Obama: McGovern’s coalition and Nixon’s policies

The McGovern political coalition of suburban white liberals, African-Americans, college students, feminists, and environmentalists, which went down to ignominious defeat to Richard M. Nixon in the 1972 Presidential election, delivered a majority vote to Barack Obama in 2008 and again this year.   But what they got is another Nixon administration—expanded war, warrant-less surveillance, prosecution of whistle-blowers, a war on drugs and disregard for the laws, the Constitution and the separation of powers.

McGovern72Senator George McGovern, the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1972, ran on a platform of peace in Vietnam, universal health care, a minimum guaranteed income for the poor and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.  He suffered one of the most overwhelming defeats in American history, losing the electoral vote 520 to 17 and the popular vote 60.7 percent to 37.5 percent.

Like Nixon, Obama inherited a losing war, and, like Nixon, chose to intensify the war before making a reluctant withdrawal.  Like Nixon, he does not support universal health care, but instead pushed through a substitute plan originally designed by the conservative Heritage Foundation and later enacted in Massachusetts during the administration of Mitt Romney.  Like Nixon, he talks of the embattled middle class, but never of poor people.

Nixon is infamous for his abuses of power, but Obama goes further than Nixon did in covert action, surveillance without warrants, prosecution of whistle-blowers and assertion of the right to act outside due process of law and the American system of checks and balances.  So as is known Obama does not have a personal enemies list, but he has created the precedent of signing death warrants on his own unchecked authority, and who knows what a future President might do with that authority.

richard-nixon-1Nixon’s greatest positive accomplishment was in making peace with China, in defiance of the sentiments of most of his core supporters.   I don’t think Obama will go to Iran as Nixon went to China.   The way Obama has defied his core supporters has been in bailing out Wall Street and offering to gut Social Security.

Click on The Obama Realignment for conservative columnist Ross Douthat’s thoughts on the McGovern coalition.

Click on  In the Land of the Free for a British view of the U.S. Presidential election.

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2 Responses to “Obama: McGovern’s coalition and Nixon’s policies”

  1. tiffany267 Says:

    What a marvelous comparison. Thanks for the very insightful read.

    Like

  2. tiffany267 Says:

    Reblogged this on Tiffany's Non-Blog and commented:
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