Just a brief, quick treat, but for me at least a very real one. Thanks to the dab hand of Extra Careful Reader @Enigma-Conundrum, with a really lovely and subtle bit of photoshopping, we have the official presidential photo - not portrait, but the one used for official purposes - for the 38th President, George Stanley McGovern. The one that hangs in embassies, airports, Social Security offices, etc., across the land and, where appropriate, abroad. The well-lit, simple background and George as he leans forward, familiarly, into the viewer's own space strikes a very different tone from the dour Nixonian presentation before. A new day in town.

View attachment 699569
That's terrific!
Just a brief, quick treat, but for me at least a very real one. Thanks to the dab hand of Extra Careful Reader @Enigma-Conundrum, with a really lovely and subtle bit of photoshopping, we have the official presidential photo - not portrait, but the one used for official purposes - for the 38th President, George Stanley McGovern. The one that hangs in embassies, airports, Social Security offices, etc., across the land and, where appropriate, abroad. The well-lit, simple background and George as he leans forward, familiarly, into the viewer's own space strikes a very different tone from the dour Nixonian presentation before. A new day in town.

View attachment 699569

Good stuff. Good stuff.
Any bigger treats coming soon?
Just a brief, quick treat, but for me at least a very real one. Thanks to the dab hand of Extra Careful Reader @Enigma-Conundrum, with a really lovely and subtle bit of photoshopping, we have the official presidential photo - not portrait, but the one used for official purposes - for the 38th President, George Stanley McGovern. The one that hangs in embassies, airports, Social Security offices, etc., across the land and, where appropriate, abroad. The well-lit, simple background and George as he leans forward, familiarly, into the viewer's own space strikes a very different tone from the dour Nixonian presentation before. A new day in town.

View attachment 699569

Good stuff. Good stuff.
I promised it, y'all know you want it, so here it is... The Big Damn Midterms Scorecard! Despite my fondness for the Dave Leip scheme we're going Florida Era colors here because that codes most easily to the contemporary eye. Enjoy.

United States Elections 1974-75

United States Senate elections, 1974

Alabama: Capt. Jeremiah Denton, USN (ret.) (R) def. James Allen (D) (an Alabama civil war over the fortunes of the Wallace machine becomes the kind of transformative moment Strom Thurmond has dreamed of; the South Carolina grandee was seen shortly thereafter hitting himself repeatedly in the groin with a leather-bound Title 9 of the United States Code shouting "GO DOWN GODDAMMIT IT'S BEEN SIX HOURS!!!")

Alaska: Mike Gravel (D) def. C. R. Lewis (R)

Arizona: Barry Goldwater Sr. (R) def. Jonathan Marshall (D)

Arkansas: Dale Bumpers (D) def. Winthrop Rockefeller (R) (Dale still takes out Fulbright but has a much harder road against the former governor)

California: Alan Cranston (D) def. Alphonso E. "Al" Bell, Jr. (R)

Colorado: Timothy Endicott “Tim” Wirth (D) def. Peter Dominick(R)

Connecticut: Abraham A. Ribicoff (D) def. William F. Buckley, Jr. (R) (in which carpets are bagged though to no end effect)

Florida: Edward Gurney (R) def. William "Bill" Gunter (D)

Georgia: Howard H. “Bo” Callaway (R) def. Herman Talmadge (D)

Hawaii: Daniel K. Inouye (D) def. James D. Kimmel (R)

Idaho: Frank Church (D) def. Robert L. Smith (R)

Illinois: Adlai Stevenson III (D) def. David C. O'Neal (R)

Indiana: Richard Lugar (R) def. Birch E. Bayh (D) (ITTL things do not go Birch’s way, a big blow to the Dems)

Iowa: David M. Stanley (R) def. John Culver (D)

Kansas: William R. "Bill" Roy (D) def. Robert J. "Bob" Dole (R) (BOBDOLE does not believe that BOBDOLE's relationship with indicted former President Nixon or BOBDOLE's vote for BOBDOLE's rural constituents on the FFRA that disgusted hard-line voters who may have stayed home affected BOBDOLE's fortunes... no BOBDOLE does not believe that's BOBDOLE's actual scalp on Bill Roy's wall at all ....)

