February 23, 2010

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(William Howard Taft - One term President - rumored to be a 1908 version of a RINO)

Continuing our look at people whose names may sound familiar but whose voices don't - William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States. One term Republican who was thought to be a shoe-in for Trusts, Big Business and Wall Street but later instituted anti-Trust laws (not the mention the 16th Amendment which gave us Income Tax) and essentially bit the hand that fed him. Subsequently he tossed the Republicans into a state of disarray which made it possible for Woodrow Wilson to assume the office after the election of 1912.

Aside from his massive girth (over 350 pounds and why oversized bathtubs were named after him) and being the last President to sport facial hair, Taft signaled a wave of anti Big Business feeling that was slowly overtaking the country just prior to World War 1. Monopolies were putting a stranglehold on free enterprise and Taft sought to break that lock.

Here is a speech he recorded in 1909 titled "What Constitutes an Unlawful Trust".

William Howard Taft: “In the proper operation of competition, the public will soon share with the manufacturer the advantage in economy of operation and lower prices. When however, such combinations are not based on any economic principle, but are made merely for the purpose of controlling the market, to maintain or raise prices, restrict output and drive out competitors, the public derives no benefit and we have a monopoly”.

Needless to say, it didn't endear him to the Old Guard Republicans (the base of 1908). And when re-election came in 1912, his old friend Teddy Roosevelt broke ranks and formed the infamous Bullmoose Party which splintered the Republicans even further. Out of the wreckage emerged Woodrow Wilson.

Has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?

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