Robert Strange McNamara

Robert Strange McNamara was a living lie and now he is a dead one.

His first fiasco was at the Ford Motor Company and it was called the Edsel.

He was a socialist and bureaucratizer.

Be believed in the all headquarters, no hindquarters approach.

The office of SecDef began modestly with under 100 employees. Under Truman, it grew to about 2025 but there was a war in Korea. Under Ike, the number dropped to about 1950.

Under RSM, the number went to about 20,000 in one year, 40,000 in the next.

A lot of programs were cancelled. The Skybolt missile cancellation alienated the Brits big time. Micromanaging a war by remote control was no stroke of genius.

RSM ended up heading the World Bank, an institution that was created by Soviet Agent Harry Dexter White.

It was alleged that RSM was a ‘registered Republican’ but he was from a state where primaries were open.

32 Comments

  1. He was a socialist

    Oh, brother.

    Hey, Art – Ronald Reagan was a bigger socialist – he was a unionist who wound up running the biggest government in the world…

  2. I note that Blu linked to Robert Scheer, a major radical. His former associate at Ramparts (I often read it to see what the enemy was saying) David Horowitz did see the light and mend his ways big time.

    I remember when Ramparts did an ‘expose’ on a plot to kill leftists by inserting slivers of Teflon into their cigarettes. High temperatures would allegedly produce deadly phosgene gas. This myth was repeated in DoD warnings included in surplus sales catalogs. The folks at duPont forced the DoD to remove the falsehoods before they began to market Teflon as a cookware coating.

    This little incident shows how a lie can propagate.

  3. I’m pleased there is SOMEthing I agree with you on, Art. Here’s some more on him you’d appreciate reading.

    Well, that article was rather extreme. I don’t think McNamara was actively evil, just grossly incompetent and willfully blind to his own failed policies.

  4. But were they really his policies, or were they President Johnson’s? If President Johnson wasn’t the policy-maker, and was simply going along with Secretary McNamara’s ideas, I’d have thought that he would have gotten rid of Mr McNamara a lot earlier than he did. (The Secretary left office in early 1968.) It seems more likely to me that either they were in complete agreement on Vietnam policy, or the policies were the President’s, with the Secretary following orders.

  5. But it was the manufactured Gulf of Tonkin incident that started the whole damn build up. Up to then, we were just “advising” South Viet-Nam troops under Kennedy.

    But the dumbest thing devised in the whole war, actually two dumbest things was the 50 yard line offense (do not invade North V-N) and do not pursue into Laos. Of course the Ho Chi Min Trail for supplying arms to the South insurgents was through Laos.

    Then I remember as a kid the MAD Magazine explaination of how children perceived the news when you heard about Guerrilas (Gorillas) invading the Plain of Jars. The mental image MAD came up with was a Gorilla running on a surface of jars. Then I was hooked on MAD Mag.

  6. It’s always tragic these days when righties show that they haven’t got any idea what the word “socialism” means. It’s like hearing children try to swear – they can make the sounds, but they don’t really understand what they’re trying to say.

  7. “Thomas Tallis:
    It’s always tragic these days when righties show that they haven’t got any idea what the word “socialism” means. It’s like hearing children try to swear – they can make the sounds, but they don’t really understand what they’re trying to say.”

    It’s more probable that you don’t understand what socialism is, since you give no evidence of ever having studied it, or having comprehended its historical origins and impulses.

  8. Art has demonstrated quite clearly in the past that he has no idea what socialism is. He defended Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share program by saying that it wasn’t socialist because Alaskans have a long-standing tradition of sharing (redistributing) the wealth generated by the state’s oil and natural gas resources.

    Pho> Here’s a short list of Comrade Reagan’s socialistic triumphs:

    * Forced Japan to accept restraints on auto exports;
    * Tightened considerably the quotas on imported sugar;
    * Negotiated to increase the restrictiveness of the Multi­fiber Arrangement governing trade in textiles and apparel;
    * Required 18 countries, including Brazil, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Finland, Australia, and the European Community, to accept “voluntary re­straint agreements” that reduce their steel imports to the United States;
    * Imposed a 45% duty on Japanese motorcycles for the ben­efit of Harley Davidson, which admitted that superior Japanese management was the cause of its problems;
    * Raised tariffs on Canadian lumber and cedar shingles;
    * Forced the Japanese into an agreement to control the price of computer memory chips;
    * Removed third-world countries on several occasions from the duty-free import program for developing nations;
    * Pressed Japan to force its automakers to buy more Ameri­can-made parts;
    * Demanded that Taiwan, West Germany, Japan, and Switzerland restrain their exports of machine tools;
    * Accused the Japanese of dumping roller bearings on grounds that the price did not rise to cover a fall in the value of the yen;
    * Accused the Japanese of dumping forklift trucks and color picture tubes;
    * Extended quotas on imported clothes pins;
    * Failed to ask Congress to end the ban on the export of Alaskan oil and timber cut from federal lands;
    * Redefined dumping so domestic firms can more easily charge foreign competitors with unfair trade practices;
    * Beefed-up the Export-Import Bank, an institution dedicated to distorting the American economy at the ex­pense of the American people in order to artificially pro­mote exports of eight large corporations.
    * Nationalized Continental Illinois and Penn State bank because they were “too big to fail”

