17th Amendment

US Senators And The Presidency

In recent days, we have looked at the record of Presidents who had been members of the House of Representatives and those who had been state Governors.

Now, we will examine those Presidents who served in the US Senate.

The record shows 16 US Senators who went on to become President, as compared to 19 who served in the House of Representatives and 17 who served as Governors of their states.

The majority of these 16 Senators served before the 20th century, and only three, all since 1900, were directly elected to the Presidency.

The list is as follows:

James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Benjamin Harrison
Warren G. Harding
Harry Truman
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Barack Obama.

Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama were the three Senators elected directly to the Presidency, and only three others—Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon were elected by the people under the 17th Amendment, which was added to the Constitution in 1913.

John Tyler and Andrew Johnson succeeded to the Presidency upon the deaths of William Henry Harrison and Abraham Lincoln, and were not elected President, while Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and then were elected to a full term of their own.

Andrew Johnson served in the Senate from Tennessee from 1857-1862, became President from 1865-1869, and then was elected again in 1875, serving a few months before his death, and is the only person who served in the Senate after being President.

Andrew Jackson served two separate times in the Senate, the second period ending in 1825, after he had won the popular vote, but would lose the Presidency in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams, part of the tumultuous Presidential Election of 1824.

Benjamin Harrison is the only other President before the 20th century to be a Senator close to the time when he became President, serving from 1881-1887, and being elected President in 1888, and serving from 1889-1893.

Only a few of these Presidents served for a long time in the Senate–Lyndon B. Johnson for 12 years; James Buchanan for 11 years; Harry Truman for 10 years; and John Tyler for 9 years.

The Coming War On The 17th Amendment By Conservatives!

The right wing in America has a planned strategy to conduct war on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the greatest of all amendments added since the first ten were enacted as the Bill of Rights!

The 17th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1913, came as the outgrowth of the Progressive Era, and occurred at its peak, the vigorous campaign for progressive reform promoted by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential Election of 1912. It was also endorsed by the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who had elements of progressivism in him despite his general reputation as a conservative, which led to his disastrous third place finish in 1912, despite being the Republican nominee.

The 17th Amendment developed in reaction to “muckraker” David Graham Phillips’ path breaking non fiction exposure, “THE TREASON OF THE SENATE”, which demonstrated the corruption of the US Senate, and its leading figure, Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and led to direct popular election of the US Senate from 1913 onward.

One could argue that even with popular vote, the US Senate often disappoints us, and there are Senators who are an embarrassment and a disgrace to that legislative body.

But now, conservatives are promoting the idea of the repeal of the 17th Amendment, returning us to the method in the Constitution adopted in 1787, to have the often corrupt state legislatures choose the Senators, and deny the population the popular vote involvement in selecting the members of the upper body of Congress.

The theory has developed that all the laws passed to promote political, social and economic reform since 1913, including the massive reforms of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and all other Presidents might be repealed as illegitimate if the Senate method of election returned to the pre 1913 system.

This is an alarming development, and joined with the desire to get rid of the 16th Amendment (federal income tax) and the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage), all of these “Progressive” amendments, could, if enacted take us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

Conservative Right Wing Attack On The Constitution: The Threat Of Another Constitutional Convention Wiping Out Constitutional Amendments!

The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution, admitting in the process that there would always be room for improvements, so made clear that amendments were appropriate over time.

So we have had 27 Amendments, including the first ten that make up the Bill of Rights.

When one looks at the amendments, particularly those that came after the Bill of Rights, one realizes that the vast majority of them were “progressive” in tone, designed to expand democracy in America, or else, amendments dealing with the office of the Presidency.

So the “progressive” amendments included the 13th (ending slavery and involuntary servitude); the 14th (promoting due process and equal protection and making African Americans citizens); the 15th (guaranteeing the right to vote for African Americans and others which had been denied that right); the 16th (providing for a federal income tax to raise revenue to deal with mounting social and economic issues); the 17th (granting the people the right to elect their two United States Senators by popular vote); the 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote); the 23rd (guaranteeing residents of Washington, DC the right to vote); the 24th (preventing a poll tax for voting); and the 26th (guaranteeing young people 18-21 the right to vote).

