Democratic Party

Potential Third Party Candidates Or Independent Candidates Who Could Complicate Presidential Election Of 2016!

Third parties or independent movements have often affected American Presidential elections, and has helped to influence who is elected to the Presidency.

Several public figures are believed to be considering running, and it would only further complicate an already confusing election contest.

Donald Trump, despite signing a pledge to back the GOP Presidential candidate if it is not him, is now hinting that he might renege on his pledge, as he sees growing opposition from Republican Establishment personalities to the damage he is wreaking on the Republican Party.

Former Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who dropped out of the race after an unimpressive debate performance, is also flirting with the idea of running as an independent.

And there are rumors that another New York billionaire, former Democrat and Republican and Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, might throw his “hat in the ring.”

Any of these three could have a deleterious effect, with Bloomberg having the potential to harm the Democrats; Webb to harm both parties;  and Trump to destroy any chance for the Republicans to win an already difficult race in the Electoral College!  None could win the Presidency, but help to decide who is inaugurated on January 20, 2017!

Longest Serving US Senators In American History, Six Terms And More!

25 United States Senators have served six terms or close to 36 years out of 1, 963 individuals who have served in the upper body of Congress.

17 0f these 25 served as Democrats, with 8 serving as Republicans.

11 come from the South, with 9 being Democrats, and only 2 being Republicans.

Longevity does not, necessarily, mean greatness in history, as many of the 25 are far from standouts in their years in the US Senate.

The most memorable in history would include Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar and Claiborne Pell.

Others that would stand out for their long range influence would include Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, John Stennis, Richard Russell, Russell Long, and James Eastland, but all are seen as primarily negative forces holding back progress on civil rights.

Others with more positive significance but not seen as “stars” would include Daniel Inouye, Carl Hayden, Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Warren Magnuson.

Others that are seen as noteworthy but not likely to be remembered much in the long run of  history would include Ted Stevens, Ernest Hollings, Thad Cochran, and Pete Domenici.

The remaining five are all forgettable Senators, dealing with their states’ constituent needs, but having little impact beyond that including Francis Warren, Kenneth McKellar, Milton Young, Ellison Smith, and Allen Ellender.

Also, three from the list of 25 are from Mississippi (Stennis, Eastland, Cochran); three from South Carolina (Thurmond, Hollings, Smith); and two from Louisiana (Long, Ellender).

Additionally, states with small populations and only one Congressman, have Senators on the list, including Vermont (Leahy); Alaska (Stevens); Wyoming (Warren); Delaware (Biden); and North Dakota (Young).

Only two “larger” populated states have a Senator on the list, including Massachusetts (Kennedy) and Michigan (Levin)

Finally, only 8 Senators have served 40 or more years, in order as follows: Robert Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Strom Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Carl Hayden, John Stennis, Patrick Leahy (still serving), and Ted Stevens, with only Byrd serving more than 50 years!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

The Achilles Heel Of The Republicans Has Emerged: Lack Of Foreign Policy Knowledge Or Expertise!

It used to be that the Republican Party had candidates who had a reputation for foreign policy expertise, including Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush.

Now, we have Rand Paul, representing the isolationist viewpoint; and the viewpoint of the neoconservatives, which includes just about everyone else, all who have apparently learned nothing from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  They want to commit US military forces to another war, but of course give not a care to veterans once they come home from war, often wounded physically and mentally by their experience.

And some have not a clue as to what is going on in foreign policy, demonstrating unbelievable ignorance, particularly Dr. Benjamin Carson and Donald Trump.

As this blogger has stated many times in the past few years, in the 2012 election cycle, ONLY Jon Huntsman had any legitimate background in foreign policy; and in the 2016 election cycle, only John Kasich demonstrates any experience in foreign policy, although inferior to that of Huntsman.

One may criticize Barack Obama in some areas of foreign policy, but his top aides and advisers on this have included Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry.  Many would criticize all of them, but in comparison to the Republican camp, they are people of experience and awareness of the complex world we live in!

When it comes to foreign policy, this time there is no doubt that the Democrats with Hillary Clinton will emerge superior in knowledge, experience, and competence!

