A Republican nostalgic for the Nixon era of regulations will vote for Obama

One of my moderate Republican friends made the very anti-GOP claim that the role of the government is to regulate.

He finds it ridiculous that the House Republicans signed a pledge never to raise taxes and are not willing to give up their stance even when the debt continues to grow.

He says it is best if the Republican Party loses big so that they realize they are going in the wrong direction and hopefully go back to the good old days (from 40+ years ago).

He mentioned that the Republicans from the generation of his parents used to support and sign into law many regulations. He told me, and this surprised me, as I was not aware of it (I came to the US in 1996), that Nixon signed into law many environmental regulations. But he forgot to tell me that it was the Democratic Congresses that passed the environmental initiatives; it was therefore a shared effort between Republicans and Democrats, back in the olden days when these two species coexisted.

The environmental laws included:

 The National Environmental Act of 1969, the Clean Air Act in 1970, the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and last but certainly not least, the Safe Drinking Act of 1974. Not only did Richard Nixon sign all this legislation but he took a big step on his own when he signed an executive order creating the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

The big question is why a conservative like Nixon created EPA and why did he sign the green legislation passed by Congress.

There are any number of explanations.

To begin with, Nixon was much more interested in foreign policy than he was in domestic policy…  And the president was busy fighting the war in Vietnam at the time and making overtures to the communist governments of the Soviet Union and China.

And there was a tradition of progressive GOP environmentalism in the form of Teddy Roosevelt. It's hard to believe but, in the 1970s, there were moderate Republicans. Of course, they should have been put on the Endangered Species list before they died off, became Democrats, or were herded into re-education camps during the Ronald Reagan's presidency.

I am not sure Republicans can go back to the Nixon era. Too much time, money and effort has been invested by the corporate cronies, big oil, the Koch brothers and many among the 1% to buy Republican politicians to help each other stay in power. I don’t see how they can go back.

But hey, I don’t mind if they believe this voting for Obama strategy may work.

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A Republican nostalgic for the Nixon era of regulations will vote for Obama, 1.0 out of 1 based on 2 ratings

13 comments to A Republican nostalgic for the Nixon era of regulations will vote for Obama

  • BC

    Very interesting article – well written.  Lots to think about.
     
    For starters – both parties need to change and compromise or they won't survive.  The nation and the world is in a great deal of hurt economically and geopolitically.
     
    Next Congress needs to cut the apron strings from their lobbyists and start representing everyone.  If you go back to even Reagan it was a lot more civil.  What's interesting is the worse the bubbles and greed have gotten since the mid 80s the worse the politics have become.  So greed needs to be lessened as does fear.
     
    We need a new moderate party in the country or the existing parties need to gravitate to the center.  And if they don't then we will get there anyway via economic pain and perhaps even more war.
     
    As stated in the past I think "corporations are people too" is a particularly repugnant piece of legislation, but I see no difference between Koch and Soros.  Both sides take advantage of the law.
     
     

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    • itaest

      Hey BC,

      My take is that the Republican party has fallen off the right-wing cliff. They need to become more moderate. I think the Democratic party is too close to the center and needs to move towards socialist initiatives that have been adopted and been successful in countries like Germany.

      So the Democrats get money from Soros? Well, they also get money from unions (aka workers) and from small donations. Now compare that with the Republicans who get the largest chunk of money from big donors.

      Here are the facts:

      - Obama raises twice as much than Romney on small donations

      - labor unions typically contribute to Democrats

      -Unlike Democrats, Senate Republicans don't want you to know where they get their money from

      -SuperPac Money (from wealthy donors and corporations) goes $61 million for Romney, $15 million for Obama

      Please stop equating the two parties. Follow the money and you know what they stand for.

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      • BC

        On the fund raising – Obama has raised a lot from Wall Street, Venture Capitalists and corporations.  If you look at Dem/Repub for Congress they all raise money from corporations.
         
