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AndrewH's Test Thread

Callan

Racist name by the way,
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
also I just learned Andrew was the one that came up with “vote for Cuomo not the homo” lmao
He's very obviously the villain in almost any political drama or even remotely politically themed film- the corrupt and right-wing machine politician, the chippy scion of a much more competent and charismatic politician- but Aaron Sorkin would absolutely make him the hero with the stirring speech who gets the girl.
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
I vomited this out in two hours last night - enjoy (the primaries were controlled by voters on the Other Place, so if they seem a bit ahistorical, that's why)!

~-~

While it would be easy to say that the “eight-year itch” and the looming shadow of Watergate finally put an end to Republicans’ control of the White House, any student of American history could tell you that it’s a bit more complicated that. The 1976 Primaries were a legendarily bloody affair – admittedly much more for the GOP than the Democrats. Gerald Ford, smarting at the humiliation of being turned into a national punchline by the American press and Chevy Chase after doing his goddamn best to keep the country together, faced another embarrassing at the hands of one Ronald Reagan. Reagan was, with apologies to Barry Goldwater, Mr. Conservative – the most famous right-winger in the nation, Reagan hammered everybody from liberal Democrats (who he said had “blood on their hands” for losing Vietnam, itself an implicit jab at a President who was trying desperately to avoid re-litigating the divisive issues of the Nixon years), to the federal government (“the bureaucratic state only exists to stifle American innovation”), to Congress (one of the central points of his campaign was to break up the ‘buddy-system’ in D.C. by, naturally, cutting taxes) to the Ford Administration itself. One of Reagan’s earliest political lessons was the so-called 11th Commandment; “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” Of course, that didn’t apply to who the President employed, and that is how Henry Kissinger became Ronald Reagan’s biggest punching-bag. Détente, according to Reagan, was the watchword of both the corrupt liberal establishment of Nelson Rockefeller and the communist regimes in Beijing and Moscow. First Vietnam, and now this; a vote for Ford is a vote for the continued humiliation of the United States on the world stage. A vote for Reagan is a vote for anti-communism, for a muscular foreign policy, for American patriotism itself.

Ford fumed. While you would never hear him say it publicly, the President felt that Reagan had no right to attack him on his conservative bona fides – this was a man who had wanted to be Barry Goldwater’s running-mate, who tried to impeach Justice Bill Douglas for refusing to rule against pornographers while on the Supreme Court, who had let his reputation and image be dragged through the mud, who had dedicated his life to serving the Republican Party (hell, he was the one managing the Bicentennial events! Who the hell does Reagan think he is saying the President’s unpatriotic?). But his campaign aides told him it was nothing to worry about, that Reagan was a paper tiger who was far too conservative to win the actual election, much less the nomination. So when Reagan peeled off major wins in New Hampshire, Florida and North Carolina, Ford was raring to get back into it. But Mac Mathias jumped into the race, Massachusetts went for Reagan, and the Party begged him to back out. Ever loyal to the GOP, Ford obliged – and then quietly dedicated himself to beating Ronald Reagan.

Mac Mathias was a bit of a grouch, a liberal in a Party increasingly turning to the right who publicly opined that a conservative nominee would make the Republican Party “the Whigs of 1976.” Mathias didn’t expect to finish in second in Massachusetts above the President, but that was surely a sign that Reagan was far too conservative for the primary electorate – he also didn’t expect a flurry of announcements from Congressmen and Governors across the Northeast asking the voters to do what’s right and “stop Reagan.” President Ford had been making some calls in his spare time. A few embarrassing gaffes from Reagan about the federal tax code and state funding, areas that were considered to be in his wheelhouse, didn’t help things either, and soon enough the man who had made history after denying the incumbent President his Party’s nomination for the first time since 1884 was on his last legs. John Connally smelled blood in the water and jumped into the fray for a brief and somewhat embarrassing bid (rumor had it that he only entered the race on the advice of former President Nixon), and Mathias himself bowed out after he got a few rather threatening calls from right-wing beer magnate Joe Coors and Ford campaign manager Bo Callaway. Enter Howard Baker.

Baker was practically political royalty – the son-in-law of Everett Dirksen, the breakout star of the Watergate and one of the most famous politicians in America, Baker had been quietly harboring ambitions on the Presidency for most of his political career, but had to be coaxed into running by President Ford himself, who promised the “full support” of the White House and the endorsement of Mac Mathias (who was a friend of Baker’s). Suitably placated, Baker ran on reevaluating our relationship with OPEC, pursuing a responsible pro-business policy that would take off “welfare queens” (Reagan was quite unhappy when he learned Baker was stealing his lines) off the government dime and use that money to lower taxes for business owners and start-ups, and “bridging the political divides created these past few years,” a cooling balm to the heated battles of the primaries so far. Baker’s message (and institutional support) won him the nomination at the RNC that summer, but even with his olive branch to the Reagan wing with the selection of James L. Buckley as his running-mate, conservatives were deeply frustrated. To them, this was just the Eastern Establishment and the Washington buddy-system reasserting itself over the regular joes that formed the backbone of the Republican Party. Sure, Buckley was a better choice than *shudders* Ruckelshaus, but Baker will have to do more to win back those Reagan voters disappointed in their candidate’s loss.

