Paraphrase of GOP May Replay Historic Choice of 1964″ on NPR

The Presidential Election of 1964 has been commonly looked back at the point where the GOP reshifted from the Party of Lincoln and became the Republican Party we know today.  Rather than go with the candidate that had the better chance to beat the incumbent, the party chose Barry Goldwater (a man with a miserable civil rights record), the man who told the GOP convention that, “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” 

Goldwater took the party nomination, lost badly (understatement).  However, this election consolidated the strains of the American Right which before this had been represented well in both parties.  By the  time
Vietnam escalated, the public disillusionment with Lyndon’s “Great Society,” the “new” conservative message  of the GOP struck more chords with the public and won four victories for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and secured three terms for two presidents named George Bush.

Now, in 2007 we could be at another turning point for the GOP.  There’s no Republican Presidential Candidate that matches the winning formula.  In the elections Republicans have won, the Party has found and united behind a candidate who combined solid (even if not perfect) conservative credentials with conventional political assets such as money, experience and national organization.

Many Republican say that the Party must hold the White House at all costs…but maybe they’ll risk a few years in the Oval Office, believing that an interlude of all-Democratic control in Washington will restore the good old days for the GOP — just as Bill Clinton’s first two years in office did in 1993 and 1994.

The article can be found after the jump: