The Bull Moose Disaster

 

Election of 1912
Woodrow Wilson (Democratic): 435 EV (6,293,152 votes)
Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive): 88 EV (4,119,207 votes)
William Howard Taft (Republican): 8 EV (3,486,333 votes)

Theodore Roosevelt was McKinley’s Vice President when McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Roosevelt was re-elected President in 1904. However, because of the tradition of two terms originated by George Washington (not yet made a law), Roosevelt did not run in 1908 but supported William Howard Taft who became President.

In 1912, Roosevelt, disappointed with Taft and having his ego inflated by his huge personal popularity, decided to ride the tide of the new progressive movement. He jumped party and ran against Taft on the new Progressive Party ticket now nicknamed, “The Bull Moose Party.”

The results were all too predictable. Roosevelt split the normal Republican voters right down the middle. If you add his total to Taft’s total you’d get 7,605,540 to Woodrow Wilson’s 6,293,152.

It seems very likely that a Republican candidate of a united party would have beat Wilson in 1912. Immense energy was spent by Taft and Roosevelt attacking each other. If such energy had been concentrated against Wilson, it is doubtful that Wilson would have polled as well as he did.

It is true that demanding lockstep party loyalty destroys the very reason for democracy in the first place. Democracy, at a minimum, gives the people a chance to endorse what they like and veto what they don’t. In a two-party, fixed, scheduled election system (no parliamentary snap elections), however, the cost of disunity can be high. If you are talking about an American presidential election and all that rides upon it, the cost of disunity is maximally high.

Still, people must have their own view. If, however, it is not really their own view that they want but their vanity flattered, then disunity can turn into a tragedy of Greek proportion. Were Taft’s views so repellant that it was worth Roosevelt trying a wild third party run to unseat him? Was it really Teddy’s politics that made the difference or was it just his ability to appeal to the crowd?

I’m sure there are professional historians with massive statistical databases who could attempt to answer these questions empirically. Obviously, I can’t do that for this post. What I can do is talk about the difference between who we want to be and who we are.

We all have aspirations. Aspirations are generally good. They give us a goal to shoot for. Even if we don’t make it all the way, we make it farther because we tried.

Unfortunately, sometimes we want something that we really shouldn’t have. We already have what is important and so we risk the important to chase after fools gold. The calamity is sure to follow.

Woodrow Wilson looked the part and was willing to act the part. On closer inspection, however, the narrowness of the man would probably have been revealed. He was both a blind idealist and a racial bigot cloaked in the grandest of sophisticated ideas. A tough campaign where the focus was on him and him alone might have revealed his flaws under more intense light.

As is so often the case with “idealists,” Wilson first was very anti-war and ran on “he kept us out of war” in 1916. Then he gave way to the realpolitik he had ignored and plunged us into war with abandon. Never the kind of man who could lead a broad coalition, after the war Wilson didn’t know how to make a satisfying armistice or a functional League of Nations. Even his illness was mishandled. Instead of accepting reality and revealing it, Mrs. Wilson maintained the facade and was even more ineffective as the shadow President.

We are free to express ourselves but when our own egos get the best of us, we can make colossal blunders with long-range ramifications. It is important in a democracy that both mature citizens and mature leaders consider their actions in light of the upside and the possible downside.

The present Republican Party is badly split between the grassroots and the upper echelon. The grassroots have proven that it can’t consistently elect enough senators to control the Senate. The upper echelon has proven that it can neither win nor hold the House. Trump appears as a third-force that is completely outside the Party but serves the Party’s interests anyway. One can’t help but feel that if all three of these components could be put together in a functional team alliance then victory and success would ensue.

Is Trump’s character so awful that we would risk destroying a well-functioning conservative American presidency because of it? Were the Tea Party people so crude that they had to be marginalized even if it meant losing the ground game that had brought success in the House? Are we so frustrated with the “Beltway” that we take it out on old Mitch even though he is doing a decent job of handling the Chuck and Nancy show?

How a president shapes the public character

It is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.

I have been very patient these last two years. I assumed that mature minds would make a peace with present circumstances and not try to fight reality. I find little evidence of this. Catastrophe is likely unless people start dealing rationally with the cards that Gd has dealt us. One must pray that we won’t go on a wild Bull Moose chase that will end badly. To imagine that an ill-defined sense of “character” is more important than policies or Supreme Court Justice appointments is to stretch credulity beyond any reasonable limit. This is an unlimited license to go on a wild Bull Moose chase ad infinitum. Better chill out now before real disaster strikes.

