50-50 Tie In US Senate

Six Months To Midterm Elections: Time To Emphasize The Danger Of Republican Extremists!

In six months, the Midterm Congressional and Gubernatorial Elections of 2022 will occur.

Polls indicate disillusionment with Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, due to inflation and its effects, and the fact that there is stalemate with the evenly divided Senate and the small Democratic edge in the House of Representatives.

There is concern felt about the danger of Republican extremism in the states and on the Congressional level.

The party has allowed itself to promote policies that victimize women, people of color, immigrants, gays and transgender individuals.

They are promoting censorship and declaring war on public education and libraries in the name of advocacy of Christian values in a nation based on separation of church and state.

There is a strong strain of pro Russian, pro Vladimir Putin, support and a growing isolationist spirit, which endangers the alliances of the United States in international relations, most notably the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The cancer of Donald Trump still infuses the party rhetoric and obsequious support of a man who still contends that the election was stolen, and attempts are being pursued to insure limitations on voting and on control of election machinery for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2024.

American democracy and basic common decency, humanity, empathy and compassion are under attack, and the Democrats must pursue an aggressive counter reaction to the evils represented by an opposition party which is authoritarian oriented, and Fascist in nature!

The whole future of the American nation is at stake, if the Republican Party, as now constituted, wins control of state and national governments, as likely it will be a point of no return!

So Joe Biden and all Democrats must go on the offensive and make clear the dangers of Republican extremism!

Horrendous Trump Endorsed Nominees For Senate: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio

Donald Trump has been endorsing Senate nominees, trying to have an impact on the upcoming Senate races, with the US Senate presently evenly divided 50-50.

With this unusual tie situation, even one Democratic seat switching with Trump support would put the Senate into Republican hands, and the horrors of Mitch McConnell again becoming Senate Majority Leader.

Trump has chosen horrendous nominees, as in Pennsylvania with Dr. Mehmet Oz; in Georgia with former football player Herschel Walker; and in Ohio with author JD Vance.

All three are lacking in decent credentials, and all three would be an embarrassment if elected to the US Senate.

Democrats need to work hard to defeat these three nominees, and keep the Georgia seat, and gain the Pennsylvania and Ohio seats.

Georgia has the Reverend Raphael Warnock trying to keep his seat; while in Pennsylvania, there are three contending Democrats running for the open seat; and in Ohio, Congressman Tim Ryan is the favored Democrat.

Pure Lies And Mistruths About Joe Biden’s Cognitive Abilities From Right Wing Media And Trumpites!

Right wing news media, including Fox News Channel, OANN, and Newsmax; and numerous talk show hosts on these channels, and Trumpites as well, have been spreading lies and mistruths about President Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities.

The claim made is that Biden has Alzheimers or some other form of Dementia, and that he is unfit to serve as President.

Considering the mental instability displayed by Donald Trump for the past six and a half years since he announced his campaign for President, this is an indication of the psychological trick of “projection”, claiming that one’s own shortcomings are actually those of a rival.

Joe Biden has been outstanding in his public speeches and his recent press conference, and shows command of the material he has to master.

Biden has handled the Ukraine Crisis well, up to this point, and has accomplished major domestic reforms, despite having a 50-50 Senate.

Leaving Afghanistan was never going to be an easy proposition, but one must recall that Donald Trump made an agreement to withdraw in May 2021, not August 2021, and without any participation in the withdrawal process by the Afghan government, only with the Taliban. So who gives Trump and his minions the ability to criticize what was perpetrated by Trump himself?

Considering the pressures Joe Biden has faced on so many issues at the same time, he has accomplished a great first year record, and there is still hope for some kind of further “Build Back Better” legislation.

And the influence on the judicial branch has been very significant in the first year, and now, Biden will have a very important Supreme Court nominee soon, that will honor the reputation of the Supreme Court, which has lost a lot of its stature, due to the horrendous appointments of Donald Trump, that have undermined the dignity of the Supreme Court.

So while Joe Biden is not perfect, but who is, his cognitive abilities, and his public and private actions show every indication of a continuation of a great four year term in the White House!

