Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Republicans’ Penchant Toward Abolishing Government! Why They Cannot Be Allowed To Control The Executive Branch!

The Republican Party has created lots of employment for people who want to run for office and be part of the government.

And yet, the Republicans are always out to abolish government, even though they are part of it!

Going back to 2012 and even further back as far as the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even earlier to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson,  and actually even earlier with James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans would love to abolish (in no special order):

The Internal Revenue Service–Wilson

The Social Security System–FDR

The Department of Labor–Wilson

Mine Safety and Health Administration–Carter

Occupational Safety and Health Administration–Nixon

National Labor Relations Board–FDR

The Department of Commerce–TR

The Department of Health and Human Services–Ike and then Carter reorganization

The Food and Drug Administration–TR

The Medicare System–JFK and LBJ

Medicaid System–LBJ

State Children’s Health Insurance Program–Clinton

Affordable Health Care Act–Obama

The Department of Education–Ike and then Carter reorganization

Federal Aid To Education—Ike

The Department of  Agriculture–Lincoln

The Department of Energy–Carter

The Department of Housing and Urban Development–JFK and LBJ

Civil Rights Acts—Ike, JFK, and LBJ

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity–LBJ

The Department of the Interior–Polk

The Environmental Protection Agency–Nixon

Bureau of Land Management–Truman

National Park Service–Wilson

Federal Emergency Management Agency–Carter

Consumer Product Safety Commission–Nixon

Corporation for Public Broadcasting–LBJ

National Endowment for the Arts–LBJ

National Endowment for the Humanities–LBJ

Federal Reserve System–Wilson

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–Obama

United States Postal Service–Nixon

Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)–Nixon

This is a list of 33 government agencies and programs that the Republican Party, at different times, and particularly during Presidential and Congressional campaigns, has promoted that we abolish!

The following Presidents were responsible for these government agencies and programs:

James K. Polk–1  Abraham Lincoln–1–TR—2–Wilson–4–FDR–2–Truman–1–Ike–4—JFK–3—LBJ–8—Nixon–5—Carter–5–Clinton–1—Barack Obama–2.

So THIRTEEN Presidents of both parties—nine Democrats and four Republicans— have presided over the creation of government agencies and programs that have made life better for the American people!

If one gave the Republican Party total control, we would see our government decimated, and only private corporations and the greed of the elite upper class would rule and regulate every aspect of American life!

Watching the South Carolina GOP debate yesterday, this is always their game plan–abolish, abolish, abolish!   Hate government, undermine government, defund government, fear government, distrust government!

Why do the Republicans advocate all this, and yet wish to be the government?

The answer is that their hatred and suspicion of government is promotion of anarchy and chaos, without regulation to promote a level playing field, and give average  Americans a fair shake and the possibility of advancement!

This is why the Republican Party cannot be entrusted with control of the executive branch, as that is one way, no matter what happens with the Congress, to protect the government agencies that have made life better for vast numbers of Americans in the last century and even earlier!

 

 

 

 

Activist Vs. Passive Presidents, 1901 To The Present

There have been 19 Presidents since the accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency in 1901, upon the assassination of William McKinley.

Some have been activists, hard workers, dynamos, who saw the Presidency as a position that required constant attention, and avoided much vacation time, but even when on vacation, these activist Presidents were always working and alert to changing events.

Among the 19 modern Presidents, the following 11 Presidents would qualify as part of the activist category:

Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

The other 8 Presidents since 1901 were much more passive, avoided work, were quite frankly lazy, and took lots of vacation time, often were not alert to changing events, and delegated authority to others:

William Howard Taft

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Note that all eight passive Presidents were Republicans, while only Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush were activist Republicans, joining the 8 Democratic Presidents in that category!

Also, note that the eleven activist Presidents all were highly intelligent and curious about the world around them, while the eight passive Presidents were generally less naturally intelligent, with the exceptions of William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover, both highly intellectual and accomplished, although both were seen as unsuccessful in office, and defeated for reelection!

Two Projects Left Hanging: Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial And Adams Memorial, In Washington, DC!