Kentucky: Marlow Cook (R) def. Wendell Ford (D)

Louisiana: Russell Long (D), unopposed (Longs play by different rules)

Maryland: Charles Mathias, Jr. (R) def. Blair Lee III (D)

Michigan: Carl Levin (D) def. Robert P. Griffin (R) (the special election for the rest of Phil Hart's term brings in a Democrat)

Missouri: Jerry L. Litton (D) def. Thomas B. Curtis (R) (after Eagleton is forced to withdraw in scandals over revelations about his medical condition and self-medicating habits)

Nevada: Paul Laxalt (R) def. Alan Bible (D) (once more with feeling... wasn't)

New Hampshire: Louis C. Wyman (R) def. John A. Durkin (D)

New York: Jacob A. Javits (R) def. Bella Abzug (D) and Barbara A. Keating (C) (probably the messiest race of the night, all kinds of strange coalitions of voters)

North Carolina: James "Jim" Broyhill (R) def. Robert Burren Morgan (D) (why have an imitation Republican when you can have the real thing?)

North Dakota: William L. Guy (D) def. Milton R. Young (a GOP giant goes down too)

Ohio: John Glenn (D) def. William B. Saxbe (R) (voter booth to Major John...)

Oklahoma: Henry Bellmon (R) def. George Nigh (D)

Oregon: Betty Roberts (D) def. Robert "Bob" Packwood (R) (concentrating on one race and partisan feeling for George brings it in by an eyelash)

Pennsylvania: Richard Schweiker (R) def. Francis L. "Frank" Rizzo (D) (the ultra-liberal Republican essentially runs to Mayor Frank's left...)

South Carolina: Ernest Hollings (D) def. Gwenyfred Bush (R)

South Dakota: Leo K. Thorsness (R) def. Frank E. Denholm (D) (McGovern's old seat turns over)

Vermont: Patrick Leahy (D) def. Richard W. Mallary (R)

Washington: Warren G. Magnuson (D) def. Jack Metcalf (R)

Wisconsin: Gaylord Nelson (D) def. Thomas "Tom" Petri (R) (GAYLORD! Coulda been Veep, Gaylord....)

United States House of Representatives elections, 1974

A selection of interesting highlights of things that differ from OTL:

Per OTL’s special elections:
PA-12: still happens, John Murtha (D) still takes it for the Dems
MI-5: Does not happen because Gerry Ford (R) is still Minority Leader
OH-1: Doesn’t happen because Bill Keating (R) stays in his job
CA-6: Doesn’t happen, in November Bill Maillard (R) keeps his seat fending off Bob Traxler (D)
CA-13: Bob Lagomarsino (R) still succeeds to the seat

Alabama: AL-3 Robert R. "Bob" Riley (R) is talked into politics much sooner and takes out William Flynt Nichols (D)

Alaska: AK-AL Don Young (R) narrowly defeats Nick Begich (D)

Arkansas: AR-2 Judy Petty (R) just clips past a scandalized Wilbur Mills (D) for a very big scalp indeed (Hammerschmidt also wins by more with Bubba in the Dept. of Agriculture)

California: CA-7 Gary Fernandez (R) wins for a GOP pickup; CA-12 Gary Gillmor (D) holds on to his special-election win for the Dems; CA-13 Mineta still wins for the Dems; Waxman still gets into Congress; CA-17 Bob Mathias (R) survives in the TBTverse; CA-27 Mike Shapiro (D) poaches Al Bell's old seat; CA-34 stays with the GOP; CA-35 Victor Veysey (R) hangs on

Colorado: CO-2 Brotzman hangs on for the GOP

Connecticut: Dodd still wins CT-2, CT-5 William Ratchford (D) gains the seat for the Dems

Florida: Republicans win FL-3 without Charlie there to hold it for the Dems; FL-5 still goes to the GOP; FL-8 the unforgettably named Joe Z. Lovingood (R) picks up the seat for the GOP and his porn 'stache (disclosure: I don't know if he had a porn 'stache but cannot imagine a candidate named "Joe Z. Lovingood" without one)

