George H. W. Bush

One Term Presidencies That Mattered: Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush!

President Joe Biden stated at his end of first year press conference yesterday, that he planned to run for a second term in 2024, and that Kamala Harris would again be his running mate.

That is to be expected at this time, but by early 2023, Biden will need to make a final decision on running, so as to open the race to alternative choices if he announces he will retire.

The concept that a President must seek reelection was not the case with three Presidents, who decided not to run–James K. Polk in 1848, James Buchanan in 1860, and Rutherford Hayes in 1880. But Polk, despite not running for another term, is considered to have accomplished his goals, and as it turns out, his health was not good, and he died 105 days after leaving office in 1849.

Buchanan and Hayes are not considered to have had successful terms, and they may have sensed that they could not win reelection.

Other one term Presidents, such as Benjamin Harrison and Herbert Hoover, had horrible depressions to deal with, helping to cause their defeats in 1892 and 1932, and William Howard Taft had a split in his party with former President Theodore Roosevelt, which doomed his campaign for reelection in 1912.

Gerald Ford was a special situation, having not been elected, succeeding Richard Nixon, and having a bad economy, which doomed his desire for election to a full term in 1976, although he is considered in a kind manner at this point, having worked to unite America after the Watergate Scandal and resignation of Nixon.

But the two most recent Presidents defeated for reelection, before Donald Trump, had real accomplishments in office, although they were unable to win a second term, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Clearly, all Presidents since Rutherford Hayes in 1880, who have survived a term, have attempted to be reelected, but since Biden will be 82 years old weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024, he might decide not to run, or his health might be such that he is told he should not run.

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Comparing Kamala Harris To Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for nearly a year, and has faced brutal criticism and attacks, and suggestions by some that she resign, because she has not been assertive in the role of Vice President.

Of course, these suggestions come from Fox News Channel anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who are actively involved in attempting a coverup of the events of January 6, 2021, even though they were stunned by the events of that day, and tried to reach Donald Trump to express their dismay.

It is insulting that conservative supporters of the January 6 Insurrection have the gall to attack Kamala Harris, when the major issue is that she is a woman, and of mixed African and Asian American heritage, as her father is from Jamaican origin and her mother of Asian Indian origin.

Who are the critics turning to as models?

Is it Mike Pence, who refused to speak up at all to Donald Trump for four years, but at least had the guts to uphold the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden on January 6, facing the threat of being hanged by rioters? That is his only redeeming quality.

Or is it Dick Cheney, who while qualified by experience, was a dangerous, out of control Vice President, under George W. Bush, who enriched himself by America’s engagement in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through leadership of Haliburton, and endorsed the use of torture against war prisoners?

Or is it Dan Quayle, who made everyone nervous for four years about the health of George H. W. Bush, as Quayle demonstrated how dumb and clueless he was?

Or was it Spiro Agnew, who resigned from office as a felon, after nearly five years a heartbeat away from the Presidency under Richard Nixon?

The only truly reputable Republican Vice President in the past half century was George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan! Although it must be said that the abbreviated Vice Presidency of Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford was also decent!

Meanwhile, Democrats could be proud of their Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; and Joe BIden under Barack Obama!

Kamala Harris is in the tradition of decency and dignity of Mondale, Gore, and Biden, and will do a fine job over the next three years, with her excellent qualification as former San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney General, and US Senator!

The AntiSemitism Of Donald Trump Stated Loud And Clear!

AntiSemitism has sadly been part of American history, and we have had Presidents whose attitudes towards the Jewish people have been questioned.

Many question Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reaction to growing evidence of the Holocaust during World War II.

Harry Truman’s reaction toward Jews and Israel only developed due to his long friendship with Eddie Jacobson, and yet he could not visit Truman at his home in Independence, Missouri, due to the antiSemitism of Truman’s wife, First Lady Bess Truman.

Richard Nixon, while assisting Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, expressed antiSemitic slurs on the Watergate Tapes.

Many Jews have questioned Jimmy Carter’s criticism of Israel, and accused him of being an antiSemite.

George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker uttered criticism of Israel and of Jewish influence.

Many Jews have always believed that Barack Obama was unfavorable toward Israel’s government under Benjamin Netanyahu.

But none of these Presidents, not even Nixon, match the antiSemitism of Donald Trump, which many thought was well hidden, but now has come out full blown, beginning with his statement in 2017 that the Neo Nazis and white supremacists at Charlottesville, Virginia had some “good people” on their side.

Now, in an open interview, he is critical of Jews who have the gall to vote for Democrats and are not in lock step on Israel’s government policies, and condemned in foul language former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for congratulating Joe Biden on his election victory in 2020!

And yet, there are Orthodox Jews and a percentage of extremely wealthy Jews who continue to support Donald Trump, even to the extent of continuing to back the Fascism of Trump displayed on January 6, 2021, and to promote the “Big Lie”, that Trump won the Presidential Election of 2020! They are blind to the evil that Donald Trump represents, and are a danger to the concept that Jews believe in social justice and compassion for those less fortunate!

