Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving Day A Day To Be Thankful For In Many Ways

Today is Thanksgiving Day, and we have a lot to be thankful for.

We are thankful that we have a democratic system of government, where there is accountability for one’s behavior in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We have violations in our history much too often, but the Constitution and Bill of Rights have ability to be utilized to counteract such violations.

Thank goodness that the Democrats won the House of Representatives in 2018, and are putting Donald Trump’s feet to the fire, no matter what happens in the US Senate.

The Republican Party is sealing its long term doom if it continues to back the lawlessness and corruption of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, no matter what happens in 2020, will have his historical reputation in tatters, as his lack of ethics, morality, common decency, and concern for those less fortunate, guarantee his condemnation in the long run of history.

While neither political party is ideal or perfect, the Democratic Party is triumphant in the long run of history for having concerned itself with the advancement of average Americans from FDR to LBJ to Barack Obama.

There is plenty of room for improvement, but the Republican Party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike is long gone, and the GOP stands condemned for its lack of concern for average Americans since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan onward.

Republican Party Totally Unprincipled On Trump Impeachment, While Going After Bill Clinton On Flimsier Grounds Twenty Years Ago

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush has gone totally bonkers, as the 2019 Republican party has demonstrated it is totally unprincipled on the growing evidence of the clear cut obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and other crimes that call for President Donald Trump to be impeached.

By comparison, Bill Clinton was a choir boy, with the worst action he took being engaging in sex in the Oval Office, and lying about it, for which the late 1990s Republican Party impeached him on far flimsier grounds.

Now, we see those engaged in going after Bill Clinton, including Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Newt Gingrich, and a multitude of other hypocrites, willing to overlook every misdeed by Donald Trump, and sacrifice their reputations to defend a President who deserves no defense.

It is as if a religious cult has emerged, and as if Donald Trump is a God like figure. Republicans are willing to sacrifice their reputation in history, as they will not stand up well in the future for their willingness to bow down to Trump, when he is always willing to throw them under the bus, having no loyalties to anyone, and only concerned about his own selfish, greedy desires to grab more power and destroy the US Constitution.

Will the Republican Party ever come out of its fog and unreal state of consciousness?

Reality: Candidates Ahead In Public Opinion Polls In Third Year Of Presidential Term Never Are The Nominees For President

Public opinion polls have been notoriously inaccurate in the third year of a Presidential term in who would be the Presidential nominees of major parties the following year.

In 2003, Vermont Governor Howard Dean was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but John Kerry ended up as the nominee in 2004.

In 2007, New York Senator Hillary Clinton was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but Barack Obama ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2007, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but John McCain ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2011, Herman Cain was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Mitt Romney ended up as the nominee in 2012.

In 2015, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Donald Trump ended up as the nominee in 2016.

Beyond these examples, in the third year of many Presidential terms, who could have known that the next President would be someone not seriously considered at that time to have a chance to be elected.

Witness John F. Kennedy in 1959; Richard Nixon in 1967; Jimmy Carter in 1975; Ronald Reagan in 1979; Bill Clinton in 1991; Barack Obama in 2007; and Donald Trump in 2015.

Also add the following: Abraham Lincoln in 1859; Woodrow Wilson in 1911; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931; and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951.

So, to assume that Joe Biden, currently ahead in all polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, will be the nominee is quite a gamble, based upon history.

Today, May 8, Is The 135th Anniversary Of Harry Truman’s Birth, And The 74th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II In Europe

Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.

The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.

And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.

Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.

This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.

Censure Of President Trump An Alternative To Impeachment, Since Conviction Impossible With Republican Senate

With the latest poll indicating that 56 percent of Americans do not favor the impeachment of Donald Trump, it might be wiser for the Democrats to consider a censure motion instead, much less controversial and likely to gain some Republican support.

Censure was done by the Senate against Andrew Jackson in 1834 over the National Bank issue, and the House of Representatives agreed to censure of James K. Polk over the Mexican War prosecution in 1848.

Attempts to censure John Tyler in 1842, Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and Bill Clinton in 1998 failed.

It is far from an impeachment, but it would be a strong statement by either house were censure to be considered in place of impeachment, which would never get a two thirds vote of the Senate for conviction.

It looks more than ever that impeachment will NOT happen, due to the circumstances that are present, and it sets a bad standard for the future regarding Presidential abuse of power.

Bill Weld Begins A Quixotic Race Against Donald Trump For Soul Of Republican Party

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997), who also was the Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Party line with Presidential candidate Gary Johnson in 2016, has begun what is seen as a Quixotic race against Donald Trump for the soul of the Republican Party.

