Spiro Agnew denuncia movimento estudantil

Spiro Agnew denuncia movimento estudantil

Em 15 de outubro de 1969, milhões participaram da Moratória do Vietnã, uma manifestação nacional contra a guerra do Vietnã. Quatro dias depois, em um discurso pronunciado em Nova Orleans, o vice-presidente Spiro Agnew causa polêmica ao atacar os partidários da moratória.


Spiro Agnew denuncia o movimento estudantil - HISTÓRIA

Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996)
MSA SC 3520-1486
Governador de Maryland, 1967-1969
Vice-presidente dos EUA, 1969-1973 (republicano)

O seguinte ensaio foi retirado de Frank F. White, Jr., The Governors of Maryland 1777-1970 (Annapolis: The Hall of Records Commission, 1970), pp. 301-309.

"EM 8 DE AGOSTO DE 1968, Maryland foi repentina e inesperadamente catapultada para a proeminência nacional quando o candidato presidencial republicano, Richard M. Nixon, escolheu o governador do estado, Spiro T. Agnew, para ser seu candidato a vice-presidente. Um homem relativamente obscuro com com pouca estatura nacional ou internacional na época, Agnew havia subido meteoricamente em dez anos, de um filho quase desconhecido de um imigrante grego a um candidato ao segundo cargo mais alto do país. Como quinto governador republicano de Maryland, sua ascensão ao O cargo de governador foi por sorte, descontentamento e coragem do Partido Democrata. Quando renunciou ao cargo de governador para se tornar vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos em 1969, o primeiro Marylander a ocupar esse cargo, ele saiu com a reputação de ter sido um bom mas um governador polêmico, embora seu governo tenha sido curto demais para que ele conseguisse a aprovação de alguns de seus programas ou para que outros fossem executados.

"Spiro Theodore Agnew nasceu na cidade de Baltimore em 9 de novembro de 1918, filho único de Theodore Spiro Agnew, operador de restaurante e líder da comunidade grega da cidade, e da ex-Margaret Akers de Bristol, Virgínia. Seu pai havia chegado a este país em 1897 aos 21 anos de idade da aldeia de Gargalianos, na Messênia, Peloponeso, Grécia. O sobrenome Agnew foi abreviado do nome grego Anagnostopoulos pelo Sr. Agnew mais velho. O presidente Nixon posteriormente descreveria seu vice-presidente como um homem que "experimentou pobreza e preconceito e se elevou acima deles por seus próprios méritos", pois durante sua juventude, a família de Agnew era conhecida como "aqueles gregos da rua" e seu pai passou por dificuldades financeiras durante a depressão anos. 1

"Agnew foi educado em escolas públicas da cidade de Baltimore. Ele se matriculou na The Johns Hopkins University, onde estudou química por três anos, mas admitiu que não estava muito interessado no assunto. Após sua dispensa do Exército, ele frequentou o Universidade de Baltimore, onde se formou em Direito em 1947.

[p. 302] "Agnew se casou em 27 de maio de 1942 com Elinor Isobel Judefind de Baltimore, cujo pai, o falecido Dr. W. Lee Judefind, era químico e vice-presidente da Davison Chemical Company. Eles tinham quatro filhos e três filhas , Pamela, Susan e Kimberly, e um filho, James Rand.

"Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, ele foi comandante de companhia na 10ª Divisão Blindada do Teatro de Operações Europeu. Ele foi chamado de volta para mais um ano de serviço militar durante a Guerra da Coréia.

"Depois que Agnew se formou na faculdade de direito, ele trabalhou em diferentes empregos. Um dos primeiros foi como escriturário de meio período à noite. Ele então trabalhou na Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company. Após ser dispensado do serviço, ele trabalhou por um tempo como diretor assistente de pessoal de uma mercearia antes de se tornar advogado trabalhista.

"Em meados da década de 1950, Agnew mudou-se para o condado de Baltimore, onde se interessou por assuntos públicos como advogado atuante no condado de Baltimore e como presidente do Loch Raven Community Council. Ele atuou ativamente na obtenção de legislação de espaços abertos no condado e também no esforço bem-sucedido para a constituição de um governo autônomo, que substituiu o Conselho de Comissários do Condado em 1957 por um Conselho e Executivo do Condado em tempo integral.

"Em 1957, ele foi nomeado membro minoritário do Conselho de Apelações do Condado de Baltimore, que ouve apelações de zoneamento. Mais tarde, ele se tornou seu presidente. Em 1960, ele fez sua primeira tentativa de um cargo eletivo ao se tornar um candidato a juiz de um tribunal de circuito de Baltimore Apesar de ter vencido as primárias republicanas, foi derrotado nas eleições gerais, terminando em quinto e último lugar em um campo de cinco candidatos.

"Sua expulsão do Conselho de Apelações em 1961 pelo Conselho do Condado controlado pelos democratas, apesar do amplo apoio de organizações cívicas, trouxe seu nome a uma nova proeminência e o levou a concorrer em 1962 para Executivo do Condado. Ele venceu apesar de uma vantagem de registro democrata de quase quatro para um. Um fator-chave em sua vitória foi o atrito democrata entre os candidatos Michael J. Birmingham e Christian H. Kahl. "Sua eleição", declarou o The Sun, "significa que os eleitores [do condado de Baltimore] indicaram claramente que está farto da política antiquada do condado ... O voto a favor e seu claro aviso ... [diz que] o povo está farto dos costumes tradicionais de Towson. ' 2

Sob sua administração, o condado de Baltimore se tornou um dos primeiros do país a promulgar uma lei de acomodações públicas. Também aprovou legislação para exigir 'espaços abertos' para parques e uso recreativo em todas as novas subdivisões. Durante seu mandato, ele foi fundamental no fornecimento de sessenta milhas de novas linhas de abastecimento de água e cento e vinte milhas de linhas de esgoto sanitário. Ele também garantiu verbas pelas quais o condado de Baltimore construiu novas escolas, melhorou os salários dos professores, reduziu a proporção aluno-professor em quatorze por cento, iniciou jardins de infância públicos, reorganizou o escritório da polícia e foi pioneiro no currículo das faculdades comunitárias para preencher as lacunas de emprego nas áreas de trabalho policial e serviços sociais.

[p. 303] "Em 1966, Agnew, com o endosso total dos líderes republicanos de Maryland, concorreu para governador. Ele teve apenas a oposição simbólica de três oponentes pouco conhecidos nas eleições primárias. Na mesma eleição, os eleitores também aprovaram a convocação de um constitucional Convenção que se reuniria em setembro seguinte, em uma tentativa de substituir a antiquada Constituição de 1867.

"Em 1966, a contenda do Partido Democrata de Maryland o dividiu irreparavelmente na campanha seguinte. Oito candidatos concorreram ao cargo a ser desocupado pelo governador cessante J. Millard Tawes, que era inelegível para servir em outro mandato. Congressistas Carlton Sickles, Procurador-Geral Thomas B. Finan , e o perene candidato a cargos públicos George P. Mahoney, os principais candidatos, entregaram-se a uma campanha nas primárias tão contundente que as feridas não puderam ser curadas a tempo para a eleição geral, que faltava menos de oito semanas. George P. Mahoney, o O candidato final, conseqüentemente, não teve o apoio tanto da organização nacional quanto da organização democrata estadual.

“Agnew conduziu sua campanha com o slogan 'Seu tipo de homem'. Ele fez campanha em uma plataforma que defendia a revisão da estrutura tributária do Estado para transferir mais do custo do governo local da propriedade para o imposto de renda. Ele favoreceu os auxílios estatais para jardins de infância, maior ênfase na formação profissional, estreitamento dos laços do Estado com os chefes dos governos municipais, a reorganização governamental, a expansão das faculdades comunitárias e a emissão de títulos para acelerar a construção de planos de tratamento de esgoto. Ele se opôs à legislação de habitação aberta que se aplicaria ao proprietário individual da casa, mas em vez disso, afirmou que o faria apoiar medidas do Estado apenas se aplicadas a novos apartamentos e subdivisões.