There are two Memorial projects in limbo for the National Mall in Washington DC, an area already overloaded with buildings and memorials, with the new National Musem of African American  History and Culture scheduled to open in the Fall of 2016.

The debate over the design and funding of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial has been raging for more than a decade, with the descendants of President Eisenhower unhappy over the proposal, and private funding hard to come by.  So it is not clear if such a Memorial will be constructed at all, with some arguing that there are already Eisenhower memorials in Abilene, Kansas (The Eisenhower Presidential Library}, and in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the Eisenhowers retired to after the Presidency.

Some have argued that Eisenhower, while rated in the top ten Presidents, is clearly lower ranked than three other Presidents who do not have national memorials in Washington DC—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry Truman,

Then, there is the plan to build an Adams Memorial in Washington DC, to honor President John Adams; First Lady Abigail Adams; President John Quincy Adams;  First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams; Charles Francis Adams, Sr.; and the latter’s two brilliant sons, Henry Adams, and Brooks Adams, all part of the illustrious family which gave us so many brilliant public figures!

But as with the Eisenhower project, there have been many delays, relating to the design and private funding of such a memorial, with the only historic site for the family being the homes and burial places of the Adamses in Massachusetts.

Some would say we have too many memorials already in Washington, DC, while others would disagree strongly with that assertion, as the nation’s capital is the location that more Americans and foreign tourists visit than any other site in the nation!

 

Republican Implosion: 1912, 1964, 2016—Each 52 Years Apart After Lincoln And First Republican Victory In 1860!

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and also included abolitionists, those who wanted the end of slavery, in its membership.

Six years later, the Republicans won the majority of the Congress,and in a four way Presidential face, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency with less than 40 percent of the total national vote.

Within  six weeks of the Presidential inauguration, the Civil War had begun.

For the next half century, the Republicans dominated national politics, winning control of the Presidency for 44 of 52 years (with only Democrat Grover Cleveland winning two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and 1892), and usually held the Congressional majority with a few exceptions.

But then in 1912, 52 years after the Republicans became the national majority, the party had a “civil war” between President William Howard Taft and his predecessor in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, leading to the formation of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, and TR ending up second and Taft third in popular and electoral votes.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, and promoted a great era of reform, known as the New Freedom, and also adopted TR’s reform platform, known as the New Nationalism.

Despite many shortcomings of Wilson, the domestic reform programs was the greatest in substance in American history.

The Republicans returned to national power in the Presidential Election of 1920 and kept it until Herbert Hoover and the coming of the Great Depression, and Franklin D. Roosevelt then brought Democratic dominance in 1932 and after, with his New Deal, a much greater reform period than that under Wilson.

The Republican Party was only able to win back Congressional majorities in the midterm election of 1946 and again in the Presidential Election of 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency, but two years later, the Democrats regained the majority in both houses for the next quarter century.

The more conservative wing of the GOP lost their chance to gain a Presidential nomination when Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon won the nominations for President from 1940-1960, but the conservatives overcame the Eastern Establishment, as it was known, and soared to the Presidential nomination with right wing Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, 52 years after 1912.

But now we had “civil war” again, as Eastern Establishment Republicans who had competed against Goldwater, including most notably Nelson Rockfeeller, refused to support Goldwater in 1964, and some just sat on their hands, while others backed Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.  This led to a massive defeat for the GOP in 1964, and LBJ went on to a landslide victory and the promotion of the Democratic Party’s Great Society.

The battle for the future began when Ronald Reagan sought the Presidency against incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, but going on to triumph in 1980, creating what conservatives considered a “Golden Age”.  However, after Reagan, the Establishment returned with President George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney from 1988 to 2012.

As the GOP became ever more conservative and right wing extremist, and was hijacked by the Tea Party Movement after 2009, the party has reached a point where the Establishment, including some of the 2016 Presidential candidates, but also much of Republicans Congressional leadership, was seen as unacceptable, and we have now witnessed a rebellion against “office holders”, and the rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Cason, and Carly Fiorina.

