AtlanticFriend

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GHWB in the Foreign Relations Commissions, sounds promising. I'd love to see a Bush-Nixon team on foreign affairs. What about Soviet and European statesmen? Are they the ones we knew OTL?
 

volksmarschall

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Papal Mass at Yankee stadium -- that explains why the Yankees are have special status! :p

Hmm, I'm pretty sure the KKK would not be that excited about a no good Papist visiting the U.S., even if to speak at the General Assembly. Sounds like some Popish plot to me! :p
 

Kurt_Steiner

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I have the feeling that Jackson is going down in history as the Jimmy Carter of this TTL.
 

Jape

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I have the feeling that Jackson is going down in history as the Jimmy Carter of this TTL.

Broadly speaking in being a mediocre president but Scoop's failures are based on a bullish approach that Carter never had (certainly in the popular perception), a bold figure who nonetheless didn't get much done. It would be interesting if this caused a trend with the American public favouring more 'level-headed', even technocratic POTUSs (POTII?), which I think Forbes fits into nicely. Not that he proves such a hypothetical trend but could be interesting, an inverse of Carter to Reagan.

As ever fascinating, even educational stuff. I'll second El Pip in that my knowledge is limited but that only makes it more enticing. One appointment that stuck out to me was a student of Freidman getting Secretary of Labo(u)r. For all I know this could be fairly innocuous but is the Forbes Administration looking to take a crack at the unions?
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Broadly speaking in being a mediocre president but Scoop's failures are based on a bullish approach that Carter never had (certainly in the popular perception), a bold figure who nonetheless didn't get much done. It would be interesting if this caused a trend with the American public favouring more 'level-headed', even technocratic POTUSs (POTII?), which I think Forbes fits into nicely. Not that he proves such a hypothetical trend but could be interesting, an inverse of Carter to Reagan.

Let's see what Forbes is going to be able to do...
 

Nathan Madien

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El Pip: In one of the old Simpsons episodes, there's a scene where Sideshow Bob walks into a bunch of rakes. No matter where he turns, there's a rake waiting to be stepped on and smack him in the face. I think that scene is a good visual metaphor for Scoop's Presidency.

Historically Democrats weren't all that keen on Scoop when he was in the Senate. They viewed him as the odd one out, someone who was out of step with the party. However, because he kept getting re-elected to the Senate, they had to put up with him. Now that Jackson is out of office, they can exile him from the party. Republicans pretty much did the same thing with Hoover. With the exception of letting him speak at their political conventions, Republicans didn't want to have anything to do with him. Even a decade after leaving office, Hoover was regarded by the GOP as being poison because of how he handled the Great Depression.

Whereas the Republican Party still idolizes Reagan, I just can't see the Democratic Party embracing Scoop for other than what he did for civil rights. I get what you are saying, El Pip, but I just can't see Democrats treating Scoop as an elder statesmen. I mean, he got rejected by his own party. They really don't want to have anything to do with him.

AtlanticFriend: Given how much of GHWB's political career was dominated by foreign policy, assigning Bush to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee felt like the prudent thing to do.

The Soviets still have Khrushchev in charge, as he was never removed from power in October 1964. Rab Butler is in charge in the UK and Willy Brandt is leading a unified Germany. Yugoslavia is ruled by a royalist regime aligned with NATO and Albania still has a King (although the country is neutral in the Cold War). The Czech Republic has a democratic government (although the country withdrew from NATO in 1956), and both Slovakia and Finland have Communist regimes. Franco is still in charge in Spain and de Gaulle is still running France.

volksmarschall: I guess we know which sports hat God wears. :p

I actually find it funny that people are always issuing dire warnings about someone having a fiendish plot. Whether it is the Pope, the Free Masons, Skull and Bones, the Koch Brothers, George Soros, the Trump campaign and Russia...there's always a fiendish plot lurking somewhere that we all have to be afraid of because of some reason.

By the way, volksmarschall, every time I read your signature, I think, "Man, this guy is so smart." :cool:

Kurt_Steiner: I think so too. They are both nice guys who just didn't do well in office.

It just occurred to me that Scoop broke the 20 year curse. Every 20 years since 1840, the President who got elected subsequently died in office either by natural causes or assassination. Scoop got elected in 1960 but was able to get through his four years without dying. Historically it was Reagan (who got elected in 1980 but survived his subsequent assassination attempt) who broke the curse.

Jape: Scoop was a political fighter when he was a Senator, but being a fighter doesn't necessarily net you wins as President.

If anyone has a suggestion on possible 'level-headed', even technocratic POTUSs, I'm all ears. I have several ideas for possible future Presidents, but nothing is set in stone (except GHWB). So I am open to suggestions, especially for 21st Century Presidents.

I was combing the Nixon Administration for people to put into the Forbes Administration when I came across George P. Shultz. He served as Nixon's first Secretary of Labor (1969-1970), so I decided to have him serve as Forbes' Secretary of Labor as well.

As for the Forbes Administration taking a crack at the unions, it will depend on how willing Forbes is to pick a fight with the unions. He's a President who prefers to pick his battles carefully, not rush headlong into everything with guns blazing.

Kurt_Steiner: I have Forbes' Presidency mapped out to 1968 and I can tell you he will have more achievements to point at than Scoop did. Now if I just had time to write more... :(

