Franklin D. Roosevelt

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

The Misunderstanding Of The Terms “Liberal” And “Progressive”

A new debate is emerging over the use of the terms “Liberal” and “Progressive”.

There are those who think there is a real difference between these two political terms, but this blogger and author wishes to make clear that he sees no difference in reality.

The term “Progressive” became popular with the rise of President Theodore Roosevelt, and Senators Robert La Follette Sr of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska in the early 20th century. This term became notable due to these Republican officeholders and others.

But in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal ushered in a different term, that the reforms of the 1930s were “Liberal”, and for the next half century, “Liberal” was the preferred term, promoted by President John F. Kennedy, and Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and others in the Democratic Party, and by Republicans including Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Senator Jacob Javits of New York and others.

With the rise of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency, with the attacks on “liberalism” by conservatives, the term “Progressive” returned to favor, and this author chose that term for the title of his blog, when he began it in 2008.

But I consider the terms “Liberal” and “Progressive” to be interchangeable, as both represent the promotion of the virtues of government; the need for economic regulation; the promotion of social reform; and concern for human rights and environmental protection. Additionally, the importance of international alliances and agreements is paramount, and the avoidance of unnecessary wars and military intervention except if truly a threat to national security, is essential.

So for instance, World War II, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War were justifiable, while the wars in Vietnam and Iraq were not justifiable, and support of military dictatorships around the world suppressing freedom has always been unethical and immoral.

So as I stated on my Personal Profile page since August 2008, I am proud to call myself a “Liberal” AND a “Progressive”!

Reality: Candidates Ahead In Public Opinion Polls In Third Year Of Presidential Term Never Are The Nominees For President

Public opinion polls have been notoriously inaccurate in the third year of a Presidential term in who would be the Presidential nominees of major parties the following year.

In 2003, Vermont Governor Howard Dean was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but John Kerry ended up as the nominee in 2004.

In 2007, New York Senator Hillary Clinton was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but Barack Obama ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2007, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but John McCain ended up as the nominee in 2008.

In 2011, Herman Cain was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Mitt Romney ended up as the nominee in 2012.

In 2015, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but Donald Trump ended up as the nominee in 2016.

Beyond these examples, in the third year of many Presidential terms, who could have known that the next President would be someone not seriously considered at that time to have a chance to be elected.

Witness John F. Kennedy in 1959; Richard Nixon in 1967; Jimmy Carter in 1975; Ronald Reagan in 1979; Bill Clinton in 1991; Barack Obama in 2007; and Donald Trump in 2015.

Also add the following: Abraham Lincoln in 1859; Woodrow Wilson in 1911; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931; and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951.

So, to assume that Joe Biden, currently ahead in all polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, will be the nominee is quite a gamble, based upon history.

Donald Trump Does The Unforgivable: Attacks Joe Biden And Barack Obama On Foreign Soil, And Lies About The Obama-Biden Economic Record

Donald Trump did the unforgivable by attacking former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama on foreign soil, while in Japan this past weekend.

It is a known rule that no President deals with domestic politics while overseas, and no President embarrasses his host by putting them on the spot as he criticizes political rivals.

But this is Donald Trump, who does not believe in any rules, regulations, or common decency.

Calling Biden a low IQ individual, agreeing with totalitarian dictator Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and claiming that both Obama and Biden presided over a disastrous administration in every way, including the economy, is the continuation of an attack on opponents that began with John McCain. It has now included everyone imaginable, and not just individuals that are well known, but also victims as in Puerto Rico after the hurricane, and groups of vulnerable people, such as refugees, gays and lesbians, transgender people, disabled people, and so many more.

The massive lie about Obama, Biden, and the economy is beyond belief, when the facts are that Obama presided over the greatest economic recovery in American history, greater than Franklin D. Roosevelt before World War II resolved the Great Depression.

From 10 percent unemployment, and the worst economic conditions in 70 years in 2009, inheriting the Great Recession under George W. Bush, to Obama and Biden leaving office in January 2017 with unemployment under 5 percent, we have now seen more than eight years of constant economic growth, an all time record. The continuation of economic growth under Donald Trump would have continued if Hillary Clinton was in the White House.

The stock market also recovered more than 250 percent from what it was when Obama-Biden came in during 2009 until the beginning of 2017. And all this was done without being engaged in a major war.

Trump can lie, and his minions can believe his use of the Big Lie technique of Adolf Hitler, but “the truth shall set us free”, and history will record Barack Obama and Joe Biden for their economic accomplishments.

Is Chief Justice John Roberts On Road To Judicial Leadership Of John Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, And Earl Warren?

Chief Justice John Roberts is clearly a conservative on the Supreme Court, but he is also very much aware of and concerned about the turmoil in American society, and concerned about the long term reputation of the Court, as well as his own historical image, since he has a sense of history.

So Roberts has surprised Court watchers in some of his decisions, and he has emerged as the “swing” vote on the Court, as only he can prevent the Court from going so hard to the Right that it will lose its image of being an institution that promotes fairness and equity under the Constitution.

So expect that John Roberts will become a true judicial leader on the level of John Marshall (1801-1835), Charles Evans Hughes (1930-1941), and Earl Warren (1953-1969).

These three Chief Justices, generally acknowledged as the three greatest of the 16 previous Chief Justices before Roberts came to the Court in 2005, all demonstrated courage and principle, and came into conflict with Presidents.

