African Americans

The Likelihood Of An Historic Vice Presidential Nomination For The Democrats: A Woman Or A Person Of Minority Heritage

Speculation has begun about who Democrat Hillary Clinton’s potential choices for Vice President might be, but it seems more and more likely that it will be an historic choice, likely NOT to be a white male, but rather a woman or a leader of minority heritage.

It is true that Democrat Walter Mondale selected New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and that Republican John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008, but this time around, the possible candidates for a woman are much stronger choices.

If one is considering a woman, which some think is “radical” to do, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is seen as the most likely choice, but her fame and her age work against her, and it would make more sense to pick a woman who is substantially younger, and could be a potential successor eight years from now–such as Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota or Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State.

If Hillary wants to select someone from a minority heritage, the best would be Latinos, such as former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; or Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland; and if African American, the best would be New Jersey Senator Cory Booker or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

In another blog entry forthcoming tomorrow, we will consider white males as potential Vice Presidential nominees, with quite a long list of such candidates!

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!

Are We A Police State? Ted Cruz Suggests Monitoring “Muslim” Neighborhoods! Next, Why Not Monitor Other Minority Groups, Heh, Ted?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the only Republican challenger to Donald Trump who could possibly pass Trump in delegates, is trying to outTrump Trump!

His suggestion, after the Belgium terrorist attack yesterday, is that police in America start to monitor and patrol  “Muslim” neighborhoods!

First of all, how does one define a “Muslim” neighborhood?  By name, by appearance, by requiring people to reveal their religious beliefs?

Are we to start allowing police to monitor an Hispanic or Latino neighborhood?  Oh wait, that already happens illegally in Maricopa County, Arizona, where anyone can be checked on their immigration status by the police under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, although it is illegal, and causes stress among Spanish speaking people.

Are we to start allowing police to monitor African American neighborhoods?  Oh wait, that already happens , and is the major cause of so many police shootings and killings.

This insistence on a “police state” mentality can do tremendous harm, in that it can convince ethnic, racial, and religious groups to be disillusioned, and feel a need and desire to strike out against an American society that treats white Christian Anglo Americans as a privileged class, that is treated better than everyone else!

Oh wait, that is already the case in this nation, white privilege, and hasn’t it cost enough trouble already without making it worse, as Senator Ted Cruz, crazily, is promoting?

Danger Of Civil Unrest And Violence Growing, And The Blame Is On Donald Trump For Inciting It!

We have to fear now for the future of our nation, as Donald Trump has sowed what he incited: civil unrest and violence, reaching its peak with troubles in Chicago, causing the cancellation of a Trump rally last night.

Donald Trump has promoted violence and division with his rhetoric, including calling demonstrators names and having them evicted, with some being beaten up by hoodlums in the crowds, particularly if one is African American or Latino.

Journalists have also been mistreated and abused by Trump people, and Trump seems unconcerned about the chaos and anarchy he is promoting.

This blogger has written on thehill.com and on History News Network of his concern that all of this turmoil, encouraged by Trump but also the Republican Party with its refusal to give support and respect to Barack Obama over the past seven years in a way unseen in the past by any political party, will lead to the danger of assassination of Trump or some other Presidential candidate.

Assassination is NEVER the answer to any political disagreements, but we know that Huey P. Long was assassinated in 1935 and George C. Wallace paralyzed for life in 1972 by assassins, stirred by their demagoguery, so Trump is treading dangerous ground.

A reminder that Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 of my book cover the stories of these two tragic events surrounding Long and Wallace!

We must all pray that civil order reign, and that Donald Trump recognize his responsibilities to lower the temperature of political debate, but it looks as if we are gearing up for a tumultuous year surrounding the Presidential Election of 2016, unmatched since the Presidential Election of 1968!

The Revival And Rebirth Of Marco Rubio: Now The Only Hope Left For The Republican Party Future?

Twelve days ago, Florida Senator Marco Rubio looked like a ‘dead man”, after his disastrous debate performance, repeating a statement about Barack Obama four times.

It was embarrassing for Rubio, and even if one does not care for Rubio, anyone with any empathy had to be embarrassed for him.

Everyone thought New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would benefit from calling out Rubio, but the following week, Rubio ended up in third place, ahead of all of the Governors in the race—Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Christie, with Christie in sixth place, and out of the race.

Some would say that Christie’s collapse was fundamental justice, and one can be sure Rubio has thought that.

