Constitution

Gerald Ford, The Right Person To Succeed Richard Nixon, But Is Mike Pence The Right Person To Succeed Donald Trump? NO!

On this day in 1974, the nation was fortunate that Richard Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President of the United States.

We needed someone like Gerald Ford to heal the nation after the Watergate Scandal, and Ford fit the situation very well.

A respectable member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, House Minority Leader for the last nine of those years, and Vice President by appointment for eight months under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, we were fortunate that he was next in line for the Presidency, instead of corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, who would have been a disaster in the Presidency, dividing the nation even more than Richard Nixon.

Ford was controversial for pardoning Nixon one month into his Presidency, and it helped to cause his defeat, along with the strong right wing conservative challenge of former California Governor Ronald Reagan, but he had the right personality and instincts, and as a moderate conservative, was able to work with both parties, considering that the opposition Democrats controlled both houses.

Ford was an honest, decent man, and his wife Betty was arguably the most accessible and decent modern Republican First Lady, sharing her private turmoil with alcohol and breast cancer with the nation.

Gerald Ford lost a very close race to Jimmy Carter in 1976, so was the fifth Vice President not to be elected President, the first since Chester Alan Arthur in 1884, but he came to be admired and loved as he aged, and he ended up as the longest living President, when he died at age 93 years and 165 days on December 26, 2006, the same day of the year as Harry Truman died in 1972.

The longevity of Ford will be surpassed by George H. W. Bush if he lives to November 25, just three and a half months from now, and Jimmy Carter will pass Ford’s age on March 15, 2018, although if Bush continues to be alive, it will not break the record of longevity.

Now, however, Mike Pence would be the successor if Donald Trump is impeached and removed, or resigns from office, but Mike Pence is no Gerald Ford. Pence is much more extreme right wing conservative, unlike Ford, and is a religious extremist, promoting church and state combination in government, which is against the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The policies and programs under Pence, while certainly likely to be somewhat different than Trump, would be dramatically different from those of Gerald Ford.

So one could wish that Gerald Ford could come back from the dead to be available to succeed Donald Trump, but sadly we are going to have to live with a President Pence at some point in the near future.

We can wish him luck, but be prepared to oppose him vigorously in the promotion of his right wing agenda, with less chaos, anarchy, and craziness, but still out of the mainstream of the American people and what they want the policies of our government to be in the future.

Donald Trump, The Authoritarian Who Loves Human Rights Violators, And Promotes The Same In America!

Donald Trump clearly is an authoritarian personality, and that should be alarming to everyone.

He is a fan of human rights violators, as in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, among others.

He talks law and order all the time, while violating law and order on a regular basis.

He is said to have been joking about how police officers should mistreat criminal suspects, forgetting that we have a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that has lasted 228 years.

He advocated violence against demonstrators at his rallies during the 2016 Presidential campaign, and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is advocating a tough law and order approach that threatens civil liberties of all of us.

We have a system of separation of powers, and checks and balances, but Donald Trump would love to tip the balance and make himself a dictator, if only he could get away with it.

That is precisely why he must be fully investigated for his actions during the 2016 campaign and while in the Oval Office since January 20, as he presents a menace to our basic freedoms, even more than Richard Nixon in the 1970s.

Can General John Kelly, New White House Chief Of Staff, Reign In Donald Trump? Unlikely!

Wow, what a week!

First, we have Anthony Scaramucci come in as White House Communications Director and then go on a profanity laced tirade, which reminds us so much of Donald Trump, almost like a mini Trump.

No one at the White House had any issue with this misbehavior, including Kelly Anne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the President, who was reported to be very happy with his attack on Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.

Soon, Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, is fired, a week after the firing of Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, eliminating the two major connections to the Republican Establishment and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Meanwhile, the attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter by President Trump continues, and Sessions just shrugs it off, and only says it is “hurtful”.

The President makes a fool of himself and embarrasses the Boy Scout Jamboree with his political comments, and then tells police officers to be brutal with suspects, a violation of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Then, Trump appoints General John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, to be his new White House Chief of Staff, and yesterday, his first day on the job, Kelly fired Scaramucci after only ten days in office, and not yet on the payroll!

