The End Of An Era

Our friends on the left love to rail against the GOP calling it a party of extremists, while waxing poetic for the days when the GOP would just roll over and give the Dems everything that they wanted.  The bemoan the "fact" that even the exalted Ronald Wilson  Reagan would be too moderate for this Republican Party.  However, like many Democratic memes, there's a whole lot of projection goin' on.  Steven Hayward, writing at the Weekly Standard, took a look at some New Deal stalwarts and comes to the conclusion that....

Rather than try to make Reagan out as too moderate for an extreme party, the decriers of “extremism” ought to give a hard look at Democratic presidents who couldn’t get the nomination of today’s Democratic party, starting with one who actually didn’t get it: Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. Despite delivering the most substantial liberal reforms since the New Deal (the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicare, the War on Poverty, etc.), LBJ was on his way to losing renomination when he withdrew. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan memorably put it, Johnson “was the first American president to be toppled by a mob. No matter that it was a mob of college professors, millionaires, flower children, and Radcliffe girls”—in other words, what Democrats today call “the base.”...

...LBJ is only the first of many supposedly liberal heroes who would be unacceptable to the liberal base today. Start with Franklin Roosevelt. Despite his New Deal programs, he piled up a considerable record of statements that would be anathema to contemporary liberal orthodoxy. “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me,” he told Congress in 1935, “show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief .  .  . is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” A liberal can’t talk about our welfare state that way today.

FDR opposed public employee unions. In a 1937 letter to a public employees’ association, FDR wrote: “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. .  .  . Militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.”

FDR, an Episcopalian, made the kind of remarks about religion that send the American Civil Liberties Union into paroxysms of rage when someone like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin says the same thing today....

...FDR’s successor, Harry Truman, would fare no better with today’s Democrats. True, he was pro-labor, pro-civil rights, and pro-health care reform, but he was also pro-Israel and above all pro-American. He embraced biblical morality. He was a moralistic anti-Communist. He had no trouble understanding the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” ...

...Finally, there is John F. Kennedy, whose mystique still sets Democratic hearts fluttering. But his views would make him completely unacceptable to Democrats today; as it was, liberals in 1960 were deeply suspicious of him. He was notably cautious on civil rights, and often fretted that the civil rights movement would be politically damaging to him. While much of his voting record in Congress on economic issues followed the main Democratic party line—higher minimum wage and pro-union—Kennedy did not embrace redistributionism or trade protectionism. To the contrary, he believed that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Gee - who does that last quote remind me of? 

Logical Lady Salena Zito, goes a step further...

U.S. Rep. Mark Critz said Tuesday he will skip the Democratic National Convention in favor of campaigning in Pennsylvania, much like top elected Democrats in neighboring West Virginia who are disgruntled with President Barack Obama.

Critz and others shying away from Obama’s renomination party in Charlotte, N.C., the week of Sept. 3 believe it’s more important to shake constituents’ hands and listen to their concerns about the economy and the administration’s energy policy than to attend an event geared toward party politics...

...His campaign spokesman, Mike Mikus, said their internal polling shows the president is down double digits to Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the redrawn, six-county congressional district where Critz won a close victory against U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire of McCandless in the April primary. He faces Republican Keith Rothfus, an Edgeworth attorney, in the general election.

This is not a new thing.  This shift has gradually been taking place since the mid 1960's.  I know this because I know where I started my political standings.  Right alongside a Minnesota politician that was (at the time) somewhere to the left of Uncle Joe Stalin....Hubert Horatio Humphrey....another Democrat without a party.

Written by LL.

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