But now, Rubio has impressed in the most recent debate, and also, particularly in a Town Hall last night on CNN with Anderson Cooper, which had separate 40 minute discussions between Cooper and each of three candidates, rather than a debate, and with ordinary citizens asking the questions.

It is as if there has been a revival and rebirth of Marco Rubio, and on top of all this good news for him, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has endorsed him for Governor ahead of the South Carolina primary, a major boost.

Haley gained positive reaction to her reaction after the Charleston Massacre at a African American church last June, and African American Senator Tim Scott had also, earlier, endorsed Rubio.

The possibility of a serious challenge to both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has now grown, and the “Establishment” wing of the Republican Party is likely to gather around Rubio after the South Carolina primary, and doom the chances of Jeb Bush and John Kasich, as well as Dr. Benjamin Carson.

And the idea of a Presidential ticket of Rubio and either Haley or Scott is growing—a Cuban American with an Indian American (from India) or an African American.

This would bring two “minorities” together, with Rubio being 45 and Haley reaching the same age precisely on Inauguration Day 2017, and Scott being 51—a youthful generation challenging an “old timer”,  such as Hillary Clinton, age 69 by Inauguration Day, and Bernie Sanders age 75 (the oldest first term President in American history).

This ticket, more likely Rubio and Haley, could be a difficult match for either Democratic Presidential candidate!

Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Choices

Barack Obama has every right, and the responsibility, to select a replacement for the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

We have never had more than 125 days from an appointment to confirmation, and never more than 114 days from an appointment to rejection by the US Senate.

The Supreme Court cannot do its proper job with eight members for more than a year, so Obama must push for his nominee, and if the GOP refuses, they will suffer in the Fall campaign in Congress and for the Presidency.

The Republicans have prevented action in the legislative branch, and tried to bottle up the executive branch, but cannot get away with blocking the judicial branch.

As far as who Barack Obama should select for the Court appointment, there are many names mentioned, but it would be good to have a Supreme Court Justice who has NOT been a federal judge, as this trend did not always exist in the past.

We need a wider variety of experiences, and one can think of Earl Warren, Governor of California, and Hugo Black, Senator from Alabama, as two exceptional Justices who never served as judges. We have had 14 Senators and 17 Congressman on the Court, with Warren an outlier, but Governor of a major state that was on its way to being number one in population.

So one can think of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick;  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and Attorney General Loretta Lynch as excellent possibilities, with hints that Lynch might be the choice!  Some mention of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has arisen, as well.

We would have our first African American woman on the Court with an appointment of Lynch, and she is used to long waits for confirmation, as with six months to become Attorney General.

IF Obama took action this week, during the recess of Congress for Presidents Day, the nominee would take his or her seat immediately, and the GOP could do nothing about it, so why not take action when one can?

But at worst, if the Court had to live with eight members, Lynch could stand by, stay as Attorney General to the end of the term, and then be chosen by Democrat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, assuming one of them become the 45th President of the United States.

But really, the Court NEEDS a new Justice NOW, and tough luck that the Republicans lose their control of the Court majority after 44 years!  Such is life, and it is time for the liberal-progressive agenda to be the majority of the Supreme Court’s future, as elections, as that of Barack Obama in 2012, DO have consequences!

Profanity,Vulgarities, Cursing Of Donald Trump Diminishes And Undermines Prestige Of American Presidency!

Donald Trump has demeaned the Presidential campaign of 2016 with his constant profanity, vulgarities, and cursing of everyone who is challenging him for the Presidency!

He has insulted women, African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Immigrants, and gays and lesbians by his words and by his associations and willingness to accept endorsements from extremist right wing groups!

He has shown how much of a racist, nativist, misogynist and critic of the news media he is, and he threatens democracy and civility!

And yet, there are large crowds that show up at every rally, and the crowds are rude, rowdy, and loose with the worst possible language, and often with women in the crowds more vulgar than the men!

And yet, many of these people claim to be “religious”, but their hypocrisy and promotion of hate and division have damaged the public airwaves!

The prestige of the American Presidency would be horribly damaged if Donald Trump ever, somehow, made it to the Presidency, and one has to hope that sanity returns to the political discourse soon.

We cannot afford to have a rude, crude acting President, who would endanger national security with his mouth, and promote discord among the widely varying population of America!