    Let’s also not forget Reagan’s greatest largesse channeled through the state-sector of the economy; the record peacetime defense buildup which included a 40% real increase in defense spending between 1981 and 1985.

  9. One would have hoped that every action of Ronald Reagan would have brought delight to advocates of free markets. It would have been nice to have eliminated the Department of Education.

    Yet Reagan lacked an ideological majority in Congress and had to make a lot of compromises.

    The big increase in defense spending (started late in the Carter Administration) reflected his goal of completing the containment started by Truman.

    We seldom get everything we want. Note that socialism is not protectionism.

  10. The big increase in defense spending (started late in the Carter Administration)

    When? By what measure? Citation????

    Note that socialism is not protectionism.

    Nor is it redistributing oil and natural gas wealth to the citizens of Alaska, right Art?

  11. * Imposed a 45% duty on Japanese motorcycles for the benefit of Harley Davidson, which admitted that superior Japanese management was the cause of its problems;

    The tax was imposed on Japanese bikes 750 cc’s and larger, since these big bikes were considered Harley’s greatest competition. Being an avid motorcyclist at the time, I did not approve of this action, figuring if Harley couldn’t compete on fair terms, they ought to face the market consequences. That said, the wily Japanese simply started producing a lot of 700 cc bikes, thus evading the tax.

    PS At the time, I owned a Honda 650 Nighthawk, still one of the best midsize bikes ever made. It was tops in class in terms of performance, yet comfortable enough to take on cross country rides, which I did often. Try riding one of today’s hunched over crotch rockets for more than an hour or two, and you’ll be buying your chiropractor a nice yacht!

  12. When? By what measure? Citation???? MikeG

    While Carter had opposed pushing the Cruise Missile program, it got a BRICKBAT priority in 1978. Who was president then?

  13. There is a great difference between socialism and protectionism. The latter is an approach often encouraged by business interests.

    There was a time when Republicans were the protectionists and Democrats the advocates of free trade. Now roles have reversed a bit.

    Protectionism tends to mask other problems but can provide some short-term political advantages. It was once opposed by the populist elements as a force that drove up prices for consumers by excluding cheaper imported goods. Yet in times of economic downturn, the fan base for protectionism can be rather broad.

    Socialism means the replacement of the invisible hand of the marketplace with the dead hand of remote bureaucrats with an affinity for a central planning that tends to be arbitrary, capricious, and counterproductive.

  14. “Art Downs: There is a great difference between socialism and protectionism. “

    Bingo.

  15. While Carter had opposed pushing the Cruise Missile program, it got a BRICKBAT priority in 1978. Who was president then?

    Military spending as a percentage of GDP fell from 5.2% to 4.2% from 1976 to 1979. It dropped three percent over the course of the seventies. One cherry-picked cruise missile program fails to prove your point.

    There is a great difference between socialism and protectionism. The latter is an approach often encouraged by business interests.

    Yes, at the detriment of free markets, Art. When the government intervenes, regardless of who it is on behalf of, that falls a little short of the free market nirvana you supposedly aspire to. It appears to me that you want to have it both ways. If you’re a capitalist you can’t expect Big Government to intervene on your behalf because of some sense of nationalism and entitlement. But then again that’s what capitalism means to most of you, isn’t it? Free markets are fine when they work in my favor but when things go sour I deserve the Nanny State.

    And I’d like to note how all of you have scrupulously avoided Reagan’s nationalizing of Continental Illinois and Penn State bank. Another example of your devotion to free market principles, no doubt.

  16. How does a President nationalize a company without the consent of Congress?

    There have been companies that were seized because they were ‘enemy owned’. American assets of the Bayer firm fell into this category. They were eventually privatized.

    Socialist states privatize with great reluctance.

  17. “Free markets are fine when they work in my favor but when things go sour I deserve the Nanny State.”

    And this is really the gist of the protections that occurred during Comrade Reagan’s tenure. What do you think the chances are that I can find in nearly all of the instances mentioned that the ‘free market’ really wasn’t at work in the industries being targeted or that the governments of the countries targeted were not allowing American goods to flow freely in their countries?