If you need motivation, just think of Woodrow Wilson and that will surely propel you in the right direction.

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There are 52 comments.

  1. 1
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  1. Columbo Member

    Very timely post. In 2020, here are some of the likely actors lining up to play the parts:

    Teddy Roosevelt – President Donald Trump (or his appointee VP Pence)

    William ‘the weak’ H. Taft – Senator Romney, John-boy Kasich, Jeff “I’m not a” Flake

    Woodrow Wilson – Fauxcahontas, Uncle Joe Biden, J F’ng K, Algore, Bernie!, She Who Shall Not Be Named, John Edwards (why not?), Spartacus, Kamala Willie Brown Harris, Alexandria Ocasio Castro, Michelle My Belle, Oprah, Mile High Hickenlooper, Cuomo, Gillenbrand ….

    • #1
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I agree with your analysis regarding the results of the divided party. My only other comment is the Teddy Roosevelt of 1912 would have been a worse President than Woodrow Wilson.

    • #2
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Valiuth Member

    Ah the latest of a shut up and get on board posts. 

    Have Trump be less Trumpy and maybe we would find him so much less objectionable? Call me when you can manage that Herculean feat. I was fine with the Tea Party and Mitch, but I am not fine with Trump and his incoherent isms. Moderate them and then ask me again, if I think the situation is improved. 

    What was the choice in 1912? The constitutionalist Taft with his limited vision of the presidency or one of two progressives. The first being the man that began the creation of the Imperial presidency and was offended when his vice president failed to continue on in his manner and the second being the man that wished to carry his legacy to its natural conclusion. Seems to me the American people in 1912 did not value the Constitution very much, based on their preferences. I think Teddy and his supporters would rather have had Willson than Taft and that is what they got. 

    Sadly in 2020 we will not have a Taft to vote for (though maybe some other great Ohioan will step up). 

    • #3
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Very timely post. In 2020, here are some of the likely actors lining up to play the parts:

    Teddy Roosevelt – President Donald Trump (or his appointee VP Pence)

    William ‘the weak’ H. Taft – Senator Romney, John-boy Kasich, Jeff “I’m not a” Flake

    Woodrow Wilson – Fauxcahontas, Uncle Joe Biden, J F’ng K, Algore, Bernie!, She Who Shall Not Be Named, John Edwards (why not?), Spartacus, Kamala Willie Brown Harris, Alexandria Ocasio Castro, Michelle My Belle, Oprah, Mile High Hickenlooper, Cuomo, Gillenbrand ….

    Columbo,

    As Count Floyd used to say, “Really scary, I mean REALLY scary.” The Woodrow Wilson wannabees are right out of Monster Chiller Horror Theater. The Pelosithon hasn’t even started yet and Mitt can’t stand the heat. Little wonder he stubbed his toe before he could get into the kitchen. Luckily he’s already prepared his golden parachute (you know with an explosive party ejection seat) in case he gets criticized for anything.

    Little does Mitt know that Avenatti intends to claim that Mitt, Stormy, and the Morman Tabernacle Choir…(please make up your own joke because I don’t want heat from the Mods)

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #4
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Trump and his incoherent isms.

    I knew it, I knew it! You are a grammar bigot. I think you owe the grammatically challenged an apology. You committed the worst crime of them all. Worse than murder, worse than genocide. You made them feel bad!!! Now just say you’re sorry and we won’t wreck your super profitable gig on Patreon.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Spin Inactive

    Of course, we have a more modern example, as well. In 1992, Ross Perot split the Republican vote, not quite by half, but by enough to give the election to Bill Clinton. Clinton got 45 million votes, Bush 39, and Perot nearly 20 million votes.

    A lot of grass roots conservatives were pushing for a guy like Perot because he spoke to our desire to trim government and make it fiscally responsible. Plus he he talked plainly, even if his voice was fodder for many a Dana Carvey impression.

    We could spend hours speculating what might have been had Clinton not been elected. He might have been elected in the next cycle. Or perhaps someone else would have come along. Maybe it makes no difference at all. 