Georgia: GA-4 Benjamin Blackburn (R) keeps his seat; GA-6 WORD UP IT'S Newt Gingrich (R) pushing his Congressional chronology to the left; GA-7 Larry McDonald (AIP) wins a three-way as messy as that sounds to become an official AIP congrescritter; GA-10 Gary Pleger (R) comes out of nowhere to make Strom even happier across the border

Illinois: IL-3 Robert Hanrahan (R) holds on; IL-6 Ed Hanrahan (D) beats Dr. Jekyll and Henry Hyde (R) which may be a mixed blessing; GOP holds IL-10 without Mikva running; GOP also holds IL-15

Indiana: GOP holds IN-6, also IN-8 and IN-11 so Dems only gain IN-2 and IN-10

Iowa: IA-2 Tom Riley (R) flips the seat for the GOP; IA-3 Stephen Rapp (D) beats Chuck Grassley (R); also Tom Harkin (D) takes IA-5; IA-6 stays GOP

Louisiana: Henson Moore (R) picks up LA-6 as IOTL

Maine: ME-1 still goes narrowly to the GOP

Maryland: MD-1 Tom Hatem (D) beats Robert Bauman (R) which helps cut the GOP down to two MD seats

Massachusetts: Tsongas still takes MA-5 for the Dems

Michigan: MI-2 John S. Reuther (D) beats Marvin L. Esch (R); in MI-6 Bob Carr (D) still picks up the seat; MI-11 Francis D. Brouillette (D) beats Phillip Ruppe (R); and James Blanchard (D) takes MI-18

Minnesota: MN-2 Steve Babcock (DFL) flips the seat for the Dems; MN-3 and MN-6 stay GOP

Mississippi: MS-2 a young Haley Barbour (R) shocks David R. Bowen (D) and gives the GOP a 3-2 majority in Mississippi's House delegation

Missouri: MO-7 Richard L. Franks (D) beats Gene Taylor (R) to wipe out the GOP in the House delegation; Richard Ichord, Jr. (AIP) holds MO-8 as an AIP candidate against a Democratic challenger

Montana: GOP holds MT-1

Nebraska: Wayne Ziebarth (D) picks up NE-3 by an eyelash

Nevada: GOP holds NV-AL

New Hampshire: GOP holds NH-1

New Jersey: GOP holds NJ-1 (screwing Jim Florio) and NJ-7; Dems pick up NJ-2 and NJ-13

New York: GOP holds NY-2, NY-3, and NY-27; Dems pick up NY-29 and NY-36

North Carolina: GOP holds NC-5 and NC-10 when Broyhill goes big time; Dems still pick up NC-8

Ohio: OH-1 stays GOP; OH-9 Carleton S. Finkbeiner (R) turns the seat to the GOP, GOP holds OH-23

Oklahoma: A young James Inhofe (R) poaches OK-1; OK-2 Ralph F. Keen (R) pulls it out; GOP holds OK-6 and now splits the state's House delegation 3-3

Oregon: Les AuCoin (D) picks up OR-1, while OR-4 stays very narrowly GOP

Pennsylvania: Dems still pick up PA-7 but still lose PA-25

South Carolina: SC-5 Lenard Phillips (R) edges out his challenge and turns the seat Republican; GOP keeps SC-6 and is now 3-3 in the delegation

South Dakota: GOP poaches SD-1

Tennessee: GOP holds TN-3 and TN-8

Texas: TX-7 Archer holds the seat and TX-13 stays GOP too when Graham Purcell runs and fails for the Dems; James A. Baker (R) takes TX-8 in a memorably effective campaign against Bob Eckhardt; TX-21 Doug Harlan (R) takes the seat for the GOP; TX-22 Ron Paul (R) slouches towards Bethlehem and now there are five GOP reps in the Texas delegation

Utah: UT-2 Steven Hamsen (R) flips the seat to the GOP

Virginia: Richard Obenshain (R) runs again in VA-3 and wins; GOP holds VA-10

Washington: WA-3 A. Ludlow Kramer (R) captures the seat

Wisconsin: GOP holds WI-3

West Virginia: GOP poaches WV-1 Because Textbooks

Wyoming: Tom Strock (R) unseats Teno Roncalio (D)

Along with other results more or less in line with OTL, this results in:
Democrats: 238, - 5
Republican: 195, + 4
American Independent: 2, + 2

United States Gubernatorial elections, 1974

Alabama: George Wallace (D) def. Forrest H. "Fob" James (R)

Alaska: Jay Hammond (R) def. William Allen Egan (D)

Arizona: Evan Mecham (R) def. Raul Castro (D) in a recount because fuck my life...

