Monday, April 05, 2010
Who done it?
Over at FrumForum, what we'd call a moderate Republican has penned How the GOP Purged Me
Of interest are two excerpts. First this:
I voted for Nixon and for Reagan. ... I voted for Clinton, twice. I thought he was the best Republican president since Ike. No, I did not make a mistake. Bill Clinton was closer ideologically to Eisenhower and Nixon than Bush I and II could ever be. I thought that Clinton practiced and articulated true Republican ideology in his fiscal discipline, job creation, smart tax cuts, and foreign policy better than anyone since Ike.
I agree, which makes me wonder why so many Democrats were, and remain, thrilled by Bill Clinton.
Then there's this:
Then something happened in the 1990s. The leaders of the GOP grew belligerent. They became too religious, almost zealots. They became intolerant. They began searching for purity in Republican thought and doctrine. Ideology blinded them. I continued to vote Republican, but with a certain unease. Deep down I knew that a schism happened between the modern Republican Party and the one I grew up with. During the fight over the impeachment of President Clinton, the ugly face of the Republican Party was brought to the surface. Empty rhetoric, ideological intolerance, vengeance, and religious zealotry became the common currency.
That development is something I associate with Newt Gingrich and his takeover of the Republican party. Gingrich really did start the move to eliminate moderates from within the Republican party.
And, of course, during the same time period, the Democratic Party scrambled to the right. So today's Democrats are actually to the RIGHT of Nixon on almost all policy matters. In fact, most Democrats are to the right of Reagan. Coupled with the complete lack of spine and the fact that Democrats are today repulsed by their own supporters, it's a wonder the party even exists.
"Then something happened in the 1990s. The leaders of the GOP grew belligerent."
The 1990s? Has this clown ever heard of Spiro Agnew? He described his opponents as "pusillanimous pussyfooters," "nattering nabobs of negativism," "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history" and "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals." The belligerence began long before Gingrich and the GOPAC memo, long before Lee Atwater. The Kent State killings in 1970 provoked this reaction from the sitting governor of California: "If it's going to take a bloodbath to straighten this country out, so be it." The governor, of course, was Ronald Reagan. Nixon divided the nation's youth into "bums" and "heroes." William F. Buckley, one of the heroes of Chris Currey's youth, was a racist of the first order during the civil rights era. Currey's a blind, ignorant fool if he actually believes the GOP only turned ugly beginning in the 1990s. They've always been ugly. They're just following their natural progression by getting even uglier as time passes. It's no coincidence that the Teabaggers rose to the surface after the election of an African-American to the presidency. It's a movement based primarily on racism. There's a black man in the White House, and they can't do thing one about it, except whine and moan about "taking their country back." Yeah, back to the 1950s, when them troublemaking Negroes knew their place.
Spiro Agnew's speechwriters were William Safire and Pat Buchanan. They were responsible for those memorable phrases. Reportedly, Spiro asked for the consonance.