“Mahoney, por outro lado, adotou um slogan anti-direitos civis com um apelo de reação branca: 'Sua casa é seu castelo - proteja-o.' Agnew buscou abertamente o apoio democrata e liberal e concorreu a uma plataforma que clamava por uma política habitacional anti-aberta, chamando Mahoney de incompetente. Agnew o acusou de esquivar-se das questões baseando sua campanha em um apelo ao fanatismo.

"Em 8 de novembro de 1966, ele foi eleito sobre Mahoney e o candidato do terceiro partido Hyman Pressman, Controlador da cidade de Baltimore, por mais de 81.000 votos devido ao amplo apoio democrata, um elemento de reação branca, uma tendência nacional republicana e porque as pessoas achavam que ele ser mais competente do que Mahoney. Foi puramente um triunfo pessoal para Agnew, porque seu Partido Republicano não conseguiu obter a maioria na Assembleia Geral ou eleger o Controlador ou o Procurador-Geral. Muitos negros também votaram nele por causa do impacto de o slogan emocional de Mahoney. 'Maryland disse em voz alta e clara que deseja permanecer na corrente principal da América', disse Agnew após sua eleição. 3 The Evening Sun saudou a vitória de Agnew afirmando que 'muitas dezenas de milhares de democratas, exercendo seu julgamento independente, reuniram-se com o Sr. Agnew porque estavam convencidos de que ele era o [pág. 304] padrinho e, sem dúvida, o mais qualificado para chefiar o governo de Maryland pelos próximos quatro anos rs. ' 4

"Quando Agnew assumiu o cargo de quinquagésimo quinto governador de Maryland em 25 de janeiro de 1967, ele o fez com várias distinções. Ele foi o primeiro governador a tomar posse na quarta quarta-feira de janeiro após sua eleição. Ele também foi o primeiro residente do condado de Baltimore a se tornar governador de acordo com a Constituição de 1867, o primeiro governador do estado a ter nascido no século XX e o primeiro americano de ascendência grega a se tornar o principal executivo de qualquer estado.

"Agnew começou seu mandato com uma ampla promessa de bom governo. Ele defendeu a reforma fiscal, a reorganização executiva e elogiou o povo pela aprovação de uma convenção constitucional. Ele pediu 'um novo espírito de liderança que se dedicará de forma consciente e contínua à busca de excelência. Será resolução desta administração seguir um curso de excelência no exercício das funções de governo. Cada programa, cada estatuto, cada dotação será medida para que atinja elevados padrões de excelência. Será o marca registrada da nova administração para obter excelência em programas e serviços ... por meio da liderança. ' Ele passou a abrir a porta para novas ideias, afirmando que "vivemos com velhas leis por muito tempo e resistimos a novas ideias com muita facilidade. Sem mudança, mudança imediata e positiva, nos tornaremos meros guardiães de um estado estático que sai de um estado de indiferença a um estado de emergência. ' 5

"Agnew lançou seu governo com uma série impressionante de realizações legislativas. Tudo isso ele conseguiu por meio de uma estreita relação de trabalho com a Assembleia Geral controlada pelos democratas, a primeira a ser reatribuída recentemente e agora sob o domínio das cidades e dos condados suburbanos. Em 1967, isso incluiu um programa de reforma fiscal que, pela primeira vez, baseou o imposto de renda estadual em uma escala gradativa em vez de uma taxa fixa e deu aos governos locais uma importante fonte de receita além do imposto sobre a propriedade. lei que foi a primeira em todo o estado ao sul da Linha Mason-Dixon. Implementou a legislação para a convenção para reescrever a Constituição centenária de Maryland. Por fim, autorizou o planejamento e a construção de quatro passagens adicionais de pedágio de Chesapeake Bay e Baltimore Harbor.

"O governador Agnew criou em seu escritório uma Força-Tarefa de Gestão Moderna para estudar o desperdício e a duplicação no governo estadual e recomendar melhorias. Ele também iniciou, com a aprovação legislativa, uma nova política de adiantamentos substanciais em dinheiro para melhorias de capital para economizar custos de juros Ele nomeou comitês executivo-legislativos para estudar a reforma da estrutura tributária de negócios e o financiamento de rodovias.As agências estaduais, a seu pedido, começaram a planejar o desenvolvimento de programas abrangentes de controle da poluição do ar e da água.

[p. 305] "Uma das primeiras marcas da administração Agnew foi uma relação de trabalho mais estreita com os governos locais. Como governador, ele visitou pessoalmente os chefes dos governos locais e municipais nas vinte e quatro subdivisões políticas do estado para estabelecer esta ligação. Quase oitenta e 5% da receita adicional arrecadada com o programa de reforma tributária também foi diretamente para os governos locais, principalmente para financiar melhorias educacionais e de proteção policial e para fornecer créditos fiscais imobiliários para os idosos. Isso atendeu às necessidades que, de outra forma, teriam recaído sobre a propriedade local impostos.

“A Convenção Constitucional, aprovada pela maioria dos eleitores em 1966, reuniu-se na State House em Annapolis em 12 de setembro de 1967 para redigir uma nova Constituição. A Convenção concluiu seus trabalhos em 10 de janeiro de 1968 com a assinatura formal do Documento. Agnew apoiou a sua ratificação, mas apesar de toda a preparação cuidadosa que foi feita para redigir, os eleitores rejeitaram por esmagadora maioria. "Raramente toda a liderança de qualquer estado foi tão retumbantemente esbofeteada", comentou um de Agnew s biógrafos. 6

"Suas realizações em 1968 incluíram a adoção de um programa de controle da poluição da água, o fortalecimento da lei de acomodações públicas e a aquisição do Aeroporto da Amizade. A Assembleia Geral também promulgou legislação para reformar nossa estrutura tributária antiquada, infundir vida nova em nosso programa de estradas atrasadas, fortalecer as mãos dos funcionários públicos no enfrentamento de desordens civis e colocar Maryland na vanguarda dos estados, oferecendo uma nova abordagem para problemas correcionais ao autorizar o estabelecimento de um centro de detenção regional. ' 7

"Na eleição de 1966, os negros votaram em Agnew por causa de sua oposição ao slogan emocional de Mahoney. Eles o apoiaram de todo o coração, especialmente após sua nomeação de um negro para sua equipe, sua emissão de uma ordem executiva para um Código de Práticas de Trabalho , a ampliação da lei de acomodações públicas e a aprovação de um estatuto limitado de habitação justa. Agnew começou a perder o apoio de Negro no início de abril, quando fechou o Bowie State College, porque um grande grupo de alunos veio para expor suas queixas sobre o a faculdade realizou uma 'manifestação' na State House. Agnew recusou-se a se reunir com eles, afirmando que 'é hora de os funcionários públicos neste país pararem de ceder a pressões, ameaças e intimidações por aqueles que tomariam a lei por conta própria mãos. Certamente não pretendo ceder a tais pressões, e espero que isso fique claro a partir dos eventos de hoje em Bowie. ' 8 Ele perdeu completamente o apoio dos negros quando fez sua famosa palestra aos líderes negros em sua conferência em 11 de abril de 1968, após a morte de Martin Luther King Jr. e os distúrbios de Baltimore. Nesta conferência, ele acusou os líderes negros de covardia por não repudiar publicamente as declarações inflamadas de militantes negros pouco antes dos tumultos. Tanto seu fracasso em se encontrar com os alunos do Bowie State College quanto sua punição aos líderes negros custaram-lhe o apoio dos negros de Maryland. Em novembro de 1968, [p. 306] mesmo o mais brando dos líderes negros o estava chamando de racista, com o resultado de que ele perdeu o voto na eleição presidencial daquele ano.

"Durante as preliminares que levaram à disputa presidencial de 1968, Agnew apoiou o governador de Nova York Nelson A. Rockefeller e liderou uma campanha para garantir para ele a indicação republicana para presidente. Depois de 21 de março de 1968, quando Rockefeller surpreendentemente anunciou que ele não se tornaria candidato, Agnew teve um interesse ativo na campanha de Richard Nixon e o endossou.

