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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."

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