The Plank

Bad Analogies

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It's fun, if predictable, when pundits make bad analogies between current political trends and historical circumstances. But White House stenographer Fred Barnes's book review in the new Weekly Standard sets a high (low?) water mark. The book under discussion is Jennifer Weber's history of slavery-friendly Northern Democrats who opposed Lincoln's war policy, known as Copperheads. Here's Barnes:

 

They undermined the war wherever they could. ... More broadly, the antiwar faction's vituperative opposition hurt the ability of the Union army to carry out the war effectively. ... The analogy with today is between the Copperheads and Democrats who oppose President Bush on Iraq and are critical of the war on terror.

Weber draws no analogy with Democrats today. She sticks to history. But I think the analogy is inescapable. ... And Democrats today have offered no real alternative, merely a seemingly irresistible impulse to retreat from Iraq.

 

A "seemingly irresistible impulse" to retreat from Iraq? Let's just say the Democrats who hold that position did not develop it in a vaccum. --Isaac Chotiner

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