Blue Skies in Camelot: An Alternate 60's and Beyond

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by President_Lincoln, Nov 29, 2017.

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  1. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    Read about a different leader for Iran, should the Islamic Revolution occur. Hussein Ali Montazerri, I believe his name is. Raed up on him when you can.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: The Beatles Core Catalogue - Recton?

    President_Lincoln The Great Emancipator

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    Greetings all!

    I apologize that this is not a full update in any way, but as a major Beatles fan myself, I thought it necessary to finally codify/retcon the Fab Four's "Core Catalogue" ITTL. I will try to go back and edit/make changes to their updates wherever necessary, and I also hope to feature them again in a full length update soon.

    Cheers!

    1. Please Please Me - 1963
    2. With the Beatles - 1963
    3. A Hard Day's Night - 1964
    4. Beatles for Sale - 1964
    5. Help! - 1965
    6. Rubber Soul - 1965
    7. Tomorrow Never Knows - 1966
    8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967
    9. Hello, Goodbye - 1967
    10. The White Album - 1968
    11. Yellow Submarine - 1968
    12. Get Back - 1969
    13. Abbey Road - 1969
    14. All Things Must Pass - 1971
    15. Power to the People - 1973
    16. Photograph - 1975
    upload_2019-8-14_10-40-21.jpeg upload_2019-8-14_10-40-27.jpeg upload_2019-8-14_10-40-46.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. Pokemon Master What's it to you?

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  4. President_Lincoln The Great Emancipator

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    The song "Yellow Submarine" appeared originally on 1966's Tomorrow Never Knows ITTL, and was still a #1 single for the band. :) The Yellow Submarine film also is still made here, I apologize for not including its soundtrack in the band's "Core Catalogue", I can update the post.
     
  5. Ogrebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts on Alternative History @President_Lincoln

    Question- do you consider natural events such as hurricanes, volcanos etc as fixed points in time, just the responses might differ, by who’s in charge?
     
  6. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    What else is Disney doing ITTL?
     
  7. President_Lincoln The Great Emancipator

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    An excellent question! :) I do think that natural disasters (as long as they are truly forces of nature) are fixed/bound to happen unless there is any human action that can be taken to prevent them. For example, if I ever get around to writing my TL starting in 1865 and reach the Great San Francisco Earthquake in 1906, that Earthquake will still occur. The response to it may be different, as you mention, but the event itself cannot really be avoided. So much of history is brought about by human actions/reactions that I think there is plenty of room to play around in Alternate History while still following the geological timeline of OTL's Earth. :) (Unless geological PoDs are what you're going for, of course.)
     
  8. Kennedy Forever Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mr President I found your insight on the "poison chalice" and the 70's and President Carter to be fascinating. I agree that Jimmy Carter had problems during his four years but that he also achieved some good wins for example the Camp David Accords, continuing détente with the Soviet Union, a focus on human rights and the environment and attempting to learn mistakes from Vietnam. But Carter was also influenced by his NS Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in foreign policy and look what happened as a result. But Jimmy Carter has done a lot of good post his Presidentency too.
     
  9. SargentHawk Nixon Now, More Than Ever

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    Yeah, the only way I view as acceptable to change them is after a massive nuclear exchange. That's gonna offset some weather at least a bit
     
  10. Roger Redux The Revisionist

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    I'm gonna say I'm more middle-of-the-road on that...
    Geological events like earthquakes and volcanoes...I'd be more inclined to say those are fixed events because they rely on decade-century-millennium scale events to alter...
    But things like hurricanes and tornadoes...those are more susceptible to butterflies. There may be patterns that we simply don't understand (yet), but they seem so fickle and random that there's no way to predict what would effect them or not...and the fact that the term "butterfly effect" originally related to hurricanes.....
    Plus there's already been a more significant commitment to alternative energy research ITTL, so there's that to take into consideration too...
     
  11. Maplekey Well-Known Member

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    May 1, 2016
    IMO, earthquakes/tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are fixed points, given that Earth's geological processes occur on a scale that is beyond humanity's ability to alter.

