Tuesday, May 30, 2017

History. History. (Notice how it repeats itself?)

"What's particularly striking in the new book, though, is the cluelessness of the stalwart Republican grandees of the Ford presidential campaign, who were both blindsided and baffled by Reagan's guerrilla victories in their own midst. A panicked internal Ford camp memo struggles to parse the 'unexpected Reagan success in certain caucus states,' where the voters who turned out in shockingly large numbers were 'unknown and have not been involved in the Republican political system before' and were 'alienated from both parties.' As if describing an Indian ambush in the Old West, the memo goes on to exclaim that 'we are in real danger of being out-organized by a small number of highly motivated right-wing nuts.' Among those shocked was the canny Texas political operator James Baker, the George H. W. Bush paladin, who couldn't get over how 'absolutely ruthless' these uppity Reagan shock troops were. 'Our people just aren't used to this uncompromising hardball stuff,' he told Time."

—from Frank Rich's review of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, The New York Times Book Review, August 3, 2014