Which U.S. President Does Romney Most Resemble? (Hint: It’s Not A Republican) | The New Republic


You know how we’ve talked about how over the years how the parties have switched sides on many issues? It’s true and here’s another article pointing out some ways that is has happened. Don’t take all the characterizations of 20th century Republicans too seriously, the author didn’t. From the New Republic.

Which past president stood up most stalwartly for the anti-tax, anti-welfare, anti-union principles that animate today’s conservative movement? Of course, most activists on the right would confer that honor on Ronald Reagan. However, the only Republican chief executive with a major airport named after him often governed in ways that would place him on the tiny left fringe of today’s GOP: Reagan raised income and payroll taxes, increased federal spending on domestic programs as well as the military, and avoided attacking labor unions in the private sector.

Some on the right speak kindly of Calvin Coolidge. But those who praise “Silent Cal” for cutting taxes on the rich are understandably mute about his fondness for the Ku Klux Klan, his racist attitudes toward all non-“Nordic” races, and his contempt for women who dared to drive cars, ride horses, or engage in politics. Moreover, Coolidge was no union-basher. In 1926, he signed a landmark bill which established collective bargaining for railroad workers, then a key sector of the labor force.

Ironically, the White House occupant who best represented the views that now dominate the American right was a Democrat: Grover Cleveland, the only Democratic president from the eve of Civil War to Woodrow Wilson in 1912. When Cleveland, a rotund New Yorker, was first elected in 1884, his party’s base was remarkably similar to that of the GOP today: white Southerners from all classes and white workers everywhere who did not belong to unions. The Democrat’s standard-bearer ALSO expressed doubt that any “sensible and responsible” woman would ever want to vote.

Which U.S. President Does Romney Most Resemble? (Hint: It’s Not A Republican) | The New Republic.

I’m going to add this from the article’s comments because it corrects two of the main historical inaccuracies in the article, which shouldn’t be unexpected considering the source

09/25/2012 – 3:11pm EDT | K2K

Kazin needs to study presidential history instead of propagandizing myths about Calvin Coolidge, especially Kazin’s false claim re: “…his fondness for the Ku Klux Klan…” McVeigh, Rory. “Structural Incentives for Conservative Mobilization: Power Devaluation and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1925” Social Forces, Vol. 77, No. 4 (June 1999), 1461-1496.
and Coolidge was always supportive of women’s suffrage, which the Democrats of that era opposed.


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12 Responses to Which U.S. President Does Romney Most Resemble? (Hint: It’s Not A Republican) | The New Republic

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Let us hope for a Republican in the White House soon!

    • Yes, that will be a very good change (we can believe in).

      • JessicaHof says:

        Can he do it? Well, we sure do hope so :)

        • I think so, and I still think easily but, the smokescreen is pretty thick. :-)

        • JessicaHof says:

          Seems very much so from here :)

        • Probably not much better here, last time around we depended on your media, more than our own, that doesn’t seem to be working as well this time. Everybody of TV claims it’s going to be close, many of us reading the blogs aren’t so sure that it won’t 1980 all over again, in which case the establishment republican party is in trouble. Rebecca’s insight’s on campaigning for office are even more valid in the republican party. There is a large dichotomy between people like me and the movers and shakers, and we’ve said so, but the bubble seems impermeable, so we’ll see. :-)

        • JessicaHof says:

          Here Mitt has already been written off – but as you say, that’s not what the polls say, so we shall see.

        • I have lots of trouble seeing what Europe likes so much about Obama, except maybe “misery loves company” here at least a lot of his voters are getting free stuff. But without us here, Europe hasn’t got a chance to avoid serious trouble. Probably just can’t fathom why we are different, i guess.

        • JessicaHof says:

          He appeals to the PC brigade, a lot, and he’s recognisably not American :)

        • Well, that’s certainly true, we don’t recognize him as American either, I’m no birther but, his background and attitudes are just too odd. :-)

        • JessicaHof says:

          The British press are always uncomfortable with American politicians who are American – Reagan and GWB were both disliked :)

        • True, I’ve always thought maybe we remind them too much of what Great Britain was under Victoria, ay least I hope we live up to that sometimes. :-)

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