California

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Is Appealing To Right Wing Authoritarians!

It has become clear that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is perceived as the likely alternative to Donald Trump, among other Republicans who might seek to run for President in 2024.

What is clear is that Ron DeSantis is smarter, more intelligent than Donald Trump, which makes DeSantis very dangerous.

DeSantis is appealing to right wing authoritarians, based on his utterances and actions in office.

He has promoted the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida, persecuting gays, lesbians, and transgenders in the public schools, and dictating what can be said by educators in classrooms regarding sexuality and students.

Along with other Republicans, he is aiming to avoid the subject of race in the teaching of history, distorting the truth of the American past. He has attacked CRT (Critical Race Theory), which is not taught in schools, but he also does not want the unfortunate reality of racism and discrimination in the American past to be taught at all in schools and universities.

DeSantis is promoting book banning, affecting libraries and schools, and encouraging parents and school boards to promote censorship, interfering with students right to read books that should continue to be available.

He has promoted the anti abortion movement, and weakened gun safety laws, making the state much more dangerous to its citizens.

Anyone who is critical of him is attacked, including Walt Disney World, and Democratic prosecutors elected to office, who he dismisses from their positions on political grounds.

DeSantis has suppressed the vote, aiming to make it more difficult for the basic right of citizens to vote.

He has promoted gerrymandering that took away two House of Representatives seats from African Americans.

DeSantis resisted the COVID 19 Pandemic, working against vaccination requirements, face mask mandates, and stay at home orders, and this has led to Florida having the third most deaths, but not far behind California and Texas, although they have much larger populations.

He sent 50 Venezuelan refugee migrants who had applied for political asylum legally to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as part of his political strategy to challenge the Biden Administration, but showing no concern about the cost to the state of Florida, and the lack of concern or respect for people escaping a left wing authoritarian dictatorship in Venezuela.

DeSantis is very hostile and antagonistic toward the news media, and bans them from many press conferences, only allowing right wing news media, including Fox News Channel to be present.

He is seen as appealing to right wing authoritarian promoters, and therefore, is seen as a threat to American democracy and the rule of law, were he to be nominated for and elected to the Presidency!

Republican And Conservative Advantage In House, Senate, Electoral College System, Despite Popular Vote Advantage For Democrats

The American political system is in bad straits, in what seems like a losing battle for popular vote to determine who runs our government.

The system has become stacked to favor Republicans and conservatives.

Republican legislatures in many states promote gerrymandering, which hurts Democrats massively, not only in the state governments, but also in setting up House of Representatives seats. An example is Florida, which used to have four Congressional seats that favored African American representation, but now has been halved to two such districts.

Fewer people regularly vote nationally for Republicans, but they have near to a majority even before the election in 2022 for the House of Representatives, and it is likely they will control the lower house of Congress despite having fewer total popular votes nationally.

Also, the US Senate has a situation in which Republican Senators, presently half the Senate, are elected by a population of about about 142 million Americans, while Democrats, presently the other half of the Senate, are elected by a population of about 184 million Americans!

So 60 percent of the nation’s population is being underrepresented, while 40 percent is overrepresented.

The idea that Wyoming has two US Senators with only about 600,000 people, while California with nearly 40 million peoples has two US Senators, is an abomination, but simply has evolved that way over time, so the US Senate is anti democracy to the extreme!

Additionally, the Electoral College favors the small, mostly Republican states, this despite the Democrats winning the national popular vote seven of the last eight Presidential elections, from 1992 through 2020, with the one exception of 2004!

So the idea of democracy is under attack, and the right wing Federalist Society has managed to “fix” the Supreme Court, with a strong 6-3 margin, with only Chief Justice John Roberts able to be considered, most of the time, as “moderate”.

So a constitutional crisis exists, with white supremacists working to insure that American democracy fails completely as we reach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026!

The Growing Battle Of Blue Vs Red States: Gavin Newsom Vs Ron DeSantis

The battle between Democratic (Blue) states and Republican (Red) states is on, as we start to look to the upcoming Midterm 2022 Elections and the beginnings of the 2024 Presidential Election scene.

The odds are growing that, in the end, neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden will end up as the nominees of their parties.

So innumerable Democrats and Republicans are “testing the waters”, and the battle for the future of the nation, after the shocking right wing extremism of the Supreme Court in the term recently ended, has begun.

So we see California Governor Gavin Newsom taking on the fight against the right wing as exemplified by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Both could, in theory, be opposing each other two years from now, and Newsom is taking a very aggressive approach toward the disgraceful record of Ron DeSantis on so many issues!

Congressmen Adam Schiff (California)And Jamie Raskin (Maryland): Two Courageous, Principled Legislators!

Two of the most outstanding, principled members of Congress serve on the January 6 House Committee investigating the US Capitol Insurrection, and both were involved in one or the other impeachments of Donald Trump in December 2019 and January 2021.

California Congressman Adam Schiff has served in Congress since 2001, and was the lead manager in the first Trump impeachment investigation in 2019, and is the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He represents part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin has served in Congress since 2017, and was the lead manager in the second Trump Impeachment investigation in January 2021. He represents Montgomery County, in the suburbs of Washington, DC.

Both men are courageous and totally decent, models of what all members of Congress should be like, but sadly, so many are not such!

Republican Party: From Joseph McCarthy In The 1950s To Kevin McCarthy In 2021!

The Republican Party has fallen from the time of such leaders as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and innumerable decent Republican Senators and Governors over the years!

But there has always been an ugly side to the Republican Party since World War II, characterized by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s and now the disgraceful leadership of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California!

The first McCarthy set out to destroy the lives of Americans by labeling them “Reds” or “Pinkos”, and now the modern McCarthy, NOT a family member or relative, has set out to destroy any decency in the Republican Party by backing a criminal attempt of Donald Trump to come back to the Presidency, “by hook or by crook”, with emphasis on the latter, and by promoting the “Big Lie”!