After being away from the Paradox forums for the past several months, I have returned with two mini-posts and a regular post. The first mini-post takes a look at the membership of the Supreme Court in 1965. With Trump trying to fill Justice Kennedy's seat, now is a good time as any to see which "radical extremists" sat on the High Bench 53 years ago. The second mini-post is a list of women who have served as First Ladies, which was prompted by Barbara Bush's death last April.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court
President Henry M. Jackson made one appointment to the Supreme Court during his single term. On August 28th, 1962, Roosevelt-appointed Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter retired from the Supreme Court after 23 years due to a stroke. Jackson appointed Solicitor General Archibald Cox to succeed him on the High Bench. This is the composition of the Supreme Court at the time of the Presidential inauguration in January 1965:
  • Chief Justice Curtis Shake (1941-1978; Willkie appointment)
  • Associate Justice Hugo Black (1937-1971; Roosevelt appointment)
  • Associate Justice William O. Douglas (1939-1975; Roosevelt appointment)
  • Associate Justice Nathaniel L. Goldstein (1945-1981; Dewey appointment)
  • Associate Justice Charles D. Breitel (1946-1986; Dewey appointment)
  • Associate Justice Earl Warren (1949-1969; Dewey appointment)
  • Associate Justice Herbert Brownell, Jr. (1949-1989; Dewey appointment)
  • Associate Justice Ernest McFarland (1957-1968; Sparkman appointment)
  • Associate Justice Archibald Cox (1962-1992; Jackson appointment)
There will be one Supreme Court opening during the 1965-1969 Presidential term. In the summer of 1968, Sparkman-appointed Associate Justice Ernest McFarland will retire from the Supreme Court after 11 years due to old age. That means Malcolm Forbes will have one appointment to the High Bench.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
List of First Ladies of the United States
1.) Martha Washington (1789-1797) (Wife)
2.) Abigail Adams (1797-1801) (Wife)
3.) Martha Jefferson Randolph (1801-1809) (Daughter/Acting)
4.) Dolley Madison (1809-1817) (Wife)
5.) Elizabeth Monroe (1817-1825) (Wife)
6.) Louisa Adams (1825-1829) (Wife)
7.) Emily Donelson (1829-1834) (Niece/Acting)
8.) Sarah Yorke Jackson (1834-1837) (Daughter-in-law/Acting)
9.) Angelica Singleton Van Buren (1838-1841) (Daughter-in-law/Acting)
10.) Anna Harrison (1841) (Wife) / Jane Irwin Harrison (1841) (Daughter-in-law/Acting)
11.) Letitia Christian Tyler (1841-1842) (Wife)
12.) Priscilla Cooper Tyler (1842-1844) (Daughter-in-law/Acting)
13.) Julia Gardiner Tyler (1844-1845) (Wife)
14.) Sarah Childress Polk (1845-1849) (Wife)
15.) Margaret Taylor (1849-1850) (Wife)
16.) Abigail Fillmore (1850-1853) (Wife)
17.) Jane Pierce (1853-1857) (Wife)
18.) Harriet Lane (1857-1861) (Niece-Acting)
19.) Mary Todd Lincoln (1861-1865) (Wife)
20.) Eliza McCardle Johnson (1865-1869) (Wife)
21.) Julia Grant (1869-1877) (Wife)
22.) Lucy Webb Hayes (1877-1881) (Wife)
23.) Lucretia Garfield (1881) (Wife)
24.) Mary Arthur McElroy (1881-1885) (Sister/Acting)
25.) Rose Cleveland (1885-1886) (Sister/Acting)
26.) Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston (1886-1889) (Wife)
27.) Caroline Harrison (1889-1892) (Wife)
28.) Mary Harrison McKee (1892-1893) (Daughter/Acting)
29.) Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston (1893-1897) (Wife)
30.) Ida Saxton McKinley (1897-1901) (Wife)
31.) Edith Roosevelt (1901-1909) (Wife)
32.) Helen Herron Taft (1909-1913) (Wife)
33.) Ellen Axson Wilson (1913-1914) (Wife)
34.) Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1914-1915) (Daughter/Acting)
35.) Edith Wilson (1915-1921) (Wife)
36.) Florence Harding (1921-1923) (Wife)
37.) Grace Coolidge (1923-1929) (Wife)
38.) Lou Henry Hoover (1929-1933) (Wife)
39.) Eleanor Roosevelt (1933-1941) (Wife)
40.) Edith Willkie (1941-1944) (Wife)
41.) Hazel Whitaker Vandenberg (1944-1945) (Wife)
42.) Frances Hutt Dewey (1945-1953) (Wife)
43.) Ivo Sparkman (1953-1954) (Second Lady/Acting) / (1954-1961) (Wife)
44.) Lady Bird Johnson (1961) (Second Lady/Acting)
45.) Helen Hardin Jackson (1961-1965) (Wife)
46.) Roberta Laidlaw Forbes (1965- ) (Wife)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Next up: Forbes' first accomplishment as President.
 
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Nathan Madien

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The Budget and Taxation Act of 1965
During 1964, the United States held a pair of state funerals to honor the passing of two major figures:
  • Douglas MacArthur, the five-star General who led the US to victory in the Pacific theater during World War II, died on April 5th at the age of 84
  • Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States who served from March 1929 to March 1933, died on October 20th at the age of 90
As 1965 began, it became the United Kingdom’s turn to hold a state funeral. On the morning of January 24th, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died at his Kensington home in West London at the age of 90, having suffered a severe stroke nine days earlier. Succeeding Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister in April 1940, Churchill flat-out refused to negotiate peace with Nazi Germany even as the Low Countries and France fell to her military might. Instead, he rallied the British people with his rhetoric to fight on with bulldog determination despite the fact that they now stood alone against the victorious Germans:
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, and we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
Under Churchill’s stalwart leadership, the British withstood the dark days of 1940 – when the Luftwaffe targeted their country in the Battle of Britain – and fought back alongside their American and Soviet allies to crush the Third Reich in July 1944 and force the Imperial Japanese to surrender in February 1947. Although Churchill was a superb wartime leader, he had trouble leading his country in peace and was voted out of office in July 1948 in favor of Clement Attlee. As he walked out of the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street for the final time, Churchill turned to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and stated prophetically:
“Over thirty years of my life have been passed in this room. I shall never sit in it again. You will, but I shall not.”
Given Churchill’s enormous stature as a major figure in British history, Queen Elizabeth II granted him a state funeral on a scale not seen for a non-member of the Royal Family since the November 1852 state funeral of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815). After lying in state at Westminster Hall for three days, Churchill’s lead-lined coffin was moved to St Paul’s Cathedral on January 30th for the main funeral service. The procession to the nearly 300-year-old Anglican cathedral lasted an hour and included nine military bands and troops from 18 military units. At Hyde Park, cannons fired off 90 shots to mark each year of Churchill’s rather eventful life. Inside St Paul’s Cathedral, leaders and representatives from 112 countries gathered to attend the service (noticeably absent from the world’s largest state funeral was the Republic of China, which refused to send a representative due to her open hostilities with Britain over Hong Kong). After the service (which was broadcast live), the coffin was carried to the Tower of London where the Royal Artillery fired off a 19-gun salute. From there it was transported by boat up the River Thames to Waterloo station, flown over by a formation of 16 Royal Air Force English Electric Lightning supersonic fighters. There the coffin was loaded onto a specially-prepared funeral train and transported to Bladon for a private burial in the family plot at St Martin’s Church. Along the route, thousands of people stood in silence to pay their last respects to the indomitable man who had led them from their darkest hour to their finest.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-DC7p-jpg.jpg

As the American Head of State, President Malcolm Forbes attended Churchill’s state funeral. It provided the new President a chance to meet fellow statesmen including British Prime Minister Rab Butler, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, and French President Charles de Gaulle. Waiting for Forbes upon his return to Washington, D.C. from London were his two most pressing issues: the economy and the Vietnam War. Both issues had gotten him elected President in 1964 and both issues would determine his re-election bid in 1968. The economy at the beginning of 1965 had certainly seen better days. Years of Democratic taxing and spending had left the country deep in debt and people with less money in their pockets. In 1962, a crippling steel strike struck the economy hard. The unemployment rate sat at 8% and 22% of the population lived in poverty. Having produced economic growth in New Jersey during his two terms as Governor, Forbes had persuaded voters in 1964 that he had the experience needed to turn the country around. However, in order to enact the measures he believed were needed to get the economy back on track, the President needed the cooperation of Congress.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-DC8k-jpg.jpg

With 535 members from all 50 states, each with their own agenda and ideas, Congress is the place where a President’s agenda either gets passed or dies. Although the Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers of the 89th United States Congress, Forbes knew he couldn’t just snap his fingers and expect Congress to rubberstamp his proposals. Thomas E. Dewey, the last Republican to occupy the White House, had tried that approach and had gotten pretty much nowhere. Uncompromising and regarding his way as being the only way, moderate Dewey had spent the late 1940s stubbornly trying to beat a conservative Congress into submission. Also faced with a conservative Congress, Forbes decided to try a different approach. He had in mind the words of former Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. As Senate Majority Leader in the 1950s, LBJ wielded enormous political power. That power was rooted in his ability to understand people. Johnson could read each Senator like a book, seeing what made each of them tick. He then used that intimate knowledge – and, whenever necessary, his domineering physical presence – to get Senators to do what he wanted them to do. Asked once how a President can deal with Congress effectively, Johnson answered that “there is but one way for a President to deal with the Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it’s really going to work, the relationship between the President and the Congress has got to be almost incestuous. He’s got to know them even better than they know themselves. And then, on the basis of this knowledge, he’s got to build a system that stretches from the cradle to the grave, from the moment a bill is introduced to the moment it is officially enrolled as the law of the land.”
Taking in LBJ’s advice, Forbes began meeting regularly with key members of Congress right after the election. He worked closely with them to craft the Republican domestic agenda for 1965. By treating Congress like a genuine partner in the process instead of dictating to them what he wanted done, Forbes believed he would be more likely to get legislation passed and signed into law.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-DC8-C-jpg.jpg

