Barack Obama

Two Republican Majority Courts Supported Abortion Rights, But Not Now In 2022!

In the case of Roe V. Wade (1973), decided by 7-2, Abortion Rights for women was made federal law, with five of the seven votes being Republican appointments:

Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
Warren Burger (Chief Justice) (Nixon)
William Brennan (Eisenhower)
Potter Stewart (Eisenhower)
Lewis Powell (Nixon)

In Planned Parenthood V. Casey (1992), a later case on abortion, with some limits, the decision was 5-4, with all 5 in the majority being Republican appointments:

Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan)
Anthony Kennedy (Reagan)
David Souter (HW Bush)
Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
John Paul Stevens (Ford)

All of these Republican appointed Justices were considered to be “conservatives” in their time frame, although Blackmun, Brennan, and Stevens came to be seen as “liberals’ over time, and O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter came to be seen as “moderates”.

The definition of “conservative” has changed dramatically in the past half century, so all of the Republican Justices would be seen by right wing Republicans in 2022 as “RINOS”, Republicans In Name Only!

In 2022, in Dobbs V. Jackson’s Women Health Organization, all six Republicans voted to end abortion rights, although Chief Justice John Roberts wanted only further limitations on abortion, and therefore dissented while joining the other five Republicans.

These appointments were by two Presidents who lost the popular vote when they were elected by the Electoral College, along with Clarence Thomas appointed by George H W Bush.

Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh both had charges of sexual impropriety brought against them, while Neil Gorsuch gained a place on the Court that was meant for Barack Obama appointee Merrick Garland, and Amy Coney Barrett replaced the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg just a week before an election in which Donald Trump lost by 7 million votes to Joe Biden, who should have been allowed that appointment.

Republicans In White House In Six Major Periods Of Corruption!

The Republican Party has the unenviable record of having six of their Presidents leading the nation in major periods of corruption, sometimes with their support, and other times because of poor selection of advisers and cabinet officers.

Chronologically, they are as follows:

Ulysses S. Grant–1869-1877

Warren G. Harding–1921-1923

Richard Nixon–1969-1974

Ronald Reagan–1981-1989

George W. Bush–2001-2009

Donald Trump–2017-2021

The two worst are Donald Trump and Richard Nixon, while the others seem not to have engaged personally in scandals!

But all six Republican Presidents had people in their administrations face indictments and convictions!

While there was minor scandals under some Democrats–Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton—they, in no way, match the horrendous record of the Republican Party!

And two recent Democratic Presidents have a totally clear record of no corruption, no indictments, no convictions—Jimmy Carter–1977-1981, and Barack Obama–2009-2017!

Joe Biden Arguably Has Faced The Worst Set Of Crises Other Than Lincoln And FDR!

Abraham Lincoln faced the breakup of the Union and the Civil War in his Presidency from 1861-1865.

Franklin D. Roosevelt faced the Great Depression, the growing threat of Fascism and Nazism, and World War II, from 1933-1945.

Other than Lincoln and FDR, the question arises which other Presidents faced crises on a level as dangerous and challenging as those two Presidents.

One could say George Washington facing the challenge of making the Constitution work, and the nation able to survive as a republic from 1789-1797.

One could say Harry Truman, facing the challenge of sudden elevation to the Presidency in a time when World War II was not yet resolved, and having to deal with the threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War years from 1945-1953.

One could say John F. Kennedy, facing the threat of the Soviet Union, including the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, which dominated his time in the Presidency, from 1961-1963.

One could say George W. Bush, facing the challenge of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and the dual wars fought during his Presidency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Great Recession which developed in his last year in office, from 2001-2009.

One could also say Barack Obama, facing the challenge of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and the constant domestic resistance from the right wing Tea Party Movement, and the growing extremism of the Republican Party, from 2009-2017.

But one could also argue that Joe Biden, facing the COVID 19 Pandemic; the growing epidemic of mass murders by firearms by domestic terrorists and mentally disturbed people; and the threat of nuclear war in the midst of the greatest foreign policy crisis (The Russia-Ukraine War) since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, is the greatest challenge and crisis other than Lincoln and FDR!

Right Wing And Republicans Gone Mad: The Threat To Destroy Modern Times!

It is becoming very clear that right wing conservatism and Republicans have gone mad, as they wish to destroy modern times, and the advancements of the New Deal, Great Society, Warren Supreme Court, and promotion of change under Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

If they had their way, and it is becoming more likely, we would see women’s rights, civil rights of racial minorities, gay and lesbian rights, and privacy rights of the past generations being erased!

And corporate domination over workers’ rights would be worse, and agencies designed to make America a better place, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, would be denied the ability to do their work, or even maybe be eradicated!

And the role of evangelical religion would grow ever more rapidly, despite the fact that the majority of the nation is far less religious over time than it has been in the past!

It is difficult to be optimistic about the future in a nation which has gone into reverse on so many issues, both within Congress and in the federal judiciary, due to appointments by former Republican Presidents, including George W. Bush and Donald Trump!

“The Good Old Days”: Barack Obama Returns To The Joe Biden White House To Celebrate “ObamaCare”!

Yesterday was a delightful day in a stressed world situation!

The most impressive President of modern times, Barack Obama, returned to the White House, and the memories of the Obama Presidency, with Joe Biden as Vice President, was revisited.

There was humor, comedy, and light hearted banter, a massive difference from the Donald Trump years.

Obama saluted the survival and success of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, something that the Republican Party continually tried to destroy, but which has been a major success for 30 million people!