Arkansas: David Pryor (D) def. Ken Coon (R)

California: Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown (D) def. Edwin Reinicke (R) hard for Reinicke to make stump speeches down the stretch when he's answering subpoenas...

Colorado: Richard "Dick" Lamm (D) def. John David Vanderhoof (R) OK OLD PEOPLE, DIE ALREADY

Connecticut: Ella T. Grasso (D) def. Robert H. Steele (R)

Florida: Reubin Askew (D) def. Jack Eckerd (R) Askew uses his track record and personal popularity to hold off a stiff challenge from the pharmacy magnate

Georgia: Lester Maddox Sr. (AIP) def. George Busbee (D) and Ronnie Thompson (R) as McGovern Derangement Syndrome grows and grows

Hawaii: George Ariyoshi (D) def. Randolph Crossley (R)

Idaho: Cecil Andrus (D) def. Jack M. Murphy (R)

Iowa: Robert D. Ray (R) def. James Schaben (D)

Kansas: Vern Miller (D) def. Robert Frederick Bennett (R)

Maine: George Mitchell (D) def. James B. Longley (I) and James Erwin (R)

Maryland: Marvin Mandel (D) def. Louise Gore (R)

Massachusetts: Michael Dukakis (D) def. Donald Dwight (R)

Michigan: William Milliken (R) def. Sander M. Levin (D) by the skin of his teeth

Minnesota: Wendell Anderson (D) def. John W. Johnson (R)

Nebraska: J. James Exon (D) def. Richard Marvel (R)

Nevada: Mike O'Callaghan (D) def. James R. Houston (AIP) and Shirley Crumler (R)

New Hampshire: John H. Sununu (R) def. Roger J. Crowley (D)

New Mexico: Joe Skeen (R) def. Jerry Apodaca (D)

New York: Hugh Carey (D) def. Malcolm Wilson (R)

Ohio: John J. Gilligan (D) def. Jim Rhodes (R) because what do we not make? Sheep jokes...

Oklahoma: Dewey F. Bartlett (R) def. David L. Boren (D)

Oregon: Robert W. "Bob" Straub (D) def. Victor G. Atiyeh (R)

Pennsylvania: Milt Shapp (D) def. Andrew L. Lewis, Jr. (R)

Rhode Island: Philip W. Noel (D) def. James Nugent (R)

South Carolina: Gen. William Westmoreland (ret.) (R) def. W. J. Bryan Dorn (D) with the Hippie-Lover in the Oval Office Westy appeals more in the primary, then "does a Fob" in the general (runs to DORN! The Musical's right on economics and his left on race)

Tennessee: Lamar Alexander (R) def. Ray Blanton (D) (TNDems are deep down the bottle of Jack since Ray clawed his way, feral, back to the nomination despite their best efforts)

Texas: John B. Connally, Jr. (R) def. Frances "Sissy" Farenthold (D) (Texas Monthly will dine out on this one for decades as THE QUEEN takes Dolph's receding little scalp but Big Bad John wins the battle royale)

Vermont: Thomas P. Salmon (D) def. Walter L. Kennedy (R)

Wisconsin: Patrick Lucey (D) def.

Wyoming: Edgar Herschler (D) def. Richard “Dick” Jones (R) because why not a Jewish left-populist in Wyoming, he did it IOTL...


All righty then. Just a few things going on there...
Hey Yes I'm completely sorry to bother you but I just wanted to asked is OH-23 the GOP is holding that district but wasn't that the district Dennis Kucinich won? Or is Dennis Kucinich winning that district been retconed?
Apologies for this random question, esp. if this has already been discussed, but would TTL's change to the Court line-up affect its ruling in Diamond v. Chakrabarty?
Possibly. Especially if, according to the most recent (Early 2019) Supreme Court plans on the test thread, Potter Stewart is replaced with Constance Baker Motley in 1979. Meanwhile, in regards to today's news, history will be made 43 years ahead of OTL.
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Apologies for this random question, esp. if this has already been discussed, but would TTL's change to the Court line-up affect its ruling in Diamond v. Chakrabarty?
Possibly. Especially if, according to the most recent Supreme Court plans on the test thread, Potter Stewart is replaced with Constance Baker Motley in 1979. Meanwhile, in regards to today's news, history will be made 43 years ahead of OTL.

