There’s a wary sense of excitement among reporters whose fondest dream is of a convention where a nominee is actually chosen, instead of merely being royally acknowledged. So it’s worth thinking back to 1976, the last time a race was actually settled at a Republican convention.

It’s not a rerun, but there are a lot of similarities, starting with two faux Ronald Reagans (Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich) and a latter-day Gerald R. Ford (Mitt Romney), backed by the party establishment and repeatedly pushed to the right of where he was comfortable. President Ford was the incumbent who, like Romney, excited nobody.

The 1976 battle, like today’s, had twists and turns. Reagan seemed ahead, then Ford, the Reagan came back. Of course the shifts in the days before 24-hour news, Twitter, or even e-mail were not as rapid as this year’s frantic changes.

  1. NewfornatSux says:

    You mean where the incumbent president lost after having his main plans for the economic problem of higher prices be some speeches and buttons?

    • spsffan says:

      No. Where the incumbent president lost because he pardoned Nixon. Jesus H. Christ! I was the only one in my 9th grade history class to predict that Ford would loose, and why. The Democrats could have run a chimpanzee and he would have won. (Did they?)

      • NewfornatSux says:

        That must have been one dumb class. Your class was 45 percentage points off from the actual results.

        Obama didn’t pardon Nixon, so I couldn’t use that. You are probably reflective of that class.

  2. NewfornatSux says:

    Obama likes to blame everything on Bush, but his own currently proposed budget increases the deficit, over the current proposals. He is proposing to make the deficits larger each and every year for the next ten years. Not larger one year after the next, but rather vs doing nothing. He wants to borrow even more money, tax even more, and spend even more than the already unsustainable numbers.

  3. msbpodcast says:

    You all know what I think of electing people: Don’t do it. It just encourages the bastards.

    Got a phonebook? Pick people at random from there.

    You’ll get a more representative body of peers than the self-serving bunch of 1%ers you’re going to pick from the self-selected pool of [expletive deleted] you’re going to have this November.

    • Dallas says:

      You’re point is valid but not realistic. The system is what it is

      • So what says:

        It’s better then his original plan.

      • msbpodcast says:

        You sound like you’re already defeated…

        Don’t bother to show up, you’ll just be wasting somebody’s time.

        The system is what it is” is a tautology, its not an intelligent basis for a system of government.

        The pace of change is accelerating everywhere terrifying people everywhere all the time.

        Systems change when it becomes necessary to change them.

        If they were fixed and existential as you make them out to be, you’d still be using a rotary dial phone and asking to speak to the operator to connect you when speaking to someone outside the city limits.

        • moondawg says:

          “its not an intelligent basis for a system of government. ”

          Indeed. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

          • NobodySpecial says:

            If I went around saying I was a republican front runner because some watery tart threw a sword at me – people would say I was mad.

        • Dallas says:

          Systems change much slower than you pretend them to be. I guarantee our presidentisl election process will not change between now and November.

          Let’s fix it on the next cycle. Ok?

  4. dusanmal says:

    If not for Carter squared already in White House one could see some similarities. Also, Romney is not incumbent creating economic problems. So, 2008 was 1976 – all with non-conservative R and sweet talking D. 2012 is shaping to be 1980.

  5. The big e says:

    I like the comparison, but the shadow of watergate in 1976 makes it very hard to draw conclusions from anything in that election

  6. NewfornatSux says:

    2.9 trillion in debt added over the next ten years according to the current baseline.
    With Obama’s proposed budget of spending increases and tax increases it is 6.4 trillion.

  7. Dallas says:

    Whaa Whaaa… cry me a river, hypocrite.

    The increase in fed spending under Obama is dwarfed by the colossal increase under Baby Bush.

    Spending increase under our leader, Obama, is primarily due to the stimulus designed to offset the recession and cluster fuck he inherited from teh Cheney administration.

  8. Dallas says:

    The problem with the current litter of Teapublican candidates is they let the loonatic sheep vote away the two smartest guys – Huntsman and Paul.

    The convention of presumably smarter sheep is now left with choosing between:
    (a) Criminal once kicked out of his own party for ethics violation and being a tool.

    (b) Christian Taliban that was voted out of his own state

    (c) A charismatically challenged billionaire who hides his wealth off shore and pays less taxes everyone else on the floor.

    • Cursor_ says:

      Paul, smartest?


      I don’t call anti-federalism smart. It failed every time it was brought up.

      I don’t call hard currency smart, It failed every time it was used.

      I don’t call letters of marque smart. If you knew I was going to say fail again, you were right.

      Paul would be a good choice if this was 1812.

      Check the calendar. We are well past 1812.


      • Dallas says:

        I said he was smart (I’ll add honest too), but I didn’t say I agree with him.

        The best candidate of this bunch will be Obama. I’ll consider his first term as tough boot camp resulting in a great second term.

        If I had a magic wand, I’d place Bill and Hillary Clinton in charge.

        • Cursor_ says:

          I believe the virtue of smart is not to be bestowed on a person that rehashes the same failed policies of the 19th century.

          That is inane as well as being mad.

          It is not about (dis)agreeing on policies. It is the simple fact that he wants to do things that did not work in the past. Like somehow THIS time around they will work.



      • abstain says:

        @ Cursor
        Federalism is the process whereby you push most political questions to the lowest democratic level possible.
        Ron Paul is for federalism.

  9. NewfornatSux says:

    >Spending increase under our leader, Obama, is primarily due to the stimulus designed to offset the recession and cluster fuck he inherited from teh Cheney administration.

    Read the link again. The new deficit spending is based on the budget proposed this year. Stimulus spending is already spent. Obama is proposing an additional spending and deficits on top of what he’s already done. For example, projected deficits this year and next year are 1171 and 612 billion dollars. The Obama budget proposal calls for deficits of 1253 billion and 977 billion in those same years. Rather than try to cut the deficit, which he said he would do in the State of the Union, he is increasing the deficit even more.

    • bobbo, holding his nose as this is about politics says:

      Obama may be fighting the trend line but have you seen the chart of deficit spending and how it goes up under Republican Presidents and Down under Democratic? Or it might be who controls congress.

      The pukes do by and large win the propaganda war. I’ve never understood that. That and the lack of backbone by the Dumbos.

      I’m just about full circle these days with voting ALL incumbents out of office. Its not a smart thing to do given the greater dysfunction of the Republican Avarice, but it would be very just.

      • Hmeyers2 says:

        The real problem with politics is that the guy you elected never ends up being the same as the one you voted for.

        Obama in the Democratic primary against Hillary opposed an “individual mandate”.

        Then we get an individual mandate.

        And the Supreme Court is looking at the issue of whether the government can force an individual mandate.

        Obama could have stuck with his official position that he held during the election.

        Republicans? Haha. Why does fiscal conservativism disappear when they are in office? Blows my mind.

        • bobbo, holding his nose as this is about politics says:

          Quite Right H Myers. This country would benefit from a strong fiscally conservative party. But we don’t have one of those. It exists only as a talking point, and that is exactly what is sending our country into bankruptcy.

          I am FOR a very broad full range of social services provided by our government: but not more than we can afford.

          Before “the Rich” get relief from paying taxes on their 10th MegaMansion, “the Poor” should have access to minimum housing/education/heathcare/food.

          That can only be done by a rational system of death panels and Nanny State-ism.

          Far superior to the Social Darwinism and Robber Barron/Bought Government system we have today.

  10. bobbo, holding his nose as this is about politics says:

    How is this contested nomination NOT like every other? Totally describes Dole as best as I can remember him.

    And there are differences too. Mainly the “base” of the party having gone totally off their trollies with actual policy being set by a drug addicted big fat idiot. ((Why don’t we see more of Al Franken?))

    Yes, everything is like everything else, and different too.

    I think Republicans by and large focus on similarities.

    Liberals tend to focus on differences.

    Libs wear hoodies.

    Pukes wear raylon.

    Politics permeatesand influences just about everything.

    Funny that.

    • Hmeyers2 says:

      Let’s say Romney gets the nomination (looks like the case).

      Isn’t it a bit funny to have the Republican nominee be a Mormon when maybe 70% of the Tea Party hardcore view his religion as a “cult”.

      Going to be a funny year in politics. 😉

    • Hmeyers2 says:

      “Why don’t we see more of Al Franken?”

      That is an interesting observation.

      • Dr_Wally says:

        Because that’s the way Al Franken wants it. He said quite clearly when he was elected that he was going to be quiet and stay out of the spotlight and work hard at being a Senator for his constituents. And he has. He is also one of the leading money-raisers (from grassroots like me) for fellow candidates (Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, etc.) He even initiated, promoted and got some meaningful legislation signed. He’s been busy. He is also smart enough to realize that his “funnyman” reputation was not going to help him get any of that done, so it got shelved. I think the people of Minnesota can be proud of their junior Senator.

        • bobbo, holding his nose as this is about politics says:

          Fair enough. But shouldn’t there be “some” news about a hard working, honest politician?

          He could serve as that kind of roll model for the rest of his putrid crowd. I accept his shelving of the comedy gig for the time being.

          I just enjoy seeing that wry smile come on his face when commenting about anything going on. You know the joke is there……

    • spsffan says:

      Why don’t we see more Al Franken?

      To quote one of his contemporaries on SNL:

      “What are you trying to do? Make me sick?”

  11. Hmeyers2 says:

    I’ve been getting a 1980 feel about this election year.

    A month or 2 ago, the Republican primaries reminded me of the 2004 Democratic primaries. Maybe Sanctorum’s lowest common denominator appeal ended up making Romney look good and statesmanlike by comparison.

    This year seems to be shaping up a bit like a political train wreck with high gas prices, Trayvon Martin race-baiting, a rather large deficit, the upcoming Scott Walker recall elections and the Supreme Court thinking about healthcare.

    Like any president, I don’t think Obama created the current economic and political climate, but incumbents usually do not fare well in years involving excessive political turmoil.

    And I think there is going to be a lot of political turmoil this year.

    I imagine I will sit on the sidelines and watch it all unfold.

  12. sargasso_c says:

    St Ronald fought the Fell Red Beast and smote it’s ruin upon a mountainside.

    • Cursor_ says:

      Reagan didn’t fight anything. He slept through more meetings than Rush took doses of oxycodone.

      Reagan was in the right place at the right time.

      Besides do you really think the ex-head of the CIA would play second fiddle to a B actor who was the geriatric version of Howdy Doody?

      George H. W. Bush our only three term republican president.


      • NewfornatSux says:

        With Bush in charge, the Berlin Wall would probably still be up, and Eastern Europe still under Soviet control.

        • Cursor_ says:

          Again the US did not fell the Soviet Union.

          The Soviet Union made a model that could not be supported.

          Totalitarian oligarchies will not last forever. The people grow weary of it and eventually the old hard liners die and have to be replaced by the younger generation that have grown weary.

          The ONLY way to have a long lasting totalitarian state is to have ever living oligarchs. And since science has not gotten to that point and magic is a sham it will eventually end.


          • NewfornatSux says:

            I guess all those people in Soviet Bloc just don’t know as much as you. So the Soviets lasted 73 years. That gives the WW2 era peoples another 5-10 years to be free of Communism.

  13. gildersleeve says:

    Not like 1976 nor 1980. People were excited about the possibility of electing Reagan both times (not as many the first time). Nobody is excited about electing any of this year’s clowns. It feels like a ‘the public loses’ proposition on ALL sides election. I will probably vote for the write-in candidate. Something had better change, for the better, between now and November.

    • Cursor_ says:

      I’ll write in what I did last election.



      • Dallas says:

        Is this counted the same as a no show or is someone tabulating ‘suggestions’?

        • Cursor_ says:

          It is a valid statement in a supposed democracy.

          But seeing it is NOT a democracy and never was built to be one. All voting is moot by the citizens. So write in Fred Flintstone, he’d do just as well as anyone else.

          When your own document of government allows for oligarchic rule via the electoral college to make the last choice to hold down the common rabble from mob rule, added with the candidates allowed to run are formed from a small group of men in some back room deal; makes the whole system a sham.

          But you keep believing the illusion of common man rule.

          The founding fathers called democracy mob rule because they believed only white land owners make the best choices. For their best interests of course.


  14. Somebody_Else says:

    Who cares, it’s going to be an Obama landslide.

    I can even see Texas being in play if Romney chooses someone like that dick from New Jersey as his running mate. I wonder what that would do to the GOP… Even Bob Dole could win Texas.

  15. Grandpa says:

    Words, words, words, all these fancy words. In the end they will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. All just to pay for the wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. Remember that come election day.

  16. NewfornatSux says:

    Obama’s budget was voted down 414-0!
    How can he claim to get things done when not a single member of his own party will vote for his budget, one that was designed for campaigning?

  17. JimD, Boston, MA says:

    No, more like 1964 when Mr Conservative, Barry Goldwater, LOST IN A LANDSLIDE TO JOHNSON !!! Today’s “Conservatives” are PROPOSING TO ***NUKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNEMENT*** AND THE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS THAT PEOPLE HAVE PAID FOR ALL THEIR WORKING LIVES !!! That won’t fly in November, so I see the Repukes and their Party GOING DOWN IN FLAMES – AGAIN – FOR ANOTHER 40 YEARS !!!


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