Skip to main content

In the early 70s, as it became clear to everyone that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, people started searching for ways to shift US policy while saving face. Senator George Aiken (D-VT) suggested that we declare victory and go home:

The United States could well declare unilaterally ... that we have 'won' in the sense that our armed forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is in a position to establish its authority over South Vietnam. [This] would herald the resumption of political warfare as the dominant theme in Vietnam.

It may be a far-fetched proposal, but nothing else has worked.

It's difficult for any Administration to abandon its signature policy and change direction, especially when that policy is an abject failure. So today I offer this recommendation to the Obama Administration: Declare Victory and Change Direction.

Here's how it would work.

Phase 1: We would declare that our policy of deficit reduction and fiscal austerity was a booming success. The deficit is under control! The budget is on path to being balanced! Government is smaller (and less effective)!

Phase 2: Now that we have won the war, it's time to pull out. In this case, change economic policy to attack the NEXT problem - unemployment. And we can do it with the full confidence that the deficit is under control! Gimme some of that stimulus now!

Of course, the argument is completely baseless and the facts are NOT on our side. That should not stop us ... It's not stopping the Republicans!

This is only somewhat tongue in cheek. I honestly don't know how an Administration wins reelection by making this argument: "Everything we've done so far has been too weak, or it was focused on the wrong problems. But it would have been much worse had someone else been elected. And if you give us another four years, we might get something a little right-er."

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site