The question is whether the GOP has a soul, and there is much doubt about it, as they have allowed themselves to become an extremist right wing party that is against the American tradition of fairness, equity, and its own early history of support for civil rights under Abraham Lincoln, and progressivism under Theodore Roosevelt.

This is the time for two others, who are much more likely, if they ran against Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, to have a real chance of stopping him, or at least, of tarnishing him enough to cause his defeat in the election.

This blogger is referring to former Ohio Governor and former Congressman John Kasich, and former Utah Governor, former Ambassador to China, and present Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

These two were the only decent, reasonable candidates of the Republican Party for the Presidency in 2012 for Huntsman and 2016 for Kasich.

Both have their shortcomings, as all candidates do, but have a distinct record of accomplishments, competency, and decency to revive the Republican historical image that has been lost in recent years, and accelerated by the disgrace that is Donald Trump.

Barack Obama Fortunate For History That He Is Between George W. Bush And Donald Trump In The Order Of Presidents In Office

In the long run of history, where a President is in the order of attaining the Presidency really matters.

So, for instance, John Adams is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and while Adams ranks around the middle in ranking of Presidents by historians and political scientists, he is rated much lower than the two Presidents before and after him, who are in the top ten of any listing.

The same goes for William Howard Taft, who is between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom are in the top quarter of Presidents, while Taft is rated in the mid 20s.

And the same is true for George H. W. Bush, who is between Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, both of whom are rated higher than Bush, who is rated in the later teens as President.

On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln comes between the two men usually rated the two worst Presidents, James Buchanan before him and Andrew Johnson after him.

And it is now clear that Barack Obama, rated 11th in one poll, 8th in another poll, and 17th in a third poll, all within the two years he has been out of the Presidency, is fortunate to have George W. Bush, rated in the 30s, and Donald Trump rated either at the bottom under Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, or at most just above them, insuring he will, like Lincoln, always be rated much better.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.

March 4 Presidential Inauguration History Significant So Many Times In American History

Today is the original Presidential Inauguration Day through 1933 every fourth year.

Some March 4ths stand out.

1801–Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated, the first time an opposition party takes over the Presidency, and without any bloodshed or violence.

1829–Andrew Jackson is inaugurated, and a mob descends on the White House to celebrate, and windows, glasses, and China are broken.

1841–William Henry Harrison is inaugurated, gives the longest inaugural address in history, and takes sick with pneumonia that evening, and dies after one month in office.

1861–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated at a time when Southern states have broken away from the Union and declared their independence.

1865–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term, and gives the greatest Inaugural Address in American history, calling for peace and reconciliation when the Civil War ends, and his future assassin, John Wilkes Booth is in the crowd and moving toward the inaugural stand as Lincoln speaks.

1913–Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the Democrats, after a half century of Republican dominance of national government.

1933–Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated at the worst moments of the Great Depression, and FDR talks of a New Deal for the American people, the second greatest Inaugural Address, and the Congress pushes through the 20th Amendment, setting up future inauguration dates to be on January 20, starting in 1937.

Latest Presidential Ranking Survey For Presidents Day Changes Ratings Of Several Presidents Upward And Downward

The game of Presidential rankings is one always changing, and the newest survey of scholars, including this author as a participant, does not disappoint in that regard.

The Siena College survey, now done six times since 1982, once for each new President being considered in the rankings, has some surprises.

157 experts, questioned by the Siena College Research Institute, raised two of the Founding Father generation to the top ten, with James Madison number 7 and James Monroe, his successor at number 8. In so doing, two modern Presidents were dropped out of the top ten, with Ronald Reagan at number 13 and Lyndon B. Johnson at number 16.

A rare occurrence was that Abraham Lincoln was number 3, when usually he is on top, although in earlier Siena College surveys, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been number one, now number two, with George Washington moving up to number one.

Barack Obama, number 8 in the American Political Science Association survey in 2018, and number 12 in the C Span 2017 survey, ended up number 17 in the Siena College survey, so below such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, James K. Polk, John Adams, and Bill Clinton.

And Donald Trump, who was dead last in the APSA poll, was number 42, above James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, with Johnson ending up below Buchanan, the opposite of both the C Span and APSA surveys.

Of course, the game of Presidential ranking is a never ending and highly debatable one, and the way that Presidents are ranked is purely in the eyes and expertise of the beholder.

Should a great man, such as Madison or Monroe, but not as accomplished as more modern Presidents, such as Reagan or LBJ, be higher in the ratings?

That is left up to how people perceive Presidents, and whether they include the whole life, or just the actual years of the Presidency, in their judgments.