        And it's a matter of public record.   The idea that somehow Obama or dems just raise money from the little guys or unions is laughable.  The country is run by lobbyists and this would not be possible if they didn't own both parties.
         
        Of course Obama and the dems take no money from Wall Street – why else would his DOJ have prosecuted so many execs that architected the mortgage bubble?  Then of course what a surprise when he jailed Corzine.  He's definitely out there fighting for the little guy.
         
        The repubs have gone far too right and I am worried about Iran as per their action.
         
        The dems have gone too far left and their foreign policy in North Africa has been a disaster as has their approach been on the economy.
         
        Both parties are slipping into fascism.  I will not stop equating both parties as they are opposite sides of the same coin.
         
        The cleverness in all of this is so many think they're different and this delusion is what enables them to keep picking the pockets of the populace.
         
        And it's not the 1% rather I think Congress represents about 15% of the population.

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        • itaest

          You should read the information in the links you send me:

          - This one from opensecrets.org shows that among the top SuperPacs, $154 millions were raised from conservative PACs and only $27 million from Liberal PACs. And you know who donates to SuperPACs, don't you?

          I don't have time to digest everything for you but if you go to the first article in that link you sent, you will see that they report that Google, Inc made $568,500 in contributions this cycle, and has given slightly more to Republicans than Democrats. And Google is a LIBERAL corporation compared to Banks and big oil!

          But the profile also shows that employees of the company have given more money than the PAC has, and these individual contributions go overwhelmingly to Democrats.

          Here is another one showing that the Realtors Association money from individuals goes about the same for both parties but SuperPac money goes considerably more to the GOP.

          The problem with OpenSecret is that they only have info from individual contributors from certain companies and it appears the company is making donations (but it ain't so, read disclaimer), but the big donations – those they cannot follow – that is the problem with the citizen united ruling. All you know is the Superpac are getting a lot of money but not from whom.

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          • BC

            I still hold that both parties receive pretty equal contributions from large companies and you proved it with your Google comment.  Unclear how Google is liberal rather a corporation that makes tons of money and like all big corporations they play all sorts of accounting games to shift revenue to lower tax jurisdictions.
             
            Do you consider this liberal?
             
            http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/28/business/Double-Irish-With-A-Dutch-Sandwich.html
             
            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/business/apples-tax-strategy-aims-at-low-tax-states-and-nations.html?_r=1
             
            And because tech companies have so many patents like pharma they can abuse these loopholes much more easily than big oil by hiding US profits by paying overseas subsids royalties on such patents even though most of the patents were developed in the US.
             
            In  state like NJ where pharma is king and both senators are dems – do you really believe that pharma, which makes our healthcare so much more expensive, does not heavily donate democratically?
             
            Where are NJ's "liberal" senators when we're trying to make HC more affordable so everyone having it can actually be realized?
             
            The idea that corporations support repubs more than dems simply is not true and is being pushed in a tough election year because the dems are trying to position themselves as the champion of the common man and nothing could be further from the truth.
             
            Then you have all this talk about the 1% and how evil Wall Street is, yet no prosecutions and Wall Street's behavior has not changed as a result.  In fact China into the WTO, the tech bubble and the beginning of the mortgage bubble all happened under Clinton's watch.
             
            Face it – corporate lobbying owns both parties.  Claiming you don't have the time to respond to all my comments is a cop out because you don't have the data to support the dems false narrative about being for the people.
             
            As for unions – they're massive labor corporations run by organized crime.  So what often benefits union leadership and the dems often does not benefit the actual union workers.
             
            What Rahm is doing in Chicago is based on financial reality due to depressed tax revenue because so many are unemployed or earning a lot less.  Same problems that WI/NJ had.  And guess what NY/CA will have to take the same path as well as they are even more broke.
             
            Just wait and see how many dems will start renegotiating union deals over the next few years, which is the inherent problem of promising a benefit and not setting aside the money for said benefit in the year in which it was earned.
             