(As Speaker of the House, Gerald Ford was one of the people President Forbes consulted with on a regular basis)
The first two items on the GOP domestic agenda were the budget and taxes. “The Democrats have spent the better part of the past decade,” Forbes noted early on, “Trying to tax and spend their way to prosperity. That it hasn’t worked is evident by the fact that we are here now.”
The Republicans proposed to instead cut government spending and lower taxes, arguing that doing so would spur economic growth. With lower taxes, Americans would have more money in which to purchase things. More consumer spending would naturally benefit businesses, whose lower tax bill would also give them more money in which to invest, hire additional employees, and expand. Job creation was especially important to Republicans, who promised to bring about full employment (meaning a unemployment rate of 5% or less) by the time voters went to the polls in November 1968. When Forbes took office, he inherited a $108 billion budget. The budget had ballooned greatly since the early 1950s, when the budget was balanced and spending was under control. To reverse the trend, the President told the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that he wanted to trim the budget down to $100 billion. “I expect we will get complaints about that from the Democrats, but we should not let them dissuade us. After all, their policy of spending as much money as possible has not made the American people feel that they are benefitting from it like they should.”
Forbes was very much a numbers man. He loved analyzing numbers, seeing where things stood and where improvements could be made. In meetings with Secretary of the Treasury Robert Mayo and others, the President carefully reviewed the budget and determined where cuts could be made and which programs could be safely eliminated without having too much of an impact on people. “I do not want to take away the helping hand,” he insisted, “But rather to improve it by focusing it on programs that are truly helping those in need. Spending money on duplicate programs just for the sake of spending money does not help anyone.”
The budget was whittled down to $97.9 billion, surpassing the $100 billion goal. The President was satisfied with the $10.1 billion cut, viewing it as the down payment for reaching a balanced budget in 1970. Conservatives were pleased to see spending finally be reduced and Federal programs that competed with state, local, and private programs eliminated. Liberal Democrats of course were outraged. They bemoaned cuts to agriculture and education programs in particular and alleged that the Republicans were trying to turn the clock back to the down-on-your-luck days of Hoover. Their rhetoric had a familiar ring to Mayo:
“The Democrats have spent the past 30 years tying every Republican to Hoover. Hoover died last year [1964] and the Democrats are still tying us to him.”
httpfunkyimg-comi2-DC8-P-jpg.jpg

(During the Great Depression, it was a common sight to see people lined up outside soup kitchens since they were no longer able to provide for themselves. Democrats in 1965 conjured up memories of the Depression Era in an effort to fight Republican cuts to the Federal budget)
Forbes himself thought the Hoover comparison didn’t hold water because it wasn’t backed up by the numbers, which painted an entirely different picture. He called the 31st President “an anomaly”, pointing out that the Republicans had presided over economic booms in the 1920s and after World War Two. He also pointed out that the massive Federal spending Franklin D. Roosevelt undertook in the 1930s failed to lift the country out of the Depression and that it took heavy US involvement in the Second World War to finally get out of it (since the Depression ended during Wendell Willkie’s tenure, he gets the credit for it). Despite Democratic opposition, Congress passed and the President signed the Budget and Taxation Act of 1965 into law on April 11th. The legislation approved the $97.9 billion budget, reversing the growth of Federal spending under the Democrats. It also implemented a $13.5 billion tax cut. Under the new tax law:
  • Limits on personal income tax deductions for charitable and church contributions, property taxes paid by homeowners, and interest payments were raised
  • The top individual income tax rate was reduced from 91% to 65%, the bottom individual income tax rate from 20% to 14%, and the corporate tax rate from 52% to 46%
  • Federal excise taxes on pens, pencils, jewelry, cosmetics, luggage, handbags, wallets, and toiletries were eliminated
  • Specific State and local taxes could now be deducted from Federal taxes
Flanked by his fellow Republicans, Forbes declared in his signing statement that this major piece of legislation “will protect every citizen against the high taxes which is forced upon them by excessive spending” and allow them to “keep more of their earnings for their own and their family’s use.”
Far from turning the clock back to the gloom and doom days of Hoover, the Budget and Taxation Act of 1965 triggered an economic boom. Gross national product rose from $569.7 billion in the second quarter of 1965 to $631.2 billion in the first quarter of 1967. In that same period, disposable personal income shot up from $423 billion to $486.1 billion. The number of poor families in America earning less than $3,000 per year dropped from 8.5 million in 1965 to 8 million in 1967. Between April 1965 and March 1967, over 1 million people out of work found work and the unemployment rate dropped sharply from 8% to 6.6%. In the first half of 1966, government revenues had actually increased $7.5 billion over the prior pre-tax cut year. Heading into the 1966 Midterm Election, Republicans were touting that their policies were making the American economy great again.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-DC96-jpg.jpg

(A clothing store in 1965. With the economy booming in the mid-1960s, people could afford to buy more clothes)
The Budget and Taxation Act of 1965 was the first major win of the Forbes Presidency. Month after month, quarter after quarter, every major indices of growth moved upward. What the President had done for New Jersey he was now doing for the country. However, not everyone cared about this newly-created prosperity. There was a certain segment of society which had grown disillusioned with the mainstream focus on materialism and was looking to open their minds to other possibilities. They were increasingly finding that openness in an intoxicating mixture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
 
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jeeshadow

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Interesting that things are starting to turn around economically wise for Forbes. Personally I am not a huge believer in tax cuts and the need to balance the deficit, but that is my personal beliefs, and you have yours! (Forbes might also be lucky with the effects of the steal strike slipping away). I wonder if stagflation will be a thing coming soon.
Regarding Presidents, not entirely sure. I guess it depends on what you want and what you envision each party doing big picture. I do not think the Democrats were as successful ITL with passing Great Society style programs, and assuming they do not hit stagflation, maybe New Dealism has some breath left. Skilled President can maybe deliver medicaid for all or something more ambitious than LBJ accomplished? Seems Conservatives are starting to rise about now in the Republican party. Will be interesting to see how successful Forbes will be with civil rights. I see the Goldwater part of the party fighting hard against him. Question will be if he can carry enough of the rest and Liberal Democrats to be successful.
Regarding Presidents, I will focus on Democrats for now: Edmund Muskie could be interesting. Fairly Liberal, and if environmentalism takes off. Eugene McCarthy perhaps if the Vietnam War still continues to be rough? (I do not know much about him). Humphrey is a choice if being Majority Leader does not tarnish him to bad.
If we keep a fairly liberal democratic party, come the 1980s an Andrew Cuomo could be a very interesting choice. More moderate choice could be Joe Biden, I think he tried running a few times in there. The Kennedy's might be out unless Robby or Teddy take off. An interesting pick could be Jerry Brown! If the country is not sick of California politicians after Knowland, Reagan, and Nixon :p.
Regarding Nixon as AG, he was loyal to Eisenhower as VP, but he never felt comfortable with Eisenhower's administration, considering them somewhat elitist compared to him. I feel like he would also feel out of place in this Forbes Administration. He would do his job, but not like it.
Anyways, that is what I have on Presidents for now! I shall reserve the right to come up with more ideas later on though :p.
 

volksmarschall

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I think that clothing store is a microchasm and prophetic depiction of everything wrong with modern American society! :p

Forbes seems to be the type of president that Romney would have been, had he won. Boring and mathematically, or economically, focused only. He will certainly not stand up to the culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll! Looking forward to 1968 already! :p
 

El Pip

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These ambitions for tax cuts are not going to mix well with the costs of the Vietnam War, seeing how that plays out is going to be interesting.

