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Money, War, God

It’s Labor Day in America — a strange time and a strange place, given the campaign the Republican party has been waging to destroy unions. Now a 30-year veteran of the Republican party gives up in despair. He’s got the party’s number: it’s all about money (same as the Democrats), a “libidinous enthusiasm for invading other countries”, and “pandering to fundamentalism”.

Thus, the modern GOP; it hardly seems conceivable that a Republican could have written the following:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill. It is not in my pragmatic nature to make a heroic gesture of self-immolation, or to make lurid revelations of personal martyrdom in the manner of David Brock. And I will leave a more detailed dissection of failed Republican economic policies to my fellow apostate Bruce Bartlett.

I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine, to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country’s future; and contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them.

I think it’s entirely appropriate that we all feel a little depressed this Labor Day.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a little surprised Labor Day hasn’t been usurped and turned into Entrepreneur’s Day or some such thing, the way Armistice Day (a celebration of peace) turned into Veteran’s Day (a celebration of warriors).
    You probably don’t need the heads up, but the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches…and that will be depressing on any number of levels.

  2. raven says

    FYI, for those who wonder what happened to the USA. Bushco took 8 years to wreck the USA. We haven’t recovered yet. Estimates are we won’t until 2014. We may never recover especially if the GOP wins the next election.

    The bottom line. There isn’t any correlation between lower taxes and economic growth. During the Clinton years, the economy boomed. Bush cut taxes and the economy died. What those tax cuts did was starve the federal government leading to huge deficits and a huge national debt.

    Cheney once said, “Deficits don’t matter.” Another thing he got wrong.

    EDITED for Length..CLINTON YEARS OFFER USEFUL PERSPECTIVE ON TAXES
    By Cynthia Tucker | Cynthia Tucker – Sat, Sep 3, 2011….WASHINGTON —

    Once upon a time, taxes were higher and unemployment was lower. People prospered. The federal treasury overflowed. The deficit disappeared.

    Perhaps Americans have forgotten that era since it was so long ago — the Clinton years. Way back in the mid-1990s, the national jobless rate hovered around 5 percent. By 1999, only 4.2 percent of Americans were without jobs — a rate so low that economists have traditionally considered it to represent “full employment.” (That means that every working-age American who wants a job has one.)Deleted PP.

    I ask because leading and lesser Republicans continue to insist that the economy would grow, jobs would flourish and rivers would flow with honey if only there were a president willing to slash taxes. Excuse me? Didn’t we have a president who did that? Isn’t that how we piled up massive deficits?

    But it’s simply not true, as recent history has shown us.

    Clinton raised taxes to combat the deficit. The economy took off, money piled up in the treasury and, by the end of his term, Clinton had compiled a federal surplus and was ready to start paying down the debt.

    Now, let’s look at Bush’s record. He pushed through tax cuts that gave a lopsided benefit to the wealthiest Americans. Did captains of industry take those proceeds and start creating jobs? Ah, no. Economists have referred to that period as a “lost decade” because there was no net jobs growth — as many jobs were lost as were created — from 2000 to 2009.</b.

  3. says

    “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

    That can be taken as a challenge, you know.

    Just add in biology and global warming, and you’ve got a splendid set of enemies to tackle.

    Glen Davidson

  4. says

    I’ve just spent the last 3 days with senior citizens from Tea Party Central in South Carolina who literally watch Fox News 10 hours a day. It’s been a trial. You cannot reason with them:

    • We’re heading for socialism, but they’re upset their Social Security checks haven’t increased.

    • Obama had his buses flown via military transport at each stop.

    • Teachers are destroying America.

    • Don’t tax the rich.

    The amount of misinformed garbage that comes out of their mouths is laced with a smugness that they somehow have it all figured out. And what’s scary is I know people who are my age (mid 40′s) locked into this same mindset.

    The Democrats certainly are no angels; Obama might be a good president if he would stop rolling over like a beaten dog every time Boehner looks at him cross-eyed. But the current Republican party; these people are fucking nuts.

    I’d like to think Eisenhower would be horrified at these folk.

  5. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Feralboy,
    Are you kidding? How many stores are having Labor Day sales today and making their poor, will-never-be-unionized employees work when everyone else has the day off (with no overtime, mind)?

