I’ve argued that we face a long Iraq hangover much as we suffered a long Vietnam hangover. In both cases, we attempted guns and butter . . . the butter during Vietnam being our attempts to aid the poor; the butter this time being our attempts to aid the rich. For those interested in divining parallels, here is a piece I wrote in the early stages of the post-Vietnam hangover, 33 years ago (I was six). One difference: we’re in a weaker position now. The debt on our balance sheet, in proportion to our economy, is more than twice what it was then. But another difference: for all President Ford’s decency, he was no Barack Obama. Leadership matters.

 

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