Former Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) died this morning. You are supposed to speak kindly of the departed, and McGovern did have an admirable record in World War II. However, during his 18 years in the Senate he represented the worst of the radical left, and always advocated unilateral disarmament.
He does deserve credit for admitting some of his mistakes. His Stratford Inn in Connecticut went bankrupt in 1991 primarily because of excessive government regulations.
McGovern said he understood why people did not like him, and wished he had run a business before he began legislating on things that affected them. He wrote: “After two and a half years with the loss of all my earnings from nearly a decade of post-Senate lecture tours, I gave up on the Stratford Inn. But not before learning some painful and valuable lessons.
“I learned first of all that over the past 20 years America has become the most litigious society in the world. Today Americans sue one another at the drop of a hat — almost on the spur of the moment.”
He said we need to “cut down vastly on the incredible paperwork, the complicated tax forms, the number of minute regulations, and the seemingly endless reporting requirements that afflict American business. Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can’t pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.
“If I were back in the U.S. Senate or in the White House, I would ask a lot of questions before I voted for any more burdens on the thousands of struggling businesses across the nation.”
Three years ago McGovern again broke with the left when he came out in opposition to the union card check legislation.
This morning it was announced that Newsweek is ending its print version, and in 2013 will be all digital. After 80 years in print, the magazine will finally be off the newsstands. Its decline has been obvious, and we are not sorry to see them go.
Two years ago Tina Brown bought the magazine and made it a unit of her upstart online Daily Beast news service. The magazine changed from a streamlined format to a dumbed-down picture book, and despite this cover, its liberal bias was worse than ever.
Chris Harper says “As a former Newsweek reporter when it was a good magazine, I wish Tina Brown and Barry Diller would simply move on without the Newsweek brand.”
The funeral of former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), 82, was yesterday, and for 29 years he was one of the vanishing breed of liberal Republicans. Specter left the GOP after the stimulus vote when his own poll indicated he would lose a Republican primary. He should have known better when he cut a deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Reid promised to maintain Specter’s seniority but it never happened. Specter was put on the bottom of all four of his committees when he became a Democrat.
When Specter switched, there were many articles indicating this signaled the end for Pennsylvania Republicans. Fortunately they were wrong. In 2010, the GOP recaptured Specter’s seat, the Governorship and five Congressional Districts.
This September 1980 photo was from a very unusual campaign. It was one of the few times a Democrat ran to the right of the Republican. Specter’s opponent was former Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty, who had switched from Republican to Democrat, while Specter had switched from Democrat to Republican.
Flaherty had been elected Mayor after criticizing the Democrats unbalanced budget. He attacked labor unions, opposed busing, balanced the budget and was to the right of Specter on social issues. Flaherty cut the city’s payroll from over 7,000 to less than 5,000, and repeatedly cut property and wage taxes.
We know Specter’s vote was needed to ensure the first GOP Senate majority since 1954, but we do wish there more fiscally conservative Democrats like Flaherty.
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continues to be the frontrunner and may soon represent a new Congressional District. She was an Obama delegate, served on the White House Health Reform Task Force, and was with the President when Obamacare was signed. She has visited the White House at least 25 times.
The GOP has plenty of ammunition against her, but this is a tough district. Sinema led a war protest while wearing a pink tutu in her role of spokesperson for the Green Party. In 2003, she recalled “singing and spiraling” in a “pagan” dance pit in Miami during another anti-war rally.
In discussing women who do not have outside jobs she said “These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life. That’s bullshit. I mean, what the f–k are we really talking about here?”
After the 9/11 attack she organized the Arizona Alliance for Peace and Justice (AAPJ), which denounces U.S. military aid to Israel. In accordance with AAPJ’s commitment to “world disarmament,” Sinema wrote that US military and political leaders have “blood on their hands,” and stated her opposition to using any military force to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. She has also accused the police of “repression and brutality.”
There is a lot of competition for that title, but a top contender would have to be this comment during the third 2008 debate with John McCain (see below link).
It was moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS who said next year there would be and “astounding $455 billion deficit,” and Obama’s proposals would add another $200 billion to the deficit. The then Senator responded “What I have done throughout this campaign is to promise a net spendng cut.”