Marshall had to deal with the strong opposition of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, while Charles Evans Hughes had Franklin D. Roosevelt challenging the Court during the Great Depression, and Earl Warren steered the Court in a direction not always agreed with by Republicans Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

Now John Roberts has to deal with Donald Trump, who he has already issued a criticism, when Trump spoke of “Obama Judges”, “Bush Judges”, and “Clinton Judges”, with Roberts asserting there is no such thing as judges based on a President, but rather judges adhering to the Constitution as they see it.

This makes it quite clear to many observers that Roberts is ready to take a more moderate stand than he does typically, as he did in saving the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) in 2012.

Expect Roberts to side, if necessary, with the four “liberals” on the Court (chosen by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), with the constitutional crisis that has clearly arisen, including trying to convince the four conservatives selected by both President Bushes and even the two Trump judges, to consider how the Court was unanimous in curbing President Richard Nixon in the Watergate Scandal 45 years ago, and Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit 22 years ago.

It is the Supreme Court that is being looked to as the ultimate government branch to rein in a President far more abusive than Richard Nixon, and to reassert separation of powers and checks and balances.

Today, May 8, Is The 135th Anniversary Of Harry Truman’s Birth, And The 74th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II In Europe

Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.

The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.

And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.

Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.

This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.

Vice Presidency Has Led To Presidential Nominations Multiple Times Since The 1960s

The Vice Presidency was never good breeding ground for Presidential nominations since the Civil War.

Only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and John C. Breckinridge were nominated for President before the Civil War, with all winning the Presidency, except for Breckinridge, who had been Vice President under James Buchanan from 1857-1861, and then nominated by Southern Democrats who refused to accept the official Democratic nominee, Stephen Douglas in 1860.

The only Vice President from 1860 to 1960 who was nominated for President was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term Vice President, Henry A. Wallace, who ran as the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1948 against his own successor in the Vice Presidency, President Harry Truman.

But since 1960, six Vice Presidents have run as Presidential candidates, including;

Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968

Hubert Humphrey in 1968

Gerald Ford in 1976 (who had succeeded Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment)

Walter Mondale in 1984

George H. W. Bush in 1988

Al Gore in 2000

Nixon and Bush won the Presidency, while Ford lost a full term after finishing the partial term he succeeded to, and Gore won the popular vote, but failed to win the Electoral College.

The point is that Joe Biden would be the 7th Vice President who ran for President after serving as Number 2 in the executive branch.

And Nixon the first time, Mondale, Bush, and Gore all had a jump start on the nomination of their party for the Presidency, with only Humphrey and Ford having major challengers.

So at least by recent history in the past half century plus, being a Vice President gives a leap forward to those who wish to run for President.

Social Security Reform Needed Again As In 1983 Between Speaker Of The House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill And President Ronald Reagan

In 1983, Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, a clear cut liberal, negotiated with conservative Republican President Ronald Reagan a path breaking Social Security reform, raising the level of taxation on Social Security; and increasing the retirement age by stages to 66 and 67.

This was long range planning to insure that Social Security, begun in 1935 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, would survive into the long term future.

Ever since 1983, this bipartisan spirit has been hailed, but little action has been taken to insure the future, now that Social Security is in danger again.

Of course, the right wing conservatives would love to see the program die, as they opposed it bitterly at the time of passage in 1935 and ever since.

It is clear that if the Republicans control Congress after the 2020 elections, that they will work to kill the program so it is urgent that Democrats win the Presidency and control of both houses of Congress, and proceed to add one percent taxation to the program, and raise the retirement age by stages over the next 20 years to age 68, and eventually 69, for full benefits. More people than ever before work longer now than in past years.

A combination of both a one percent tax increase and age increases will save the system for the next 75 years until the end of the 21st century, and legislation needs to also force all unearned income from stocks to be taxed, as well as earned income from work.

25 Years Since Richard Nixon Death On Earth Day

It is now a quarter century since President Richard Nixon died, ironically on Earth Day, April 22, 1994.

Nixon has been rightly criticized and attacked for the Watergate Scandal and related illegal actions, which led to his impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, before his resignation when the Supreme Court ordered he hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski.

But historians regard Nixon as the second best Environmental President of modern times, just behind Theodore Roosevelt, and ahead of Jimmy Carter, as he went along with the Democratic Congress in promoting the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and could have prevented it by a presidential veto.

Many might say that other Presidents belong that high up in the rankings, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy, and Obama’s involvement is still being evaluated as to where he should rank in the listings.

One thing for sure, other than TR and Nixon, no Republican President ranks high, except in the damage done, as for instance, particularly with Ronald Reagan, Warren G. Harding, and more than either of them, Donald Trump.

March 4 Presidential Inauguration History Significant So Many Times In American History

Today is the original Presidential Inauguration Day through 1933 every fourth year.

Some March 4ths stand out.

1801–Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated, the first time an opposition party takes over the Presidency, and without any bloodshed or violence.

1829–Andrew Jackson is inaugurated, and a mob descends on the White House to celebrate, and windows, glasses, and China are broken.

1841–William Henry Harrison is inaugurated, gives the longest inaugural address in history, and takes sick with pneumonia that evening, and dies after one month in office.

1861–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated at a time when Southern states have broken away from the Union and declared their independence.

1865–Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his second term, and gives the greatest Inaugural Address in American history, calling for peace and reconciliation when the Civil War ends, and his future assassin, John Wilkes Booth is in the crowd and moving toward the inaugural stand as Lincoln speaks.

1913–Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated as the Democrats, after a half century of Republican dominance of national government.

1933–Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated at the worst moments of the Great Depression, and FDR talks of a New Deal for the American people, the second greatest Inaugural Address, and the Congress pushes through the 20th Amendment, setting up future inauguration dates to be on January 20, starting in 1937.