Barry- Rocky redux
“History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Mark Twain's insight comes to mind as one observes the panic of Beltway Republicans over the latest polls in the battle of ObamaCare.
According to Gallup, approval of the Republican Party has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low. In the campaign to persuade America that the House Republicans shut down the government, the White House and its media chorus appear to have won this round.
Yet, the Republican House voted three times to keep open and to fund every agency, department and program of the U.S. government, except for ObamaCare. Republicans should refuse to raise the white flag and insist on an honorable avenue of retreat.
Why, after all, did Republicans stand up? Because they believe ObamaCare is an entitlement program this nation, lurching toward bankruptcy, cannot afford. It is imposing increases in health care premiums on millions of Americans and forcing businesses to cut workers back to 29 hours a week. What choice did the House have except to fight to defund or postpone it and tune out the whining of the “We-can't-win!” Republican establishment?
And if Republicans are paralyzed by polls produced by this three-week skirmish, they should reread the history of the party and the movement to which they profess to belong.
In the early 1960s, when the postwar right rose to challenge JFK with Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater was in the worst hole of a Republican nominee in history. Kennedy was murdered one year before the election. After his defeat of Nelson Rockefeller in the California primary assured his nomination, Goldwater was 59 points behind LBJ — 77-18.
Republican liberals — Govs. Rockefeller, George Romney and William Scranton — began to attack Goldwater for “extremism.” At the convention, liberals demanded Goldwater rewrite the platform to equate The John Birch Society with the Communist Party USA and the Ku Klux Klan.
Goldwater rejected this stinking outrage, declaring, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” One man stood by Goldwater — two-time loser Richard Nixon, who had not won a race in his own right since 1950.
And what became of them all?
Bill Scranton packed it in in 1966. George Romney was trounced in 1968 by Nixon in New Hampshire. Rockefeller lacked what it took to challenge Nixon in any of the contested primaries.
One other national Republican spoke up for Goldwater and conservatism in that 1964 humiliation, the retired Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan. Nixon and Reagan would go on to win four of the next five GOP nominations and presidential elections. In the one convention Reagan lost, 1976, the right demanded that Nelson Rockefeller be dumped as vice president. Done. Rocky was last seen flipping a middle finger to the delegates.
Prediction: The people who fought the battle of ObamaCare will be proven right to have fought it. And the people who said “We can't win!” will never win.
If America does not stop squandering hundreds of billions on liberal agenda items like ObamaCare and if she does not end these trade deficits sucking the jobs, factories and investment capital out of our country, we will find ourselves beside Greece, Spain, Illinois and Detroit.
Even if America disagrees, Republicans need to stand up. If the right is right, time will prove it, as it did long ago.
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
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