    Labor Day has been usurped in the name of the consumerism.

    (Sorry, bitter ex-retail employee, here.)

  6. Persephone says

    I have to work today. To celebrate the holiday, management is giving everyone a Payday candy bar.

  7. says

    It was just over two years ago when the evil Republicans were swept out, the Democrats had a super-majority in the Senate, a whopping in the House and the WH was likewise under control of the Dems.

    It was then when Carville announced the dawn of the Great Progressive Era of the next forty years. Unions had triumphed, and the middle class was going to be restored.

    Make no mistake it was going to be the worst economy to mend for anyone, but I do not think anyone thought that the tide would change so drastically.

    First Walker neutered the unions in a simple exercise of bullying. The public outrage was high, Wisconsinites were livid, they said.

    Recall, recall, recall.

    Well, $20+ million later, there were two net changes, and a sagging rage. Not enough to overturn Walker’s majority, and letting him free to continue his dismantling of the middle class. As a contrast, unions spent $86 during the 2008 elections. Nationwide.

    Next is Ohio, when possibly the single most important referendum on unions will be put to vote in November. Once they vote them down there, the inexorable path to the extinction of unions will commence all across the nation.

    And to think of it, this is a mere 2+ years after the Dems took over the WH, a big majority in the House and a super-majority in the Senate.

    Gutlessness has its consequences.

  8. raven says

    Economist’s View: SF Fed: Residential Construction Won’t Fully …
    economistsview.typepad.com/…/sf-fed-residential-construction-wont… – CachedYou +1′d this publicly. Undo
    Jul 28, 2011 – SF Fed: Residential Construction Won’t Fully Recover Until 2014 … FRBSF Economic Letter: Over the past several years, U.S. housing starts …

    While we are being cheerful and optimistic on Labor day, here is another factor.

    It doesn’t look like the US economy will recover before the 2012 elections. The news articles claim that even Obama and the Dems have given up on that, which is very ominous for their reelection prospects.

    So when will it recover? Most estimates right now are 2014, 3 years from now.

    How did they get that number? Who knows. I suspect it is far enough out that if they are wrong, no one will remember their prediction. It’s quite possible that no one knows right now and everyone is guessing.

    It’s also contingent on what actions the feds and the US people take between now and then. If they elect the Tea Party again, the morons who created the Great Recession, the actual date of recovery could be a generation or two down the road.

    It’s a wonder the kids are still talking to the Boomer generation. We handed them a broken world to start out in.

  9. kraut says

    An excellent analysis hat dispenses with the usual crap and clearly states who rules in the USA.
    No punches pulled, the only thing that is missing is the likely story that Obama was pulled into a backroom with the real powers that are and clearly told what was economically and politically acceptable by those powers.

    My question still is since Bush: is the future of the US fascism (the complete merger of the economic realm with the political realm) or a military dictatorship?

    The differences are not that significant.

  10. Kevin Alexander says

    If you can learn anything from history it’s that every civilization degenerates into mean spirited conservatism just before it collapses.
    I’ve often wondered if any among the French aristocracy, as they were marched up the steps of the guillotine, had any clue what went wrong.

  11. julian says

    Thank the nonexistent gods for small glimpses of sanity. And thank you for the link, Dr. Myers. I can’t exactly say I enjoyed it but it was definitely worth reading.

  12. DerelictHat says

    At work today, but at least I’m making double-time.

    One of my coworkers was under the impression that Labor Day somehow celebrated when you started working for yourself to make money, instead of just paying taxes to the ebil gubmint. I corrected him, as politely as possible, because there are cameras in our workplace, so I couldn’t hit him.

    This guy is a Republican, Christian, closeted homosexual too. I need a new irony meter.

  13. duncan says

    A question for pharyngula’s American readers – when was the last decent republican president?

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    @Shripathi Kamath:

    It was just over two years ago when the evil Republicans were swept out, the Democrats had a super-majority in the Senate, a whopping in the House and the WH was likewise under control of the Dems.

