Abortion Rights

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

Time For Action By Congress On H. R. 19, Authorizing National Women’s History Museum On National Mall!

The Congress has accomplished nearly nothing under Republican leadership in 2017, but one action they should unite on is the passage of H.R. 19, authorizing the construction of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced the legislation authorizing the building of the museum on March 30, 2017. It was referred to a Subcommittee On Federal Lands on April 7, 2007, and no further action has yet been taken. There were 127 cosponsors with Maloney, and now an additional 100, for a total of 227, have been added to that list.

Maloney has tried to lobby personally with President Donald Trump, his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen Pence, and Kelly Anne Conway. to join in support of the museum project, but one wonders what the odds of endorsement are from a President who is a known misogynist.

Despite earlier moves to get this legislation accomplished under President Barack Obama, it failed to be dealt with before he left office. In 2014, the Congress voted to create a commission to study the creation of a national museum, and now the time for action has arrived in this 115th Congress.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine introduced the Maloney bill in the Senate with 11 co-sponsors, but there is little enthusiasm evident to make such a museum part of the Smithsonian Institution, due to other priorities, and the issue of private funding being a long haul.

We are coming up to the centennial of women’s right to vote (19th Amendment) in 2020, and it would be appropriate that we were well on the way to the creation of such a building to honor the role of women, half of our population, which has been mostly ignored until now.

Ironically, though, the Republican Party has become so anti women’s rights, that they are likely to refuse to take action on this, as they work to undermine a woman’s right to an abortion; the right to equal pay; the right to be protected from sexual harassment; and the right to be treated as equals to men in all aspects of life.

Too often, the religious Right has worked against women’s equality, and the Republican Party, the party that many early women’s rights advocates supported in the 19th and 20th centuries, now has taken steps backward in their advocacy of equality.

44 Years Ago: Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson; Abortion Becomes Legal; End Of Engagement In Vietnam War–We Must Learn From These Events!

44 years ago, on January 22, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Roe V. Wade, that women had a right to abortion in the first two trimesters.

44 years ago on January 23, announcement of an agreement to end US involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in Paris, therefore denying LBJ the ability to know of the peace agreement before his death, in a war that had forced him out of the Presidential race in 1968.

Looking back 44 years and to today in 2017, we can reflect that the Great Society of LBJ is under attack in a massive way, as is the New Deal of FDR. We are going backwards in so many ways under President Donald Trump.

Also, abortion rights are being taken away in many areas and by government policy, and the danger is that Roe V Wade could be reversed in a future Supreme Court decision, once a Trump appointed Justice is added to the Court. So women’s rights to control their own bodies will now face new restrictions, and will lead to more deaths, and abuses.

And our engagement in Vietnam, a massive mistake, has not been learned from, as now there are hints that Donald Trump is ready to send troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), committing us to a massive war in the Middle East, and with Trump asserting yesterday that America might just seize the oil of Iraq for ourselves, which would be a war crime, and a continuation of US imperialism overseas.

This is why we have intervened so much since World War II in other nations in the Middle East and in Asia, as well as Latin America.

And do not be surprised by a move to engage in war with Iran, in support of the right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and more warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas of the Palestinians.

This is not to endorse Iran, the Palestinians, or anyone else, but to point out, it looks as if we are on the way to another major military conflict, that will cost American lives and make tons of profit for the war industry. And we are likely to see a new generation of American military personnel who end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are unlikely to gain proper medical treatment for that condition.

In many ways, America has learned nothing from our historical experiences, and we are reverting to past mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.

Vice President Mike Pence: Could Be Most Engaged And Active Vice President Yet!

It seems more likely by the day that Vice President Elect Mike Pence could be the most engaged and active Vice President yet!

The Vice Presidency began to grow under Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, because Ike was willing to delegate authority, and Nixon was smart and ambitious.

Nixon was the first Vice President to play a major role in policy making.

Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; Dick Cheney under George W. Bush; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama all added to the office of Vice President, but now it seems as if Donald Trump, who does not have a clue on anything in government, may be leaning on Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, before becoming Indiana Governor over the past four years.

The good thing about Pence is that he is smart, intelligent, experienced in government, fully qualified, if need be, to take over the Presidency.

He is not Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, who was the VP running mate of John McCain.

But despite his abilities, we must realize that Pence is a theocrat, who always says that his evangelical Christian faith is the most important thing in his life, and utilizes his right wing Christian beliefs to oppose abortion rights and gay rights in a vehement fashion. He also does not believe in climate change and science generally, and also promoted the idea that tobacco does not cause lung cancer, a preposterous idea.

So one would not wish to see Pence end up in the Presidency by plan or by circumstance, but in the meanwhile, he could be the single most important player in the Donald Trump administration over the next four years.

Donald Trump And Mike Pence Are, Fundamentally, Extremely Different: An Ineffective Team Which Will Not Win White House!

Mike Pence is a good speaker and we can give him credit for that.

But he has had vastly different beliefs on so many issues with Donald Trump:

Trade Agreements
The Mexico Wall
Muslim Immigration
The Iraq War
Gay Rights
Abortion Rights

Pence is anti environment; anti women’s rights; anti labor rights; totally pro gun rights; more concerned about religious rights of Christians than basic civil rights for all Americans; and is much more socially conservative in general than Donald Trump ever was before he announced for President a year ago.

Mike Pence is NOT in the mainstream of the nation, and was an early Tea Party supporter.

Mike Pence would not be utilized as an active Vice President by Donald Trump, but it does not really matter in the end.

Mike Pence is NOT going to be the next Vice President of the United States!

Republican Party Split Begins Around Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump!