The Democratic Primary was a lot less… eventful, but no less competitive. A three-way battle had emerged between Scoop Jackson, the Senator from Boeing and a traditional Democrat turned off by his party’s full embrace of left-y “lifestyle issues,” Fred Harris, a shaggy Senator from Oklahoma who ran a ramshackle populist campaign on taking on Big Business, and Mo Udall. Udall was born in a town of just ninety-three in rural Arizona, lost an eye at the age of six, served as the captain of an all-black Air Corps unit in the South Pacific at twenty-three, played ball with the Denver Nuggets at twenty-seven and was elected to Congress at thirty-eight. Jackson played to the “lunch pail” voters and old-school Democrats who were appalled at the Democrats’ lurch to the left (Jackson’s most famous advertisement was a plain black-and-white photo of his face with “SAY NO TO FORCED BUSING” printed in bold underneath), Harris stuck to an unorthodox strategy of targeting the poor and working-class along with non-voters, while Udall aimed big – while he was certainly liberal (he hit Ford hard on a possible military intervention in Angola, vocally supported ratifying the ERA and called for creating a national health insurance program), Udall talked about “integrity,” honesty in government, his humble background and starting a “new day” in Washington. Udall wanted to have a conversation with America’s soul. This kind of sloganeering struck a chord in a post-Watergate America and contrasted nicely with the establishmentarian Jackson, and Udall successfully supplanted Harris as the “liberal” candidate (Harris, despite two terms in the Senate and being a supporter of Hubert Humphrey over Gene McCarthy in ’68, was still a bit out there to many voters) after an early victory in New Hampshire.

From there, the primary was a dogfight. Udall and Jackson traded punches state after state (with Harris and George Wallace, who most voters preferred to ignore, scraping by on the fringes); Jackson was a corrupt lifetime politician who was the personal property of Boeing, while Udall was an elitist liberal who voted for right-to-work legislation as a Congressman. So it went for four long months until the summer, when it became clear that if something wasn’t done, the Democrats would be heading into another contested convention in 1976. After a few tense meetings in Queens between representatives of the Udall, Jackson and Harris campaigns, a deal was struck – between Harris and Udall. Harris extracted policy concessions (Udall adopted a plank for a publicly-owned oil company a la Petrobras into his platform at Harris’ request) and some Cabinet posts from Udall in exchange for his endorsement and the nomination and Jackson supporters called foul (quite ironically, given he had spent quite some time trying to court Harris), but the man himself took it in stride, endorsing Udall shortly after it became clear that he would be the nominee. Udall’s struggles with the union vote and the issue of disgruntled Jackson voters were both dealt with the pick of Senator Adlai Stevenson III, the personal favorite of Mayor Daley, as his running-mate, and after a powerful invocation by “Daddy” Luther King at the Convention, the Party put aside its divisions for the time being and lined up behind Mo.

Despite the conventional political wisdom at the time holding that the Presidential Election should be a walk for the Democratic Party, immediate post-Convention polls painted a picture of a tight race between Baker and Udall, who only led by a handful of points. Baker’s nonpartisan image after the Watergate Hearings (he delivered the most famous line of the entire scandal, “what did the President know, and when did he know it?”) helped him translate his sky-high approval ratings in Tennessee to success on the campaign trail. For a good couple of weeks in late July and early August, the press was flooded with stories of Baker getting mobbed with admirers and well-wishers, of grandmothers giving him kisses on the cheek while he was out shaking hands, of writers wondering if the man who redeemed the White House from the wicked Richard Nixon could redeem the nation from the trauma of these last few years. Udall, while as ever in good humor (his joke that “Baker isn’t prick enough to be President” would be the title of many Baker biographies), stewed in discontent – he wasn’t going to let Howard Baker get the better of him because a few journalists couldn’t do their damn job. He would have to remind people that Baker had a record and had actual beliefs, that Howard Baker wasn’t some savior on a white horse, but an actual politician.