             

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            • itaest

              How about you answer to this in my prev comment with data and facts using your own links:

              - This one from opensecrets.org shows that among the top SuperPacs, $154 millions were raised from conservative PACs and only $27 million from Liberal PACs. And you know who donates to SuperPACs, don't you?

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              • BC

                I concede the point that repubs have vastly outraised dems via super pacs and as I have said before – I don't support Citizens United.
                 
                Now please answer my questions/points.

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      • BC

        Just to add not too thrilled with the repubs foreign policy either.  As per North Africa, I'm not talking about what happened the other night rather throwing Mubarak under the bus and going into Libya just like we did in Iraq.
         
         

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        • itaest

          We went into Libya like we did in Iraq? That's news to me. How many soldiers did we send? How many years did we occupy Libya? In Iraq it was only Great Britain and the US, was the US so isolated in their initiative in Libya as well?

          This are all rhetorical questions by the way. I know the answers. You should too.

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          • BC

            Sure it's different as per cost and troops on the ground, but give it time.
             
            How it's similar is we deposed a strong man for oil and other corporate profits and like when Tito died in Yugoslavia all the pre-existing factions start to reair their grievances.
             
            Country building is not easy especially when greedy corporations enter the picture.  Obama's support and engagement in Libya shows he is fully complicit in representing big oil.
             
            Libya is far from settled and I hope it does settle and fair democracy results – time will tell.
             
            Iraq, while a huge mistake had far more international participants than Libya.
             
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-National_Force_%E2%80%93_Iraq#Countries_that_deployed_troops_to_Iraq
             
             

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  • BC

    And look – I get it.  The dems are the lesser of two evils for you, which is fine.  At least be honest about it rather than trumpeting the notion that they are the best thing since sliced bread.
     
    Neither party wants "progressive action" because the status quo is what keeps them in power, which is the problem with lobbying – prevents necessary change.
     
    The only way out of our financial mess is by working together.  The current polarized political environment is at a kindergarten level at best.
     
    If either side doesn't get their way 100% then they're going to take their ball and go home.  How can we progress if we won't compromise on anything?
     
    We got out of the depression via WW2 and while spending was a big part of this the biggest driver was we were united as a country on a common cause.  Until we find a way to unite and compromise nothing will change rather both sides will puerilely continue to shout at the other side until blue in the face to no avail.
     
    So we can take action now and unite/compromise or we will be forced to do so when the economy collapses.  I don't think many understand how fragile the global economy is and the dizzying height of the precipice upon which we stand.
     
    Just to clarify – I don't like war and do not want war to be the cause that unites us rather human decency, shared sacrifice and fair commerce in which the maximum participate.

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  • BC

    I think it's important that people on both sides of the fence reach out to each other and find some common ground on issues where they somewhat agree.
     
    Use this as a starting point and go from there.  Take HC, while people disagree on what needs to happen I don't know many if any that think our HC works well.  Too much corruption and too expensive.  All driven by lobbying.
     
    ACA or any other method of providing HC for all is far from being realized as per patients having proper access.  So rather than both sides fighting -compromise and find a way to deprogram oneself from lobbyists' messaging.
     
    The same is true on going green.  It's just that it has not been sold properly or completely.  I think most would agree that the problems created by oil are not good – pollution, inflation/manipultion, war, trade deficits, terrorism, etc. are not good things.
     
    The far right and left will never come together, but the other 60-70% of the country can and will.
     
    Kos for example is way left on a lot of issues from where I stand.  Guess what though – I have found a lot of common ground on a few issues by talking to people.
     
    One never finds this common ground if you don't listen to valid arguments on both sides.  Be pragmatic and take off the blinders.  On many issues people are a lot closer than they think.

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  • BC

    As per any goal we are at point A and want to get to point B.  There are always any number of ways to get to point B.  So rather than being rigid about only one's way (generally shaped by lobbyists and hidden interests) being the way to get there – compromise and be open to other ways.
     
    Who cares how (within reason) we end war, go green or fix HC as long as we get there in the fastest and most stable way possible.

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