I'll work back to front:

Always good to remember the First Rule of the Test Thread: feel free to enjoy everything, but don't trust anything, which is to say It's All Planned and All Subject to Change, often multiple times depending when a better idea comes along.

But, in re Diamond, a potential swing vote is already on the Court where the TL stands right now because Shirley Hufstedler has displaced John Paul Stevens. So, the 5-4 could indeed go the other way. A lot depends on Hufstedler.

More than that, even, for all the justices it depends on how they conceive of this specific case. By that I mean that IOTL the five justices who signed on to Burger's majority opinion conceived of Diamond as a matter of business law, about how you apply the existing legal constructions of contracts, patents, etc., to a novelty like what you do with genetically engineered materials. The four justices in on the dissent conceived of the case in terms of administrative law: Congress should instruct, though legislation, how novelties are dealt with and since Congress had not, administrative deference to Congressional black-ink language meant there was no language to which you could refer in this case, so you can't patent the stuff until Congress sets out terms. As another of the Careful Readers pointed out in the test thread, the impetus here either before a case like Diamond comes up ITTL or just on general principles of the emergent art of genetic engineering, is to push for Congress - or, less likely in the Seventies, an executive order - to give clear guidance.
If we’re talking court cases, what’s up with campaign finance? Because OTL with an eight Justice court they basically issued all separate concurrences and dissents which is to be fair hilarious. No worries if that’s spoilers, I can wait for the chapter :). Most curious on rich self-funding dude rules, and also if any of the changes keep the central party committees strong instead of the rise of PACs—or like slower rise anyway. Is the big bad Nixon distracting them from the milk money?

I didn’t love the Test Court tbh, but given McGoverning so far I have pretty unlimited faith
x'D x'D x'D x'D

This is what happens when you give a lifetime nerd (with plenty of sorta-high-functioning neurodiversity of his own) fifty years to play with...

A few years back my second-oldest was at a PNW regional swim meet at Federal Way in WA (read suburban Seattle.) It was in the big swim facility built for Ted Turner's Goodwill Games in the Eighties (back when everyone was boycotting everyone else's Olympics it was his billionaire way to get us and the Soviets to compete with each other live) and there were long lines of flags hung along the ceiling above the two Olympic-size pools stacked back-to-back. I started rattling them off, which flags were which, which my kid got a big kick out of and SnapChatted live to friends. Then I turned and said, "back before the internet, us young nerds had a little thing called encyclopedias..."
This is wholesome AF. Love to see it.

Also, wanted to give you a shoutout since your McGoverning thread inspired me to start my Radical Republican and Carter's Perfect Storm timelines (also on pause due to my neurodivergence), so thank you, from a nerd working on his Political Science Bachelor's degree! <3

You legit managed to capture lightning in a bottle in a way that I can only dream of coming close to. (About as close as Jesse Jackson's chances at gaining the Dem nomination, let alone the presidency, IOTL, I'm afraid.)
President McGovern seems to share some similarities with President Woodrow Wilson, and I am curious if they are remarked upon by contemporaries or historians, These similarities are not just coincidental but striking and deep.
At one level that has obvious appeal for most folks around this forum - leadership/membership/etc. lists - the level of detail is really very deep. Besides, of course, things like POTUSes and VPOTUSes for the life of this expansive TLverse, there are lists of all the significant posts (into assistant secretaryships and significant ambassadorships in many cases, down to levels like the Chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at DoD) for each administration down to the present, Congressional leadership lists, makeup of SCOTUS over time, everyone who's been a US senator in the 'verse and those election cycles, several different versions of Senate details in individual Congresses (e.g. party leadership, committee chairs), governorships in the states, etc. All of which have been revised more than once since early "this'll do for now" versions back in the recesses of the test thread. By my count there are leadership lists for 50+ nations and some international bodies (from the UN to the papacy) also.
Regarding the Papacy, assuming Paul VI dies much like IOTL (from his wiki article, he had a massive heart attack, so that doesn't seem like something to handwave away), are you willing to share the direction in which the 1978 conclave(s) will go?

