Electoral College

America Is Now Really In The Greatest Crisis Since Richard Nixon And Watergate, But This Is Worse!

There has been discussion going on for two years now, since Donald Trump became the nominee of the Republican Party in the summer of 2016, and intensified when he won a surprising Electoral College victory, that we were as a nation entering a constitutional crisis. Tensions have since accelerated by his rash and reckless behavior and utterances in his 19 plus months in office.

But this year, first in Michael Wolff’s book; then in Omarosa Manigault Newman’s memoir; and this week in Bob Woodward’s new book and yesterday’s New York Times op-ed by a high ranking official of the Trump Administration, all warning of the dangers of Donald Trump, and his totally unhinged behavior being more than ever a national crisis, we have now reached a stage where it is clear that we are in a more terrifying moment than even Richard Nixon and Watergate!

It is time for the Republican Party to put aside politics, and join the Democrats in demanding that Donald Trump resign, or that the 25th Amendment Section 4 be invoked.

Trump is more crazy than ever in his rhetoric, unstable actions, his amorality, and in his volcanic fury, with half hour rants, that could cause a heart attack or a stroke in most people, if occurring regularly.

The nation’s national security and stability is at stake, and this is not a time to promote division and conflict, so Paul Ryan, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders need to end partisanship, and unite with the Democrats to promote the nation’s welfare over partisan wrangling.

We are in danger of a insane man utilizing the nuclear codes, and of an economic depression, and even though many might not be happy with Mike Pence, at the least, he is not mentally unhinged, or incompetent, and is not a reckless person who would undermine the nation. And with a likely Democratic House, even if not the Senate being likely in 2019. Mike Pence would be controlled to a great extent, and he would not win the Presidency for a full term in 2020.

The Tough Battle Ahead On Supreme Court Replacement For Justice Anthony Kennedy

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative but moderate on such issues as gay rights and gay marriage, abortion, affirmative action, flag burning, and the use of the death penalty, leaves the Senate in a tough battle for confirmation of whoever Donald Trump appoints as his replacement.

The fair thing to do would be to postpone the appointment and confirmation hearings until after the midterm elections of 2018, just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prevented hearings and a vote on Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, a Presidential election year. But it is clear McConnell has no such intentions to treat this situation in the same manner as he did two years ago.

So the question is whether there is any possibility of stopping a Trump appointment, and it seems pretty gloomy and very little chance to intervene and delay or prevent a confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.

With only 49 votes, the Democrats need one or two Republicans to join them in opposition, and for all Democrats, including more moderate and conservative members of the caucus, to stay loyal, even in an election year where 10 Senators who are running for reelection are from Trump carried states.

The saddest part of all this is that now we will have FOUR Supreme Court Justices–two by George W. Bush and two by Donald Trump–selected by Presidents who massively lost the popular vote in the elections in 2000 and 2016 when the Electoral College went to them.

Six of the last seven Presidential elections have seen the popular vote won by Democrats, all but 2004 since 1992, but the power over the future of the Supreme Court has been lost for the long term, for the next 30 years, beyond the theoretical lifetime of this author and blogger, and of many people who are 40 or over right now!

A Potential Way For Democrats To Win White Working Class Vote Of Midwest And Pennsylvania In 2020: A Ticket Of Joe Biden And Sherrod Brown!

Face the facts: The 2020 Presidential race has begun, as several politicians in both parties, and even Donald Trump, have started to appear in Iowa and or New Hampshire, the first caucus and first primary state respectively.

There is a myriad of potential candidates for the Democrats, but the thought comes to mind that the Democrats cannot afford to sacrifice the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania, which were lost by Hillary Clinton by small margins in 2016.

And when one thinks about the wide variety of nominees, the thought that comes to mind, at least to this observer, is that a ticket that could win the vote that gave Donald Trump the victory in the Electoral College in 2016, is:

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN OF DELAWARE
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN OF OHIO

Biden and Brown, the KILLER BEES, were both under consideration in 2016, but Biden did not run due to the death of his son Beau Biden, and Brown was on a short list for Hillary Clinton, but Tim Kaine was selected instead.

Both Biden and Brown have made their careers to a great extent on the backing and support of the white working class, from which both came, and which both understand, and it is part of their “blood”, so to speak.

Brown must win his Senate seat in Ohio this November, but is favored, and has expressed interest before in higher office, and he has served two terms in the Senate, and 14 years before that in the House of Representatives, and also served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years before coming to Congress. He also served in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that. So he has vast experience, being in elected office 42 of the past 44 years, since 1975

And of course, Joe Biden sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008, and is superbly qualified for the White House with 36 years in the Senate and eight as the most active and involved Vice President in history, shared with Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter, having served a total of 44 years from 1973 to 2017.

