Democrats & Liberals Archives

Might 2008 Reflect 1976?

Before heading out for my New Year’s Party, I feel compelled to comment on some reflections born by this week’s passing of Gerald Ford. 1976 was the first year that I was old enough to vote. I voted enthusiastically for Carter, but without any animosity toward the incumbent. Truly two very fine individuals were vying for the highest office in the land. Tonight I have some hope that 2008 may bring another election for which that may once again be true.

1976 is also the only time I voted for the winner - and I have voted in every election since. I'll let you chew on that one for a while.

But I promised reflections on Ford. His quote repeated this week so often "our long national nightmare is over", resonated for me in reflecting on this November's midterm elections. That will seem absurd to many of you, but fourteen years of Republican control of the House of Representatives has been excruciating for me, largely because moderate Republicans like Ford are so few and far between. We needed the 100 days that Gingrich promised to clean out the very real abuses of power built into the system from 40 years of Democratic control. But the House is supposed to be the People's body, and instead it has been run for the last 14 years as an arm of the Corporate elite. I do not hate corporations, as some will presume I do, but we have a duty not to cede the power of the people to the corporate boardrooms, and that duty has been neglected. Checks and balances aren't sexy, but they are the bread and butter of our Republic, and as Ford so rightly noted those many years ago, when they work it shows us to be a government of laws and not of men.

Let it be true, once again.

Posted by Walker Willingham at December 31, 2006 9:27 PM
Comments
Comment #201056

My first election was in 1972 -Richard Nixon verses George McGovern. It doesn’t matter who I voted for, only that at the age of 18 I actually voted in the first 18 year old voter election. I remember the excitement I had entering the voting booth for the first time, and still marvel at the feeling I get when I select my candidate. I wish only that more of the young voters would take the opportunity to feel the importance of casting their votes. Oh well - that’s another issue.

I, too, haven’t missed an election, and sadly I seldom seem to pick a winner, however I have had some fun voting against the other guy if for no other reason than I hate landslides!! Mandates seeem to set up our country for trouble. I figure that even one vote against the front runner might remind him that not everyone is totally fooled. (I sound paranoid - well, maybe I am a little when it comes to politics.)

Gerald Ford was a good man, as was Jimmy Carter. That is probably the only election in modern times that we have actually had Good men attempting to run for President. Unfortunately neither was terribly effective as President. Ford was tarnished because of his decision to pardon Nixon, and few will remember much else he attempted to do. Jimmy Carter of course will forever be linked with the Iranian Hostages.

In my opinion, it is a sad country that can not be run by good, honest, decent people.

Walker,
I pose the question - why is this true? What is it about this wonderful country that seems to prohibit the good from being effective Legislators, Presidents, or Justices?

Posted by: Linda H. at December 31, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #201060

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, my electoral cherry was broken in 1970 in Nebraska when Frank Morrison challenged Roman Hruska for the US Senate seat. The political shenanigans of Hruska and the Republican party played a large part in making me what I am today.

Morrison was a true Kennedy Democrat. He believed every American (and Nebraskan) should have an opportunity to succeed in life. Hruska was like Cheney on steroids. Most notably Hruska supported the nomination of Harold Carswell to the SCOTUS even though Carswell was an outspoken segregationist. When Carswell’s nomination failed the notorious Blackmun was nominated and confirmed.

Yeah, I remember the first time I voted. I also remember every time after that. And I’m still a proud Democrat.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #201078

Back in Ford’s day, I was a moderate Republican, and thought (and think) that he did the difficult right thing. I also thought (and think) that he committed knowing political suicide in doing the right thing. Since those days I have departed the Republican fold. They have made people like me feel unwelcome (RINO, Republican in name only). This attack seems to say that if you are not as far to the right as those speaking for the party today you are not welcome. I NEVER stay where I am not welcome. Ford could never get any where in todays Republican party.

Posted by: Richard at January 1, 2007 11:29 AM
Comment #201100

Linda
Your question? There are in fact some good people in politics,people that truly believe they are trying to do the right thing.No one is perfect of course and sometimes decisions and compromises,a necessary process in politics can make them look small and tawdry. Also the constant attacks from all sides can give us the wrong opinion.
I spent some time involved with my local Dem Central Committee. While there I got to know some politicians on a personal basis. Most but not all are geniunly concerned individuals of honesty and integrity. You might give it a try.It takes a real personal commitment to put ones self out there for attacks,often for years in low paying post like city council etc. for a pol to get anywhere.A good legislater is a public servant.
The pesidency though is a different animal. We seem to have a quandery. Anyone with the drive and desire to actually get the job is probably too pyscotic for us to allow anywhere near it if we had any sense.The best person for it is not running. My guess is they are probably a rancher somewhere.

