After increased violence and underwhelming turnout in recent elections in Afghanistan, Washington reporter Peter Baker's story in the Sunday Week in Review posed the predictable question, "Could Afghanistan Become Obama's Vietnam?"
Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review Online noted the banality of the headline: "A version of this question has been asked of every foreign intervention the U.S. has taken since the Vietnam War." But Baker's opener may have been more interesting than the author intended:
Yet what if they got the wrong predecessor? What if Mr. Obama is fated to be anotherLyndon B. Johnsoninstead?
Glorifying Obama before he took office? That's nothing: The Obama fans at the Times were comparing Obama to Lincoln and FDR before he won the Democratic Party's nomination.
After candidate Obama's March 2008 speech in Philadelphia, in which he tried to extricate himself from the controversy over the anti-Semitic, anti-American ravings of his long-time pastor Jeremiah Wright, a Times editorial compared the speech to both Lincoln and FDR, and threw in JFK to boot:
Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state.
It's no secret that the paper's liberal editorial board are "supporters" of Obama. But supposedly objective reporter Janny Scott also compared Obama to Lincoln in a story on Obama's speech on March 19,the same day the worshipful editorial appeared:
In a speech whose frankness about race many historians said could be likened only to speeches by PresidentsLyndon B. Johnson,John F. Kennedyand Abraham Lincoln, SenatorBarack Obama,speaking across the street from where the Constitution was written, traced the country's race problem back to not simply the country's "original sin of slavery" but the protections for it embedded in the Constitution.