Dan Quayle

Supposed Unpopularity Of Vice President Kamala Harris According To Conservatives: Preposterous!

It is laughable how conservative websites and Republicans are promoting the view that Vice President Kamala Harris is the most unpopular Vice President since Spiro Agnew in the 1970s.

Think about the Vice Presidents since who are seen as positive forces—Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Joe Biden.

Two of these–Ford and Bush became President, while Mondale and Gore lost Presidential races, and Biden has now become President.

Who has been left out?—-Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Mike Pence.

Dick Cheney was certainly competent in a basic sense, but evil in his abuse of the office, promoting torture in the War on Terror, making money through Haliburton, and being a basic nasty individual, who many thought was really President instead of George W. Bush in the latter’s first term, until Bush finally asserted his authority over Cheney, and their relationship deteriorated.

Dan Quayle was a basically not too bright VP, who scared people at the thought that he might become President, when George H. W. Bush had some health scares.

But compared to Cheney and Quayle, the absolutely worst Vice President in modern times since Spiro Agnew was Mike Pence, who fawned all over Donald Trump, never spoke up when it was appropriate and necessary to do so, and now we learn, he was considering NOT keeping his oath that required him as Vice President to announce the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021!

Of all people, it was Dan Quayle who convinced Pence he had no choice. And Pence was under threat caused by his own boss, Donald Trump, and yet refuses to condemn him and speak out on the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection!

Instead, his rabid desire to be President, which will never happen, makes him live in an alternative world, and to think his so called “good Christian” image will propel him to the White House in 2024!

No sane or decent person would call Mike Pence someone who would be “popular” or “decent”, but delusional Republicans and conservatives instead lie about history of Pence, and also, Cheney and Quayle!

The fact is that the “best” Vice Presidents since the 1970s are Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden! And Al Gore won the national popular vote over George W. Bush, but as we all know, lost the Electoral College!

Kamala Harris, the first woman, first biracial, first African American and Asian American Vice President, will survive the vicious attacks on her character and capability, and will join the list of outstanding Vice Presidents!

Her background as District Attorney of San Francisco; California Attorney General; and US Senator makes her perfectly capable and qualified, and her character, empathy, decency, and compassion match that of President Joe Biden!

And if fate has it that Harris might become President in this term or in a future term by election, the nation will be in good hands!

Mike Pence Stands Up For His Role In Presidential Election Of 2020 At Reagan Library: A Moment To Be Praised!

This blogger and scholar is no fan of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence’s hardline right wing Christianity is distasteful to the extreme, and the thought that he, after being a total sycophant to Donald Trump, might become President, is a monstrous nightmare.

But on January 6, 2021, Pence did his duty to uphold the Electoral College vote that clearly demonstrated that Joe Biden had won the Presidential Election of 2020.

He did the same thing as Richard Nixon did in 1961; Hubert Humphrey did in 1969; and Al Gore did in 2001; and also what Nelson Rockefeller did in 1977, Walter Mondale did in 1981; Dan Quayle did in 1993; Dick Cheney did in 2009; and Joe Biden did in 2017.

Pence defended his role in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum last night, and he faced the threat of being lynched by the Capital Insurrectionists, with his own boss, Donald Trump, unwilling to intervene or care about the health and safety of his loyal lieutenant.

Donald Trump deserves life in prison for his treason and sedition, and lack of concern for human life on that day, and in many other cases over his destructive four years in the Oval Office.

So while not supportive of any future for Pence, he should be saluted for doing his constitutional duty, as other Vice Presidents have done throughout American history!

Mike Pence Is A Disgrace To The Vice Presidency, And Assuredly, Has No Future!

Mike Pence will go down in Vice Presidential history as a total disgrace to the office!

Pence demonstrated no guts, no courage, ever to oppose the abuse of Presidential power by Donald Trump!

Pence was a lackey, servile, a sycophant, totally obsequious, even though he claims to be a devout Christian, or better said, “a good Christian”!

But if one was truly, he would show his ethics and morality on the way Donald Trump handled his office, but instead he kowtowed to the point of behavior that would embarrass any man who has a conscience!