Posted by: BillS at January 1, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #201139

BillS,
I didn’t make myself clear, and I apologize. I was referring to Federal Politics, for the most part. I majored in Political Science and have been actively involved in my community’s local politics as well as state’s for many years.

You are quite right about most of the politicians in these areas. I have even worked with several local politicians who ran, and even won seats in the House and Senate. I have watched them try to do positive and good things, only to be crushed in the process. All have been either frustrated, or one - termers, or became corrupted. I have often wondered why this seems to be.

Yes, it must take someone who is not only psychotic, but also extremely arrogant to even think about running for a major elected office. What I wonder is WHY? Were Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Addams, and son, etc. all as mentally deficient in character as it appears most of our modern presidents and legislators appear to be?

As a double major also in American History, I wish I had thought to look for the answer to that question before I graduated. It is hard to find out that type of information today even with the Internet.

I suspect the best person for president may not have even been born yet, or maybe they live on the late great planet of Pluto. ;-D

Posted by: Linda H. at January 1, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #201152

Linda,

My theory is that anyone who wants to be president shouldn’t be allowed to be president.

Richard,

I was a moderate Democrat during Ford. I became an independent because I couldn’t align myself with the people who were so entirely mad at Ford for pardonning Nixon; they seemed too much like present day Republicans, interested only in vengence. I might have actually become a Republican except for my complete distaste for Reagan and the Attwater version of politics. Watching the convention and Abramoff speak made me shiver.

Walker,

Too bad it isn’t as easy as clicking our heels together like Dorothy. As you alluded to, politics is run by big money and big money doesn’t care about the quality of the people running, only their agenda.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 2, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #201159

When it comes to cleaning up congress….isn’t it time for democrats to speak truth to power?

Harry Reid told us about the “Republican culture of corruption” and declared he would eliminate the “culture of corruption” in Washington.

Some facts:

1) Reid took over one million dollars from a lawer friend of his AFTER that lawyer used Reids name to get a zoning board to reverse itself on a property deal thus making Reid and his lawyer buddy rich.

2) Reid took more Abramoff money than any other democratic party Senator….and refused to return it. Hillary returned the 2K she took.

3) Reid has immediate family that are lobbiests.

It’s time to speak truth to power dems, it’s time to ask Reid to step down because he has been lining his pockets and his families pockets with “culture of corruption” money. He is, in fact, corrupt and has been selected to lead the dems in the senate….and openly corrupt man.

Isn’t time for dems to focus their outrage on their own corrupt leadership?

Please don’t crucify me for revealing Reids open corruption…I’m trying to follow the democratic model of speaking truth to power!

Posted by: Stephen at January 2, 2007 11:40 AM
Comment #201178

Yes, and at least one other president ensured that our national nightmare was over! ;>

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 2, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #201199

Linda,

If you go back to the beginni9ngs of this nation, I believe you will find a totally different concept of political service. The founders had a vision of serving for a limited time in office and then going back home. This would mean that a person would not become a career politician. This would also mean giving up a great portion of their personal lives and money to serve the nation they had helped establish.

Fast forward to 2007. Most of the politicians in Washington today are career minded. Having worked for several years in the media and having met many politicians on all levels, I can tell you that most, if not all, are looking to the next election, and voting with that in view. It takes a particularly courageous person to vote for what is truly best for the country when the lobbyists and fundraisers and throwing big chunks of reelection funds around.

As for the Presidency, it takes either a total masochist or an idiot to step out when he,or she, knows that every facet of their life will be poked, prodded, examined, twisted, and hung out for all to see. In today’s 24 hour news cycle world, the job doesn’t pay enough for anyone with common sense to try for it.

At least, that’s my opinion.

Posted by: John Back at January 2, 2007 4:05 PM
Comment #201209

Stephen,
Do you have any proof at all that Reid took money directly from Abramoff?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 2, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #201229

John Beck,
You basically made my point. Modern presidents are not necessarily public citizens who honestly care about what is best for this country, but are frequently self-serving assh…s

It’s a shame our Forefathers didn’t think in terms of having to impose term limits, or actually investigating the ethics, background, and financial records of our current politicians. Maybe they weren’t so bright after all. DAMN!!! Maybe short-sighted is a better way to look at it.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 2, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #201238

Stephen-
Quid pro quo: This for that. Reid did not do this for that. Reid did not do what Abramoff wanted him to do on the sweatshops. So how can you tar him with the same brush?

You want this Congress to fail. If Democrats can run the government better than your people can, then that means much of your complaints about Democratic leadership were just so much hot air.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #201241


John Back: If you do a little research, I think that you will find that the gentleman, farmer, legislator who only serves a term or two before going back home is basically myth. Most of the founders were career politicians who served many years as state legislators, senators and governors. We have had many career politicians throughout this nations history. Keep in mind, what makes a career politician is the ability to convince the people to reelect you over and over.

Posted by: jlw at January 3, 2007 12:42 AM
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