Is there a cure for conservative amnesia?

The answer to the question in the headline above is affirmative. Yes, there is a cure for conservative amnesia. It’s called history — real history, not the kind that’s tailored to suit our prejudices. Both political parties — indeed, Americans in general — suffer from political amnesia. We tend to forget what we don’t want to remember about our country’s past. What’s worse is that we sometimes invent a fictional past, false memories that don’t comport with what’s actually happened....

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Can Ryan and McConnell rid GOP of dog-whistle racism?

  The recent controversy over Donald Trump’s awkward disavowal of endorsements from white supremacists prompted Republican leaders in Congress to declare that there is no room for bigotry in their party. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forthrightly condemned racist political rhetoric as antithetical to the principles of the Party of Lincoln. Good for them. But a question arises: Will they quash dog-whistle racism when it arises within their party ranks? Dog-whistle politics, if you don’t...

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Republicans are busy paving a road to Opposite World

    The stance taken by Republican politicians in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is just the latest example of how their party  has fallen into the grips of contrarianism. The GOP says we now live in Opposite World, where the old rules and traditions no longer apply. Never mind that the Constitution clearly gives the president the authority to nominate a candidate to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court and gives the U.S. Senate the authority to vote up or down on any such nomination. Republicans argue...

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Just asking: Was George W. Bush president during the attacks of 9/11?

  One of the oddest aspects of the current presidential campaign is the penchant among all but one of the Republican candidates to pretend that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 did not occur when George W. Bush was the nation’s chief executive. This curious mindset was first exposed when Jeb Bush declared at one of the early campaign debates that his brother kept America safe from terrorism during his two terms as president. Yes, he did keep us safe  — except for that one day when thousands of Americans were killed in...

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Whatever happened to the Republican Party’s social liberals?

    The death the other day of former Rockford Ald. John Holub and the impending 94th birthday of former Rockford Congressman John B. Anderson [above] bring to mind a question: Are there any elected Republican officials these days whom you could characterize as liberals — at least on social issues? It seems there are not. Holub and Anderson were a generation apart in age when they became good friends years before Anderson’s ill-fated bid to become president 36 years ago. And they were both liberals, especially so in...

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