Romney and Dolchstosslegende

Steven Benen notes that Mitt Romney’s justification for dropping out was that we are at war and if he didn’t drop out, he would continue to fracture the GOP, allowing the Democrats to win, and subsequently, the terrorists. Here’s Mitt Romney earlier today, quitting the race:

“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

Benen writes:

In other words, Romney argued, with a straight face, that if he didn’t drop out, the terrorists win. And since he loves America, he can’t let that happen.

This gets directly to the narrative that we are already seeing from John McCain and will no doubt become the overarching theme embraced by the GOP in attacking our candidates and eventual nominee. “Democrats will surrender. Democrats will let the terrorists win. Democrats will stab the troops in the back.”

Dave Neiwert had a post up yesterday delving deep into the use of “Dolchstosslegende” by the right. It’s instructive given that Romney’s speech is probably a pretty close approximation to what we can expect to continue to see it coming from Republican candidates and pundits in attacking Democrats. They’ve been using this language extensively already and it’s only going to get worse and come from larger microphones afforded by the Presidential campaign, namely John McCain and his surrogates.


Right after hitting post, I see that Neiwert actually identified the same thing here as Benen and I, while agreeing that “Democrats had better brace themselves for a lot more of this.” Give Neiwert’s post a read.

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