Young GOP techies taken in by a liberal fairy tale in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.
(Page 3 of 5)
Let’s climb in our time capsule and rocket back to December — of 1964. The Goldwater-Johnson race for president had ended the previous month, with an LBJ landslide. The Washington Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times, the liberal journalist Robert J. Donovan, had spent the year covering the campaign and interviewing all manner of voters, pollsters and party elites from both sides during the year.
By December he had a book out. Title: The Future of the Republican Party.
In which — yes indeed — with all the predictability of a sunny day in July he got the identical reactions to the GOP in 1964 as Ms. Anderson got in 2013. And came to precisely the same kind of conclusions 49 years ago that Anderson — not to mention Draper — arrived at. Did I mention that like Draper, Donovan was a liberal journalist of the day? Did I mention Donovan — like Draper and Anderson and the young GOPers as presented in Draper’s article — saw the GOP as precariously close to finished?
Here are some samples from Donovan, with my notes in bold:
• “The devastating defeat of Barry Goldwater at the hands of the voters in all sections of the country but the Deep South has damaged, weakened, and tarnished the party. For years to come the two-party system will be crippled….” (Note: Two years later in 1966 the GOP won 47 House seats, 3 Senate seats, 8 governorships and 557 state legislative seats. Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California in a million vote landslide. In 1968 the GOP won the White House.)
• “In the wake of the latest Republican defeat, in which Goldwater carried only six small states, a plausible projection could be made showing the Democrats retaining control of the White House at least until 1988…This projection presumes President Johnson’s winning a second full term in 1968, after which would come the election and re-election of Hubert H. Humphrey in 1972 and 1976, followed perhaps by Robert or Edward Kennedy in 1980 and 1984.”
(Note: the GOP would win all of those presidential elections save the 1976 loss to Jimmy Carter.)
• “The Republicans chased after a will-o’-the-wisp of conservative votes that were waiting for a genuine conservative in a never-never land first suspected by the late Senator Robert A. Taft but never yet discovered……The supposed untapped reservoir of conservative votes now proved to be a mirage… ”
(Note: The “untapped reservoir of conservative votes” was no mirage. It was an electoral gusher that began to flow a mere two years later in 1966 and has been flowing ever since — if one knows where and how to drill.)
• “In fact, the right-wing seemed not to have learned any lesson at all from the defeat. ‘One year’s landslide loss, in other words,’ wrote William F. Buckley, Jr. editor-in-chief of the National Review, ‘is not necessarily a permanent thing in a dynamic society, and there is no reason for American conservatives to believe either that their hearts deceived them in telling them he (Goldwater) was right, or that the time will never come again when the American people can correct our public policies.’”
(Note: Buckley was proved to be correct. Donovan’s predictions of future liberal political dominance were wildly wrong. It turned out to be liberals who in fact learned the wrong lesson about 1964.)
• “(Goldwater said) ‘The time has come to choose up two new teams and get going.’ In his (Goldwater’s) view the Democrats should become the party of the liberals and the Republicans the party of the conservatives. Instead of winning any support for this radical proposal, Goldwater merely strengthened the impression that he had not, even then, grasped the meaning of the election returns.”
(Note: History records that Goldwater — not to mention Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jr. and a whole host of American conservatives grasped the meaning of the 1964 with dead-on accuracy. So too, to be fair, did the late liberal Senator George McGovern who, as the Goldwater of the Left, thoroughly re-cast the Democrats in 1972 as exactly what Donovan said it wouldn’t become — the party of the liberals. When Barack Obama came of age, he had no hesitation as to which party he should join — or lead.)
• “The party is in eclipse. There are no very bright spots….”
(Note: Forty-nine years and five GOP presidents later, after decades of Republican governors, state legislators and control of either or both branches of Congress, the eclipse has yet to be seen.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online