Sunday, February 10, 2008

The CSM usually knows better than to publish utter nonsense

by Ken Houghton

But there is always the exception:
Clinton versus Obama is shaping up as one of the titanic clashes of recent history, note experts. It's Walter Mondale against Gary Hart in 1984, Jimmy Carter versus Ted Kennedy in 1980, even John F. Kennedy versus Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960 – rolled into one.

1984 was so close that Gary Hart received just over 30% of the delegates, while the "primaries" of 1960 were clearly secondary in decision-making to the convention itself (Note, for instance, that Richard Nixon got more votes in the Democratic primaries than LBJ did.)

Of 1980, Kennedy/Carter revealed the weakness of the incumbent and led to one of Kennedy's best, most prescient speeches ever:
The Grand Old Party thinks it has found a great new trick, but 40 years ago an earlier generation of Republicans attempted the same trick. And Franklin Roosevelt himself replied, "Most Republican leaders have bitterly fought and blocked the forward surge of average men and women in their pursuit of happiness. Let us not be deluded that overnight those leaders have suddenly become the friends of average men and women."

"You know," he continued, "very few of us are that gullible." And four years later when the Republicans tried that trick again, Franklin Roosevelt asked "Can the Old Guard pass itself off as the New Deal? I think not. We have all seen many marvelous stunts in the circus, but no performing elephant could turn a handspring without falling flat on its back."

The 1980 Republican convention was awash with crocodile tears for our economic distress, but it is by their long record and not their recent words that you shall know them....

Eight years later, Lloyd Bentsen noted:
You know, if you let me write $200 billion worth of hot checks every year, I could give you an illusion of prosperity, too. (Laughter and applause) This is an administration that has more than doubled the national debt, and they've done that in less than eight years. They have taken this country from the No. 1 lender nation in the world to the No. 1 debtor nation in the world. And the interest on that debt next year, on this Reagan-Bush debt of our nation, is going to be $640 for every man, woman, and child in America because of this kind of a credit-card mentality. So we go out and we try to sell our securities every week, and hope that the foreigners will buy them. And they do buy them. But every time they do, we lose some of our economic independence for the future.

Which is why another CSM article is so scary, just in its header:
Congress is likely to try other economic boosts. The GOP wants to extend the Bush tax cuts set to expire in 2010.

Which will it be?

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