While his adoring coverage began to wane as the nation learned that Baker was an incredibly dull man, Udall didn’t relent; well, if Howard Baker really wanted to put the legacy of the Nixon Administration behind him, then why is he willing to cozy up to the man who pardoned him? If Howard Baker was some master politician, then why’d he have to get Mac Mathias do his dirty work? Then came the traditional partisan attacks, Baker wants to reverse Roe v. Wade and take away a woman’s right to choose, the Republican Party are heartless monsters who will cut taxes, loosen regulations on Big Business and international corporations and crush unions underfoot and really, Howard Baker is just another conservative, I mean did you see who he picked as his VP? Baker, for what it’s worth, tried to respond by talking up his relationship with Sam Ervin and his role in impeaching Nixon, but all that did was further anger conservatives who would like to forget that he brought down the last Republican President and impress on the rest of America that he was one-note. Finally, the pièce de résistance: at the third and final Presidential debate (the two preceding it were extraordinarily forgettable affairs focused on the nuances of American foreign policy in Angola and how each man would “restore faith in American government,” whatever the hell that means), while Baker was going on a too-long spiel about how the nation needed someone to compromise and heal the divide that was driving Americans apart and how his work on the Watergate Committee proved that he was the man to do it (more insults to the conservative base), Udall cracked that “all my opponent is good for is talking about the shortcomings of his predecessors – every sentence he’s said tonight can be boiled down to a verb, a noun, and Watergate.” Baker visibly snapped at Udall’s remarks, unexpected from the typically good-humored Senator, and demanded that he take back his comment. Udall remained silent as Baker complained and sputtered only for the moderators to interrupt his diatribe and try and get the debate back on course.

It was the one-liner to end all one-liners. While the press tut-tutted at how unbecoming his remarks were of a Presidential candidate, Udall’s favorability ratings shot through the roof in the immediate post-debate polls while Baker tried to handle damage control by reintroducing himself to the nation. Out were the references to Watergate, in were new commitments to a “foreign policy driven by human rights” and a new Secretary of State (ironically this may have backfired on Baker, reminding voters about which Presidents had kept the incredibly unpopular Henry Kissinger in the Cabinet) along with returning the Panama Canal back to their rightful owners, the Panamanians. Despite the private complaints of Senator Buckley, Baker pressed on in his pivot to the “”left,”” hoping it would energize his supporters and bring back the success he had in the summer.

Udall knew Baker was flailing and made sure to learn from his example shore up his support among the Democratic faithful. An official endorsement of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act came in mid-October to the fanfare of many hardened partisans, followed by a statement condemning the Ford Administration for scaling back price controls in the middle of the energy crisis, a promise to end inflation by a 7% tax hike on the highest-earning corporations and a call for a “Congress based on integrity and hope instead of mistrust and cynicism” in 1977. Udall had, despite his deeply liberal record, kept the fraying Democratic coalition together for the election while tapping into an anti-Washington sentiment that was pervasive in the electorate. Baker (who had been declining since the debate but really began bottoming out after his position on Panama was called “un-American” by… William F. Buckley) now trailed Udall by double-digits heading into the final stretch, and was desperate to revitalize his campaign, pulled out all the stops; an hour-long TV special where he took questions directly from a live studio audience, a renewed push in the South and West Coast to get out the vote, even campaign events with Ronald Reagan himself! He was rewarded with a brief uptick in the polls that was summarily wiped out when the Washington Post (yes, that Washington Post – the irony was being laid on thick) reported that Joy Dirksen had been hospitalized for hypoventilation from intoxication. The public exposé of his wife’s battle with alcoholism was the ultimate and final indignity laid on Howard Baker, who emotionally attacked the paper that had kickstarted his political career for making a private matter public. Udall, who had made integrity such a key part of his personal image, refused to comment on the matter, but made a few veiled comments about the nation's "moral character" heading into election night.

Baker Buckley v. Udall Stevenson.png

It was a wipeout across the board, with the only regions reliably voting Republican being the Mountain West and the South (and even that had an asterisk after narrow losses to Udall in Texarkana and Alaska of all places). Exit polls would show that while the conservatives that came out to vote broke heavily for Baker, many just decided to stay home, while Udall beat Baker handily with self-described moderates and hung double-digit margins on him with liberals and independents. Senator Robert Stafford's loss to Thomas Salmon in Vermont and Bill Green's narrow victory over John Heinz in Pennsylvania were microcosms of the changing political landscape - traditional conservative strongholds fell to Democratic challengers as Republicans nationwide struggled to shake off charges of corruption and misconduct (Heinz's loss was blamed on reports that he took illegal campaign contributions from Gulf Oil). While some writers would lament how American politics had a made a cruel joke out of an honest man for a good story, it was largely ignored in favor of the liberal jubilation at Udall's victory. The old politics was collapsing, and a new, compassionate, transparent and honest politics was being born.

At least, that's what they thought.
 
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Beata Beatrix

Herod Agrippa was cancelled by an owl
Location
Portland, OR
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Okay, but this is really good. Baker '76 being an absolute mess is something I love – it really seems like he should have been Ford's running mate, doesn't it?

