The Corner

Know Your Enemy

In the NYT story about the House’s failure to extend permanent normal trade relations to Vietnam (under special rules, a two-thirds vote was required), reporter Steven Weisman writes:

It is not clear whether the preliminary defeat was spurred by anti-trade sentiment or lingering sentiment against Vietnam, which many conservatives still regard as an enemy three decades after the end of a war in which tens of thousands of Americans died.

I know a lot of conservatives who are critical of Vietnam’s human-rights abuses and its command-and-control economy, but I don’t know any who “still regard it as an enemy.” And if you look at the actual roll call of the vote, most of the House conservatives who aren’t also protectionists–Hensarling, Pence, Shadegg, Ryan, etc.–voted in favor of the bill. What’s more, whereas two-thirds of Republicans supported the measure, a majority of Democrats opposed it.

So what we have here is a pretty sweeping statement about how conservatives view the world, but one that isn’t backed up at all in the article and which appears to be factually wrong when you look at the vote.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


The Latest