May I humbly suggest (if you haven't made up your mind and/or want a left-wing Church) Aloísio Lorscheider of Brazil, head of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America? An advocate of Liberation Theology and a supporter of Albino Luciano (OTL's John Paul I) who was in turn supported by him (and was even considered as a candidate to succeed Luciano in the second conclave of 1978. His papacy would last from the 26th of August of 1978 until the 23rd of December of 2007 (his death IOTL), which would equal to a papacy lasting 29 years, 3 months, and 28 days, making it the third longest reign in papal history., and placing him only 848 days (2 years, 3 months, 25 days) behind Pius IX.

It would probably mean a bigger conservatives split from the church compared to IOTL, but I don't think they'd go as far to form a new one, just. . . calling him a "commie hippie" or something similar as some more conservative bishops and cardinals do with the current pope. (Not getting into current politics, just stating that it's the case). The question then becomes: if Lorscheider can successfully rally the working classes to Catholicism (particularly in South America and Africa, and perhaps parts of Asia, particularly SEA by appealing to anti-colonialism) and gets loads of new converts from there, it's possible that Liberation Theology becomes a major undercurrent (if not outright doctrine for all but the most traditional/conservative/elitist functionaries) for Catholicism, and potentially revitalizes Catholicism on the world stage. Depending on how things go, it could butterfly things in Poland, and if Lorschreider plays his cards right and puts cardinals in favor of Liberation Theology, or at least a more liberal-ish church (playing the institutional game as well as the PR game) it's possible we could see Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) succeed him, making him pope five years earlier than IOTL.

There's also the possibility of Odilo Schere succeeding him (from his Wiki article: 'He once criticized liberation theology's use of "Marxism as a tool of analysis," but supported its focus on social injustice and poverty (as fully in keeping with established, orthodox Catholic doctrine on these issues).' Additionally, there's Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines who is described as a progressive (as progressive as an offical for the Catholic church can be) even criticizing the harsh language used by the Church regarding LGBT+ people, and saying that they and the divorced should be allowed comunion on a "case by case basis". Finally, there's Peter Turkson of Ghana, who has criticized neoliberalism. (I used the 2013 conclave since I assume that under a Lorschreider papacy church officials like this would rise earlier than IOTL.) (If I'm basing this off the 2005 conclave, then the two liberal candidates would be: Bergoglio and Carlo Maria Martini, though he had retired in 2004 due to reaching the church's age limit [77], and also suffered a rare form of Parkinson's, dying in 2012, so his entire papacy would be plagued with concerns regarding his mental fitness.)

At the end of the day, the one thing that can be counted on is that South America and Africa (and perhaps Asia) are going to have vastly different cardinal numbers in a TL where Lorscheirder is Pope. Either by a huge increase if his papacy is a success both in terms of the importance of South America for being the originator of the third longest serving pope and the increase in working class converts across the continent (and in Africa as well, and perhaps even SEA during anti-colonial movements), or a huge decrease if his explicitly pro-working class and anti-colonial message is a flop both inside and outside the Vatican, leading to the number of cardinals being shifted so that future Popes are more conservative (and from more white countries, though that's the quiet part).

(Sorry for the long post, just got super excited about the potential for a Liberationist church lol.)

Edit: Adding on because I can’t help myself. The election of a super liberal (bordering on Marxist) Pope would lead to some immediate (if minor) backlash im 1978, which would most likely reflect in the midterms in heavily Catholic (and generally religiously conservative communities). It would only get worse for the first few years (1980-1982 midterms and local elections in aforementioned communities) as Lorscheider makes his mark on the Vatican, and it’s possible arch-conservative Catholics convert to evangelism. (This is all US based, in Africa, Latin America, and SEA, the rise of an explicitly pro-worker, anti-colonialist Catholic Church would lead to independence and leftist movements taking more religious tones, and being more willing and able to work with local religious figures [who in some smaller towns and villages may be the only source of authority present, leading to a positive feedback loop in which some cases churches work with leftists rather than fighting them] though there might be some initial backlash and holdouts as well.)

