they’ve had a lot of time to do what they need to do. But still, very similar . . .
BARNES: I think the Republicans will hold the Senate. You know, you hear that George Allen’s starting to pull ahead, I think probably for good in Virginia and that’s a seat Democrats, I think, need if they’re going take over the Senate.