Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What to Look for in a Republican President

Okay Mad Dog fans, you knew it was coming. 

Maud has implored, "Say it ain't true," but it can no longer be denied.

In the long dark teatime of his soul, Mad Dog has had to face a certain longing for an illicit love:  He has found he can no longer deny his attraction to that forbidden love--a Republican! 

Mad Dog is out of the closet. He admits to illicit longing!

Thinking back of his favorite Presidents, Obama, of course leads the list, back to Lincoln (a Republican) or maybe Roosevelt (either one.)  But right up there in the top 5, a man Mad Dog would never have expected to name, none other than Tricky Dick Nixon, the man who was a Communist hunter, a McCarthy type Red Baiter, who characterized his opponent in a Congressional race as "pink right down to her underpants."  

But when you stop listening to the bluster and anti Commie rhetoric and start looking at what he did, at the legislation he signed, you have to be impressed:

1/ He signed legislation into law creating the Envirnomental Protection Agency.
2/ He signed legislation creating the Occupational Safety and Health Agency to protect workers on the job.
3/ He floated the idea of not just a higher minimal wage, but a guaranteed annual income.
4/ He signed cost of living rises for Social Security benefits.
5/ He ended the war in Vietnam, however belatedly, but faster than President Obama has ended Afghanistan.
6/ He ended the draft!!!!
7/ He engaged China and opened up trade and relations with that communist regime.
8/ He put wage and price controls into place.
9/ He got us off the gold standard.
10/ He raised food stamps spending from $600 million to $2.5 billion. 
11/ He created the Supplemental Security Income portion of Social Security which constitutes  a guaranteed annual income for the aged, blind and disabled.
12/ He embraced Keynesian economics which advocates government spending in times of economic recession (which Paul Krugman had advocated). 
13/ Under his administration spending on social resource programs exceeded defense spending for the first time since WWII. 
14/ He imposed a minimum tax on the wealthy, the Alternative Minimum Tax. 
15/ He dramatically increased federal employee salaries.
16/ He oversaw the first large scale integration of public schools in the South. 
17/ He created the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (which goes out and fights for preservation of fisheries and "charismatic mammals" like sea otters. The man was green!
18/ Three of the Supreme Court justices he appointed voted for Roe v Wade.
19/ He promoted the Legacy of Parks program
20/ He implemented the first significant federal affirmative action program. 

Of course, he was a paranoid who used the IRS to harass his "enemies."  
He also devised the "Southern strategy" by which he pried the Southern Dixiecrats away from the Democratic Party after Lyndon Johnson had passed the Voting Rights Act, which had shaken the solidly Democratic South from fidelity toward divorce and Dick Nixon knew just how to appeal to the jilted Southerners. 

But he remarked to one of his top aides, John Whitaker, when William F. Buckley lost the mayoral race for New York City mayor in 1965 to the liberal Republican, John Lindsay, "The trouble with far-right conservatives like Buckley is that they really don't give a damn about people."

He described the patron saint of today's Republicans, Ronald Reagan, as a showy "know nothing" who did not have the intellect to be president. 

Nixon pushed for a health care program which would have required employers to buy health insurance for their employees and subsidized the employers who couldn't afford it. 

It has been said, "Only Nixon could have gone to China," by which it is meant that only someone with conservative street cred could do something really liberal because he has the trust of the conservative half of the country--Nixon was thought to be so Machiavellian that conservatives could look at him toasting Mao in Peking and tell themselves, "He's up to something: It'll be okay."  

So, in a sense Nixon was the executive version of Earl Warren, a man advertised as a dyed in the wool conservative who was able to execute a liberal agenda. 

None of the Supreme Court justices since has shown such wisdom and certainly none of the current crew of Republican candidates are likely to see the light--they are all William F. Buckley's.  

They just don't give a damn about people.


  1. Mad Dog,
    I must confess I wasn't aware of all these "Nixonian" accomplishments. Like most people, I associate him, on the positive side, to ending the Vietnam war and opening up relations with China and not much else. But this is quite an exemplary and extensive list of accomplishments that had a lasting and beneficial effect on many lives. I dare say this list is more impressive than than most of his fellow recent residents of the oval office. All that from Tricky Dick-who knew...Well you did- which is rather impressive Mad Dog...

  2. Maud,
    Wonders of the internet.
    Guess you don't have to be paragon of virtue to be a good president.
    As they say, Mussolini made the trains run on time and Mayor Daly cleared the streets of snow.
    Mad Dog