Let me say this about that, by George McGovern & why I stand by my vote for you in 4th grade

On Friday, April 13, Dick Cheney made a speech to the founders of the Heritage Foundation (preaching to the choice) that included uncomplimentary references to George McGovern’s politics. Here is the text of that speech.

Read McGovern’s response to what he feels are Cheney’s misplaced memories here in the LA Times. Good for him.

[spoiler alert]

I love a lot of what McGovern has written but here’s just one part:

…After winning 11 state primaries in a field of 16 contenders, I won the Democratic presidential nomination. I then lost the general election to President Nixon. Indeed, the entrenched incumbent president, with a campaign budget 10 times the size of mine, the power of the White House behind him and a highly negative and unethical campaign, defeated me overwhelmingly. But lest Cheney has forgotten, a few months after the election, investigations by the Senate and an impeachment proceeding in the House forced Nixon to become the only president in American history to resign the presidency in disgrace.

Who was the real loser of ’72?

And, in a great conclusion:

We, of course, already know that when Cheney endorses a war, he exempts himself from participation. On second thought, maybe it’s wise to keep Cheney off the battlefield — he might end up shooting his comrades rather than the enemy.

On a more serious note, instead of listening to the foolishness of the neoconservative ideologues, the Cheney-Bush team might better heed the words of a real conservative, Edmund Burke: “A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.”

I’d say shame on Cheney for using such rhetorical, conclusory brushstrokes, and wrong ones at that, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what shame is.

2 thoughts on “Let me say this about that, by George McGovern & why I stand by my vote for you in 4th grade

  1. Since you are anonymous, it’s a little hard to judge why being “just me” implies, but thanks for taking the time to write this thoughtful comment.I linked to the full text of Cheney’s speech so that yes, readers could read for themselves and decide if they think they way he uses his hit on McGovern is shameful, especially given what McGovern highlights in his response.But, like you, maybe that’s just me.

  2. I’d say shame on Cheney for using such rhetorical, conclusory brushstrokes, and wrong ones at that, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what shame is.From context and the title of the posting, I assume that the “rhetorical, conclusory brushstrokes” refer to comments about Senator McGovern. So that readers may judge for themselves, here is all that Vice President Cheney had to say about Senator McGovern in his speech:Thirty-five years ago, the standard-bearer for the Democrats, of course, was Senator George McGovern, who campaigned on a far-left platform of heavy taxation, a greatly expanded role for government in the daily lives of Americans, and a major retreat from America’s commitments in the Cold War. Senator McGovern was, and is, an honest and a straightforward man. He said what he believed and he told people where he stood. And on Election Day, Senator McGovern lost every state but one, and collected just over 3 percent of the electoral vote.That’s it. Of the four sentences, the second and third are complimentary to Mr. McGovern. The last is a statement of fact. That leaves the first sentence as contentious. It would appear that the “rhetorical, conclusory brushstrokes” really boil down to the first sentence’s characterization of the 1972 Democratic Party platform. Now, let’s look at the 1972 Democratic Party platform (here). While I think there’s evidence of a preference for heavy taxation and expanded government, the area of greatest relevance to Mr. Cheney’s speech is the assertion that the platform proposed “a major retreat from America’s commitments in the Cold War.”Here are some pertinent passages from the platform:The hollowness of “Vietnamization”–a delusive slogan seeming to offer cheap victory–has been exposed by the recent offensive. The Saigon Government, despite massive U.S. support, is still not viable. It is militarily ineffective, politically corrupt and economically near collapse. […]The majority of the Democratic Senators have called for full U.S. withdrawal by October 1, 1972. We support that position. If the war is not ended before the next Democratic Administration takes office, we pledge, as the first order of business, an immediate and complete withdrawal of all U.S. forces in Indo-China. All U.S. military action in Southeast Asia will cease. After the end of U.S. direct combat participation, military aid to the Saigon Government, and elsewhere in Indo-China, will be terminated.The U.S. will no longer seek to determine the political future of the nations of Indo-China. […]Disengagement from this terrible war will not be a “defeat” for America. It will not imply any weakness in America’s will or ability to protect its vital interests from attack.For any who would maintain that the Vietnam War had little to do with the Cold War, I would note that the war was largely a proxy for the conflict between the First World–primarily the U.S.–and the Second–primarily the Soviet Union and China. Would it be fair to characterize the intention to abandon Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to their fates (i.e., to Communist takeovers) as a “retreat from America’s commitments in the Cold War?” I would suggest that it would.The 1972 platform also advocated substantial reductions in the military budget, the reduction of U.S. troop levels in Europe, and a sharp reduction of military assistance throughout Latin America. Could these again be characterized as a “retreat from America’s commitments in the Cold War?” Quite possibly.Personally, I think that Mr. Cheney characterized the 1972 Democratic platform accurately, if a little broadly. I also don’t see why such “brushstrokes” about the 35-year-old platform of the opposition party are worthy of “shame,” but maybe that’s just me.

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