Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Long Shadow of 1912

The last time the Republican Party was this divided we wound up with the worst President in the history of the United States being elected and we have never really recovered from that disaster.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Worst president? Come on. Jimmy Carter, anyone? Barack Obama?

The Anti-Gnostic said...
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The Anti-Gnostic said...

Had a number of "worsts" since Wilson. FDR, LBJ, W Bush.

Chris Jones said...

Worst president? Come on.

Depends on one's perspective and priorities, I suppose, but I concur with John that Wilson deserves the title. He initiated a century (so far) of liberal imperialism and misguided nation-building that still plagues us today. He presided over the botched peace settlement of World War I ("the peace to end all peace") that made the Second World War almost inevitable and laid the groundwork for the intractable mess that is the Middle East today. In domestic affairs he introduced the income tax, which has become the engine of the leviathan state; he rode roughshod over civil liberties; and helped usher in Prohibition, among the most spectacular and costly policy failures in the history of the country.

Carter's worst sin is that he was ineffectual. But to be ineffectual in pursuit of thoroughly bad policies is sort of a back-handed virtue. At least it obeys the principle "first of all, do no harm." In any case, Carter's lack of accomplishment compares favorably with Wilson's impressive accomplishment of thoroughly bad things.

As for Obama, it is probably far too early to assess his Presidency. But I fail to understand why he inspires such antipathy. Of course those who identify as conservative don't like "Obamacare"; but it is no more than a tame and timid version of the sort of national health care that every other industrial democracy has long had. And in foreign affairs he has at least shown some reluctance to get into stupid and unnecessary wars of choice. I suspect that after a few years of either President Clinton or President Trump, we will look back on the Obama years with some fondness.

theguide42 said...

Hold the phone. Roosevelt won 88 delegates and Taft won 8. Add them together and that's 96 delegates.

Woodrow Wilson captured 435 delegates. Count them. That's over four times the other two candidates combined.

The problem wasn't the Republican party being "split."

As a side note, I'm with the Never_Trump side.

rabidgandhi said...

@ Chris Jones: Obama "reluctant to get into wars of choice"?

You are aware that under Obama the US bombed no less than seven (7) different countries?

CJ said...

Andrew Johnson and Woodrow Wilson said hello.

Unknown said...

theguide42,

You might not be considering the popular vote. Their combined popular vote may have given one of them a significant delegate lead. More information would be needed.