Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You Your Moron 

David Brooks today tries to rewrite history, as conservatives are wont to do. Talking about how the dovish faction of the Democratic Party was wrong about Vietnam (this old saw again? Oh yes), he writes:
But most Democrats--and John Kerry was very much a part of this group--saw Vietnam as a refutation of the cold war mentality. These liberals saw the bungling and the lies as symptoms of a deep sickness in the military-industrial complex. So we got movies like "Dr. Strangelove" and "M*A*S*H," which treated military life as insane.
Remember how Al Gore got in trouble by joking about singing union songs at bedtime as a child, but then it came out that the particular song he mentioned wasn't written until the 1970s, and therefore he was a "serial exaggerator?" Well, Mr. Brooks, Dr. Strangelove was made in 1964. Given, M*A*S*H was made in 1970, but it clearly has roots as strong in Catch-22, originally published in 1961, as in Vietnam. I know that we first put troops in SE Asia in the 1950s, but in 1964, I'm pretty sure that the Democratic Party was still pretty unified behind the Kennedy/Johnson plan. Now, Mr. Brooks and his neo-con friends have learned that of the 1960s battles, it's more politically palatable to fight Vietnam all over again that that other seminal battle that some of the morNeanderthalal of his GOP compatriots would like to refight, but that doesn't make it right. And if you're going to do so, get your pop-culture-as-symbolism right, at least from a chronological perspective. Use, maybe Easy Rider or something.

Oh, and he also writes:
Jimmy Carter talked about root causes like hunger and poverty
How dare he! Hunger and poverty? Shut up and bomb someone!
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