William Scranton

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

Crazy Dream Of Many Republicans Who Initially Rejected Trump–That He Will Magically Transform From His Sins–He Won’t!

It is amazing how many Republicans in office have caved in to Fascist Donald Trump’s candidacy, but it demonstrates their total delusional nature, that they think that he will magically transform from the sinner he is to a rational, mainstream human being.

By signing on with Trump, the Republicans in the US Senate will be massacred this fall, and we will see a massive repudation of Republican philosophy.

At the same time, intelligent conservatives at the National Review and The Weekly Standard are still holding back, as are the Bush Family and Mitt Romney and Christie Todd Whitman (former New Jersey Governor), and a small group of others who identify as Republicans.

But the Republican Party, which survived the disaster of 1912 with William Howard Taft challenged by Theodore Roosevelt; and 1964 with Barry Goldwater challenged by Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, George Romney and others; is no longer, as principle no longer matters for most Republicans and some conservatives.

So this is a transformative election that will go down in history!

Mitt Romney Comeback? Give Us All A Break!

The “Establishment” Republicans are running scared, trying to keep the Tea Party Movement from gaining complete control of the party, as it did in a different form when Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater took the nomination away from New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton precisely a half century ago, leading to a disastrous defeat of Goldwater by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964!

Their hope had been New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who won a massive re-election victory last November, and who now sees his Presidential campaign, and even his Governorship, lying in tatters, with the question whether he will be forced to resign or face impeachment in the “Bridgegate” scandal and related scandals in a corruption ridden administration, nothing really new in the history of New Jersey!

A second thought has been that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two Presidents named Bush, with the brother very unpopular after the disasters of his eight years in the White House, might be convinced to run. But Jeb’s mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, has twice said there have been enough Bushes in the Presidency, and that she did not want her younger son to run. Still, Jeb has hinted he is thinking about it, but after a very long time out of public office, ten years, more than any President in the past except Abraham Lincoln, one has to wonder whether Jeb would have a realistic chance at the nomination, and to be elected by a public wary of the Bush Family heritage.

Of course, those who really want a very qualified “Establishment” Republican may want former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman as their choice, but Huntsman’s problem is that he is TOO qualified, TOO sane, too decent and mainstream, to be the GOP nominee, and he also worked for President Obama, which makes him “persona non grata” to most in the Republican Party.

So in desperation, some are starting to think of a “re-do” of the 2012 campaign, by bringing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney into the fray once again, for the third time, but after having lost the election in 2012.

But there are many problems with this scenario:

Despite having run twice for the Presidency in 2008 when he failed to win the nomination, and 2012, when he did and lost, it is a fact that by 2016, Romney will have been out of public office for the same amount of time as Jeb Bush, ten years, and unlike Jeb, who had two terms as Governor, Romney only had one term of four years, making him the least experience in public office, compared to any actual Presidential nominee or President, other than Wendell Willkie and Woodrow Wilson.

Additionally, Romney would be nearly 70 at the time he took the Presidential oath in January 2017, only seven months older than Hillary Clinton, and four years and four months younger than Joe Biden, so this would be a truly “old folks home” race if Romney were the nominee.

Finally, Romney has proved to be a chameleon, supporting health care for Massachusetts, but then opposing a similar plan known as “ObamaCare”, and completely remaking himself to please the extreme right wing, but coming across as unprincipled, mercenary, and opportunistic, as well as being a massive liar, on a scale way beyond the norm of any Presidential campaign. He came across, also, as arrogant, insensitive, uncaring, phony, and will never be able to live down the “47 percent” comment, which will be part of the historical record for all eternity! How can Romney “remake” himself, and be taken seriously and seen as truthful, when he has proved to be totally unable to be believed and trusted?

So the best idea is to inform Mitt Romney to forget about it, be happy you are super wealthy, continue to amass that gigantic fortune that you wish to leave to your heirs, so that they do not have work and struggle like the rest of us “peons”, and be thankful you at least had the opportunity to run for the Presidency, which in itself is a special group that goes down in history! Be honest, making money as an obsession, is what you are best at, so go for it, and leave America alone!

Two Political Giants Pass From The Scene: Lindy Boggs And William Scranton!

In just the past couple of days, two Political Giants, one a Democrat and a woman, the other a man and a Republican, have passed from the scene, and their deaths remind us of the fact that there have been quality politicians in both parties, but the number who are such is rapidly declining!

