Monday, October 10, 2016

Divisions in the GOP

I've been dubious of discussions of current events which see today as unique, without precedent.  One of my touchstones in electoral matters is 1964, when the nomination of Barry Goldwater caused big divisions in the Republican Party.  I remember Rockefeller being booed off the stage by the victorious AUH20 delegates so naturally I believe that was worse than anything we see today.

But maybe not.  I happened to do a Google search ("google" is redundant, isn't it?) for Republicans who supported LBJ in 1964 and found this Stu Rothenburg piece..

It seems that almost all Republican big shots supported Goldwater, at least on paper. Nixon, unlike Romney, campaigned for Goldwater.  Eisenhower, unlike the Bushes, supported Goldwater.  John Lindsay was the big name Republican to go for LBJ.  Who was he?  The Representative of the "Silk Stocking" district in NYC, identified as an up and comer, but also very liberal.  The current day parallel might be Sen. Rubio, though a senator is a bigger name than a mere representative, even one for whom the NYTimes is the hometown paper.

So it seems to me, very tentatively, that the GOP is more divided at the top these days than it was in 1964.  And, perhaps, the GOP was more divided, or rather less partisan, at the grassroots than it is today.  If that's true, maybe it's the result of a more national media,

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