The Incongruity: Second Most Prominent “First Lady” Challenged For Presidency Twice By “Unlikely” Rivals, And Could Lose Chance To Be First Woman President!

When history is written, the incongruity of what has been happening will make a great tale.

The second most prominent “First Lady” in American history is challenged for Presidency twice by “unlikely” rivals, and could lose her chance to be the first woman President.

The first time, a first term African American Senator from Illinois, with an African name and the middle name “Hussein” challenges this “First Lady”, and ends up as the 44th President of the United States, and employs the former “First Lady” as his Secretary of State.

The second time, after having served as Secretary of State. the former “First Lady” is challenged for the Presidency by an elderly Jewish Senator with strong democratic Socialist views, an independent from the small state of Vermont, and defeats her in New Hampshire, and could go on to be the 45h President of the United States!

Never before had we seen a woman seen as so serious a challenger for the Presidency!  Never had we seen an African American President!  Never had we seen a man over 70 by five years, and with clear but Socialist views, and of the Jewish faith, on the road to possible election as President of the United States!

American politics continues to be unpredictable!

Hillary Clinton Campaigning As A “Progressive”, Against Husband Bill Clinton’s “Moderate” Presidency!

Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a “progressive”, but her husband, while in office as the 42nd President, was far from progressive!

Many would say that Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a “raging moderate” in so many ways.

Despite being attacked by Republicans incessantly, and being impeached by them as well, Bill Clinton actually cooperated with them on many issues, and was also often quite critical of liberals in his own party.

Witness:

He signed into law the end of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.

He signed into law the end of the federal guarantee of welfare in 1996, leaving it to the states to decide levels of support of single mothers and children, and the elderly and disabled.

He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was a big step back from the idea of gay equality.  Earlier in 1994, he had promoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backing away from equality for gays.

He signed the Omnibus Crime legislation in 1994, which was a major crackdown on crime, and that allowed the arrest and incarceration of many young people, many of them African American and Latino, on minor drug charges, filling up America’s prisons.

He signed NAFTA into law in 1993, which undermined labor, and caused an influx of foreign goods, due to the low tariffs, now opposed by his wife.

He signed into law a repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998,  which led to bank expansion of loans and mortgages, and much larger banks that helped to lead to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

He called himself a “New Democrat” in 1992, criticized liberalism often, and was involved in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council group.

This does not mean that Bill Clinton did not have some really positive aspects domestically to his Presidency, but he was certainly considered by many to be a “Republicrat”, rather than a Democrat.

He, along with Jimmy Carter, were the least progressive Democratic Presidents, when compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and also Barack Obama, after Carter and Clinton.

This might be because Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats, but the point is that Bill Clinton, while good on some issues, was not a progressive, as his wife now is campaigning on against Bernie Sanders!

Does it mean that Hillary Clinton cannot have “learned” from the mistakes  of the 1990s, honestly?  NO, but the point is she is very different as a campaigner than her husband was!

Of course, when one thinks about it, Hillary is running for the Presidency a full generation after her husband won his second and last term, the last time he was facing the voters!

 

The Young (Under 45) Challenge To “Baby Boomers” Control Over Politics! Is It For Real?

If one goes by public opinion polls and turnout at rallies, the “young”, defined as those under 45, born after 1970, are rebelling against the “establishment”, the “Baby Boomers” in this upcoming Presidential Election of 2016.

They seem to want a complete  overhaul of government, and many of them are gravitating, ironically, to the OLDEST Presidential candidate of all, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who has been in office for 25 years in Congress, plus eight years as Mayor of Burlington!

One would think that Sanders was an “outsider”, but he has been in government positions for more years than anyone else running, including John Kasich and Hillary Clinton!

But he is seen as a dramatic change because of his attacks on Wall Street, and his non-interventionist foreign policy, including his votes against the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War.

But the question arises whether one can be sure that the young, particularly those under 29, and even more, those who are teenagers or early 20s, can be relied on to show up in the primaries and caucuses, and actually vote in November for the change they say they want.

Many observers are skeptical, and wonder if the youngest “new” voters really even understand politics, foreign policy, and major complicated issues, or are just “along for the ride”, the excitement of being involved now, but losing interest as the months go by.

We shall see just how the young among us will transform American politics, and if it leads, somehow, to the election of a democratic Socialist President, it will be historic, even more so, than the election of the first African American President!