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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Martin Luther King, Jr./Inauguration Day Open Thread (272 comments)

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  •  Sometimes I like to fantasize about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychicpanda, MichaelNY

    what America would be like if ol' Scoopnose had been elected President. Or if Vietnam had never happened (giving LBJ the chance to implement his social welfare programs), or if RFK had won in '68, or if McGovern actually had a chance at winning the White House.

    But it's a depressing thing to fantasize about. It's better to be hopeful for the future than to mourn the past.

    Student, Proud Progressive, Science Nerd, and Skeptic. Born and raised in CT-03. "Teach a man to reason, and he'll think for a lifetime."--Phil Plait

    by betelgeux on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:45:31 AM PST

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    •  I think RFK would have won the Democratic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, betelgeux

      nomination in 1968 if he had lived. I would go as far as to say that he was a courageous civil rights leader. His insistence on not cancelling a planned campaign appearance in the black ghetto of Indianapolis on the day Dr. King was assassinated and making a great speech from the heart there was a great moment in American history. It's hard to know whether he would have won the general election, though. The South definitely would have voted for Wallace and Nixon against such a powerful opponent of racism. However, he just might have gotten more votes of people who preferred Nixon's supposed "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam over Humphrey's association with Johnson.

      Had he won, I have no doubt he would have proposed far-reaching liberal policies. I think the Legislature, given its composition in those days, would have approved most of them. Also, his Supreme Court nominees would have been more liberal than Nixon's, and that would have made some differences, too.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:29:40 PM PST

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      •  Our country would look drastically different (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, betelgeux

        as would the Republican party.  I really think had RFK not been shot and assuming he'd win in a squeaker we'd be a lot closer to Social Democracy today than we actually are.  Universal Health Care being just one of many policies that would have been long established.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

        by sawolf on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:53:27 PM PST

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        •  Yes, I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betelgeux

          Based on what I've read, it seems that Nixon's universal health care plan failed because Congressional Democrats like Senator Kennedy didn't trust him and insisted on single-payer.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:08:53 PM PST

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          •  Partly, although... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, MichaelNY, betelgeux

            ... Nixon's universal health care proposals also came at major moments of political weakness - first in 1971, when it went nowhere, then a more serious effort in late 1973. That was the effort which Kennedy said he later regretted not supporting. The problem was that the effort was opposed by most Republicans and internally by many in the WH - Nixon was probably sincere in wanting it, but part of the calculation was clearly to sidestep Watergate, and the development of the scandal was a key reason the effort failed.

      •  1968 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        There were no guarantees had Bobby Kennedy made it to Chicago. Indeed, many people argue Humphrey's delegate lead was insurmountable. It required changing people's minds already pledged to the VP. And he most certainly had no chance without the support of McCarthy. The problem he was likely to have with the latter was that stopping Kennedy became almost as important to that campaign as it had been to defeating Johnson. I do think the convention mess was unlikely however had he lived which might have made it more difficult for Nixon in November.

        But say RFK ends up the nominee. He probably loses Texas. He would have then had to thread a needle through states won by JFK in 1960. Namely Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois and Missouri. That wouldn't have been enough without some combination of other places Humphrey ran close including Alaska, Ohio, Oregon and Kentucky. The last two Nixon carried by 6 points each. Or win California. Again.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:34:08 AM PST

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