The Republican Party is deteriorating before our eyes, as they face the threat of Donald Trump.

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham all reject him.

So does Erick Erickson, Bill Kristol, most of the Weekly Standard and National Review conservatives, and most US Senators and Congressmen of the party.

Others such as John McCain and Susan Collins and Kelly Ayotte are steering clear of him, while not repudiating him.

Many Republican Senators running for reelection are in a no win situation, including McCain, Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Mark Kirk.

Many Wall Street Republicans, and much of the Wall Street Journal group, and even elements of the Fox News Channel crowd, reject Trump’s candidacy.

Neoconservatives in the party are infuriated with Trump’s foreign policy views.

Social conservatives cannot accept Trump’s support of limited abortion rights and LGBT rights, including transgender bathroom issues.

And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stating his inability to support Trump at this point is totally stunning!

There is a sense of desperation, and the belief we are in the midst of a revolution in the party system!

48 Hours That Transformed History—January 22-23, 1973!

Forty three years ago today and tomorrow marks one of the most significant 48 hour periods in American history!

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson passed away at age 64 and the Supreme Court declared the right of women to have abortions in Roe V. Wade on January 22, 1973.

The next day, January 23, 1973, the announcement of an agreement to end the Vietnam War was made.

So we lost our most creative, reform oriented President since Franklin D. Roosevelt; and women gained the right to control their own reproductive lives,;and the war that divided the nation like no other since the Civil War finally was ending.

Today, 43 years later, we have seen attempts to cut back on the Great Society accomplishments by Republicans in Congress, only stopped by the veto of Barack Obama!

We have seen constant attempts to ban abortion, and restrictions put on women’s reproductive rights, a major social issue that will not go away!

And the effects of the Vietnam War still reverberate today, and more recent wars in Iraq and ongoing in Afghanistan continue to cause emotional political debate about commitment of American troops to fight overseas, including against ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East!

A book about those two days is appropriate by some scholar who can remind us of the tremendous significance that 48 hours of events can have on American history!

 

Bernie Sanders And The Younger Voter: A Special Connection!

One of the most interesting developments of the 2016 Presidential campaign is the appeal of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont among younger voters, specifically under the age of 45.

This means those born after 1970 and up to 1998, the age group which has no issue with gay rights and gay marriage; abortion rights for women; legalization of marijuana; supportive of immigration reform; and belief in the need to deal with climate change.

This group is the future of America, and it is a progressive group overwhelmingly by any measurement!

So in the midst of Republican Donald Trump publicity, Bernie Sanders’ s supporters, who Hillary Clinton desperately needs  if she ends up as the Democratic nominee for President, which is still most likely, any attempt by Clinton to trash Bernie will backfire on her candidacy in November.

It is possible that if Hillary wins but leaves “bad blood” with Bernie, that these younger voters, including first time voters, might just sit out the campaign in disgust!

Will the younger voters allow the older, less educated, and much  more white composition voters who support Trump carry the day?

This will be a crucial issue in the Fall campaign, how to keep the younger voters Democratic, rather than have them sit out the election, and possibly give the “Archie Bunker” candidate the opportunity to do his destructive deeds in the Oval Office!

Millennials Will Make A Long Term Progressive Future, No Matter What Conservatives Try To Promote!

The Millennials, the generation from the early 1980s to the 21st century, have given clear cut evidence that they are the portent of a long term progressive future in America!

Conservatives may try to promote their agenda, but it is not seen as likely that the youngest generation of voters in the next decade and beyond will stand for it!

It is clear that Millennials are supportive of the following elements of the progressive agenda:

Gay Rights, Transgender Rights, and Same Sex Marriage

Acceptance of Women’s Rights and Equality

Tolerance of Immigration and Welcoming of Refugees

Acceptance of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Abortion and Contraception Rights

Sensible Gun Control Regulations

Environmental Reforms and the Urgency of Climate Change Actions

Loosening of Tough Drug Laws that have caused filling of our prisons

More Skepticism Of Organized Religion and its Influence on American Politics

Belief in Strong Defense But Skepticism Over Troop Intervention Overseas

 

Former New York Governor George Pataki: Ignored, Forgotten, But Most Sensible, Centrist Republican In Presidential Race

It used to be that New York Governors, whether Democrats or Republicans, were well respected and regarded in national politics.

Just in the last century, we had Charles Evans Hughes, Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas E. Dewey all Presidential nominees; and Nelson Rockefeller and Mario Cuomo seen as possible Presidential choices.

Such was not the case with George Pataki, Governor from 1995-2007, who did the magical feat of defeating Mario Cuomo, who no one thought could be defeated for a fourth term in 1994; and who was then overshadowed by two New York City Mayors, Rudy Guilani and Michael Bloomberg, who were more exciting personalities.

But Pataki, after being forgotten for nearly a decade, and after a Governorship that looks a whole lot better after the disasters of his successors in the Governorship–Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson—is now back in politics as number 16 out of 16 Republican Presidential contenders, with ZERO chance of being the nominee, and in the bottom of the polls, often not scoring even one percent.

Having said that, Pataki is truly a “profile in courage”, in that he is challenging Donald Trump’s hate filled comments about Mexican immigration, in a way no one else is doing so, and has challenged Trump to a debate on that topic.

Of course, Pataki wants to be seen as significant, and it is clear Trump will not answer the challenge.

But Pataki represents the now dormant “Rockefeller” wing of the Republican Party, the moderate centrist Republican, who actually believes in immigration reform, abortion rights, acceptance of gay marriage, belief in environmental protection. and sensible gun control.

With a candidate such as Pataki, the GOP would have a revival back to its glorious past, instead of teetering on the brink of disaster, and its demise in the near future!