Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
New Deal, Nov. 10, 1932
The Spokesman-Review endorsed President Herbert Hoover for reelection, but lauded the peaceful transition of power to the Roosevelt administration.
“We are to have a ‘new deal’ in the government of the United States, ordered Tuesday in the safe American way of changing administrations by the ballot, instead of by bloody revolution, or armed seizure by dictators, as discontent has been registered in so many countries that once were democracies.
“So after March 4, our government will be entrusted to other hands – to the historic opponent of the party of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. In the broad American view, the victorious democratic party should be accorded a worthy purpose to serve the national faithfully and well. We may question the policies of that party and its leaders, but their belief that those policies would be best for the nation should be regarded as sincere.
“In this hour of severe Republican defeat, the attitude of the rank and file of that historic party is nobly interpreted by President Hoover’s telegram to Mr. Roosevelt:
“‘I congratulate you on the opportunity that has come to you to be of service to the country, and I wish for you a most successful administration. In the common purpose of all of us, I shall dedicate myself to every possible effort.’
“That, too is the best American way of yielding in good spirit to the verdict of the majority of our country men and women.”
Iran-Contra, Nov. 11, 1986
An S-R editorial spotlighted the Reagan administration’s attempt to create a diversion from the Iran-Contra scandal.
“White House spokesman Larry Speakes furnished a measure of seriousness of a growing foreign policy scandal when he tried last week to shift the spotlight to a familiar scapegoat: the news media.
“‘Any and all reporting’ about secret U.S. arms shipments to Iran, he said, could harm long-term U.S. interests and the hostages the shipments were supposed to free. Just as it did during the Watergate era when Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew specialized in it, such blame-the-media rhetoric ought to make the American people suspicious.
“Like Nixon and Agnew, the current White House was hoping to divert attention from a mess of its own making. In short, the Reagan administration has compromised the integrity of U.S. foreign policy.
“At the same time the president and Secretary of State George Shultz were lambasting terrorism, trumpeting their unwillingness to negotiate with hostage-takers and urging other nations to impose sanctions on such terrorist havens as Libya and Syria, the White House was covertly kow-towing to the spiritual leader of world terrorism: Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini.”
It concluded: “Speakes was right about one thing, though: the nation’s interests abroad have been harmed. That harm results from the administration’s poor judgment.”