The chaos and anarchy is continuing, and one had to wonder whether Kelly can reign in Donald Trump, and his behavior, including his abuse of Twitter.

If Kelly cannot do it, then no one can, clear and simple!

The Trump Presidency has reached a new low, and the calendar schedule for his ultimate downfall has been hastened by what, arguably, has been his worst week in office, although every week has been horrendous!

Six Months In, And Talk Of Pardons? Donald Trump Out Of Control, And A Danger To Constitutional Government!

What is going on is unprecedented, Donald Trump and his staff discussing pardons, after just six months in office!

If there is nothing to hide, no wrong doing, why even discuss what makes it seems that Trump is guilty?

Why block an investigation if one knows he has done nothing that would require the thought of a pardon?

And why the arrogance that a President can pardon himself, when Richard Nixon thought of the idea in 1974, but decided it would make clear of his guilt, and he cared about his name in history?

It is clear that we are in a constitutional crisis far greater than even Richard Nixon forced upon us in 1973-1974.

We have an arrogant man who thinks he is like a King or an Emperor, and he needs to be told that the investigation by Robert Mueller will go forth, and that he had better not dare to have him fired, as that would be an admission of guilt.

At that point, the people around Trump need to resign, and Mike Pence needs to use the 25th Amendment Section 4, and become, at the least, Acting President, as the President will then face the Congress, even under the Republican Party, with the need to move forward on impeachment.

During that crisis period, Trump would be capable of irrational actions, including using nuclear weapons on North Korea, and contemplating martial law and suspension of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Many would say this is hysteria, but it really is not so, and Mike Pence and the Republicans must put the nation above the President, and do what is right!

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

The Sycophants Of The Trump Cabinet And Staff: How Is It Different Than Hitler, Stalin, Putin, Kim Jong Un, And Any Other Dictator?

It was absolutely sickening to see the entire Trump cabinet and staff put on a performance of “kissing up” to their boss at a televised cabinet meeting yesterday.

This has NEVER happened before, to have the cabinet and advisers act like sycophants, overwhelmingly praising the President for the fact that they have their positions within the administration.

Any Presidential cabinet members from earlier Presidencies would be totally embarrassed and outraged at the image of such outrageous behavior, as if Donald Trump was Adolf Hitler,or Joseph Stalin from the past; or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un or other present day dictators, where those around the “boss” overtly praise their leader in fear of their own lives!

What is wrong with Trump, that he needs this constant boost of ego and worship? This is obnoxious, sick behavior, and has been ridiculed appropriately in the news media, and in a mocking way by Senate Minority leader and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York with his staff!

It is now clear that there is no chance of the cabinet or Vice President Mike Pence invoking the 25th Amendment, Section 4, no matter how erratic Trump acts, so now we have more to worry about, including a potential nuclear strike against North Korea or Iran; and if a serious terrorist attack like September 11 were to happen, that Trump might wish to declare martial law, and suspend the Constitution and Bill of Rights!

History Tells Us Many States Are Not Protective Of Their Population: Reason Why We Need Federal Government!

Conservatives and libertarians love to promote the propaganda that “states rights” are the best government, and that state governments are there for their population’s needs.

History tells us otherwise, clear and simple.

“States rights” promoted 76 years of slavery under the Constitution, until it was ended by the Union winning the Civil War over the Confederacy.

“States rights” promoted segregation of the races for nearly a century after the Civil War until the 1960s.

“States rights” promoted laws against marriage, including blacks and whites, and gays and lesbians.

“States rights” promoted vigilante justice, including lynchings, chain gangs, and overly harsh criminal justice laws.

“States rights” promoted men having dominance over their wives in marriages, and resulting abuses toward women.

“States rights” promoted inferior education, including denial of historical facts, and of science, favoring religious ideas over facts.

“States rights” promoted violations of voting rights, with the intent of ruling white upper classes controlling who could vote.

“States rights” promoted denial of health care to people, while insisting on all fetuses being taken to birth against a woman’s wishes.

“States rights” promoted resistance to the Bill of Rights, and to federal government political, social, and economic reforms that made America pursue the goals of democracy, equality, and justice.

