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How a Certain Republican President Felt About US War Casualties

June 1st, 2007 · 1 Comment · History, Journalism, Media, Peace, Politics

NixonOver at This Modern World, Jonathan Schwarz quotes a line from The Final Days by WoodwardandBernstein, taken from the phone calls with Nixon that Kissinger secretly taped and transcribed:

During another call, Kissinger mentioned the number of American casualties in a major battle in Vietnam. “Oh, screw ‘em,” said Nixon.

And as Schwarz observes:

An interesting thing about this is that if it were about a Democratic president, it would be famous. Every schoolchild would learn about the hatred that Democrats secretly harbor in their hearts for our Brave Men In Uniform. In every presidential debate the Democrat would be asked how they could possibly convince the country they weren’t like their damnable predecessor. But since Nixon was a Republican, it’s dropped out of history entirely.

The double standard for Dems versus Repubs in this kind of thing is really infuriating.

John Kerry makes a joke about Bush being dumb enough to get us stuck in a desert war, and because it’s just possible (if you hate Kerry already) to misread his statement as a suggestion that the troops themselves are dumb — or deliberately twist it into that — all hell breaks loose for several weeks as Kerry is dipped three times in tar and rolled in enough feathers for a small pillow factory.

And I firmly believe that every single media pundit who fed that frenzy clearly understood that Kerry was talking about the president, not the troops. The idea that a decorated battle veteran would want to insult his fellow soldiers like that doesn’t pass the laugh test. But the media didn’t care. They had all that good tar that needed to be used.

But let a former Republican president — who, we were told at his funeral, was really a great guy who excelled at foreign policy — say “screw ’em” in reference to dead American soldiers, and you never hear about it.

As Cindy Sheehan could tell you, it’s not too hard to deduce from GWB’s actions that he doesn’t care any more about American casualties than Nixon did. (Let alone the more than half a million dead Iraqis.)

But that’s not a story, is it? Doesn’t fit the media’s narrative, which is that only Democrats are capable of disrespecting the troops. And of course, IOKIYAR.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Aaron

    Yes, once you’ve reached that gilded country club, you can eschew all that “morality” shit, except when the cameras are rolling…

    Richard Nixon. Jesus Christ, no wonder his wife smoked so much…