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Response to lumpy (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:26 AM

107. I'm not sure the GOP was ever "fairly decent"

at least not since Reconstruction.

Before the Bush's and Reagan you had Nixon, whose "Southern strategy" appealed directly to white racists, who used the IRS to harass political opponents, who prolonged the Vietnam war and invaded two other countries (Laos, Cambodia), who overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile, who started "the war on drugs," etc. etc.

Before Nixon we had Eisenhower, who was silent in the face of McCarthyism (Joseph McCarthy R-Wisconsin), who overthrew the democratically elected governments of Guatemala and Iran, leading to brutal dictatorships in both nations, planned the Bay of Pigs, hugely accelerated the arms race (it was only at the END of his term did he warn us about the military-industrial complex he did so much to create), and appointed a red-baiting sociopath (Richard Nixon) to be his vice president.

Before Eisenhower was Dewey, who ran campaigns in 1944 and 1948 that accused Democrats of trying to overthrow American democracy and replace it with communism--who in 1944 ran a campaign that accused FDR of wanting to establish a monarchy, criticised his war leadership, etc. Among the GOP's strongest supporters back then were folks like the Jew-baiting, race-hating Father Coughlin, the Rush Limbaugh of his time.

Before Dewey we had Harding-Coolidge-Hoover. Hoover was a fairly decent businessman who was clueless about dealing with the depression--but I'll admit he was a humanitarian (did great things relieving hunger in Europe post WWI). Coolidge made his reputation as a union busting pro-business hack ("The business of America is business"). Harding was so corrupt ("Teapot Dome") he would probably have been impeached if he hadn't died in office.

Even TR--who was progressive in some respects--was a believer in eugenics, imperialism and "the white man's burden" and waged a brutal counter-insurgency to keep control of the Philippines after we took that region from Spain.

Andrew Johnson WAS impeached--for defying progressive Republicans in Congress and pandering to the sensibilities of the southern racist oligarchy who launched the Civil War.

I'm not saying Democratic history was all roses--especially not the southern wing of the party up until the 1970s--but the GOP record for the most part is not what I would call "fairly decent." I WOULD be willing to say that until recently it had managed to keep its worst elements from completely dominating its establishment and national agenda, but that's about as far as I'd be willing to go.

I guess all things are relative. And so I would agree that, relatively speaking, this GOP is the worst it's been since, say, 1932.

PS: I left out Reagan and the Bushes, figuring their administrations were all recent enough not to need any elaboration here.

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