Gay Rights

Run, Joe, Run! Arguments For Joe Biden To Announce For President!

The death of Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, on May 30, seemed to clinch that Joe Biden would NOT run for President, and would decide to spend more time with his family 18 months from now, when his Vice Presidency comes to an end.

Being that he will be 74 by Election Day in 2016, it would seem to make sense that it would be time for Joe to “hang up his cleats”, and end his brilliant 44 year public career.

But now, the hints are strong that Joe Biden will NOT give up on being President, as it is said that his dying son urged him to go for what he has wanted all of his life.

It seems likely now that Joe Biden might announce his candidacy in August, and he seems to have strong support and a “Draft Biden” movement is actively recruiting suppoort.

It might seem surprising that after the loss of his beloved son, that Joe would decide to run, but one must understand that politics is his lifeblood!

One has a feeling that if he decides not to run, that he might still seek a role in the next Democratic administration, most likely that of good friend Hillary Clinton.

Somehow, the thought of Joe and Hillary openly setting out to destroy each other seems unlikely, just as Bernie Sanders has been very careful in his criticism. This is NOT the Republican Party, where everyone has knives out to destroy all opponents. A race of Hillary, Joe and Bernie could be the most civil race imaginable, and do a lot of good for the nation, setting a standard of decent behavior while seeking the Presidency. This is something everyone who has any intelligence and class should wish for and want!

And as much as Hillary has great experiences, and Bernie has great principles and decency, who can argue that Joe is not even better qualified, and has a genuineness, an authenticity that cannot be matched by any other candidate?

After all, Joe has had 44 years of experience, unmatched by ANYONE! He knows how to get along with the opposition, and is well liked and respected by Republicans who may disagree on policy, but really admire the guy! He has been invaluable as Vice President, and has great impact on policy. He is seen as the second most influential Vice President in American history, after Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just voiced the thought of how great a guy Joe is, how it is not possible for anyone not to like and admire him, even if totally disagreeing on policy! And remember that Graham is a potential Presidential opponent!

Joe is a very talented leader who led on the fight against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987, causing Anthony Kennedy to be on the Court and be involved in the gay rights and gay marriage cases, which Bork would never have supported. And Biden came out for gay marriage before Barack Obama, pushing him into support that might not have happened otherwise!

Joe is often right on foreign affairs, and told us ten years ago that Iraq should be three nations–Kurds, Shiite, and Sunni areas, and he has been proved right on that.

Joe is perceptive, visionary, and as a person, he is lovable, really caring about people, always ready with a big smile and a kind word! It recently came out that Joe encouraged a young man years ago who had trouble with stuttering, as Joe did when he was young, and now that man is telling all of us the impact Joe had on his life, giving him encouragement, and has published the handwritten letter Joe sent him a long time ago that changed his life! This is very inspirational stuff, no question about it, as Joe is very SPECIAL!

Sure, he has faults, such as sometimes “stupid” statements and too much “hands on” with women in public situations, but the important point is that there is no hint that he is anything but loyal to his wife, Dr Jill Biden. And no one is more devoted to his family, including his children and grandchildren.

No one who meets Joe has ever seen him as other than a “good guy”, and he has the enthusiasm about public affairs and public policy of a Hubert H. Humphrey!

His age is not a factor if we are considering so many others in both parties who are in their 70s or near 70, as Hillary Clinton is, for example.

There is no good argument for Joe against running, and if he loses the nomination, he will be gracious in defeat, and willing to help the next President at, who knows, maybe being Secretary of State or some other important position, as hie knowledge base and his experience make him useful into the future.

Joe Biden is not the past; he is the present and the future, and let us wish good luck in his likely quest for the Presidency, and whatever happens, he will have given it a “good fight”!

Anthony Kennedy, The Third Choice Of Ronald Reagan For The Supreme Court In 1988!

President Ronald Reagan had the misfortune of having two Supreme Court nominees rejected near the end of his term, and forced to choose someone else for the Court.

His nomination of Robert Bork, and then, Douglas Ginsburg, and his selection of Anthony Kennedy in their place in 1988, was a moment of tremendous historical importance.