He described himself as a “strong proponent of pay as you go (PAY-GO). Every dollar that I have proposed spending, I have proposed an additional cut. So that it matches. . . We need to eliminate a whole host of programs that don’t work. I want to go through the federal budget line by line.”
Unfortunately, all of this was a complete lie. Obama never considered a net spending cut and of course it was not included in his proposed budgets. PAY-GO was passed by the Democratic Congress in early 2007, but they never once complied with it. The real farce was the news media which portrayed liberal Democrats as deficit hawks in 2006 and 2008.
Some of the other contending statements for biggest lie would be:
- I’ve done more for Israel’s security than any President ever.
- The GOP is responsible for Obama jobs bill not passing.
- Then you’ve got their (GOP) position which is dirtier air, dirtier water and less people with health insurance.
- The rich don’t pay their fair share.
- The health care bill will not increase the deficit by one dime.
- If you like the health care plan you have, you can keep it.
- We have run out of places in the US to drill for oil.
- We will cut deficit in half by end of the first term.
- Health care negotiations will be covered on C-Span.
- The unemployment rate will be 5.3% with the stimulus.
- “I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage”.
- Guantanamo Bay will be closed within a year.
- Didn’t know Jeremiah Wright was a radical.
- We will have the most transparent administration in history.
- I have visited all 57 states.
On this date in 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. Kennedy’s 28 year old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne died by drowning.
The Senator waited 10 hours before reporting the accident, but was never able to give a convincing explanation of his strange behavior. His license was suspended for six months. At the time of the incident, Kennedy was the nation’s most prominent potential Democratic presidential candidate.
If it had not happened, he may have still passed on a 1972 campaign against President Richard Nixon. He was only 40 that year. 1976 would have been a more realistic time for him, and it was an excellent year for Democrats.
When he did try to deny Jimmy Carter’s 1980 renomination, the Chappaquiddick incident haunted him and helped destroyed his chances. Writing in his book “True Compass,” which was published a week after his death, Kennedy described his actions as “inexcusable” and said that at the time he was afraid, overwhelmed “and made terrible decisions.”
Kennedy said he had to live with the guilt of his actions for four decades but that Miss Kopechne’s family had to endure far worse. “Atonement is a process that never ends,” he wrote.
The news media was relatively easy on Kennedy in 1969, and he was not forced to answer many difficult questions. That would not be allowed today. Kennedy’s popularity obviously declined, but even after Chappaquiddick, he still had a 58% approval rating in 1969, and was easily reelected in 1970
There are many candidates for this distinction, but the consequences were certainly devastating for Gov. John Gilligan (D-OH) in 1974. He is shown in 2009 with his daughter, Obama’s HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She is a former Kansas Governor and they are the only father-daughter governors in U.S. history.
The 1974 election occurred in the wake of the Watergate scandal, which had forced President Richard Nixon’s resignation. The scandal allowed the Democrats to take 49 seats from the GOP in the U.S. House, and increased their majority above the two-thirds mark. One of the few bright spots for Republicans was Gilligan’s defeat for re-election.
Gilligan was an advocate of the first state income tax, and it was passed during his tenure. It was the major issue in the campaign, and Gilligan made it worse when he visited the state fair. He was asked if he was planning to attend the sheep shearing contest, and responded “I don’t shear sheep, I shear taxpayers.”
The comment was repeated endlessly and Gilligan lost by fewer than 1500 votes. Jack Germond of the Washington Star believes the joke may have also cost him the presidency.
He wrote: “Even before the returns were in from the 1974 elections, I had 1976 all figured out. After Watergate, Americans would be sick of anything connected to Washington, so the Democrats would nominate a governor.
“I even knew which one, John Gilligan. . . . My scenario fell apart, however, when Gilligan lost his campaign. . . Gilligan’s quick mouth didn’t help matters.”
Posted in Democrats, Flashback, Jimmy Carter, Notable People, Ohio, Trivia Questions
- Tagged 1974 election, first state income tax, Gov. John Gilligan, jack germond, john gilligan, John Rhodes, Kathleen Sebelius, politics, president richard nixon, shear sheep, watergate scandal