Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Like Ike

The thought struck me the other day that the Republicans seem to have forgotten President Eisenhower. They always refer to themselves as the Party of Lincoln, though Abe would never understand why they chose him. But among somewhat contemporary and heroic Republicans, there is only Eisenhower. But, they don't talk about Ike; are they embarrassed by him? I remember him quite well; I was only a young teenager when he took office and then he was my Commander in Chief for a few years of my time in the Navy. He had high approval ratings and yet the Republicans seem to ignore him. I turned to Wikipedia this morning and found this…

As President, Ike oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, maintained pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, launched the Space Race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began the Interstate Highway System. He was the last World War I veteran to serve as U.S. president, and the last president born in the 19th century. Eisenhower ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating. He was also the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd amendment.

Throughout his presidency, Eisenhower preached a doctrine of dynamic conservatism. He continued all the major New Deal programs still in operation, especially Social Security. He expanded its programs and rolled them into a new cabinet-level agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, while extending benefits to an additional ten million workers. His cabinet, consisting of several corporate executives and one labor leader, was dubbed by one journalist, "Eight millionaires and a plumber."

Yes, there it is. Ike was a Socialist! No wonder they won't mention him. It's also no wonder that I thought he was a darn good president. Especially when he tried to cut down the Department of War and warned us of the military industrial complex and their schemes. A warning we didn't heed. Did you know that he appointed Earl Warren to the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Republicans of today must froth at the mouth just thinking about that one!

Of course they, the Republicans, never mention Nixon or Joe McCarthy either. By the way, Ike didn't care much for Nixon. I told you he was a good guy! And probably the last decent Republican in the land.


  1. Ike said that nominating Warren for Chief Justice was one of two mistakes he madea president. (Nominating William Brennan to the Court was the other.) Nonetheless, Warren was a great CJ, and theCourt hasnot had many great ones. As you say, Ike was deeply fearful of runaway military spending. He apparently once confided that he hoped his successor understood the military as well as he did because otherwise the military would get out of control.
    He also told Nixon and Foster Dulles that they were "crazy" for wanting to nuke North Vietnam.

  2. In my perception of Ike, I always felt that he and I could sit down and converse. We might have disagreed but we would still be talking to one another...and I can't think of a single Republican today that would even allow a conversation.

  3. That's the key distinction, all right. They're not interested in anything but power. Whatever happens in the short term, they're still well down a path to being a regional white party. Over time, that won't win them many elections.

  4. The demographics, the facts of who are the majorities in the population will overwhelm them in the long run, and the moderates among the party understand that...but are voiceless in this idiotic clamor of the wingnuts.