With either Bork or Ginsburg, it is almost certain, if not so, that gay rights and gay marriage would not have accomplishes the majority votes in 2003, 2013, and now 2015, granting gays and lesbians complete equality, including the right to marry!

The importance of one man and one vote is clear cut, as under our system, the Supreme Court, much more than we realize, has a majority of one vote on significant cases, and that one vote majority transforms America for good or for evil.

One vote on the Court decided Bush V Gore in 2000; one vote on the Court decided the Citizens United Case in 2010; one vote on the Supreme Court decided the dramatic weakening of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

And the historic importance of Anthony Kennedy cannot be underestimated, as he has been the swing vote on the Court since Sandra Day O’Connor left the court ten years ago. Often, he has sided with the conservatives, but about one third of the time with progressives, as in these various gay rights cases.

Kennedy has had great courage, and he will suffer mightily with denunciations, death threats, and need for Secret Service protection, from right wing crazies who will wish him dead for his role in changing American society permanently.

Anthony Kennedy is truly a profile in courage and principle, and will play a positive role in the history of human rights, when this era we are living in, is written about in future generations!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders: An Embarrassment To The Republican Party’s History: Part I

With Hillary Clinton having begun her active campaign for the Presidency yesterday, it is time to begin a serious examination of the “Clown Bus” group of Republican Presidential contenders, all of which believe they are qualified to be her opponent in the Presidential Election of 2016. The vast majority are totally pitiful!

We have Chris Christie who faces possible indictment at some point on the “Bridgegate Scandal” about the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey; who has a very low public opinion rating in his state; who has totally messed up the finances of New Jersey; who has a belligerent, bullyish personality; and who would be a health crisis in the making, with his extreme weight matching that of President William Howard Taft, but Christie not having the intelligence and accomplishments of the 27th President.

We have Rick Perry, who is actually under indictment for corruption in Texas, making him the first indicted candidate for President in American history; who was a total disaster in his 2012 Presidential run, not being able to remember which agencies of the federal government he wished to eliminate; who has new glasses in the past year, which make him look intellectual, but still do not make him intellectual in reality; who promoted the idea of Texas secession from the Union a few years ago; and who has prevented more poor people from having health care under Medicaid than any other Republican governor.

We have George Pataki, who is more moderate in his record as New York Governor than any of his opponents, but despite September 11, is hardly remembered, while NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani is still someone noticed and remembered. Pataki, whose most notable accomplishment was to defeat Mario Cuomo’s fourth term bid for Governor in 1994, has absolutely no chance to be the nominee, and one wonders why he did not try for the Presidency closer to his leaving the Governorship in 2006, such as in 2008 or 2012, rather than waiting till now.

We have Bobby Jindal, who has been a total disaster for Louisiana government; has tied himself to right wing evangelical Christianity in an extreme way; has destroyed the public school system in his state; has an extremely low public opinion rating in his state; and has made many reckless statements that one wonders about his sanity at times, including promoting the study of creationism in science classes. He also comes across as extremely mean spirited and intolerant!

We have Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and seemed moderate at the time, but since then, went to Fox News Channel as a talk show host, and it seemed to infect his brain. Huckabee has become a right wing whacko, evoking extremist Christianity; making ridiculous and divisive statements about women, gay rights and marriage; and embracing defense of reality show crazies, along with asserting he would not enforce Supreme Court decisions that he does not agree with, a shocking sense of lawlessness by anyone who would wish to be President!

The author will comment on other contenders in a Part II and Part III over the short haul, and then make clear which candidates have real legitimacy!

Gay Rights Moves Ahead With Popular Vote Victory Of Gay Marriage In Ireland, But Marriage Is Not Something To Be Voted Upon By The People!

The gay rights movement has been gaining many victories in the past decade, particularly in America, but now we have the shock of formerly conservative Catholic Ireland having a referendum on gay marriage, with the final vote being 62-38 accepting it.

This is the first nation where popular vote has been the method for gay marriage, but that does not mean that the issue of marriage should be voted upon by the people.

The idea that who one wants to marry should have his or her decision left up to others is disgraceful, and imagine if that had been done about interracial marriage in the 1960s in America, instead of a Supreme Court decision.