So nine of the seventeen amendments after the first ten of the Bill of Rights promote progressive change, while the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th deal with the office of the Presidency.

The only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Now we have the real threat by right wing conservatives, including the Tea Party Movement, who want a new Constitutional Convention to wipe out these “progressive” amendments!

They do not like voting rights for African Americans, other minorities, women, residents of Washington DC (mostly African Americans) and young people; and they are unhappy that African Americans are considered equal under the law, and if they had the ability to do so, they would love to re-enslave poor people, which by corporate power is occurring in an informal way for many minorities, as well as white lower class people struggling every day to survive!

And they wish they could restore the US Senate elections to the corrupt state legislatures, taking away the popular vote. Finally, they hate the federal income tax, even though many of them avoid substantial taxation by having investments, rather than working for a living like most of us do. So they would prefer a sales tax, which is regressive, and would hurt the middle class and the poor much more than the wealthy elite!

But that is exactly the extremist right wing intention—to restore the “good old days” when they were in charge, and everyone had to kowtow to them!

We must not allow such a threat to develop, so the battle for progressivism is never ending, as a result!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

The Senate In Crisis A Century After The 17th Amendment

The US Senate was a very undemocratic institution a century ago, controlled by special interests, including the oil, steel, banking and other trusts and monopolies, and its membership selected by the vote of corrupt state legislatures across the nation.

The Senate was exposed for its faults and corruption by David Graham Phillips in his article in 1906 in Cosmopolitan Magazine, which has been reprinted in 2012, an article of 108 pages, a small book, exposing the corruption of Senate Majority Leader Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island. This was followed up by other articles in muckraking periodicals, exposing the corruption of other US Senators.

These articles motivated a reform movement, leading to the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, establishing popular vote elections for the US Senate. It did not mean that every Senator elected was brilliant, or a positive force, but at least the people had the final say on who would represent them, as in the US House of Representatives!

Now, a century later, the US Senate is in paralysis, greatly due to the abuse of the filibuster system, which now requires 60 Senators to end a filibuster, while it used to be even worse, 67 before reforms in 1975. The filibuster was originally utilized to stop civil rights advancements, but now it is used to prevent any action on many nominations and many bills, effectively hamstringing any progress or change on anything controversial.

But also, it is clear that special interest groups, similar to those a century ago, but more such groups and more widespread, have made the US Senate captive again.

And with growing differences in population in coastline states, as compared to states in the interior, we are finding the concept of each state having two US Senators, whether they represent millions of citizens, or just hundreds of thousands of citizens, becoming one where states with few people, are able to stop what the majority of the American people want!

Four Democratic Senators, scared to death of the National Rifle Association, end up refusing to support the end of the filibuster on extended background checks on gun sales, and yet these Senators represent small populated states (North Dakota, Alaska, Montana, Arkansas) which represent only about 5.4 million people, out of a national total of 309 million people, meaning they represent 1.6 percent of the people, in a nation in which up to 90 percent, including gun owners, want extended background checks on gun sales.

We allow the 49th 48th, 45th, and 33rd states in population to hamstring the rest of the nation, absolutely insane when one thinks about it, and this is not just true on one issue, but many!

This problem of small populated states,the abuse of the filibuster, and special interest groups (including major corporations) is a situation which threatens resolution of ANY major issue facing the nation in the 21st century, unless, somehow, some kind of reform of an outdated system of the 18th century is brought about, which is extremely unlikely!

America’s Underappreciated Presidents—James K. Polk, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush

With Presidents Day celebrated on Monday, this is a good time to reflect on which Presidents are underappreciated for their contributions in the White House.

Five Presidents, four of them having only one term, and three of them soundly defeated for reelection, are often overlooked in an unfair manner.

