The Corner

Talk About a Vietnam Syndrome

Will Marshall of the DLC’s Progressive Policy Institute has some sound advice for Democrats who — like  Nancy Pelosi and her majority-leader candidate, John Murtha — are flirting with the notion of a rapid withdrawal from Iraq:

There is a cautionary lesson for today’s Democrats in the early 1970s, when their party generally sided with the public in thinking that the Vietnam War was botched beyond repair and the United States needed to get out,” said [Marshall]. As a result of Democrats’ perceived excesses and close association with anti-war protests, he said, the party got a reputation for being averse to any use of force and too quick to blame America first for international problems.

That reputation put Democrats in the political doghouse for three decades,” Marshall said. “So I think those who are mindful of history will shy away from trying to take over Iraqi policy by, for instance, cutting off funding for the war. The fact is, you really can’t conduct U.S. foreign policy from the House of Representatives. It’s folly to even try.

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