    A lot of the folks here on Ricochet have a dim view of George HW Bush as a “conservative president”, and that is understandable. How many would be arguing, today, for us to stay united behind Bush instead of voting for the outsider who might actually do something conservative, in order to prevent the election of a Clinton? How many Trump detractors on this site would have argued for voting for Clinton to prevent a nobody who talks funny and has no experience taking the reigns of power?

    For my part, come 2020, I’ll happily vote for someone a little more to my liking than Trump in the primary, if they should exist. In the general, I’ll vote for Trump to keep whatever progressive nincompoop the left comes up with from becoming President. Not that it will matter for me, much, since my state will break HardOcasio.

    • #6
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Hang On Member

    I don’t think it’s about personalities, I think it’s about policy – trade, border security, foreign policy. The Republican establishment wants one thing. The Republican grass roots wants another and is aligned with Trump against the establishment. The establishment disingenuously say its all about the tweets. Just more lies from the Republican establishment. Not complicated.

    • #7
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Spin (View Comment):
    In the general, I’ll vote for Trump to keep whatever progressive nincompoop the left comes up with from becoming President.

    Spin,

    Sounds like a plan. Did you catch this? Even Romney’s niece thinks he’s full of it.

    RNC’s Ronna McDaniel Calls Uncle Romney’s Anti-Trump Op-Ed ‘Disappointing and Unproductive’

    POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive. https://t.co/ArhI7Bi7bo

    — Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 2, 2019

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I agree with your analysis regarding the results of the divided party. My only other comment is the Teddy Roosevelt of 1912 would have been a worse President than Woodrow Wilson.

    Gumby,

    I don’t think so. Teddy absolutely represented the American spirit at that moment and had a huge personal popularity. He also would have been more effective with the Europeans who were about to screw up massively starting WWI. Wilson coming off as a blind idealist from the unsophisticated USA was played by the European cynical gang and they went right on running themselves off a cliff. Teddy came off as the crazy loose cannon like Trump. The Europeans would have been much more careful and might have even thought their own suicidal policies through more.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #9
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Hang On (View Comment):

    I don’t think it’s about personalities, I think it’s about policy – trade, border security, foreign policy. The Republican establishment wants one thing. The Republican grass roots wants another and is aligned with Trump against the establishment. The establishment disingenuously say its all about the tweets. Just more lies from the Republican establishment. Not complicated.

    Hang,

    It’s hard to argue against what you say as long as you don’t go too far with it. The grassroots couldn’t win the Senate. We need the Senate and that old guy Mitch because he’s shown that he has some true grit in a fight. Meanwhile, the upper echelon had better admit that it doesn’t have a clue what is going on at ground level. They just blew the House and their vilification of Trump is stupidity itself.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:30 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Valiuth Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I agree with your analysis regarding the results of the divided party. My only other comment is the Teddy Roosevelt of 1912 would have been a worse President than Woodrow Wilson.

    Gumby,

    I don’t think so. Teddy absolutely represented the American spirit at that moment and had a huge personal popularity. He also would have been more effective with the Europeans who were about to screw up massively starting WWI. Wilson coming off as a blind idealist from the unsophisticated USA was played by the European cynical gang and they went right on running themselves off a cliff. Teddy came off as the crazy loose cannon like Trump. The Europeans would have been much more careful and might have even thought their own suicidal policies through more.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Again putting personality above principle. Taft represented true Constiutional order while Teddy Roosevelt was the maniac that started to unravel the whole thing. A job that was finished unsurprisingly by his cousin some 30 years later. But, there we have it. 
     

    • #11
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    To all,

    Here’s more stuff on stopping the wild bull moose chase before it gets going.

    Mitt Romney’s Counterproductive Op-Ed

    So, what’s Romney doing with his op-ed? Nothing useful. In fact, he’s doing something seriously counterproductive. If Senator Romney wants to sound off against Trump’s excesses and character flaws, he should by all means do so in response to Trump’s tweets or statements or actions. But by forcing a “Love Trump or Leave Trump” choice on Republicans, he’s actually doing the work of both the most ardent Trumpists and the most viciously antagonistic members of the Democratic party and the media.

    Ben Shapiro isn’t exactly one of Donald Trump’s biggest fans. I think Mitt has stepped in it very badly.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    One take away from your OP – there were only approximately 14 million people voting in 1912?

    How things have changed.

    • #13
    • January 2, 2019, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. philo Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    One take away from your OP – there were only approximately 14 million people voting in 1912?