"Antes de sua nomeação como vice-presidente, Agnew desempenhou um papel importante na Convenção Nacional Republicana de 1968. Por causa de sua crescente amizade com Richard Nixon, Agnew o indicou para presidente em um discurso no qual ele descreveu Nixon como um homem que" lutou ao longo de sua carreira política pelos princípios e ele não hesitou em pagar o preço da impopularidade ao se levantar pelos princípios ... 'Ele passou a descrever Nixon como um' homem firme na defesa da lei e determinado na busca da justiça a homem que pode negociar a paz sem sacrificar a vida, a terra e a liberdade um homem que teve a coragem de se levantar das profundezas da derrota há seis anos e de fazer o maior retorno político da história americana - o único homem cuja vida dá prova de que o sonho americano não é um mito destruído e que o espírito americano, sua força e senso de estabilidade permanecem firmes. ' 9

“Em 8 de agosto de 1968, Nixon escolheu Agnew para ser seu companheiro de chapa à vice-presidência. Em seu discurso de aceitação, Agnew admitiu que era 'um desconhecido' e que 'seu nome não era exatamente uma palavra familiar'. Ele passou a falar da "profunda improbabilidade deste momento" e acrescentou que ansiava por "grandes responsabilidades" como vice-presidente. Declarou que não ficaria satisfeito "em nenhuma circunstância, até que eu provasse a vocês que eu sou capaz de fazer um trabalho para o Partido Republicano e o povo americano em novembro. ' 10

"O próprio Nixon indicou que escolheu Agnew porque queria sua experiência com os problemas dos governos estaduais e locais e suas relações com Washington. Antes de nomear Agnew, Nixon revisou seus critérios para que seu vice-presidente 'fosse qualificado para ser presidente', e um ativista eficaz e 'aquele que poderia assumir as novas responsabilidades que atribuirei ao vice-presidente, especialmente na área de estados e cidades'. Também havia indicações de que Nixon selecionou Agnew porque ele seria mais aceitável para os líderes do partido sulista devido às opiniões moderadamente conservadoras de Agnew sobre o crime e os direitos civis.

"A nomeação de Agnew foi uma das maiores surpresas em um ano de grandes surpresas políticas. A nomeação de Agnew, comentou o Baltimore Evening Sun", destaca Maryland e adiciona outro capítulo a uma notável história de sucesso americana. Meus parabéns à Os marinheirosos devem perceber, entretanto, que o grande triunfo pessoal do Sr. Agnew [pág. 307] cria problemas para o governo estadual, que deve continuar a funcionar durante a campanha. ' 12

"Na campanha presidencial que se seguiu, Agnew recebeu mais atenção do que o normal porque a imprensa divulgou seus muitos erros políticos. Para muitos, ele emergiu como um trapalhão e um conservador moderado de escopo e flexibilidade limitados, que se viu gastando muito de seu tempo tentando explicar uma sucessão de gafes. Agnew apelou para os trabalhadores, a classe média baixa e a classe média, maioria branca orientada para a família, cuja infelicidade com o ritmo caótico da mudança social os tornou atentos ao candidato do terceiro partido George Wallace. Com o desenvolvimento da campanha, Agnew apelou aos eleitores da nação por causa de sua posição firme na questão da lei e da ordem, junto com sua imagem conservadora. Ele passou a representar 'a nova espécie de político, o suburbanito que se criou em sua maioria self-made que se ergueu à proeminência não nas salas cheias de fumaça dos clubes políticos antigos, mas na atmosfera iluminada por lâmpadas fluorescentes do supermercado, o mundo homogeneizado do PTA e do wheeli ng e lidar com o conselho local de recursos de zoneamento. ' 13

"Na eleição realizada em 5 de novembro de 1968, a chapa Nixon-Agnew obteve uma vitória popular estreita e recebeu 302 votos eleitorais contra 191 para Hubert Humphrey e Edmund Muskie, candidatos do Partido Democrata, e 45 para George Wallace e Curtis LeMay, terceiro partido Os republicanos não conseguiram aprovar Maryland porque os negros que Agnew havia alienado durante seu discurso de abril votaram esmagadoramente contra ele. Baltimore votou nos democratas por mais de 98.000 votos para dar a esse partido uma maioria de 20.000 votos no estado.

"Com sua eleição como vice-presidente, Agnew se preparou para renunciar ao cargo de governador. Por causa de circunstâncias sobre as quais ele não tinha controle, Agnew deixou o Estado em uma crise financeira. Seu programa de reorganização administrativa estava bem encaminhado, mas a modernização constitucional falhou. a renúncia criou uma corrida desenfreada entre os democratas para sucedê-lo, porque a Assembleia Geral que elegeria um sucessor era esmagadoramente controlada por esse partido.

"Agnew renunciou em 7 de janeiro de 1969, antes de uma sessão especial quase sem precedentes do Legislativo. Em seu discurso de despedida, ele revisou o histórico de sua administração. Ele destacou que a reforma fiscal em 1967 foi sua maior realização individual, embora ele tivesse dificuldades em deixar seu sucessor um orçamento equilibrado para o próximo ano fiscal. Ele apontou para outras realizações na revogação da lei anti-miscigenação, a adoção de uma lei de habitação justa, a expansão dos estatutos de acomodações públicas e um controle de qualidade da água e do ar programa.

“Seu maior fracasso, disse ele, foi a derrota da Constituição proposta. Ele esperava que a Assembleia Geral reorganizasse o Poder Executivo, bem como proporcionasse um vice-governador. Agnew chamou de sua maior decepção os violentos distúrbios civis em Baltimore, Cam - [p. 308] ponte e Salisbury. 'Assistir a uma cidade queimar, caminhar por blocos destruídos como se por bombas de um ataque aéreo inimigo é doloroso. Não se pode sair de tal experiência intocada.' 14

"Até mesmo os críticos de Agnew elogiaram seu governo depois que ele renunciou. O Washington Post o caracterizou como 'um bom governador de Maryland ... Julgado contra o que ele trouxe para o cargo - integridade pessoal, experiência administrativa e uma visão conservadora do mundo e seus problemas - ele tinha se saído bem. ' 15 O Washington Evening Star disse que 'mais importante do que qualquer outra coisa, os últimos dois anos marcaram uma mudança construtiva de direção para o Estado como um todo, e eles produziram um registro no qual as sucessivas administrações certamente irão construir'. 16 O Baltimore American comentou que 'deve ser observado que, trabalhando com uma maioria democrata na legislatura, Agnew conseguiu evitar uma grande rebelião e conseguiu que várias das medidas mais importantes de seu programa fossem transformadas em lei'. 17

"Agnew fez o juramento de vice-presidente em 20 de janeiro de 1969. Depois de vários meses, ele se estabeleceu em seu cargo de uma maneira diferente de seus antecessores. O presidente Nixon deu-lhe um escritório na Casa Branca e uma suíte no Gabinete Executivo Edifício. O presidente o designou para trabalhar com o Escritório de Relações Intergovernamentais que tratava das relações federais entre os governos estaduais e locais. Em poucos meses ele havia superado a reputação que havia conquistado durante a campanha como um homem que pôs o pé no seu boca toda vez que ele a abria. Ele executava tarefas cerimoniais, bem como seus deveres constitucionais ao presidir o Senado. O Evening Star defendeu seu histórico, apontando que "o vice-presidente nunca foi tão mau quanto suas gafes verbais o faziam parecer. só é necessário lembrar que ele era geralmente reconhecido como um governador competente de Maryland antes de ingressar na chapa de Nixon. ' 8

