Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 26 , 2012/ 4 Nissan, 5772

Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago

By David Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In classical music an overtone is what's present but not easily discernible. The beauty of Brahms' music is enhanced by resonances you can barely hear. The clear, inspiring musical utterances of Bach are enriched by Byzantine harmonic structures.

So, too, with the unfinished symphony of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination struggle.

This campaign may sound like an atonal string quartet by Schoenberg. But listen carefully -- search beneath the discordant notes -- and you may determine that the strains you hear, of ideologues fighting regulars, of a party steeped in primogeniture struggling with questions of entail, of a movement coming to blows but not to peace over the nature of conservatism, are overtones of 1964 and 1968.

It is not entirely a coincidence that in both those long-ago years Gov. George W. Romney of Michigan, the father of the 2012 contender, looms as a prominent figure. Former Gov. Mitt Romney's father was one of the giants of Republican politics then -- the former chief of American Motors Corp. and one of the masterminds behind the famous Rambler automobile, known for its reputation, as the GOP in that day was, as smart and thrifty.

Then, as now, the Republican Party was undergoing one of its periodic changes. Americans of a certain age grew accustomed to regarding the Republicans as the models of stability, committed in their policies as in their own profile to resisting change rather than promoting it. But that is a lazy misreading of the party, which began as an ardent advocate of a strong federal government (and of civil rights). The Republican Party has been changing and evolving for generations.

In the mid-1960s, new forces and personalities rocked what seemed for a while like the classic party of social rest, propelling the Republican Party rightward, adding emotional energy and intellectual power to conservatism even as it moved away from the comfort zone of moderate American politics. The engine of this transformation was Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, a handsome Western romantic and political realist as much at ease on horseback as President Lyndon B. Johnson, perhaps even more so. Standing against that rightward movement were three Republican governors, William Scranton of Pennsylvania, Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York -- and George Romney.

How significant a threat to the Democrats was Romney? John F. Kennedy believed he might be facing the Michigan governor in 1964, according to the recently released Jacqueline Kennedy tapes. In his newest LBJ volume, "Passage of Power," to be published May 1, Robert A. Caro writes that on the day after Kennedy's assassination, George Romney called the White House from National Airport to see if he could arrange a meeting with the new president. Johnson, who thought Romney might be his opponent 11 months later, picked up the phone himself.

The struggle for the 1964 GOP presidential nomination was bitter and brutal -- exceeding "in savagery and significance," as political chronicler Theodore H. White would write, "any other in modern politics." Commentators write easily about periodic struggles "for the soul of the Republican Party," but the 1964 contest, in which Goldwater forces argued that "in your heart you know he's right," was worthy of the description.

The new Goldwater conservatism was what Atlanta Constitution editor Eugene Patterson described as a "federation of the fed-up," a description that might be applied to today's conservatives.

Goldwater had been one of those who encouraged George Romney to run for governor in the first place. Indeed, the two seemed broadly similar -- "rugged and amiable men from the West," according to Clark R. Mollenhoff in a 1968 biography, "and each said just about what he thought on even the most controversial issues of the day."

But as Goldwater closed in on the nomination, Romney worried that in the rush to the right, the ethos of the Rambler automobile -- "a happy medium," in the description of Tom Mahoney in his 1960 Romney biography, "offering the interior space and comfort of big cars and at the same time the ease of handling and economy of small cars" -- was being jeopardized inside the GOP. Later, when he was trying to win passage of an anti-extremism plank in the platform, Romney employed a vivid automotive metaphor. He said the Republican Party ought to have a "big wheelbase."

Today his son faces many of the same pressures -- but has taken a different path.

Mitt Romney is a born moderate, reared at the private Cranbrook Schools to be accommodating. But he learned at Harvard Business School to be calculating, and he knows that he cannot win the nomination of the modern Republican Party without appealing to the GOP's new base, which views moderation as, to employ the famous Goldwater phrase, "no virtue."

The younger Romney has reason for this reckoning. Look, for example, at the exit polls this month from Alabama, a state the Republicans have won in every election since the Goldwater campaign with the exception of 1976, when a Southerner, Jimmy Carter, was the Democratic nominee. Only 5 percent of Alabama Republican voters described Mr. Romney as a "true conservative"; some 51 percent applied that description to former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Which brings us to the 1968 election, when the older Romney was again regarded as a leading contender. His campaign was sunk by his famous remark about getting "the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get" in Vietnam, though if you go back and watch the television broadcast you might find little fault with his comments.

That's not what's relevant here. The year 1968 was the breakthrough election for the Republicans in the South, a political desert for them for a century. That year former Vice President Richard M. Nixon and former Gov. George C. Wallace basically split the South, which by 1980 would become a Republican redoubt. The younger Mr. Romney has been stymied from the start in the South, where Mr. Santorum has shown greater strength.

Every election is bathed in overtones from the past, but in this one they are unusually audible. The former Massachusetts governor from the start has been struggling with issues first raised in 1964 and 1968, elections in which his father played important but ultimately unsuccessful roles. In the weeks to come, Mitt Romney must do more than break free from his remaining political rivals. He must break free from 1964 and 1968, and their overtones.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles