32 thoughts on “A little history . . .

  1. The source article for this post is a good example of why I don’t read Salon or take it seriously.

    The writer makes a guilt-by-association argument. First he paints an unflattering portrait of a figure from history, Robert Taft. Then he asserts that Taft’s alleged sins apply to the group the writer wishes to denigrate, the contemporary GOP.

    The antidote to shallowness of this kind is research. Wikipedia, for example, provides a fuller portrait of Taft, as well as deeper dives into the various issues associated with his legacy.

    There is no doubt that Taft’s political views have been influential within the GOP even up to the present, but he is hardly the bogeyman Salon makes him out to be. Nor is his story a cautionary tale that validly justifies anti-Russia prejudice or thoughtless support for Ukraine.

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    1. To quote Dr. Tabor – Where is the article in error? Is there some relevant fact they have lied about? Did they call him “evil” or “corrupt?”

      What is this “anti-Russian” prejudice of which you speak? Personally, I like and admire Russia. My daughter has made a career performing ballets created in Russia. Unlike most Americans. I fully understand that it was Russia – not the United States – that crushed Hitler’s ambitions. I laud Russia for keeping the torch of space exploration lit while we were faltering.

      What I do not like is fascism and unprovoked wars of conquest. That is NOT “anti-Russian prejudice.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “Where is the article in error?”

      I don’t say the article is in error. I say it makes a fallacious guilt-by-association argument.

      RE: “What is this ‘anti-Russian’ prejudice of which you speak?”

      You wrote, “The sympathy for the current fascist aggressor on display amongst ‘conservatives’ is not without historical precedent.”

      That statement exemplifies anti-Russian prejudice in my view, since it assumes — without substantiation — that Russia is a fascist aggressor. But perhaps you weren’t thinking of Russia, but some other villain.

      Shallow thinking all around.

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      1. Guilt?
        If you say so. But then you are assuming that the sympathies shown by Taft, Hawley and you are somehow crimes.

        As for Putin being a “fascist aggressor,” no assumptions required. The facts are clear to anyone with an open mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You might want to choose a better source for history than Salon.

    The impetus for Fascism and racism was worldwide and strong in both US parties. The Eugenics movement was dominated by Democrats, particularly Elanor Roosevelt and Margret Sanger.

    It wasn’t a partisan issue, it was elitist and pseudointellectual. People were swept up by “The Science” validating their pre-existing prejudices. Suppression of ‘inferior’ races was suddenly cool.

    The closest equivalents today are the anti-vax and climate alarmist hysterias rampant worldwide. People with no real understanding of either issue are suddenly passionate and undeterred by the harm they do in service of what they have been gulled into seeing as the greater good.

    A good antidote would be to go to Youtube and watch Feynman’s lectures on science. The Cargo Cult lecture in particular explains the difference between science and what looks like science.

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    1. “You might want to choose a better source for history than Salon.”

      It is a better source than the truly garbage sites that frequently appear here. The story is accurate in every factual respect. Senator Robert Taft WAS “Mr. Republican” and his record on the relevant matters is what it is.

      Maybe this story makes you uncomfortable because you – like the current Senators mentioned – are extraordinarily supportive of the world’s leading fascist in our time? Maybe you should take comfort from the fact that you are part of a long tradition among democracy-hating “conservatives?”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Salon’s bias is in what was ignored.

        The Eugenics and fascist movements were worldwide, not a private club of Republicans. Democrats were at the same time the center of the Eugenics movement, a fig leaf for genocide.

        If you want to call Putin a leading fascist, OK, but keep in mind that Zelensky is at best a close second. and gaining on Putin rapidly.

        We have no business supporting either side of a battle between fascists.

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        1. “… Zelensky is at best a close second. and gaining on Putin rapidly.”

          Based on what, may I ask? Keeping in mind that Russia is targeting civilian infrastructure daily in an effort to totally crush the entire nation. And, of course, that adds credence to Putin’s imperial goals rather than just rescuing a minority population of Russians in a sliver of Ukraine.

          Keeping on mind also that some of Trumps advisors wanted to declare martial law over looney election hacking from space or whatever. That is fascism. Fascism feeding on fear, ignorance and conspiracies that the right wing created themselves.

          So our president had the fascist mindset. That is a true example that you might be looking for. Meanwhile, Zelensky is doing all he can to defend his people against arguably the bloodiest dictator in this century. And you call him a fascist?

          Seriously?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Consider that Zelensky has banned opposition political parties and the Orthodox Church, closed down opposition news organizations and jailed or exiled journalists.

            Add to that the fact that Zelensky tolerated the neoNazi Azoz Battalion and its predecessors and allowed them to operate unopposed in the Donetsk Oblasts since 2014, and even acted in cooperation with them.

            Putin is a thug, but it is a stretch to call him a fascist. If anything, the classification fits’ Zelensky better. Remember that fascism needs a scapegoat but it need not be Jews.

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          2. I think you are wrong about the Nazi influence.

            A small contingent of right wingers fought Russians invading Ukraine. Kinda like our Oathkeepers, 3 Percenters, Proud Boys joining up to fight an invader here. You would be thrilled to have anyone who could fight well and commit themselves to be on your side.

            Sounds like you have bought into Putin’s “de-nazification” lie. Sorry to see that. But Russian propaganda is very effective, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

            As far as restricting some civil liberties, that is war. Putin was doing all that for decades, and was not invaded. A nation of 40 million invaded and semi-occupied by a neighbor 4 times as large would cramp some rights.

            More or less the same stuff we did in our wars and no foreigners were raping our wives at home. Or targeting our infrastructure. Or stealing, torturing and murdering at will. Or running tanks down Main Street. Or mining our countryside.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. There has always been a significant Neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine, suppressed by the Soviets but resurgent since the USSR fell apart. The Ukraine was heavily involved on the Holocaust.

            I think you have watched Red Dawn too many times.

            Putin is a bad guy, but Zelensky and his backers are every bit as bad. They just have better PR.

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          4. FYI

            “Habeas corpus and martial law also figured prominently in the Confederate States of America. On April 14, 1861, the Confederate general Braxton Bragg arrested a newspaper correspondent whom he accused of treason during the course of the war. More than 4,108 civilian prisoners were taken into custody. Confederate President Jefferson Davis at first roundly castigated his Northern counterpart for engaging in tyrannical acts but soon found it necessary to follow suit. Davis tried to maintain the legal fiction that declaring martial law in specific areas was not the same as suspending the writ of habeas corpus. In the Habeas Corpus Act of 1862, the Confederate Congress granted a power to the president who could use it to cover large areas not necessarily under military control.”

            https://www.encyclopedia.com/defense/energy-government-and-defense-magazines/civil-liberties-civil-war

            At this point, we had nearly a century of Democratic political culture. Ukraine maybe 3 or 4 years.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. And they were both wrong too.

            But this is now, and we have no business intervening in a battle between equally bad sides.

            Over our lifetimes, the US and the Soviets, and the US and Islam, and now the US and Russia, have conducted a lot of proxy wars. I cannot think of one that served our national interests in the long run.

            This one will be no different. We have lost an important ally in the coming confrontation with Islam and the world will be a more dangerous place a result.

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          6. …”in a battle between equally bad sides.”

            You say that a lot. But your justification is never in line with all of the realities of the situation.

            Russia started invading Ukraine in 2014 by taking over the Oblasts. Then, last year they started an all-out invasion and attack on a country that was NO THREAT to them. You seem to be OK with Russian invading and attempt to justify it with “questionable” reasoning.

            And if we have lost an ally in the fight against Islo-facism, it is because that “ally” decided they could invade a peaceful neighbor without impunity.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. That is one point of view, Another is that the Russian speaking people of the Oblasts asked for and received rescue from oppression.

            Considering the depth and effectiveness of the propaganda machines(including that of our own military industrial complex) it is difficult to find the right balance of blame.

            Absent certainty of the right, we have no business going against our own national interests to create a market for Raytheon and Boing. (Though it is good for my investment portfolio.)

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          8. “Another is that the Russian speaking people of the Oblasts asked for and received rescue from oppression.”

            A MINORITY of the populace. The “oppression” that is claimed is basic bitching. Maybe Florida should invade Alabama to protect the Black populace there form the oppression they are undergoing.

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          9. “And they were both wrong too.”

            Yes, certainly from the comfort of home typing on your computer they were wrong.

            My point is simple, and oft stated by me:

            We, including you of course, have no idea what it is like to have your homeland invaded, occupied, and destroyed bit by bit. None, except through musings of thought experiments about liberty and justice for all at the end of an AR-15.