“No outono de 1969, Agnew se tornou o principal porta-voz da 'grande maioria silenciosa', falando sobre o que mais preocupava e preocupava o americano médio. Em um ano, seu nome realmente se tornou uma palavra familiar. foi caracterizado como um dos homens mais admirados do país, um arrecadador de fundos republicano de sucesso e um vice-presidente muito polêmico. Escrevendo no News American em 9 de agosto de 1970, Lloyd Shearer o considerou "o homem mais controverso do país" desprezado por grandes segmentos de jovens americanos, acadêmicos e negros, supostamente acusados ​​pelos próprios conselheiros educacionais do presidente Nixon de ser o indivíduo mais inflamado do governo, um vice-presidente que em um período de 18 meses denunciou as redes de televisão, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kingman Brewster, Averell Harriman, Edward Kennedy, William Fulbright, IF Stone, Joe Rhodes, Cyrus Vance, John Lindsay, Clark Clifford e um anfitrião [p. 309] de outras personalidades e instituições. Aqui está ele, também, revelado pela Gallup Poll como um homem apoiado pela maioria dos americanos, o porta-voz da até então maioria silenciosa, um vice-presidente de coragem, honestidade, integridade e franqueza, um funcionário eleito que não é um machado presidencial mas sim a voz da América Central, cujos membros acreditam que ele personifica todas as boas qualidades e características gratificantes que tornaram este país grande. . . . Ele atrai poucos neutros, apenas apoiadores e inimigos. ”19


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1980 e # 8211 2005

Os alunos na década de 1980 se concentraram na série de palestrantes, conferências de liderança, transporte noturno seguro (conhecido como serviço de acompanhantes), aprovações de constituição para organizações estudantis e orçamentos de organizações estudantis. Houve menos manifestações, mas mais alunos lobistas voltaram-se para questões mais internas do que questões nacionais, embora eventos nacionais como a explosão do ônibus espacial Challenger tenham claramente afetado sua consciência. As responsabilidades do Gabinete Executivo incluíam a realização de programas, eventos publicitários, aconselhamento para organizações estudantis e representação de estudantes perante a Universidade. A prioridade em publicidade e comunicação influenciou as funções e atribuições da Diretoria Executiva. O Senado administrava as taxas estudantis, reconhecia e regulamentava as organizações estudantis, validava eleições, ouvia projetos de lei e resoluções e administrava o orçamento. Os três comitês do Senado incluíram Dotações, Operações Governamentais e Assuntos Universitários. Mesmo com o foco cada vez maior na comunicação com a Universidade e Annapolis, os alunos ainda sentiam uma relação tensa com a administração enquanto navegavam pelas limitações do orçamento e pelas políticas de relacionamento com a universidade.

O documento mais recente nos Registros Governamentais do Estudante, uma constituição de 2005, descreve um Gabinete Executivo consistindo do Diretor de Assuntos Acadêmicos, Diretor de Comunicações, Diretor de Relações Públicas, Diretor de Atividades Campus, Diretor de Atletismo, Diretor de Organizações Estudantis e Diretor de Assuntos On-Campus. O Senado tinha cinco Comitês: Operações Governamentais, Dotações, Comitê de Ação Legislativa, Relações Públicas e Vida Estudantil.

Maya Angelou palestrou em Towson em 1984-1985 como parte da Speaker Series. Nota de reprodução: Esta foto pode ter restrições.


E então ficou mais estranho: uma coleção de curtos TLs da Wikibox

Você pode me conhecer pela minha linha do tempo no Partido da Reforma. Isso ainda vai ser o principal que postarei, com este sendo um projeto para mais ou menos desabafar com aquele. Embora eu queira manter as coisas plausíveis aqui, o conceito narrativo é que as coisas vão ficar mais estranhas com o tempo. Cada linha do tempo será curta, com pelo menos a primeira enfocando principalmente a política presidencial, mas tenho ideias para uma história mais localizada depois.

Esta é uma ideia que tenho há algum tempo, decorrente de ter pastas cheias de ideias de TL menores que não seriam tão interessantes para transformar em cronogramas totalmente desenvolvidos, mas ainda assim seriam divertidos de escrever e especular sobre. Pretendo formatá-lo como uma série de séries. Sinta-se à vontade para comentar sobre qualquer um de seus pensamentos ou especulações, até mesmo sobre histórias, mesmo aquelas que são completas.

O primeiro que planejei chama-se & quotA Crazier 1970s & quot e estarei postando a parte 1 em breve.

Presidente Benedict Arnold

Richard Nixon foi eleito por uma onda conservadora em 1968, usando uma plataforma de slogans. Seus dois principais foram & quotLaw and Order & quot, que denunciou os distúrbios e o senso geral de ilegalidade durante o mandato do presidente Lyndon Johnson e & quotPeace with Honor & quot, a ideia de que a guerra poderia ser rapidamente encerrada no Vietnã sem que os Estados Unidos admitissem a derrota. O Partido Republicano era o mais conservador dos dois partidos nacionais, mas foi praticamente excluído das partes mais conservadoras do país devido à sua história de ter sido um partido liberal há um século. No sul dos Estados Unidos, os rancores políticos podem durar muito tempo, a ponto de muitos votarem em um democrata liberal com quem discordam em vez de um republicano conservador com o qual concordam.

Tudo isso mudaria em 1968, quando Nixon usou a Estratégia do Sul para finalmente tornar o Partido Republicano competitivo no sul. Ele derrotou Hubert Humphrey por uma margem de votos popular muito estreita, mas venceu nove estados no que é tradicionalmente visto como o Sul contra os dois de Humphrey. Os estados de Nixon foram Flórida, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Carolina do Norte, Oklahoma, Carolina do Sul, Tennessee e Virgínia, enquanto Humphrey venceu o Texas e West Virginia. Cinco estados iriam para o candidato democrata do sul e terceiro partido George Wallace, Alabama, Arkansas, Geórgia, Louisiana e Mississippi.

O mandato de Nixon começou bastante moderado, mas começou a derivar para a direita com o tempo. Ele eliminou nomes como o secretário de Desenvolvimento Urbano e da Câmara, George Romney, à medida que se aproximava de seu vice-presidente, Spiro Agnew, e da ala direita do partido. Ele ocasionalmente cedia a coisas que só pensava que hippies e liberais se importavam, como estabelecer a Agência de Proteção Ambiental, mas, em geral, Nixon era um presidente de tendência conservadora. Ele também era bastante popular e esperava uma reeleição fácil. Em um concorrido campo das primárias democratas, o ex-vice-presidente e candidato de 1968 Hubert Humphrey rapidamente foi renomeado e foi derrotado em Nixon por outro deslizamento de terra em novembro.

Isso foi até 15 de maio de 1972. Este dia viveria na infâmia, quando Richard Nixon foi assassinado em seu carro, logo após deixar a pista do Aeroporto Internacional de Miami. Arthur Bremer conseguiu se aproximar do veículo do presidente em um semáforo. Como tinham acabado de desembarcar de um voo que chegava da Nova Inglaterra à Flórida, os Nixons queriam sentir o gosto da umidade e abriram as janelas. Bremer foi até a janela e mudou a história americana para pior.

Com a morte do presidente Richard Nixon nas mãos de um homem mentalmente doente, Spiro Agnew ascenderia à presidência. Agnew havia sido governador de Maryland antes de se tornar vice-presidente e era amplamente visto como o cão de ataque de Richard Nixon. Ele ascendeu à presidência em meio à tragédia em um ano eleitoral e mudaria sua personalidade pública para refletir isso. He appeared before the American people somber and soft-spoken, nothing like the loud-mouthed vitriol everybody had come to expect from him.

President Agnew was terrified of losing any part of Nixon's coalition that year. He felt anxious having come to power so soon before an election and played it safe whenever he could. He decided to not bother trying to appoint anybody to serve in the position of Vice President for less than a year and chose New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to be his running mate. This was seen as quite a reach across the aisle, as the conservative Agnew had some unkind things to say about Rockefeller when he was VP. That was all behind them now, and this unity ticket would help to get people who thought Agnew was a madman on board with his presidency.