When have we had two people on a national ticket, each with 44 years in office by 2020? NEVER, and both are solid progressives who care about the American people!

Both Brown and Biden are aggressive campaigners, and great orators, and would know how to take the fight to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or any other Republican nominee for President.

Ohio is the crucial state in so many elections, and Brown could bring the whole Midwest and Pennsylvania to the Democrats, and Biden knows how to appeal to the struggling white working class.

Of course, many will say Joe Biden will be too old at age 78, and that Sherrod Brown at age 68 makes for an old ticket, and that no women or minorities or younger nominees would have the opportunity to be the nominees in a nation that is leaning toward a more diverse future. But Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, a community college professor, and Brown’s wife, Connie Schultz, a well respected journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2005, would also add to the campaign as future First Lady and Second Lady of the land. Schultz has focused on the underdog and underprivileged in her journalism career, and is now Professor of Journalism at Kent State University, after years of being a journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

The first goal is to WIN the White House, and it is hard to argue against the idea that a Biden-Brown ticket could bring success.

On Gun Regulation And DACA, Vast Majorities Are In Support, But Trump And GOP Ignore Public Opinion!

One would think that America was a nation based on the consent of the governed, but apparently not so, in the age of Donald Trump and the Republican Party in control of our government, but only due to the faults of the Electoral College and of gerrymandering.

85-90 percent of the nation in public opinion polls support gun regulation, with the large number of massacres occurring in schools, malls, churches, and other public places, but the National Rifle Association owns the Republican Party, so when mass shootings take place, little is said other than “thoughts and prayers”, and nothing is done, even to have minimal oversight of people who purchase weapons.

The same percent want the “Dreamers” under DACA to be allowed to stay. and to have an eventual pathway to citizenship, but instead, they are being victimized by the racism and nativism of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. These young people have served in the military, attended college, held responsible employment, and have not engaged in criminal activities, but are being threatened with deportation by ICE agents, because their parents came here illegally.

America is now a nation in which these two evils of gun violence and discrimination against people who are not white Anglos has become a norm, with little done to deal with either issue.

This is causing great despair as America becomes a place that resists security for average Americans, and a sense of justice and fairness toward its minority groups.

Add to this the growing misogyny, and America has backtracked so much from the image of America as a democracy that promotes equality, justice, and fair play to all who reside in the country.

Former Living Vice Presidents To Be Proud Of: Walter Mondale, Al Gore, Joe Biden

Today, January 5, marks the 90th Birthday of former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Two days ago, when Vice President Mike Pence swore in Doug Jones and Tina Smith as new Senators from Alabama and Minnesota, we had Mondale join Joe Biden, and we had a rare scene of three Vice Presidents together.

Biden came to DC to be there for his good friend, Doug Jones, and Mondale was in DC to support a new Minnesota Senator, Tina Smith.

It brought back memories of when Mondale was Vice President under Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981, and when Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009-2017.

Both Vice Presidents were extremely close to their Presidents, and both played a major role in adding to the stature and influence of the Vice Presidency.

Also, with Mondale reaching the age of 90, it marks the second President and Vice President who reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

It will be 37 years out of office for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale on January 20, an all time record out of office for any President and Vice President.

Also, Mondale became today the sixth Vice President to reach the age of 90, along with three Presidents who served as Vice President–John Adams, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush–and two Vice Presidents who lived longer than any of the others—John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt, living to age 98, and Levi Morton under Benjamin Harrison, living to age 96.

The scene of three Vice Presidents together also brought back the tragic result of the Presidential Election of 2000, when Vice President Al Gore under Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, won the national popular vote by 540,000, and yet lost the Electoral College 271-266, when the Republican majority Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush, awarding Florida to Bush by 537 votes out of a total of 6 million.

One has to wonder how Al Gore would have been as President, with the assurance that he would have done better than Bush.

The scene of Mike Pence posing with Mondale and Biden also sobers us that he is likely to become the 46th President this year, unless he is shown to have collaborated on the Russian collusion, and if so, could be the second Vice President to resign due to scandal, after Spiro Agnew in 1973.

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.

The Nightmare Year Of Donald Trump, But Suburbia, Women, Minorities, White Collar Educated, Those Under 45, And Independents Are Organizing To End The Trump Presidency

A year ago on this date, Donald Trump “won” the Presidency, with 26 percent of all eligible voters backing him, 46 percent of actual voters, and losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and having 8 million others voting for third party candidates, therefore having 11 million more people voting against him than for him.

No President who has won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote has done so poorly, as compared to John Quincy Adams losing to Andrew Jackson by 38,000 votes in 1824; as Rutherford B. Hayes losing to Samuel Tilden by 252,000 votes in 1876; as Benjamin Harrison losing to Grover Cleveland by 110,000 votes in 1888; or George W. Bush losing to Al Gore by 544,000 votes in 2000.