Former Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, the widow of former Congressman Hale Boggs, and the mother of ABC journalist Cokie Roberts, died at the age of 97. One of the greatest women ever to serve in Congress, she won her husband’s seat after he was tragically killed in a small plane over Alaska, with his body never being found, in 1972. Lindy Boggs served almost 18 years in her Louisiana House district, winning the last few times as the only white Representative in Congress to represent a majority black district. She served as the Chairwoman of the 1976 Democratic National Convention which nominated Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. She was outspoken on the subject of civil rights, and was the first woman to serve in Congress from her state. Boggs also served as Ambassador to the Vatican, the Holy See, in the second term of Bill Clinton’s Presidency from 1997-2001.

And her daughter, Cokie Roberts, became a well known, outstanding journalist on ABC for a few decades, adding much to the profession of television journalism!

Lindy Boggs was truly an elegant lady, and a woman who stands out as one of the best ever to serve in the halls of Congress!

Just today, news came of the death of former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, William Scranton at age 96, who became very prominent as a one term Governor from 1963-1967, after serving one term in the House of Representatives. A progressive or liberal Republican, and proud of that appellation, Scranton ran a last ditch Presidential campaign against fellow Republican, Senator Barry Goldwater, attempting to stop his nomination for President in 1964.

Scranton came from a wealthy family which had founded Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was an inheritor of a fortune made in iron, coal, and railroads. He brought about education reform, including the community college system in his state. He also served as UN Ambassador in 1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford Presidency, and also headed a committee to investigate the Kent State University and Jackson State College tragedies which occurred after the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970 under President Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War! He also was asked by Nixon to be his Secretary of State, but declined, and was considered to be Gerald Ford’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1976, but passed by for Senator Bob Dole of Kansas!

The loss of two principled, decent politicians, such as Lindy Boggs and William Scranton, is a loss to American politics, and we can only hope for more people entering politics with the kind of stature and dignity that these two individuals personified!

159th Anniversary Of Founding Of Republican Party: Not A Celebration!

The Republican Party, which gave us Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, William Seward in the years of the 1850s and 1860s; which gave us Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr, George Norris, William Borah, Hiram Johnson in the 1900s-1940s; which gave us Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr,, George Romney in the 1950s-1960s; and which gave us Mark Hatfield, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford in the 1970s–1990s, reached its 159th birthday today.

The Republican Party began as an anti slavery expansion party, with elements of abolitionism also present when the party began on this day in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.

It became the party of civil rights legislation, three civil rights constitutional amendments, progressive legislation, and supportive of much bipartisan legislation with Democrats in the New Deal and Great Society eras.

Of course, they had their evil elements, including McCarthyism, nativism, and tying themselves to organized religious influences that wished to take America backward, but until the past few years, they always had redeeming values in many ways, and would often denounce the extremists in their midst.

But now the Republican Party has become a party dominated by Tea Party radicals, who promote racism, misogyny, nativism, concern only to promote the welfare of the wealthy, and willingness to engage in foreign wars that have cost us dearly in treasure and loss of life and limb!

The Republican Party is no longer, in any way, reflective of its past, and in fact, insults its honorable, respectable history, sullying the names of its heroes and champions over a century and a half!

This is a tragedy of massive proportions, and the name “Republican” should be co-opted by the true moderates who are sitting by, watching the destruction going on, and holding their heads in their hands, ashamed that the name has been so damaged by reckless, anarchistic haters of the federal government! The party which fought the Civil War to uphold the Union is now more like the secessionist Democrats of that era!

One Year To Inauguration Day!

Three years ago today, Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States.

One year from today, we will see the inauguration of a President–at this point, one of five men.

Tomorrow’s South Carolina Primary may decide who will be challenging Barack Obama in November.

One has to wonder where is the leadership, the statesmanship, of the opposition party, that they cannot come up with anyone on the level of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, or George H. W. Bush. This is not saying that all of the above had records in office approaching perfection, but compared to Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, they appear as a long lost Republican leadership.

And of course, to wish for the likes of past Republicans such as Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, George Romney, and Henry Cabot Lodge, among others, all of whom sought and failed to win their party’s nomination, is to expect too much in today’s political climate!

The “White” Republican Party Against The Future

It is clear that the Republican Party is trying to keep control of Congress and regain the White House by appealing to white voters of all economic classes by stealthily promoting fear of immigrants, Hispanics and Latinos, and African Americans, and trying to take away voting rights from the poor, the elderly, college students, as well as minorities.

This is a very troubling strategy, as it promotes a “them” versus “us” mentality which does not serve the nation well, as the reality is that the future of the nation is that the white population is declining in percentage, and by the mid 2040s, will be a minority.

