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View Diary: One Wing to Rule Them All: How Conservatives Betrayed the Republican Party (104 comments)

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  •  Well said, though I would disagree... (12+ / 0-)

    ...with diarist's use of the term "progressive" to describe those of the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party. Primarily because I come from a part of the country where "Progressive Republican" carries a specific meaning that's markedly to the left of the traditional, pro-business, non-theocratic, mainstream, Republican "moderate" wing.

    Mind you, I'd quite welcome the return of the GOP to that kind of Republican. They were sane, their agenda wasn't necessarily intrinsically evil, and you could cut a deal with them. The kind of Republicans they had in mind when making Kelly's Heroes and put these words in the mouth of the inimitable SSgt Crapgame, as played by Don Rickles: "A deal deal! Maybe the guy's a Republican! Business is business."

    But if we rewind in history for a century, the fact that their wing is named "Rockefeller" serves as a healthy reminder of just which kind of business they'll first and most defend when the rubber hits the road, and it ain't Mom and Pop, local-money merchants. The first Rockefellers were no friends to the original Progressives, and indeed I would argue served among the greatest examples of that which the Progressives were inspired to oppose.

    In those days, Progressivism was fusionist--it's not that it found its home in no party, but rather in all of them. There were fusionist Progressive wings of both the Republicans and the Democrats, not to mention the Progressive Party itself, the Populist Party, and various other (often state or regional) fusionist agragrian-left parties such as the Nonpartisan League, which fused its way to majority control of both major parties in North Dakota, giving them a nearly unbreakable hold on the ND legislature and in the process scaring the bejeezus out of anyone who believed political power belonged only in the hands of Rs and Ds.

    And among the giants of that era were truly Progressive Republicans with names like Robert La Follette, William Henry McMaster, Hiram Johnson, Peter Norbeck, and last but not least, Theodore Roosevelt.

    Nelson Rockefeller, while you could certainly cut a deal deal with him--and I certainly would welcome a return of the GOP to his sort over the current crowd, for the good of the country--does not warrant being mentioned in such company. Indeed, his father and grandfather were among the primary reasons that Progressive Republicanism--pro-business but anti-conglomerate--became necessary.

    PW

    "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

    by Progressive Witness on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:48:48 AM PDT

    •  George Norris (2+ / 0-)

      A Nebraska Republican.  We'll never see a Democrat as progressive as he was.  Such a Dem would be preempted as "unelectable fringe leftist" by the Dem establishment itself.

      "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

      by ActivistGuy on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:05:00 PM PDT

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      •  Yes! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        I threw my (short) list together on the fly (and could have added a few more less-well-known South Dakotans than Norbeck and McMaster since that's where I live) and absolutely, Norris was absent the list to my shame.

        What an absolutely superb example, AG, from just south of me. What an incredible and frankly inspiring record Norris had; from across the aisle FDR called him "the very perfect, gentle knight of American progressive ideals."

        People like him are why I really think had I lived in other times of history, I wouldn't have been a Democrat any sooner than FDR but instead have been a Republican (a Radical in the early days, a Progressive later), and never a Republican after--and gratefully so after the Bircher insurgency and the Southern Strategy.

        I come from Abolitionist folk, staunch Republicans all of course, and it's painful to see what the Party of Lincoln (and of my ancestors) has become. They've embraced nearly every value of those who were once the Republican Party's enemies from its inception.

        PW

        "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

        by Progressive Witness on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:23:20 PM PDT

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