Allowing people to utilize their prejudices and hate to deny others basic human rights is unacceptable in every way!

So while it is a great victory in Ireland, asking the masses of the population to decide whether someone has a right to marry, it is not a trend that should be encouraged, as it should be left up to the courts, or the legislative branch to deal with such an issue of civil and human rights!

More Social Liberals Than Social Conservatives In America For First Time In Decades!

For the first time in many years, statistics indicate that there are more social “Liberals” than social “Conservatives” in America! The Gallup Organization has reported that 31 percent in polls consider themselves social “Liberals” and 30 percent consider themselves social “Conservatives”, with Democrats jumping from 47 percent to 53 percent social “Liberals”, and Republicans dropping from 60 percent to 53 percent social “Conservatives”.

Social Liberalism means such issues as:

Support of Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
Support of Abortion Rights for Women
Support of Immigration Reform with potential for eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants
Support of Prison Reform, Abolition of the Death Penalty And Gun Control Legislation
Support of Legalization of Marijuana, or at least Medicinal Marijuana
Support of civil rights enforcement for minorities
Support of environmental and consumer reforms
Concern for the plight of the poor
Promotion of labor unions and reforms for workers
Opposition to the promotion of religious influence in government at all levels

Social Conservatism means such issues as:

Opposition to Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
Opposition to Abortion Rights for Women, even when Rape and incest
Opposition to Immigration Reform, and Desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants
Hard line on crime, and enforcement of the Death Penalty, and No Gun Control legislation
Opposition to Medicinal Marijuana, and any Marijuana Legalization
Resistance to enforcement of Civil Rights Laws
Opposition to environmental and consumer reforms and enforcement of existing laws
Desire to cut benefits to the poor
Opposition to Labor Unions and Labor Reforms
Promotion of Religious influence in government and passage and enforcement of laws

Another New York Governor Seeks The Presidency, But Demonstrates Decline Of New York Influence!

A “real” long shot nominee for the Republican Presidential nomination is former New York Governor George Pataki (1994-2006), who defeated Governor Mario Cuomo in a surprise upset, and then presided over the state at the time of the September 11 attacks, but took a back seat to NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani in its aftermath.

Pataki is a moderate Republican in a time when moderates are not in vogue, and he is NOT dynamic or charismatic. No one expects that this newly announced GOP candidate for the Presidency has any chance to be the Presidential nominee in 2016. He promoted environmental reforms; gay rights legislation; and believes in a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, all of which will disqualify him. He has not been in office since 2006, and would be halfway past 70 if he took the oath of office. No one gets excited at the thought of his candidacy. And being from New York, but being ignored, demonstrates how New York has declined in influence, particularly in the Republican Party.

New York was the state of other Republican Governors who were nominated for President, including Theodore Roosevelt, who won in 1898; Charles Evans Hughes, who won in 1906; Thomas E. Dewey, who lost in 1944 and 1948; and the failed candidacy of Nelson Rockefeller for the candidacy in 1960, 1964, and 1968.

It is also the state that elected Democrat Governor Martin Van Buren in 1828; Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884; Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932; and failed Democratic nominees Horatio Seymour in 1868, Samuel Tilden in 1876, and Alfred E. Smith in 1928. Also, Democrat Governnor Averill Harriman tried for the nomination in 1956, and Governor Mario Cuomo flirted with the idea in 1988 and 1992, but chose not to run.

On the other hand, Democratic Senator Robert Kennedy was seeking the Presidency, when he was assassinated in 1968; and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton, who sought and lost the Presidential nomination in 2008, and is now the front runner in the Democratic Party in 2016.

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

The Evangelical Right And The Republican Party Future In 2016

The evangelical Right has an important impact in the Republican Party, but it also is a guarantee of failure for the GOP in the Presidential Election of 2016.

The evangelical Right can affect the results in the Iowa Caucuses and the South Carolina Primary, and in much of the South and the Great Plains and parts of the Midwest, but its candidates cannot win the Presidency.

