Co-opted Republican Ideals and Accomplishments.

This photo is from the Time 100 Gala - read ho...

Elizabeth Warren

In watching the great Native American leader (NOT) Elizabeth Warren speaking at the Democratic National Convention I heard a statement that caused me to think and say out loud, “What a lie!”. Actually, there were several. But the one of which I write came at a time when she was reciting a list of accomplishments she claimed to be Democratic Party accomplishments. On behalf of Democrats she took credit for Child Labor Laws in the U.S.

It seems Ms. Warren not only has challenges in telling the truth about her ancestry, having secured employment at Harvard University by claiming Native American ancestry that didn’t really exist; but now the Massachusetts Senate candidate needs American History lessons too.

English: "Glassworks. Midnight. Location:...

Republican Teddy Roosevelt is the single individual most responsible for bringing to national attention the plight of child workers as well as other abuses of labor. Twenty times while in the New York Legislature he championed different legislation addressing child labor. The National Child Labor Committee was created in 1904 during his Presidency. And Roosevelt’s hand chosen successor, President William Howard Taft signed into law the act creating the United States Children’s Bureau in the Federal Department of Labor. All this work laying the groundwork for the eventual passing of the Keating-Owen Act in 1916 prohibiting the buying or selling of goods manufactured or processed by child labor.

Anyone paying attention knows this isn’t the first time the Democratic Party has co-opted Republican ideas and accomplishments and claimed them as their own.

Democrats are always presenting themselves as the sole reason for the freedom and civil rights enjoyed in our country today by blacks and other minorities. Such false claims ignore the fact that the Civil War was fought almost entirely over the issue of slavery and the election of

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

Republican President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was the first-ever Republican President. It was a party formulated out of the former Whig party and included abolishment of slavery as its primary plank in its platform. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation made it real. The Presidential Proclamation was given Constitutional backing thanks to the Republican Party and the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

When President Lynden Johnson needed help passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act it wasn’t his fellow Democrats he turned to. Southern Democrats were blocking the legislation. Johnson got this and the Voting Rights Act passed through the support of Republicans in Congress. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Democrat James Eastland opposed the bill and wouldn’t give it a hearing in his Committee. Then after some parliamentary procedures, that would cause Harry Reid to turn his head, the bill was sent to the Senate floor for a vote but blocked by a Democratic filibuster. It was the Republicans who broke the filibuster, passing the most significant Civil Rights legislation since Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

Years later after blacks had won their voting rights and many other rights in the segregated south it was Boston, Massachusetts, Liberal and Democratic Boston, Massachusetts, where the largest opposition to intra-racial freedom occurred. Boston is where the stiffest opposition to school desegregation busing took place.

There are other issues too.

Democrats are the champions of the environment, right?

Well it was Republican President Richard Nixon who signed the Clean Water Act into law in 1972.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States

Nixon also was responsible for THE major Amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1970 that greatly expanded the federal mandate by requiring comprehensive federal and state regulations for both stationary (industrial) pollution sources and mobile sources.

What about continued claims that Democrats are peace-loving and Republicans are war mongers? Really?

It was Nixon who opened China after 25 years of isolation, and three Democratic Administrations.

Nixon also negotiated the SALT treaty with the Soviet Union, creating the Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty.

Republican Ronald Reagan negotiated with the evil empire and its last leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was because of Reagan’s leadership and under Republican President George H.W. Bush that the Soviet Union came crashing down without a shot, or a missile being fired after more than 70 years of reigning terror over Europe and Asia.

Democrats did none of this.

Is there more? Certainly. Ever heard of the G.I. Bill? The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, as it was formally called, was originally written by former National Republican Party Chairman Harry W. Colmery on the back of a napkin at the Mayflower Hotel in 1944. The bill was championed in the U.S. Senate by Republican Warren Atherton and Democrat Ernest McFarland. The G.I. Bill provided returning servicemen with low-cost mortgages, loans for starting businesses; paid for college tuition and more.

Why these facts demonstrating the Republican party’s compassion and leadership in matters of civil rights, environmentalism, peace and government benefit programs is not more widely known is a mystery. How can it be that the Democratic party has stolen credit for all these things and not been held accountable for having done so? I don’t know the answer. But I know to claim credit for something you didn’t do is a lie. And Americans don’t much like those who lie. Do we?

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TR? Newt Gingrich? See the comparisons?

English: Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1902

Our 26th President Theodore Roosevelt

He’s loud and opinionated. He’s obnoxiously confident. He’s always the smartest guy in the room. He’s brimming with ideas; most of them good and some of them clunkers. He’s ambitious. He’s opposed by his own Republican party’s so-called “insiders”. AND he wants to be President. Newt Gingrich, right? Well…sure…but the same was being said of Theodore Roosevelt in 1900.

English: A 1900 Republican campaign poster for...

1900 McKinley campaign banner.

Roosevelt was no friend to the GOP party bosses, just like Gingrich. In fact the Governor of New York was put on the Republican ticket as William McKinley‘s

William McKinley, President of the United Stat...

William McKinley

running mate in order to control him and keep him in his place. They figured in the VP slot he would have nothing to do, would be forced to support the dictates of his boss, the President, and would never be heard from again…like all previous Vice Presidents; after all only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and

Martin Van Buren. Library of Congress descript...

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren in 1836 had ever served as Vice President and then been elected President. Four others became President upon the Presidents death. So the odds were good that Roosevelt would never be heard from again.

Like Gingrich, Roosevelt was always the smartest man in the room. He was the youngest to ever hold the Presidency. And his clashes with his own party eventually led him to form the Bull Moose party in 1912 and run as a third-party candidate against the incumbent Republican William Howard Taft. One can assume Gingrich is not planning such a split. In fact his positive and complimentary approach to ALL his GOP rivals has had me thinking from the start that he’s trying to position himself for a VP nomination if his out of step and out of funds Presidential bid flounders.

TR’s personal life escapes this comparison, for he was a devoted husband and father. As we’ll undoubtedly hear more about in coming months Gingrich was not a good husband to his first two wives. He had affairs with his second and third wives before divorcing the preceding wife. But all those heavily invested in the political process know these stories. But they don’t seem to matter to most.

Roosevelt ascended to the top post like two others before him when the President was assassinated in September 1901. When he left office in March 1909 he was still a young and vigorous man.  He had dominated the Congress and the World during his tenure truly transforming this country. Child Labor laws, National Parks, building a huge robust Navy that he sent around the world, Anti-Trust laws…and more. There are only four faces on Mount Rushmore; and he’s one of them.

English: Mt. Rushmore

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln on Mt Rushmore

Gingrich may not be Roosevelt. But he may be. He may be the transformational figure this country needed at the start of the 20th Century and needs again at the start of the 21st Century. Having a brilliant history based intellectual like Gingrich in the White House who also happens to be tough and unconcerned with kissing the butts of all those GOP Washington insiders can ONLY be good.

He’s the smartest man in every room he walks into. From that standpoint he reminds me of both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. The same could be said for both of these disgraced Presidents. On second thought…

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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