Franklin D. Roosevelt

Expansion Of Executive Orders Of FDR, Ike, LBJ On Prevention Of Job Discrimination Under Federal Contracts Now Expanded To LGBT Community By President Obama!

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to do what Congress has failed to do, but needed doing!

In the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, Obama is expanding the concept of Presidential action to prevent job discrimination under federal contracts with corporations, which originally covered race and ethnicity, then became one of gender, and now will cover workers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender!

This is the moral and ethical thing to do, as no one should be fired because of his or her sexual orientation, any more than for race, ethnicity, or gender!

It cannot apply to all workers under the executive order, as only Congress could do that, and that seems unlikely, but it can cover workers employed under federal contracts.

So this is another in the long line of contributions that Barack Obama has made to ending of discrimination by government against its own population.

Assuredly, it will infuriate the Right, and there will be further discussion of possible impeachment, but that will all go for naught, as impeachment, even if it occurs, and it might, will NOT lead to Obama being forced out of office.

And again, a reminder! If it were to happen, we get Joe Biden, and that would be a great alternative, and insure a Biden victory in 2016!

The Death Of Famed Political Scientist And Historian James MacGregor Burns At Age 95

Sad news has come, that famed political scientist and historian James MacGregor Burns, of Williams College, has passed away at the advanced age of 95.

A professor at Williams College for nearly a half century, and then at the University of Maryland, Burns was the author of some twenty books, as well as a famed textbook in the field of American government, which this author used in his classes over the years, in several different editions.

The first to write a study of his friend, Senator John F. Kennedy, as he was running for President, Burns became most noted for his three volume history of the United States; his two volume study of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1956 and 1970 (which had a profound effect on this author); a study of the three Roosevelts (Franklin, Eleanor, and Theodore); studies of Congress; and also analysis of the Supreme Court. He won the Pulitzer Prize in History and the National Book Award for his second volume on FDR (The Soldier of Freedom) in 1971.

There are few scholars in political science and history who have had the massive effect on those fields that Burns had, so he will be missed, but also remembered for his tremendous contributions.

The Reality Despite Quinnipiac Poll: Lowest Unemployment Rate And Highest Job Growth Since 2008!

The Quinnipiac Poll may show Barack Obama to be the worst President since 1945, but it is clearly an outlier, and should be totally ignored.

The facts are that we have just learned that the unemployment rate is now, at 6.1 percent, at the lowest since September 2008, and over the past five months, more than a million jobs have been created, and last month, 288,000 jobs were created, the most in any month since the end of 2008.

So Barack Obama has succeeded in taking us out of the worst conditions of the Great Recession of George W. Bush. Additionally, the economic growth is really taking off, according to economists, the fastest growth in the first half of the year since 1999.

This has occurred despite constant obstructionism and refusal to cooperate of the Republican Party in Congress, and the only reason that wages are not higher, and the middle class and the poor are still in crisis, is due to their refusal to cooperate in creation of infrastructure jobs, raising the minimum wage, and extending unemployment compensation. So private sector jobs have been created in larger numbers than any previous President, but public sector jobs have become victim to the machinations of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, et al.

But the Republicans are failing to prevent great progress, including the highest stock market finish in history today, and they will pay for this at the midterm election, as the Democrats can now say that the economic policy of Barack Obama is working, and that will motivate more Democrats and Independents to come out and vote in the midterm Congressional elections and the state elections.

If prosperity continues, by the time Barack Obama finishes his Presidency, he might be seen as one of the great Presidents on the issue of revival of the economy, and without a major war, which helped Franklin D. Roosevelt to push us out of the Great Depression after an equivalent six long years!

Greatest Domestic Accomplishments Of Presidents Since FDR

So much attention is usually paid to foreign policy during any President’s administration, but domestic accomplishments are something that needs much more attention.

Following is what this author regards as the greatest domestic accomplishment of each President since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—Social Security Act of 1935

Harry Truman–Integration of the military and Washington DC in 1948

Dwight D. Eisenhower–Appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren in 1953 and Associate Justice William Brennan in 1956

John F. Kennedy—Integration of University of Mississippi by James Meredith, with federal enforcement in 1962

Lyndon B. Johnson—Civil Rights Act of 1964

Richard Nixon–Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970

Gerald Ford—Appointment of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens in 1975

Jimmy Carter—Environmental Reform and Expansion of Public Lands 1977-1981

Ronald Reagan—Social Security Reform in tandem with Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill in 1983

George H. W. Bush—Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990

Bill Clinton—Appointment of Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and Stephen Breyer in 1994

George W. Bush—Medicare Part D Prescription Law of 2003

Barack Obama—Affordable Care Act of 2010

Discussion and commentary on this list is welcome!