    I remember all the joy and enthusiasm that American liberals had at Obama’s electoral apotheosis. The Right and the GOP had been defeated forever! America will bring the troops home from the meat-grinder wars in the Middle East and trim the Pentagon’s budget! We’ll soon have national health care! Education will become a real priority! The corporations will be reined in! America was on the golden path to become a true social democracy!

    I wasn’t convinced. The Republicans, both voter and politician, hadn’t gone anywhere and they’re going to angrier than ever. (Not only did they lose, they lost to a “nigger.”) The Christian Right, the Heritage Foundation, FOX News, and the rest are still around. At the same time, you have this new Tea Party movement rising and making trouble. When ever I voiced my concerns to my fellow Obama voters I was told that what I was seeing were the last gasps of a dying right-wing.

    Now we’re staring down the barrel of a Perry or Bachmann administration that has steam rolled over a prostrate Democratic Party.

    Yup, gutless, and delusional too.

  15. says

    when was the last decent republican president?

    Funny thing, that. The recent crop of scalliwags is making that crook, Richard Nixon, look pretty good.

  16. SallyStrange says

    Listening to NPR: a new report out by a non-partisan think tank (I missed the name) says that wages for entry-level jobs for college graduates have declined for the first time in decades.

  17. outaworkee says

    Of course the Democrats didn’t have a super majority in the senate right away in 2009. The recount in Minnesota took a long time before Senator Franken was declared the winner.

  18. raven says

    The buying power of Americans per hour work, peaked in 1973. 1973!!! Says it all.

    uri.edu:

    Anyone aware of that period knows this is not an accurate portrayal, a fact more than adequately reflected in the second Weekly Earnings graph in which you find the data for wages adjusted for inflation.

    Real earnings of American workers peaked in 1973 and by 1990 they had fallen to 1960 levels.

    Yes wages increased 7 percent per year in the 1970s, but prices increased nearly 8% giving us an average yearly ‘decline’ of 1% in wages.

    This is buying power which takes into account the steady inflation during the 20th century.

  19. Johan Fruh says

    I imagine it’s deeply anchored in traditions….

    but wouldn’t it be possible the USA start having multiple parties?
    Two parties is ridiculous.

    You’ll always have the polarised effect that will have two sides of the spectrum wage war one against the other….

    With mutliple parties, the smaller inbetween parties will have power in decision, because they can make the balance tip from one side to the other….

    I know there are independents… but I don’t think that’s enough. There needs to be multiple parties that people can relate to.

  20. Therrin says

    but wouldn’t it be possible the USA start having multiple parties?

    Nope. Would take too much money for a third to be viable, and it’d have both Ds and Rs stomping to stop it.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but wouldn’t it be possible the USA start having multiple parties?
    Two parties is ridiculous.

    It won’t be possible until we change the method of voting in this country. The highest vote getter wins the election, be it majority or plurality. So what we have is Nader taking likely votes from Gore in a close election in Florida, giving Shrub the plurality. Keeps folks tied to the two parties.

    Personally, I prefer the instant run-off system, where the candidates are ranked by the voter, and if nobody gets a majority, they drop the last candidate, and then give his votes to the second choice. With no majority, repeat the process until a majority is reached, and that candidate is then declared the winner. In Florida, where Shrub didn’t get a majority, the Nader voters would have their second choice looked at, and probably a large majority of those voters would have had Gore as their second choice, as Nader was to the left of Gore. This would allow minor parties to spring up, but not give the election to the other side.

  22. Dave Boyer says

    From the article:
    “John Lukacs concludes that the left fears, the right hates.”

    I have never understood this. Since I started to come of age in the 80s and followed politics, there are not many liberals that I can think of that showcase a fire in the belly. Patrick Moynihan, Paul Wellstone, Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, … I am sure there are others, but shouldn’t there be dozens of strong, vigorous voices that one can come up with? Even Bill Clinton at times could show a little backbone (not while triangulating of course), but today we have next to nothing to look at in defense of liberal values.

    It really does seem like all through the ranks for the past three-plus decades we have had people run away from liberal principles out of fear that they may be called, oh the humanity, a liberal.

    Sad that a possible life-long Republican staffer can mount a better defense of our side than 80% of those who appear on the television talk shows under the title of a Democrat.