Also, Trump’s Electoral College victory with 304 electoral votes is only 46th of 58 national elections.

The past year, since his victory, has been a horror in so many ways, as Donald Trump has accomplished nothing in legislation, but has undermined a century of progress under Republican and Democratic Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama in domestic and foreign policy.

He has abused his executive authority to declare war on the environment, promoted discrimination against immigrants and Muslims, advocated the end of government regulation of business, undermining on civil liberties and civil rights, disarray in our foreign relations with our allies and our enemies in the world, destroyed the concept of civility and common decency, and damaged the image of the Presidency itself.

But he has also demonstrated a level of scandal and corruption far greater than the corruption which took place under Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

His appointees, with a few exceptions, have been a total disgrace, making them the worst cabinet in performance and ethics we have ever seen.

Assuredly, Donald Trump will be the second President, after Richard Nixon, to be forced out office in the next year by the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The reaction against him among intelligent voters is already evident from Tuesday’s off year elections, as suburbia, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and independents are organizing to end the Trump Presidency and punish the Republican Party that nominated him, have collaborated with him, and are conspiring to enrich the wealthy yet once again, as they did under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In so doing, the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class, and shown no compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and senior citizens.

A major wave election in 2018 is in the offing, as the goal is to destroy the cancer of the Trump Presidency, although some of the damage he and his party have done will take decades to eliminate totally from the nation’s domestic and foreign policy.

This is a major national tragedy, a setback that the nation will pay for long term.

Hillary Clinton 70 Today, And Theodore Roosevelt Born 159 Years Ago Tomorrow: From One Progressive President To Another “Should Have Been” Progressive President

Today is the 70th birthday of Hillary Clinton, who should have been the 45th President, and the first woman President.

Superbly qualified and experienced, she won a bigger popular vote victory than many Presidents, including recently, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, along with others.

But the antiquated Electoral College system defeated her, and clearly, Russian collusion had an effect on vote totals in crucial states, and so, therefore, we were denied her right to be President, and instead have a crooked, corrupt President, who has accomplished nothing more than the division of the nation, and an extremely low public opinion poll rating, and faces removal from office soon, giving us right winger Mike Pence as the 46th President.

Tomorrow is the 159th anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, who one can be assured, would be shocked and dismayed at the Trump Presidency for a multitude of reasons, but with the environment and conservation being probably the most infuriating issue of all for him. Another issue which would have upset him is changing the rule that controls on corporate campaign finance, limited since his time, are gone since the Citizens United Supreme Court case in 2010.

TR was the 26th President, and Hillary Clinton would have been number 45–so would have been the 20th from 1901 to the present.

They would have been great beginnings and ends of a period of growth of a progressive Presidency, with only a few reversals, under Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover in the 1920s and early 1930s, and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, but with all others, good and bad, bringing SOME Progressive changes, until now with Donald Trump, who is working to undermine all of the changes brought about in the past 116 years of American history.

Donald Trump Has Serious Mental Illness: No Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy, Sincerity, Decency, Only Self Serving Glorification!

Donald Trump is a horrible human being, and the crisis of Hurricane Harvey proves that he has no ability to demonstrate compassion, empathy, sympathy, sincerity, or decency, but rather only self serving glorification.

He visited Corpus Christi and raves about the size of the crowd, not seemingly realizing they are not there to see him, but are simply victims of a horrible natural disaster which has torn from them all their earthly belongings, and in some cases, the lives of their loved ones.

He does not talk about the victims, including the police officer who was swept away, and the family of six with a similar fate.

He does not embrace anyone and spend time commiserating with them, something Barack Obama did after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012, and so many other tragedies.

He does not put his arms around people and give a passionate speech as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

He does not unite us as Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger Astronaut disaster in 1986.

The man is seriously mentally ill, and his inability to be the Uniter In Chief after a great tragedy disqualifies him to be President of “all of the people”.

Trump may be the President of the “deplorables” who only care about themselves, about money, and about hating everyone not like them.

But this man is a disgrace to the human race, and his wife wearing inappropriate footwear to a flood zone and the best clothing possible so she would look good for her husband, is a reminder of the King of France, Louis XVI, before the French Revolution, and the reported utterance about the masses: “Let them eat cake!”

There are no redeeming qualities about Donald Trump, and he will go down for sure as the most despicable and disgraceful President ever, a national nightmare foisted on us by the outdated Electoral College, and the selfishness and narrow mindedness of 78,000 people in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Sadly, it will take a long time to undo the damage Donald Trump has wrought in just over seven months, but the push to remove Trump by impeachment, or use of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, or resignation must move forward full scale, as every day he is in the Oval Office, he undermines the nation and the international community!