Carnival Barkers and old politicians

Carnival Barkers.

While whipping up his audience, Bauer saw no need to confine himself strictly to the truth. “When the president says that Islam has played a major role in America from our very founding, it’s just not the truth,” Bauer complained, referring to Obama’s remarks at the White House dinner marking the Ramadan holiday last month. “There was virtually no Islamic presence in America until just a few decades ago.” In fact, Obama’s description of Islam’s history in the United States was far more modest — he said only that it has “always been a part of America,” which is undoubtedly true if only because many slaves imported from Africa were Muslim.
But Bauer wasn’t merely trying to smear Obama or warp history in distorting the president’s words. The underlying message of his speech, echoed by keynote speakes who followed him, was that violent confrontation between the Muslim world and the West is inevitable because of the fundamental tenets of Islam.


DeMint added, “[T]he urgency for me here is the Democrat Party [sic] — and I know this sounds partisan but — are [sic] completely dysfunctional. They’re the left of Europe.”

That last one, from Jim DeMint is kind of surreal.  But I was hunting about for what I thought were comments from John Boehner, but may have been from less sedate Newt Gingrich, on the threat of “Secular Humanists”, but guaging google searches may have been “Secular Socialists”, so as we can see, things have kind of gotten a little wobbly.

Vote for the Green Party candidate.

Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House, Currently Carnival Barker.

“But I am totally opposed to any effort to impose Sharia on the United States, and we should have a federal law that says under no circumstance, in any jurisdiction in the United States, will Sharia be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law.”

I would like to know what former Speaker Hastert and former Speaker Foley have to say about… something… anything.  Give those two a platform.  Not so much because they’ll say anything of revelatory focus, but because they had the same position as a guy we keep hearing from.

I’m always pondering the various evolutions and revolutions, and continuities of the political parties.  Item the first.

Nixon, after becoming Ike’s vice president, said Republicans “found in the files a blueprint for socializing America” in the White House, left over from Truman. Civil rights leaders were accused of being part of a Soviet plot. The Civil Rights Act was believed to be intended to “enslave” whites. A prominent right-wing radio host insisted that JFK was building a political prison in Alaska to detain critics of the administration.  (ahem). When FDR proposed Social Security, the conservatives of the era not only screamed about “socialism,” but told the public Roosevelt would force Americans to wear dog tags.
In 1961, Ronald Reagan was absolutely convinced that Medicare would lead federal officials to dictate where physicians could practice medicine, and open the door to government control over where Americans were allowed to live. In fact, Reagan warned that if Medicare became law, there was a real possibility that the federal government would control where Americans go and what they do for a living.  (

But since reading Glenn’s fine piece the other day, I’ve been thinking about why today seems different — or more to the point, worse. […]
I’d add just one related note. In previous generations, the American Right still had to contend with some accurate information. That’s no longer the case — a Republican activist can listen to talk radio during the day, listen to Fox News after work, read right-wing blogs with breakfast, and hang out with Tea Partiers over the weekend.

Next item, Crooks and Liars has this:  Barry Goldwater and Jacob Jarvitts in earlier battles of the Political Party.

So how long has this fractured in-fighting been going on within the Republican Party? Some say since it was formed. Others point to around 1933 as a starting point.
After the defeat of Richard Nixon in the 1960 elections, what can be best be described as a power-grab or attempted hijacking of the party by the hardline conservative wing started to take place. As the 1962 mid-term elections were getting under way, the schism within the party was taking on public proportions, as is evidenced by this exchange on ABC’s Issues and Answers from June 13, 1961, between Barry Goldwater, representing the right wing of the Republican Party and Jacob Javits, who represented that all-but-extinct liberal wing of the Republican Party. A heated and testy exchange from the get-go, it got pretty hot when the talk came around to the economy.

That is where things get a little interesting, and it is always instructive to wind back– looking more or less in backward chronology, the various political fissures, geographical and ideological, of the two political parties, and where individual politicians found themselves at different times.  I gather Orrin Hatch, once Conservative Hero, now possible Tea Party victim, may have passed by this “Constitution Day” essay to the National Review to keep his bonafides working — funny, though.

Recently, I read a professional conservative writer write up political disputes in the Republican Party — through the old one described as Goldwater versus Rockefellar — as originating back in Taft versus Roosevelt — an interesting dispute, Roosevelt a bit of an accidental president and whose party kept the hands in Taft even as he was a sure loser.   This is wrong — look at the geography, your supposed Conservatives along the Eastern coasts — think Prescott Bush — at odds with the “Progressive Wing” — your Follettes.  The map and geographical bases more or less flipped as the Republican Party dealt with fighting the Roosevelt Administration, and this week the “Moderate Wing” in Delaware were put to a beating against a force more powerful elsewhere in the country.
Then again, Ohio remained blue-blood Conservative of a different type than that embraced by the Goldwaterites — as seen by, well, Robert Taft.

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