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Ike's Sherman Adams and the vicuna coat is never mentioned

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 12:20 PM
Original message
Ike's Sherman Adams and the vicuna coat is never mentioned
The scandal of the past that most closely resembles the current uproar over lobbying excesses is the one that struck the Eisenhower administration in June 1958. Presidential Advisor Sherman Adams accepted the gift of an expensive vicuna coat. Ike found out and Adams's desk was empty before sundown. But Rove is needed for the 06 election and his legal problem is not directly tied to lobbying, unlike the crimes of our GOP Congresspersons.

But this fellow argues that many voters take it for granted that politicians can be corrupted, so the Dem approach should be to speak out on the need for a warranty on political integrity with no expiration date that covers all major defects in the way Congress does business, including its failure to check the excesses of the executive branch.Republicans did not stand by idly and enjoy the Democrats' agonies. We need a Dem "Contract with America" that, combined with the above warranty, might actually give voters more than just dissatisfaction as an incentive to vote.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-02...

Scandals don't deliver elections
By Ross K. Baker

For months now, the Democrats have been giving voice to the charge that the Republicans in Washington preside over a "culture of corruption."
The phrase was popularized by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in her attacks on the Bush administration for its halting response to Hurricane Katrina. The cry has been taken up by other Democrats who see the scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff as the key to regaining the majority in the House and making headway in the Senate in the 2006 elections.

But when political scandals of the past are examined, it turns out that few of them have, by themselves, made much difference in the ensuing election. And it turns out that Watergate, the one modern scandal that really did have monumental electoral consequences, is something of a quirk. In those few other instances in which the party in power did suffer, other factors better explain its loss.<snip>


Ike and a vicuna coat. The scandal of the past that most closely resembles the current uproar over lobbying excesses is the one that struck the Eisenhower administration in June 1958. At that time, House Democrats charged that a Boston businessman Bernard Goldfine, who was having problems with the Securities and Exchange Commission had paid hotel bills for Eisenhower's chief of staff, Sherman Adams, and given Adams an expensive vicuna coat. Adams, in turn, interceded for Goldfine with the SEC.

The Democrats trumpeted the corruption theme, and the second Eisenhower midterm election in 1958 became a GOP debacle, one of the worst losses for a president's party that century. This election is often described as a turning point in American politics because liberal Democrats replaced so many conservative Republicans. Richard Nixon, then Eisenhower's vice president, wrote that, "Nov. 4, 1958, was one of the most depressing election nights I have ever known."

What undoubtedly caused the sky to fall on the GOP was not the Adams scandal but the worst recession since the end of World War II. In October 1957, the stock market had its sharpest decline since the one following Eisenhower's heart attack in 1955. Unemployment surged while consumer prices actually rose. Compared with this economic cataclysm, the hotel bills and the vicuna coat were blips on the voters' screens.
<snip>
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 12:50 PM
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1. I remember this. A golden era of responsibility compared
to now when these WH people don't even realize their habitual wrongdoing.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 02:33 PM
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2. A big difference. Ike fired the guy on the spot.
Unlike other scandals where major resources were put into covering up and hiding the miscreants, Ike responded the way a chief executive should. Therefore, it was possibly a blip on the screen.

We cannot forget that the Watergate scandal was not a two-bit burglary -- the Watergate scandal was the presidential coverup. If Nixon had said "A few overenthused operatives got carried away, and they've been dealt with," much of the Watergate scandal would have never become an issue.

Scandals CAN play a big part, but only when the perpetrators don't own up to them. Like all the repubs who have never met Abramof.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. true - and I hope true in 06 :-) n/t
n/t
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sandymacksandy Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ike's firing Sherman Adams
Papau is simply wrong in his/her characterization of how Ike fired Sherman Adams. It took Ike days, weeks, of agony and then he didn't, couldn't, do it himself. Papau might want to read the article in then very conservative Time magazine from 1958 on the matter
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