Hubert Humphrey would choose former New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes as his running mate this time around. His campaign was a shadow of his 1968 candidacy, which itself was not that impressive. Humphrey had hardly seemed like he wanted to run for president last time and this time felt incredibly obligatory. Perhaps he thought he had more of a chance when Nixon had been assassinated, but by the fall it was clear that Agnew was winning the election. It seemed deeper than political sympathy, more like a stewing anger in the American people. They wanted to elect a man like Agnew, not the one he was presenting himself as, but the attack dog that he was as Nixon's VP. They wanted revenge for their slain president, they just had no idea against who.

Jack_donaghy_is_the_shado

Whew the secret service really dropped the ball.

President Benedict Arnold

At the beginning of 1973 President Spiro Agnew seemed invincible. His approval rating was just shy of 70% and he had just been elected to his first full term after having served most of a year of the late President Nixon’s term. There was talk of him being the first president to serve more than 8 years since FDR, but that would not last. Another fun fact, he was the first president from Maryland, the state that ceded the land that became the nation’s capital.

The first thing he lost was his popularity with his base, when he announced the US would pursue peace talks to withdraw by 1975. Polls vary but he dropped somewhere between 9% and 14% immediately after the February 10th announcement. He recovered a little bit, as people simply grew used to their occasionally brash and angry president. All seemed normal, but that ended in the fall, when his presidency unraveled.

Maryland’s US District Attorney George Beall was investigating the current state leadership for corruption when he uncovered that President Agnew had given county and state contracts to friends and received 5% kickbacks for it. Agnew had known of and been concerned by the investigation for some time, first having Attorney General Richard Kleindienst contact Beall and then his personal lawyer, George White. Both times, Beall insisted that Agnew was not under investigation, though one of his associates, Lester Matz, was. When his documents were subpoenaed, they had him dead to rights. In exchange for immunity, he gave them proof that he had been giving kickbacks for contracts to President Spiro Agnew. Several other associates had proof of his corruption as County Executive, but Agnew had been accepting payments from Matz as Governor, Vice President, and President. Beall made this known to the Department of Justice and AG Kleindienst informed President Agnew over telephone that he was under investigation for corruption. A House investigation was opened soon after, on August 13th and calls for impeachment began immediately.

President Spiro Agnew would fight the charges. He would go to the American people and tell them, directly, “I am not corrupt,” but that wasn’t enough to convince people. The impeachment proceedings began on September 6th, when it became clear the president would fight the charges. Reporters asked the president if he would resign every day and every day he insisted he would not. Officials were resigning left and right and Agnew became totally isolated. People worried that the temperamental president would do something dangerous and Vice President Rockefeller met with several Cabinet members about exercising the 25th Amendment. The case was air tight, though it proceeded with some lethargy. On September 15th, a poll came out showing President Agnew with only 26% approval. On September 17th, the House impeached President Spiro Agnew by a margin of 362-43, 23 abstentions and 7 absent. Five days later, he would resign.

President Benedict Arnold

Content Warning: I consider this to be horror. If you are tired of pandemics or that is an understandably sensitive subject to you, I wouldn't recommend this.

I have never seen conspiracy theories as intense and utterly bizarre as those regarding President Nelson Rockefeller. There were the absolute wackjobs who said he was a secret communist who unleashed a plague on the United States as revenge for the Vietnam War. Most theorists held the still crazy but more reasonable position that he was a member of the Illuminati, a secret organization made up of the elite that ran the world. He was, of course, the grandson of the richest person in modern history, John D. Rockefeller, so, you know, if such a thing existed, he’d probably be their guy. My personal favorite is he didn’t die in 1977, but fled to Cuba to live in retirement. The Castros were well known fans of the Rockefellers (superscript /sarcasm).

When he was sworn in, President Nelson Rockefeller was apparently worth about $218 million, which is a little over $1.1 billion today. It must have been quite strange to the Republicans who booed this man at the 1964 Convention as he declared himself the last of the Eastern Establishment. Agnew had reached quite far to the left to make him Vice President. Rockefeller would, of course, have to reach out to the party’s right wing for a Vice President. Politically, he was an oddity within his party, so he chose the most popular Republican in the country. Governor Ronald Reagan of California had been Rockefeller’s choice for Vice President when he ran in 1968, for the same reasons that he was selecting him now. Reagan accepted the offer with the expectation that Rockefeller would not run for re-election in 1976. For the rest of 1972, 1973, and 1974, that was President Rockefeller’s expectation as well. His administration behaved like a caretaker government, signing whatever Congress passed and maintaining what was passed down from Nixon and Agnew. Then everything changed.

January 5th 1975, humanity made contact with a new viral disease. It had first been documented in the town of Konde on the island of Buton in Indonesia, where it was speculated to have made the jump to humans from horseshoe bats. It is capable of infecting all known species of bats, humans, horses, pigs, and others and is capable of transmission via bloodsucking insects like tics and mosquitos. For that reason, it is known as the Kondevirus. If it were to exist in our world, it would be a member of the genus we call Henipavirus. In our reality, that includes two viruses capable of infecting humans, both discovered in the 1990s. The Hendra Virus was discovered in Australia in 1994 and the Nipah Virus in Malaysia in 1998. Both of these diseases are relatives of the Kondevirus.

The virus that emerged in 1975 was more dangerous than either of those. Its most significant strength was its six week incubation period, where the infected shows no negative symptoms. It can infect you through inhalation of particles or the touching of fluids. Once you have been infected, it spreads to all parts of your body, including the lungs and the blood stream. For the first four weeks, you have no symptoms and are totally uninfectious. From the fourth week mark to the sixth week mark, you can be infectious through your blood and saliva, but no other means. From the sixth week to eighth week mark, your sweat becomes infectious and you experience the first symptoms. Headache, fatigue, hot flashes, cold sweats, and nausea.

When Kondevirus enters full swing, it hits you like a truck. You will typically wake up experiencing normal flu-symptoms, fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and a stuffy nose. These symptoms persist for 2-3 weeks, before gradually become less severe over about five days. Worse symptoms were possible, but atypical, including meningitis, the inflammation of the spinal cord and membrane that surrounds the brain. Once you have caught it, you can catch it again after a period of about 6-12 weeks, but not nearly as severely as the first time. For those over 50 with a pre-existing condition, it was typically fatal without treatment. With treatment and without other causes, those over 70 had a 68% survival rate and the general populace had a 97% survival rate.

The Kondevirus would emerge much like the Nipah Virus, first infecting a number of rural farmers, but due to its long incubation period, it wouldn’t be noticed until it had been spreading around for nearly a month. When it was first discovered, it would actually be misdiagnosed as Japanese encephalitis. Numerous vaccines existed for that disease, having been invented in the 1930s and this misidentification cost a lot of valuable time. There had been a push to vaccinate the entire region against JEV, so when this severe illness with some overlapping symptoms began to be reported on, people thought it may have been a relative or a mutation. Either way, most experts wrongly placed it in the Flaviviridae family. Other relatives include Flavivirus (Yellow Fever, West Nile, Dengue, and Zika), Hepacivirus (Hepacivirus B and C), Pegivirus, and Pestivirus (only infects nonhuman mammals). It was actually in the Paramyxoviridae family, with Influenza, Measles, and diseases isolated to birds, cattle, dogs, and seals. Nobody understood what they were dealing with for a while.

Thanks to Kondevirus coinciding with flu season, many self-diagnosed themselves as having a bad case of it. That all changed when the elderly started to catch it. The disease would leave an adult in their physical prime bedridden for 10-12 days and many would report still feeling unwell for longer. Whether it was headache, congestion, a sharp cough, or bodily aches, nearly everybody reported feeling under the weather in at least one way well over a month after all other symptoms have passed. The elderly suffered from similar lingering symptoms as adults in their prime, in addition to wheezing. Thankfully children were immune to the initial form.

Busy fighting an insurgency against his dictatorship in New Guinea and having no reason to be that concerned, Suharto’s government left it up to the local authorities. The virus spread unabated. Soon, it would become a global pandemic and we all know what that’s like. Most countries would enter lockdowns in September. By then, the Kondevirus had been named, misidentified as a Flaviviridae, and widely reported on in the global press.