However, taking into account his (potentially) lengthy reign, much like with any (radically) new Pope, once the major shifts in theology are set in stone and his administration is entrenched, some of those arch-conservatives will come back, some grumbling, some with their tails between their legs. Additionally, liberal Catholics will get a boost as time goes on since the Pope is shown to back them up.

At the end of the day, you can only go so long disagreeing with the Pope before you’re labeled a “Bad Catholic” or worse yet a “Protestant” (in the literal sense of the word). Past the half decade mark, normalization would most likely set in. Once he’s had a full decade, it’ll be clear that Liberation theology is there to stay and the only hope is to wait him out. At the 15 year mark, the theological shift has been made permanent. At the 20 year mark, Lorscheider’s made his permanent mark on the Vatican and Catholicism not just in a theological sense, but a personal one as well, and the next few Popes will be spoken of in regards to either “keeping” or “breaking” with his tradition. I don’t even know what 25 years would do (let alone almost 30), especially in recent times, and while social media, tv, and planes make spreading the Pope’s message that much easier compared to Pius IX or Leo XIII, and due to how “radical” (relatively speaking) the idea of Liberation Theology was/is, he’d be more talked about than just out of sheer controversy John Paul II (the third longest serving pope IOTL, serving a total of 26 years, 5 months, and 18 days, his reign lasting nearly 3 years less than Lorscheider’s hypothetical tenure), and as such, he’d be more in the public consciousness.
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I'll bite too on this.

George McGovern's biggest screwup, above all else, was how he lost control of the convention. He had one of the finest field teams in politics and took that candidacy, and what he could have made it (Nixon was not well liked, remember), and squandered it by a boneheaded VP pick, a 3 am acceptance speech, and every usual ritual vote became a fight. It looked ugly. He did Nixon's own work for him.

Now, the great thing about this story is that it takes a plausible scenario, hell, even a likely one given the lack of filter Nixon had (I think this is why Bill Clinton bonded with him before Nixon passed--they got themselves in the most trouble by holding meandering conversations without adult supervision, and no, Henry doesn't count). Haldeman could only turn off so much. This was a group of squares who valued toughness above all else, and because they didn't understand what it meant deep down, they frequently wandered into traffic and it's amazing they didn't get hit beforehand.

So, you get a major event, something tied directly to Nixon's inner circle from the start, and suddenly you have a Democratic party that, instead of sitting on their hands waiting for Vietnam and peak 60s progressivism to pass, has an opportunity. It'll take some luck, but the pieces were out there. And so people like Lyndon and Daley now have a reason to cautiously move closer to George and give him the resources he lacked to organize this splintered party. And as much as a lot of the conservative Dems couldn't stand the hippies and McGovern, they absolutely despised Nixon. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I think, paradoxically, McGovern would have been a better president than a candidate for president. He didn't set the world on fire in that way, but he'd be a good decision maker, good policy maker. Might truly have changed history for the better. I mean, we're still fighting the reactionary battles of the 1970s.
Fully agreed on all points, although. . . Democrats for Nixon was a thing back then.

I think a big change that would help McGovern would be if RFK and MLK were still alive since it would butterfly the riots. You could still have Bobby get shot (and swear off running for President again), and have McGovern be the appointed successor of Camelot until Ted decides to throw his hat into the ring one day. (IOTL, McGovern became the stand-in for RFK at the 1968 convention after he was assassinated, so it's not a wild possibility.).

Additionally, have Eagleton keep his mouth shut, and as such the infamous "Amnesty, abortion, and acid" quote never appears (out of his mouth anyway), and it could help McGovern by not handing Nixon that one.

Finally, you could have McGovern read the Pentagon Papers in a full session of the Senate where it would get much more press than Mike Gravel's presentation at the Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds. If his presentation is successful, McGovern could boost his anti-war and 'honesty in government' credentials, and might even get some points for bringing the party together if he gets J. William Fullbright and Gravel to read it with him, turning it into a three-man filibuster.
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