  23. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them.

    This is what accommodationism does on the political level.

  24. says

    This is what accommodationism does on the political level.

    Except that this is collaboration. When you vote with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for example, it is collaboration, not accomodationism. Accomodationism is attending a Rick Warren debate when liberal Presidential candidates get suckered into legitimizing bigotry while playing nice with a group of god-botherers who are NEVER, EVER going to vote for them.

    Obama is the best Republican president the GOP could have hoped for in these depressed times. He does what they want him to, and he gets majority of the blame.

    To let the Bush tax cuts expire, Obama and the Dems had to (have to?) do nothing.

    Literally nothing.

  25. says

    I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine,

    Ooh, lovely and apt metaphor, that. Never let it be said that the Bible is utterly devoid of value ;-).

  26. says

    Having a voting system where a candidate can win by a plurality of votes doesn’t stop third parties from having electoral success. Just look at Canada and the UK. In the US case it’s as much that a two party system is so firmly entrenched that voters won’t bother with third party candidates, unless they’re hardcore supporters, as anything else.

  27. says

    Just listening to NPR on the way home and they were interviewing people who were looking for jobs. The work is all temporary/contractor/seasonal – i.e.: wage slavery. Republican heaven. And then the news came on and they were talking about Michele Bachman wanting to lower taxes on corporations because they’re paying too much…

    When are the republicans going to just start screaming “FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!”? It’d be more honest.

  28. Allen L. says

    When I was coming of age mentally, we had a socialist (commie, according to my dad) politician who opposed what he termed corporate welfare. I didn’t truly understand the term then, but I certainly do now with our right wing provincial goverment’s view on taxes.

    Of course, a modern rethuglican would comment that Ike made that comment 100 years ago and that things change with time, they don’t stay the same but it’s NOT evolution. The constitution doesn’t mention anything about the government caring for the welfare of the people, right?

  29. says

    Sorry, bitter ex-retail employee, here.

    Then you’ll like (or probably already know (or even contributed to)) Retail Hell Underground.

    ====

    This is what accommodationism does on the political level.

    This is what accommodationism does on the political level.

    Q2FFT!

  30. Rey Fox says

    Somebody recently told me that there are some sane Republicans out there. In my mind, the only sane Republicans are the ones leaving the party.

  31. Infophile says

    A question for pharyngula’s American readers – when was the last decent republican president?

    The last good one was Teddy Roosevelt, who was an aberrant throwback to the days when the Republicans were the more liberal party (the party made him Vice President, as back then the job had next to nothing to do, so it was a good way to get him out of the way. At least, it was until McKinley died and Roosevelt was made President).

    As for the last decent Republican President… I’d have to go with Eisenhower. Just go read the summary of Wikipedia’s article on him for the reasons why – by today’s standards, he’d be a raging liberal.

    Since then, we’ve had Nixon, “meh” by today’s standards, though he did some good things apart from his scandals; Ford, who pardoned Nixon for his crimes in office, setting a precedent for Obama to ignore the Bush administration’s crimes; Reagan, who slammed on the breaks of progressivism, stopping America in its tracks and leaving it to fall behind the rest of the world; Bush Sr., who was a lesser case of Reagan; and finally Bush Jr., who put America in reverse and drove it off a cliff.

    To sum it up: Eisenhower was decent, and probably a peak for Republicans post-Roosevelt, and they’ve been getting progressively worse since then.

  32. Kagehi says

    Funny thing, that. The recent crop of scalliwags is making that crook, Richard Nixon, look pretty good.

    Yeah, a Republican that might have either blown up the world, or passed legislation creating “drug rehab” programs, instead of the “War on Drugs”. Well, would have, if the man in charge of that little project hadn’t turned out to be a criminal too. Pretty damn sad. Even Reagan can only be credited with recognizing the truth of the Soviet system, and suggesting they give up the posturing. He certainly didn’t convince them of anything they didn’t already know, just stated that we knew too, so maybe they would be better off just giving it up and saving themselves from further collapse. Useful, but hardly earth shattering, and not enough to make up for his policies in the US.

  33. lordsetar says

    raven:

    It’s a wonder the kids are still talking to the Boomer generation. We handed them a broken world to start out in.

