A lot of normal, non–Dissident Republicans, including people who disapprove of Trump as a person, were red-pilled by the treatment of Romney in 2012:
If I had to pinpoint a moment, when Mitt Romney spent his entire campaign being accused of killing Big Bird, building binders full of women, torturing the family dog, etc etc. https://t.co/XuXovM0gEF— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) August 28, 2022
You went after him for putting his dog in a car carrier, in defense of a man who literally ate dogs. https://t.co/oeqOm0BCEV— jimtreacher.substack.com (@jtLOL) August 29, 2022
But this smearing has been going on a long time. As Kevin Michael Grace pointed out on Twitter, Harry Truman accused President Eisenhower of ”accepting Nazi racial views” for supporting the GOP backers of the McCarran Act of 1952, which was an attempt to update the Immigration Act of 1924 without creating the floodgate bursting disaster that was to be precipitated by the 1965 Immigration Act:
This is the Washington Star story about Truman’s attack on Eisenhower, delivered by proxy—Truman was travelling the country by train and couldn’t actually be there to speak himself—to the National Jewish Welfare Board in New York’s Statler Hotel.
I’ve turned the Library of Congress’s PDF into text below:
Calls Him Morally Blind In Indorsing Backers of McCarran Immigrant Act
By the Associated Press
October 17, 1952
Washington Evening Star
President Truman said today Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower has gone “morally blind” and is willing to accept Nazi practices “although he took a leading part in liberating Europe from their domination.”
In a scathing denunciation of the McCarran immigration bill, passed by Congress June 27 over his veto, Mr. Truman said it adds up to “the philosophy of racial superiority developed by the Nazis.”
Among those who voted for the bill, Mr. Truman said, were Republican Senators Richard M. Nixon of California—now the G. O. P. candidate for Vice President—and William E. Jenner of Indiana and Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, running for reelection this year.
Mr. Truman noted that Gen. Eisenhower, as the Republican presidential candidate, has indorsed these men, and added: “The Republican candidate for the presidency cannot escape responsibility for his indorsements. He has had an attack of moral blindness, for today, he is willing to accept the very practices that identified the so-called ‘master race’ although he took a leading part in liberating Europe from their domination.”
Read by Howland Sargeant.
The President’s remarks were in an address prepared for reading by Howland H. Sargeant, Assistant Secretary of State, at the Mobilization Conference of the National Jewish Welfare Board at the Statler Hotel.
In the speech, Mr. Truman apologized for not appearing in person to deliver it. He could not do this, he said, because he is now on a whistlestop campaign tour through New England in behalf of the Stevenson-Sparkman ticket.
The immigration bill which Senator Pat McCarran, Democrat of Nevada, quarterbacked through Congress is aimed, Senator McCarran said, at spelling out and codifying all immigration practices dating back to the 18th century. It is a complex measure, dealing with practically every aspect of immigration procedure. Among other things, it:
- Retains the quota system of immigration, under which each nation is allotted so many immigrants a year.
- Permits Asians to become United States citizens.
- Empowers the Attorney General to deport aliens for law infractions and subversive political activity.
The section of the bill which has been attacked most severely is that dealing with the quota system. Opponents say that residents of Southern and Eastern Europe are penalized. [Continued on Page 3] At Hartford, meanwhile, Connecticut’s Republican Gov. John Lodge quoted Mr. Truman as saying in a speech there last night that Republicans were “against the immigration of Jews and Catholics.”
Gov. Lodge said this was “the most distressingly false statement which has ever been uttered by a high public official of this Nation.” He said Republican administrations had welcomed millions of people from all over Europe. In his speech to the Jewish Welfare Board, Mr. Truman said he was proud of his part in the creation of the State of Israel and hoped his successor would continue technical assistance to that Nation. He praised the Displaced Persons Act, which expired last June, and said it had made America stronger in character and skills.
Then the President turned to the McCarran Act, which he said Congress passed after he asked for legislation to admit 300.000 more displaced persons over the next three years.
“Although the bill bears the name of a Democratic Senator (Pat McCarran of Nevada), I fought him on this bill all the way and I am going to keep right on, because the spirit of it is contrary to everything America stands for,” Mr. Truman said.
Cites G. O. P. Support.
The President said Republicans in Congress, “with the help of some Democrats,” were “almost solidly” behind the bill. He said they voted down two attacks on the measure—a motion to send it back to committee, and a “fairminded substitute”—and, after the bill passed, overrode the veto. Among other Republicans who voted this way, Mr. Truman said, were the members of the G. O. P.’s “truth squad,” which followed the route of his recent Western campaign tour, Senators Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, Eugene Millikin of Colorado, Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Francis Case of South Dakota.
“I think you should invite the members of the truth squad to come and tell the truth about themselves,” Mr. Truman said. Mr. Truman said the world is faced with two groups of tyrants—the Communists and those who “have concealed their true purposes behind the mask of anticommunism.” He said “behind the mask of the great majority of Republicans in Congress” are the national origins quota system in immigration, anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic provisions in the displaced persons bill and “second-class citizenship, imposed by the McCarran immigration bill.”
There is a sense in which current immigration policy is Adolf Hitler’s posthumous revenge on America. The U.S. political elite emerged from the war passionately concerned to cleanse itself from all taints of racism or xenophobia. Eventually, it enacted the epochal Immigration Act (technically, the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments) of 1965.
And this, quite accidentally, triggered a renewed mass immigration, so huge and so systematically different from anything that had gone before as to transform—and ultimately, perhaps, even to destroy—the one unquestioned victor of World War II: the American nation, as it had evolved by the middle of the 20th century.