Gerald Ford

Corruption Levels Of Democratic And Republican Presidencies Since 1963

Fifty six years have passed since Lyndon B. Johnson became President, and in that period, we have had six Republican Presidents and four Democratic Presidents.

Republicans have held the Presidency thirty plus years since 1969, and Democrats have been in the White House for 25 years in that half century plus.

The record shows that Democrats have had a total of three executive branch officials indicted, with one conviction and one prison sentence.

Meanwhile, Republicans have had a total of 120 executive branch officials indicted, with 89 criminal convictions and 34 prison sentences.

To be fair, Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush each had one indictment, one conviction, and one prison sentence each.

But Richard Nixon had 76 criminal indictments, 55 convictions, and 15 prison sentences, while Ronald Reagan had 26 criminal indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 prison sentences, and George W. Bush had 16 criminal indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 prison sentences.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton had, after all the investigations and publicity by Republicans in Congress, a total of 2 criminal indictments, one conviction, and one prison sentence. Jimmy Carter had one indictment, and no convictions and no prison sentences, while Barack Obama had ZERO indictments, convictions, and prison sentences.

And then, there is Donald Trump, who already, in less than three years, has seen 6 major figures indicted and convicted and having prison sentences, including Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and now, Roger Stone, and many others Russian connected also facing criminal charges that may not lead to convictions because they are in Russia.

And this does not include the many past and present cabinet members and other significant figures who have been caught in corruption, and will, in many cases, face indictments, convictions, and prison sentences in the future, as this administration is likely to surpass all previous Republican Presidents in levels of criminality!

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Republican Senators Might Prefer Mike Pence As A “Pure” Conservative Without The Instability And Drama Of Donald Trump

Following up on yesterday’s blog entry about the potential for up to 23 Republican Senators voting to remove Donald Trump from the Oval Office if there was an impeachment trial in upcoming months, there is speculation that many Republican Senators would prefer Mike Pence in the Presidency.

The argument is that Mike Pence would represent all of the “good things” about conservatism—the promotion of more right wing judges; more cutting of regulations; more tax cuts for the wealthy; more promotion of “Christian values”; and all without the instability and drama of Donald Trump.

And under this scenario, if Mike Pence came into office, assuredly, he would pardon Donald Trump, as Gerald Ford did with Richard Nixon 45 years ago, and nothing could be done to prevent that.

Understand, as if there is any doubt, that this blogger and author would be totally opposed to any such development, and what it would mean in promoting conservatism without the disaster of Donald Trump.

But it does seem to be a reasonable situation that could develop in the next few months of this impeachment drama.

Pete Buttigieg A Fascinating Presidential Candidate In So Many Ways

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be the youngest President in history if he won the Presidential election in 2020, and he would be succeeding a President twice his age.

Mayor Pete, as he is called by most, is a highly intellectual man, who can speak seven languages, while Donald Trump is poor even in speaking and writing English.

Mayor Pete is a gay man, who hid his sexuality until a few years ago, as he wished to pursue a life with someone, and realized he had to “come out”, and he is now married to Chasten Glezman, who has taken his last name, and is seven and a half years younger at age 30, and has been a middle school drama teacher.

Mayor Pete is an Afghanistan War veteran, a Naval Reserve Officer, and an intelligence officer from 2009-2017, reaching the rank of Lieutenant, and who also graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude, and went to Oxford University in the United Kingdom on a Rhodes Scholarship. He was also valedictorian of his high school class in South Bend, Indiana. He also won the JFK Profiles in Courage award and met Caroline Kennedy and other family members at the JFK Presidential Library in 2000, having written his essay on Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who now, ironically, is one of his opponents for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

In his two terms as Mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg won 74 and 80 percent of the vote, and was first mayor at age 29. He also gained notice as a contender to head the Democratic National Committee in 2017.

Buttigieg is also a regular church goer at a local Episcopal Church in South Bend, and more “religious” than most recent Presidents in his public display of attendance, probably the most since Jimmy Carter.

Buttigieg is also interesting in that he is left handed, a common trait among many recent Presidents, including Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, while only James A. Garfield and Herbert Hoover among earlier Presidents, was left handed.

He also would be the first President to be an only child, while four earlier Presidents had half siblings–Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

In so many ways, Mayor Pete is far superior to Donald Trump, and it would be an inspiration if he could win the Presidency in 2020.

Bob Dole Reaches 96 Years Of Age, Now Seen As Statesman

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas yesterday reached the age of 96, and while often involved in heated political debates over four decades, is now seen as a statesman.

Dole served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and as United States Senator from 1969 to 1996. He was the Chair of the Republican National Committee from 1971-1973; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985; Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995; and twice Senate Majority Leader from 1985-1987 and 1995-1996.

He had the distinction of being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee under Gerald Ford in the Presidential Election of 1976, and then the Presidential nominee in 1996, both losing efforts. He is the only person to be nominated for both offices, and lose both offices.

Dole was a combative, and often acerbic politician, who annoyed this blogger and author, but one knew that he was an ultimate patriot and would support Democrats in important and crisis moments over the years, while being a very partisan Republican.

He worked across the aisle with many Democrats, including Senator George McGovern of South Dakota on nutrition issues and food stamps.

He was a war hero, who nearly died in combat in Europe in April 1945, and lost the use of his left arm and limited mobility in his right arm, but that did not stop him from having a public career, and being an advocate for the disabled.

Dole has had a great sense of humor, and has worked to promote bipartisanship, starting the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

He helped to raise funds for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his former opponent, Bill Clinton, in 1997.