So the need to adapt and appeal to nonwhites of all backgrounds is essential for the political health of the nation in the future. Instead, the GOP is acting as if it is the old Southern Democrats of the segregation era, or the Confederate mentality of the Civil War era.

This is ugly, dangerous, poisonous and reprehensible as the future cannot be stopped, and instead must be confronted! So a return to moderate Republicanism of the Nelson Rockefeller-William Scranton-Henry Cabot Lodge-Charles Percy-Mark Hatfield-Charles Mathias etc variety is essential and soon!

Des Moines, Iowa, Republican Presidential Debate On ABC Most Crucial Debate Yet!

Saturday night, there will be another in a long line of Republican Presidential debates, sponsored by ABC News, taking place in Des Moines, Iowa.

This is the most crucial debate yet, as it comes three weeks before the Iowa Caucuses, and at a time when the Republican Party is demonstrating its internal conflicts more than ever.

Former Speaker of The House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, surging in the polls, is receiving lots of opposition from “Establishment” Republicans and former House colleagues, and many conservative journalists, such as Peggy Noonan, see him as a horror for the party and the nation,

But there is no love lost for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor, in many ways reminding those old enough to remember, what the feeling was for Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1964, when the right wing was able to control the Republican convention, and nominate Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona for President, but leading to a total electoral disaster in the Presidential Election of 1964.

In many ways, the Gingrich-Romney battle is a replay of that election, except that Romney is trying to make himself LOOK more conservative than he really is, while Rockefeller made no attempt to declare himself a conservative.

The only person who still, if he does well in New Hampshire, might have a shot at the nomination, is former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who in many ways reminds us of Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, seen as an alternative to Rockefeller and Goldwater in 1964, but unable to overcome Goldwater.

The result was a total disaster for the Republican Party, and the promotion of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs. Hopefully, the country will be so disgusted with the Republican move to the far right, and the obstructionism of the House Republicans, and the anti labor Republican Governors and legislatures, and give Barack Obama the re-election victory he deserves in 2012!

The Death Of Former Senator Mark Hatfield Of Oregon: A Great Public Servant And Mainstream Republican!

The death over last weekend of former Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon reminds us of just how far the Republican Party has shifted from the 1960s through the 1990s mainstream historical tradition.

Mark Hatfield was a Senator’s Senator, one of the giants of the Republican Party, much admired and respected by Democrats, as well as mainstream Republicans.

The fact that South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond in the early years of Hatfield’s Senate tenure, and newly elected Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in 1995 moved to harm Hatfield’s seniority over different issues such as civil rights and the so called “balanced budget” amendment, only adds to his historical stature. And today, we have people of the ilk of Thurmond (Rick Perry, for instance), and Santorum himself attempting to be the nominee of his party for President on a platform promoting hate and lunatic ideas, demonstrating the moral crisis in the GOP these days.

Hatfield believed in government, supported social programs with vigor, and opposed defense spending and intervention in foreign lands, having the distinction of NEVER supporting a Pentagon spending bill in his thirty years in the US Senate.

Hafield was a religious man, a Baptist, but believed in separation of church and state. He was the true image of a really religious man, who believed that we are here to help our fellow human beings, not be mean spirited and uncaring about those less fortunate. He was the true follower of the beliefs of Jesus Christ, not phonies such as Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain, among others in the GOP Presidential race.

Mark Hatfield was a principled progressive in the Republican tradition, and was willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats for the good of the nation.

How can we mark his death at age 89, without a sense of mourning that the party he was a proud member of, has become a disgrace, an embarrassment, a dinosaur, as the party has allowed itself to be taken over by greedy, selfish interests, and Tea Party radicals that are anarchists, with willingness to destroy the American economy in their hatred of those less fortunate, and particularly their despising of the first African American President, who if he were white, would not have as much poison and venom directed at him, as Barack Obama has to bear daily from despicable talk show hosts and bigoted, right wing corporate spokesmen, and most Congressional Republicans.

Mark Hatfield will be remembered as in the best tradition of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr., George Norris, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and numerous other moderate progressives, including Jacob Javits, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Percy, Charles Mathias, Lowell Weicker, Edward Brooke, Clifford Case, William Scranton, Bob Packwood, George Romney, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and others not mentioned here.

So may Mark Hatfield rest in peace, and we should continue to honor him, and teach about his principles and contributions to our political history!

Tim Pawlenty Rejects Return To “Rockefeller Republicanism”: Just What Is Needed For America’s Future!

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!