Even when he was directly threatened by Donald Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, he just fled, kept quiet for two months, and now defends Donald Trump’s false claims of a fixed election, all for his naked ambition to be President!

But Mike Pence will never gain the backing of Donald Trump, who refused even to call Pence for five days after his close shave with possible harm and death!

Mike Pence is pitiful, a coward, a man who cannot control his own behavior around women and calls his wife “Mother”, indicating deep seated psychological issues!

We have had horrific Vice Presidents come to us from the Republican Party, including Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon; and Dick Cheney under George W. Bush, but with all of their faults, none of them would be perceived as lacking in manhood as Mike Pence displayed in office, and now as a former Vice President who desperately wants to be President, but will, thankfully, never reach that office!

Mike Pence Historical Reputation At Stake As He Leaves Vice Presidency Next Month

Vice President Mike Pence, the 48th Vice President, has been a total disaster in that office, and has added to the horrendous record of recent Republican Vice Presidents, as compared to recent Democratic Vice Presidents.

Just going back a half century, and one can see how different the historical reputation is of the two party’s Vice Presidents.

There are two Republican Vice Presidents since 1969—Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush—who later went on to become President, and despite controversies, stand out as reasonably decent Vice Presidents. Nelson Rockefeller, under Gerald Ford, also comes across as having had a decent record and historical reputation worth defending.

But then we have Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon, who was forced out of the Vice Presidency by corruption, and it remains terrifying that he came so close to becoming President.

We have Dan Quayle, who was a not very bright man, and very scary as potential President when George H.W. Bush had some health crises.

And we have Dick Cheney, often considered more a President in the first term of George W. Bush, who was terrifying in his “Darth Vader” type evil, and committed war crimes and abuse of power while Vice President, demonstrating the potential for harm done by a very bright man, who was transformed by September 11 in a dangerous way.

Now compare this to the Democratic Vice Presidents since 1969. We have Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, recognized by scholars as the most active, engaged and exceptional Vice President in American history, and still living 40 years after his time in office, and reaching the age of 93 on January 5.

We have Al Gore, who served Bill Clinton in a very reputable fashion, and influenced Clinton on environmental and other matters. And he had the dignity after a contested Presidential election in 2000, to concede in a manner that showed respect for the Constitution and rule of law.

And we have Joe Biden, who is seen as either equivalent of importance to Barack Obama or just second to Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, and now will be the 46th President of the United States in less than a month! Certainly, Biden’s Vice Presidency prepared him for the challenges he will face on January 20, 2021!

All three of these Democratic Vice Presidents in the past half century stand out as successes, and all three also ran for President, and they add to the dignity and significance of the office of Vice President.

The Republican Vice Presidents, at least Agnew, Quayle, and Cheney were, by comparison, true disasters!

Now, Mike Pence, who has demonstrated a complete lack of guts to challenge Donald Trump on anything he says or does, has an historic role he faces on January 6, to go through the ceremonial duty as President of the US Senate, to conduct a formal counting of the electoral votes before a joint session of Congress.

Every one of the Vice Presidents in office at the end of the term from Hubert Humphrey in 1969, through Nelson Rockefeller in 1977, through Walter Mondale in 1981, through George H. W. Bush in 1989, through Dan Quayle in 1993, through Al Gore, in 2001, through Dick Cheney in 2009, and through Joe Biden in 2017, have followed procedure and refused to allow challenges or controversies during that solemn ceremony.

But the odds are good that Mike Pence will allow such characters as Congressmen Mo Brooks of Alabama, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to delay the counting of the vote as they try to deny Joe Biden his rightful win in the Electoral College and in the popular vote nationally!

If Mike Pence does that, he will be condemned in history on the level of such disgraced Vice Presidents as Aaron Burr and Spiro Agnew!

Trump Moves Toward Insanity In Last Month, And Has Supporters Ready To Destroy The Transition

Donald Trump is moving toward insanity as the days tick down until he leave office on January 20, 2021.

He is lashing out at everyone imaginable in stormy, screaming matches in the Oval Office, including against White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Counsel Patrick Cipollone, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and even Vice President Mike Pence.