The first lockdown in the United States was in New York City, on September 12th when hospitals reported 500 cases of this new virus. Mayor Herman Badillo had the distinction of being the first US politician on television to warn of the virus, tell people to stay in doors when possible, and practice social distancing. New York would also institute the first statewide lockdown, on October 3rd. President Nelson Rockefeller called for a nationwide lockdown and used his powers to limit international travel. This would also halt the nearly complete US withdrawal from South Vietnam. Despite all this the disease spread. By the end of 1975, 300,000 had been infected and recovered with 11,000 perishing.

The development of a vaccine was slow, but treating the illness increased chances of recovery dramatically. Congress passed two pieces of legislation that Rockefeller signed, the Emergency Support Act and the Mask Act. The Emergency Support Act significantly increased unemployment benefits and expanded the Medicare system to be used by anybody for the next two years. The Mask Act mandated the wearing of a facemask during interstate travel when in a vehicle with more than two people. Most healthcare in the US was tied to employment and a lot of people lost their jobs when the shutdown started, so this move basically gave about 30 million people back their healthcare.

President Nelson Rockefeller was massively popular through all of this and, at the end of 1975 announced he would be seeking re-election to “maintain continuity of leadership through this crisis.” When the President told the VP this, he expected him to get angry, but Reagan said it only made sense. Reagan’s private thoughts are, of course, unknown. He would not go unchallenged for the nomination, with former Secretary of the Treasury and former Democratic Governor of Texas, John Connally ran against him. Connally would compliment his response to the pandemic, but said he was horribly out of step with the Republican Party. Connally, a former Democrat, had the backing of conservatives and would actually give Rockefeller some trouble.

The Democratic Party saw another bare field of candidates in an election against a hugely popular Republican incumbent. After only winning six states in 1972, Hubert Humphrey wasn’t going to run a third time. The primary field would see a few candidates, but they came off as cranks. Eugene McCarthy ran as an independent in 1972 and was back as a Democrat to mount a skeleton progressive campaign. California Governor Jerry Brown briefly floated the idea of running, but was too busy running his state during the pandemic. He announced that he had decided he would only be the candidate if he were drafted and he would only campaign on the weekends if he was. George Wallace was back again, and he proved the only serious challenge to the eventual nominee. The entire party had basically lined up behind Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale from the beginning. He was liberal enough, broadly inoffensive, and all they were looking for was a sacrificial lamb.

Mondale knew all this and gave it his best try anyway. He picked the New South moderate Florida Governor Reubin Askew to be his running mate. They campaigned on the idea that Rockefeller wasn’t doing enough to fight the pandemic, only passively leading the country. This is something that 68% of Americans disagreed with them on. This would be the first election with debates done over the telephone, with two separate crews filming the candidates.


Everything Old is Agnew Again

Spiro T. Agnew seems to be rattling around in the collective unconscious lately, like a repellent archetype we thought we had buried long ago but that is suddenly resurrected as relevant. And in a sad commentary on our times, Agnew é once again relevant with two new books that cover aspects of his infamous career. Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz’s Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover Up & Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House (Crown, 2020) and Charles J. Holden, Zach Messitte, and Jerald Podair’s Republican Populist: Spiro Agnew and the Origins of Donald Trump’s America (UVA Press, 2019).

Of the two books, the latter is ultimately more meaningful, though Bag Man makes for a quick and gripping read. We may remember that Agnew pleaded nolo contendere to a tax evasion charge as part of a plea bargain that required his resignation from the Vice Presidency. What we maybe don’t remember is that the income that went unreported to the IRS came from extortion. Agnew shook down Maryland engineering firms who wanted government contracts from his position as County Executive of Baltimore County through the Maryland Governorship all the way into the White House. And what was he doing with the money he acquired in this manner? He was using it to support a mistress, although that part didn’t make it into the DOJ’s report or into the press coverage. It was a gentler time.

The plea bargain only required that Agnew cop to the tax crime, really a minor part of the overall corruption. The Justice Department needed him out of office and quick. The Watergate Special Prosecutor and congressional committees were bearing down on Nixon’s separate and unrelated crimes. If Nixon were to resign or be removed from office, as things stood Agnew would ascend to the Presidency. Nobody in the Administration wanted this outcome, least of all Attorney General Richardson, who considered Agnew unfit.

Even Nixon saw Agnew as unfit for high office and according to both books, dreaded meetings with him and spent quite a lot of time strategizing with aides on how to sideline the lightweight Vice. Nixon sent him on a World tour, at one point, to strengthen Agnew’s foreign policy chops as well as to rid himself of the irritation of his presence (and then complained that Agnew spent an inordinate amount of time on the tour playing golf).

Why are we remembering this now? Golf? Financial criminals in high office? What does that have to do with the present moment? Two words: Donald Trump. Trump’s crimes are more complicated and harder to trace given their international nature and the high-powered attorneys and fixers he’s employed to protect himself. Agnew’s crimes, in contrast, were local, straightforward, and not very cleverly disguised. But as much as Bag Man is relevant, it is one-dimensional compared to the Holden et al. book’s effort to comprehend Agnew’s meaning for us almost 50 years later.

Co-authored by a trio of political scientists, Republican Populist examines Agnew, beyond his criminality (and incessant golfing), as a Trump precedent in another more significant way. Agnew took up the mantle of a right-wing populism that arose in the post-WWII era in response to multiple societal transformations such as a new working-class economic security, the Civil Right Movement, and various internal migrations of Americans, including mass suburbanization. A cultural rather than an economic populism, right-wing populism defined itself in contrast to perceived cultural elites rather than against the “economic royalists” that FDR had earlier skewered.

As pocketbook issues became less pressing in the post-war prosperity, working-class resentments refocused from economic actors onto college administrators who indulged longhaired war protestors and onto those who would remove prayer from public schools. Their sense of grievance encompassed those who suggested that tight-knit ethnic neighborhoods or the new suburban developments be racially integrated and especially liberal intellectuals who seemed to imply that people were bigots and intolerants if they objected to these measures.


A vote for Agnew is a vote for good government!

Since the 1920s, several internal migrations contributed to the eventual rise of cultural populism. Midwestern Protestants, largely socially conservative and evangelical, streamed to the American Southwest to take jobs in aerospace and other industries. There they began to organize politically.

In addition, after WWII masses of white people — the definition of white having expanded to embrace Eastern and Southern European immigrants — taking advantage of newly available fixed-rate, long-term mortgages and GI subsidies, decamped for the suburbs. But their new backyard barbecue and Kiwanis Club lifestyle seemed precarious. Southern blacks continued to pour into overcrowded Northern ghettos. Ethnics in the Northern metropolises jealously guarded their recently attained status and prosperity against the possibility of reduced social stature and home values as integration of the newly arrived blacks began to be contemplated.

The Northern, ethnic working class, Levittown suburbanites, and Southwestern evangelicals were all susceptible to the new form of populism that was the in air and that was beginning to find a niche in the Republican Party. Agnew embodied many of the Republican Party’s new constituencies. He was the son of a Greek immigrant to Baltimore. He fought in WWII and then made the trek out of the city to a new, detached house in the Baltimore County suburbs. This was the immigrant family’s prototypical second-generation quest for assimilation. Agnew deemphasized his ethnic roots. He went by Ted.

Deprived by Nixon of a policy role in the White House, Ted spent most of his time planting the Republican seed in another fertile region of the country: the South. Southerners had been trickling into the Republican Party since Truman integrated the Armed Services and the Federal workforce. Agnew revved up the process through a series of speeches and campaign events in which, using his Trumpian gift for riling up a crowd by slinging insults, he implemented the Republican Party’s newly coined “Southern Strategy.”

Agnew was famous for the alliterative taunt: “nattering nabobs of negativism” and “hopeless, hysterical, hypochondriacs of history.” Agnew pilloried college students and professors, Federal bureaucrats, and journalists from the major networks as well as from the national newspapers. During the 1968 election season he called a Baltimore Sun reporter a “fat Jap.”


The Speeches That Stirred America: Agnew’s Greatest Hits !

