In 1976 people were seriously talking about the extinction of the Republican Party. The Democrats had made huge gains in Congress following the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, and the future of caretaker President Gerald Ford was bleak. With the American people weary of Republican corruption, incompetence and crisis, the stage seemed set for an era of Democratic dominance.
Then a funny thing happened. The Democrats nominated someone who was not part of the Washington scene, a folksy peanut farmer from Georgia who promised a new kind of politics. That candidate, Jimmy Carter, won narrowly, and his Administration went on to become one of the most disastrous in our history. Inexperienced in dealing with (a supposedly friendly) Congress, Carter floundered as economic and energy problems went unaddressed, detente with the Soviet Union slipped away, and the US suffered the stunning humiliation of the seizure of our embassy in Tehran by goons and the taking of our diplomats as hostages. And so four years later here came Reagan to dismantle the New Deal.
Sadly, it seems like the Democratic Party’s taste for self-immolation is still unsated. It now seems unlikely that the “superdelegates” will actually do their duty and prevent the nomination of our least-qualified candidate since William Jennings Bryan. (Look him up… he was another windbag with a famous speech.) Well, if that’s what you kiddos want, have at it. But as for me, I’ve seen this movie. And it sucked.
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