  18. How does a President nationalize a company without the consent of Congress?

    So what’s your point, Art? That if both the President and Congress agree that nationalization is necessary then it automatically disqualifies the action from being socialistic? Please help me understand what sort of personal rules you’re trying to apply to the situation here because once again you sound like you want it both ways.

    There have been companies that were seized because they were ‘enemy owned’. American assets of the Bayer firm fell into this category. They were eventually privatized.

    Art, you’re coming at this from the point of view of a child. Children, when confronted with rules, come up with all sorts of exceptions for themselves and that is exactly what you’re doing. You’re saying, in effect, that nationalization and protectionism (a market distortion) are alright in some circumstances just as long as it’s done by the right person and for the benefit of parties that you deem worthy.

    And this is really the gist of the protections that occurred during Comrade Reagan’s tenure. What do you think the chances are that I can find in nearly all of the instances mentioned that the ‘free market’ really wasn’t at work in the industries being targeted or that the governments of the countries targeted were not allowing American goods to flow freely in their countries?

    Oh, 100%! Because nobody follows these idiotic “free market” rules that exist only in the minds of wanna-be academics (Libertarians). But Art has taken it one step further, you see. He thinks that since Alaskans feel that natural resources belong to the public and should therefore benefit Alaskan citizens then it’s not socialism. He thinks that when Reagan nationalizes a bank that it isn’t socialism because, well, I guess because it’s Reagan? It’s only when government largesse is heaped on the wrong parties. Then that’s socialism. Truth be told, he’s a military Keynesianist but he’s too ignorant to know the term yet.

    Personally, I’m all for government intervention in “the market” because as any sane person knows the whole thing falls apart if you don’t have the nanny state around to prop things up during the busts. I’m also aware that the state sector is responsible for the research that goes into a majority of emerging technologies and their resulting economic potential (computers, Internet, bio-tech, etc). So I’m completely fine with a mixed economy but please, don’t pretend to know what you’re talking about when you start labeling individuals especially when the sole intent of doing so is to smear them.

  19. And this is really the gist of the protections that occurred during Comrade Reagan’s tenure. What do you think the chances are that I can find in nearly all of the instances mentioned that the ‘free market’ really wasn’t at work in the industries being targeted

    You may not have noticed, but there appear to be a few problems with the free market at present – which have prompted the current government intervention.

    However, we will note two points:
    ]
    i, Even Art can come up with a correct definition of “socialism” when pressed. So if we see the wingnuts applying for government spending, or government taxes, or protectionism, they will know we know they’re lying.

    ii, Art believes socialism is okay when Reagan does it because Congress consents – but, wait, didn’t Congress consent to Obama’s measures?

  20. I’m looking into my crystal ball and seeing a patented Art Downs rhetorical question in your future, Pho. Oh wait, what’s this? Something else is coming into vision! It’s a vague piece of trivia masquerading as wisdom.

  21. Nationalization means putting bureaucrats in charge while giving the people false belief that they really own the enterprise.

    As for Alaska and that oil revenue that is handed out to citizens it is obvious that some folks are rather ignorant of economics and government.

    We are talking about surplus revenues. Throughout our National history there have been movements to distribute the surplus. Such demands ended when there was no surplus.

    The money distributed is not akin to a dividend. What socialist state distributes any dividends?

  22. I’m looking into my crystal ball and seeing a patented Art Downs rhetorical question in your future, Pho.

    “The money distributed is not akin to a dividend. What socialist state distributes any dividends?”

    OMG, Mike – you’re psychic!!

    WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED NUMBERS FOR THE LOTTO JACKPOT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, YOU BASTARD?!?!???!?

  23. Art the gentlemanly thing to do here would be admit that Mike G proved you wrong on all your sad excuses for points, and say, “look, if Republicans did it, it’s not socialistic, no matter what.” For you, “socialism” is a meaningless word; it’s just another losing attempt to make some label stick to the people you’ve arbitrarily decided aren’t on Team Good Guys. Explicit government control of corporations (very popular under Reagan, the most socialist president this country will ever have) doesn’t count as socialistic for you…because you like Reagan, so his actions can’t be the thing you don’t like.

    That’s greasy kids’ stuff, Art. When you admit that socialism, for you, equals “whatever my enemies are doing,” you’ll be on the road to intellectual honesty.

  24. Nationalization means putting bureaucrats in charge while giving the people false belief that they really own the enterprise.

    So Reagan put bureaucrats in charge of Continental Illinois and Penn State bank. What’s your point?

    And predictably Art has come back to add yet another exception to the rules free enterprise; it’s not socialism if the state is redistributing surplus profits!

    -How do we get the surplus? Taxes on private companies.

    -Who levees the tax? The state.