    That would be because those responsible for it also did their best to convince us that the world was way more obviously broken before, any further change for the better would just make it break more, and everything that continued to make it broken was just fine because that was the way of the world, and it’s more broken in other places so we should be happy anyway (and if you’re still not, look at these pictures of starving kids in Africa and BE HAPPY BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT THEM).

  34. Pierce R. Butler says

    Perceiving Eisenhower’s relative decency requires overlooking several things, such as CIA coups in Guatemala and Iran; blatant lies to the public about U-2 spyplane flights over the USSR; total acquiescence in Cold War witchhunts; and bringing Richard Nixon onto the national stage.

    Herbert Hoover seems to have maintained some personal virtue, though between the Bonus Marchers and Ron Paul-style economics he did a huge amount of damage to the country.

    Shorter answer to duncan’s question @ # 14: Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican president, and a ruthless bastard in many ways).

  35. says

    You said it PZ. Politics is depressing. Republicans are out to get us and Democrats are only half trying to stop them. Our elected officials are bought and paid for and we are left with no representation. :-(

  36. echidna says

    and finally Bush Jr., who put America in reverse and drove it off a cliff.

    And Obama fails to even open the parachute [by letting the Bush tax cuts expire].

  37. Carbon Based Life Form says

    I remember when “liberal Republican” was not an oxymoron. Unfortunately, the last significant one was Nelson Rockefeller, and the last one at all was Jim Jeffords.

  38. scenario says

    “Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. ”

    We do seem to be in a new Weimar Republic. The Republicans are deliberately causing gridlock in the U.S. government. Just like elements of the German Government did to the Weimar Republic. Frightening.

  39. ckitching says

    It’s sad. A few decades ago, a particular potential Presidental candidate had to release a statement that said he wouldn’t simply be a proxy for the Pope in America. Today, it’s off-limits for the media to ask Michelle Bachmann about her personally held belief that a woman should submit to her husband.

  40. julian says

    It’s sad.

    It’s very sad.

    Rep. Bachmann’s personal views on submission should be enough to raise questions of who’s going to be calling the shots if at least to squash any rumors she’s just her husband’s mouth piece. But because this is her religiously held personal belief the media is being hands off. To add insult to injury when, if I remember right, the role former President Clinton would play if Sec. Clinton got elected was on everyone’s mind they treated it as a possible strike against Hilary Clinton’s legitimacy as a candidate.

  41. butterflyfish says

    Shorter answer to duncan’s question @ # 14: Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican president, and a ruthless bastard in many ways).

    Yep, Lincoln gets my vote, too.

  42. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    Jerry Ford.

    *ducks*

    I’m proud to have voted for Paul Wellstone twice and for Al Franken (and Jesse Ventura — yeah, go ahead and say it).

    I live in MN-6 (otherwise known as Bachmannistan) and have been lately running into some of her more vocal constituents. My thanks to the Pharyngulite horde for helping me hone my rebuttals to the Faux Nooz deluded people I see every day.

  43. David Marjanović, OM says

    “I STILL LIKE IKE”
    – Abe Simpson

    It’s Labor Day in America — a strange time

    Yeah. In almost all other countries, Labor Day is May 1st, commemorating an event that took place in the US of A.

    One of my coworkers was under the impression that Labor Day somehow celebrated when you started working for yourself to make money, instead of just paying taxes to the ebil gubmint.

    Wow. That’s not even true in Austria, where the tax rate really is 47 or 48 %!

    I imagine it’s deeply anchored in traditions….

    but wouldn’t it be possible the USA start having multiple parties?

    Sadly, no. Tradition has little to do with it – the two-party system is a direct, inevitable consequence of the constitution.

    That’s because the big-C Constitution fails to separate the head of state from the head of government.

    Elections for a new government (administration in US terms) are therefore elections for a single person. Elections for a single person quickly turn into duels. Each of the two candidates then accrues a party around himself for support, and that party remains in existence and puts up a candidate for the next election. Therefore, the US two-party system cannot go away unless the Constitution gets a major overhaul, and that would require things like the assent of 3/4 of the state legislatures…

    The I-don’t-know-whether-to-laugh-or-to-cry part is that the Founding Fathers hated and despised the very concept of parties (“factions” as they called them) so much that they left any mention of them out of the Constitution. Apparently they believed that if they didn’t mention parties, none would ever form! The stupid! It burns!