    However, the butterfly effect - one of the core tenants of alternate history as a genre - got its name from the idea that something as simple as a butterfly flapping its' wings has the ability to influence the weather. With the amount of change that has occurred in the world, I would find it incredibly baffling if things like tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes, etc, all took place exactly as per OTL.
     
  12. Kaiser Julius Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2017
    Given John Kerry's different stances of war, who does he debate on the Dick Cavett show in June 1971 and how does Nixon react?
     
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 103

    President_Lincoln The Great Emancipator

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    Chapter 103: Show Me the Way - President Bush Battles Representative Schlafly

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    “What are we doing to get out ahead of this?” George Bush sat in his personal office in the White House residence in a sweater and slacks with his head in his hands, gesturing to the television before him with an incredulous mixture of concern and growing fury. On its screen, video captured for the President on tape flickered over and over again like a taunting court jester. Representative Phyllis Schlafy of Illinois, the President’s lone opponent in his quest to be renominated for a second term, stood defiant at a podium, listing off her “grievances” with the present administration while images of them flashed, superimposed over her. Communist aggression abroad, left unanswered! A picture of Soviet tanks rolling through Kabul was displayed, along with more recent photographs from the Civil Wars in Angola and Mozambique. A betrayal of traditional values at home! Flashes of marches for the passage of the 27th Amendment, and the entrances to various “family planning” clinics around the country. Naive trust of extremist regimes! Pictures of the President shaking hands with Salvador Allende of Chile, and Chairman Zhou in Beijing. Finally, the ad returned to the Congresswoman, who crossed her arms and shook her head like a disappointed soccer Mom. “We don’t need a committee of foreigners, academics, and so-called experts to dictate our laws and customs to us. What we need is national renewal. This primary season, vote for a change in our Republican Party. Vote for someone who cares about America’s values. Vote for me, Phyllis Schlafly.” The woman had moxie, the President would give her that much, but he was livid at this trash. “Betrayed our values?” He asked, bewildered. “Since when is it an American value to stand in the way of progress? The GOP has been behind the E.R.A. since the beginning, Goddammit.” Vexed, the commander in chief returned to his original question. “What’s our response?”


    Around him, Bush had assembled his “bullpen”, the political advisers and proverbial relief pitchers who were absolutely dedicated to seeing this compassionate, capable man overcome the odds once again and win a second term in the Oval Office. Leading the pack was perhaps Bush’s closest friend in the world, and the man he trusted more than any other, White House Chief of Staff Jim Baker. Elevated to the top job in the West Wing after the departure of his masterfully Machiavellian predecessor, Dick Cheney, Baker’s smiles and easy familiarity brought with them a breath of moderation and cheerfulness, a welcome change of pace from Cheney’s cold, brooding schemes which had dominated the administration’s policy making since ‘72. Taking Baker’s old job as Deputy Chief of Staff would be longtime GOP Congressman and former House Majority Whip Robert H. Michel, of Illinois. A jovial, bespectacled man, Michel was seven years Baker’s senior, and much more experienced in the art of “wrangling” Congress than his new boss or the Commander in Chief, for that matter. Michel was well liked on both sides of the aisle, considering both Speaker Ford and Minority Leader Tip O’Neill personal friends of his. While Michel was brought in to Baker’s old job primarily for his ability to “go to the mat and get things passed on the Hill”, he and Baker were also the pillars holding up the bullpen. They were joined by a cohort of speechwriters, analysts, and pundits, who would collaborate to put together the President’s strategy. In response to this particular ad on this particular day, their answer was simple: President Bush had to strike back.