50th Anniversary Of Civil Rights Act: Most Significant Law Since Social Security In 1935!

Today is a day to celebrate, as it is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of Lyndon B. Johnson, the most significant single law passed since Social Security under Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935!

The Civil Rights Act has had a massive impact on American society, just as the Social Security Act has had.

And yet, there are those who would love to repeal the Civil Rights Act, as well as those who would love to repeal the Social Security Act.

There are those who hate the idea that African Americans and others are treated equally under the law, and would wish for the return of Jim Crow segregation, just as there are those who hate the “welfare state” represented by the Social Security Act!

The battle for human dignity continues unabated, as the right wing will never give up trying to make America return to the Gilded Age mentality, before workers were given any rights; before immigrants started to have some respect; before women acquired equal rights to vote; before African Americans gained their right to racial equality; and now as gays and lesbians strive to gain total equality and freedom as much as straight people!

This is a moment to applaud Lyndon B. Johnson for the great deeds he accomplished in civil rights and voting rights, and at a time when the reactionary Supreme Court has started to backtrack on the Voting Rights Act, showing a true ignorance of history!

And finally, in the future, in 2060, the nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of ObamaCare, the most significant single piece of legislation since the Civil Rights Act and the Social Security Act, and Barack Obama will be given the proper respect and admiration that he might never receive in his lifetime!

Democratic Presidents Come Out Fighting Against Republican Obstructionism!

The history of American politics is one of Republican obstructionism to Democratic Presidents, and five Democrats in the White House coming out swinging against their opponents, going to the people to gain their backing.

Such was the case with Franklin D. Roosevelt in the midterm Congressional elections of 1934 and the Presidential Election of 1936!

Such was the case with Harry Truman in the Presidential Election of 1948, where he gained the name “Give Them Hell Harry.”

Such was the case with Lyndon B. Johnson in the Presidential Election of 1964 against Senator Barry Goldwater!

Such was the case with Bill Clinton in the Presidential Election of 1996, despite the GOP Congress of 1995-1996.

Such was the case with Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of 2012, and now Obama has come out fighting again, making clear that he will not allow Republican obstructionism to prevent his use of executive orders to accomplish as many of his goals as possible, without legislative action!

This is all to the good, and hopefully, he can rally independents and Democrats to come out and vote, to keep the Republicans from gaining control of the US Senate, and maybe narrow the Democratic deficit, or win control of the House of Representatives!

Multiple Losing Presidential Candidacies, And Those Who Lost, Then Won The Presidency

The history of multiple candidacies for the Presidency is an interesting one, with five candidates being nominated more than once and losing each time, and five candidates being nominated more than once, and losing before winning the White House (with unusual circumstances for Grover Cleveland)

Those who ran multiple times and continued to lose are:

Charles Pinckney, Presidential Elections of 1804 and 1808
Henry Clay, Presidential Elections of 1824, 1832, and 1844
William Jennings Bryan, Presidential Elections Of 1896, 1900, and 1908
Thomas E. Dewey, Presidential Elections of 1944 and 1948
Adlai Stevenson, Presidential Elections of 1952 and 1956

Those who ran multiple times and first lost, and then won the Presidency are (with unusual case of Grover Cleveland described below):

Thomas Jefferson, Presidential Elections of 1796, 1800 and 1804
Andrew Jackson, Presidential Elections of 1824, 1828 and 1832
William Henry Harrison, Presidential Elections of 1836 and 1840
Grover Cleveland, Presidential Elections of 1884, 1888, and 1892 (winning in 1884, losing in 1888, winning in 1892)
Richard Nixon, Presidential Elections of 1960, 1968 and 1972

Also, Jackson and Cleveland won the popular vote in the elections they lost in the Electoral College, so both actually won the popular vote three times, the only candidates to do that, other than Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won the popular vote and electoral vote four times, in the Presidential Elections of 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944!

Additionally, Martin Van Buren ran a third time in 1848 on the Free Soil Party line and lost; and Theodore Roosevelt ran a second time in 1912 on the Progressive Party line and lost.

