Posts Tagged Dwight D. Eisenhower
President Barack Obama has been President for more than four years, and is in the crucial first year of his second and last term in the White House.
The time for applause over his second term victory is over, and he must face the facts that his administration is in crisis, caused by his own lack of outfront leadership over what goes on during his watch in the Oval Office!
The Benghazi matter is being politicized, but more needs to be revealed about that tragedy, and no coverup is going to work, although it seems clear there is no “smoking gun” on that issue.
The confusion over the IRS checking out conservative and Tea Party groups is reprehensible, and it must be made clear who was involved, people appointed by the President, or civil service bureaucrats who have gone way beyond their authority, and abused their positions. Heads must roll, and if it is the bureaucracy, then the whole agency must be cleaned up of those who have broken the law, and prosecutions must follow quickly!
The Associated Press matter, if related to national security matters, must also be revealed in total, as media should never be interfered with by the Justice Department, and a full investigation must be pursued, with Attorney General Eric Holder properly recusing himself in this matter.
The point is, that despite Republicans gleefully jumping on these controversies, it is yet possible that nothing that Obama could have done would have been able to prevent these controversies, but he MUST be proactive, not laid back and withdrawn, which has too often been his mode of operation in his first term.
Obama is in danger of ending up like other second term Presidencies, in the midst of scandals which undermine their legacy, no matter how good those legacies might be.
Progressives do not want Obama to end up in the troubled historical legacy of such predecessors as:
Ulysses S. Grant–Credit Mobilier Scandals
Harry Truman–several minor scandals
Dwight D. Eisenhower—Sherman Adams Scandal
Richard Nixon–Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–Iran Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinksy–Paul Jones Scandals
George W. Bush—Scooter Libby Scandal
The only way to avoid this fate is PROMPT, ASSERTIVE, PROACTIVE leadership by our 44th President, who has done so much good, and should not allow his enemies to destroy him by a policy of passivity, and leading from behind!
Former George W. Bush “brain” Karl Rove is totally delusional, as yesterday, he declared on Fox News Channel that George W. Bush belonged with the “greats” among the Presidency, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan!
This is the same man who failed to elect most of the Republicans that he supported through his campaign organization, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy patrons who believed he knew who to back and could win seats in Congress.
This is the same man who said on Election night that Mitt Romney was going to win, and denied the obvious Barack Obama victory when it was already happening!
Bush will make the list of Presidents as one of the FAILURES of the Presidency, in the company of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Pierce.
Rove has conveniently forgotten Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, all of whom rank better than Ronald Reagan, who might be number 11, but not in the top ten of all Presidents!
And Bill Clinton may eventually rank above Reagan as well, and Barack Obama might also make the top ten to twelve list, when he has left the Presidency, and passions have cooled down!
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday at the age of 87, leaving behind her much discussion of her impact on her nation, on America, and on the world.
Without doubt, Thatcher was the most significant Prime Minister of Great Britain since Winston Churchill, and was the most significant woman leader of the 20th century anywhere in the world.
Without doubt, she transformed the world by her alliance with President Ronald Reagan, and convincing him that working with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War could come to an end and lead to the downfall of the Soviet system in eastern Europe.
Without doubt, Thatcher had a dramatic effect on domestic politics in her country, with her strong anti labor, anti immigrant policies, gaining a reputation as the Iron Lady who never compromised on her beliefs and created great social and political turmoil that still reverberates in a nation in the midst today of a failing austerity program, that should demonstrate what America should not be doing with its own economy!
But instead of Republicans and conservatives idolizing her for her hard line economic and social policies, they should learn from her ascendancy what happened to the opposition Labour Party, which had gone too far to the left, and was brought by default to the middle of the political spectrum, ultimately leading to the triumph of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a moderated party.
And this is what the extremist right wing Republican Party of 2013 so far has failed to accept—that their party has gone off the deep end in the era of Barack Obama, the first African American President, and that they will NOT come back to power on the national level as long as they veer ever further to the far Right, allowing right wing Christianity, right wing talk show hosts, and extremists on social and economic issues to continue to wield power over their future in the form of the Tea Party Movement!
Just as Margaret Thatcher led to Tony Blair over time, Barack Obama will lead, it is hoped, to a Republican Party more in the mold of the GOP of the 1960s and 1970s—the party of moderate conservative leaders who could appeal to a wide swath of Americans, rather than a narrow ideological group which causes a bad name and reputation for the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and the Reagan who was much more moderate in many ways than conservatives paint him to have been!
In recent years, the idea has developed that anyone can be a politician, even if no experience in government.
Therefore, we have had a businessman, Herman Cain, who operated a pizza corporation, and ran as a candidate for President in 2012.
We have been told that government should be run as if is a corporation, but government is NOT the same as business.
Now we have a brilliant neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, who is renowned for saving many children’s l lives, who is considering running for President in 2016, just as Herman Cain did in 2012.