And it came a day before Ketanji Brown Jackson was finally confirmed to the Supreme Court today by a bipartisan vote of 53-47, making her the first African American woman on the Court, and with the announcement of the vote by the first mixed race woman, Kamala Harris, to be Vice President of the United States!

So the significance of Barack Obama, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Kamala Harris are there for all the bigots and monstrous racists to have to swallow, as Joe Biden has moved forward from the progress of the Barack Obama Presidency!

A Moment To Commemorate: 7,400 Entries Since August 2008, And Joe Biden And Sarah Palin Then And Now

Today is a day of commemoration, as this is the 7,400th entry on “The Progressive Professor”, since its inception on August 11, 2008!

The first entry on August 11 was on the Vice Presidency, and Joe Biden was the center of attention as being the best choice, before his selection by Barack Obama.

And an entry on the disaster of Sarah Palin being chosen by John McCain for his Vice Presidential nominee, on August 29, was also the center of attention in that first month.

And now Joe Biden is in his second year as the 46th President, and Sarah Palin has come out of the woodwork to announce her candidacy for the vacant Alaska House seat!

So after 13 years and 8 months of posting articles on this blog, it is fascinating to look back at the beginning!

Sarah Palin Comes Back Into Politics In Alaska, With Death Of Long Term Congressman Don Young

Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has come out of the woodwork, so to speak, to announce her candidacy for the statewide US House seat vacated by the passing of long time Congressman Don Young last month, after serving longer than any Republican member of either house of Congress in American history, a total of 49 years since 1973.

There are a slew of candidates running for that seat, but since Palin is a known factor, she probably will have an edge on the nomination and election to that seat, but we shall see.

If she wins, she will join the group of lunatics that are now disgracing themselves in the House of Representatives, such individuals as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn, along with others who have served longer than the present term in the lower chamber.

Palin will wish to compete for craziness with such people, as she craves attention, but she remains the most disastrous Vice Presidential selection ever in American history.

Thank goodness John McCain, who came to realize the mistake he had made, putting her, theoretically a heartbeat away from the Presidency, never came to pass, with Barack Obama defeating McCain in the Presidential Election of 2008!

The Supreme Court Reputation Reaching An All Time Low

The US Supreme Court is in a crisis, as its reputation in public opinion polls, and among Supreme Court “watchers”, is reaching an all time low, not matched since the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Court has never been as right wing in substance as it is now, since a century ago, and even going further back to the late 19th century Gilded Age era.

The Supreme Court’s reputation was glowing in the time of the Warren Court (1953-1969) and even moving forward to the Burger Court (1969-1986), and still having an image of balance in the era of the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005).

This was due to the reality that many Republican appointees to the Court, including the following, avoided hardline conservativism:

Eisenhower–Earl Warren, William Brennan
Nixon–Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun
Ford–John Paul Stevens
Reagan–Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy
HW Bush–David Souter

These eight Justices made a massive difference in enunication of Supreme Court opinions.

Sadly, George H W Bush’s appointment of Clarence Thomas, and George W. Bush’s selection of Samuel Alito, veered the Court far to the right, and Donald Trump’s three appointments—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett—have continued that trend.

The fact that Thomas and Kavanaugh have been connected to accusations of sexual harassment, and that Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett were chosen by Presidents who lost the national popular vote, and that Gorsuch took a seat that was meant for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and that Barrett was confirmed for the Court less than two weeks before the national election—only adds to the fury and disgust felt about the Supreme Court!

This has, reportedly, disturbed Chief Justice John Roberts (2005- ), whose historical reputation is being damaged, as he has moved, personally, from being conservative to attempts to create a moderate balance on the Court. Sadly, it is not working, so there are some rumors that he might retire from the Court after 17 years as its leader, as that is about the norm for most of the 17 Chief Justices in Amerian history, with the exception of John Marshall (1801-1835) and his successor, Roger Taney (1836-1864).

That would be a major step forward, to retire, and allow Joe Biden to pick a Chief Justice, which has not happened for a Democratic President since Harry Truman in 1946!

Possibility That Neither Donald Trump Nor Joe Biden Will Be On Presidential Ballot In 2024

The possibility now exists that neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden will be on the Presidential ballot in 2024.

There are good reasons for this scenario.

Joe Biden would be 82 a few weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024, and Donald Trump would be past 78 and a half at the time of the inauguration, making both of them the oldest Presidential contenders in American history.

Donald Trump faces multiple lawsuits, and the strong potential for prosecution, both criminal and civil, which could harm any chance of him being the Republican nominee.

And there are many conservatives and Republicans who would want to be rid of the menace of Donald Trump.

Joe Biden’s age, and the hints of possible cognitive tests being bandied about by critics, makes it harder for him to consider a second term, along with all of the problems he is dealing with, which might undermine his future, particularly if the Democrats lose the House of Representatives, and even, potentially, the US Senate.

The feeling of a fresh start, and younger candidates is very appealing to many Americans.

If it turns out that neither Trump nor Biden, and even Vice Presidents Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, are passed by as alternatives, which could be a possibility, then we would have a scenario rarely seen in US history, of Presidential tickets that have neither the President nor Vice President having been nominated for either office.

The only elections since 1824 where no one nominated was ever on a Presidential ballot before being chosen are the following 12 elections out of a total of 50 elections:

1844 election of James K. Polk
1852 election of Franklin Pierce
1868 election of Ulysses S. Grant
1876 election of Rutherford B. Hayes
1880 election of James A. Garfield
1884 election of Grover Cleveland
1896 election of William McKinley
1920 election of Warren G. Harding
1928 election of Herbert Hoover
1952 election of Dwight D. Eisenhower
2008 election of Barack Obama
2016 election of Donald Trump

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!