50-50 US Senate Massive Crisis If One Democrat Is Sick Or Were To Pass Away!

The news that New Mexico freshman Senator Ben Ray Lujan, age 49, one of the 12 youngest Senators, has suffered a stroke and will need to recover, is a shock to the reality of the massive crisis that exists if a Democrat is sick as he is, or were to pass away.

The Senate has become an older body in recent years, and with seven Senators over 80 and 30 Senators in their 70s, it is a very delicate situation if any Senator of either party is indisposed or was to die.

It means, for now, that action on even the Supreme Court nominee will likely have to be delayed as Lujan recovers, with all good wishes from everyone, but the thought that one of the older Senators in the Democratic Party could suddenly die, could lead to Mitch McConnell and the Republicans taking over the Senate before the election results of 2022 are in!

The average age of Senators is about 63 and 58 for the House of Representatives.

And the top three leaders in the House–Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn–are all in their early 80s, as is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is 80 this month of February.

And of course, Joe Biden is 79, and so many other key figures in American national government are in their 70s and 80s!

So the aging of American government is a major threat to stability!

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Assessment Of Biden’s First Year: A Lot Accomplished With A 50-50 Senate!

Conservative journalist David Frum, who worked in the George W. Bush Administration, makes clear that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in his first year in office with a 50-50 Senate, more accomplished than even Barack Obama with a 57 member Democratic Senate in 2009!

But the naysayers are at work, claiming the Biden Presidency has not been a success, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, inflation, and Afghanistan.

That is preposterous, as if Donald Trump had been in office, for certain the first and third issues would have been no different, and the second one would have occurred no matter what was done!

Trump had misled and botched up the COVID 19 Pandemic, and regarding Afghanistan, had made an agreement with the Taliban with no Afghanistan governement involvement in 2020, to withdraw from that nation in May, not August 2021!

Inflation happens in cycles, and under Ronald Reagan it was a major issue in 1982 midterms but was resolved by 1984 when Reagan ran for reelection.

The hope is that the same will occur in the next year, and will not be as big an issue as it is presently!

Desire Vs Reality: Democrats At This Point Must Settle For Half Social Infrastructure Ambitions!

Sadly, it is now clear that Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have no choice to but accept a Social Infrastructure bill worth about half of the originally planned $3.5 trillion to help make life better for everyday Americans.

This author and scholar is furious about the impact of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, as well as some moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives.

But this is the reality when we have an evenly divided US Senate and a House of Representatives with a narrow margin of six votes.

But consider that IF Georgia had not elected two Democratic Senators in January—Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff–the first elected African American and first Jewish senators in Georgia history—the Republicans would be running the Senate under Mitch McConnell.

So the goal now is to accomplish what can be done, and try to work in the first half of 2022 for more, or make it the key campaign issue for the Congressional elections coming up next November.

Right now, celebrating what can be done, which advances the American nation, is still a major positive for Democrats, and it still will be the major domestic initiative, along with the financial assistance to deal with the COVID 19 Pandemic, that we have seen since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society nearly sixty years ago.

So let us be happy for what can be done, and work to accomplish more Democratic Senators in the midterms, as there are more Republican seats up for election, and five Republicans are leaving, and more extreme nominees are likely, which, hopefully, will cause a major Democratic edge, despite historical trends, as this is a crisis situation for American democracy!

America Is In A New “Gilded Age” Of Obscene Wealth And Monopoly Capitalism: Reform Is Essential!

At the beginning of the 20th century, America escaped the Gilded Age period of obscene wealth and monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Robert LaFollette Sr., George Norris, and others who promoted the Progressive Era.

The Progressive Era was far from perfect, but it gave hope of escaping the worst elements of the GIlded Age in the last third of the 19th century.

We have had ups and downs since the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the New Frontier, and Great Society, particularly with the triumph of conservatism under Ronald Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, and then made ever worse by Donald Trump.

But now, the news of billionaires having arrangements to keep their wealth from being taxed by overseas havens and even South Dakota allowing such reprehensible tactics is highly disturbing. This, along with the clear cut monopoly of Facebook promoting division, conflict, polarization, and affecting even young girls’ self image due to the toxic Instagram social media site, cries out for strong movement toward another “Progressive Era”.

