Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

The Disintegration Of Todays Republican Party

What happened to the Republican Party of the 1960s?

Chris Matthews, @hardball_chris
For the video visit

What happened to the Republican Party of the 1960s? You know, all those GOP senators who voted for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. What happened to them? What happened to that Republican Party?

For the Civil Rights Act, the Republican vote in the Senate was 27 to 6; in the House it was 136 to 35—four out of five Republican members in both houses.

For the Voting Rights Act the following year, the Republican vote in the Senate was 30 to 2; in the House, the Republican vote was 112 to 24. Overwhelming in all cases.

I’m watching this debate over the Voting Rights Act and the need for it today, and I’m struck with the reality that the reason for it today is the Republican Party—not the party of the 1960s, but the one of Reince Preibus, the one that’s backed voter suppression efforts in dozens of states and keeps on doing it.

Every time a state run by a Republican legislature and governor passes another bill making it harder to vote—cutting down on voting days, expanding voter ID requirements—you have to wonder: are they doing precisely what the Voting Rights Act was designed to stop? Are they deliberately making it harder for minority voters to get into the booth and cast their ballots?

The Republican Party can be proud of its heritage in certain regards—certainly Abraham Lincoln pushing through the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery, certainly the backing of men like Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois for the Civil Rights Act.

The question going into the history books for this young century is whether the party will be as proud in the future for the positions it’s taking now.

Todays Republicans

SpiceZ SpiceZ 56-60, F 1 Response Feb 21, 2013

Your Response


The Republican Party started tilting to the right with Nixon's "southern strategy. " That has continued with Reagan, Rove, Gingrich and Limbaugh. The party has veered so far to the right that they are insane. The secessionists, snake handlers and fascists are in charge. The Tea Party IS the Republican base.

Yes, I know, it's just pathetic isn't it :)

Exactly. Looking at all the Southern Democrats who for the longest time held back the best of that party, Tricky **** saw an opportunity to pick them up by using dogwhistles like "states rights" and other code for minority hatred.

I remember seeing a position paper at about that time from the Ripon Society (any Republicans remember that progressive society?) warning of what would happen if the wack-jobs like Reagan got hold of the party. How prescient.