Those states that have regularly promoted “states rights” have been the most backward, the most discriminatory, the most regressive. the poorest, and have depended on the more advanced and open minded states for their economic existence.

It is the “Red” states, those in the old Confederate South, and in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, where we see the worship of “states rights”, as long as the elite political and religious hierarchy keep control over their populations, and keep them ignorant and under mind control.

History tells us that these states are not protective of the needs of their population, the reason we need a strong, assertive federal government, ready to step in, and having bettered life for people who are seemingly unaware how they have been manipulated by corrupt state governments.

Donald Trump Dealt Defeat On Muslim Immigration Ban: Victory For The Constitution And American Democracy!

Donald Trump has been dealt a stinging defeat by a three member 9th Circuit Appeals Court, with one judge appointed by George W. Bush, one by Jimmy Carter, and one by Barack Obama, and this after a district judge, appointed by George W. Bush, had put a hold on Trump’s Executive Order establishing a travel ban, which is really a Muslim ban from seven nations, none of which have sent terrorists to America, while Saudi Arabia, as an example, has sent the 9 11 terrorists, but was not on the list.

It is clear that any nation that is Muslim but which Trump has business dealings with will never be on the list. This has caused tremendous consternation, inconvenience, and personal torment for many decent people who have been blocked from entering the United States for no good reason, but Trump has no empathy or compassion, and is clearly making a grab for dictatorial power.

This is a dangerous attempt to acquire absolute power, and it must be stopped cold by the Supreme Court, which it seems, assuredly, will happen.

This judicial intervention is a victory for the Constitution and American democracy!

Trump is a Fascist, a danger to our Constitution and our civil rights and civil liberties, and massive marches are continuing, and Republicans are getting the Town Hall treatment that Tea Party people gave Democrats right after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

It now seems possible that the Republicans, who cannot come up with a solution to ObamaCare, and are endangering so many of our accomplishments in the years from FDR through LBJ and beyond, could lose seats, and maybe control, if this discontent with them and Trump continues to evolve.

The country needs to stop this far right extremism desperately!

Is Mike Pence Able To “Do” A Gerald Ford? “Walk On Eggs” And Keep Legitimacy As A Future President?

43 Years ago, we had a flawed President, Richard Nixon, who was facing an impeachment crisis, as he had clearly violated the Constitution, and was on the way to an early end to his Presidency.

At that crisis moment, we had Gerald Ford, appointed by Nixon in October 1973 to replace the crooked Vice President, Spiro Agnew, who had been forced to resign. Nixon had chosen Ford over other more prominent figures—including John Connally, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Rockefeller— and two lesser figures of prominence who were much younger—George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole—due to the reality that Gerald Ford was well liked by the opposition Democrats, who would have the balance of power in confirming the Vice Presidential replacement under the 25th Amendment.

Also, Nixon believed that although Ford was well liked as the House Minority Leader by Democrats, that no one thought that highly of Ford as to want to make him a future potential President.

It turns out that the nation was blessed that we had Gerald Ford replacing Agnew in December 1973, as Ford did a masterful job of “walking on eggs” for eight months, demonstrating some support for Nixon, but in a careful measured way, as to keep his basic neutrality, as he fully realized he was likely to become the next President.

In 1998-1999, we know that Vice President Al Gore visited former President Gerald Ford, on a so called “social call”, but actually soliciting advice on how to handle the issue of the Bill Clinton sex scandal, which led to his impeachment and trial. It is now clear that Gore did the best he could in a bad situation, but that the close relationship of Gore to Bill Clinton was strained from that point on, and may have helped to doom the Gore Presidential race in 2000, in which Gore won the popular vote, but lost key states that resulted in George W. Bush winning the Electoral College.

Can Mike Pence, who assuredly will be the next President at some point during this term of office, be able to keep his credibility as Ford did, and Gore mostly did? Hard to say, but his appearance on Meet The Press today was not a good sign, as he clearly squirmed at the questions of Chuck Todd, and his body language betrayed his discomfort. So whether he can keep his legitimacy as the 46th President of the United States, and somehow unite the country when Donald Trump leaves office, is up in the air at this point.