As is traditional I note that the US tax code remains needlessly complex and prone to abuse, it's the sort of thing that corrodes trust in government. The US would have been better served if Forbes had just cut the headline tax rate a bit lower and removed all those allowances and deductions, though I realise that would probably be politically harder to achieve.
 

Nathan Madien

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jeeshadow: Given the not-so-great shape of the economy at the end of the Jackson Presidency, I think Forbes would move quickly to show that he can do a much better job handling the economy. Interestingly enough, JFK was in the process of getting a tax cut bill through Congress when he got assassinated in November 1963. One of the first things LBJ did as President was to get the tax cut bill passed and signed into law. The tax cut bill that historically got passed generated economic growth, which is what I based the results of the GOP tax cut bill on. The list of items in that bill come from the 1964 Republican platform.

New Dealism is dead. Scoop found that out the hard way. Medicare is not going to happen under the Republicans (to them it is socialized medicine), though it may be something Democrats can rally around. "Elect us and we will establish health insurance for the eldery."

Historically the LBJ landslide of 1964 swept the conservatives aside and made it possible for Johnson to pass his liberal Great Society program. With the conservatives still being in charge of Congress TTL, Forbes can't be too ambitious when it comes to domestic policy. Thomas E. Dewey tried to be ambitious and ended up butting heads with Robert Taft.

I think the race issue will be a headache for Forbes. After all, we are moving into the second half of the 1960s, where racial tensions in cities from Los Angeles to Detroit to Newark exploded. Then there is the question you raised of whether he can get a civil rights bill pass the Goldwater wing of the GOP.

Edmund Muskie is someone I have been thinking about. Historically his campaign sank in 1972 as a result of the forged Canuck letter which had been orchestrated by the Nixon re-election campaign. Without the Canuck letter, perhaps Muskie could have done better.

Eugene McCarthy lost his 1958 Senate bid TTL, so I don't think we will see him at all.

I am leaning towards pitting Hubert Humphrey against President Forbes in 1968. Humphrey is a much better candidate than George McGovern was and Humphrey TTL will be completely free to attack the Vietnam War (instead of historically being under LBJ's controlling thumb). Plus Humphrey was the historical loser in 1968 and I haven't flipped a historical loser into an ahistorical winner since Adlai Stevenson in 1952. So if I decide to have the Democrats win in 1968, it will probably be Humphrey.

Don't you mean Mario Cuomo?

Ah, Joe Biden. Will he or won't he? :confused:

I have thought about running Ted Kennedy, but that will depend on his driving skills if you know what I mean.

Since his father never got elected Governor of California TTL, I wonder what impact that would have on Jerry Brown's political fortunes in 1974 since he wouldn't have the name recognition which historically benefitted him.

I have an entirely different view about Nixon as Attorney General. I think he will be just fine in the Forbes Administration. :cool:

Hey, I like hearing ideas. That is how Rab Butler ended up as the British Prime Minister. A reader suggested it.

volksmarschall: Well, it is mid-1960s fashion. If anything is to be blamed for the state of modern American society, it is those colors. :p

I agree. I don't think Forbes will get this whole hippie culture thing.

I actually have this AAR mapped out to 1968. I just wish I had more time to write. :(

El Pip: That is something I am going to deal with later. LBJ tried to finance the Vietnam War and the Great Society at the same time and discovered to his dismay that he couldn't do both. When you want to cut taxes, cut spending, and fiance a war like Forbes does, doesn't something have to give at some point?

You're right, El Pip. Our tax code is so full of holes you can pretty much do whatever you want if you know how (or know people who know how).
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Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
“Do your own thing, wherever you have to do it and whenever you want. Drop out. Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly. Blow the mind of every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs, then to beauty, love, honesty, fun.”
-The Hippie Code

When you think about music in the 1960s, certain sounds come to mind. There was the Beach Boys, “America’s Band” whose tightly harmonized songs epitomized the Southern California lifestyle of surfing, cars, and girls. Out of Detroit, Michigan came the Motown Sound: African-American artists like the Supremes and Marvin Gaye whose pop-influenced soul music White Americans couldn’t get enough of. With his social and politically conscious lyrics, Bob Dylan was regarded as being “the voice of his generation” (a distinction he regarded as pompous and hated). On February 7th, 1964, four mop-topped lads from Liverpool arrived at Idlewild Airport in New York City. Inspired by Buddy Holly’s band the Crickets, they called themselves the Beatles. Having conquered their native England, John Paul George and Ringo arrived in the Big Apple to find 4,000 screaming fans waiting for them. Their single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and American girls were just as excited about them as their British sisters were. A record-setting 73 million people tuned in to watch the Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS) and the band even went to the White House to meet President Henry M. Jackson. The enormous popularity of the Beatles in the United States triggered the British Invasion: a wave of British music acts that crossed the pond to find success in the former colonies. Indeed, it was difficult in 1965 to turn on the radio in America and not hear British songs including:
  • “Downtown” by Petula Clark
  • “I’m Telling You Now” by Freddie and the Dreamers
  • “The Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
  • “Mrs. Brown, You’ve got a Lovely Daughter” by Herman’s Hermits
  • “Yesterday” by the Beatles
  • “Get Off of My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones
  • “Over and Over” by the Dave Clark Five
Whereas the Beatles, under the direction of their manager Brian Epstein, presented a clean-cut image, the Rolling Stones were in sharp contrast the bad boys of British rock. Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham deliberately wanted them to be the anti-Beatles: “a raunchy, gamy, unpredictable bunch of undesirables” who “were threatening, uncouth, and animalistic.”
A song the Rolling Stones recorded in 1965 captured their rebellious nature. One day guitarist Keith Richards bought a Philips cassette player so he could record song ideas. Before he could use it however, he fell asleep. When he awoke the next morning, Richards discovered that the tape had gone to the end. Rewinding it to the start to hear what was on it, he was surprised to find out that at some point during the night he had gotten up and partially recorded a song. Not having the foggiest recollection of having recorded anything in his sleep, Richards played the tape for the rest of his band mates. They liked what they heard and turned the middle-of-the-night rough recording into a proper single. On June 6th, the Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in the United States.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LRZh-jpg.jpg

The public reaction to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was immediate. It quickly climbed up the Billboard Hot 100, knocking off “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by the Four Tops on July 10th to become the #1 song in America. It remained at the top for four weeks, giving the Rolling Stones their first gold record (meaning it sold over a million copies). The key to the song’s immense popularity was that it tapped into the youthful disillusionment towards the mainstream focus on materialism. In the late 1940s, the strict rationing of the war years gave way to a national shopping spree. Returning World War Two veterans bought brand new homes in the emerging suburbs and started their own families. This became the era of the Baby Boom, in which tens of millions of babies were born at the staggering rate of one every seven seconds. These new cookie-cutter homes of course needed to be stocked with furniture and appliances, creating a hungry demand for consumer goods that businesses were only too happy to fill. It became highly fashionable to buy a brand new car every year – not because you needed it but because your neighbor had the latest model and you wanted to keep up with them. With the introduction of commercial television, TV sets became the must-have item that no home could be without. Everyone wanted to tune in to see what crazy antics Lucy Ricardo and Ralph Kramden were getting themselves into this time. Thanks to TV dinner trays, you could eat and not miss anything.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LRZv-jpg.jpg

(Behind the scenes of “The Honeymooners” (CBS). Starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, it is one of the classic TV shows of the 1950s)
Having endured the Great Depression and World War Two, adults in the postwar years were eager to enjoy life. For them, enjoyment came through materialism. It was a warm embrace that younger people didn’t share however. They found little satisfaction in simply owning things and wondered if there was more to life than what they considered to be their parents' shallow obsession. A generational divide emerged in America as young people sought to broaden their horizons in ways adults weren’t. They became influenced by a group of writers – most notably Allen Ginsberg – who ridiculed mainstream values like materialism and encouraged their readers to pursue alternative values like psychedelic (Greek for “mind revealing”) drug use and sex. The way to get satisfaction in life, they declared, was to completely reject the shallow-minded status quo and build a counterculture which embraced liberation of all sorts. One man in particular had found the key to unlocking the liberation of the mind. At Harvard University, a psychologist named Timothy Leary had done research on a psychedelic drug called lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). When consumed, LSD altered a person’s perception by creating hallucinations and heightening their sense of color. The psychedelic experience brought on by LSD left users feeling euphoric and free; that they were able to see things in ways they weren’t able to in a normal state of awareness. After consuming LSD himself, Leary became an enthusiastic champion of the drug, promoting it as a way of liberating yourself from the restraints imposed by mainstream society. As he wrote in 1964:
“A psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity. Such experiences of enlarged consciousness can occur in a variety of ways: sensory deprivation, yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, religious or aesthetic ecstasies, or spontaneously. Most recently they have become available to anyone through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine, etc. Of course, the drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key – it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures.”
Among the people being turned on to the consciousness-expanding effects of LSD was Ken Kesey, author of the 1962 novel “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. In the summer of 1964, Kesey and his group of so-called Merry Pranksters embarked on a cross-country school bus trip to spread the gospel of LSD to anyone who was open-minded enough to listen to them. Through promotion LSD became the drug of choice for the counterculture – with marijuana, another mind-altering drug, coming in second place popularity-wise. Drug use in the United States grew so rampant that in 1966 it was deemed by “Time” magazine and others to be a national problem that needed to be addressed. In his January 1967 State of the Union Address, President Malcolm Forbes announced that his Administration would vigorously crack down on “narcotics and dangerous drugs, which at present are flooding the streets of our cities and turning our young people into addicts of such drugs as marijuana and LSD.”
A few months later, Congress passed and Forbes signed into law the Narcotics Control Act of 1967. The new Federal law officially made the use of drugs like LSD and marijuana completely illegal and imposed a mandatory sentencing for drug convictions of 2-to-10 years in prison with a fine up to $20,000. In the law’s first year, over 500 people were arrested for drug possession. However, that didn’t stop the counterculture from loving LSD and marijuana. If anything, the law encouraged people to do those drugs as an act of defiance against the conservative Establishment which was trying to unduly control them. The phrase “Take a hit for Dick” emerged within the counterculture to mock Attorney General Richard Nixon, who led the crackdown on drugs.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LS11-jpg.jpg

(Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead)
As the counterculture developed in the mid-1960s, communities sprouted up across America where people could go to experience freedom from societal restrictions. The most famous community was located in the Victorian-style Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California. With rooms being very cheap to rent, Haight-Ashbury became a Mecca for the counterculture as many people flowed into the neighborhood – 15,000 by June 1966 – to take part in the alternative lifestyle. Here you could see young men sporting very long hair and women wearing revealing clothing in public – often with no bra underneath. Those who really wanted to stand out wore colorful tie-dyed T-shirts. In 1967, singer Scott McKenzie advised anyone going to San Francisco to “be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”
After seeing these people for himself, journalist Herb Caen of the “San Francisco Chronicle” dubbed them “hippies” for the way they were sharply contrasting with “the straight world.”
Not only were hippies experimenting with psychedelic drugs, they were also being sexually active. Viewing the tradition of only having sex with your married partner as being part of the status quo that they were rebelling against, hippies were more opened-minded about recreational sex. They saw nothing wrong with having multiple partners and doing it whenever they wanted and wherever they wanted. In this pre-HIV/AIDS era, there wasn’t a great emphasis on the health dangers of unprotected sex. For women in particular, their risk of getting an unwanted pregnancy was eliminated when the birth control pill became widely available in 1965. By preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries, the pill made it possible for women to enjoy recreational sex without worrying about becoming pregnant.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LS1d-jpg.jpg

(Hippies who embraced flowers were known as “flower children”)
Of course, you can’t talk about sex and drugs without talking about the third pillar: rock and roll. Originating from African-American rhythm and blues music, rock and roll music exploded onto the national scene in the 1950s. Rock and roll singers like Elvis Presley and Little Richard became idols for teenagers who loved having music to call their own. That white teenagers couldn’t get enough of this music which had a strong black beat to it didn’t sit well with parents, who viewed rock and roll as being a corrupting influence on youths (interestingly, 1950s teenagers would go on to view MTV the same way in the 1980s). In keeping with the changing times, rock and roll in the 1960s took a psychedelic turn. Electric guitars, elaborate studio effects, and a strong keyboard presence all became prominent features while the lyrics grew deeper and more expansive. New musical acts playing the psychedelic sound appeared on the scene including:
  • Cream
  • Grateful Dead
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Pink Floyd
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • The Byrds
  • The Doors
  • The Mamas and the Papas
Founded in Los Angeles, California in 1965, the Doors was fronted by Jim Morrison, a University of California, Los Angeles film school graduate who loved poetry and was a voracious reader of philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Plutarch. This philosophical influence was reflected in the poetry Morrison wrote as well as the lyrics he contributed to the Doors such as “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” and “The End” – the latter including a reference to Sigmund Freud’s concept of the Oedipus complex in which a child has an unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. Morrison named the band after “The Doors of Perception”, a philosophical work published by Aldous Huxley in 1954. In turn, Huxley had named his book after a phrase in British poet William Blake’s 1793 book “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LS1z-png.png

