August 17, 2009

Hickenlooper - Laird_8571d.jpeg

(Bourke Hickenlooper - Melvin Laird)

An eerie similarity in recent times, the astonishing lack of specifics in a Republican platform - well, this one was from Meet The Press on June 10, 1962. But you can imagine it from 2009 just as easily. The substance, or lack of it seems just about the same. The only thing different are the characters, the screaming and a bit less noise.Back in the day when "The Loyal Opposition" actually meant something.

Talking about the "Platform" this time is Bourke Hickenlooper and Melvin Laird. Laird, you'll recall, will go on to become Secretary of Defense under Nixon and coined the phrase "Vietnamization", but here he is a congressman.

Bear in mind that in 1962, the Republican Party were still licking their wounds over the 1960 election and the party hadn't been hijacked by the Barry Goldwater contingent until 1964.

Ray Scherer (NBC News): “Congressman Laird, on page four you say that Republicans urged vigorous investigations of fraud at the poles and you recommend corrective action. Is this pointed at a specific instance?

Rep. Melvin Laird: “ Well, it’s pointed at the 1960 elections Mister Scherer. We had certain evidence that Chicago and Texas and Philadelphia and other areas where there was fraud at the poles. And that the Republican minority of the House Judiciary Committee in the so-called Kramer Amendment made certain recommendations. That amendment has not been enacted into law, we believe that it should be vigorously pursued so that the right to vote of each individual citizen is protected."

Scherer: “On the same page you call for effective tax relief for medical and hospital insurance. And you also call for tax relief for financing education. How would this work?"

Laird: “First, as far as Medical and Hospital insurance is concerned, I think you’ll recall that in the Republican 80th Congress and amendment was adopted to the Internal Revenue Code which provided for double exemption over the age of 65. At the present time the Internal Revenue Code there is a three percent provision that you can’t deduct any amount unless it exceeds three percent of gross income. We believe that this provision should be done away with because many people that are buying medical and health insurance at the present time are unable to deduct it from their income taxes. Now in education: We feel that we are opposed to the so-called massive approach of general federal which passed the Senate last year. We are for the selective approach . We believe we can do much more good by giving tax incentives, tax relief. We had some members of our committee that were for a tax credit proposal in this education area. Others for a tax deduction. Our statement gives general support to this idea, but we spell it out as tax relief for the individual paying for the cost of education for himself or for others."

Vague, ambiguous and hoping no one will notice.

Same as it ever was - same as it ever was.

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