Skip to comments.Romney as Nixon? 2012 Carries Unsettling Echoes for GOP
Posted on 12/21/2011 7:40:12 PM PST by neverdem
Throughout this seemingly endless election season, analysts have thrown out a variety of historical analogies to help explain the current race. Some have suggested that this election is like 1948's (the one postwar example we have of a president winning re-election amid a sluggish economy), while others have looked to 1980, where a strong conservative defied the oddsmakers' bets and defeated an incumbent the country perceived as hyper-liberal.
One year that has received scant attention is 1968. Michael Barone recently suggested this parallel -- in the context of the Occupy Wall Street protests -- during a panel discussion we both participated in. The OWS protests have since died down, and werent widespread enough to engender the same type of silent majority backlash that the counterculture protests of the late 60s did. But I do think there are a few parallels between 1968 and today, which evoke Ghosts of Elections Past, Present and Future.
The first parallel between the two elections is the presence of a GOP front-runner who has no clear political compass. Like Mitt Romney today, no one really knew what to make of Richard Nixon in 1968. In the 1940s and early 1950s he was known for his hard-charging anti-communism. Dwight Eisenhower had added Nixon to the Republican ticket in 1952 in large part for precisely this reason: to help placate the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, which was furious with Eisenhower for defeating their favored candidate, Robert Taft.
By 1960, Nixon had shifted toward the moderate, establishment Tom Dewey wing of the GOP. It reached a point where we can aptly describe the 1960 election as a sort of Seinfeld election: It was an election about nothing. Nixon and Kennedy agreed on most issues, and Kennedy was actually to the right of Nixon...
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
The title is from the regular webpage.
Proposed the Earned Income Tax Credit. He wasn't around to sign it into law, Gerald Ford did that.
Even so; Romney is Nixon’s toupe.
More doublespeak from our betters. Another euphemism for welfare.
IMO, a lot of our current problems would not exist were it not for the labels designed to mask the true nature of laws, programs and various government actions.
Everyone is free to add to this list also. See how long we can make it.
Nixon was for government run health-care.
Good article. I do *somewhat* disagree with this line, though:
“while others have looked to 1980, where a strong conservative defied the oddsmakers’ bets and defeated an incumbent the country perceived as hyper-liberal.”
I think the “hyper-liberal” perception applied more to Carter’s VP Mondale in 1984 than Carter himself in 1980. For most people in 1980, it wasn’t about Carter being seen as a liberal, but being indecisive, ineffective, and pretty much clueless on how to lead or govern. Also, his challenge from within the party came not from the southern/moderate wing (which still existed back then, to some extent), but from Ted Kennedy, the poster child for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. He wasn’t liberal enough for some in the base.
Nixon did govern to the left of Bill Clinton.
But...Consider the context of the times.
And...Nixon was a very good (better than average) President.
And let’s not forget his legacy.
Rumsfeld, and Cheney.
Raegarding the Court, Nixon put the Minnesota twins on the Court, and one of them, Haryr Blackmun, produced the worst majority opinion since Dred Scot in the case of Roe. v. Wade. Nixon produced almost no conservative outcomes, not even in Viet Nam.
Nixon was a Big Government Republican too.
The Controlled Substance Act.
Thanks for the link.
Tom Wicker, NY Times liberal, wrote this book after Nixon was safely out of office. Wicker's argument that Nixon was a liberal has to be definitive.
Nixon won because George W. Romney was “brainwashed,” and then Nixon put Romney at HUD. Nelson Rockefeller couldn’t make up his mind whether to run and got in too late, as did Ronald W. Reagan. So Nixon was the one that year; the Repubican primary voters continually shoot themselves in the foot. What makes one think 2012 will be any different?
Mr. Nixon was our failure, we knew it, but we took him in the words of Daniel Webster “drugged as he was.” Our little Republican primary voters really have a bad track record, don’t they? All they know is whose “turn it is.”
When the people take over, they don’t produce candidates any better than the party bosses. Lest we forget, Lincoln was nominated through a bunch of tricks by his friends, and won because the convention was held on his home grounds. I must say that between letting the elites choose and the people choose, the bosses are a happy compromise. They picked Harding, but they also picked Coolidge. Coolidge was the right man for the times, even if he got there by accident. Hoover is the example of a great man who was too small for the times.
I have no use for the moderate RINO Dick Nixon but enough with this silly meme. Historical revisionism at it's worst. Kennedy was a g-damn liberal slimeball like the rest of his family! I'm the proud grandson of Catholics for Nixon.
I so wish that the SOB had lived long enough to pass all the crap that Johnson eventually did in his stead. We wouldn't see this absurd mythology. If he were still alive today he'd be licking Obama's butt along with his fellow scumbag Jimmuh Carter, singing the praises of his beloved brother's legacy, Obamacare. Attending fundraisers with the partial-birth abortion crowd, ect ect.
Kennedy is the finest example of someone who died before his time getting unjustly glorified.
1. Kathleen, who was ostracized from most of the family for not marrying a Catholic (killed in an airplane crash)
2. Rosemary, no explanation needed.
The rest should have been Einsatzgruppened off the face of the earth.
I had to look up that word! Odd I never heard that. I should watch more “History Channel”.
Although I did yesterday and you know what was on? A whole show on whether or not SPACE ALIENS may have given Greek Fire to the ancients. Unreal they would produce that kind of crap. South Park mocked this recently.