The Decline of the Republican Party:
Eisenhower Has Failed to Rebuild the Machine
EISENHOWER has succeeded where Roosevelt and Truman failed. Five times running Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman gave the Republican party a merciless beating. The Roosevelt landslide of 1936 left only 16 Republicans in the Senate and 88 in the House; the Truman upset of 1948 was a traumatic experience. Yet through it all the Republican party’s morale remained unbroken, though grievously bruised. By midnight of Election Day 1948, the Republican party workers who had swept joyously into the Roosevelt Hotel in New York to celebrate the anticipated victory of Thomas E. Dewey with champagne, whiskey, and cold cuts were like men in a coma; they drifted about unseeing, on every face a look of shock and simple disbelief; and finally they just drifted off, leaving the champagne and whiskey unopened, the cold cuts untouched. It was a night of horror, and those who stood by watching were sure the Republicans would be months recovering from what they had gone through. Actually, recovery was swift. By the next afternoon shock had given way to anger; bitterness had washed away despair. The Republican party crackled with recriminations, but it was alive-and fighting.
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