It seems as if the GOP is on the way to another “civil war” 52 years after 1964, wh8ich could be the final implosion of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to a massive Democratic victory, including the possibility yet again of a third age of reform, spurred on in the past by Wilson and LBJ, and maybe now, either Hillary Clinton, or who can say, maybe even Bernie Sanders!

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

9 Of Last 10 Economic Recessions Under Republican Presidents Since 1953!

It is a fact of history that nine of the ten economic recessions since 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became President, have come under Republican Presidents as follows:

July 1953 to May 1954–Eisenhower

August 1957 to April 1958–Eisenhower

April 1960 to February 1961–Eisenhower

December 1969 to November 1970–Nixon

November 1973 to March, with un 1975–Nixon/Ford

January 1980 to July 1980–Carter (Democrat)

July 1981-November 1982–Reagan

July 1990-March 1991—HW Bush

March 2001-November 2001–W Bush

December 2007-June 2009–W Bush/Obama–last five months under Democrat

The longest recessions were under W Bush and Obama; Reagan; and Nixon/Ford, with the unemployment rate reaching 10 percent, 10.8 percent, and 9 percent respectively in those recessions.

The shortest recession was under Jimmy Carter, six months in 1980, but the only Democrat to have a recession begin while in office, and  suffered at the polls partially on that fact, that it was in an election year!

Eisenhower had three recession periods, while Nixon had two, and W. Bush had two.

This is an issue that Democrats need to emphasize in the upcoming campaign, the tremendous economic revival under President Barack Obama!

Finally, the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton administrations saw great economic growth as under Obama after his first five months in office, so Democrats have an exceptional record on the economy over the last 62 years of American history!

 

150th Anniversary Of 13th Amendment, Ending Slavery: Abraham Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy!

Yesterday, December 9, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, lobbied for and pushed through by the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln, his most enduring legacy!

The Republican Party and its first President were totally principled and decent in what was done 150 years ago, and yet slavery in a different form would continue, with a century of legal segregation of the races, until Lyndon B. Johnson engineered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And unjust imprisonment of African Americans. as well as people of other races and ethnic backgrounds and poor people of all races, due to inability to have proper legal representation and a biased legal system, including private prisons, means that slavery in a different form has always existed and still flourishes in 2015!

And the Republican Party and its conservative ideologues have completely destroyed the heritage of a party with great Presidents and a list of great members of Congress and governors who carried on the early tradition of the Republican Party a century and a half ago.

Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, if they came back to 21st century America, would be shocked at what has happened to their party!

So the fight against the mean spirit and lack of compassion and empathy of the modern GOP is a continuing one, as we celebrate the official end of slavery a century and a half ago!

Urgency For Republican Party And Entire Nation To Condemn Donald Trump And Prevent His Presidential Nomination In 2016!

Racist, nativist, bigoted Fascist demagogue Donald Trump has just gone beyond the pale with his call for the banning of all Muslims to the United States, including any Muslim citizens who are traveling overseas as tourists or on business.

This is against the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and reminds us of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment in prison camps from 1942-1945!

We cannot sit idly by as this dangerous man is stirring up the extremist groups in America, and even his rhetoric is bound to cause violence against decent, law abiding Muslims in America, which would mean Trump has blood on his hands.

The Republican Party must declare that under no circumstances will they allow Trump to be their nominee, or else they will lose their status as a serious political party, as the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, cannot sit idly by as Trump totally destroys their historical image!

Anti Trump rallies must be organized around the nation, and make it clear that anyone who supports Trump on this matter shall be repudiated and isolated by family and colleagues as unAmerican!

Politicians Who Served On The Supreme Court In The Past Hundred Years

The Supreme Court has, in recent decades, become a group of lower court judges who move up to the Supreme Court.

The thought that politicians, who were elected to public office or appointed to a President’s cabinet, would end up on the Supreme Court, is no longer a likelihood, which is, in many ways, tragic, as being a politician gives a different perspective on law than those appointed to lower courts and moving up to the Supreme Court.

