Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
Coolidge ascends to top, Aug. 7
The death of President Warren G. Harding prompted the elevation of Vice President Calvin Coolidge to the presidency. An S-R editorial weighed in.
“Following the assassination of President Lincoln, Andrew Johnson’s elevation from the vice presidency was a disappointment to the country, but Chester A. Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt, one succeeding Garfield, the other McKinley, rose well to their deepened responsibilities.
It continued: “It is again the country’s good fortune that it had in reserve against the tragedy of President Harding’s death another vice president of statesmanly knowledge and practical experience in legislative and executive capacities.
It concluded: “As vice president, Mr. Coolidge has borne himself with dignity, good taste and sound judgment. He comes to the higher office with exceptional equipment, practically without antagonism, and with the earnest good wishes of the country.”
Reagan tax cuts, Aug. 4, 1981
An S-R editorial looked at the big tax cuts pushed by President Ronald Reagan and passed by Congress.
“By a lopsided vote of 282 to 95, the heavily Democratic House passed President Reagan’s tax measure, and it is expected to be signed into law Thursday.
“Obviously, many Democrats strongly disagreed with various aspects of the law, including many of those who ultimately may have voted for it. Perhaps it was Mr. Reagan’s persuasiveness over the telephone that turned the trick, or it may have been some more tangible promises made to individual congressmen. But for better or worse, it will now be the law of the land.
“The Democrats may have failed to obtain a bill more to their liking. But there is one advantage of delivering to a president exactly what he wants: If the results are good, he and his party will get the credit, and if things don’t turn out so well, there will be no doubt who deserves the blame.”
Iraq invades Kuwait, Aug. 3, 1990
Iraq’s sudden invasion of Kuwait prompted this editorial.
“In framing the proper response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the United States can’t discount the threat of a Hitlerian juggernaut sweeping through the Middle East. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a ruthless megalomaniac – well-heeled, well-armed and unfettered by conscience or principle. One would think a bloody eight-year war with Iran would have sapped Iraq’s energy for battle; if anything it seems to have whetted Hussein’s appetite.”
It continued: “(President) Bush is correct to be cautious about military commitments. Kuwait asked for direct military intervention, an option Bush insists is not under consideration – at least not yet. Middle East stability requires that Hussein understand he cannot send Iraq’s troops crashing across one sovereign border after another.”
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