Both, and others like them, are to be commended for their successes in their chosen fields, but neither, and often others, such as Donald Trump, who has flirted many times with running for President, are unwilling to work their way up through the state legislatures, state executive branch, the House of Represenatatives, or the US Senate, or working in a Presidential cabinet or major role in the military before running for President..
No matter how competent they are in their fields of business, medicine, or any other occupation, that does not mean that they should be seen as ready to jump into the fray, and believe, without ANY political and governmental experience, that they are qualified, or have any clue as to what runnning a government is all about.
It trivializes politics and government, as it would be if someone knowing nothing about history or math or science or whatever, goes in and teaches a class to college students, or someone who has never studied and practiced law or medicine or accounting or whatever, suddenly claims they are qualified to be engage in those professions!
This has nothing to do with whether it is Republicans or Democrats, or men or women, or people of different ethniciities or racial backgrounds!
The point is that many critics of Barack Obama claim he had too little experience in government, when he actually had TWELVE years in public office.
Many other Presidents have had less experience than Obama, including Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. But all of them had some government experience. And Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ullyses S. Grant had years of military experience, which also qualifies as knowledge to operate a government. And even Mitt Romney ran the state government of Massachusetts before running for President!
A very important measurement of Presidential leadership is to evaluate their interest in the advancement of science, and their willingness to support scientific research as a major part of their administrative goals.
Sadly, many Presidents have shown a lack of interest in the advancement of science, and presently, we have a group of KNOW NOTHINGS in the Republican Party who would rather promote religion in government, and deny evolution and global warming, and are generally antagonistic to any suggestion of the advancement of science, such as Barack Obama newly suggesting an investment through the National Institutes of Health to fund $100 million to work on the mapping of the human brain, which could lead to research and advancement in the study of mental illness, and such other major problems as Alzheimers Disease and Parkinson Disease. But in the Sequester environment we are now in, and the push for austerity by the GOP, it will be difficult for the vision of the study of the brain to be understood as a worthwhile and significant investment!
In any case, the Presidents who can be seen as having advanced science include the following,
Thomas Jefferson–arguably the most science oriented of all Presidents, a true genius and intellectual, who sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition for its scientific value, as well as the exploration of a large part of the American continent.
John Quincy Adams—a promoter of federal support of the arts and sciences, and helped to promote astronomical studies, and helped to form the Smithsonian Institution, for which he laid the cornerstone in 1846, as well as the US Naval Observatory.
Abraham Lincoln—-promoted the scientific study of agriculture, and signed legislation establishing the National Academy of Sciences.
James A. Garfield—tragically killed early in his term, but a promoter of mathematical studies, devising a mathematical proof of the Pythagorean Theorem, and promoted funding for agricultural research. Garfield was a great intellectual, and in many ways, was a tragic loss of a President whose potential for greatness was lost so quickly!
Theodore Roosevelt—was a great promoter of nature and conservation of natural resources, quadrupling our national parks and national forest lands. He also set up the US Forestry Service, and went on a dangerous trip to map the Amazon River Basin and discover new species of animal and plant life.
Herbert Hoover—a brilliant mining engineer, and elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, and a great intellectual, who was sadly a disaster in the White House, despite his credentials.
Franklin D. Roosevelt—managed the challenge of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, in his promotion of forest conservation, watersheds, and agriculture, and also worked with Albert Einstein and others in development of the atomic bomb to help win World War II.
Harry Truman—signed legislation setting up the National Science Foundation, and saw the need for greater funding of scientific research.
Dwight D. Eisenhower—promoted the beginning of the space program and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in response to the Russian putting of Sputnik I in space in 1957.
John F. Kennedy—promoted the space program goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, and was a great promoter of science in other ways as well.
Lyndon B. Johnson—promoted the completion of the moon landing, and encouraged more students to go into science through federal fellowships and grants.
Jimmy Carter—received a Bachelor of Science degree with specialty in nuclear physics from the US Naval Academy, and promoted energy conservation research, with creation of the Energy Department in the cabinet, and signed legislation for the original funding of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Ronald Reagan—promoted the Space Shuttle and a space station, and although flawed, wanted to encourage a system to stop nuclear attack, known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Bill Clinton—promoted the Human Genome Project and the International Space Station as important for the advancement of science.
Barack Obama—is now promoting human brain research, and has called for action against global warming, and the importance of the study of evolution in science classes.
David Petraeus Returns To Public Life After Resigning From CIA Over Love Affair Five Months Ago: What Does It Mean?
Retired General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA and of the military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, has returned to public life after his sudden resignation over a love affair five months ago.
Long rumored to be interested in a political career as a Republican, including a possible plan to challenge President Barack Obama, which went by the wayside when Obama made him CIA head, Petraeus, apologizing for his misbehavior in a public speech, can now be seen as a possible GOP candidate for the White House in 2016, when Obama is leaving.