These five underappreciated Presidents are as follows, chronologically:

James K. Polk (1845-1849), Democrat—-who did not wish a second term in office, died only three months after his term of office, but accomplished more than any President, regarding expansion of the nation, as he negotiated the gaining of the Pacific Northwest with Great Britain, and went to war with Mexico to gain the Southwestern United States. Because of Polk, highly controversial due to his manipulation of conditions setting up war with Mexico, and often criticized as an “imperialist”, we gained more land than any other President, including Thomas Jefferson with his Louisiana Purchase.

Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897), Democrat—-the only two term non consecutive terms President, although winning the popular vote three consecutive times, Cleveland accomplished the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, promoted civil service reform, and became regarded as a man of strong principles, including refusing to take over Hawaii, after a treaty was negotiated by the previous President, Benjamin Harrison. A rare President on the concept of opposing the addition of territory to the United States, he refused to go to war with Spain over the issue of Cuba in his second term, and opposed the Spanish American War and the Filipino Insurrection intervention under William McKinley, standing out as a leading anti imperialist.

William Howard Taft (1909-1913), Republican—-was unfortunate in coming in between two very charismatic Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom would end up ranked in the top ten of all Presidents, in most polls of experts on the Presidency. Taft also was the worst defeated President running for reelection, competing against both TR and Wilson, and ended up third, rather than second in defeat, and winning only 23 percent of the vote, two states, and eight electoral votes. But he deserved better, and did have the distinction of becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1920s, where he was much happier. But Taft actually signed a highly successful regulation of the railroads, the Mann Elkins Act of 1910; won lawsuits causing the breakup of the monopolies of Standard Oil, United States Steel, and International Harvester; and supported two constitutional amendments, the 16th (Federal Income Tax) Amendment, and the 17th (Direct Election of United States Senators) Amendment.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Democrat—served one divisive term, defeated for reelection by Ronald Reagan, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis, high inflation and unemployment, and the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, and faced primary challenges from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown. But he accomplished the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; the Panama Canal Treaty; the promotion of the principle of human rights in foreign policy; the advancement of the environment, making him the third best President on that issue; and creation of three cabinet agencies–Health and Human Services, Education, and Energy. And his post Presidency, now the longest in American history, has been a model for Bill Clinton’s post Presidency, and Carter continues to promote human rights and economic and social reform nationally and world wide, and is often considered the best former President of the United States in American history.

George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), Republican—the second worst defeated President in American history, despite having led the coalition which forced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, lessening a threat to the Middle East oil supply and the government of Saudi Arabia, in the Persian Gulf War of 1991; being the President under whom the Cold War came to an end in a stable manner in 1991; managing the unification of Germany between 1989 and 1990 in a skillful manner; and promoting the passage of civil rights law for the disabled population of America, a major reform in American history. Bush was always considered a master in the field of foreign policy, and for years after, had an impact on policy making through his significant staff members, who continued to have an impact.

All five Presidents deserve a better coverage and appreciation, despite the fact that each could be roundly criticized for events that would cause them to be overlooked as outstanding Presidents. Presidents Day is an appropriate time to do so!

1913: A Year Of Two “Progressive” Amendments To The Constitution, 16 And 17!

A century ago, as the Presidency of William Howard Taft came to an end, and as Woodrow Wilson was about to be inaugurated, the Constitution had two new amendments added within two months of each other—the 16th Amendment and the 17th Amendment.

Other than the original ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, never was the country to be so affected by constitutional change that transformed the nation, as with these two amendments.

President Taft, the so called “conservative” leaving office, supported both of these amendments, and they have have a massive impact on the nation ever since.

