HOW GEORGE W BUSH SAVED AMERICA
[A quick question to some of Our current visitors: 為什麼有這麼多的人在這裡從香港？ –Pain]
Before you say “what the hell is wrong with Sarah this morning?” go and get a cup of coffee and take the time to read the entire post, click the links and digest. To understand how George W Bush the 43rd President of the United States saved America we have to go back in time a bit. On November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. It doesn’t matter who killed him or why he was killed the important part was that his Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as President and took power seamlessly hours later.
Now Johnson was a Southern Democrat in a time when his party was as divided as the GOP is now. Johnson had to deal will vociferous conservative elements within his party from the South while assuring the more moderate Democrats from the North that the civil rights struggles of blacks would not be ignored. Johnson is curious historical figure to say the least and accomplished because of his acumen at the skill of political “sausage making” the near impossible–the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
These two landmark pieces of legislation were not passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law in some new and enlightened golden age in America where a blossoming of cooperation and racial harmony were in place. The year prior, 1963, was one of the darkest times in America and not only in the South. On a quiet Sunday in mid September 1963, four girls, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair were killed and 22 others were injured, when an explosive device was detonated at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
The bombing, carried out by four members of the Ku Klux Klan was a turning point in the civil rights struggle and laid the groundwork for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now come back to the present and imagine how conservatives in America would react if Islamic terrorists blew up a church killing children at Sunday school. Do you imagine that there would be a measured and rational response to such a horrible crime?
Back to the history for one more brief moment. The passage of civil rights legislation created the tension in America that led to President Nixon using the Southern Strategy of polarizing working class whites against working class blacks. Now you can begin to see some of the gulf that exists between these two naturally conservative voting groups. Nixon’s political handlers could read the demographic tea leaves in the early 70s just as well as we can today. Despite new found voting rights blacks in the South had very little voting power. Most of the coalitions in the major cities and state capitals in the South still centered around a few powerful conservative Democratic politicians and their attending machinery. Progressive Republicans stood no chance of winning statewide elections in the South and liberal Democrats were nearly as rare as unicorns.
Kevin Philipps, a man often credited with inventing the name Southern Strategy summed it up in 1970, thusly:
“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”
And this is exactly where we need to be in this discussion. The shift in the GOP from moderation to conservatism happened in a series of crystallizing moments in the 1970s. The Vietnam War was not going well. Nixon was distracted by his desire to crush the liberal establishment as evidenced by Watergate. The Roe v Wade decision brought evangelical protestant preachers into the political arena squarely on the side of Republicans. All of these things and the resignation of Nixon in 1974 led to the election of James Earl Carter Jr in 1976.
I could say that Nixon was the luckiest and unluckiest man in the history of American politics. Had Robert Kennedy lived Nixon would have never been President. Had Nixon’s ambition not led him to criminal activity he might have passed his political legacy on to a long line of Republican presidents in the future secure in their near certain victory by counting on a racially polarized South. To their credit the Democratic Party had Jimmy Carter who was the wrong man at the right time. It needs to be said that likely any Democrat other than Ted Kennedy could have beaten Gerald Ford. To this day I don’t know why the GOP didn’t politely ask Ford to step aside for an ascendant Ronald Reagan or even Robert Dole.
From Carter capturing of lightning in a bottle in ’76 America gets Reagan in ’80. In ’88 Reagan’s VP George H. W. Bush gives way to yet another Southern liberal William Jefferson Clinton in ’92. Now we come to the part that’s going to make many of you scratch your heads. George W. Bush was not even on the political radar when his father took office in January on 1989 despite having run for the House in 1978. This event too was lucky for the Progressives in America. Had he won that House race and his personal life caused him to resign the gap in the GOP ticket in 2000 might have been filled by someone that conservatives would have had much more difficulty rallying around.
Now comes the fun part. The attacks of 11 September 2001 were not George W Bush’s fault. He wasn’t America’s worst president. In actuality from a Progressive standpoint he set the table for the demise of the GOP and may have saved the Democratic Party an implosion by beating John Kerry in 2004. Now if you really wanted to split hairs you can thank Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda for beating John Kerry by viewing history on a truly point of reference scale.
Had Kerry won the election it would have only been a matter of time before his Vice President John Edward’s extramarital affair and the child that is the product of that affair shattered his image of perfection and took the Democratic Party down with the Kerry Administration. The energy that would have been needed to keep the scandal hidden would have been taken away from more important matters like the economy which was heading toward the explosion of the housing bubble in 2007. The lie that Edwards told on 8 August 2008 in a letter published in the Washington Post, that he was not the father of the child borne by Rielle Hunter would have imploded the Kerry Administration and in an era when shaming was still something voters did to punish political parties for embarrassment there may not have been another Democrat elected to the White House in twenty years.
The culture wars might have been lost by Progressives had it not been for George W Bush and all the swiftboating machinery that kept Kerry on the defensive. After the victory in 2004 the conservative powers that be within the GOP thought they had it all. What needed to be done now was to secure that next GOP presidential candidate had the same values as they did. When Hillary Clinton announced her intention to seek the nomination in 2007 conservatives thought they had been given a late Holiday gift. From the moment Bill Clinton left the White House and turned the reins of power over to George W Bush the die hard conservatives that despise the Clintons have wanted their turn at bashing Hillary. Politically, many of those conservatives feel it is something that they are owed.
You don’t have to be a doctor of history to realize where all of this is going and hindsight makes it easy for armchair historians to look back and make obvious connections. Hillary Clinton will run in 2016 and she will win. She will once again have to whisper a quiet thanks to George W Bush, the last GOP president and a man who conned the religious conservatives in his party into thinking he was one of them. More than anything else, the white vote in America will be important in 2016. By the count of the 2010 Census there were 30.67 million 18-24 year olds in the United States. The most conservative people in the United States are those over the age of 65. Those numbers in 2010 were 40.26 million. While many might see this as ageist, the simple fact of electoral calculus shows that Progressive voters [ mostly young and female] are replacing conservative voters [mostly old and male] at a rate that is astonishing and this is even as the numbers of those over 65 are growing.
Women are living longer and women are also a strong bloc for Progressives. By the 2048 election a woman who was first eligible to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 will be 50 years of age. The swing will be that the new older set in the United States will be a liberal base which believe in equal rights for all not just for a privileged male religious few. A child born on the day Hillary is inaugurated will be eligible to vote in the 2036 election which if the demographic trends hold regarding birthrate may be the first Presidential election where the white vote composes less than 60% of the electorate. Consider this, Texas has been the anchor of the South for the GOP for nearly 40 years. If you like interactive charts click on over to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com blog and enjoy this and see like I did that for Hillary to take Texas in 2016 she only need to improve on the white vote by 7% over Obama’s high of 43% in 2008.
Breitbart adhux autem mortju! [NB: English translation, “Breitbart is still dead!”]
Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!
Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
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