Appeasing Republicans

(8 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Corporatist War Monger President George W. Bush, in a pathetically desperate attempt to use an International speech to smear his domestic Democratic opposition as appeasers, quoted a Republican Senator as an example of American appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II.

While delivering an address before the Israeli parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of Israel, President Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists. CNN reports that Bush was comparing Obama to “other U.S. leaders back in the run-up to World War II who appeased the Nazis.”

In his speech, Bush said, “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

The Senator whom Bush quoted verbatim was Idaho Republican William Edgar Borah:

From 1924 to 1933 [Borah] was chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his major interest was in foreign policy…. An advocate of disarmament and the outlawing of war, he suggested the Washington Conference of 1921-22 and promoted the Kellogg-Briand Pact; in 1939 he fought revision of the Neutrality Act.

Of course Borah was far from the only ‘appeasing’ Republican. Indeed, prior to WWII, the Grand Old Party was home to many of the fiercest advocates of appeasement.

Appeasing Republicans prior to WWII included Republican Senate leaders Robert A. Taft (nicknamed ‘Mr. Republican’):

[A]s a staunch isolationist, [Taft] fought against the increased military appropriations and international agreements that threatened to draw the U.S. into war.

and Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg:

The acknowledged but unofficial spokesman of Senate Republicans on foreign policy matters, [Vandenberg] advocated strict neutrality and a rigid arms embargo to prevent American involvement in the war.

Appeasing Republicans even included future President Gerald R. Ford:

While attending Yale Law School, [Ford] joined a group of students led by R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., and signed a petition to enforce the 1939 Neutrality Act. The petition was circulated nationally and was the inspiration for The America First Committee, a group determined to keep America out of World War II.

Other appeasing Republicans against American intervention in WWII included prominent businessmen:

[The America First Committee’s] most important supporters were a core group of Republican Chicago businessmen.  Chief among them was General Robert Wood, CEO of Sears, Roebuck….Other Chicago businessmen, such as meat packers Jay Hormel and Philip Swift, and William J. Grace, head of one of Chicago’s largest investment firms, had never supported the president.  All became key Committee members.  Colonel Robert J. McCormick, owner of the Chicago Tribune, was the most influential of all.  A passionate Roosevelt hater and Anglophobe, his paper became an important disseminator of AFC propaganda.

as well as appeasing Republican Party supporters like Charles Lindbergh:

On September 11, 1941, Charles Lindbergh appeared in Des Moines, Iowa, to speak on behalf of the isolationist America First Committee. The famous aviator criticized the groups he perceived were leading America into war for acting against the country’s interests. He expressed doubt that the U.S. military would achieve victory in a war against Germany, which he said had “armies stronger than our own.”

Of course, let’s not forget the greatest Appeasing Republican of them all:

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany….

The evidence has … prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

So the next time you hear a Republican bemoan ‘appeasement’, remind the historically challenged individual (or President) just whose party (and family) wrote the book on it.

28 comments

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  1. now are the ones warning about war

    the world is a crazy place.

    you know, i’ve been wondering about something… how many ordinary people do you think had ANY idea Bush was talking about Obama? cause if they are that sophisticated and paying attention to his speeches, then we have nothing to worry about right?

    or was this a set up? i’d like to know. because i just can’t imagine the majority of americans connecting those dots…

    or even picking that out of the the entire speech.

    or am i overly suspicious of just about everything?

    • geomoo on May 16, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Credit where credit is due–they change with the times.  It’s the only way they can always be on the wrong side of history.

    Good essay.  Thanks for that list.

    • Mu on May 16, 2008 at 10:43 am

    So now he’s all forgiven.

    And he was certainly a terrorist, wasn’t he Mr. Bush?

    Mu . . .

    • Edger on May 16, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Keep up the good work buddy! Repetition is the key! I think it was Goebells that said that, no? Or was it Rove? Oh well, whatever. Keep up the condescending insults and keep treating the audience as if they are nothing more than brain damaged children, George!  Keep going after the smallest and most rapidly shrinking political market there is. Encourage McCain to follow your fine example of leadership and do the same, will you? There’s a good boy, George! You’re doing a fine job. The GOP should stop twitching nearly any day now!

    Even Nancy is picking up on your great leadership lessons so fast she should be retiring soon. Probably in November.  

  2. Night Owl. I always am amazed when these fascists start flinging the Hitler word around with a straight face. Listening to McCain’s speech yesterday they seem determined to run on War and more War. Americans seem to go for the ‘security’ con over and over but with 2 wars going for the sake of just war and straw men Hitlers lurking around every corner I hope this time around people are sick of this. Surely Bush’s overt posturing and  politicizing is seen for what it is.      

  3. John at has a post up about the Bush family’s getting rich with the help of the Nazi’s.  In another comment, I linked Larisa’s All the President’s Nazis:  An Open Letter to Bush.  

    According to McCain rules: McCain noted that Obama said on Sunday on Fox News that Wright was an issue, seemingly opening a door for McCain to connect the Democrat to his former pastor–  it would seem that Bush “opened the door” to making bush’s appeasement, and McCain’s support of bush–an “issue” in the campaign.  So, I guess it’s time to get the word out on the blogs till the media finally picks up on this.  

  4. 😉

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