Party Like It's 1964

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sargon20, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. sargon20

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    Excellent article follows:

    [SIZE=+2]Party Like It's 1964[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]By Richard Cohen
    Tuesday, October 21, 2008; A17
    [/SIZE]
    A column, like a good movie, should have an arc -- start here, end there and somehow connect the two points. So this column will begin with the speech Condi Rice made to the Republican National Convention in 2000 in praise of George W. Bush and end with Colin Powell's appearance Sunday on "Meet the Press" in praise of Barack Obama. Between the first and the second lie the ruins of the GOP, a party gone very, very wrong.

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Bush and now John McCain have constructed a mean, grumpy, exclusive, narrow-minded and altogether retrograde Republican Party. It has the sharp scent of the old Barry Goldwater GOP -- the angry one of 1964 and not the one perfumed by nostalgia -- that is home, by design or mere dumb luck, to those who think that Obama is "The Madrassian Candidate." Karl Rove, take a bow.

    It is worth remembering that both Rice and Powell spoke at that Philadelphia convention. And it is worth recalling, too, that Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" and had compiled a record as Texas governor to warrant the hope, if not the belief, that he was indeed a different sort of Republican. When he ran for reelection as governor in 1998, he went from 15 percent of the black vote to 27 percent, and from 28 percent of the Hispanic vote to an astounding 49 percent. Here was a coalition-builder of considerable achievement.

    Now, all this is rubble. It is not merely that Barack Obama was always going to garner the vast majority of the black vote. It is also that the GOP, under Rove and his disciples in the McCain campaign, has not only driven out ethnic and racial minorities but a vast bloc of voters who, quite bluntly, want nothing to do with Sarah Palin. For moderates everywhere, she remains the single best reason to vote against McCain.

    But the GOP's tropism toward its furiously angry base, its tolerance and currying of anti-immigrant sentiment, its flattering of the ignorant on matters of undisputed scientific consensus -- evolution, for instance -- and, from the mouth of Palin, its celebration of drab provincialism, have sharpened the division between red and blue. Red is the color of yesterday.

    Ah, I know, the blues are not all virtuous. They are supine before self-serving unions, particularly in education, and they are knee-jerk opponents of offshore drilling, mostly, it seems, because they don't like Big Oil. They cannot face the challenge of the Third World within us -- the ghetto with its appalling social and cultural ills -- lest realism be called racism. Sometimes, too, they seem to criticize American foreign policy simply because it is American.

    Still, a Democrat can remain a Democrat -- or at least vote as one -- without compromising basic intellectual or cultural values. That, though, is not what Colin Powell was saying Sunday about his own party. "I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years," Powell said. "It has moved more to the right than I would like." He cited McCain's harping on that "washed-out terrorist" Bill Ayers as an effort to exploit fears that Obama is a Muslim (so what if he were? Powell rightly asked) and mentioned how Palin's presence on the ticket raised grave questions about McCain's judgment. In effect -- and at least for the time being -- Powell was out of the GOP. S'long, guys.

    Those of us who traveled with Bush in the 2000 campaign could tell that when he spoke of education, of the "soft bigotry of low expectations," he meant it. Education, along with racial and ethnic reconciliation, was going to be his legacy. Then came Sept. 11, Afghanistan and finally the misbegotten war in Iraq. After that, nothing else really mattered. But just as Bush could not manage the wars, he could not manage his own party. His legacy is not merely in tatters. It does not even exist.

    In the end, Powell was determined not to be one of the GOP's useful idiots. Those moderates willing to overlook the choice of Palin, those capable of staying in a party where, soon enough, she could be an important or dominant force, retain the intellectual nimbleness that enabled them to persist in championing a war fought for duplicitous reasons and extol cultural values they do not for a minute share. Powell walked away from that, and others will follow -- the second time that a senator from Arizona has led the GOP into the political wilderness.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/20/AR2008102002292.html
     
  2. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Sargon, you earned an A+ as an intern for the WaPo. You will get out of the mailroom soon.
     
  3. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Hey, I'm just happy someone's posting material from a remotely credible source...
     
  4. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    You are happy somebody is posting from a liberal source. That's the only credible source on this forum.
     
  5. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Wrong. You know nothing about my background or political stance, but nice try. :smile:

    I think the moderates in the Republican party really need to stand up. As the years pass, I find myself more and more out of line with their ideology--it seems impossible that this was the party of my grandparents and parents generation. I was brought up to believe they were the most shrewd and discerning group of intellectuals around, that protected home first and weren't afraid of noninterventionist policy--and now it is reduced to populism, cries of elitism, saving the world, and regularly invoking the will of God or Jesus in political discourse. Fuck, what happened? :confused:
     
  6. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Ahhh, I think I have an idea about your political stance.
     
  7. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Really? Well, I would not want to take Sargon's thread off topic, but feel free to put forth a theory at any time.
     
  8. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I'm not sure anyone needs to theorize your political convictions. Your posts and offerings have demonstrated, without a doubt, where your loyalties lie.

    Chocko, I'm not demeaning or berating your thoughts. :smile: But its obvious where your support is.
     
  9. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    No worries, I do not feel that you are attacking me.
    You state they are obvious and known to you, so listing them shouldn't be an issue, no? :)

    Eta: But you only have three minutes, haha. I'm going out.
     
  10. stratedude

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    I'll tell you what happened...
    The world has changed and YOU changed with it. The Republican Party hasn't changed one bit since Reagan ran (and maybe further back).

    What I am trying to figure out what happened to the Democratic Party. How can a dem today stand up and say "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" and not get booed out of the place. That quote is the essence of today's conservative ideology. In fact, during the cold war any of these communist policies that Obama is pushing would be shocking to Americans. Your talking about an America that responded to communism by putting "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Right or wrong, that was the way things were and they have change dramatically.
     
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