The 16th Amendment established the “progressive” federal income tax, at a time when we had seen the tripling of population, and the multiplication of social and economic injustice since the Civil War 50 years earlier. Without the federal income tax, there was no way that the nation could ever have moved forward and met its responsibilities to its citizens. The only problem was that over the years the wealthy would find all kinds of ways to manipulate the system, and so, today, the federal income tax is no longer very “progressive”. And also, there is a move on by conservatives and libertarians to repeal the income tax amendment, and have a national sales tax instead, a move that will not happen, but it if did, it would mean greater taxation based on consumption, and would hurt the poor and the lower middle class much more than the wealthy and upper middle class.

The 17th Amendment, the most democratizing amendment we had yet seen, called for direct popular election of the United States Senate, a move encouraged by muckraker David Graham Phillips and his book, THE TREASON OF THE SENATE, published in 1909. Instead of corrupt politicians in state legislatures choosing US Senators, an indication that the Founding Fathers did not trust the masses to choose their Senators, the decision was to allow the people to choose their Senators for a six year term.

How could anyone find fault with this, even with the recognition that often states may make “bad” choices for their Senators? Whatever we think about the choices, it is still better to have the people select their Senators, and in a sense, to be held accountable if they make an embarrassing, or disastrous choice. This is the power of the people, a movement toward direct democracy. And yet, there is a movement among conservatives to repeal this amendment, as well as the 16th Amendment.

Fortunately, it is very difficult to accomplish an amendment, and only the repeal of prohibition of liquor, the 21st Amendment effectively negating the 18th Amendment, has ever occurred.

We can look back on a century of the 16th Amendment and the 17th Amendment, and applaud what progressives accomplished a century ago!

The Parallel Universe Of Republicans And Conservatives On America’s Presidents Since Theodore Roosevelt

The modern Republican Party and the conservative movement are working in tandem to distort American history, particularly regarding our Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, and in the process, are promoting the Big Lie technique, that if you repeat a falsehood enough times, people who are gullible and poorly informed and educated, will come to believe it!

So let’s survey the thoughts of these “mind control” advocates on our Presidents in the past century. Realize that what is said below is myth and propaganda, not to be believed and accepted as factual, which it MOST certainly is NOT!

Theodore Roosevelt was a so called Republican, but he created a monster, the beginning of a powerful, assertive Presidency. He interfered in labor negotiations in the coal industry; started interference in business through lawsuits and federal regulatory laws; and started the modern environmental movement, and in so doing created the nightmare of land being taken away from economic development and private ownership. He also utilized the word “progressive”, the beginning of modern socialism and communism in America! (Really whacko viewpoint of TR)!

William Howard Taft, often called a conservative, was no such thing, as he advocated the direct election of US Senators (17th Amendment), the hated “progressive” federal income tax (16th Amendment), and promoted anti trust laws suits on a greater scale than TR, and also more effective regulation of the railroads! (Not conservative enough for today’s Republicans)!

Woodrow Wilson was a further expander of progressivism, with the hated Federal Reserve Banking system, the Clayton Anti Trust Act, and the Federal Trade Commission; along with labor regulation on the national level for the first time. He also created “Big Government” bureaucracies during the First World War! (An overly one sided view of Wilson)!

Warren G. Harding has been criticized unfairly, as he was the President who worked to limit federal government, and has, therefore, been mistreated by historians, to be the worst President of the century, an unfair assessment. (Of course, in reality, totally false)!

Calvin Coolidge was the “best” President of the century, as he worked to continue Harding’s lessening of Presidential power, and prosperity reached its peak under him, and he has been unfairly blamed for the Great Depression, which began months after he left the White House. (Also totally false in reality)!

Herbert Hoover abandoned conservatism, raised taxes, moved toward deficit spending, and was the forerunner of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. His policies made things worse for Americans, and ushered in similar policies by FDR! (A distortion of the truth, in reality)!

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a Fascist, and a Nazi all at the same time, creating an all powerful Presidency , making the Great Depression much worse and longer, creating programs and policies called the New Deal, which were the undermining of America, and remains part of our existence today, but which conservatives and Republicans are determined to eliminate in the future! He also promoted the expansion of the Soviet Union by his corrupt deals in World War II! (A great distortion of the truth by conservative haters)!

