Posts Tagged George W. Bush
While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.
Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.
Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.
Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.
Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.
John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.
Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.
Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.
Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!
When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!
Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.
There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.
Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?
After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!
Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!
It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!
The push is on to promote an image of Ronald Reagan on South Africa that is false, that he was a supporter of freedom in South Africa, but could not do so because of the Cold War with the Soviet Union,
While it is true that Reagan worried about the African National Congress being linked to Communism in the 1970s and 1980s, the fact is that the US Congress, including a large number of Republicans, overcame a presidential veto of legislation to put sanctions on South Africa in 1986,
Who was on Reagan’s side? People like North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most outrageous racists ever to walk the halls of Congress, and ironically, hailed earlier this year by Texas Senator Ted Cruz as someone he admired, and wished there could be 100 Jesse Helmses in the US Senate today!
Also, one must recall that Reagan did not promote “human rights” in countries that Jimmy Carter had condemned, and withheld foreign aid from during his Presidency, nations such as the Philippines and Haiti, and only after “peoples” revolutions in those nations in the same year as the override of the presidential veto on South African sanctions, 1986, did Reagan suddenly become an advocate of human rights.
And one must remember that Reagan worked to undermine the civil rights laws in the 1980s, including opposition to affirmative action, and had never been an open advocate of those laws when they were passed.
So while no one is calling Ronald Reagan a racist, least of all the author, his lack of sensitivity on the outrage of apartheid in South Africa, still stand out as reprehensible!
And the greatest example of how the Reagan view has been repudiated is the fact that three former Presidents–Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush—and President Barack Obama, are all going to the funeral of Nelson Mandela next week, a tribute to the greatness of this man considered by many 30 years ago as a “terrorist”, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who himself could be considered a war criminal by many for the waging of the war in Iraq on false pretenses.
Dick Cheney is no model to follow, any more than Jesse Helms!
If this is said to be representative of the conservative movement in America, then they have made their own downfall as a serious alternative to what matters most, human rights and dignity!
The Pew Research Center has conducted a unique study of American Presidents, and the results are fascinating.
Presidents have been analyzed in a multitude of ways, but now there is a new one—how narcissistic they are, how much they love themselves and want attention drawn to them by the American people.
At the top of the list are Lyndon B. Johnson, followed by Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the top seven.
All seven are regarded as among the best Presidents we have had, and all are highly controversial because of their assertive manner of governing.
But also, a high level of personal insecurity is evident in all seven, including health issues and personal experiences that made them have the personalities they exhibited in the Presidency.
Only a total of 15 Presidents are seen as having more narcissism than the average person has, including modern Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as numbers 10, 11 and 15.
Presidents such as Harry Truman, George Washington, Jimmy Carter, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, Thomas Jefferson, Gerald Ford, and Abraham Lincoln all rate below average on narcissism from numbers varying from 18 to 32 on the list.
The question is how valuable is such a list, but at least it is food for thought!
Disllusionment With Washington Opens Up Possibility Of State Governors Again Having Advantage For Presidential Race!
Much of the time in American history, there has been disillusionment with the Washington DC establishment, and a desire to have an “outsider” being our President.
Only three Presidents of the past century were elected directly from the Senate—Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama—while a total of six Governors or former Governors were elected to the Presidency—Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. Additionally, former Governors who were Vice President first, and succeeded during the term—Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge–were also elected to a full term.
So the present anger at Washington and everything it represents opens up new opportunities for sitting or former Governors in both parties, such as follows:
Democrats—Andrew Cuomo of New York, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Republicans-Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jeb Bush of Florida, Jon Huntsman of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Having said this, one still has to wonder if the Democratic Governors can overcome Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Mark Warner or Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker.
And one has to wonder if the Republican Governors can overcome Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and others.
Barack Obama has hit a low point in public opinion in his first year of his second term, with the disastrous beginning of ObamaCare, the failure of the website to operate properly. He has also had great trouble getting anything else accomplished in domestic affairs, due to GOP opposition, and is also facing a multitude of troubles overseas.
His Presidency is under assault more than anyone could have imagined after his second election victory just a year ago.
It turns out that what could be called “Second Term Syndrome” has affected Obama, just as it did many of his predecessors who had a second term, including:
George W. Bush
Franklin D. Roosevelt
It makes one wonder if a one term Presidency would be better, but then the President would be, effectively, a “lame duck” the minute he is elected, instead of being such at the beginning of a second term, when everyone knows, since the passage of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, that the President is limited to two elections to the White House.
So there is no happy medium between a one term limit and a two term limit Presidency in reality!
Reality Of Life For Millions Harmed By Great Recession Of 2008: The End Of Unemployment Compensation And Cutting Of Food Stamps!
It has been more than five years since the collapse of the American economy, and the onset of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Millions of Americans have been unable to obtain new employment, many of them being past the “desired” age of under 50, and many others, who are much younger, who are unable to obtain substantial employment and a living wage.
The agreement to expand unemployment compensation and food stamps for these millions came only after bitter fights with the Republican Party, who would not have done so without pressure, and the reality that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in 2009-2010.
But the control of the House of Representatives by the GOP since January 2011 has led to a Scrooge like mentality on unemployment compensation and food stamps. And there has been no desire to raise the minimum wage to promote the concept of a living wage. The Republican Party refuses to help create jobs, promote educational investments, and to create infrastructure jobs, although the country is desperate for improvement and repair of public works all over the nation, which would also create employment for many desperate Americans.
