Harry Truman

Past Bipartisan Actions: Can This Happen Again As Joe Biden Hopes For, Or Is This A Mirage?

In the past, despite political party conflict on beliefs and principles, we saw bipartisan actions and crossing party lines to accomplish major goals.

Here are four examples of such situations since World War II where a President of one party and a Congressional leader of the opposition party cooperated, and brought along other votes from their party to back the President of the opposition party.

When Democratic President Harry Truman was in office, and the Cold War with the Soviet Union was evolving, Truman was able to gain key Republican support from the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 80th Congress, Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in 1947-1948.

When Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office, he was able to work cooperatively with the Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress from 1955-1961 on many matters. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, both from Texas, worked across the party lines in many situations, particularly on the first Civil Rights Acts (1957 and 1960) since Reconstruction after the Civil War.

When Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson was in office, he was able to gain support of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois on gaining necessary support on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Medicare passage in 1965.

When Republican President Ronald Reagan was in office, he was able to come to an agreement with Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill to protect Social Security long term by a bipartisan agreement in 1983.

Since the 1990s and the hardline partisanship of the Republican Party and then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the Republican Revolution of 1994, we have seen unwillingness by that party to have any willingness to cross party lines, and his early efforts were also pursued by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell right up to the present!

So President Elect Joe Biden’s publicly expressed hopes for bipartisan actions in these disastrous times to be accomplished, is it a mirage? We shall find out soon!

Joe Biden Needs To Use Executive Orders Vigorously To Overcome Stalemate In Congress

Executive Orders have been part of American government, and often are controversial.

It is clear that President Elect Joe Biden will use this authority extensively to backtrack and reverse many of the Executive Orders put forth by outgoing President Donald Trump.

This use of executive orders has been escalating in recent years as Congress has become more difficult and intransigent, forcing Presidents to take action, which sometimes is challenged in the Courts, but often is not successful in negating what Presidents have initiated.

It seems clear that Biden is likely to use executive orders on such matters as

Climate Change
Covid 19 Pandemic
Racial Injustice
Economic Depression
Health Care Reform
Immigration Reform

There will be opposition, but Joe Biden has done better in popular vote support than when Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush were elected, and these are crisis times, which calls for strong leadership by the 46th President!

Joe Biden The Sixth Vice President To Be Elected President

Joe Biden is the sixth Vice President to be elected President.

Four of the six were elected from the Vice Presidency:

John Adams after George Washington 1796
Thomas Jefferson after John Adams 1800
Martin Van Buren after Andrew Jackson 1836
George H. W. Bush after Ronald Reagan 1988

Richard Nixon was elected eight years after losing the Presidency in 1960, and was the first Vice President to be elected President in 132 years.

And now, Joe Biden was elected President four years after leaving the Vice Presidency, not attempting to run due to the death of his son, Beau Biden.

Many have speculated that had Beau Biden not passed away, that Joe Biden would have competed with Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, and might have defeated her, and gone on to win over Donald Trump.

Sadly, if that had happened, the nation would have avoided the horrible tragedy of Donald Trump and the damage he has perpetrated.

But at least, now, Joe Biden can right much of the wrong of Donald Trump, and he will carry on the Barack Obama tradition!

Additionally, four of the nine Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency due to the demise of the President, went on to be elected to a full term—Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, Harry Truman in 1948, and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The other five Vice Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency were not elected on their own—John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, and Gerald Ford, who succeeded Richard Nixon after his resignation, and was the only Vice President not elected to either the Vice Presidency or the Presidency, as he lost to Jimmy Carter for a full term in 1976.

The News Media And Public Opinion Polls On Trial On Election Day: Are They Reliable?

Today, Election Day 2020, it is clear that the news media, particularly the establishment media–the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC–need to be demonstrated to be reliable and accurate in their coverage of the 2020 election campaign.

Or will they have “egg in their faces” again, as in 2016, when there was total shock at the result of the election, the victory of Donald Trump?

And the same goes even more with the multitude of public opinion polls, which misjudged what was about to happen, and also the prognosticators, many well known, and some like this author and blogger, NOT well known, who all believed Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency!

A one time blunder, or error, can be explained, as it was in 1948 when no one thought Harry Truman would defeat Thomas E. Dewey!

A second time, when all evidence is that Joe Biden will likely win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, would be fatal in many ways, making Americans unwilling to believe the major news media and public opinion polls in the future!

