Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Cause And Effect 101 With Mark Shields

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 23, 2007


(Stolen from

In his latest column “Who Lost Iraq?“, Mark Shields, the great dispenser of what passes for Beltway Media Liberalism in this day and age, states the following:

Still, the high political stakes of the continuing debate over funding the war in Iraq were starkly put by Republican Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri: “If we pass legislation that loses the war, then the people who vote to pass the legislation that ends the war are going to own it. That failure will be their (read, Democrats’) failure.”

Remember Vietnam and the electoral price paid by Democrats who led the national effort — with increasing public support — to get U.S. troops out of that long war in Southeast Asia? Democrats, who have held the White House only 12 years since the tumultuous antiwar campaign of 1968, remember painfully that, following the fall of Saigon, tough-talking Republicans prospered at the polls by pointing fingers at antiwar Democrats for the “loss ” of Vietnam.


Democrats actually did well in 1974, the year they defunded the war: They picked up 49 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate. If that’s paying an electoral price, it’s one I’m sure they’d love to pay again in 2008. Granted, they had the fall of Nixon via Watergate to help them out, but it was their own decision to push the hearings and impeachment process that made this possible.

Ah, you say, but Saigon fell in 1975! Yeah, and guess what? The Democrats won the White House, picked up a seat in the House and kept the same number of seats overall in the Senate. The crummy economy under Ford and his pardon of Nixon were enough to convince most Americans to vote for Carter despite his many gaffes — or what the press reported as ‘gaffes’. If Republicans ever really “prospered at the polls” because of the Democrats’ moving to end the Vietnam War, there sure doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this, at least not in 1974 or 1976.


2 Responses to “Cause And Effect 101 With Mark Shields”

  1. […] yet, a legend has grown up that the Democrats were made to pay at the ballot box over ending the Vietnam War, even though the […]

  2. […] If somebody as smart and otherwise well-informed as LBJ (and remember, LBJ gave us the Great Society, expanded on Roosevelt’s New Deal, and fought the Dixiecrats in his own party to promote civil rights, among other things) could honestly believe that “if you start running from the Communists, they may just chase you right into your own kitchen” (to be fair, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, he had some justification for thinking that), is it any surprise that anyone, even a congressmember might think — especially with the media Wurlitzer’s constant repeatings thereof — that Vietnam vets were routinely spat upon (turns out that they weren’t, but few people know that), or that ending the Vietnam War really hurt Democrats politically (a belief for which the actual evidence is slim at best)? […]

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