In the presidential campaign of 1960, John Kennedy stood before an audience at a campaign rally and said, "I want you to understand the immense burden I carry in this campaign. I am the last man standing between Richard Nixon and the White House". The audience roared in laughter and appreciation; Kennedy was not being facetious.
Kennedy knew his Nixon. When the subject of Nixon came up at the White House a few years later Kennedy, in a parody of Lincoln, quipped "With malice for all; with charity toward none". Jack had no illusions about ‘Tricky Dick’ and what lay behind the stratagems of the emerging Republican coalition. America was well aware of the witch hunts, the blacklisting, the financial (checkers and Hughes Loan) scandals and Nixon’s reputation as an ‘attack-dog’ and could, therefore, revel in the humor. Little did it appreciate the gravity of the malignancy lurking just below the surface. As a result, when the Republicans returned to power in 1968, riding the crest of the ‘white backlash’ of 1966 and pursuing a clearly delineated ‘southern strategy’, the President standing before them presenting himself as the "New Nixon" was indeed no Dwight David Eisenhower nor, it transpired, his Vice President. This Nixon represented a new strain of Republicanism, a potent and toxic mix of Southern racism and Ayn Rand inspired Goldwater conservatism posturing as a populist and popular front in the form of a not-so-"silent majority".
After Watergate the ‘movement’ underwent further metamorphosis, tracking further and further wrong, down the dark rat-holes of ‘states-rights’, libertarianism and cultural xenophobia finally mestasticizing into a full-blown cancer that threatens not only the legacy of the New Deal but, perhaps, the nation-state itself. We have seen calls to repeal the 14th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution providing for, among other things, "equal protection of the law" and direct election of United States Senators (1). Today we have open talk of secession, stratagems of nullification not seen since the Civil War. And we are now witnessing, since the Scum have taken control of the House and now the Congress, the passage of the so-called "Ryan Budget" named after the fiscal guru of the Idiot wrong congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. In it the Scums lay out their ‘Plan’ to address the nation’s ‘financial crises’ and balance the budget in 10 years. They propose to accomplish this by cutting deeply into Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, reduce spending on enforcement of environmental laws, roll back on banking reforms, cut student loans and grants, food stamps, ad nausem. Their friends in the financial community will see huge tax cuts and the military-security complex will get an immediate bonus of 40 Billion dollars. It’s the usual Rescumlican knee-jerk palliative; cut taxes, savage the safety net, squeeze the middle class, funnel the money upwards to the ‘truly deserving’.
The Rescumlicans now run this country the way a slum lord runs an apartment building. All the money goes to the "investor" class leaving the residents (from whom the money comes) increasing living in rat-infested squalor. And so, in this last recovery, the top 1% have taken 95% of the newly created wealth and the top 10% have taken 110% and they are still clamoring for more. Malice for all and charity toward none". The "Generation of Swine", Richard Nixon at large.
(1) Previously senators were elected by their respective state legislatures, usually the state senate. So, for example, Abraham Lincoln would poll more votes than his opponent Steven Douglas in the Illinois senate race in 1858, but not be sent to Washington to sit in the Senate.