Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 5, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THEN AND NOW....Hugh Hewitt apparently thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is silly. It is only the sober, rock jawed, clear-eyed realists like himself who have a direct pipeline to the realities of the dangerous world we live in.

That's what conservative hawks always think, of course. Here's what Richard Nixon had to say during the 1952 election:

He accused Secretary of State Dean Acheson of suffering from "color blindness, a form of pink eye toward the communist threat in United States." He said Democratic presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson got a "PhD from Dean Acheson's College of Cowardly Communist Containment," and in language that was bitterly resented by President Harry S. Truman, Nixon said that Truman, Acheson and Stevenson were "traitors to the high principles in which many of the nation's Democrats believe."

Sound familiar? Today, of course, even conservatives recognize that Truman was actually a staunch anti-communist and that containment was exactly the right strategy. In other words, the superhawks were dead wrong.

But they were too blinkered to understand that at the time, so why take them seriously when they repeat exactly the same tedious charges against today's Democrats? The fact is that conservative superhawks have spent decades accusing liberals of not taking foreign enemies seriously enough, with only the name of the enemy changing during that time. It's a kindergarten view of the world that was wrong 50 years ago and is equally wrong today.

I'm afraid an accusation of "You're silly" from the superhawk crowd is hardly something to be taken seriously among adults especially given its spotty past. Hugh is going to have to do better than that if he wants to graduate from the wading pool.

Kevin Drum 5:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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