Those encouraging his insane, reckless behavior include a rag tag group of characters, including newly elected to the House of Representatives QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, and wacko Congressmen, including Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, along with Senator Elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The plan is to create a crisis on January 6, when Vice President Pence must have a joint session of Congress to open up 51 envelopes, and finish the process of the formal election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President, two weeks before the inauguration.

Ordinarily, it is a simple ceremony, but those listed above plan to challenge the final results, and a lot of attention and pressure is being brought against Pence in his last official, constitutional duty to do the electoral vote ceremony in a dignified manner.

It is not as if Vice Presidents have had to announce the defeat either of their own candidacy for President (Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, Al Gore in 2001) or the defeat of their ticket for reelection (Walter Mondale in 1981, Dan Quayle in 1993), or the defeat of their party ticket not including them (Nelson Rockefeller in 1977, Dick Cheney in 2009, Joe Biden in 2017).

Crucial Vice Presidential Choices In American History, Good And Bad

As Joe Biden decides soon who will be his Vice Presidential running mate, this is a good time to look at crucial Vice Presidential choices in American history, both good and bad.

There is a myth that the Vice Presidential choice does not matter, but it most certainly does.

Abraham Lincoln, in order to help his reelection chances in 1864, dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson. Johnson would go on to be the worst blunder of Lincoln, as he succeeded Lincoln after only six weeks in office, divided the country, and was impeached.

William McKinley lost his Vice President, Garret Hobart, in 1899, due to heart disease. If Hobart had not died, he would have become President in 1901, but instead, it was Theodore Roosevelt, who transformed the office of the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped third term Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman, who succeeded him after 82 days as Vice President, and most scholars believe Wallace would have been a terrible choice to be President.

John F. Kennedy could not have won in 1960 without Lyndon B. Johnson, who would carry along to success the domestic goals of JFK, and expand beyond it in the “Great Society” programs in the mid 1960s.

Jimmy Carter had a perfect match for Vice President in Walter Mondale, who became the most active and engaged Vice President, practically a co-President.

Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience, and George H. W. Bush was a great asset to him in the 1980s.

Bush made a terrible choice in Dan Quayle as his Vice President, and made everyone pray for his health when he had an “atrial fibrillation” in office.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to have Al Gore as his VP, as Gore helped to direct Clinton on the environment, an issue Clinton had performed poorly as Arkansas Governor.

George W. Bush had a smart, intelligent, capable Vice President in Dick Cheney, except for the reality that he “ran the show” in the first term, and pushed us into unwise wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and managed to make millions of personal wealth from Halliburton.

He is often called the most powerful Vice President in American history, in the sense of his impact and powerful influence in policy under Bush, although somewhat less so in the second term, as Bush separated himself to some extent from Cheney.

The Barack Obama-Joe Biden “Bromance” was extremely close and influential, only matched by the Carter-Mondale partnership.

The relationship between Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been one of total sycophancy by Pence, as he hopes to become President at some point in the future. The evangelical Christian Right has been a major factor in the total degradation, and lack of ethics and morals of the Trump Presidency.

So for good or for bad, the Vice Presidency has made a difference!

Richard Lugar, A Rare Decent Republican, And True Statesman, Remembered For His Principles, Courage, Bipartisanship

Former Republican Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who served 36 years in that chamber from 1977-2013, passed away over the weekend at age 87.

Lugar was that rare Republican, considered a moderate, who became highly renowned as a foreign policy expert, and headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1985-1987 and 2003-2007.

While usually considered a conservative, he was the kind of Republican who no longer exists now in that party. He “crossed the aisle” and worked with Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who he had come to be close to in the four years Obama was in the Senate before being elected President. He was co-chairman of the Obama Inaugural Committee.

His major commitment was to work with Georgia Democratic Senator Sam Nunn toward the dismantling of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons around the world after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

His views on immigration, climate change, and Cuban policy were outside the norm of his party. He supported Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, one of a very few Republicans to do so.