Hostile Relationship Of Former Presidents With Incumbent Presidents

The question of the relationship of former Presidents with incumbent Presidents is an interesting one, with usually the former Presidents avoiding open criticism of their successors, even if they are of a different political persuasions, and did not support the nomination or election of their successors.

There are only a few cases of open criticism and attack, including:

John Quincy Adams highly critical of Andrew Jackson, and returning to Washington, DC as a Congressman to “keep watch” over his policies and actions. Adams was also a sharp critic of the slavery and expansionist policies of John Tyler and James K. Polk.

Martin Van Buren being a major critic of the expansionist policies of John Tyler and James K. Polk in the 1840s, and of the slavery policies of Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan in the 1850s.

John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan all critical of the policies of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Grover Cleveland being a sharp critic of Benjamin Harrison, who he had lost to, and then ran against again and defeated in 1892, and then opposed William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt on the issue of imperialism and expansion.

Theodore Roosevelt very critical of his successor William Howard Taft, who he ran against on the Progressive Party line in 1912, and then against Woodrow Wilson’s policies toward World War I, after losing to him in 1912. Also, TR was resentful that Wilson “stole” some of his progressive ideas, and enacted them as President in his first term.

Herbert Hoover harshly critical of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies during the Great Depression and World War II.

Harry Truman very critical of Richard Nixon for years before he became President, and never really making peace even when Nixon gave the Truman library the piano in the White House that Truman had played. Also, Truman was critical of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the two men only resolved their differences at the funeral of John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Jimmy Carter very critical of the policies of his successor, Ronald Reagan, and at times, of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Otherwise, the tendency has been to sit on the sidelines and avoid open criticism of one’s successors to the Oval Office!

Speaker John Boehner Moves To Sue Barack Obama Over Use Of Executive Orders: Move Toward Impeachment Proceedings!

As pointed out in an earlier entry on this blog, all Presidents have utilized executive orders to take action they felt was necessary, and when Congress has been unwilling to do what needs to be done.

But now, Speaker of the House John Boehner has said he plans to “sue” President Obama for his less often used power of executive orders, to block action on immigration, climate change, and other actions designed to bring about progress and fairness in American policy!

In so doing, it represents the first shots of the upcoming impeachment battle over President Obama, which seems more certain than ever, particularly IF the Republican Party wins control of the US Senate.

The Senate is the key battleground, as it seems that the House of Representatives will not be likely to turn over to a Democratic majority, although the GOP edge in seats might become smaller.

Gaining control of the Senate will allow not only movement toward an impeachment trial of Barack Obama for the Republicans, but also to block any nominees of President Obama for the courts and executive branch, a very worrisome situation.

So the battle for each Senate seat is the key battleground of the election, and every vote will count, so there must be encouragement of all citizens to vote, not sit home, as if the midterm elections do not matter, because they most certainly do!

Again, however, it is important to remember that it is impossible for the Republicans to remove President Obama, were he to be impeached by the Republican House, as 67 votes, or two thirds of the Senate, would be needed, and under no circumstances would there be 67 Republicans, or a smaller margin with enough, or really, any Democratic votes to remove the President from office!

And again, a reminder to the Republicans. Were Obama to decide to leave voluntarily, which will not happen, we would get Vice President Joe Biden, with the ability to gain two terms in office, and with a definite edge for the Democratic Presidential nomination over Hillary Clinton and any other Democrat, as he would be President with less than two years left in the present term, so he could be eligible to have up to ten years in office, and therefore, the second longest time in office to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 12 years and 39 days!

47 Vice Presidents, But Only Nine Have Had Two Terms, Including A First, The Last Three Vice Presidents!

America has had 47 Vice Presidents, but only nine have had two terms of office, including the last three, once Joe Biden completes his term in January 2017!

In fact, NEVER have three Vice Presidents in a row had two terms of office until Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and now Joe Biden, assuming he completes his second term.

Before these three, the only Vice Presidents to have two complete terms were John Adams under George Washington; Daniel Tompkins under James Monroe; Thomas Marshall under Woodrow Wilson; John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt; Richard Nixon under Dwight D. Eisenhower; and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Two others–George Clinton under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (dying in the last year of the second term), and John C. Calhoun under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson (resigning with three months left in the Jackson term), nearly finished eight years.