Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RIP Gerald Ford And Moderate Republicanism

Why do I say that? As many of you know who pay any attention to what comes out of my big mouth, I am not given to false sentiments. So if it were, say, Rush Limbaugh, I would most likely yawn.

No, I offer this small tribute because while I disagreed with Ford on many issues (Nixon, for example), when he led the GOP was a time when sane people were in charge of that party. People you could do business with on issues like civil rights and clean water.

It was also a time of Republican foreign policy internationalism with an emphasis on diplomacy, in the wake of the dreadful mistake of Vietnam. Most importantly, a willingness to meet in the actual political middle, not some false center that Joe Lieberman invented in his patently dishonest noggin.

I can't remember where I saw this, so I am unable to link, but there was an analysis done that showed that Ford's judicial picks were actually to the left of Clinton's, (unlike current Republican judges, like THIS IDIOT). Ford supported the ERA, the right to choose in most instances and affirmative action. You get the point.

I didn't love the man, but I did respect him and do mourn his passing. For it is a perfect metaphor for the death of moderate Republicanism, which just as surely met its Maker on November 7th, 2006, at the hands of a band of corrupt and right-wing neoconservative pseudo-thinkers, retrograde fundamentalist science-haters and venal corporate-humpers.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I agree with you, Cliff, on the respect due to President Gerald Ford. I don't think that guy had a mean bone in his body. True, he followed the Conservative line, but not the mutant Conservatism that the current Republican party has adopted. He was always willing to try and work with the Democrats and everything he did, IMO, was for what he thought was best for our country...not always best for his party. Even his decision to pardon Richard Nixon was, I think, for what he thought was best for the country. What good would have come of locking up a President in jail? What he did was to try and preserve the dignity of the office of President, and that was the only way he thought he could do it. There was no malice in his decision to do that, only honor for our country and it's Presidents.

I believe that his passing may bring to the forefront what the "real" Republican party is supposed to represent, not the deplorable Republican party of today.

A good man with a kind heart had just passed away and will be missed.

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Betty Ford was a true feminist and would have KILLED Jerry if he hadn't supported the ERA and abortion rights.

I think the timing of the pardon was a mistake. He could have waited until after the election two months later, it wouldn't have made a difference. As it was, it will forever look like he and Nixon made an agreement.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He may have been a moderate. He may have stood on the right side of things from time to time.

The fact is that justice was interupted against one of the most evil aspects of our history.

Without that justice we will forever carry a burden of guilt not recognized.

Our country could have grown so much without that pardon. The sins of our present may never have happened but for that blind eye.

R.I.P. Mr. Ford.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that even in the Nixon era there was a modicum of sanity I took for granted. Of course, when the ill wind of Reagan blew in it was Katie bar the door. I may have been young but there was definantly a change coming and it wasn't good. For quite a while I was ashamed of the venality that we so proudly waved in the face of our poor, our undereducated and disadvantaged.Greed is good was not a movie cliche, it was the rule of the times. That Clinton with all his faults looked good to us is a testament to the ham fisted stupidity we lived in for that last 12 years. The fact that he looks even better now, well, sorry about that. I wish I had better news.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bout the only thought I have about Jerry Ford is how pissed I was at the goons who chased me away from the riverbank the day they dedicated his museum in Grand Rapids.

I guess they were always especially paranoid about the women......

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked his wife. Still do.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Cliff Schecter said...

You all make some great points. I am personally torn about the pardon. I do believe in the dignity of the office (unlike, say Republicans of the 90s), but also think that maybe had we stopped Nixon's henchmen in their tracks, maybe we don't get the mess we're in today as Fernando said.

I think issue is not an easy one.

But overall, one cannot argue with how much better his form of Republicanism was, while still wrong, than the current idiocy that passes for GOP thought...

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right Cliff. At least back then Republicans crossed party lines to investigate and call for his impeachment.

That form of cooperation has been lost.


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