September 25, 2013

A sad day if #RachelMaddow thinks #Ike is a liberal

What started this blog rant of mine? The photo poster you see.

Yes, President Eisenhower may have been more liberal than today's GOP on Social Security, and possibly on racial issues.

That said:

1. He feared the military-industrial complex for budgetary reasons much more than military ones. And, the President who used the CIA to overthrow Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala, while planning the Bay of Pigs (although handing some of that off to Tricky Dick) might well have been a neocon today. At a minimum, there's a straight, bright line from Ike to the "Chilean 9/11," our overthrow of Salvador Allende on that date in 1973. (If you bring up Suez as a counter to this, Nixon said that Ike later regarded it as his biggest foreign policy mistake, which may well be true.) Also, given that Eisenhower as president started DARPA, I'm pretty sure he'd be as OK as Obama is with snooping on Americans' Internet habits.

2. On racial issues, he took SCOTUS' "due deliberate speed" in Brown vs. Board as a license toward deliberate slowness. (I am not sure if he had public comment when Truman desegregated the armed forces in 1948.) And, he had no problem with continuing to golf at segregated clubs. Also, we know, without any intermediation by Nixon, that he called appointing Earl Warren as Chief Justice his "biggest damn fool mistake."

3. Ike was also the Cold Warrior who did the heavy lifting on adding "under God" to the Pledge in 1954.

4. On labor issues, while I've seen these "Republicans and unions" pictures getting shared around FB, I quote the 1956 GOP Platform: "Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. ... In 1954, 1955 and again in 1956, President Eisenhower recommended constructive amendments to this Act. The Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked these needed changes by parliamentary maneuvers. The Republican Party pledges itself to overhaul and improve the Taft-Hartley Act along the lines of these recommendations." I'll venture any such "improvements" were for the benefit of management.

So, a Rachel Maddow on the The Rachel Maddow Show saying that agreeing with the Eisenhower-era Republican platform makes her liberal is both kind of shallow (actually, from a Rhodes Scholar, it's incredibly shallow), and kind of a statement on what many non-Republicans apparently think qualifies as liberalism today.

It's fine to show that Ike, with all of his own conservativism, is still more enlightened than a Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and many others. It's another to claim that Ike was in any way a liberal. And it's still more wrong to claim that being like Ike would make you a liberal today.

And, having read one of Maddow's books, I have no problem saying that she doesn't impress me that that much, and that a statement like the one in the photo poster really doesn't surprise me.

And, this is a partial critique of MSNBC's lineup. 

Chris Matthews? Well on his way to being a parody target as much as his former boss, Tip O'Neill.

Ed Schultz? A former conservative who found that playing a liberal was a faster way up the talk-TV ladder.

Lawrence O'Donnell? Not bad, as is Chris Hayes.

Joe Scarborough and the rest of Morning Joe? Bleah. Mika Brzezinski probably wouldn't be where she is without being a "legacy." Andrea Mitchell? Establishmentarian deluxe.


Floyd M. Orr said...

I have been reading and referencing your blog for several years. Surely you are the only writer in the USA who has publicly discussed both Lake Travis and Babygate, two subjects of which I have been intimately involved for a number of years. As far as the lake goes, it is and always has been more about the amount of water the LCRA lets out than the amount of water that enters The Highland Lakes. As for Babygate, you quit your investigation way too soon. You really need to read Paradigm Shift: The Palin Matrix. Believe it or not, my investigation has gone far beyond even the release of that book, and it is one helluva shocking story! Keep up the good work!

Asher said...

In the same speech Ike warned of the military-industrial complex he also warned of people like Maddow. Forgot the specific term he used but he was clearly referring to public intellectuals.

Asher said...

Can't really blame Maddow, though, as every putative protest movement ends up incorporated into the establishment.