Gender, Racial And Ethnic Diversity Of Republican Presidential Candidates Will Not Affect Voting Patterns In 2016 Presidential Election!

The Republican Party, which has done very little to promote gender, racial or ethnic civil rights is now bragging that they are a “diverse’ party with Presidential candidates of gender, racial and ethnic identity.

It is true that Carly Fiorina is female; that Dr. Benjamin Carson is African American; and that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are Hispanics of Cuban ancestry.  It is also true that in the 2012 Presidential election cycle that Michele Bachmann was female and Herman Cain was African American.

Having said that, none of these candidates in 2012 or 2016 represent the interests of their “groups”!

The vast majority of women would not have backed Michele Bachmann and will not back Carly Fiorina, if somehow, she was to win the Republican Presidential nomination.  She is totally against the kind of issues and legislation that most women want and expect, and most women will back Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee.

The overwhelming number of African Americans will, most certainly, reject Dr. Benjamin Carson were he to become the GOP Presidential nominee, as he has no concern about the plight of lower middle class and poor people of his race, and has sold out to the “white Establishment.”  And the same applies to Herman Cain in 2012.

And neither Ted Cruz nor Marco Rubio would do well among Latinos, as only three and a half percent of people of Spanish ancestry in America are of Cuban origin, while about 65 percent are Mexican Americans and 18 percent are Puerto Rican Americans. Neither group nor other Hispanics of other national origins would support these two Senators with their harsh, hard line attitudes on immigration reform.

So the GOP can “brag” all they want about their “diverse” pool of candidates, but it is all a facade and an insult, really, to women, African Americans, and people of Hispanic ancestry in America!

Rachel Maddow Democratic Forum Gave Martin O’Malley Chance To Shine!

The Rachel Maddow MSNBC Democratic Party forum on Friday was, by far, the best presentation yet of candidate views, better than the one Democratic debate and the three Republican debates.  Rachel proved once again how she shines among cable journalists and news shows, with her wit, insight, and intelligence!

Interviewing each of the three candidates for 25-30 minutes, and asking tough questions that none of them could evade, allowed all three–Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley–to present their views and show their personalities and values in a way that the debates have not allowed.

And Martin O’Malley, who has been overlooked and disregarded, came across very well, and allows the possibility, however remote, that he just might be able to rise as we get closer to actual voting in primaries and caucuses.

O’Malley comes across as principled, decent, and having had the courage to lead Maryland in leadership in so many ways among the states, and his progressivism is between that of Clinton to his right and Sanders to his left.

If nothing else, O’Malley has raised his profile, and could end up as the Vice Presidential nominee with Hillary Clinton, assuming that she can keep her massive lead over her opponents.

If only the Republicans had anyone with the credentials of O’Malley in state government, but none of the Governors or former Governors who have been in the race or have left the race, can possibly match his exceptional leadership of his state.

Seven Years After The Collapse Of The American Economy, The Great Recession Is Over!

In 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush Administration, the American economy collapsed into the Great Recession, the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s!

Now, seven years later, the Great Recession is finally over, and most American economists would say we are at “full employment”, with an unemployment rate of 5 percent!

Does anyone wish to argue that, magically, John McCain and or Mitt Romney would have brought about such a low unemployment rate any sooner than seven years, when the same situation arose under the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt?

Twice, a Republican President brought down the economy, and a Democratic President revived the economy.

Both FDR and Obama were called Socialists, Communists, radicals, and extremists, and both faced great hatred from the elite wealthy.

The difference is that FDR kept a Democratic Congress, while Obama had to deal with an opposition House of Representatives for the last six years of his Presidency, and with an opposition Senate for the last two years of his  Presidency.

So in a way, Obama’s accomplishment may be all the greater!

It will take time for Obama to be appreciated for what he did for the economy, but the time will come, eventually.

At the same time, there clearly is a need for more to be done, as there are still too many people in our society, poorly educated and unmotivated, who need to be trained and helped to find stable employment, but a lot has been done, and it is appropriate to salute President Obama!

The Ten Longest Serving Speakers Of The House Of Representatives

Paul Ryan is the 54th Speaker of the House, but the top ten longest serving have dominated in the 226 years of history of Congress.