We are arriving at the reality that 2014 will see increased poverty and suffering, as the GOP will fight to prevent extension of aid to millions who have no lifeline. And they will do this while professing to believe in “Christian values”, a mockery of the teachings of the faith.
So the economic emergency of five years ago is about to become far worse, with no “safety net” for millions of victims who have nowhere to turn to, as concern about them is ignored, and instead, we see the government unable to do anything to advance the lives of millions of victims of the Great Recession, brought about by Republican policies under George W. Bush!
The Republican Party has seen 144 members of the House of Representatives and 18 in the US Senate voting for default on the national debt!
The Republican Party has seen itself held accountable for an increase in government spending caused by the shutdown of the government, to the tune of $24 billion, instead of having 800,000 civil servants working for 16 days, but now getting back pay rightfully for their forced period out of work!
The Republican Party has shown it does not give a damn for the economic and emotional turmoil it caused millions of Americans by their reckless, selfish, delusional behavior!
The Republican Party has shown it has no limits in its determination to destroy this President, but it has failed miserably!
The Republican Party allowed itself to be hijacked by Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Movement, and it has lost all respectability and credibility to achieve control of the White House, the Senate, and at some point, the House of Representatives, as they have shown themselves to be no longer representative of a broad coalition needed to be taken seriously as a national party based on coalition and compromise!
Public opinion polls show the GOP in crisis mode, with the lowest ratings in recorded history for a major political party since polls began in the mid 1930s!
The only hope for a revival of the Republican Party is to:
Repudiate Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Inhofe, Marco Rubio and other Tea Party Senators.
Repudiate the Tea Party Movement in the House of Representatives.
Repudiate the talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel.
Repudiate the Heritage Foundation and other right wing think tanks, and come back to the moderate center which led to the elections of Eisenhower, Nixon, the Bushes, and yes, even Ronald Reagan, who would be mortified as to how right wing extremist the GOP has allowed itself to become.
But will the Republican Party take any or all of these actions? Do not hold your breath on this!
The Republican Party Assault On The Institution Of The American Presidency: Battle For The Past And The Future!
The Republican Party brought about the evils of the Imperial Presidency under Richard Nixon.
The Republican Party expanded the American Presidency further under Ronald Reagan after weakening the office with their conservative attacks on Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in the White House.
Under Reagan, and the two Bush Presidencies, they expanded their power and influence over the Courts, particularly the Supreme Court, but also lower federal courts.
In the process, however, they forgot the middle class; alienated women; attacked the environment; undermined education; utilized racism and hate against African Americans and Hispanics and Latinos, and even Asian Americans; showed less concern than ever before for children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor (often including these precise groups); leagued themselves with hate mongers on talk radio, and allied with powerful elite wealthy people to promote right wing propaganda that influenced many who were hurt by their policies and views, but did not realize it. And they set out to destroy Bill Clinton first , and now Barack Obama, including the boldness to attack a federal program (ObamaCare) that was backed by a majority in Congress, the Supreme Court majority, and the second term victory of Barack Obama!
The decision was to bring down the government by promoting economic chaos and anarchy, doing whatever had to be done!
And today, the Republican Party has 70 percent of the American people alienated by their tactics, aims, and practices, and sees the only way to survive is to assault the American Presidency, an office they have not won in the popular vote for five of the past six national elections, and have little hope of winning anytime soon in future Presidential elections!
So their goal is to continue to win state legislatures and congressional districts through gerrymandering, and weaken the Presidency, and stalemate the US Senate, which they also have little hope of winning in the future, with their agenda exposed for all to see through coverage provided by major national newspapers and liberal and progressive media that keep us informed as to the truth of what is going on!
The ultimate goal of the modern Republican Party is to wipe out, eliminate, destroy the great advancements under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, even Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!
This is a war for the future and the past of the American Presidency, and we cannot allow the systematic destruction of that office which has made for so much good in America in the past century!
The Republican Party has had its key elections which transform the party on a regular basis 52 years apart, and we are on the way to that occurring yet again!
In 1860, just six short years after the founding of the party in the upper Midwest, the Republican Party won its first national victory, gaining control of both houses of Congress, and electing Abraham Lincoln, even though he won slightly less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote. The party went on to dominate American politics for the next 52 years, only losing the Presidency twice to Grover Cleveland, in 1884 and 1892.
Then in 1912, the split between former President Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent President William Howard Taft, a conflict between conservatives and progressives, led to a disastrous defeat for Taft, the worst defeated President running for reelection ever in American history before and after 1912. This put the opposition Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and gave Democrat Woodrow Wilson two terms in the White House, although coming close to losing in 1916. He proceeded to promote programs known as the New Freedom and the New Nationalism, stealing the second slogan from TR.
The Republican Party went on to revive itself from 1920-1932, but was then made the minority party in voter registration after 1932, due to the Great Depression, and only won two terms in the White House under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two separate two year terms in Congress over the next 32 years.
After years of establishment Republicans losing, except for Eisenhower, the conservatives took over the party in 1964, again 52 years after the 1912 split, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, and suffered a massive defeat, insuring the biggest landslide victory in history for Lyndon B. Johnson, and the promotion of the Great Society.
While the Goldwater mentality in broad outline became the government under Ronald Reagan in 1980, the split between conservatives and progressives revived under the two Bush Presidents, as well as criticism of the Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney Presidential runs.
And here we are again with the right wing striving to take over the party, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, along with some others, trying to move the party to an extreme, more so than Barry Goldwater represented.
And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see another massive defeat, for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!