Among those few politicians elected or appointed to public office who served on the Supreme Court in the past century of time are:

Charles Evans Hughes–Governor Of New York 1907-1910, Republican Presidential nominee in 1916, Secretary of State 1921-1925, along with serving as Associate Justice 1910-1916 and Chief Justice 1930-1941, appointed by William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.

William Howard Taft—Secretary of War 1904-1908, President of the United States 1909-1913, along with serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1921-1930, appointed by Warren G. Harding.

George Sutherland—Utah Congressman 1901-1903, Senator from Utah 1905-1917, along with serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1922-1938, appointed by Warren G. Harding.

Hugo Black–Senator from Alabama 1927-1937, along with serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1937-1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Frank Murphy–Mayor of Detroit 1930-1933, Governor of Michigan 1937-1939, Attorney General of the United States, 1939-1940, along with serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1940-1949, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Harold Burton— Mayor of Cleveland Ohio 1936-1940, Governor Of Ohio 1941-1945, along with serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1945-1958, appointed by Harry Truman.

Sherman Minton—Senator from Indiana 1935-1941, along with serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court 1949-1956, appointed by Harry Truman.

Earl Warren—Attorney General of California, 1939-1943, Governor of California 1943-1953, along with serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1953-1969, appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

These eight Supreme Court Justices include four Governors, three US Senators, three Cabinet members, two Presidential candidates, one Congressman, two Mayors, and one State Attorney General.

Two prominent politicians came under consideration for the Supreme Court under President Bill Clinton, but both turned down an appointment—New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Maine Senator and Majority Leader George Mitchell.  Both would have been valuable additions to the Court, but instead two people with judicial experience—Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer—were chosen, although they have worked out very well in their time on the Court.

 

 

21 Significant Speakers Of The House In American History

With the election of Paul Ryan as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives this week, it makes one focus on  the 54 House Speakers in American history, and recognition of the fact that twenty one of them were quite significant figures in the American past.

Probably the most prominent of all was one of the earliest Speakers, Henry Clay of Kentucky, who became Speaker as a freshman in 1811, and served three different times as House Speaker, from 1811-1814, 1815-1820, and 1823-1825. a total of more than six and a half years, as Congress did not meet back then for many months in any years, but sixth longest serving.  Clay is considered the most famous Congressional figure in American history in both houses of Congress, and was an unsuccessful Presidential nominee three times, in 1824, 1832, and 1844.  He was a giant figure in American political history and American politics.

John Bell was Speaker in 1834-1835, and was also a Presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union party in the Presidential Election of 1860, trying to prevent the Civil War by running as an alternative to the three other candidates that year—Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and John C. Breckinridge.  He won three states and 39 electoral votes, carrying Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee in the Electoral College.

James K. Polk became the only Speaker so far to become President of the United States, in the Presidential Election of 1844, after having served as House Speaker from 1835-1839.  He is considered the most successful one term President, deciding due to ill health to refuse to run f0r reelection in 1848, but gaining the whole American Southwest in war with Mexico, and arranging the peaceful acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by treaty with Great Britain.  His retirement from the Presidency was the shortest in American history, only 105 days.

Robert M. T. Hunter was the youngest Speaker of the House at the age of 30, serving from 1839-1841, and later as Confederate Secretary of State in 1861-1862 during the Civil War.

Howell Cobb served as Speaker from 1849-1851, being 34 when elected, and served as one of the founders of the Confederate States of America in 1861.

Schuyler Colfax served as Speaker from 1863-1869, and as Vice President in the first term of President Ulysses S. Grant from 1869-1873, being the first of two Speakers to serve in the Vice Presidency, the other being John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

James G. Blaine served as Speaker from 1869-1875, 10th longest serving with a little over five years, and later was the Republican nominee for President in the Presidential Election of 1884.  He also served as Secretary of State under James A. Garfield, Chester Alan Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison, and was present at the site of the Garfield assassination in 1881.

Thomas B. Reed served as Speaker from 1889-1891 and 1895-1899, and was nicknamed “Czar Reed”, because he wielded great power in the Speakership, which added to the stature and influence of the Speakers after him.