Harry Truman continued and expanded the New Deal with his Fair Deal, and refused to fight Communism adequately in the Korean War! He also interfered with states rights by his decision to promote civil rights in the military and in Washington, DC, and also promoted labor rights against the attempt of Republicans to undermine labor unions. (A distortion of the truth again)!

Dwight D. Eisenhower became part of the great Progressive “conspiracy” by accepting the New Deal, expanding federal government intervention, and having the “nerve” to intervene in the civil rights crusade on the side of “extremists”, and undermining the South and its tradition, still held a century after the Civil War, in states rights! ( A view not taken seriously by any reputable expert on Ike)!

John F. Kennedy worked to expand the welfare state set up by FDR, Truman and Eisenhower, and further intervened in the South on the civil rights issue, using the National Guard as Eisenhower had done. Kennedy refused to confront the Soviet Union adequately, instead negotiating an agreement with the enemy, rather than start a nuclear war! (Part of the great distortion of JFK by conservative critics)!

Lyndon B. Johnson further expanded the New Deal with his Great Society, making Socialism, Marxism, Communism, and Fascism advance further, and taking away freedom by civil rights legislation, the war on poverty, and the “terrible” Medicare and Medicaid programs, two more welfare programs, similar to FDR’s Social Security. He also failed to win the war in Vietnam, caving in to the Communist enemy! (Part of the bitter attack on LBJ by the far Right)!

Richard Nixon made deals with the hated Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China, and failed to win the war in Vietnam, which could have been won. He also became a traitor by promoting “progressive” programs such as Affirmative Action, the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration, and the greatest advocate for the environment among American Presidents since Teddy Roosevelt! (Forget his real faults with Watergate, as these are more important, according to conservative critics)!

Gerald Ford was too moderate and accommodating, and his wife Betty Ford, was a radical feminist as First Lady! Ford stopped the advancement of conservatism by defeating Ronald Reagan for the Presidential nomination in 1976, and had Nelson Rockefeller, the hated “liberal” as his Vice President!(Oh, and Ford was too centrist, and for social moderation)!

Jimmy Carter was a terrible President with no redeeming values,and is “rightfully”attacked on a regular basis by Republicans and conservatives. He undermined the nation’s foreign and domestic policies! He had no worthwhile accomplishments at all! (A total distortion of reality!)

Ronald Reagan was a “great” President, with no shortcomings or faults, and we need a President of his insights and courage in the future. Those who claim Reagan was other than perfect are to be ignored! (A total interference with reality and truth!)

George H. W. Bush was a moderate who compromised with Democrats, raised taxes which undermined the country, and failed to overcome Iraq’s leader in the Persian Gulf War, because he worked with the United Nations on the war effort! (An unfair assessment, trivializing him)!

Bill Clinton had many faults and shortcomings, but despite his being impeached, and the vicious attacks on him, now is the time to talk about how much better he was than Barack Obama, because he made some deals with Republicans, after first resisting them in the battle over shutting down the government in 1995. (An amazing rewriting of history, unbelievable)!

George W. Bush cannot be blamed for September 11 and the War on Terror, but he was too willing to bust the budget, and his spending was too much out of control. (An attempt to write Bush out of blame for much of what America has to deal with today)!

But, of course, the fact that we are in an economy which is the worst since the Great Depression is not due to Bush or Republicans or conservative philosophy, but because we have in office now a black guy named Barack Obama, who was actually born in Kenya, and is a Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Fascist and Nazi, and is the greatest threat to American freedom since—well—-TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter and to some extent, Clinton—-and all those Republicans Presidents who actually were “progressives” in some way—Taft, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and both Bushes!

If only we could eliminate all these Presidents except Harding Coolidge, and Reagan–this nation would be in fantastic shape! Right?

This is the deluded, nutty beliefs of many Republicans and conservatives–a great conspiracy by both Democratic and Republican Presidents against freedom and liberty and the best interests of the American people!

