Rosalynn Carter Symbolizes The Start With Reagan Of The Fall Of GOP Integrity!

By Donald A. Collins | 22 November 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

The post Nixon atmosphere was sufficiently toxic to the GOP to permit the election of a virtually unknown Southern Democrat candidate named Jimmy!

Carter and his wife Rosalynn who came with their ideals to the Presidency in the often snake pit of DC political operatives which never embraced them despite their strong, honorable record of successes in an increasingly hostile world.

As the 11/20 Washington Post article entitled “The real ‘steel magnolia,’ ambitious and resolute” explains Rosalynn set a standard of involvement reminiscent of Eleanor Roosevelt but carried to the next step in women’s emerging status in wielding power in a male dominated world.

As Joe Bailey and Kevin Sullivan excellently report this piece the “First lady sat in on husband’s Cabinet meetings, advised on policy and advocated for mental health”.

She also took a substantive 7 nation 12000-mile Latin America trip in 13 days to explain her husband’s policies to audiences they felt had been neglected.

Read the entire article here.

The major irony of history to the Carter years came when the Iranian despot-to-be Ayatollah Khomeini deposed the Shah in November 1979 and seized the US Embassy in Tehran and held its occupants hostage for 444 days.

Carter’s inability to end this crisis gave the golden opportunity to Reagan to use his initial case against our government and win big in what Rosalynn Carter felt was a misleading take against Carter’s patient judgement in dealing with the crisis.

Reagan’s most memorable attack which initiated the GOP attacks on our government’s institutions was repeated often when he said at a news conference in 1986, “The 9 most terrifying words in the English language are I’m here from the government and I’m here to help”!!

That antigovernment GOP protocol offered by this charming movie star who became California Governor set the GOP pathway for his successors to burnish the falsity of their false bad government claims. A too little opposed illusion. When Newt Gingrich became US House of representatives Speaker in 1989, Newt had been trying to undermine trust in our Federal government since 1978 before succeeding in 1989.

The best short article tells us about Gingrich’s historic tenure which ultimately collapsed but still later set the stage for more GOP hypocrisy from George W Bush.

Read this short article here of his historic tenure that set the stage for Donald Trump.

The story of how Newt Gingrich and his allies tainted American politics, launching an enduring era of brutal partisan warfare

When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party.” In Burning Down the House, historian Julian Zelizer pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path toward an era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics, an era that was ignited by Newt Gingrich and his allies. In 1989, Gingrich brought down Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright and catapulted himself into the national spotlight. Perhaps more than any other politician, Gingrich introduced the rhetoric and tactics that have shaped Congress and the Republican Party for the last three decades. Elected to Congress in 1978, Gingrich quickly became one of the most powerful figures in America not through innovative ideas or charisma, but through a calculated campaign of attacks against political opponents, casting himself as a savior in a fight of good versus evil. Taking office in the post-Watergate era, he weaponized the good government reforms newly introduced to fight corruption, wielding the rules in ways that shocked the legislators who had created them. His crusade against Democrats culminated in the plot to destroy the political career of Speaker Wright.

While some of Gingrich’s fellow Republicans were disturbed by the viciousness of his attacks, party leaders enjoyed his successes so much that they did little collectively to stand in his way. Democrats, for their part, were alarmed, but did not want to sink to his level and took no effective actions to stop him. It didn’t seem to matter that Gingrich’s moral conservatism was hypocritical or that his methods were brazen, his accusations of corruption permanently tarnished his opponents. This brand of warfare worked, not as a strategy for governance but as a path to power, and what Gingrich planted, his fellow Republicans reaped. He led them to their first majority in Congress in decades, and his legacy extends far beyond his tenure in office. From the Contract with America to the rise of the Tea Party and the Trump presidential campaign, his fingerprints can be seen throughout some of the most divisive episodes in contemporary American politics. Burning Down the House presents the alarming narrative of how Gingrich and his allies created a new normal in Washington.

Newt’s willingness even in political exile to say anything against an alleged opponent is illustrated by this January 24, 2023 article in The Guardian.

Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, stoked outrage on Sunday by predicting members of the House committee investigating the Capitol attack will be imprisoned if Republicans retake the chamber this year.

One of two Republicans on the committee, Liz Cheney, said: “A former speaker of the House is threatening jail time for members of Congress who are investigating the violent attack on our Capitol and our constitution. This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels.”

Gingrich made his name with scorched-earth opposition to Bill Clinton in the 1990s and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He is now a prominent Trump supporter, rightwing gadfly and adviser to House Republican leaders.

Read here.

He made his prediction on Fox News, for which he is a contributor.

Calling the members of the 6 January committee “wolves [who] are going to find out that they’re now sheep”, he said that if Republicans take Congress in November, “this is all going to come crashing down … they’re the ones who in fact, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kinds of laws they’re breaking”.

So here we are with Donald Trump, who seemingly impervious to any accounting for his misdeeds, including the January 2021 coup, with the polls showing he could beat Biden in 2024, again with no serious efforts from the GOP’s non-Trump wing to derail him.

As I noted above, but worth repeating again, these decades of attacks on our treasured public servants came despite the record of many public accomplishments by our government departments.

We can on this occasion of Rosalynn Carter’s passing say a devout thank you to the Carters for their integrity, modesty, and devotion to our best principles which made our country great. Their lives offer a prime example of where we should be headed. Will we choose a man of integrity and stability in 2024?

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life” and “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024”.

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