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Friday, November 05, 2010

The fight ahead for progressives - Part 2

George Santayana, a philosopher from Madrid, Spain, said: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The progressive movement has a lot to learn from the past ten years, and even before. In 1946 Republicans also took over the House with a screaming crusade that Democrats were soft on communism. This jolt moved Harry Truman to the right on national-security issues.

In 1966 the midterms brought Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to build a Great Society to an end. The GOP then had the Vietnam War, inflation and race relations to work with. A Republican coalition was emerging that would continue easily into the Nixon administration. Although “Tricky Dick” subscribed to the GOP’s fiscal responsibility, he did accept that there was a need for government's expanded role and accepted the basic need for a welfare state.

At least there was compromise…something that is missing in the recent behavior of Republicans, particularly the intolerance of the Tea Party and the religious right. Santayana also said: “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.”

Read more here.

More to come.

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