            Here is the irony. You support, tacitly if not directly, the idea of armed militias to confront a rogue government. This is without even considering what civil war, including occupation by either side, does to a nation.

            You are still fighting our own Civil War 160 years later and you weren’t even remotely involved except, at best, through 8 generations ago.

            I am not really excusing the loss of rights in war, but the reality is different. Survival supplants words.

            Liked by 2 people

          10. “Remember that fascism needs a scapegoat . . .”

            Uh, no it doesn’t. That is a common but not a defining feature of fascism. But if you insist that it is, reflect on Putin’s demonization of the LGBTQ community.

            I am not sure whom you think Zelensky is “scapegoating?” Russian speakers? Nope. He is one of those himself.

            Liked by 2 people

          11. “Another is that the Russian speaking people of the Oblasts asked for and received rescue from oppression.”

            Many loyal Ukrainians are native Russian speakers. Zelensky is one. According to the best evidence there has NEVER been an ethnic Russian majority in Donbas even though it is 75% Russian-speaking.

            The truth is that arming and encouraging, arming and supplementing local armed shitheads has been Russia’s modus operandi when invading its neighbors. It worked in Georgia and it worked in Crimea. It did not work in Donbas because – long before Zelensky – the people and the government fought back.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. You are stretching pretty hard when there is really nothing in the article you can refute. This is a factual article about Senator Robert Taft. It did not claim that ONLY him or ONLY Republicans were sympathetic to the fascist totalitarian regimes. The author acknowledges that there were also America First attitudes in both parties.

    The point being made is that in the GOP support for totalitarians is not something new.

    The fact that there was racism in both parties or that it was world-wide is not particularly relevant. This is not an article about racism. Racism is not even mentioned. So saying it was left out because of bias makes no sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ooooh, you have cut deep and touched a nerve, Paul! Look at all the blood all over this page!

    The facts speak for themselves.

    The thing that stood out for me was the documentation of the “nihilistic urge to break things.” That describes today’s MAGA 100%!

    The definition of nihilism: “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.” (And, unsurprisingly enough, there is a special category called “Russian nihilism.”)

    Nihilists are soulless empty voids. They will never find a meaning for life because they have no clue where to look. Meaning is found in the soul… and they have none. They are incapable of understanding moral principles because they are incapable of empathy.

    To a nihilist, society/humanity has no meaning so they take great delight in blowing things up. They are like apes caged inside the Louvre, tearing up great works of art for their own amusement. That is how I see the “Freedom Caucus.”

    They have already made a mockery of what should have been the simple process of electing a Speaker of the House. They will spend the next two years screeching about Hunter Biden’s laptop and flinging poo at anyone who dares investigate their crimes. Nothing more.

    They will do everything in their power to shut down the government of the United States of America. They will refuse to raise the debt ceiling in hopes we will default on the national debt. They will giggle with glee if the dollar loses its value. They will sport toothy grins if they can cause the world to lose faith in our country. Nothing would make them happier than seeing Russia overrun Ukraine and go on to establish their oligarchs throughout the rest of Europe.

    Here’s hoping they fail as miserably as their predecessors. And here’s also hoping that history never forgets them!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When the Capitol was attacked, the VP was targeted for murder, the coolest heads to respond were Pelosi, Hoyer and Pence. All three were on phones trying to get reinforcements and the National Guard while our Commander in Chief was watching TV and drinking Diet Cokes. The right wing loonies in a Congress were running, hiding, panicking. Then later, they all kissed Trumps ass, begged forgiveness for stating the obvious.

      And now these chicken sh*t Republicans are in charge.

      What a country.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Len, I agree. It is beyond my understanding why any of them were ever elected, much less reelected. They aren’t even loyal to their own cult, forget loyalty to the United States of America. Their sworn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign is a joke. They’ll happily use the Constitution for toilet paper if someone offers the right amount of money.
        Hang the Vice President of their own party? Fist-pump that!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Where in the world do you find such idiotic trash? Oh, the Salon, thats where. Don’t you have ANYTHING better to do than scour the internet daily to find really ignorant stuff as this? Of course there is that guilt by association between you and this laughable partisan fairy tale but we won’t go there. Get a life Paul. Suggestion, get a dog or something.

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    1. So anything YOU disagree with is ignorant? The great and wise (ass) Bobrsmith has spoken.

      Open you mind, get out of your silo, and pay attention to things you disagree with. You just might learn something. I doubt it, but there is always a possibility.

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