In speeches drafted by Pat Buchanan and William Safire in which Agnew added the finishing touches, the Vice President anticipated Trump’s content as well as his combative style. What neither book points out explicitly is that Agnew also previewed the current role played by conservatives in Government. Not prohibited from policymaking as Agnew was by Nixon but simply uninterested in the nuts and bolts of governing, politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and Donald Trump, use their public positions to garner media attention through provocative culture war rhetoric and stunts. They are entertainers above all else and in this way, have much in common with the Agnew prototype.


Media star Agnew was a populist hero to many

Before Nixon soured on Agnew, he was very much attracted to him. During the fateful campaign year of 1968, Governor Agnew of Maryland came to Nixon’s attention when, in the aftermath of the King riots, he dressed down a group of moderate Baltimore civil rights leaders before the TV cameras. Nixon needed to find a running mate who while acceptable to liberal Rockefeller Republicans in the Northeast would also not repel the crucial Southern votes he needed to win (George Wallace had entered the race as an independent which complicated Nixon’s position in the South).

Agnew seemed to fit the bill. He had an established record of supporting local civil rights initiatives such as the integration of the Gwynns Falls Amusement Park yet had little tolerance for the movement’s turn toward militancy or its new focus on economic redistribution. Remember that Martin Luther King had immersed himself in the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. He was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers when he was assassinated. Agnew’s support for civil rights had reached a tipping point when Pat Buchannan directed Nixon’s attention to the Governor’s speech before the dismayed Baltimore civil rights leaders, most of whom walked out as Agnew harangued them.

Most of these black leaders had voted for Agnew. The 1966 Governor’s race had pitted him against George Mahoney, a Democrat whose racist slogan, in the face of pending fair housing legislation, was “Your Home is Your Castle. Protect it.” The black leaders felt betrayed. Nixon felt like maybe he had found his man.

The problem with Agnew was that he didn’t know anything about Federal policy or Government. As recently as 1966, he had been Baltimore County Executive and now, in 1969 he was the person next in line for the Presidency. Agnew was good, however, at delivering culture war attacks and in doing so he developed a MAGA-like constituency of his own, to the point where he became indispensable. Nixon couldn’t dump him without offending an important voting bloc. That is Nixon couldn’t dump him until Watergate changed the political calculus.


Agnew ultimately dumped himself from Nixon’s favor

(“Agnew Drops the Bomb” illustration by Robert Soulsby)

Agnew’s post-political career involved golfing with and borrowing money from his pal, Frank Sinatra, relying on the international connections he made as Vice President, mostly with dictators and juntas, to arrange business deals for clients, writing a political thriller and (intended to be exculpatory) memoir, and in the words of Maddow and Yarvitz, “market[ing] himself internationally as an influential American anti-Semite for hire.” He was successfully sued by taxpayers in Maryland for the amount of the extorted money plus interest and in desperation offered his services to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince. In a letter to the Crown Prince which Maddow and Yarvitz found in the Spiro Agnew Papers at UMD, Agnew offered to mount a “fight against the Zionist enemies” if the Prince would help him by funneling two million dollars into a Swiss bank account. Os autores de Republican Populist do say that Agnew fought honorably in WWII. So there’s that. 🙂


46 Years Ago Today, A Crook Resigned. No, Not THAT Crook! (It Was Spiro Agnew.)

Today's a pretty good anniversary, history buffs! On October 10, 1973, that's 46 years ago, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned and then immediately went and pleaded guilty to a bunch of crimes related to a years-long bribery scheme that started when he was the top executive for Baltimore County and continued while he was governor of Maryland -- and even after he became Richard Nixon's vice president! If you haven't listened to Bag Man, Rachel Maddow's jaw-dropping podcast series on Agnew's crimes and the Justice Department lawyers who brought an end to his criming, you probably should! It's strangely relevant today, for some several thousand reasons!

Agnew didn't do any prison time, largely because the DOJ prosecutors thought getting him out of office before Richard Nixon was either impeached or resigned was more important. But jeebus, what a skeevy character! William Safire, who wrote some of Agnew's meanest insults (amaking Agnew seem far smarter than he was), marked the occasion with fitting solemnity:

If it were not an integral part of the worst political scandal in our history, [. ] Agnew's stepping down would be almost pure black humor. But it is not surprising that he should have failed to pay income taxes [. ]

What a cruel comedown, however, for a proud and arrogant apostle of law and order who once denounced student protesters as "garbage." His is not a rags-to-riches story but a fable about a mediocrity who made it big, who became a political celebrity for reasons that had nothing much to do with character or capacity. He was tapped for the Vice-Presidency for reasons of purest political expediency indeed Nixon can only blame himself for whatever embarrassment Agnew has caused him.

On Twitter, someone going by "Spiro Agnew's Ghost" posted images of Agnew's terse resignation letter, initialed by Henry Kissinger, and an account of the day Agnew shitcanned himself:

UPDATE: Thanks to alert Wonkette Operative "Johnatx," who noticed that in my attempt to find a larger copy, I dopily added a photo of Richard Nixon's resignation letter. D'OH!

And then, less than a year later, Nixon resigned as the House of Representatives was about to impeach him. Sure makes you think, doesn't it?

And now it's your OPEN THREAD! Happy anniversary to the guy whose name, Dick Cavett always liked to point out, could be anagrammed to "Grow a penis."

Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by you, the reader! Send us money to help us keep bringing you glad tidings!

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


Will universities listen to students about how to end systemic racism?

The University of Mississippi will soon relocate a Confederate monument from its campus. Woodrow Wilson’s name is gone from Princeton University’s school of public policy. In the face of student and alumni protest, administrators at dozens of other universities are reconsidering mascots, statues and building names that have strong connections to white supremacy.

It is fitting that these protests are unfolding a half-century after hundreds of campus protests against racial inequality, the Vietnam War and corporate greed rocked the nation. Then, as now, campus activism was part of a broader social movement that brought Americans to the streets.

Yet the fact that activists have had to fight this hard, during a pandemic no less, to force changes at colleges and universities reveals how little has changed in 50 years. While it is tempting to read this history as one where higher education has bent to the whims of student protesters, the real story is one of powerful resistance. Universities have shown a deft ability to make reforms that still preserve inequality and exploitation in the face of well-organized student movements.

Consider one of the most successful protests of 1970: the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike at the University of Michigan. On March 18, black student activists called for a class strike that shut down much of the University of Michigan’s academic operations. They gained so much support from students and faculty that 50 percent of classes were canceled at the university’s largest college in the following days. By April 1, administrators conceded to many of the students’ demands, including a goal to increase black enrollment to 10 percent of the student body.

The concession unleashed the wrath of critics, including Vice President Spiro Agnew, who claimed that weak administrators allowed a small group of activists to control university policy. But activists never gained control of anything. Although UM came close to fulfilling the BAM concession of 10 percent black enrollment once in the 1990s, black representation has generally hovered between 4 and 7 percent since 1970. Black enrollment currently stands at just under 5 percent in a state where black 18- to 24-year-olds make up 17 percent of the population.

The numbers are just part of the story. The explanations that administrators crafted to justify the persistence of racial disparities have done great harm to black students’ access. In 1980, when a reporter pressed one UM official about the university’s failure to meet BAM’s demands, he replied, “We owe it to the faculty not to admit dumb kids.”


Rancho Mirage, CA – Valley History: Former VP Spiro Agnew Came for Quiet Desert Retirement

” … He called student dissenters ‘basically parasitic’ and said, ‘They have never done a productive thing in their lives. They take their tactics from Fidel Castro.’ … ”


THE DESERT SUN
SEPTEMBER 1, 2008

Spiro Agnew, the disgraced media-bashing vice president under Richard Nixon, experienced one of the fastest rises in American politics. But meteoric bursts often scatter to the earth. In Agnew’s case, it was to Rancho Mirage.

His career was in the classic American mold. His father came to the United States from Greece in 1896 and ran a restaurant in Baltimore. His American mother was from Virginia.