The idea that concentration of wealth and power rivals and is clearly greater than the time of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and other monopolists of the late 19th and early 20th century is totally outrageous!

But is it possible in a nation with a 50-50 US Senate and a six vote margin in the House of Representatives to accomplish necessary reform?

This present, disturbing situation is a massive crisis of American democracy, with the threat of Donald Trump possibly regaining power, and destroying any possibility of reform!

The Supreme Court Majority Is Becoming Very Outspoken, Controversial In Actions And Statements!

The Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be a nonpolitical body, that balances the law and the Constitution.

Of course, there are, and always have been, so called “liberals” and “conservatives” on the Court throughout its history, but the present Supreme Court with six conservatives and three liberals is badly unbalanced, and it is clear that the Court is the most extreme one sided to the conservative side that it has been since the 1930s, nearly a century ago!

There are three appointments to the Court by Donald Trump (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett); two appointments by George W. Bush (John Roberts, Samuel Alito); and one appointment by George H. W. Bush (Clarence Thomas).

There are already ethical and moral problems with Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, regarding their behavior and treatment of women in their past; and Amy Coney Barrett was rushed through to confirmation more rapidly than normal after the sudden death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so that Donald Trump had one more appointment close to the Presidential election, which should have been left to the winner of the election, which turned out to be Joe Biden.

Also, a majority of the Court was chosen by Presidents who lost the popular vote in 2000 and 2016, although the two Bush II appointees actually came in the second term when Bush II did win the popular vote.

And now, since the horrendous decision to allow the Texas antiabortion law to go into effect without a full hearing, taking away a constitutional right of women to control their own bodies, in effect since Roe V. Wade in 1973, the criticism of the Court’s action has led to Thomas, Barrett, and now Alito to issue political criticisms which are not appropriate for Supreme Court Justices. They should NOT be making public statements, no matter what they are thinking, but they clearly are on the defensive and have politicized the Court by their utterances, as well as their actions.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the reputation and public opinion rating of the Supreme Court has declined radically in the last few years, and particularly in the present year of 2021!

The Supreme Court is moving far to the Right as the nation is clearly moving to the Left, in a nation in which the white majority is rapidly declining, and will be the minority (under 50 percent) by 2045 at the latest.

So a constitutional crisis is at hand, and there is the danger of a future 7-2 conservative Court, with Stephen Breyer refusing to consider retiring at age 83, claiming he does not plan to die on the Court. This is a preposterous statement, and could end up denying Joe Biden any Supreme Court selection if a Democratic Senator dies or is incapacitated, or if the Senate goes Republican in the midterm Congressional Elections of 2022!

A 50-50 Democratic Controlled Senate Could Any Time Switch To Control By Republicans!

With the reality in 2021 of a 50-50 US Senate, the ability of the Democratic majority to get the Joe Biden agenda adopted becomes a constant headache, and the inability to adjust the filibuster to allow votes on some issues without a 60 member majority support is infuriating.

And behind the scenes, there are concerns over the distinct possibility that were a Democratic Senator to die or become incapacitated and be unable to vote, such event would literally switch control of the Senate back to the Republicans, and Mitch McConnell.

The Senate has 5 members over 80, and 25 members in their 70s, an all time high such number, and the average age of all Senators is 63, also the highest in the history of the Senate.

18 of these 30 members over 70 and into their 80s are Democrats, so in many respects, the clock is ticking, and it is essential for quick action on a multitude of issues before a possible tragedy occurs.

Also, history tells us that the party NOT in the White House tends to gain seats in the midterm elections that follow, and that portends a disaster for the Democrats, with an evenly divided Senate and only a 6 vote margin in the House of Representatives.

Of course, the tumult around Donald Trump and the “Big Lie” might help the Democrats to gain seats, and history is not a guarantee for the party out of power in both houses of Congress.

But this is certainly a time of concern, including the possible future retirement, although clearly not imminent, of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer!