The shamelessness of the modern Left trying to piggyback on the great achievements of their Democratic Party forebears c continues unabated today. Eugene Robinson, a columnist for The Washington Post pushed the myth that today’s Left is somehow intrinsically connected to the legitimate progressives who made Medicare a reality in 1965.
Robinson is offended by the idea that the Republican ticket would offer plans to reform Medicare. Apparently, in Eugene’s World, because the Democrats were right on this topic in 1965 and the Republicans were wrong, that therefore means that every phony left-winger today is still correct and no Republican, even those born after Medicare was passed (i.e., Paul Ryan) are allowed to say anything constructive about rescuing the program.
“It was Democrats who conceived of Medicare, passed it into law and kept it viable all these years,” Robinson writes. Yes, Eugene it was. Why don’t we take a look at the most prominent of those Democrats.
The Speaker of the House in 1965 was John W. McCormack, one of the greatest in a long line of great Irish Catholic pols to come out of Boston. McCormack was a devout Catholic, who drew fire from not only Republicans, but from a still-minority left-wing in his own party for allegedly placing the interests of the Church too high on his agenda, notably in the battle over federal aid to education. McCormack would be subsequently be honored by the Vatican, and his commitment to progressive ideals always had Catholic values as their foundation.
Since Robinson is apparently so touched by the memory of McCormack, I’m sure his next column will rip President Obama initial refusal Cardinal Dolan’s offer to pray at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte next week (the president thankfully reversed course for political reasons). It’s utterly impossible to imagine the real Democratic Party that McCormack represented ever turning down such an offer.
The phoniness of Robinson’s invoking of the Democratic Party’s past are a clear example of why it’s in the interest of Catholic laity who might sympathize with the New Deal achievements (of which Medicare was a natural extension) to fight back against this perversion of the party, as represented by Robinson and other financially comfortable suburban liberals.
Unlike other political movements in the history books, the Democratic Party of the New Deal still has resonance with voters today, meaning the argument over the party’s memory & identity are not just an intellectual exercise for historians. If those that value the Democratic Party’s legitimate heritage can be heard it can be a big long-term blow against the Culture of Death.
Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com