Agnew was born in 1918 and studied chemistry at Johns Hopkins University for three years. He married his wife, Judy, in 1942. A move to the University of Baltimore was interrupted by World War II, during which he earned a Bronze Star for service in France and Germany. He returned to earn his law degree, pass the bar exam and start his political career on a local level as president of the P.T.A. in his suburban Baltimore community.

He was elected Baltimore County executive in 1962 and left a record of improved schools and a strengthened police bureau.

Agnew easily won the governor’s seat in 1966 and in two short years enacted the largest tax increase in Maryland’s history, repeal of the state’s 306-year-old anti-miscegenation law, a graduated income tax and one of the nation’s toughest state antipollution laws.

He admitted, “the name of Spiro Agnew is not a household word” when Nixon picked him to be his vice presidential running mate in the 1968 presidential election. But his hard-line statements soon changed that. He called student dissenters “basically parasitic” and said, “They have never done a productive thing in their lives. They take their tactics from Fidel Castro and their money from Daddy.”

As Maryland governor and Nixon’s running mate, he made what was probably his first visit to the Coachella Valley. He represented the president-elect at the Dec. 3, 1968, Republican governors’ conference in Palm Springs.

After the election, his rhetoric grew even harsher:

He called leaders of the Vietnam war protest movement “an effete corps of impudent snobs.” Television and radio reporters were “the most superficial thinkers I’ve ever seen” or “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

He became Nixon’s point man, proclaiming himself the spokesman for “the silent majority.”

Although he was a likely candidate for the presidential nomination in 1976, Agnew’s political career came to a crashing halt in October 1973. He resigned after he was accused of taking bribes from construction companies while serving as Maryland governor. He pleaded no contest to charges of evading taxes on the bribes and paid a $10,000 fine.

His plea was part of a bargain that allowed him to avoid indictment on extortion charges. He was the second vice president to resign in office and the first to be forced out by legal troubles.

By then, the Agnews had visited the Coachella Valley numerous times and had become friends with Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. After he resigned, he and Judy moved to a winter home at the Springs Country Club in Rancho Mirage. They avoided publicity and lived a quiet, reserved country-club style life. He played tennis and golf. Neighbors recall seeing him bicycle around Rancho Mirage, dine at local restaurants and party, often at the Sinatra compound.

He ran a successful consulting service for businesses working in the Middle East and wrote a novel, “The Canfield Decision.” His autobiography, “Go Quietly Or Else,” published in 1980, declared his innocence in the bribery accusations.

The former vice president made his first local public appearance in more than two years in January 1982 to deliver the eulogy at St. Louis Catholic Church in Cathedral City for tenor saxophone player Vido Musso. Musso was a roommate of Sinatra when the two performed in the Harry James Band from 1940 to 1941.

Agnew died in September 1996 of undiagnosed leukemia at age 77 at his summer home in Maryland. He was buried beneath an oak tree in a cemetery in Timonium, Md.


The future of a democratic press

Today, crying bias is the go-to tactic for neutralizing critical reporting and eroding trust in competitors. A search on Fox News&rsquo platform produces over 18,000 articles and videos about media bias.

Though right-wing media outlets and personalities appear to use the tactic the most, they certainly aren&rsquot the only special interests doing so.

Back in 2001, New York Times reporter Barry Meier wrote 13 stories revealing Purdue Pharma&rsquos questionable marketing of OxyContin. Purdue cried bias, calling the reporting &ldquosensationalized and skewed,&rdquo while arguing that since Meier had published a book on OxyContin, there was a conflict of interest. Though the Times stood by the reporting, editors moved Meier off the story to avoid the appearance of bias. Twenty years and a guilty plea later, we know that Meier reported the truth. Yet the charge of bias put The New York Times on the defensive.

So what&rsquos to be done when political actors cry bias in bad faith?

One solution could be to offer more protection to journalists who are the target of smear campaigns, as some of the AP&rsquos reporters argued the organization should have done in the case of Emily Wilder.

Instead, management seems to have done what scholar Jay Rosen has criticized NPR and other mainstream journalists news outlets of doing: taken refuge to protect themselves from criticism instead of seeking truth to serve the public interest.

Democracy&rsquos survival depends on journalists boldly doing the latter no matter how loud special interests complain. For when news organizations worry more about protecting their brand than their dedication to truth, their bad faith foes get what they want.

The AP and The Conversation US are media partners and The Conversation also oversees two grants to the AP on religion and philanthropy.

Matthew Jordan, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Penn State

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Spiro Agnew laid the groundwork for Trump’s GOP

Fifty years ago this fall Spiro Agnew put a new, tough-talking populist face on the GOP that proved to be the genesis of Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

Agnew had barely served a year in Annapolis as Maryland’s governor in 1968, when he caught Richard Nixon aide Pat Buchanan’s eye. Blaming Baltimore’s black community for the riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination, Agnew denounced the unrest as lawlessness plain and simple. Nixon liked what he saw and later that summer he introduced his little-known running mate to a shocked Republican National Convention.

Considered out of his depth as vice president and not taken seriously by the press or Nixon’s inner circle of advisers, Agnew took his act out on the road. In a series of devastatingly effective speeches, he galvanized the GOP’s shifting base and left his opponents sputtering. Agnew defined his enemies as a sinister combination of America-hating radicals, intellectuals, minorities and the media. Delighting his boisterous crowds, he became a household word and a political force.

In New Orleans, Agnew attacked the leaders of academia as “an effete corps of impudent snobs,” who coddled students that came to college “to proclaim rather than to learn.” The antiwar leaders, meanwhile, were “professional anarchists.” A day later he was in the heart of Dixie in Jackson, Miss., where he bonded with white southerners who felt abandoned by the increasingly liberal Democratic Party. He told his white audience that he knew what it was like to “wake up each morning to learn that some prominent man or institution has implied that you are a bigot, a racist or a fool.” He, too, knew what it was like to be a “punching bag for… liberal intellectuals.”

The high-water mark came in a now-legendary Des Moines, Iowa, speech in November 1969, where Agnew charged that the television networks were biased against the administration and not to be trusted. The newsrooms were the preserves of “privileged men elected by no one,” who “live and work in the geographical and intellectual confines of Washington, D.C., or New York City.” It was obvious to Agnew that when President Nixon spoke, “their minds were made up in advance” to criticize and disagree. Smug within their elite bubble, he added ominously, they “do not represent the views of America.”

The Des Moines speech was meant to be special. Pat Buchanan assured his boss that “the result will be to terrify the networks and to discredit their reporting in the minds of millions.” Nixon loved the idea. At least one journalist understood the White House’s strategy. Richard Wilson, writing for the Cowles newspapers, characterized the strategy of attacking the media as “bold and calculated beyond anything previously dared by a President.” “The Agnew shock waves,” he noted, “are running through the mass media. It will take a while but there will be results.”

By the end of 1969, “Spiro Our Hero” had become the hottest fundraiser and the straw that stirred the shifting base of the GOP. He gloated about having “triggered a holy war,” adding, “I have no regrets.” Sen. J. William Fulbright, a frequent Agnew critic, came to fear the “messages of hate and anger” that he received from the vice president’s avid followers. Agnew had “aroused an ‘extreme emotionalism’” among his supporters, said Fulbright, adding, “I’m now receiving the most threatening and meanest letters I’ve received since the days of Joe McCarthy.”

Yet, Middle America loved him, and following reelection Agnew was a front-runner for the GOP nomination in 1976. Untainted by Watergate, he stood a heartbeat away before it all fell apart. In October 1973 US Attorney General Elliot Richardson charged him with receiving “substantial cash payments” from state and local contracts. It ended with Agnew, having just resigned his office, ignominiously pleading nolo contendere in a Baltimore courtroom to one count of tax evasion.

Today, Agnew’s legacy is all too apparent. His slashing rhetoric touched millions of disillusioned working- and middle- class white voters who eventually elbowed aside the “establishment” types as the base of today’s GOP. Fifty years later, even in the Age of Trump, maybe it is Spiro Agnew’s Republican party after all.


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