(In September 1967, the Doors performed their #1 hit “Light My Fire” on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Originally they were asked by the show’s producer to change the line “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” due to its drug connation. Morrison agreed to make the change...but then went ahead and sang the line as-is live on the air. When told afterwards by the angry producer that the Doors would never appear on the show again, Morrison just shrugged it off. “Hey man. We just did the Sullivan show.”)
At the same time new acts were emerging, some established acts shifted musical gears. One of the most obvious was the Beach Boys. Formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961, the Beach Boys had established themselves as one of the most popular bands in America through a string of hits like “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Fun, Fun, Fun”. However by the mid-1960s leader Brian Wilson had grown musically restless. He wasn’t satisfied with his band just churning out songs about surfing, cars, and girls (“the formula” as Mike Love put it); he wanted the Beach Boys to have deeper-meaning songs. “We needed to grow. Up to this point we had milked every idea dry,” he later explained. “We had done every possible angle about surfing and then we did the car routine. But we needed to grow artistically.”
Wilson therefore retired from touring, his spot on stage being filled for a while by an up-and-coming singer named Glen Campbell. He stayed behind in the studio, where he was free to focus all his attention on turning the new sound that he had envisioned for the band into reality. Despite some apprehension from the other band members that Wilson’s new sound for them was too different, in May 1966 the Beach Boys released their eleventh studio album “Pet Sounds”. Featuring an eclectic mixture of sounds and introspective lyrics like “God Only Knows” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”, “Pet Sounds” was a progressive departure from their earlier work. Although it wasn’t a commercial success in the US (it was much more popular in England though), “Pet Sounds” critically earned the reputation of being one of the greatest albums of all time. Critics have hailed the album for its influential music production and sophisticated songs. In the 2009 book “101 Albums that Changed Popular Music”, “Pet Sounds” was described as being “one of the most innovative recordings in rock” which “elevated Brian Wilson from talented bandleader to studio genius.”
The Beatles loved “Pet Sounds”, which came out at a time when they were re-evaluating their own priorities. Constant touring had made the Beatles the biggest band in the world, but it left the four band members feeling exhausted and constrained. They wanted to do more complex songs than what the two-guitars-bass-and-drums stage performances would allow. Following their third US concert tour in August 1966 (which was overshadowed by John Lennon’s controversial remark that his band was more popular than Jesus Christ), the Beatles made the decision to retire from touring and become exclusively a studio band. This provided them the freedom to focus on recording more elaborate music and creating an album that would be their own “Pet Sounds”. In May 1967, the Beatles released their eighth studio album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. The album was an immediate hit, selling 2.5 million copies in the first three months and was #1 on both sides of the Atlantic for multiple weeks. From the psychedelic imagery of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to the orchestral crescendos in “A Day in the Life”, “Sgt. Pepper” showed that the Beatles were artistically maturing through their songwriting and music production. That they could do far more than peppy love songs aimed at teenage girls. “Sgt. Pepper” joined “Pet Sounds” as one of the greatest albums of all time, described by “Rolling Stone” magazine as being “the pinnacle of the Beatles’ eight years as recording artists.”
httpfunkyimg-comi2-LS1-K-jpg.jpg
 
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Andreios II

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Yessssss the AAR I have followed for the longest time gets another update, its great to see this back again and I fully respect that time can be an incredibly scare resource.

It’s interesting to see the impact the tax cuts proposed by the GOP in OTL 1964 have made, I can totally believe such a move being popular give the apparent swing back to conservatism and economic liberalism. Great to be able to see a policy proposed in real life having a chance to be implemented here. I like the idea of Hubert Humphrey running in ‘68 and potentially winning, for the reasons Nathan mentioned and also because I get the impression he fits into that ‘great presidents who never were’. I read an interesting alternate history where Nixon won in 1960 (side effect of LBJ dying in WW2!) and prosecutes the Vietnam war, but Humphrey wins in 68 on an anti-war and civil rights platform.

When is the next UK election due? I think the Conservatives have been chugging along fine but not really offering anything inspiring by this point, and I think it’s really fitting for the rather stately RAB to be bringing the Conservatives, tired and perhaps out of ideas after over a decade in power, to fight against Harold Wilson (I assume he’s Labour leader) who is much slicker and more photogenic. In OTL it was Lord Home who suffered the same problems, so I guess some things never change!

If events follow OTL Labour will win just about, and once in opposition I see RAB being more willing to change the Tory leadership contest rules ushering in the next generation (including Heath and co) than, say, Macmillan was in OTL (luckily he wasn’t around to block the changes!). So we’ll end up with PM Wilson and Leader of the Opposition Heath. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
 

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What would be the 60s and 70s without the hippies clashing with Richard Nixon?
Ah, missed that McCarthy lost his Senate race. I would be down for Humphrey winning in 1968. If he does not, I still feel like Muskie might make a good choice for the next Dem candidate in '72. Not sure how the environmental movement is doing ITTL, but he would obviously be strong on that. I feel like with New Dealism dead, we might will see anti-war, civil rights, and environmentalism replace it as the core of liberalism in the US. Despite McGovern losing badly in the past election, I do not necessarily seeing the Liberal wing of the party start to decline yet. I do see Humphrey and Muskie as more palatable liberals than McGovern.
Regarding the Republican Party, I wonder if/when they will start becoming more Conservative. I do think it is likely inevitable as if the Republicans want to keep the House, they will want to be competitive in the South. Will Goldwater be the nominee in '72? Both Romney and Rockefeller did not fare well in the last election.
Regarding the 1968 election, my guess it is will hinge mostly on how the economy is doing and how the war in Vietnam is obviously. I wonder if we are headed towards a less chaotic 1968 than in real life? Of course, this could all change if we start getting some assassinations coming up... I think the most prominent one was the shooting that JFK was a causality in. I highly doubt this would happen, but if Forbes got assassinated it would really mix things up.
 

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I know there have been some brutally efficient butterfly nets in action so far around popular culture (a 2 year longer WW2, a unified Germany but you still get the same Stones and Beatles?) but once we get into Vietnam there have got to be some changes. Surely?

Something like say CCR's Fortunate Son doesn't make sense without conscription into a bloody Vietnam War. Same for the Stones' Gimme Shelter and lots of other songs I don't know but are probably more directly influenced. But on the plus side the world might be spared the dirge that is Imagine and Dylan may stay obscure, so not all bad.
 

AtlanticFriend

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AtlanticFriend: Given how much of GHWB's political career was dominated by foreign policy, assigning Bush to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee felt like the prudent thing to do.

Not only prudent, but potentially visonary, at a time when such vision becomes absolutely necessary, with the various regional blocs start realigning. I expect great things from such a team on the world stage, and a possible defeat on home issues.
 

Nathan Madien

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In Memoriam

BtOTjCa.jpg


George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12th, 1924 – November 30th, 2018)

41st President of the United States (January 20th, 1989 – January 20th, 1993)

"Some would say it's soft and insufficiently tough to care about these things. But where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well, I am moved. I want a kinder and gentler nation."
 

AtlanticFriend

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In Memoriam

BtOTjCa.jpg


George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12th, 1924 – November 30th, 2018)

41st President of the United States (January 20th, 1989 – January 20th, 1993)

"Some would say it's soft and insufficiently tough to care about these things. But where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well, I am moved. I want a kinder and gentler nation."

A truly great statesman he was, whose life and accomplishments belied all the scorn and maligning he had to endure when he was VP.

John McCain, GHWB, 2018 has been a cruel year for statesmanship.
 

Nathan Madien

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Andreios II: Thank you very much for your patience. I have been unable to update as much as I would like due to things going on in my life. It's frustrating, really. I have several updates all planned out; I just can't seem to find the time to write them. I can't even find time to read other peoples' AARs. :(

One of the things I have done differently writing this Presidents AAR compared to the previous one is that I look at the party platforms for ideas about domestic policy. The 1964 GOP platform had several things they wanted to do in cutting taxes, so I turned them into actual policy.