    Pretty much everything you can hope for is for a new party to balloon overnight and replace one of the two established parties in a single election. Last time that happened, the Republicans replaced the Whigs and installed the aforementioned Abraham Lincoln.

    We do seem to be in a new Weimar Republic. The Republicans are deliberately causing gridlock in the U.S. government. Just like elements of the German Government did to the Weimar Republic. Frightening.

    It’s not quite that bad, actually. The Weimar Republic was “the republic nobody wanted”. Some wanted, if not the emperor back, then some other conservative authoritarian state; some wanted a communist dictature (and the communist party was big and strong); some wanted a fascist dictature; that left only the Social Democrats, there weren’t terribly many of them, and the conservatives and the fascists hated them for having allegedly “stabbed the German army in the back” so it lost WWI.

    In the USA, those who want a theocracy and those who want a plutocracy sit in the same party, and that’s only one of two.

  44. David Marjanović, OM says

    Jerry Ford.

    *ducks*

    I don’t understand why anyone ever pardoned him for pardoning Nixon. The sheer evil of it is just too much to grasp.

  45. What a Maroon says

    The last good one was Teddy Roosevelt, who was an aberrant throwback to the days when the Republicans were the more liberal party (the party made him Vice President, as back then the job had next to nothing to do, so it was a good way to get him out of the way. At least, it was until McKinley died and Roosevelt was made President).

    Granted it was before he became president, but TR was one of the main cheerleaders for the Spanish-American War, which in many ways was the Iraq war of its day. False premise? Check. Media-induced patriotic hysteria? Check. Quick initial victory? Check. Drawn out guerilla warfare afterwards? Check (in the Philippines). Torture and murder to fight said guerillas? Check.

    And as president, he forced Colombia to give up Panama and then took over the canal zone (with the collaboration of the French citizen serving as the ambassador from Panama; they saw no need to involve actual Panamanians in the process).

    Yes, he busted the trusts, and established the national park system, but overall he was a despicable person.

  46. KG says

    I must admit, I’m more pessimistic about the USA (and hence about the world) than for a long time; with the economy tanking, and Obama’s hopeless collaborationism, a Tea Party triumph in 2012 looks alarmingly plausible. Americans of course will be most immediately affected if that happens, but it would truly threaten the whole world with disaster.

  47. truthspeaker says

    KG – you have to understand that many American liberals regard imperialism as a good thing. They like Teddy Roosevelt precisely because he captured, I mean liberated, Cuba, Panama, and the Philippines.

  48. Kagehi says

    KG – you have to understand that many American liberals regard imperialism as a good thing.

    Yeah, because we are such strong supporters of Iraq, and other similar BS to what you “claim” we love so much. That is why imperialism is just about the number on damn thing people on this and other blogs gnash teeth over, and want to see the last mess of Republican war mongers jailed for. This isn’t just a non sequitur, its practically the same as having the bank robber claim that it was really the “cops” that robbed the safe, and he was a total innocent.

  49. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    David M @49… sorry, I forgot the (j/k). Sarcasm fail on my part. You’re right about Ford, though. Seriously, I’d sat Teddy R., but I don’t really consider him a standard bearer for the GOP. So I guess I’d have to say Lincoln, and that the party veered away from his ideals after his death.

  50. David Marjanović, OM says

    KG – you have to understand that many American liberals regard imperialism as a good thing. They like Teddy Roosevelt precisely because he captured, I mean liberated, Cuba, Panama, and the Philippines.

    Put up or shut up.

  51. Carbon Based Life Form says

    as president, [Theodore Roosevelt] forced Colombia to give up Panama and then took over the canal zone (with the collaboration of the French citizen serving as the ambassador from Panama; they saw no need to involve actual Panamanians in the process).

    TR asked his Attorney General, Philander Knox, to come up with a legal cover for his land grab in Panama. Knox replied, “Mr. President, do not let so great an achievement suffer from any taint of legality.”

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