Is American History Inverting Itself?

August 5, 2011

Barack Obama: The Democrats’ Richard Nixon? – Bruce Bartlett

While my family waits for our mailbox to be set up I act as a sort of go-between mailman, biking over to a USPS office a couple times a week to pick up our mail. In the parking lot, a couple of guys had set up a stand adorned by a poster of Barack Obama’s face with a Hitler-stache. I was able to ignore them for a couple of weeks because I knew these were the guys who thought Obama wasn’t “Kenyan Socialist” enough. And after the budget deal, I kind of had to agree with them. So I decided to suffer the fools and ask them whether they had considered what they were doing was counterproductive:

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Thoughts on Last Week’s Republican Debate

June 25, 2011

Well, really just one thing, concerning Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, who formally announced her presidential campaign last week and joined in on the debate. Bachmann has been termed by pundits as the “winner” of the debate, as she came off as strong, clear, and fearless on issues.

Not all that rare for a primary campaigner. After all, she just has to pander to a slightly wider base than her Tea Party core to gain a plurality, as she should be able to galvanize support for a large portion of the Republican Party as the more moderate wing may splinter between other candidates.

But while primary voting is still some 7 months away, I’m already a little bit scared. Bachmann expressed extreme disdain for one agency in particular, the EPA:

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Barry Goldwater’s wisdom

June 1, 2011

“You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

“When you say ‘radical right’ today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.”

–Barry Goldwater, “Mr. Conservative”, father of the modern conservative movement in the United States.

The political positions held by the Democratic and Republican parties in today’s modern America are fiscally and socially center-left, and fiscally and socially center-right, respectively. In recent years, the Republican party has probably abandoned its “center-right” status for sharper political positions and rhetoric. But that’s not important.

Two things are astounding to me. Firstly, the gradual alienation of Goldwater from the movement he himself precipitated (Reagan rose to prominence during Goldwater’s failed ’64 presidential campaign) because of the clash of the Religious Right and Goldwater’s libertarian views, and a statistic that I came across the other day:

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