Hopefully, the right wing news media, notorious for lies and deception, most notably Fox News Channel, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, all Rupert Murdoch owned and operated, will be repudiated beyond any redemption! The same applies to right wing talk show radio hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and a host of other extremists who exploit the American people on a regular basis!

Hopefully, we will know sometime tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4!

Donald Trump (Mussolini) As He Crashes, And Joe Biden (Elements Of Lincoln, FDR, And Obama) For The Future

Donald Trump is acting like Mussolini, with elements of Hitler, as his administration is crashing around him.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has elements of Abraham Lincoln, as he spoke yesterday at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the future need for him, with the help of a Democratic Congress, and his Vice President, Kamala Harris, to act like Franklin D. Roosevelt, as Biden will face a series of crises on the level of Lincoln and FDR, and also, that of Barack Obama in 2009.

However, 2021 now looks as if it will be a combination of 1861, 1933, and 2009, and we are going to need wisdom, conviction, and strength as the new President will need to promote a New Deal and Great Society combination domestically, and need to have the guts and courage of Harry Truman in foreign policy, to restore our alliances and protect our national security.

Happy 96th Birthday, President Jimmy Carter! You Will Rise In Historical Reputation In The Future!

Today is the 96th Birthday of former President Jimmy Carter, the longest lived American President, who surpassed Herbert Hoover in retirement years in 2012.

He and his wife and Vice President Walter Mondale will, God Willing, celebrate 40 years in retirement on January 20, 2021, when we will see the likely inauguration of a man just as decent and humane as Jimmy Carter, Joe Biden!

Carter has been much attacked unjustly, and not appreciated for his amazing environmentalism; the creation of three Cabinet agencies (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); the Egyptian Israeli Peace Treaty at Camp David, which has held for more than 40 years; the Panama Canal Treaty; and his amazing Post Presidential career of good deeds, including the building of housing for Habitat for Humanity, but also his Carter Center fighting against disease, insuring fair elections in other nations, and promoting peace and democracy around the world.

Carter will rise in ratings of scholars once he passes from the scene, just as Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower did in the years after their deaths, as often, Presidents are not appreciated in their lifetimes, with the best example being Abraham Lincoln!

Let us hope that Carter reaches the age of 100 four years from now with his bride Rosalynn by his side, and Walter Mondale too!

Joe Biden Proves He Is Mentally Stable, And Hits A Home Run In His Acceptance Speech At The Democratic National Convention

Joe Biden had a masterful performance last night, as he accepted the Democratic nomination for President!

He proved he was mentally stable and competent, and his speech was flawless.

It demonstrated the man he is–one of empathy, decency, compassion, competence, experience.

He made clear that America is in a crisis, and that he, with Kamala Harris by his side, will have the best people available to assist him in dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Second Great Depression, racial matters, and the crisis of climate change.

He will make it an issue of patriotism for the American people to have a national commitment to wear face masks and sacrifice for the common good, as otherwise, the pandemic will destroy us if the American people do not cooperate.

I have followed Joe Biden for a half century, and while I have not always agreed with him on every issue, I believe he is a unique politician, as he truly cares and is sincere, in a manner rarely found in politicians.

He will, when elected, follow through on progressive reforms, in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and especially, Barack Obama.

And Joe Biden will have his college professor wife, Dr. Jill Biden, by his side, and she will become of the most outstanding First Ladies in American history.

The crimes of the Trump Presidency must also be pursued and prosecuted, as that should be a priority of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Early public opinion polls since Biden chose Harris show him gaining more of a lead, a good sign, while Donald Trump is flailing aimlessly!

Typical For A Democratic President To Select A Republican Secretary Of Defense

History demonstrates that it is typical for a Democratic President to select a Republican for his cabinet, with the Defense Department the usual position awarded to a member of the opposition party.

This was true with Robert McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The same scenario occurred with William Cohen serving under Bill Clinton in his second term.

And under Barack Obama, we saw carryover Robert Gates and later Chuck Hagel head the Pentagon.

If we go back to before the Defense Department was created in 1947, it was known as the War Department, and Republican Henry Stimson served as Secretary of War for Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Republican Robert Lovett served for two years in that position under Harry Truman.

Only Jimmy Carter among Democratic Presidents never had a Republican serve as Secretary of Defense, but he did have James Schlesinger as the first Secretary of Energy.