Being a candidate when the Presidency will be open to change is a lot better bet than challenging a sitting President, and when one looks at the GOP field, Petraeus is certainly a more viable and legitimate candidate than many of the Republican officeholders now considering the Presidency run in 2016.
Of course, he would need to clarify what his views are, and if he turns out to be a moderate conservative, he would be a competent and competitive choice for the White House, certainly more than anyone now seen as a candidate, other than, maybe, Jeb Bush, and Jon Huntsman!
But Jeb Bush has a major burden to carry with his name, and Huntsman is too intelligent and sensible and experienced in foreign policy, and in the crazy Republican Party of 2013, he would probably get no traction!
Petraeus, at least on paper, would be far better than anyone else, and could bring the GOP back to common sense and a responsible image, almost like another Dwight D. Eisenhower, but the question is how he would approach the major issues of the day, and whether he would be able to communicate effectively as a candidate and nominee, and be able to overcome the loonies in the GOP, including the evangelical right wing Christians that want to use the Bible to govern America!
Fifty years ago today, the United States Supreme Court made one of its most important civil liberties decisions in American history, and in the history of the Warren Court.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 to lead the Supreme Court, and doing so for sixteen years until his retirement in 1969, led a Court that greatly expanded civil liberties in so many ways, and had an impact beyond the retirement of Warren himself.
Gideon V. Wainwright would guarantee that all criminal suspects were entitled to a court appointed lawyer in court if they were indigent, as to do otherwise would deny equal justice under the law.
It meant that lack of financial assets, or a state of poverty, would not prevent someone accused of a crime from having representation in court.
Many might not think this could apply to them in some future scenario, but this was an important victory for civil liberties and human rights, and would have the effect of equalizing the balance between prosecutors and defense in a criminal court case, and that is a good thing for the image of equal justice under the law!
The Republican Party, which gave us Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, William Seward in the years of the 1850s and 1860s; which gave us Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr, George Norris, William Borah, Hiram Johnson in the 1900s-1940s; which gave us Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr,, George Romney in the 1950s-1960s; and which gave us Mark Hatfield, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford in the 1970s–1990s, reached its 159th birthday today.
The Republican Party began as an anti slavery expansion party, with elements of abolitionism also present when the party began on this day in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.
It became the party of civil rights legislation, three civil rights constitutional amendments, progressive legislation, and supportive of much bipartisan legislation with Democrats in the New Deal and Great Society eras.
Of course, they had their evil elements, including McCarthyism, nativism, and tying themselves to organized religious influences that wished to take America backward, but until the past few years, they always had redeeming values in many ways, and would often denounce the extremists in their midst.
But now the Republican Party has become a party dominated by Tea Party radicals, who promote racism, misogyny, nativism, concern only to promote the welfare of the wealthy, and willingness to engage in foreign wars that have cost us dearly in treasure and loss of life and limb!
The Republican Party is no longer, in any way, reflective of its past, and in fact, insults its honorable, respectable history, sullying the names of its heroes and champions over a century and a half!
This is a tragedy of massive proportions, and the name “Republican” should be co-opted by the true moderates who are sitting by, watching the destruction going on, and holding their heads in their hands, ashamed that the name has been so damaged by reckless, anarchistic haters of the federal government! The party which fought the Civil War to uphold the Union is now more like the secessionist Democrats of that era!
As this week is the Presidential week, celebrated this past Monday as Presidents Day, let us do one more entry, this one on Presidential trivia, specifically on the oddities and quirks of Presidential Names.
Four Presidents are remembered for the use of their middle names with their first and last names:
John Quincy Adams
William Henry Harrison
Chester Alan Arthur
William Howard Taft
Thirteen Presidents are usually referred to with their middle initial included:
James K. Polk
Ulysses S. Grant
James A. Garfield
Warren G. Harding
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
Notice that Truman’s middle initial is also his name, as his family could not agree on what name to use, just the letter S, so there is no period after the initial.
Two Presidents use a nickname as their name:
Four Presidents switched names, and preferred to be known by their middle name:
Hiram Ulysses Grant
Stephen Grover Cleveland
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
David Dwight Eisenhower
Two Presidents had their name changed as children
Leslie Lynch King Jr.—Gerald Ford
William Jefferson Blythe III–Bill Clinton
Also, many Presidents are also known by other names or titles, including: Andrew Jackson as “Old Hickory”, Martin Van Buren as “The Little Magician”, William Henry Harrison as “Old Tippecanoe”, James K. Polk as “Young Hickory”, Zachary Taylor as “Old Rough And Ready”, Franklin Pierce as “Handsome Frank”, Calvin Coolidge as “Silent Cal”, Dwight D. Eisenhower as “Ike”, John F. Kennedy as “Jack”, Richard M. Nixon as “Dick”, Gerald R. Ford as “Jerry”, Ronald Reagan as “Ronnie”, and Barack Obama as “Barry”.
That is it for Presidential names!