Hubert Humphrey is an interesting "What-if". Imagine how history would have unfolded had he won in 1968 instead of Nixon. He came very close to winning: 135,284 votes according to math done by Mike Sheppard. That's a shift of < 1%.

The next UK election is coming up in 1968. After being in power continously since 1952, Conservatives are going to have problems heading into 1968 for reasons I will eventually get into.

Yes. Harold Wilson is still the leader of the Labour Party. Unlike previous Labour leaders, Wilson has a better shot at becoming Prime Minister.

With few exceptions, a political party can't hold power forever. At some point, something(s) will knock you out.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is very true. I have read a lot of alternate histories where things happen differently but at the same time they more-or-less follow a familiar pattern.

jeeshadow: Wait until you see what Nixon does to hippies in the next update.

Eugene McCarthy lost his Senate race in 1958 to Republican incumbent Edward John Thye. In 1964, Walter Mondale won that seat for the Democrats.

George McGovern in 1964 was the anti-Scoop Jackson candidate for a political party willing to jettison an unpopular incumbent President. However, like his OTL bid in 1972 against President Nixon, McGovern wasn't a very good national candidate. Humphrey would be a much better candidate and Edmund Muskie seems like an interesting choice.

The Republican Party will probably start becoming more conservative in the 1970s. Ronald Reagan's political star is on the rise and regardless of what happens to President Forbes in 1968, I think Reagan would be the natural choice to lead the Republicans in 1972. Whereas Barry Goldwater scared the hell out of people with his bluntness, Reagan knew how to charm them (and charm can take you a long way in American politics. Just ask JFK, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama).

Your guess about the 1968 election is spot on. Forbes can produce a better economy; whether he can produce victory in Vietnam is something even I don't know yet. And how Vietnam is going in 1968 is going to decide how the year goes.

As for assassinations, I think MLK will still get killed but I have already spared RFK (as well as JFK, who dies in 1968 TTL due to his health problems). Forbes is not going to get assassinated. I have already done my big Presidential assassination with Adlai Stevenson in 1954 and have no plans to kill anybody else in the near future (although there were historical Presidential assassination attempts in 1975 and 1981 that I might look into).

El Pip: My Vietnam War is playing out differently than the historical one. An earlier introduction of US combat troops, an earlier start to Operation Rolling Thunder, and different battles being fought. Historically America didn't get her first big battle in Vietnam until 1965. By contrast, I have already been in Vietnam for three years.

There have been popular culture casualties in this AAR (no M*A*S*H movie and TV show for example) and songs have certainly been affected by how my alternate history has gone. The Beatles aren't going to mention Chairman Mao in "Revolution", Kennedy isn't going to be mentioned by Queen in "Killer Queen", and Billy Joel is going to have to completely rewrite "We Didn't Start the Fire".

AtlanticFriend: Speaking of GHWB...

Me: When President Bush passed away at the age of 94, I wanted to post something to mark his passing pretty close in time. I didn't want to wait to comment on it until I posted the next update, given that my updating has slowed to a crawl.

AtlanticFriend: Last year we lost President Bush, his wife Barbara, and John McCain (the first Republican Presidential nominee that I have voted for). I watched Bush's funeral process play out on television. A majestic end for a man who truly deserved it.
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Generational Clash
President Malcolm Forbes was a man on the move in April 1965. That month he signed two major pieces of legislation into law. The first was the Budget and Taxation Act, which cut Federal spending by $10.1 billion and cut taxes by $13.5 billion. The bill gave the economy a much-needed shot in the arm following the stagnation of the early 1960s. The second bill he signed established the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD for short). This had actually been a Scoop Jackson bill, first submitted to Congress in 1961 in an effort to bring all the Federal housing and urban development programs under one roof. It passed the House of Representatives but was defeated in the Senate by Southern Democrats as retaliation for President Jackson publically condemning the firebombing of a Freedom Rider bus outside Anniston, Alabama. Four years later, Jackson’s successor urged Congress to take up the HUD bill again, seeing it as a way to streamline the government by getting rid of duplicate HUD programs and laying off unnecessary Federal workers. This time the HUD bill passed; to head the new department, Forbes nominated a well-respected African-American housing expert named Robert C. Weaver. Weaver faced resistance in the Senate by Senators from Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia, all of whom accused him of being a Communist in an effort to derail his nomination. Weaver strongly denied the accusation during his confirmation hearing and an FBI investigation turned up no evidence of Communist involvement. With the Senators’ claim debunked, Weaver was finally confirmed by the Senate.
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(Robert C. Weaver, the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development)
Shortly after Weaver joined the cabinet, the White House released a group photo. It showed the President sitting with Vice President Everett Dirksen and his entire cabinet around the long table in the Cabinet Room. Some people who saw the photo were struck by the fact that there were three black cabinet members; the Dewey and Jackson Administrations both had a black cabinet member, but there had never been three. Other people who saw the photo thought Secretary of Commerce George W. Romney looked more Presidential than Forbes did. The photo underscored a problem that the President had: his image. With his black-rimmed glasses and gawky appearance, Forbes looked more like a nerdy accountant than he did the President of the United States. Because of his image, some people found it difficult to take him seriously. Following their summit meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1965, a less-than-impressed Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev marveled that the United States could elect as their President “such a weak man”.
What the President lacked in appearance he made up for in style. Much of Malcolm Forbes’ famed lavish lifestyle came after he left office: his grand 17th Century chateau in the Normandy region of France, his wide-ranging collections from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to hot air balloons to Faberge eggs, his legendary Moroccan birthday party...just to name a few. While it is common for modern former Presidents to earn a fortune through books and speaking fees, no one has flaunted their wealth to the extent that Forbes did. During his Presidency it became quite apparent that this nerdy accountant had a rich taste and wasn’t afraid to show it off. He personally oversaw the renovation of the White House and had Air Force One be redesigned, wanting them both to look more stylish. The White House underwent an extensive redecorating as each room was redecorated from the carpets and drapes to the furniture and paintings in order to make the Executive Mansion look like a mansion befitting a man of wealth rather than what he called “a dry hotel where the chairs are hard to sit in.”
In 1966, a Boeing VC-137C Stratoliner became the new Air Force One. Built at a cost of $8 million, the customized Boeing 707 derivative was officially called “SAM 26000” – with the “Air Force One” call sign being used only when the President was on board. With the new plane came a new paint job. The previous Presidential jet aircraft, in use since the Sparkman Administration, sported an orange-and-white skin that Forbes hated. He thought it was ugly and commissioned famous Franco-American industrial designer Raymond Loewy to give the new plane a more regal appearance. Under Loewy’s redesign, the orange color was replaced by shades of blue and the Presidential seal was added to both sides of the fuselage near the nose. With “United States of America” emblazoned in capital letters on both sides, Special Air Mission (SAM) 26000 became the plane that Forbes wanted to be seen descending from.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-R2s-W-png.png