Kevin McCarthy is willing to destroy any honest, decent Republican in his quest to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, even though he personally condemned Donald Trump after the January 6, 2021 Insurrection at the US Capitol!

Joseph McCarthy was a horror and a villain in the 1950s, and now another McCarthy is a villain in the 2020s!

It is essential that Kevin McCarthy be required to testify in the House January 6 Committee investigation, and that his immoral, unethical behavior be called out, and that he should pay the price for undermining American democracy!

America survived the first McCarthy after nearly a five year nightmare, and America needs to survive the era of the modern demagogue, Kevin McCarthy!

Automatic Mail Ballots Should Be Sent By All States To All Voters As A National Law To Insure Voting Rights!

Nine states and Washington, DC send automatic mail ballots to all eligible voters who reside in their states.

These states include:

California
Colorado
Hawaii
Nevada
New Jersey
Oregon
Utah
Vermont
Washington State
Washington, DC

There is no viable reason why voters have to show up in person to vote, as long as they are registered and live in the state they reside in.

Such a system of mail in voting boosts voting, particularly of poor people, racial minorities, the disabled, members of the military, and the elderly.

Voting rights were guaranteed over time, and then added to by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, along with Constitutional amendments 15, 19, 23, 24, and 26, and so therefore, there should be ZERO boundaries for voting!

If we are to remain a democracy, this needs to become a national law that goes into effect by the Presidential Election of 2024, if not earlier with the Midterm Congressional Elections of 2022!

California Recall System A Total Mockery Of Democracy

In ten days, California, the largest state in population, and a strongly Democratic state since the mid 1990s, faces the possibility of a right wing talk show host, Larry Elder, potentially becoming Governor with less than 20 percent of the vote, kicking out first term Governor Gavin Newsom, if Newsom fails to get 50.01 percent of the vote in the upcoming recall election.

This is the second time this disastrous recall system has occurred in the 21st century, after Governor Gray Davis lost his control of the state of California to Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.

But Larry Elder is no Arnold Schwarzenegger, and represents an extremist right wing agenda, defying the views of a vast majority of Californians!

The recall system was set up under Governor Hiram Johnson of California in the early 20th century, but it is a mockery of democracy, despite the fact that it was thought to be otherwise a century ago.

Only two governors in American history have been successfully recalled, Davis; and North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921, who lost the recall election by about 4,000 votes.

Nineteen states have a recall mechanism in their state constitutions, and 30 states allow local recall of office holders.

Cleveland, Ohio had a recall election of its mayor, Dennis Kucinich, in 1978, with Kucinich retaining his seat by a margin of 236 votes; and Wisconsin had a recall election of its Governor, Scott Walker, in 2012, with Walker retaining his seat by a margin of 170,000 votes.

Right now, polls seem to indicate that Newsom is likely to retain the governorship of California, but if he loses, it would have broad implications for the political future of the state and the nation!

The Disaster Of The US Senate

This author, scholar, and blogger has long studied and been fascinated by the institution of the US Senate, only second to the office of the American Presidency.

There have been many great US Senators, out of the nearly 2,000 who have served in that body.

But there have also been many disgraceful, disastrous US Senators, who have undermined the reputation of that institution, and too often, have stood in the way of progress and democracy.

This reality has become much more prevalent in recent years, as one party, the Republicans, have set out to promote only the interests of the wealthy and corporations, while utilizing the race card, to keep working class and lower middle class whites loyal to a party which promotes racism, nativism, misogyny, and promotion of Christian theology!

And as the population of the nation continues to grow, the undemocratic nature of the US Senate becomes ever more tragic and unrelenting.

The facts are that 15 states, with 38 million people, elect 30 Republican Senators dedicated to negativism and stalemate, while California, with 40 million residents, elects two Democratic Senators.

With the population trends of the nation moving forward, by two decades from now, 2040, close to 70 percent of the nation will be represented by 30 Senators, while the remaining Americans, disproportionately whiter, older, and more rural, will have 70 US Senators!

This reality will, long term, harm any possibility of major reforms and change, such as represented by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!

The 2020 US Census Has Surprises, As Announced Today

It is ironic that this author wrote about the 2020 Census yesterday, not aware that precise information would be given out today, Monday.

And there are a few surprises.

The total population of the US is over 331 million people, up from about 309 million in 2010.

Texas will gain only two seats, not three, and Florida will gain one seat, not two.

Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon and Montana will gain one seat each.

Arizona, thought to be likely to gain a seat, will not do so.

New York loses one seat, but only because of a shortage of population by the small total of 89 people!

Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and West Virginia will lose one seat for each state, with California losing representation for the first time ever!

Minnesota and Rhode Island, expected to lose one seat each, avoided such a loss.

So now, with Montana gaining a seat, there will only be 6 states with one statewide House member—Alaska, Delaware, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

This is the second slowest population growth in US history, after the 1930s.

And the trend of the South and West gaining at the expense of the Northeast and Midwest continues as it has for many decades.

When Census Figures Come Out Later This Year, It Will Affect Multiple States

The 2020 Census figures will come out in a few months, and will affect multiple states in Congressional representation in 2022 and beyond, as well as the Electoral College.

A number of the larger populated states will continue to lose representation and electoral votes, as they have faced for several decades.

This includes New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan, but also California is likely to lose a Congressional seat and an electoral vote for the first time ever in America history. Also, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Minnesota are likely to lose a seat and an electoral vote.

The states which will gain include Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana, with Texas and Florida gaining the most.

Montana will move from one statewide House seat to two, while Rhode Island will move from two seats to one, so Rhode Island will join Vermont, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming as the seven states that have only one House member for each state.