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    This team of campaigners, many of whom had been around for Vice President Reagan’s primary challenge against President Romney in ‘72, were absolutely leery of the influence Representative Schlafly might accrue if her campaign were not put in its place immediately. Even with the party establishment standing against her, and the vast majority of Republican voters (at least 75%, according to Gallup) favoring Bush be renominated for another term, there was still much harm the Congresswoman could do by running a spirited campaign on the President’s right flank. For one thing, she could serve to highlight the President’s flaws, shortcomings, and indiscretions, especially damning coming from the voice of a woman, and the person who perhaps best represented the movement for “family values” in the country. After all, as much as his advisers and the First Lady promised him that tales of his affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald were old news, the relatively young Commander in Chief still could not escape the shadow the infidelity cast over his personal life. With his approval rating as low as 35% in some polls, there was also fear that Schlafly’s campaign in the primaries alone would damage the President’s already shaky credibility, and encourage vengeful members of the GOP’s base to stay home for the President in November, effectively throwing the election to the Democrats. Finally, many in the party’s more moderate and liberal wings were becoming dissatisfied with how much influence more conservative Republicans were beginning to wield over “their” party. Liberal ideals and moderation had gotten both Presidents Eisenhower and Romney elected in the first place, and likely contributed to President Bush’s own victory four years earlier too. Why would the party turn its back on a winning formula, and continue to allow its more right-wing members to gallivant and threaten party unity in the name of spewing rhetoric? House Speaker Gerald R. Ford (R - MI), Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R - PA), RNC National Chairman Senator Bob Dole (R - KS), and virtually every other major figure in the Republican Party condemned Schlafly’s run, yet she persisted, and the President needed an answer. The response he and his advisors put together was very much in character, a classic “Bush” way of dealing with the situation.


    Cleaning himself up in a new charcoal suit and crisp black tie, the President let himself be powdered up with tv makeup and filmed an attack ad of his own, one with a simple, straightforward message. The ad featured the President standing at a podium in Walker’s Point and delivering answers to the Congresswoman’s charges, directly to the camera. “I do not duck challenges.” The President declared confidently as he began his retaliation. “I overcome them.” In less than a minute, Bush gave an impassioned, but carefully controlled defense of his administration’s policies and actions, and accused Representative Schlafly of acting in bad faith. “I believe that the best way to get things done for the American people here in Washington is not to constantly bicker and fight with our opponents, as some would have you believe. Rather, I believe that only through shrewd negotiation and open handed compromise can we find the true solutions to the many problems facing our country today. My administration is built upon a bedrock of these principles, and I believe we are best suited to meet these challenges head on.” The ad did well at convincing the American people that their leader was no wimp, and showed members of his own party that he wasn’t messing around when it came to the primaries. Sensing that an early victory would be all Schlafly needed to solidify herself as a serious threat, the President adopted the “Rose Garden” strategy his predecessor had employed against Ronald Reagan, now his own Vice President and close friend and confidant, and focused his time and attention on securing peace in the Middle East through the tense negotiations which would become the Walker’s Point Accords.


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    Meanwhile, from her modest campaign headquarters in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois, Representative Schlafly assembled her own “war cabinet” and got ready to throw bombs. Refusing to be dismissed as a “single issue” candidate over her anti-feminist views and opposition to abortion, and eager to take advantage of the President’s unwillingness to campaign during the talks with Israel and Egypt, Schlafly turned to a team of conservative economists led by former Romney Administration adviser Herbert Stein, Canadian Robert Mundell, and young renegade Arthur Laffer to help her put together a comprehensive bundle of policy proposals to “rejuvinate the American economy” and smash the post-war Keynesian consensus which they believed was truly to blame for the Great Recession around the globe. In aggregate, they sought to decrease regulations on businesses and lower taxes for the wealthy and large corporations as well. It was argued that as a result of these changes, businesses would be able to produce more goods cheaply, thereby creating a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices to consumers. Employment would also increase as firms hired more workers to help keep up with production. Creating the infamous curve which bears his name, Laffer was even so bold as to claim that lowering taxes would actually increase government revenue, as increased economic activity would create GDP growth, which would in turn generate additional tax revenue. It was a stark contrast to the prevailing macroeconomic attitude of the past forty years, but it gave Schlafly a new round of ammunition to fire at the administration. “While the President and his Ivy league do-nothing advisors try to feed us tired answers to today’s problems, my campaign offers new ideas and real solutions”, she would say during a campaign speech in Chicago. Though the powerful conservative youth organization Young Americans for Freedom were divided nearly down the middle on the campaign (as many remained staunch Reagan and therefore, Bush loyalists), thousands of YAF supporters turned out to cheer her on.