Given Forbes’ love affair with materialism, it is no surprise that he clashed with the 1960s counterculture. Both sides of the generational divide looked down at each other with derision. To hippies, President Forbes represented the mainstream traditional values that they were rebelling against. They regarded him as being shallow and narrow-minded, someone who was too obsessed with living a life of comfort to see that there was more in life. He was therefore a frequent target of ridicule within the counterculture. For his part, Forbes never understood hippies. Like many adults in his generation, he couldn’t understand why young people were so eager to abandon the affluent lives their parents had worked hard to provide them in favor of a lifestyle that embraced having almost nothing. He saw nothing appealing about moving to San Francisco, California and living like a homeless person. Campaigning for California Senator Ronald Reagan ahead of a special Senate election in 1966, the President asked Reagan what he thought about hippies. “Well, Mr. President,” the conservative Senator answered contemptuously, “I have seen them carrying signs saying ‘Make love, not war’. I don’t think they look capable of doing either.”
Richard Nixon had begun his political career going after Communists. When he became Attorney General in 1965, he found himself a new target to pursue. Not a fan of hippies either, Nixon easily persuaded the President to allow his Justice Department to go after them on the grounds that they were a menace to society. The passage of laws – such as making draft card burning a Federal crime (1965) and banning popular counterculture drugs like LSD and marijuana (1967) – gave the Nixon Justice Department more power to prosecute hippies. It also spied on and harassed them in an effort to disrupt their activities. These actions by the government only intensified the determination of those within the counterculture to fight “the Man” who was trying to bring them down.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-R2s-Z-jpg.jpg

(In February 1967, Tom and Dick Smothers got their own variety show on CBS. They were brothers from New York who had a popular comedy act at the time. Their act typically had them arguing, with Tom inevitably shouting at Dick “Mom always liked you best!” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” quickly became a hit with young people – and a controversy for the network – for its’ daring satirical take on the Forbes Administration. A year later, NBC gave Dan Rowan and Dick Martin – another popular comedy act – their own variety show which also wasn’t afraid to sock it to the Administration: “Laugh-In”)
Another generational clash that took place during this time occurred on college campuses. From coast to coast, college students rose up in protests. It all began in the fall of 1964 at the University of California, Berkeley over the issue of free speech. Although freedom of speech was one of the tenets of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it didn’t apply to college campuses. College students who wanted to speak out had to get their speech cleared by school officials first. If the officials rejected their speech, the student would then be out of luck. In the fall of 1964, 21-year-old Berkeley student Mario Savio decided to challenge this censorship. He had spent the previous summer in Mississippi registering African-Americans to vote and teaching them in a makeshift classroom. He was one of over 1,000 college students who took part in the Mississippi Summer Project – better known as Freedom Summer. Although the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1963 guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote, Southern states hadn’t exactly been rushing to register black voters. Mississippi was the slowest state of all and had the least amount of registered black voters, which is why it was targeted by this volunteer campaign. Savio returned to Berkeley for the 1964-1965 school year politically fired-up. If he could help blacks in Mississippi exercise their rights to vote and to learn, then he would help his fellow students exercise their right to speak their minds freely.
Digitized-for-Picture-This-California-Perspectives-on-American-History-a-project-of-the-Oakland-Muse.jpg

(Mario Savio addressing his fellow students outside Sproul Hall)
Savio spent the fall organizing his fellow students to demand that school officials grant them their right to free speech. When school officials rejected their demand, it created a standoff between them and the students which lasted for weeks. With talk getting them nowhere, students decided to take dramatic action that would hopefully put pressure on the officials to change their minds. On December 2nd, thousands of students occupied the Sproul Hall administration building. There they studied, watched movies, and sang folk songs with Joan Baez, a popular folk singer who had come to lend moral support to their cause. Savio encouraged the occupation with a passionate speech:
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”
httpfunkyimg-comi2-R2t9-jpg.jpg

With so many students occupying Sproul Hall, school officials desperately needed back-up. At midnight on December 3rd, Alameda County deputy district attorney Edwin Meese telephoned California Governor William F. Knowland and asked for authority to conduct a mass arrest. “If the people in that building are allowed to stay,” Meese warned, “The mob scene will get even bigger.”
Knowland, who opposed the free speech campaign, needed little prodding. He readily gave Meese the green light, replying “Get them out of there then.”
Shortly after 2:00 AM, police arrived on campus to cordon off Sproul Hall. An hour-and-a-half later, they began the process of arresting nearly 800 students and transporting them by bus to a jail 25 miles away. There they spent a few hours behind bars before being released on their own recognizance. The mass arrest did nothing to quell the student protestors; they simply moved on and occupied other buildings on the campus. At the end of 1964, the university was paralyzed. Students were clearly not backing down from their demand for free speech. Even those who never had a political thought in their heads before were fired-up over the fact that someone had the power to tell them what they could and could not say.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-R2tf-jpg.jpg

School officials were running out of options. Arrests and threats of expulsion were having no effect on the students. They reluctantly realized there was only one way to break the impasse. On January 3rd, 1965, school officials caved in and granted the students free speech. This decision set off a national chain-reaction. The demand for free speech which started at Berkeley quickly spread like wildfire to engulf college campuses all across America. Everywhere students rose up to demand their right to speak their minds freely, thus ushering in confrontations at American universities which added to the social unrest that defined the 1960s. Although the student protests started over free speech, it didn’t take long for opposition to the Vietnam War to enter the mix.
httpfunkyimg-comi2-R2tk-jpg.jpg

(In the spring of 1968, Columbia University in New York City was roiled by student protest over her plan to build an allegedly segregated gymnasium in an Harlem public park)
 
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AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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AtlanticFriend: Speaking of GHWB...

Me: When President Bush passed away at the age of 94, I wanted to post something to mark his passing pretty close in time. I didn't want to wait to comment on it until I posted the next update, given that my updating has slowed to a crawl.

AtlanticFriend: Last year we lost President Bush, his wife Barbara, and John McCain (the first Republican Presidential nominee that I have voted for). I watched Bush's funeral process play out on television. A majestic end for a man who truly deserved it.

He truly did.

US Presidents get too little coverage on my side of the pond, just as, I suppose, European leaders do. But to anyone with a keen interest on studying Western leaders, GHWB was a really tall figure in a room that is usually full of pygmies or bureaucrats. He was often ridiculed, even in America, but I've always thought his political life was larger than life. Mc Cain, of course, got less well-known in Europe since he did not attain Presidential status, but he is the modern-day challenger that intrigues me the most. What would a McCain presidency have felt like? I've always liked his dark horse/maverick status, at the same time balanced by old-school core values. These are almost "Gaullist" qualities for any French political aficionado. In my humble opinion, it is a pity we'll never know for sure what he could have achieved, and I hope we'll see a suitable "spiritual heir" surge in the coming decade.
 

El Pip

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As long as the economy keeps going well then Forbes can get away with being flash and extravagant, but if things take turn for the worse those habits could hurt him.

I've just had a thought about the lack of McMamara at Defence - no Project 100,000 / McNamara's Morons. No-one else is going to force the military to take draftees who've failed the IQ test, so the US army is probably hurting for manpower (Air Force and Navy managed OK as they were more attractive / more exciting / safer). OTL Project 100,000 meant there was a regular supply of warm (if not very bright) bodies coming in, so there was no need to take the politically tricky step of cracking down on draft dodging. But that isn't the case here.

I suspect that will make those student protests about Vietnam a bit spicier that OTL; there will be less exemptions and more work put into catching dodgers. That means more students and related types are going to end up being caught in the draft, which is not going to be popular.
 
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