Thursday, August 17, 2006

Re-elect RM Nixon

I KNOW he's dead. And I detested him, well before he was President, but here's what David Gergen had to say, paraphrased: Richard Nixon couldn't get elected today, he was too far left.

Had you thought of it that way, I don't mean, "was he a crook?" I mean how "far left" Nixon was, by today's standards. Now I don't put myself up as a rival to the advisor to 3 Presidents, but I'd propose that by today's standards nobody from FDR through Clinton would've been elected last time.

I do believe that what the Republicans hated about Clinton was that he ran on and won on their agenda and that was where the heavy tilt right in the Republican Party came from. If you hate him and oppose him at every turn, the only way to get out from under him is to move Right. A lot right. And then to call draconian rightism compassionate.

There was a pretty spirited comment section over at Preemptive Karma the other day about shifting tags of political persuasion. I called the tags laziness in regards to individuals and individual topics, but there is a usefulness in "tagging" the general political tenor. My real problem with left/center/right at this point is that the "right" isn't what it meant - conservative -when I learned the terms. I still can't get myself to call this bunch conservatives, I understood what they stood for, the best I can do with these guys is mean selfish religious pricks. There still are some conservatives around, I don't much agree with them, but at least I understand them. I can't make sense of the agenda of this crowd, no it's not the neo-con thing, though that's a part of it, it's the thing taken as a whole, it just doesn't hang together. For Pete's sake, Barry Goldwater's stuff had a consistency, it made sense whether you agreed or not.

If the destruction of the United States of America was the agenda, their stuff would almost make sense, I'm not talking about the dirt it's composed of, I mean the Declaration, Constitution, BOR, the spirit and philosophy. I'm a real "left" sorta guy, but that's not what I'm talking about, not politics, the basis of what we live is what I'm talking about. The Conservatives had a philosophy that informed their politics, these guys have...I don't know what. This just seems like some aberrant mess and calling them names doesn't address it.

When George II first ran, I thought he was too limited to be dangerous, I also didn't know who he hung around with, first mistake; I had some idea we still had a Congress and an opposition Party, mistake two; I didn't know something was hanging out there that could be used to scare a big chunk of the citizenry, mistake three - it was obvious; I didn't know these were the guys who'd be such political animals to do that, mistake four - wishful thinking. Now I'm a real smart guy - all those tests say so - but this list sure makes me look stupid. I don't like that.

I learn real quick...


Les said...

Nixon, for all his sins, believed in government. Unlike Dubya, he negotiated with at least two major enemies (China and the former USSR), created the Environmental Protection Agency. His Interior Secretary was Rogers C.B. Morton, who believed in stewardship of public lands. Hell, Nixon even used price controls (!) to fight inflation in the early 1970s.

And--this is important--he had a brain. Evil, but still a brain. The current resident at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue is the reality version of the Strawman in the Wizard of Oz--brainless.

Les AuCoin

Les AuCoin Blog

Chuck Butcher said...

Les is absolutely correct, RMN had a brain and surrounded himself with smart informed people (like them or not). RMN definitely defied Conservative wisdom in some policies.

I had the opportunity to observe RMN during his "counsel" period of "subversion hearings" through the printed transcripts back in 1970 (at Antioch College) for a HS term paper, what a prick. BTW, the campus library was around the corner from CPUSA headquarters, they never had any luck with me, either.

t.a. barnhart said...

nostalgic for Nixon? wow. that's how bad the Bushies are.

on Nixon's plus side, he did serve during WW2. it's possible even Dubya would have done his time, but who knows.

but he was still Nixon, and still a disaster on many fronts. the fact that he won on the "Southern strategy" set the table for the divisiveness that has been the GOP's base for success in the years since. he kept Vietnam going for four extra years just to provide a basis for re-election. he bombed Cambodia and spied on Americans. the only thing he did wrong, from the neocon perspective, was get caught.

everytime we think of Nixon, we should grieve the loss the man who would have won in 1968: Bobby Kennedy.