This is the “Know Nothingism”, the ignorance, the stupidity that intelligent people must fight against!

As Rick Santorum, the former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, and Presidential candidate, said recently—the smart, the intelligent people will not support the Republican Party–and FOR GOOD REASON!

Vice President Joe Biden Suggests A Possible Candidacy For President In 2016

To the surprise of many observers, Vice President Joe Biden has suggested on a CNN interview with Candy Crowley that he might run for President in 2016, to succeed his boss, President Barack Obama.

Why is this surprising? It is because after two failed Presidential candidacies in 1988 and 2008, it was figured that Biden was just happy to be Vice President, play a crucial role in the Obama Administration, and then retire after two terms as Vice President at the age of 74.

But instead, Biden makes it clear that he is feeling good, enjoying his work, and will consider another run for the top spot.

How should one react to this? The author wishes to leave no doubt of his great admiration for Joe Biden, thrilled that he is playing a major role under Barack Obama, and convinced that he is adding to the stature and growth of the Vice Presidency. And Joe Biden has a winning personality–warm, gregarious, friendly, reachable–and has tremendous contacts and links to people on Capitol Hill. He is, in many ways, a more charming and charismatic Lyndon Johnson without the rough edges of the 36th President. He has tremendous experience, and in fact, would be by far the most experienced ever of any Presidential candidate, even surpassing Johnson, Bob Dole, and Henry Clay, among others. He would literally have 44 years of service in government by 2016, 36 in the Senate, making him one of the longest serving in that body’s history, plus eight active years as Vice President.

Having been Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee at different times, Biden would have a background that could not be matched by any Democratic or Republican opponent. He has the distinction of being the sixth youngest US Senator upon taking the oath, but the second youngest of all when one considers direct popular vote of the people after 1913, under the 17th Amendment.

His lifetime of service would be capped by four to eight years as President, but he would also be the oldest first term President at 74, and if he had two terms, would leave office as the oldest President in history. Only Ronald Reagan was elected in his 70s, and served two terms to just short by a few weeks of his 78th birthday, with Bob Dole being 73 when he ran, and John McCain being 72 when he was nominated.

The question is whether his health would hold up for the next five years and through a theoretical four to eight years after that. He would certainly be challenged by a new generation of leadership in his party, and his age might be a detriment. And since he is prone to gaffes and misstatements after so many years in office, and being extremely conversational by nature, he could have major problems in succeeding toward his goal.

One thing is certain–that if Joe Biden chose to run for President in 2016, it would be a fascinating run, whether he succeeded in his goal to be nominated and elected, or was retired after 44 years of distinguished service.

The Texasfication Of America: Is This What We Want?

Governor Rick Perry of Texas has come out charging like a bull as a Presidential candidate, offering Texas as a model for America, but is it?

Texas is low down in the list of states in the following areas:

1. Educational spending and attainments and curriculum accuracy
2. Health Care spending and coverage
3. Minimum Wage Jobs
4. Environmental Protection from pollution
5. Corporate Regulation in the public interest
6. Stratification of wealth between rich and poor.
7. Mistreatment of Mexican American citizens
8. A backward legal system with high crime rates and execution numbers.

Besides all of the above, Rick Perry would like to wipe out most of the reforms of the 20th century, including:

1. 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
2. 17th Amendment–Direct Election Of Senators
3. National Labor Relations Act
4. Federal Education Programs
5. Environmental Protection Agency
6. Consumer Products Safety Commission
7. Medicaid, Medicare as we know it, and Obama Health Care
8. Occupational Safety And Health Administration
9. Food Stamps and Unemployment Compensation
10.Corporate and Banking Regulations
11.Repeal of Social Security

We will be learning a lot more about Rick Perry as time goes on, and as research by journalists is completed, but is not the above enough reason to reject Rick Perry for President of the United States?

It is clear that Rick Perry would be the most reactionary, right wing candidate for President since Barry Goldwater in 1964!

Enough said!