    How things have changed.

    For the better?

    • #14
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Taft represented true Constiutional order while Teddy Roosevelt was the maniac that started to unravel the whole thing.

    Val,

    You aren’t wrong about Teddy being a mashuganah. However, he still would have been more effective both in the short and long-term than Mr. Wonderful Wilson. Wilson cared about principles so much that he screened “Birth of a Nation” in the White House. A firm believer in Eugenics his views on politics ranged from the romantic to the maudlin. Just exactly the person to handle the arrogant self-possessed Europeans who had just fought the most brutal ugly war in history and accomplished nothing by it.

    Don’t forget to cheer for the Klan.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #15
    • January 2, 2019, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I agree with your analysis regarding the results of the divided party. My only other comment is the Teddy Roosevelt of 1912 would have been a worse President than Woodrow Wilson.

    Gumby,

    I don’t think so. Teddy absolutely represented the American spirit at that moment and had a huge personal popularity. He also would have been more effective with the Europeans who were about to screw up massively starting WWI. Wilson coming off as a blind idealist from the unsophisticated USA was played by the European cynical gang and they went right on running themselves off a cliff. Teddy came off as the crazy loose cannon like Trump. The Europeans would have been much more careful and might have even thought their own suicidal policies through more.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Again putting personality above principle. Taft represented true Constiutional order while Teddy Roosevelt was the maniac that started to unravel the whole thing. A job that was finished unsurprisingly by his cousin some 30 years later. But, there we have it.

    I agree. Teddy would have immediately plunged us into WW1. Moreover, he was much more the centralizing progressive than Wilson. His platform was that of a radical democracy demagogue which is what caused long-time allies and personal friends like Elihu Root and Henry Cabot Lodge to break with him, even knowing it would lead to Wilson getting elected.

    • #16
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Russ Schnitzer Member

    Support Romney for President? NeverTrumpers NeverLearn!

    Romney had support from some Republicans during the last presidential primary because he offered hope leading us out of economic doldrums that we were experiencing. You all do remember the very slow economic recovery which was then touted as the “new normal”? Trump was chosen and elected and now it is two years later.

    Let me state clearly, lack of economic growth is no longer an issue. We are now experiencing good economic growth.

    Some Republicans may like Romney because he “is a nice guy”. It may surprise you that being a nice guy is not enough to be elected President. Wait until the Dems bring out a few bimbos that claim Romney was their Paramore decades ago, or Romney is secretly backed by Putin. Use your imagination about future claims.

    Elections are important if you win. Otherwise they are just a footnote in a history book. 

     

    • #17
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    To all,

    More un-endorsements for Mitt.

    Rand Paul Hits Mitt Romney: ‘Big Government’ Republican Who ‘Never Liked Reagan’

    “Like other Big Government Republicans who never liked Reagan, Mitt Romney wants to signal how virtuous he is in comparison to the President,” wrote Sen. Paul who cited an article on Republicans supporting former President Ronald Reagan. “Well, I’m most concerned and pleased with the actual conservative reform agenda @realDonaldTrump has achieved”:

    Donald Trump: Mitt Romney Fights Me More than He Did Barack Obama

    “If he fought really hard against President Obama like he does against me, he would have won the election,” Trump said.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I agree with your analysis regarding the results of the divided party. My only other comment is the Teddy Roosevelt of 1912 would have been a worse President than Woodrow Wilson.

    Gumby,

    I don’t think so. Teddy absolutely represented the American spirit at that moment and had a huge personal popularity. He also would have been more effective with the Europeans who were about to screw up massively starting WWI. Wilson coming off as a blind idealist from the unsophisticated USA was played by the European cynical gang and they went right on running themselves off a cliff. Teddy came off as the crazy loose cannon like Trump. The Europeans would have been much more careful and might have even thought their own suicidal policies through more.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Again putting personality above principle. Taft represented true Constiutional order while Teddy Roosevelt was the maniac that started to unravel the whole thing. A job that was finished unsurprisingly by his cousin some 30 years later. But, there we have it.

    I agree. Teddy would have immediately plunged us into WW1. Moreover, he was much more the centralizing progressive than Wilson. His platform was that of a radical democracy demagogue which is what caused long-time allies and personal friends like Elihu Root and Henry Cabot Lodge to break with him, even knowing it would lead to Wilson getting elected.