Joseph Cannon served as House Speaker from 1903-1911, added the most power to the Speakership, more than Reed, but then saw a “revolution” of progressive Republicans led by George Norris of Nebraska, which stripped him and future Speakers of the absolute power that Reed and Cannon had waged, and was pushed out of the Speakership when the opposition Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections of 1910.  He was eighth longest serving Speaker, nearly six years, and had a House office building named after him despite his fall from power in 1910.

His successor, Champ Clark, served as House Speaker from 1911-1919, fifth longest serving at seven  years, and nearly won the 1912 Democratic Presidential nomination, but lost to Woodrow Wilson.

Nicholas Longworth served as Speaker from 1925-1931, punished progressive Republicans and restored much of the power of the Speaker under Joseph Cannon, and was married to Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice.  Later, a House office building would be named after him.

John Nance Garner served 15 months as House Speaker from 1931-1933, and then became Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and served two terms in that office. He became famous for his statement that the Vice Presidency was not worth  “a bucket of warm piss!”  He opposed much of the New Deal, and tried to win the nomination against his boss when FDR sought a third term in 1940.  On his 95th birthday, President John F. Kennedy wished him “Happy Birthday” just hours before his assassination on November 22, 1963. Garner died at age 98 in 1967, the longest lived Vice President or President, and just 15 days before his 99th birthday!

Sam Rayburn was the most prominent, and longest serving Speaker of the House in American history, serving a total of 17 years in three rounds as Speaker, from 1941=1947, 1949-1953, and from 1955 to near the end of 1961, when he died in office.  A House Office Building is named after him, and only he and Henry Clay served three separate terms as Speaker.  He was one of the most prominent members in the entire history of the House of Representatives, engendering great respect and admiration, and served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.

John W. McCormack was the third longest serving House Speaker, a total of nine years from 1962-1971, and served as House Majority Leader all of the years that Sam Rayburn was Speaker.  He presided over the New Frontier and Great Society legislative package under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Carl Albert served as Speaker from 1971-1977, seventh longest serving in the office, and a heartbeat away when Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President in 1973, until Gerald Ford was confirmed as Vice President under the 25th Amendment in 1973, and again when Ford became President in 1974 until Nelson Rockefeller was confirmed as Vice President at the end of that year.

Thomas “Tip” O’Neill was the second longest serving House Speaker, a total of ten years from 1977-1987, serving under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  He served the longest consecutive years as Speaker, and was an unabashed liberal, but negotiated a Social Security compromise agreement with Ronald Reagan in 1983, which became the mark of bipartisanship.

Thomas Foley served six years as Speaker from 1989-1995, and became the first Speaker since 1862 to be defeated for his House seat in 1994, retiring him from the House of Representatives, but he served as Ambassador to Japan for President Bill Clinton from 1997-2001.  He was ninth longest serving Speaker.

Newt Gingrich served as Speaker for four years from 1995-1999, having been the leader of the “Republican Revolution”, where the GOP took back control of the House of Representatives after 40 years in “the wilderness”.  Highly controversial and combative, Gingrich led the fight against President Bill Clinton, and moved for his impeachment in 1998, but then was forced out by an internal rebellion in his own party at the end of 1998.  He sought the Presidency in 2012, but fell short of the nomination, and remains an outspoken active commentator on politics.

Dennis Hastert became the longest serving Republican Speaker in American history, serving eight years from 1999-2007, fourth longest serving, seen as non controversial after Gingrich, and being Speaker under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  He became involved in a sex and financial scandal dating back to before he was in Congress, and faces prison time as this article is being written, having pleaded guilty.

Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker, serving four years from 2007-2011, and remains Minority Leader today, and her two Congresses under George W. Bush and Barack Obama accomplished more legislation, particularly under Obama, than any Congress since the 1960s.

John Boehner served almost five years as Speaker from 2011 until this past week, facing highly contentious opponents in his own party, the Tea Party Movement, now known as the Freedom or Liberty Caucus, a group of about 40 Republicans, who made his life miserable, and finally, he resigned, and has handed over authority to Paul Ryan, who was Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, and had been Chair of the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, before becoming Speaker this week.