His marriage to Elizabeth Hanford Dole has lasted 44 years, and his wife served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan, and as Secretary of Labor under George H. W. Bush, before serving as a US Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009.

By reaching the age of 96 today, Dole has outlived most of the colleagues of his age group who served in public office, and is one of the last World War II veterans of renown still with us.

Let us hope he reaches 100, although now he is almost exclusively using a wheel chair as he did in saluting his former rival, George H. W. Bush, at the funeral of the 41st President in December 2018.

Justice John Paul Stevens, Longest Lived, And One Of Greatest Supreme Court Justices In American History, Dies At 99 Years Of Age

America has just lost one of its greatest Supreme Court Justices in all of American history, with the death yesterday of retired Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99.

Second longest serving, after his predecessor William O. Douglas, and second oldest at retirement at age 90, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, Stevens came on the Supreme Court as a conservative, and became more liberal by the year, and was the leader of the liberal wing of the Court in his last years, serving altogether 35 years from 1975 to 2010.

The only appointee of President Gerald Ford, Stevens was clearly the best appointment and best action taken by President Ford in his nearly two and a half years in the White House.

Stevens spoke up for gay rights, abortion rights, gun control, and against the death penalty, and against the Bush V. Gore and Citizens United Supreme Court decisions.

Stevens was a truly decent, compassionate man, a true jewel, a rare public servant who was on the proper side on so many decisions.

We will probably never see another Republican appointed Justice of the caliber of John Paul Stevens, but then again, we will probably not have a Republican President of the basic decency and moderation of Gerald Ford!

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

Average Age Of Presidents Is 55: Should Democrats Choose A Younger Nominee?

The Democratic Party faces a quandary: Should they choose a younger nominee as more likely to attract younger voters?

Three times in the past half century, the Democrats picked a much younger nominee than the Republicans:

1976 Jimmy Carter 11 years younger than Gerald Ford

1992 Bill Clinton 22 years younger than George H. W. Bush

2008 Barack Obama 25 years younger than John McCain

All three of those Republicans were far less provocative and controversial than is Donald Trump.

Is nominating someone (Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden) who is older than Donald Trump a wise choice?

Is nominating someone only a few years younger (Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper) a wise choice?

Or would it be far better to nominate someone much younger than Trump to attract younger voters, particularly millennials, someone in their 50s or 40s as a multitude of potential nominees are (ranging from Amy Klobuchar at age 60 down to Pete Buttigieg at age 39)–and including women, minorities, and a gay man to move the nation forward in the 21st century, with a greater guarantee that they will live out their one or two terms in the White House?

This is what Democrats in upcoming caucuses and primaries next year have to come to grips with, with no easy answer as to what should occur!

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash The Only Elected Republican Willing To Stand Up To Donald Trump On Obstruction Of Justice

Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash is not someone who progressives would admire, but on the issue of Donald Trump and impeachment, he is the only Congressional Republican willing to stick his neck out, and call for the impeachment of the President for Obstruction of Justice.

Amash is a right wing Republican who has served since 2011, and is one of the most conservative members of Congress, with libertarian beliefs, and a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and a founder and Chair of the Liberty Caucus in that legislative body. He was an original Tea Party activist in 2009-2010 after Barack Obama became President.

His parents are Palestinian and Syrian Christians, so he is of Arab descent, and he represents western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, the area of Michigan represented by Gerald Ford for 25 years before he became Vice President and President.

He has been a critic of Trump from the beginning, and refused to endorse him, and now House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has repudiated him, claiming he votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi more than with his party, which is purely a lie.

Amash has voted against funding for the border wall; has been critical of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement); voted against the Muslim Ban from seven nations promoted by Donald Trump in 2017; opposed renewal of the Patriot Act in 2011 and and is a critic of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; has served on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and believes in Congress having the final say in the commitment of troops to combat overseas.

It seems as if he is a man without a party now, and it is rumored that he might run for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination in 2020, which if he does, he could help affect the election and help to cause the defeat of Donald Trump, which would be true justice!

The “Imperial Presidency” Of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in 1973 Is Now Much More Powerful And Abusive Under Donald Trump

A half century after famed historian and scholar Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. published “The Imperial Presidency”, criticizing the growth of Presidential power under Richard Nixon, and tracing how much the Presidency had grown in authority and abuse since the 1930s, we are now faced with a Presidential office much more powerful and abusive than it was back in the time of the Watergate Scandal.

After Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the Presidency declined in authority under his two successors, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

But under the Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, abuses and scandals abounded, and many cabinet members and other top personnel were in legal danger, but with many of them pardoned over time.

By comparison, Bill Clinton had sex scandals which led to his impeachment, but otherwise, there was very little indication of scandals and abuse of power, although the Republican Party pursued him as if he was a major criminal.

And under Barack Obama, while there were no scandals or abuse of power, the Republicans did everything they could to undermine many of Obama’s initiatives.

But now under Donald Trump, the Republican Party has gone back to its promotion and endorsement of abusive Presidential power under Reagan and the Bushes, but now at a multiplied rate, endangering the balance of power between Congress and the Oval Office, much greater imbalance than ever before, all in the name of party loyalty to a fault.

We now have a lawless President who has declared he will not answer any subpoenas for materials, or allow any government official in the executive branch to testify before Congressional committees.

Therefore, the whole concept of separation of powers and checks and balances, designed by the Founding Fathers in 1787 to prevent a future King George III under the new Constitution, is now meeting its greatest challenge under a President who elevates the image of Richard Nixon, as by comparison, Nixon is like a “choir boy”, although clearly Nixon was a menace worthy of the attention of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.