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View Diary: George H.W. Bush's Letter of Resignation from the NRA (78 comments)

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  •  This has been playing out for a long time. (10+ / 0-)

    Reagan ran for president by running against the government, but in the 1990's the anti-government crazies really began to get more extreme. It really began around the time that Bill Clinton was elected President.

    I remember when I was in college in 1993. I was watching CNN, and they were covering the Michigan Militia protesting against UN Day. That the Michigan Militia was protesting wasn't interesting. What was interesting was that CNN decided that it was worthy of national attention. Organizations such as the Michigan Militia are private armies rather than true militias - any organization dedicated to opposing the government isn't a militia.

    This may not have been the first incident of its kind, but it was the first that I had noticed. Before this, there were conspiracy theorists who believed that the UN had black helicopters and was secretly controlling America. But they were an ignored fringe. This changed in the 1990's, they were welcomed with open arms by the GOP, and the media treated their nonsense like it was worthy of serious consideration.

    The NRA's statements calling government agents "jack booted thugs" was in line with a lot that was going on at the time. G. Gordon Liddy in 1994 said "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests." ... "They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches."

    We went from Reagan's "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"  to "The government and the UN are out to kill you, so kill them first!" and things have only become more extreme over the years.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:46:00 PM PST

    •  Reagan was a sheep who made Barry Goldwater (4+ / 0-)

      philosophy acceptable.  The Tea Party candidate for our House district had little on his web site except the 1964 speech Reagan gave on behalf of Goldwater that made him a name in politics.  A more mainstream R just barely beat this guy out.

      The Bancroft Library has some great oral histories that describe how Reagan became the darling of the uber right wing of the Republicans.  There has long been little trust between the Eisenhower/Nixon wing vs the Goldwater/Reagan wing.

      I would go so far as to suggest that the Eisenhower/Nixon cabal is more like today Blue Dogs and the extremist seem to have taken over what's left of the GOP.

      Congressional elections have consequences!

      by Cordyc on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:23:24 PM PST

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      •  Even Goldwater began to have some qualms... (8+ / 0-)

        ... later in his life about the growing extremism in the GOP.

        Ike has been virtually written out of the GOP history books. People still have positive views of him, but the GOP doesn't want to talk about him. They will talk about General Eisenhower, but not President Eisenhower.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:38:43 PM PST

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        •  Goldwater worked steadily against the nuts. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, sethtriggs, MichaelNY

          His brand of conservatism was not paranoid, not KKK-wannabe racist, not obsessed with hating the Russians.

          A little racist, yeah.

          More than a little anti-gay.

          He was roughly 50 years out of synch with where the country was going in the 1960s.

          Keeping "the nuts" out of the Republican Party was a major part of his work over the years in Arizona. Now that's the Tea Party.

          "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

          by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:50:37 AM PST

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          •  I didn't realize Goldwater was anti-gay (0+ / 0-)

            I would have thought, for example, that he would have opposed sodomy laws on the basis of civil liberties. Did he support raids in people's bedrooms?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:37:22 PM PST

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      •  Convert the Eisenhower/Nixon wing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, MichaelNY

        to being centerist Democrats.

        That project seems to be well under way. The White House is winning the fight.

        Obama has maneuvered Speaker of the House Boehner into utter failures such as this "Plan B" disaster. The Republicans are not a coherent political party.

        Let's go poaching !! Steal the whole centerist caboodle and finish them off for a decade.

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:43:37 AM PST

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        •  Okay, let's get a few things straight here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tgrshark13

          First, there was no "Eisenhower/Nixon" wing. At the time, Nixon was the right-wing kook shoved down the throats of the establishment Republicans in order to secure support of the right-wing-kooky elements of the Party. He was the Paul Ryan of his day. Eisenhower loathed Nixon, and Nixon saw himself always as the representative of the little guy fighting against the big-money Eastern Establishment.

          Second, it is only a victory to "steal" Rockefeller Republicans and turn them into Democrats if one's objective begins and ends with Winning The White House with a D after one's name. These people aren't changing their philosophies. If I wanted to be in a political party with them, I would have joined the Republican party 30 years ago.

          The Republican Party has gone batshit crazy for one simple reason: The Democratic Party has abandoned anything resembling serious left-ish economics, and crowded out the Republican Party in the terrain of almost sane though still deeply immoral and unethical conservative economic politics.

          Maybe you're a DLC'er, and this represents the ultimate victory to you: Adopt Republican policies, chop off the left-most half of the Republican party and at it to the Democratic Party, and wave buh-bye to the DFHs pleading desperately for humane, liberal, democratic, sustainable, and fundamentally decent economics.

          For me, unfortunately, every time a Republican abandons the lunatic remnant of the GOP and signs on with the Dems, it is not a victory, it is a catastrophe.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:23:43 AM PST

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