    The principles which Schlafly’s team argued for came to known over the course of the primary race as “supply side economics” to their proponents, or alternatively, “trickle down economics” to their detractors. Democrats railed against Schlafly’s proposals in the House, with Minority Leader Tip O’Neill (D - MA) accusing her of “trying to sell out working families for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful”. Needless to say, her proposals died in committee, though they earned the Congresswoman the love and loyalty of the country’s more devout right-wingers. To hear supply side ideas being discussed on the nightly news at all was a major boon for them, even if they were being dismissed. As a 24 year old graduate student and Schlafly campaign volunteer Lee Atwater put it “we’re putting doubt in people’s mind. Doubt is all we need to take down a wimp like Bush.” The President himself would soon comment on these unconventional proposals, referring to Schlafly’s ideas as “Voodoo Economics” and calling on the American people to “not be fooled by promises of easy growth and lower taxes. “If it sounds too good to be true,” the President said, sounding like America’s father, “then chances are it probably is.” Nonetheless, Bush’s unpopularity and tendency to fall flat in the charisma department came through when questioned on the economics, and pro-Schlafly YAF activists brought out an old, tired charge against him: “wimp”, blaming the President for “lacking the guts to try something new and daring”. Slowly but surely, the Congresswoman began to rise in the polls. This was, in large part, thanks to the work of Atwater and two of his allies in Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. All below the age of thirty, and each with deep roots in the YAF and other right wing activist groups, these young men were out to do two things during their time in Washington, according to Stone: “whip the liberal elites, and make an absolute fuck-ton of money”. In advising Representative Schlafly and eventually, practically taking over her campaign, they were killing two birds with one (very aggressive) Stone.


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    The Congresswoman meanwhile continued to turn up the heat on President Bush. Taking up right-wing talking points not heard of since the days of Robert A. Taft, she began to call for the privatization of many social programs introduced during the New Deal and New Frontier, as well as the outright repeal and abolition of many more. She famously insisted that “in today’s dire economic straits, we must recognize that government is not the solution to our problem, too much government is the problem.” She rallied populist anger against the establishment by accusing liberal Democrats and Republicans alike of “having fed us empty promises of peace and prosperity, while delivering on neither”. She attacked Bush’s deficit spending, high farm subsidies, government bureaucracy, the National Labor Relations Board, even public housing, all the while insisting that “only private enterprise has the power to restore our prosperity.” The Schlafly campaign was so conservative, that it was said that even Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater expressed concern over her winning the nomination. He accused Schlafly of “having fallen in with the crazies and religious nuts” after she sought and obtained the endorsement of formerly disgraced political preacher Jerry Falwell. She also won the support of powerful Senators Jesse Helms (R - NC) and Strom Thurmond (R - SC), giving her a substantial power base in the South from which to cut into the President’s chances even further. By the time of the Iowa Caucus on January 19th, Schlafly was hot on Bush’s heels. The President squeaked out a victory in Iowa, but it was far closer than he had hoped it would be, and he’d been forced to make damning promises to local farmers about raising subsidies, fueling the Congresswoman’s attacks on him as a “shameless spender” even further.


