Mary James: It's deja vu all over again in poliitcs

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2012

By Mary James
For the Salisbury Post
Who’d have thought a political cartoon collecting dust in a hallway in my home for almost three decades would suddenly make me take notice and giggle over its irony? That’s how long it’s been since my dad passed away and I dedicated a small wall to his political memory with assorted photos and cartoons.
My dad was Bill Miller, who ran for vice president with Barry Goldwater in 1964 and chaired the Republican Party for three years prior to that. This cartoon, an original penned by Pulitzer Prize winning satirist Jim Berryman for the Feb. 19, 1962, edition of the now-defunct Washington Star newspaper, depicts a major problem my dad (signified by the giant elephant) faced at the time: trying to unify the disparate factions of the party — Barry on the right, Dick Nixon in the center, Nelson Rockefeller on the left — and figuring out what to do with that pesky fourth guy vying for party leadership. Who was he? George Romney — one-time Michigan governor and Republican presidential candidate, and father of current GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney!
With the party facing a similar philosophical struggle today trying to figure out what to do with Mitt — or perhaps more accurately, Mitt trying to figure out what to do with himself — can anyone doubt that even a half century later in 2012, anything ever really changes in politics? Sometimes, not even the names!
• • •
Mary James is a resident of Salisbury.