Friday, February 15, 2013

Watergate's Hidden History Led Me To Margaret Chase Smith's Republican FIBS

On the left you are looking at the cover of a book I am currently reading, that being WATERGATE THE HIDDEN HISTORY.

The subtitle of "Nixon, the Mafia and the CIA" was a bit off-putting to me. I figured this would likely not be a very historically accurate accounting of Nixon's allegedly bad behavior.


So far, this book is being very interesting. It was published in 2012, 40 years after the botched break-in at the Watergate became the start of what became the most notorious Presidential scandal in American history.

I think I have previously mentioned my favorite genres, reading-wise, are Native American History, True Crime books, the Civil War and World War II.

I don't think I have mentioned that Watergate is also a subject about which I seem to have a continuing interest. I have read all of Richard Nixon's books, post-resignation. Haldeman's Diaries was very surprising. I ended up really liking H.R. Haldeman. I've read Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men and Final Days and all the subsequent books Bob Woodward has written on other subjects, like all the books about the perversity of the George W. Bush presidency, except for one sitting on my desk right now, The War Within, which I've not gotten to yet.

In our modern times there are some people who think the Republicans have become the Stupid Party. Apparently there are a lot of Republicans who think and say things that a lot of people think are stupid. I have noticed some of this stupidity myself.

The Republicans have a long history of thinking stupid stuff. Watergate The Hidden History is reminding me of some of it. Like the McCarthy stupidity of the 1950s.

I also have learned from Watergate The Hidden History that back in the 1950s and 1960s, in addition to stupid Republicans, there were also Republican voices of reason.

Republican voices of reason like Margaret Chase Smith.

Margaret Chase Smith was a U.S. Representative from 1940 til 1949, then a U.S. Senator from Maine from 1949 til 1973.

In 1964 Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman to be a candidate for the presidency at a major party's national convention.

Margaret Chase Smith rose to fame as an American voice of reason way back well over a half century ago, delivering, on June 1, 1950, a 15 minute speech that became known as the "Declaration of Conscience."

The "Declaration of Conscience" was directed at the bad behavior of fellow Republican Senator, Joe McCarthy, denouncing "the reckless abandon in which unproved charges have been hurled from this side of the aisle."

Senator Smith charged that McCarthyism had debased the Senate to "the level of a forum of hate and character assassination."

In the "Declaration of Conscience" Senator Smith defended every American's "right to criticize...right to hold unpopular beliefs...right to protest; the right of independent thought."

In the "Declaration of Conscience" Senator Smith acknowledged her desire for Republican political success, tempering that desire by adding that, "I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horseman of calumny -- fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear."

Margaret Chase Smith's four horseman of calumny became known as "FIBS." Which became shorthand, for many, for the Republican Party, the party of FIBS.

I am sure glad that Margaret Chase Smith types are now in the majority in the Republican Party and no one would ever think that the modern day Republican Party is still the party of FIBS....

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