You Are Right, Sir

Paul Krugman, in his 21 March 2010 NY Times column, contrasts Obama’s final exhortation to Democrats in the House of Representatives with Newt Gingrich’s sour warning that passage of (alleged) health-care reform would destroy the Democratic Party, just as LBJ’s push for the Civil Rights Act destroyed the Party back then:

“[…]I want you to consider the contrast: on one side, the closing argument was an appeal to our better angels, urging politicians to do what is right, even if it hurts their careers; on the other side, callous cynicism. Think about what it means to condemn health reform by comparing it to the Civil Rights Act. Who in modern America would say that L.B.J. did the wrong thing by pushing for racial equality? (Actually, we know who: the people at the Tea Party protest who hurled racial epithets at Democratic members of Congress on the eve of the vote.)”

I enjoy Krugman’s focus on Gingrich’s analogy, and, a literalist, I find myself asking, “If the Democratic Party was destroyed in the mid-1960s, how is it that it’s still around?”

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One Response to “You Are Right, Sir”

  1. wildbillhaltom Says:

    Krugman is correct. Gingrich is incorrect. The O. Man is correct.

    The Democrats retained the House for 30 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964; they were a majority in the Senate for 16 years after 1964.

    Nixon was bleeding support in 1968 such that some political scientists thought that if Humphrey had had 3-6 more days before the election, he’d have won.

    Gingrich frequently gets history wrong despite [because of] his PhD in History.

    Krugman is correct to note just how crass, partisan, and political Gingrich is.


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