Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You Can Always Count On The Nixon Guy

In her latest Huffington Post column, my Diocese of Los Angeles colleague the Rev. Susan Russell (shown photographing me in 2011) writes that she was a registered (although not always a voting) Republican until 1992, when she heard Nixon ex-aide Pat Buchanan's notorious cultural war speech at the George H. W. Bush convention:
I listened with increasing horror as his narrow, exclusivist, fear-mongering rhetoric laid out a vision for what this country needed -- a vision that bore absolutely NO resemblance to the values my parents had raised me to understand were core to the "Grand Old Party" of my Republican roots.

I turned the stove down under the simmering green beans, told the boys to finish their homework and that I'd be right back. I drove the six blocks down to the grocery store where earlier in the day I'd noticed the card table out front with the "Register to Vote" sign. And I changed my party affiliation that day -- explaining to the woman at the card table that if I got hit by a bus tomorrow I was NOT going to die a Republican. And I've never looked back.

This is one Huffington post GOP elites must read, mark, and inwardly digest. Susan's wasn't the only vote Buchanan lost for Bush in 1992. It could lose millions more socially tolerant, fiscally conservative voters this year, too. With the Paul Ryan pick, Mitt Romney pinned his hopes on the theory that enough former Obama voters will abandon him over the economy that Republicans will win despite tea party selfishness and a platform that envisions women in chains. With Romney's minions having massively out-raised Obama's in super-PAC funds, look for this Karl Rove-inspired script in more and more gauzy, minor-keyed TV spots: Obama meant well. He did the best he could! But it's time to give him a break and try something new for America. Romney and Rove had better hope that no more moments such as Todd Akin's unintended spasm of authenticity will make it as easy as Buchanan did for centrists to glimpse the true heart of today's Republican Party.

1 comment:


Great analysis as always, John. Thanks!