Those Jews who continue to support Donald Trump even now should be roundly condemned and ostracized, and only are accelerating antiSemitism nationwide and worldwide!

Republicans And Conservative Supreme Court Will Suffer By Attack On Abortion Rights!

The Republican Party and the majority Conservative Supreme Court will suffer massively by their attack on Abortion Rights!

Vast numbers of Americans, and particularly women, will not sit idly by and allow a woman’s right to choose to be taken away without a massive negative reaction at the polls in 2022 and beyond!

It will be like the California Republicans who passed legislation in the form of Proposition 187 in 1994 under Republican Governor Pete Wilson to deny undocumented immigrants any rights to health care and education, with that legislation delayed and then declared unconstitutional, but with the Republican Party having committed suicide in the process.

So the California Republican Party, except for a few Congressional seats and a small number of state legislative seats, have been in the wilderness for the past quarter century, insuring that California is strongly Blue.

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts will lose all credibility, and will damage the instition of the judiciary long term.

The Roberts Court will not go down as an outstanding, fair minded Court as with Chief Justice Earl Warren (1953-1969), and respect for the Court will decline rapidly.

If John Roberts has his scruples, he needs to work behind the scenes to convince Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to reject the extremist view of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito!

By all rights, both men should recuse themselves from the Roe V Wade challenge, as they should never have been allowed on the Court with their extremist views!

Both Thomas, appoinated by George H. W. Bush, and Samuel Alito, appointed by George W. Bush, were and are outside the mainstream of American constitutional law!

Fareed Zakaria CNN Special From May 2021 Updated: “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation Of The GOP”

The Welfare State–Secularism—changing racial situation.

Fareed Zakaria on a CNN Special today, updated from May 2021, entitled “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation of the GOP”, presented an analysis of the disaster that the Republican Party has become:

in an era of conservatism attacking the concept of the Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal and the Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society;

allowing Right Wing evangelical Christianity and theocracy to take over the party in the name of God;

and working against the reality that the white majority face a future in America of minority racial groups together being a majority of the population in about 2040-2045.

He covers from the John Birch Society in the 1950s;
to William F. Buckley, Jr and the National Review;
to Barry Goldwater and the conservative takeover in 1964, leading to massive victory of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society;
to Richard Nixon and the “Southern Strategy”in 1968;
to Jerry Falwell and the “Christian Coalition” and the “Moral Majority” in the late 1970s and early 1980s;
to Ronald Reagan and the “Reagan Coalition” in the 1980s;
to Pat Buchanan’s challenge of George H W Bush in 1992;
to Newt Gingrich and the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 and after;
to the promotion of right wing propaganda and lies by Fox News Channel starting in 1996;
to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the 2000s;
to the Tea Party Movement rise under Barack Obama’s Presidency;
to the rise of Donald Trump in 2015-2016;
to the “Big Lie” about the Presidential Election of 2020;
to the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection;
to the present extremism in the Congressional and State Republican parties in 2021;
to the constant threat to women’s rights, including abortion;
to the right wing rejection of Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as not conservative enough;
and the growing racism, nativism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and homophobia that have become alarming realities for the future of American politics!

America Is In A New “Gilded Age” Of Obscene Wealth And Monopoly Capitalism: Reform Is Essential!

At the beginning of the 20th century, America escaped the Gilded Age period of obscene wealth and monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Robert LaFollette Sr., George Norris, and others who promoted the Progressive Era.

The Progressive Era was far from perfect, but it gave hope of escaping the worst elements of the GIlded Age in the last third of the 19th century.

We have had ups and downs since the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the New Frontier, and Great Society, particularly with the triumph of conservatism under Ronald Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, and then made ever worse by Donald Trump.

But now, the news of billionaires having arrangements to keep their wealth from being taxed by overseas havens and even South Dakota allowing such reprehensible tactics is highly disturbing. This, along with the clear cut monopoly of Facebook promoting division, conflict, polarization, and affecting even young girls’ self image due to the toxic Instagram social media site, cries out for strong movement toward another “Progressive Era”.

The idea that concentration of wealth and power rivals and is clearly greater than the time of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and other monopolists of the late 19th and early 20th century is totally outrageous!

But is it possible in a nation with a 50-50 US Senate and a six vote margin in the House of Representatives to accomplish necessary reform?

This present, disturbing situation is a massive crisis of American democracy, with the threat of Donald Trump possibly regaining power, and destroying any possibility of reform!

The Nation Salutes Former President Jimmy Carter On His Record Setting 97th Birthday!

Former President Jimmy Carter celebrates his record setting 97th Birthday today, and this is a cause for national celebration!

The 39th President of the United States has lived more than two and a half years longer than the second longest lived President, George H. W. Bush, who died in November 2018 at the age of 94 years and about five and a half months.

Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover in 2012 as the longest retired President, and on January 20 of next year, he will have survived as a former President for the amazing total of 41 years!

His wife, Rosalynn Carter, turned 94 in August, and the couple have been married longer than the Bushes were, a total of 75 years as of July of this year.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy and genuine nature of Jimmy Carter stand out as virtues not shared by many Presidents, although Joe Biden fits those descriptions for sure.

While Carter has not stood out in polls of experts or of the general public as outstanding, it is a certainty that his historical ranking will rise after his eventual passing.

Carter will be remembered:

for the Egyptian Israeli Camp David Accords;

for the Panama Canal Treaty;

for his environmental activism, ranking as the most successful one term President in this regard, and ranked as number 3 all time by environmental historians, just behind Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon

for his brilliant intellect, with many thinking he is one of the few Presidents to have an extremely high IQ;

for his promotion of the values of human rights around the world in office and ever since leaving office through the Carter Center;

for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for all of his good works;

for demonstrating what true religiosity was, as he was a genuine “good Christian” rather than being a hypocrite as so many supposedly devout people have been and continue to be;

for engaging in building housing for the poor through Habitat For Humanity;

for creating three Cabinet agencies, in Health and Human Services, Education and Energy;

and for having the closest, most engaged Vice President in history in Walter Mondale, who was a team for more than 40 years until his death in April of this year.

Supposed Unpopularity Of Vice President Kamala Harris According To Conservatives: Preposterous!

It is laughable how conservative websites and Republicans are promoting the view that Vice President Kamala Harris is the most unpopular Vice President since Spiro Agnew in the 1970s.

Think about the Vice Presidents since who are seen as positive forces—Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Joe Biden.

Two of these–Ford and Bush became President, while Mondale and Gore lost Presidential races, and Biden has now become President.

Who has been left out?—-Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Mike Pence.

Dick Cheney was certainly competent in a basic sense, but evil in his abuse of the office, promoting torture in the War on Terror, making money through Haliburton, and being a basic nasty individual, who many thought was really President instead of George W. Bush in the latter’s first term, until Bush finally asserted his authority over Cheney, and their relationship deteriorated.

Dan Quayle was a basically not too bright VP, who scared people at the thought that he might become President, when George H. W. Bush had some health scares.

But compared to Cheney and Quayle, the absolutely worst Vice President in modern times since Spiro Agnew was Mike Pence, who fawned all over Donald Trump, never spoke up when it was appropriate and necessary to do so, and now we learn, he was considering NOT keeping his oath that required him as Vice President to announce the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021!

Of all people, it was Dan Quayle who convinced Pence he had no choice. And Pence was under threat caused by his own boss, Donald Trump, and yet refuses to condemn him and speak out on the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection!

Instead, his rabid desire to be President, which will never happen, makes him live in an alternative world, and to think his so called “good Christian” image will propel him to the White House in 2024!

No sane or decent person would call Mike Pence someone who would be “popular” or “decent”, but delusional Republicans and conservatives instead lie about history of Pence, and also, Cheney and Quayle!

The fact is that the “best” Vice Presidents since the 1970s are Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden! And Al Gore won the national popular vote over George W. Bush, but as we all know, lost the Electoral College!

Kamala Harris, the first woman, first biracial, first African American and Asian American Vice President, will survive the vicious attacks on her character and capability, and will join the list of outstanding Vice Presidents!

Her background as District Attorney of San Francisco; California Attorney General; and US Senator makes her perfectly capable and qualified, and her character, empathy, decency, and compassion match that of President Joe Biden!

And if fate has it that Harris might become President in this term or in a future term by election, the nation will be in good hands!

Chief Justice John Roberts Has Lost Control Of The Supreme Court, And His Own Reputation Is At Stake!

The Supreme Court is in crisis, as its reputation, and that of its leader, Chief Justice John Roberts, is at stake!

It is now the most rightwing Supreme Court since the 1920s and early 1930s, as extremism has taken over an institution which is supposed to be moderate centrist!

Past Chief Justices, including John Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, and Earl Warren, had the ability to impact other members of the Court, and convince them to work toward moderation!

But John Roberts has clearly lost control of a Court which includes three Donald Trump appointees, with only the first choice, Neil Gorsuch, coming across as lacking in controversy outside of the fact that he became the replacement for Antonin Scalia, instead of Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland!

Brett Kavanaugh has a cloud over his head and reputation as a sexual abuser, much like Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H. W. Bush thirty years ago, and having a deleterious effect on the Court for three decades!

And Amy Coney Barrett is clearly not Justice material, and her extreme religious swing to the far Right has besmirched the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Had she been still on the Court, she would have prevented the atrocious decision of the Court to back the disgraceful Texas abortion law that now Attorney General Merrick Garland is suing to prevent the loss of a constitutional right for women to control their own bodies!