Did Ford really want to be Goldwater's running mate? Perlstein says so, and he speaks as unto a god, but wow!

Great stuff! I kind of think Perlstein should really be required reading for American politics nerds like us. :)
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
Okay, but this is really good. Baker '76 being an absolute mess is something I love – it really seems like he should have been Ford's running mate, doesn't it?

Did Ford really want to be Goldwater's running mate? Perlstein says so, and he speaks as unto a god, but wow!

Great stuff! I kind of think Perlstein should really be required reading for American politics nerds like us. :)
Well, funnily enough researching Ford’s running-mates was how I got to the mess of Baker ‘76 - he was the frontrunner for the post until Joy Dirksen was hospitalized, and given the norms of the time that disqualified him from the race. Ford then wanted Ruckelshaus but instead opted to go for a Reagan-approved candidate, which is how Dole got the job.

Figured that with the “Stop Reagan” Movement ascendant and Baker trying desperately to sell himself as this sort of post-politics figure who would rise above petty partisanship, he would be unable to transfer his skills as a coalition-builder in Congress to the campaign trail and just fail to win over the conservatives who watched the establishment snuff out Reagan’s campaign in the crib. I also figured that with the pressures of a national campaign Joy’s problems hit the press, and that compounded with Baker’s problems with the right (and a quick-witted opponent who capitalizes on his mistakes) means a blow out in the election.

Perlstein is a wonderful source for this kind of stuff not only because of his own writing, but because the sources he uses are a goldmine of information.
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
Crashing the Party: Redux
1969 - 1973: Nelson Rockefeller / Claude R. Kirk, Jr. (Republican)
defeated, 1968: Hubert Humphrey / Ed Muskie (Democratic), George Wallace / Curtis LeMay (American Independent)
1973 - 1977: Ronald Reagan / Robert Griffin (Republican)
defeated, 1972: Hubert Humphrey / Frank Church (Democratic), ANTI-VIETNAM CONGRESSMAN / Howard J. Samuels (Independent)
1977 - 1983: Scoop Jackson / Dale Bumpers (Democratic)
defeated, 1976: Ronald Reagan / Robert Griffin (Republican)
defeated, 1980: Max Rafferty / J. Marshall Coleman (Republican)
1983 - 1985: Dale Bumpers / Otis Pike (Democratic)
1985 - 1989: William C. Westmoreland / Pete Domenici (Republican)
defeated, 1984: Dale Bumpers / Otis Pike (Democratic)
1989 - 1991: Mario Cuomo / Martha Layne Collins (Democratic)
defeated, 1988: William C. Westmoreland / Pete Domenici (Republican)
1991 - 1993: Martha Layne Collins / Andrew Young (Democratic)
1993 - 1994: Ralph Nader / Luis Guiterrez (Independent)
defeated, 1992: Phil Gramm / Helen Chenoweth (Republican), Bill Clinton / Jim Weaver (Democratic)
1994 - 1997: Ralph Nader / Luis Guiterrez (Peoples')
1997 - 2005: John Kasich / David Koch (Republican)
defeated, 1996: Ralph Nader / Luis Guiterrez (Peoples'), Tom Daschle / John McCain (Democratic)
defeated, 2000: Gary Hart / Dan Blue (Democratic), Dennis Kucinich / Terence Hallinan (Peoples')
2005 - 2009: David Koch / Larry Pressler (Republican)
defeated, 2004: Brian Schweitzer / Jim Hightower (Democratic)
2009 - 2017: Brian Schweitzer / Loretta Sánchez (Democratic)
defeated, 2008: David Koch / Larry Pressler (Republican)
defeated, 2012: Katherine Harris / Jim Jordan (Republican)
2017 - 2021: Erik Prince / Neil Gorsuch (Republican)
defeated, 2016: Eric Schneiderman / Marcia Fudge (Democratic)), Ralph Nader / Kyrsten Sinema (Independent)
2021 - ???: Erik Prince / Neil Gorsuch (Republican) v. Carmen Yulín Cruz / Bill de Blasio (Democratic)
 
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AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
Fill in the blanks, and please don’t put something stupid.

1st - (1792-1824): Republicans v. Federalists
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th -
 

Edmund

政治ギャル、永田町を叱る!
Location
Tynemouth
Pronouns
he/him
1st - (1792-1824): Republicans v. Federalists
2nd - (1828-1856): Federalists v. Agrarians
3rd - (1860-1876): Federalists v. Opposition
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th -
 

Kaiser Julius

Well-known member
1st - (1792-1824): Republicans v. Federalists
2nd - (1828-1856): Federalists v. Agrarians
3rd - (1860-1876): Federalists v. Opposition
4th - (1876-1912): Constitutionalists vs Peoples
5th -
6th -
7th -
 
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