Out of all of the potential and real GOP Presidential candidates, the following would have the ability to appeal to the evangelical Right:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Retired Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson

Texas Senator Ted Cruz

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry

NONE of the above six will win the GOP nomination, and the majority of the nation’s people (including mainline Protestants, Catholics, and Jews) believes in just the opposite of what the Evangelical Right believes:

They support gay rights and gay marriage as acceptable.

They support gun control laws of some kind.

They support abortion rights for women, possibly with restrictions, but the basic right of women to control their own bodies and future.

They are against religious interference in government policy making.

They support immigration reform, although disagreeing on details.

They support Obama Care, possibly with changes and modifications.

They support protection of the environment from the power of powerful energy companies.

They support a higher minimum wage and other labor reforms.

They are against corporate domination of the campaign finance system.

They are concerned about right wing extremism of all kinds.

The average American is much more tolerant and open minded than the evangelical Right, which, at most, might be able to gain backing of about one third of all Americans, and also of actual voters.

So appealing to the evangelical Right is NOT a path to victory for the Presidency, or even the nomination!

“Third Choice” Supreme Court Justices And Path Breaking Decisions On Abortion And Gay Marriage!

As the Supreme Court hears arguments today in the case of Obergefell V. Hodges, the gay marriage case, we are on the brink of a massive constitutional decision by the last day of June on this matter.

It now seems clear that the right to gay marriage in all of the states will be declared constitutional by a 5-4 or 6-3 vote, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and possibly, Chief Justice John Roberts, joining Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

The likely author of the upcoming decision should be Justice Kennedy, who has created a majority on three earlier gay rights cases decided by the Supreme Court, but even if not so, Kennedy is the person insuring that gay marriage will become the law of the land!

And this reality brings up an interesting situation: Justice Kennedy was the THIRD CHOICE for the Supreme Court of President Ronald Reagan, after the rejection of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, and if either had been confirmed by the US Senate, gay rights now would likely not be occurring as rapidly as it has been!

And it also fact that Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, selected by President Richard Nixon, after the rejection of Clement Haynesworth and C. Harold Carswell, the THIRD CHOICE, was the author of the momentous Roe V. Wade decision of 1973, legalizing abortion!

So it turns out that “third choice” Supreme Court nominees Harry Blackmun and Anthony Kennedy have had historic effects on two controversial issues that have divided the nation, but also move the nation forward on women’s rights and gay rights!

Martin O’Malley: A Potential JFK In The Making?

Former Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley is gaining more attention, as he travels to the early primary and caucus states, and it seems more likely as we enter April, that soon he will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, despite the massive lead in the polls of former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton, and the runner up in the polls, Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Malley has the advantage of being a generation younger than either Clinton or Biden, and a “fresh face” with an outstanding record as an executive leader, something that few other potential Presidential candidates have, to the extent that O’Malley does, with 16 years in running a government, arranging budgets, and coming to grips with problems in urban areas and on the state government level, and improving the lives of his citizenry.

O’Malley is handsome, well spoken, impresses people with his rhetoric, and like John F. Kennedy, is also Irish Catholic. Many people forget that Kennedy was seen as an “underdog” 55 years ago when he first announced, and O’Malley is a similar “underdog” today.

Three out of four times in American history, the next President has been born at a later date than the President he is succeeding, and the only way for the Democrats to do that is if they choose Martin O’Malley, as otherwise, having a younger, later born President requires Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or Chris Christie as the occupant of the White House, none of them palatable in the least!

The three governors on the above list of Republicans cannot match the sterling record of Maryland and Baltimore under Martin O’Malley. Maryland leads the nation in education accomplishments, and is one of the most tolerant states on gay rights and marriage due to O’Malley. It is a great state for senior citizens and for disabled people. O’Malley offers a progressive vision, compared to the mean spiritedness and cynicism of Walker, Jindal and Christie. At the same time, he offers a substantial record of accomplishment as compared to Senators Paul, Cruz and Rubio.

It could be that O’Malley might not overcome Hillary Clinton or even Joe Biden, but his candidacy would offer competition and an alternative, and might put O’Malley on a short list with former San Antonio Mayor and presently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro for the Vice Presidency, both of whom would be a great Number Two and safe to have as a backup for the Presidency if something untoward were to occur!