Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, on Meet The Press this morning, has made the statement that this is not the time for the return of “Rockefeller Republicanism”, referring to the former “Liberal” wing of the Republican Party led by former NY Governor, Vice President, and perennial Presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller.
Nelson Rockefeller, even if one could find fault with him personally or on specific issues, represented a viewpoint shared by many Republicans in the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s–of being “mainstream” on economic, social, and foreign policy issues.
It used to be that the Republican Party offered an alternative which one could “live” with, even if one were a Democrat.
The Republican party was seen as center Right, but the emphasis was on CENTER.
A whole generation of Republican Governors and Senators fit this image–among them George Romney, William Scranton, Charles Percy, Clifford Case, Lowell Weicker, Jacob Javits, Charles Mathias, Mark Hatfield, Tom Kuchel, and Bob Packwood.
The Republican Party today represents an extremist group which offers no possibility of restoring confidence in the future of American politics, as they have allowed themselves to be “hijacked” by social conservatives and Tea Party Movement radicals who see no problem in allowing the government to default on its debts, and destroying the social safety net built up by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.
Were the Republican Party to return to the views of the “Rockefeller” wing of past decades, the future of the party and of the nation would be vastly improved, but that is highly unlikely, something sad to say!