April 11&18, 2005
P. 13, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * April 11 & 18, 2005...
Behind the Scenes
with Michael Collins Piper
21st Century Republicans?
RNC Chairman Hails
Israeli Hatemonger as Hero
for Grand Old Party
By Michael Collins Piper
a new brand of Republicanism, at least according to Ken Mehlman,
whom President George W. Bush personally hand picked following the
2004 election, to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
In a March 14 speech in Washington to the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the lobby for Israel, the GOP’s
national chairman candidly and enthusiastically described himself
as a “Sharansky Republican.” This, of course, refers
to Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky, who — along with
a host of his American neoconservative allies — is known to
have played a major role in crafting President Bush’s much-ballyhooed
(and widely criticized) second inaugural address calling for a world-wide
What is so striking is that this appears to be the first time in
American history that the chairman of one of the national party
committees has used the name and ideology of a
political leader from a foreign nation — and one known as
an “extremist” at that — to describe his own ideology.
In the past, there were self-described “Taft Republicans,”
who supported the presidential ambitions of the nationalistic and
traditionally conservative Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio — popularly
known as “Mr. Republican.” Taft was the undisputed leader
of the America First bloc in Congress from 1936 until his untimely
(and some say “suspicious”) death in 1953.
Later, there were the conservative “Goldwater Republicans”
who — under the leadership of Sen. Barry Goldwater (Ariz.)
— set the stage for the ascendancy of the “Reagan Republicans”
who came to power in 1980 under the popular two-term president,
At the same time, in opposition to the Taft and Goldwater Republicans,
there were the more liberal and internationalist-minded Republicans
who rallied behind New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey and Wall Street
lawyer Wendell Willkie, dubbing themselves — naturally —
as “Dewey Republicans” and “Willkie Republicans.”
And later, of course, many of those same party leaders evolved into
“Rockefeller Republicans” following New York Gov. Nelson
And there were even a few folks, for a time, who called themselves
“Eisenhower Republicans,” stressing their so-called
“mainstream, moderate” point of view (however defined)
in the spirit of America’s 35th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Now, however, the new GOP national chairman is not even calling
himself a “Reagan Republican” or even a “Bush
Republican,” after the reigning GOP president who is wildly
popular among grass-roots members of his party. But, instead, Mehlman
is hailing a foreign extremist as the role model for what 21st century
Republicanism is all about.
Four photographs. Caption
REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION: The Republican Party’s
new national chairman, Ken Mehlman (left), has proclaimed
Sharansky Republicanism as his party philosophy, honoring
a foreign political figure, Israeli extremist, Natan Sharansky
(left, center). Most traditional American Republicans prefer
to honor American Republican legends and call themselves “Taft
Republicans” after the late Sen. Bob Taft (Ohio) or
even “Reagan Republicans” after the wildly popular
former two-term president, Ronald Reagan, who was —
unlike Sharansky — an American.
(#15 & 16....
April 11 & 18, 2005
American Free Press)