So it seems likely that Joe Biden will pick a Republican for the Cabinet, and the most likely choice would be former Congressman and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who will deliver a speech of endorsement at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night.

Time To End The Vice Presidential Sweepstakes: Best Choice Is Either Kamala Harris Or Susan Rice

We are now in the month of August, two weeks away from the Democratic National Convention.

It is past time for former Vice President Joe Biden to select his running mate, which seems clearly will be a woman of color.

And despite promotion of other candidates, the two best, most logical, are:

California Senator Kamala Harris

Former National Security Adviser and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice

Typically, Democrats who are Presidential nominees, select a sitting United States Senator, as they have done in every election since 1944, except 1972 and 1984, although in 1972, the original selection was Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, who bowed out over concerns that he had psychiatric care. The fact was that Eagleton was perfectly stable for the rest of his life, and served another 14 years in the US Senate, but there was hysteria at the time about mental illness.

Imagine now with a President who is clearly mentally ill, the irony of it all!

Kennedy brother in law Sargent Shriver, who had been head of the Peace Corps and the War on Poverty, and Ambassador to France, all appointed positions, replaced Eagleton as the Vice Presidential running mate of Senator George McGovern in 1972.

Earlier, Henry A. Wallace, who had been Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first two terms, was the Vice Presidential nominee in 1940, and served during that third term of FDR, but then dropped for Senator Harry Truman in 1944.

So only Wallace and Shriver ran for Vice President, without having been elected.

It seems time to add Susan Rice to that list, as she is extremely qualified and experienced in foreign policy, which is being underrated as a significant factor, due to all of the domestic turmoil going on in the nation in 2020.

Her strength is also that she knows Joe Biden very well, has worked well with him under Barack Obama, and their friendship is significant.

Harris has critics who think her debate challenges to Joe Biden should eliminate her, but she is also very qualified and would be a good choice.

Either way, both ladies are born in 1964, and would be 56 upon taking the oath, the ideal average age for Presidents historically.

So either one of these two women is the best qualified, and my projection is that Biden will pick Susan Rice, so we shall see how accurate I am on this prediction in the next few days to week.

“The Forgotten War” 70 Years Later: Still An Area Of Danger And Concern

On this day, June 25, 1950, 70 years ago, the Korean War began as Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of South Korea.

It is often termed “the forgotten war”, as many Americans seem to think, due to poor education, that Vietnam was the major war right after World War II, highly regrettable that so few know of the sacrifices of American soldiers in that horrid conflict.

The United Nations, under American leadership of 21 nations, entered the war under the US authorization of President Harry Truman, although it was an undeclared war, never subject to Congressional vote, and instead was termed “a police action”.

Some have argued it was an “illegal war”, and that it started the abuse of power of Presidents in sending troops overseas in foreign conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, and many other interventions, often not even known or paid attention to by American news media.

The Korean Conflict, which seems as a more appropriate name since it was not a declared war, went on until there was an armistice on July 27, 1953, and in those 37 months, over 33,000 Americans were killed, and many thousand of more troops wounded. The conflict has never resulted in a peace treaty.

About three million people died in that conflict, the majority of whom were civilians, and it was the deadliest conflict in east Asia, more than the Vietnam War or the Chinese Civil War. All of the major cities of the Korean peninsula, both in North and South Korea, were laid waste, and families were divided permanently for many decades.

The same Communist government that started the war has gone through three generations of leadership–grandfather, father, and now son, and Kim Jong Un seems on the road to provoking a new war with South Korea, which has become very democratic and prosperous.

Every American President has been dogged by the problem of the Korean peninsula, but now even Donald Trump has been bested by the North Korean dictatorship, and it seems likely that Kim Jong Un could be a threat not only to South Korea, but to Japan, and to American territories in Guam and the state of Hawaii, and the entire Pacific Coast of the United States. His development of nuclear weapons makes North Korea a potential threat over time even to the east coast of the United States, including Washington DC and New York City as the key targets, as was the case for Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001.

So when Joe Biden, God willing, becomes the 46th President in January 2021, he will face the daunting task of, hopefully, preventing a new war, whether nuclear or conventional.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC deserves every American visiting, and reflecting on the losses and damage done in the name of saving South Korea from becoming part of a united Communist dictatorship, but the future is gloomy.