    Bush dispatched Vice President Reagan and other surrogates to do most of his campaigning for him, and followed up his anemic victory in Iowa with more commanding ones in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont, where his liberal brand of Republicanism held far more sway. He would trade these wins however for disastrous losses in Florida, North Carolina, and perhaps most damningly, Schlafly’s home state of Illinois. The Land of Lincoln held plenty of delegates to the party’s national convention in Kansas City, and Bush watched them pledge themselves to his opponent in a rejection of his policies and everything his branch of the party was supposed to stand for. Bitter, angry, and backed into a corner, Bush went against the advice of his sunny Vice President and went on the warpath. Targeted ads bought with establishment money lambasted Schlafly as either “dishonest” or a “fool” to peddle such promises of simple answers to complex questions of policy. Schlafly picked up a razor thin victory in Wisconsin before losing badly in Pennsylvania to the President. By May, a series of Southern and Western races swung in her favor as the administration feared they would. The Congresswoman picked up commanding wins in Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska, and Arkansas before finally being stopped in the President’s home state of Texas. After that, it was a back and forth which saw the candidates trade victories until the President captured the California, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio races and was able to officially secure renomination. President Bush had won enough pledged delegates and would head into Kansas City the undisputed Republican nominee. The Party establishment and administration at large were relieved with the results of the races, but the President was left exhausted and demoralized. Rather than feeling rejuvenated and vindicated in his decision not to campaign until after the Accords were signed, Bush was exhausted from the negotiations, and disgusted by how dreadfully negative the campaign had already become. He would have been looking forward to facing the good natured, richly humorous Congressman Udall (D - AZ) in the General Election, but he was frustrated with the political process and pushed to his breaking point when Congresswoman Schlafly conceded the nomination, but declined to endorse the President, saying she “wanted to keep her options open, even at the Convention”. As the bands played and the pennants were raised on what was supposed to be a jubilant bicentennial GOP convention, the President was left alone in his hotel room, head in his hands, horrifically vexed, and wondering if this job was even worth all of the fuss that men spent their entire lives performing trying to get into it.


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    When compared to the Democrats’ vibrant, diverse gathering in the Big Apple that year, the Republican National Convention was a much more muted, fittingly conservative affair. The keynote address was delivered by recently chosen Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, of Tennessee. While expertly crafted and well spoken, the speech was mostly full of platitudes and calls for party unity, rather than specific policy proposals to help enthuse the American people. Other notable speakers included Maryland Senator Spiro T. Agnew, considered one of the country’s leading liberal Republicans, whose speech spoke to his parents’ experience as immigrants from Greece and what “the American Dream” meant to them; rising star Senator Shirley Temple Black of California, who laid out what she called “the overwhelming women’s case for a second term”, hoping to counter remaining doubts her fellow Republicans may have had about four more years of Bush and Reagan; and the Vice President himself, whose passionate, inspiring oration centered on the theme of leading the country out of the recession and “making America great again”. Notably silent during the convention was Senator Donald Rumsfeld, of Illinois, recently chosen to be the next Senate Minority Whip, whose rivalry and personal animosity with the President were the stuff of legend around the capital. Rumsfeld preferred to sit the convention out, and spent four days in his office in Washington instead, meeting with a very special guest.


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    Back in the States on a rare visit home after nearly three years in London as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Richard Milhous Nixon had only grown more bitter, crotchety, and paranoid as the years added lines of exhaustion and pounds of flesh to his weary body. Still furious that upstart George Bush had dismissed him as Secretary of State, Nixon’s first instinct had been to strike back at him somehow, try and cost him reelection, especially after Congresswoman Schlafly, “the mad bitch”, as Nixon called her, had announced her own candidacy. The former Vice President eventually relented and gave up on the idea, but only after a truly serendipitous series of circumstances. Though his alcoholism continued, unabated, and undiagnosed during his time the UK, Nixon was happier after a time than he predicted he would be. Thoroughly dismissive of the self-congratulating Randolph Churchill, Nixon soon found himself fast friends with Churchill’s successor however, “the Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher. A fellow dyed in the wool conservative with a penchant for harsh foreign policy, the two got on famously and would become lifelong friends thanks to their many talks and Nixon’s attempts to convince President Bush of the need for more pro-British policies in trade and geopolitics. While home on leave during the GOP convention, Nixon met with Rumsfeld upon the latter's request; the Ambassador always liked the tough as nails Senator. They talked long into the evening about all manner of things, football, fatherhood, and finally, the Presidential nomination. Referring to the “beating” Bush had taken from Schlafly in several of the primary races, Nixon sloshed his glass of brandy around and almost giggled to himself.


