Ben Sasse

Is Donald Trump The Third President Without A Party, As Was The Case With John Tyler And Andrew Johnson?

We have had two Presidents who lacked support of a party, and we may now have a third one in Donald Trump.

Two Presidents were elected Vice President as part of a “fusion” team to help elect the Presidential nominee, and then quickly became President upon the death of the President.

John Tyler, a Democrat, ran on the Whig Party line with William Henry Harrison in 1840, and Harrison died of pneumonia 31 days after the inauguration.

Tyler disagreed with the Whig Party principles, and came into conflict with Whig leadership, including Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and Congressman John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts.

His entire cabinet resigned after a few months, with the exception of Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Tyler had great troubles with confirmation hearings, with four cabinet appointments and four nominees for the Supreme Court rejected by the Whig controlled Senate. The Congress refused to pass funding for fixing of the White House, which was in disrepair, and an attempted impeachment was prevented only by the Whigs losing the House of Representatives in 1842.

So John Tyler was a man without a party.

The same can be said of Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, who was the Vice Presidential nominee with Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1864, with Lincoln concerned about reelection, so choosing a loyal Southern Democrat to shore up support among some Northern Democrats.

When Lincoln was assassinated 45 days after his second inauguration, Johnson became President but clashed quickly with Radical Republicans over Reconstruction policy, and when he vetoed significant legislation, and went out and campaigned against them in midterm congressional elections in 1866, an open split was clear, and Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which prevented the dismissal of any cabinet officer appointed by the President, without majority backing by the majority of both houses of Congress, an unconstitutional action.

Johnson now faced impeachment on flimsy charges, and was found not guilty, but it weakened his ability to govern, and he was unable to gain the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy, and was truly a President without a party.

Now, Donald Trump has alienated many Republicans, who are willing to investigate his Russian ties and possible collusion in the Presidential Election of 2016. He has denounced the Freedom Caucus membership which prevented his health care legislation from passing, and many US Senators, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and others, have been strong critics. Additionally, he has hinted at working with Democrats, even though he has also antagonized them repeatedly with his utterances and policies. His public opinion rating is the lowest for any new President, since the beginning of polling 80 years ago.

The possibility of impeachment is there, as even top Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have found it difficult to work with a President who is constantly tweeting and criticizing, in a very divisive way.

So Donald Trump could end up being the third President without a party, recalling that for a long time, he was sounding years ago like a liberal Democrat!

Principled Conservatives Who Oppose Trump: Ben Sasse, Evan McMullin, Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, George Will, David Brooks

Only two weeks and three days into the Trump Presidency, and many principled conservatives are clearly opposing Donald Trump, and speaking out against him.

This includes Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska; independent 2016 Presidential candidate Evan McMullin; Weekly Standard Publisher and Editor Bill Kristol; former Reagan speechwriter and columnist Peggy Noonan; former Bush II speechwriter and columnist David Frum; conservative columnist George Will; and NY Times columnist David Brooks.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, as these and others in the conservative movement and in the Republican Party in and out of Congress are horrified by his unconstitutional actions and rhetoric, and signs of a growing Fascism directed by White House aides Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

There are hints that people working in the White House and in the Cabinet agencies are uneasy and disturbed, and it is possible we might have some prominent figures announce their split with their boss and his dangerous extremists who are taking charge and putting the nation in danger as a result, both in domestic and foreign policy.

With the immigration travel ban being contested now in the federal courts, we may be on the way to a quick movement to force Trump out of office for violating his Constitutional oath of office.

The nation and the world are standing by in trepidation as to how much damage Trump has wrought and will continue to do so.

Congressional Republicans Growing Unease About Donald Trump

Less than two weeks in office, Donald Trump is starting to see growing unease among some Congressional Republicans about his independent, go it alone, style of leadership.

Trump clearly feels he was elected without true party unity, and intends to govern in an authoritarian manner, but there are Republicans who are unhappy with his style and manner.

These include:

Arizona Senator John McCain
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
Maine Senator Susan Collins

Also, some Congressmen are also speaking out, so Trump may be a President without a party, and to find that, one must go back to the 19th century, where two Presidents, who succeeded a President who died, had massive headaches trying to deal with the party that had accepted them, members of the opposition party, as their Vice President, due to the wishes of the Presidential nominee, but with no expectation that the President wold die in office.

I am referring to Democrat John Tyler, who ran on the Whig Party ticket with William Henry Harrison in 1840; and Democrat Andrew Johnson, who ran on the Republican “Union” Party line with Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Both Tyler and Johnson would have never ending headaches with their adopted party, with major battles over Supreme Court and Cabinet appointments, and a threat to impeach John Tyler, and an actual impeachment trial for Andrew Johnson.