The ten longest serving have been in the Speakership for 81 of the 226 years, more than one third of the time!

They are, in order,with time rounded off:

Sam Rayburn  17 years

Thomas “Tip” O’Neill   10 years

John W. McCormack  9 years

Dennis Hastert  8 years

Champ Clark  7 years

Henry Clay  7 years

Carl Albert   6 years

Joseph Cannon  6 years

Thomas Foley   6 years

James G. Blaine  5 years

Six of these ten (Rayburn, O’Neill, McCormack, Clark, Albert, and Foley) were Democrats for a total of 55 years.

Three of these ten (Hastert, Cannon, and Blaine) were Republicans for a total of 19 years.

One of these ten (Henry Clay) was a Democratic Republican for a total of 7 years, later becoming a Whig as a United States Senator.

Clay, Blaine and Cannon were in the years from 1811-1911; Clark and Rayburn were in the years from 1911-1961, and McCormack, Albert, O’Neill, Foley and Hastert in the years from 1962-2007!

So modern Speakers on the average have served much longer periods than earlier Speakers!

With Only Three Candidates Left In The Field, Is There Any Chance For The Rise Of Martin O’Malley As The Democratic Presidential Nominee?

Now that there are only three Democratic Presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley—the question rises whether O’Malley has any shot at the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016.

In past years, when change was seen as desired, young, new generation, appealing Democrats—Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts in 1960; former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia in 1976; Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas in 1992; and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in 2008, came from behind to win the nomination and then the election.

All were underdogs and not in front in public opinion polls in the fall of the year before each national election.

So looking at Democratic Party history, O’Malley MIGHT have a shot at defeating two opponents a full generation older than him—16 years younger than Clinton, and 22 years younger than Sanders.

But no one seems to think that this can happen, as Clinton in particular, and Sanders to some extent, have taken all of the oxygen out of the room.

O’Malley, if he were running in any other year, would have a real chance with his exceptional record as Maryland Governor, and earlier Baltimore Mayor, and has proved his skills and ability, but sadly, it seems a long shot that O’Malley can move beyond five percent, but miracles have happened before, as with the four most recent elected Democratic Presidents!

Have Democratic Presidents Been Treated “Better” Than Republican Presidents By News Media Since FDR Onward? NO!

If you listened to Republican and conservative propagandists, it would seem that the Republican Party  is at a disadvantage when it comes to the “liberal”, “mainstream” news media, in coverage of Presidents and Presidential candidates.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who studies American history KNOWS that Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all been subjected to an inordinate amount of attacks and criticism on every issue and personal quirk imaginable, and many have been purely fiction and mythology!

The job of ALL news media is to challenge, expose, and reveal weaknesses and inconsistencies in Presidential candidates, and Hillary Clinton, in particular, has had much more attacks, criticism  and fictional and mythological stories than ANY GOP Presidential candidate.

But the fact that Marco Rubio has issues with handling his finances; that Donald Trump has had three marriages and multiple bankruptcies; that Dr. Benjamin Carson has sponsored phony nutrition supplements that supposedly cure cancer; that Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal support an anti gay church leader who advocates gays be murdered; that Chris Christie has left his state in financial tatters and is still being part of the investigation of the “Bridgegate” Scandal in New Jersey; that Carly Fiorina lies constantly about just everything she talks about; and numerous other issues and controversies that  are real and true, not fabricated, is something that the news media and hosts of political debates should be expected to address, and to confront the candidates on these issues.

Instead, the Republican candidates as a group are “crybabies”, and Ted Cruz has suggested that a political debate be conducted by right wing conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin, none of them legitimate journalists, but instead pure hate propagandists who exploit the gullible nature of too many listeners on talk radio and viewers of Fox News Channel.

And yet, one Republican Presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, says the party and candidates need to stop complaining and “sniping”, grow up, and expect the news media to be on the offensive, and to be mature enough to deal with it, and really answer the questions posed to them, just as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley have to deal with regularly!  And that makes John Kasich a legitimate and serious Presidential candidate, separating the adults from the chidren!