Decaying conservatives. Not really.

Got this tidbit in my email today arguing for national health care:

From “I Love MY Socialist Kidney” by Jennifer Nix on
As I watch the cable news loops of all the vicious language and wild-eyed imagery aimed at killing healthcare reform, I can’t help but be amazed that Medicare ESRD was ever passed. I wonder how so many Americans today can be made to believe that healthcare is “anti-Constitutional” or that a fascist/socialist (and, let’s not forget, African) Obama wants to kill their grannies, but I am awestruck by the headstrong self-destruction of the Republican Party. There is no clearer proof of GOP decay than comparing the Republican leadership of the 1970s with those controlling the party today.

Republicans in the 1970s were on the side of healthcare for all Americans. In a message to Congress on Feb. 18, 1971, Nixon himself proposed the National Health Insurance Partnership Act. This was a moment in our history when most Americans believed some form of all-inclusive, national health insurance would soon be a reality. Republicans and Democrats alike were working hard to find the best way to make it happen. In 1972, a generation of pragmatic and compassionate Republicans voted in large numbers to help pass the Medicare ESRD Act. It was seen by legislators as a test case, to be followed by government insurance programs — be they catastrophic or comprehensive — for other diagnoses.

This never happened, of course, and right up until our summer of angry town halls, Medicare ESRD has remained what former Senate Finance Committee staffer James Mongan called “the last train out of the station for national health insurance.”

Today’s Republican leadership follows the lead of hate-speech blowhards and injects vitriol and proven lies into our national discourse, instead of engaging in honest negotiations over the best way to bring healthcare to all Americans. They are ginned up for an Obama defeat, by any means necessary — good policy and the American people be damned.

So let me get this straight. Republicans should now abandoned conservative economic policy because Richard Nixon did in the early 70s? It was a bad idea then, it is a bad idea now. So were the increased government spending seen over the course of the Nixon administration and the price controls that he briefly instituted in 1970 and 1973. Nixon was not a conservative.

Nix’s focus on the Medicare ESRD act of 1972 as evidence of the GOP decaying today reveals her ignorance of political history to the point of embarrassment. The Republican party lost significant ground in the early 70s. It did gain 12 seats in the House in the 1972 election but it lost 4 Senate seats. In 1974 and 1976, the Republicans lost seats in both houses of Congress. After the 76 election, Republicans had lost the presidency and held only 143 (of 435) House seats and 38 senate seats leaving the Democrats with a filibuster-proof senate majority. What the ESRD act does do is give us a glimpse of why the Republican party lost influence during that period. It was Reagan who re-established the Republican party as the conservative party and brought it back to prominence in 1980.

The parallel to draw from the early 70s is between Nixon and Bush. President Bush adopted comparable economic policies as Nixon. As with the aftermath of Nixon, Republicans have again lost the presidency and are the minority party in congress with a filibuster-proof Democrat senate. The plummeting popularity of Obama and the Democrat controlled congress shows that this may be another 1977 when the Republicans were able to begin regrouping to make significant gains in the following two elections. The opposition to nationalized health care is a return to conservative principles rather than a sign of decay.

Nix further reveals her intellectual bankruptcy in her statement, “or that a fascist/socialist (and, let’s not forget, African) Obama wants to kill their grannies”

Obama’s heritage has nothing to do with Republican opposition to his national health care scheme. Republicans objected to Clinton’s similar efforts.There are no conservatives who make any connection between Obama’s policies and his race. The only people who connect race with Obama’s policies is the left. The left still has not accepted that a man with African heritage can be judge solely on his policies – policies that conservatives have long been opposed to. So who is really the racist?