"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Mark Twain's insight comes to mind as one observes the panic of Beltway Republicans over the latest polls in the battle of Obamacare.
According to Gallup, approval of the Republican Party has sunk 10 points in two weeks to 28 percent, an all-time low. In the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, approval of the GOP has fallen to 24 percent.
In the campaign to persuade America of their Big Lie -- that the House Republicans shut down the government -- the White House and its media chorus appear to have won this round.
Yet, the truth is the Republicans House has voted three times to keep open and to fund every agency, department and program of the U.S. government, except for Obamacare.
And they voted to kill that monstrosity but once.
Republicans should refuse to raise the white flag and insist on an honorable avenue of retreat.
And if Harry Reid's Senate demands the GOP end the sequester on federal spending, or be blamed for a debt default, the party should, Samson-like, bring down the roof of the temple on everybody's head.
This is an honorable battle lost, not a war.
Why, after all, did Republicans stand up? Because they believe Obamacare is an abomination, a new entitlement program this nation, lurching toward bankruptcy, cannot afford.
It is imposing increases in health care premiums on millions of Americans, disrupting doctor-patient relationships and forcing businesses to cut workers back to 29 hours a week. Even Democratic Sen. Max Baucus has predicted a coming "train wreck."
Now if the Republican Party believes this, what choice did the House have except to fight to defund or postpone it, against all odds, and tune out the whining of the "We-can't-win!" Republican establishment?
And if Republicans are paralyzed by polls produced by this three-week skirmish, they should reread the history of the party and the movement to which they profess to belong.
In the early 1960s, when the postwar right rose to challenge JFK with Mr. Conservative, events and actions conspired to put Barry Goldwater in the worst hole of a Republican nominee in history.
Kennedy was murdered in Dallas one year before the election. Goldwater had glibly hinted he would privatize Social Security, sell the Tennessee Valley Authority and "lob one into the men's room at the Kremlin."
After his defeat of Nelson Rockefeller in the California primary assured his nomination, Goldwater was 59 points behind LBJ -- 77-18.
The Republican liberals -- Govs. Rockefeller, George Romney and William Scranton -- to the cheers of the Washington press, began to attack Goldwater for "extremism" and failing to vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
At the Cow Palace convention, liberals demanded Goldwater rewrite the platform to equate The John Birch Society with the Communist Party USA and the Ku Klux Klan, which had murdered four black girls at a Birmingham church in 1963 and three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Miss., that same summer.
Goldwater rejected this stinking outrage, declaring, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." And, so, the liberals all abandoned him.
One man stood by Goldwater. The two-time loser Richard Nixon, who had not won a race in his own right since 1950, campaigned for Goldwater and the party longer and harder than Barry himself.
And what became of them all?
Bill Scranton packed it in 1966. George Romney was trounced in 1968 by Nixon, with Goldwater's legions at his side, in New Hampshire, and quit the race two weeks before the returns came in.
Rockefeller, who had spent a career calling Nixon a "loser," lacked what it took to challenge Nixon in any of the contested primaries.
And, lest we forget, one other national Republican spoke up for Goldwater and conservatism in that 1964 humiliation, the retired Hollywood actor and impresario of GE Theater: Ronald Reagan.
Nixon and Reagan would go on to win four of the next five GOP nominations and presidential elections. In the one convention Reagan lost, 1976, the right, as the price of its support of Gerald R. Ford, demanded that Nelson Rockefeller be dumped as vice president.
Done. Rocky was last seen flipping a middle finger to the delegates happily marking "paid" on his account.
Prediction: The people who fought the battle of Obamacare will be proven right to have fought it, and America will come to see this.
And the people who said, "We can't win!" will never win.
America is at a turning point.
If she does not stop squandering hundreds of billions on liberal agenda items like Obamacare and if she do not end these trade deficits sucking the jobs, factories and investment capital out of our country, we will find ourselves beside Greece, Spain, Illinois and Detroit.
Even if America disagrees, as in 1964 when it embraced LBJ's Great Society plunge to social and economic disaster, Republicans need to stand up -- current polls and corporate Republicans be damned.
If the right is right, time will prove it, as it did long ago.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Starting over at Head Start
All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.
They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days
I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.
Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth
When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.
No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate
Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Senate campaign already in full bloom
Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.
‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’
What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”
Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association
Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).
Hitting the campaign trail
The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.
The case of the scary black cat
If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.
Basking in the spring sunshine
If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.
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