    Gumby,

    Again I disagree. Teddy said, “talk softly and carry a big stick.” Wilson should have warned everyone with this statement, “bloviate about pacifism and then be forced into war once there is nothing else one can do.”

    There is a chance in my mind that Roosevelt might have talked Europe out of going to war in the first place. The Spanish American War was about our emergent power in the American hemisphere and the Pacific. I doubt Roosevelt would have had the same attitude to the main powers of Europe.

    Of course, the Europeans may have been so full of themselves (and full of it) that nothing could have deterred them. Also, it wasn’t Lodge & Root that broke with him. He broke with the party. Imagining that they should have followed him, policy or no policy, is just exactly the kind of ego trip that created the disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #19
    • January 2, 2019, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

     

    Jim

    Again putting personality above principle. Taft represented true Constiutional order while Teddy Roosevelt was the maniac that started to unravel the whole thing. A job that was finished unsurprisingly by his cousin some 30 years later. But, there we have it.

    I agree. Teddy would have immediately plunged us into WW1. Moreover, he was much more the centralizing progressive than Wilson. His platform was that of a radical democracy demagogue which is what caused long-time allies and personal friends like Elihu Root and Henry Cabot Lodge to break with him, even knowing it would lead to Wilson getting elected.

     

     

    Of course, the Europeans may have been so full of themselves (and full of it) that nothing could have deterred them. Also, it wasn’t Lodge & Root that broke with him. He broke with the party. Imagining that they should have followed him, policy or no policy, is just exactly the kind of ego trip that created the disaster.

    Regards,

    Jim

    TR tried and failed to get the GOP nomination. Lodge and Root opposed him in that attempt despite their close friendship with TR, and despite believing TR would defeat Wilson in a two-way general election. Root, who said, “I care more for one button on Theodore Roosevelt’s waistcoat than for Taft’s whole body.“, was chairman of the GOP convention and played the critical role in thwarting TR’s attempt to stampede the convention and obtain the nomination. It was only after this failure that TR declared as a third-party candidate.

    And if TR had failed to prevent a European War he would have gleefully pitched America into it.

    Once TR and Taft were defeated and Wilson victorious, Root declared:

    “This has not seemed to me to make any difference in our duty to hold the Republican Party firmly to the support of our constitutional system. Worse things can happen to a party than to be beaten.”

     

    • #20
    • January 2, 2019, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. I Walton Member

    Wilson was worse than a miserable president, more than any other single person he gave us the great depression and the second world war. Progressive historians still love him and blame both of these things on market failures and the absence of the league of nations. But anyone who is still a progressive after the 20th century doesn’t understand much.

    • #21
    • January 2, 2019, at 2:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    In 1912, TR won 9 primaries, and Taft won only two. But the Republican Party ignored the primary votes in nominating Taft, who ended up carrying only two states.

    Today, there is a move in the Republican Party to limit an insurgent challenge to Trump.

    • #22
    • January 2, 2019, at 4:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    They just blew the House and their vilification of Trump is stupidity itself.

    If the loss of the House can be blamed on anyone, it is not “they” but Trump.

    Trump is an electoral disaster for the GOP on par with what Obama was for Democrats.

    • #23
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    James Gawron: The present Republican Party is badly split between the grassroots and the upper echelon. The grassroots have proven that it can’t consistently elect enough senators to control the Senate. The upper echelon has proven that it can neither win nor hold the House. Trump appears as a third-force that is completely outside the Party but serves the Party’s interests anyway. One can’t help but feel that if all three of these components could be put together in a functional team alliance then victory and success would ensue.

    The grassroots can carry states but not districts? The upper echelon only plays at the district level?

    These distinctions you refer to do not exist. There are Republicans who are conservative, some who are populist, some who want to drink lib tears, some who will do anything to justify anything Trump does, and some who will never give Trump credit for anything. What Trump utterly fails to do is even try to build on the coalition that gave him an incredibly slim victory in 2016, seeming intent instead to shrink it.

    • #24
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    And if TR had failed to prevent a European War he would have gleefully pitched America into it.

    Gumby,

    Again party meant quite a bit and TR was trying to push rather than deal. Should Root & Lodge been clairvoyant and assume that Roosevelt would bolt the party. You are falling for your own twenty-twenty hindsight. It was TR that should have considered the likely consequences of a three-way race. The statement by Root after the fact means little. In face-saving there is little relevance.

    As far as gleefulness this is absurd. You either go to war or you don’t. You either intend to win or you don’t. It’s Wilson that is disingenuous. He postures endlessly as the pacifist but then when there is nothing else he can do he goes in anyway. I don’t think the troops in the trenches gave a rat’s behind about what the President felt about it. They were stuck there to live or die until victory or defeat. I personally think that Wilson’s posture increased not decreased the chance of war. TR’s credible saber ratling might have made the Germans think twice. At least there would be a chance of this. With Wilson, after his matinee debut as a virtuous pacifist, the inevitable happened.

    In our system, this is the very likely outcome of all third-party splinter attempts. A word to the wise.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #25
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:47 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    In 1912, TR won 9 primaries, and Taft won only two. But the Republican Party ignored the primary votes in nominating Taft, who ended up carrying only two states.

    Today, there is a move in the Republican Party to limit an insurgent challenge to Trump.

    Gary,

    Your candidate doesn’t have as much charisma in his entire body as Trump has in just one of his small fingers. TR was a tiger and the people loved it. Your candidate is a house cat. Apparently, you do not get the idea of this post at all. The likely outcome of your challenge no matter who you run is a win by a truly grotesque democrat that could have incredibly profound negative consequences.

    You have the right in this society to have whatever opinion or support whatever candidate you wish. I have the right to call you irresponsible for doing so.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #26
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    The likely outcome of your challenge no matter who you run is a win by a truly grotesque democrat that could have incredibly profound negative consequences.

    Unless Trump, for the first time in his life, puts America First and steps aside for the better man.

    • #27
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    And if TR had failed to prevent a European War he would have gleefully pitched America into it.

    Gumby,

    Again party meant quite a bit and TR was trying to push rather than deal. Should Root & Lodge been clairvoyant and assume that Roosevelt would bolt the party. You are falling for your own twenty-twenty hindsight. It was TR that should have considered the likely consequences of a three-way race. The statement by Root after the fact means little. In face-saving there is little relevance.

     

    In our system, this is the very likely outcome of all third-party splinter attempts. A word to the wise.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Lodge and Root knew well TR might bolt. They knew both TR and Taft could lose in a three party race with Wilson. They both thought TR posed the greatest danger to the constitutional system of any of the three candidates; their top priority was to beat him, whether he was in the party or running independently. Root denounced TR’s progressive proposals, commenting on them, “Democratic absolutism is just as repulsive, and history has shown it to be just as fatal, to the rights of individual manhood as is monarchical absolutism.

    • #28
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Post author

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    The likely outcome of your challenge no matter who you run is a win by a truly grotesque democrat that could have incredibly profound negative consequences.

    Unless Trump, for the first time in his life, puts America First and steps aside for the better man.

    Klaatu,

    Nice phrase but completely ludicrous. First, how does the fact that neither Mitt Romney nor Robin the Boy Wonder his running mate had the guts to put Barach the Magic Dragon or Uncle Joe the Gaff King down for the count, make Mitt & Robin “put America first”? They took the nomination of the party and the trust of the Republican electorate and then wouldn’t follow through.

    I say they didn’t put America first. Your favorite guys threw America to the wolves because that’s what the Democrats are. This is the phony posturing of a sore loser trying to damage the winner. Trump didn’t break any rules. He won. That’s his crime. If you stab him in the back another 10,000 times and he bleeds to death then I’m sure you’ll say “I told you so.” However, when an openly Marxist candidate wins because you were so busy imagining that there is a “better man” and that you can hold your breath until this knight in shining armor shows up, I won’t say “I told you so.”

    I won’t waste my time.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #29
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Nice phrase but completely ludicrous. First, how does the fact that neither Mitt Romney nor Robin the Boy Wonder his running mate had the guts to put Barach the Magic Dragon or Uncle Joe the Gaff King down for the count, make Mitt & Robin “put America first”? They took the nomination of the party and the trust of the Republican electorate and then wouldn’t follow through.

    Putting America first has nothing to do with electoral victory (although Mitt and Ryan won a greater share of the vote than Trump), but about self sacrifice. Self sacrifice being a concept Trump may have heard about but has never practiced.

    If your concern is a split Republican vote, Trump is in as good a position as his challenger to prevent that.

    • #30
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:27 PM PDT
    • Like
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