    -Who redistributes the money? The state.

    What part of “the state is intervening on behalf of the general public in the free market system thereby creating a market distortion” don’t you understand?

    Throughout our National history there have been movements to distribute the surplus. Such demands ended when there was no surplus.

    Another exception and a logical fallacy to boot; the appeal to common belief. So by your account it’s not socialism because we’ve done it before. Do I have that right, Art? By your rationale, since 72% of American citizens want a public health care option then it can no longer be considered socialism. Has that ever occurred to you?

    As for Alaska and that oil revenue that is handed out to citizens it is obvious that some folks are rather ignorant of economics and government.

    I’ve heard that come out of your mouth before, Art, and it always reliably precedes one of your laughably inept attempts at insight and reason. By now I think that it’s obvious to anyone who made it past high school that you simply don’t understand anything about economics and like your other Big Government loving comrades here on CSPT you’re completely fine with state intervention in the economy just as long as it satisfies your ideological goals and/or serves unaccountable private interests. They get the nanny-state while I get to “pull myself up by my bootstraps”.

  25. Nationalization means putting bureaucrats in charge while giving the people false belief that they really own the enterprise.

    Which is, you know, completely different from large corporations…

    Art claims to have been a volunteer firefighter. What I’d like to know is why these fire departments can’t stop mooching cash off of local governments! I mean, I’ve never had a fire so why should I pay for firemen to put out other people’s fires? That money is stolen from me in the form of taxes (an infringement on my civil liberties!) and put towards paying for a bunch of guys to sit around and play poker 90% of the day! Sheesh.

  26. Conservatives don’t mhave a problem with the normal government services, such as police protection, fire departments and road construction and maintenance, and public education, though we do see room for improvement. Where I have a problem is where the government steps in to handle things that should be, ought to be, and for a long time were the responsibilities of individuals.


    Pennsylvania county officials alarmed by GOP budget plan¹


    By Amy Worden and Max Stendahl, Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

    From 911 calls and child-abuse investigations to environmental programs and drug counseling, Pennsylvania’s county governments handle a wide array of services, but most of the funding flows from the state and federal governments.

    Now, as Gov. Rendell and Pennsylvania lawmakers wrestle with a $3.3 billion deficit and hash out differences over how to balance the state budget, counties are adding their voices to the heated debate.

    At least 48 counties – most Republican-controlled – have approved resolutions in the last three weeks saying the legislature must “prioritize and adequately fund core government services” that counties deliver.

    Now why should “drug counseling” be considered a “core governmental service?” We did just fine for 200 years without the government providing drug counseling! I have a much simpler idea: if you get caught using drugs, you go to jail.

    Why should welfare be a core governmental service? I have a much simpler idea: if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

    The borough of Jim Thorpe spent over half a million dollars last year renovating Josiah White Park. What was done? Well, they built a small bandstand, for our tourist-season events, but before the renovation, they just erected a tent-cover over the bands. Most of the park was paved, using either my concrete or pavers, but there was nothing wrong with the ground before the paving was done. They put in new picnic tables, but there was nothing wrong with the old ones. Of course, most importantly, they erected a nice, new keystone shaped black monument with State representative Keith McCall’s (D- 122nd District), now the Speaker of the House’s, name on it. And, of course, we preserved the big chunk of anthracite coal that was there as a monument to the industry which got the area started. The project cost something like $550,000, $500,000 of which was provided by the state, for something that was nice, but something that was not necessary.

    Josiah White Park is now used for exactly what it was used before: vendor stands during the tourist event weekends, and a lone hot-dog cart on the other weekends, a lot of people milling about on tourist weekends, and a few sitting around at other times, and that’s it. (Don’t let the word “park” fool you; it’s not a big grassy area where people can picnic and throw frisbees; it’s pretty small, actually.)

    It’s nicer than it was, to be sure, but it wasn’t necessary to spend the money. I don’t think that there’s anyone in government who understands the difference between luxury and necessity, between nice and needed.
    __________________________
    ¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, 11 July 2009, p. B-1

  27. Conservatives don’t mhave a problem with the normal government services, such as police protection, fire departments and road construction and maintenance, and public education,

    Er, Dana, none of those were “normal” government functions until, dare we say it, progressive thinkers got them enacted. And back in those days Conservatives were capable of progressive thinking.

  28. Er, Dana, none of those were “normal” government functions until, dare we say it, progressive thinkers got them enacted.

    They had all those things in ancient Rome. That was waaaaaay before the “Progressives” came along, but nice try anyways.

  29. I have a much simpler idea: if you get caught using drugs, you go to jail.

    Well, you got the part about it being a simple idea right.

    Dana, we also got by for almost 150 years without prohibition on drugs.

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