He was Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1976, and gained a reputation as Richard Nixon’s favorite mayor. He was overlooked by George H. W. Bush in 1988, who picked fellow Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, a total lightweight selected for Vice President, and gave America four years of concern were anything to occur to Bush.

The longest serving Senator in Indiana history, and one of the longest serving in American history, his defeat in the primary in 2012 was another sign of the deteriorating nature of the Republican Party. And Lugar in retirement was a critic of Donald Trump, who represented every trait that Lugar was the exact opposite of, as Lugar was a man who fit the image of being decent, reasonable, intelligent, well mannered, principled, and highly respected.

Lugar even challenged President Ronald Reagan on the issues of the Philippines and South Africa policies during the mid 1980s, and never felt he must be slavishly loyal to the party line, and that is what his legacy will be, a remnant of what the Republican Party had once been, but no longer is, a party of principle and mainstream ideas, now lost in the age of Donald Trump.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: A New Rising Star In The Presidential Race

A new rising star in the Democratic Presidential race is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Buddhajudge) who has been the mayor of this mid sized city/ college town since 2012, and has won both four year terms handily with 74 and 80 percent of the vote in his two races.

We have never had a small city mayor elected President directly, and only three Presidents have been mayors, including Andrew Johnson of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge of Northampton, Massachusetts, but with Johnson and Coolidge succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding, and none of them in office as mayor for what is now seven years for Buttigieg.

If Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the second Indianan after Benjamin Harrison to become President, but with six Indianans being Vice President (four Republicans and two Democrats)—Schuyler Colfax under Ulysses S. Grant; Charles Fairbanks under Theodore Roosevelt; Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush; Mike Pence under Donald Trump; Thomas Hendricks under Grover Cleveland, first term; and Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson. Additionally, William English ran with Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, and John Kern ran with William Jennings Bryan in 1908.

Also, if Buttigieg were to become President, he would be the first gay President, and also have a husband, who would become First Gentleman, instead of Bill Clinton, who would have had that title if his wife, Hillary Clinton, had won the White House in 2016.

Additionally, he would be, by far, the youngest President at age 39 and one day old on Inauguration Day, 2021, making him about three years and ten and a half months younger than Theodore Roosevelt, and four years and seven and a half months younger than John F. Kennedy.

Buttigieg is impressive as a successful and popular Mayor of South Bend, who has improved the city during his mayoralty; and as a graduate of Harvard University, he went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Great Britain. He also served in the US Navy at the rank of Lieutenant, and was a Naval Intelligence Officer who served in the war in Afghanistan, and is still in the Naval Reserve.

Also of note is that Buttigieg won the competition for the “JFK Profiles In Courage Essay Contest” in 2000, writing about the integrity and courage of then Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders, and traveled to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to accept the award from Caroline Kennedy, and met other members of the Kennedy family. Buttigieg had been valedictorian of his high school class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature.

Birch Bayh, One Of The Best Senators Of Late 20th Century Dead At Age 91, A Truly Creative Legislator Who Should Have Been President

Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, who served in the Senate from 1963-1981, passed away this week at age 91.

Birch Bayh was one of the best United States Senators of the late 20th century, a truly creative legislator who should have been President.

He competed in 1976 for the Democratic Presidential nomination against Jimmy Carter and many others, and he was the favorite of this blogger and author.

This is a man who promoted the passage of the 25th Amendment, providing for an Acting President if the President was incapacitated, and of the appointment and approval of a Vice Presidential replacement when there was a vacancy in that office.

This was the reaction of Bayh and others after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and with Lyndon B. Johnson having had a serious heart attack in 1955, and with potential successors being House Speaker John W. McCormack (age 73), and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Carl Hayden (age 86).

Bayh also promoted the 26th Amendment, giving 18 years olds the right to vote, and he also sponsored the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment, which failed of passage by enough states.

He also sponsored Title 9 of the amended Civil Rights Act in 1972, ending quotas for women in higher education and giving women equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Additionally, Bayh saved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when they were both in a small plane crash in 1964.

Bayh was the father of Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. He won three close races in Indiana, and then was defeated by future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980.

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.