    “You know something, Don? I wouldn’t have let that woman get within five percentage points of me. She would have been dead and buried before the Iowa caucus.”


    Rumsfeld chuckled, then nodded in agreement. “Yeah, our courageous leader doesn’t exactly understand the ruthlessness you need if you’re going to be leader of the free world.” He eagerly refilled Nixon’s glass, then sipped from his own, scotch. “You remember four years ago, the bit about a ‘kinder, gentler nation?’” A look of disdain passed over his face. “What a crock of shit.”


    “And all to chase some pie in the sky dream of peace in the Middle East? What a fucking joke. The Jews and Muslims have been killing each other for centuries. Does this wimp really think he’s going to make a difference? Don’t be naive.”


    On the TV before them, President Bush accepted his party’s nomination for a second term as graciously as he could. Babs, Vice President Reagan, and the rest of the President’s family crowded the stage as balloons were dropped and marching bands played, and the analysts and pundits shook their heads at the mixed feelings moving forward. They expected the usual convention bump in the polls for the administration, but expressed worries that the lack of an eventual endorsement from Schlafly could come back to haunt the President’s campaign, even as he was riding high in the press on the heels of the Walker’s Point Accords. The economy seemed to only be getting worse. With unemployment nearing 12% nationally, few were talking about how inflation was well on its way to disappearing thanks to the President’s policies. Rumsfeld knew it was petty of him, but he reveled in Bush’s woes and difficulties. Part of him prayed that Mo Udall won the White House and kept Bush out of the newspapers and Rumsfeld’s office once and for all. Besides, Rumsfeld had another reason for wanting his fellow Republican to retire out to pasture.


    “Someday soon, that’s going to be us, up there.” Rumsfeld grinned with sinister glee and pointed at the screen. “And we sure as hell will do a little better than some nonsense about ‘staying the course’ and ‘a thousand points of light.’” The Senator clicked the TV off with his remote and finished his drink.


    Dick Nixon looked at the younger man with an undeniable mix of pride and admiration. When the time came, he promised himself that he would train Rumsfeld as they marched toward the Oval Office once more. A fire was growing inside Nixon's cold black heart. The time had come for some "Real Republicans" to return sense to the party. He would call those young-ins Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Lee Atwater, and together, they would take back the Republican Party from these feel good sissies. And the best part of all? Nixon really believed that together with Rumsfeld, he could do it.


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    1976 Republican Presidential Ticket: BUSH/REAGAN


    Next Time on Blue Skies in Camelot: The General Election Campaign
     
  14. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Ah, Tricky Dick, you'll always be a thorn in someone's side... Is another GOP split incoming?

    This is probably one of the few elections where I would be fine with either side winning, too!
     
  15. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    Another fine update. Wow. Hmmm, can I see Rumsfeld attempting a run in, say, '80' or '84', in that case?
     
  16. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    Same!

    That said: my hope is for a Bush win here. That’s kind of a win-win. If OTL’s economic issues resurface here, it’ll be the Republicans rather than the progressive Democrats that get the blame and we can look forward to eight years of them after Bush’s term finishes. If the economic issues of OTL are butterflied away then the more liberal Republicans get strengthened.

    Plus...I do quite like Bush here.

    At least Schlafly and her mob have been defeated for now...
     
  17. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    Nixon and Rumsfeld together?!?! Noooo!!!!!!!!! On the bright side this isn't Rumsfeldia Rumsfeld but still with Nixon grooming him I hate see what Tummy will be like in the future.
     
  18. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    The future where Aku's evil is law, babe.
    I completely agree with you. Also I genuinely like ITTL Bush and would vote for him if he ran for a third term.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  19. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    "Rumsfeld and Nixon. Let's make America strong again and her enemies howl!"
     
  20. JamesHunter Well-Known Member

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    Nixon will probably be considered to old by '80 and if Bush does win the GOP is sunk next election anyways. All the economic crap that will inevitably continue into the late 70's will land on the parties head and the Dem's can retake the presidency in 1980 trading off that.
     
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