Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Conversation

This is an interesting conversation I had with Sean Davis, the brother of the man who convinced me to create this blog in the first place.

I'm very happy that Al Franken finally won

Same here.
Part of me hopes he will become the first Jewish president, as painfully unrealistic as that desire may be (and it is).

Sadly it is, I doubt the American public would buy into him enough for him to have a shot at the Presidency

I think Mark Sanford's political meltdown is disgusting, and not for the reaosn everyone focuses on (namely, infidelity).

Is he the Governor of S.C.?

This is the South Carolina Governor who refused to accept federal aid vis-a-vis the stimulus package because he believed that it was pork and fiscally wasteful.

Ok I was correct then

This is the South Carolina Governor who, before Obama even became president, vetoed BILLIONS of dollars of legislation for his state that would have helped the economically needy.

Well forgive me if I'm not surprised

Yet he spent taxpayer money to have trysts with some Argentine sexpot.
If that doesn't epitomize the essence of the Republican philosophy, in all of its hypocrisy, I don't know what does.

I've never had much faith in any of the modern so-called republican ideals

The last Republican president for whom I have even a modicum of respect was Gerald Ford, and the last one who I would have ever voted for was Theodore Roosevelt.

they are so quick to abandon their ideals that I'm at a loss for what they really stand for

It's easy to ascertain what they stand for.
They stand for the wealthy and powerful.
That is the only possible ideology they could have that is consistent with their policies and actions.

Now it seems like they stand for whatever the opposite end of Obama's plans are

Their rhetoric must be disregarded as a facade.

I feel like if Obama came out against abortion (not that this would happen) then all of the Republicans would immediately be pro-choice

I disagree with you there, actually.
I don't think they exist for the purpose of opposing Democrats.



I think their objective is to cater to the wealthy, powerful, and Christian right/culturally conservative.

it was a generalization and an attempt at some light-hearted humor

Humor is hard to detect via this medium.

fair point
But i disagree with the above statement a bit
I think they exist to pander to the rich and wealthy whilst brain washing impressionable people with fake christian idealism and scare tactics

I agree.
I don't see where we differ on that.

I thought that your statement implied that they are somehow catering to the religious right and not manipulating them

I think it's a little of Column A and a little of Column B.

I think they tell them what they want to hear in an attempt to garner votes

I think they've made a deal with the Christian Right in which they genuinely attempt to further their interests, but only after the interests of the plutocracy have been dealt with (as in the latter always take precedence over the former).

I don't know if they necessarily made a deal with them, I think that sometime in the late 70s Republicans realized that they can capitalize on people's faiths by claiming that they and they alone stand for their interests while painting a picture of liberalism as somehow immoral

or am I way off?

I think it traces back to the election of 1972.

ah, so i was a little late in my estimates

In 1968, George Wallace ran a third-party campaign that essentially consisted of the modern hard right - Christian right-wingers, cultural conservatives, overt and covert racists, right-wing conspiracy theorists, etc.

I see

The Wallace supporters were overwhelmingly comprised of former Democrats who were unhappy with the rise of the New Left, the counterculture, civil rights, and the anti-war movement.

I see

What Nixon realized in 1972 was that he could co-opt the Wallace voters from 1968 and bring them into his camp by remaining economically liberal but appealing to them on international and cultural issues.

so not real liberals

He succeeded, which is why he crushed McGovern so thoroughly in that election.
Had Nixon's party succeeded, we would have had the modern Republican organization BUT with economic liberalism.
Yet Nixon had to resign in disgrace and so never became the transformative president.
Instead, eight years later, Ronald Reagan became that president.


He took Nixon's coalition from 1972 and revived it, only this time injecting laissez-faire economic policies into the mix.
That's the coalition that has run the Republican party to this day... and until recently, the entire nation.

Thank god thats not the case anymore
but we are still seeing the negative effects
I doubt we will recover in our lifetimes

That remains to be seen.

true, but I'll remain skeptical until some real changes are made, not superficial ones that amount to little or nothing

I agree there.
Question: May I post this conversation on my blog?
I think it's very interesting, and would fit well there.


To these thoughts, I would only like to add the following addenda:

1) In 1968, Republican Richard Nixon received 43% of the popular vote, compared to 43% for Democrat Hubert Humphrey (who, after Adlai Stevenson, is my political role model) and 14% for George Wallace. In 1972, Richard Nixon received 61% of the popular vote to 38% for Democrat George McGovern. When that overarching statistic is combined with the specific data we possess on the election demographics from those two contests, it supports my earlier conclusion - namely, that Nixon won in 1972 by winning over the George Wallace voters, as well as maintaining the Republican base and siphoning off a few normally-loyal Democrats who were dissatisfied with McGovern's slipshod campaign style.

2) In 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter nearly erased the dynamic that had been created by Nixon four years earlier when he swept the South (winning every state in the region save Virginia), regained the solid support of the voting blocs that had made the Democrats a majority party since 1932, and won a strong victory over Republican Gerald Ford, despite the latter's last-minute comeback. Had Carter's presidency been more successful, he may very well have been the transformative president of the past three decades. Sadly, it was not, and as such Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

1 comment:

Sean said...

It is a real shame that Carter did not deliver as a president. Maybe if he had today we wouldn't be in this mess... My question is, do you think Obama will be a Carter or an FDR?