Could Donald Trump be on the way to similar resistance and possible impeachment? He is alienating Congress by being a “lone wolf”, showing his disdain for Congress and the party line he ran on.

One must recall that his victory for President was the worst ever in popular vote loss to his opponent, and seventh lowest percentage ever, but with all those Presidents with lower percentage of vote, having had two or three opponents who gained electoral votes, instead of just one opponent.

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

Republican Split Begins, As Several US Senators Indicate They Are Ready To Fight Trump Cabinet Appointments

It is now clear that Donald Trump will NOT work to avoid Republican party splits, but instead will do everything he can to stir division within the party, and within America, as shown with his horrendous Cabinet appointments.

Democrats MUST fight tooth and nail against many of the Cabinet appointments, including the nominees for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions); Health and Human Services (Tom Price); Labor (Andrew Puzder); Education (Betsy DeVos); and Environmental Protection Agency (Scott Pruitt).

But there are Republicans unhappy over issues of foreign policy, including close association between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson: and the proposed nomination of John Bolton to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite his continued belief that the Iraq War was justified, and the opposition of many top Republicans who despise the former United Nations Ambassador by recess appointment under George W. Bush, who could not be confirmed by the US Senate.

Republican Senators, including Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins, and possibly others, could prevent some of these appointees in committee or on the floor, and in league with Democrats, create more Cabinet turmoil and rejections than any modern President, reminding us of the battles some earlier Presidents, including John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, had with Congress over their choices for the Cabinet and the courts.

Also, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are calling for a full investigation of Russian hacking of the Democratic Party campaign in the recent election, and many are alarmed by Donald Trump seemingly cozying up to Putin, and Trump’s denial that he believes the evidence of such hacking as concluded by the Central Intelligence Agency, undermining respect and support of the President Elect for the intelligence agencies. And Trump’s refusal to get intelligence briefings regularly and to show mistrust of the Intelligence community, which is so important for the national security of the nation, is very worrisome and alarms many in his own party, as well as the nation at large.

Trump Cabinet Appointments And Other Top Advisers Mostly A “Basket Of Deplorables”! An Outrage To Presidential Cabinet History!

Donald Trump is nearing the end of his search for Cabinet appointments and other top advisers, and sadly, the group is mostly a “Basket of Deplorables”, an outrage to Presidential Cabinet history!

The problem is that some skeptical Republicans and the entire Democratic Party in the US Senate have limited ability to prevent or hold up more than a few of this disgraceful group.

The list of people Trump is offering us includes people too close to Russia; people who are billionaires and deeply engaged in the corporate culture; people who are totally inexperienced and unqualified to hold the positions they are being offered; people who are retired generals who have not been retired long enough from the military, so must have legislation passed to allow them to serve, undermining the idea of civilian control; and people who are simply outrageous in their views on the environment, education, health care, labor rights, and foreign policy.

It is hard to find anyone who one can be content with as a choice, and it seems as if Donald Trump is determined to select the kind of people which seem assured to wish to destroy not only the Barack Obama legacy, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, but also to promote the interests of major corporations such as in the oil industry and Wall Street at the expense of workers, consumers, and the middle class and the poor, while also stirring up animosity toward China, Iran, and North Atlantic Treaty allies, while strangely becoming cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

We are on the road to a massive constitutional crisis that may surpass Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Donald Trump seems very willing and able to create one crisis after another, as he lurches toward Fascist type government, and declares war on the news media and civil liberties and civil rights. He is already alarming many members of the Republican Party, which he feels no loyalty to, and to think that we are seeing John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Floyd Flake as already alarmed about his controversial statements and actions, and he is not yet inaugurated as President, but already is stirring a tempest, is a sign of the crisis that is coming after January 20, 2017!

I just published an article on the Trump Cabinet choices on History News Network, and it is posted on the blog on the right side for everyone to read and consider.

Potential Third Party Or Independent Attempt To Deny Clinton or Trump 270 Electoral Votes!

If it was left up to Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard and other conservatives, they would love to form a third party or independent conservative movement to deny Democrat Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump the ability to win 270 electoral votes, the minimum needed to win the White House.

Such a strategy, a real long shot, would have Mitt Romney or Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse or Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton or Florida Senator Marco Rubio or someone else gain financial backing to work to win a few key “swing” states in a three way race, and throw the election to the House of Representatives.

This has not happened since 1824, when John Quincy Adams, the second place finisher, was declared the winner of the Presidency over Andrew Jackson, what became known as a “corrupt bargain”, and fueled the victory of Jackson over Adams in the Presidential Election of 1828.

The most disturbing part is that the Republicans, who control the majority of House delegations in the present Congress, could put that third party or independent nominee in the Oval Office, even if he ended up with the third most electoral and or popular votes, an unprecedented situation, which would be seen as a true “stealing” of the Presidency!