Remember 1968 and 2000, and the Supreme Court
Many of us, myself included, sit today with the feeling that not nearly as much as we
had hoped for and worked for and voted for in 2008 has become reality, yet.
Only very lately has the President come to acknowledge the full depth of the antagonism he is facing, and fight fire with fire with the necessary level of force to win more battles.
So there is much left undone, and polling suggests that in spite of the side-splittingly funny low farce that the Republican Primary race has been, Republicans still have more enthusiasm about voting against Obama in November than Democrats have about voting to reelect him.
This hauntingly reminds me of what happened in 1968 and more recently again twelve years ago.
In the Presidential Election of 1968,
Hubert Humphrey, after serving as Vice President to LBJ was nominated as the Democratic candidate for President. Humphrey was tainted as having loyally served LBJ while LBJ expanded the Vietnam War so tragically. Antiwar Democrats opposed Humphrey.
I recall the words of Russell Baker after the Presidential Election of 1968, won by Republican Richard Nixon:
“Millions of sensible people are too high-minded to concede that politics is almost always the choice of the lesser evil. "Tweedledum and Tweedledee," they say, "I will not vote." Having abstained, they are presented with a President who appoints the people who are going to rummage around in their lives for the next four years.In the Presidential Election of 2000,
“Consider all the people who sat home in a stew in 1968 rather than vote for Hubert Humphrey. They showed Humphrey.
“Those people who taught Hubert Humphrey a lesson will still be enjoying the Nixon Supreme Court when Tricia and Julie begin to find silver threads among the gold and the black.”
Many energetic Progressives thought that Al Gore was a “Republicrat,” who would govern too much like a Republican. The Liberal-Progressive vote was divided, which enabled the Republicans to give us George W. Bush. How many years will it take -- if indeed it can ever be accomplished -- to repair all the damage to our country done by the Republicans in the George Bush Administration years?
As we look ahead to the Presidential Election of 2012,
I am particularly alarmed when I think of what sort of Supreme Court we will have if a Republican President gets to choose the next two or three new members. The way the Republican Party goes ever further into the radical right, we might end up with a Supreme Court where Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Clarence Thomas are considered the “moderate” group!
So I plead with everyone here that we all fire up, unite, and get out the vote to reelect President Obama for another four years and give him a strong Democratic Congress to work with and the opportunity to continue the Progressive struggle and appoint good Supreme Court Justices.