Jimmy Carter

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.

Can Joe Biden Overcome The Obstacle Course Awaiting Him In 2020?

Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his campaign on Thursday, starting off as a front runner in polls.

But can he overcome the obstacle course awaiting him in 2020?

In his long career of 44 years in national office, 36 in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President, the longest public service record of any Presidential candidate in modern history, Biden came across as genuine, sincere, decent, and compassionate, and gained millions of fans, including this blogger and author.

But he also made judgments that are problematical, including being against school busing in Delaware; supporting the credit card industry in his state, and in so doing, undermining the ability of debtors to protect themselves by bankruptcy; his lack of protection of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, for which he continues to apologize but in an unsatisfactory manner; his support of an interventionist foreign policy in Iraq; his many gaffes, many of them harmless but still giving him a reputation for loose and thoughtless language; and his habit of being too touchy feely with women and girls, although never accused of sexual improprieties.

Biden also promoted tough crime and drug laws in the 1990s, which are now looked at as blunders that put too many African Americans in prison unjustifiably, and his leadership at different times of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been criticized. His ability to “cross the aisle” and work with many Republicans is seen by some as a weakness, while others see it as a strength.

Biden is a centrist Democrat in 2019 at a time when many progressives are much further to the left than him, and one wonders if he could gain the support of those to his left if he wins the nomination, as he is perceived as too close to the traditional power centers of the party.

Joe Biden has many positive attributes, but his negative side and shortcomings, as seen by many critics, could doom him in a race against Donald Trump, when the most important thing possible is to insure that Donald Trump does not gain a second term, as that would be destructive of every progressive goal in the short run and long run.

This blogger and author has always looked at Joe Biden as a hero of his, as much as earlier, Hubert Humphrey was his model of what a political leader should be like. But Humphrey had the same problem 50 years ago of being admired and praised, but seen by many as not the best choice to oppose Richard Nixon in 1968, against Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

So the same quandary of 1968 awaits us in 2020, to find the best person to be successful against the greatest menace, Donald Trump, that we have had in a half century of American political history, far more damaging than Richard Nixon.

And while Hubert Humphrey was 57 at the time he ran for President in 1968, Joe Biden will be 78 shortly after the election, and as in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008, Democrats were able to elect a “new generation” leadership of John F. Kennedy (age 43); Jimmy Carter (age 52); Bill Clinton (age 46); and Barack Obama (age 47).

Should that be the direction for 2020 is the ultimate challenge for the Democrats.

And will Joe Biden be able to win the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania? Will he be able to keep the African American community around him? Will he be able to draw moderate independents and alienated Republicans, who do not wish to vote for Donald Trump? Will he be able to win suburban whites, who veered toward Democrats in 2018? Will many seniors who supported Trump come back to the Democrats they once supported? And will enough young voters who have supported Bernie Sanders, who is 14 months older than Joe Biden, extend their allegiance to Biden if he stops the Sanders juggernaut?

These are the questions that will dominate the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2020.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Following Tradition Of His Father, Seriously Considering Challenge To Donald Trump Within Republican Party

It now looks more likely that President Donald Trump may have a second, and potentially, more viable Republican opponent for the Presidential nomination in 2020.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld held office from 1991-1997, and was the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee in the Presidential Election of 2016. He will be 75 years of age in 2020, nearly a year older than Trump. He is a legitimate candidate, but having been out of office for nearly a quarter century, it weakens his ability to draw support.

But now, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan is exploring the idea of announcing, and this should be encouraged.

Hogan has been Governor of a very “Blue” state since 2015, and won his second term in 2018, He has managed to be bipartisan in a state in which the legislature is heavily Democratic. He will be 64 years of age at the time of the election, a full decade younger than Trump.

His father of the same name was a renowned Maryland Republican Congressman from 1969-1975, and served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted three articles of impeachment in 1974 against President Richard Nixon, and the only Republican on the committee to vote for all three impeachment articles. His speech announcing his vote for all three articles of impeachment was truly a “profile in courage” at the time.

Hogan is a rare “moderate” Republican, a centrist and pragmatist, much respected by Democrats. In a June 2018 poll, Hogan had 60 percent support from Democrats. He has a record of environmental reform; immigration reform; support of gay rights and gay marriage; gun control legislation; free community college tuition for middle class and lower class students in the state; supports abortion and reproductive rights for women; and opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The question is whether Hogan or Weld, seen as similar “moderate” Republicans on most issues, have a real chance to stop Donald Trump’s renomination. The argument is that if they could make Trump weakened at all as a result of their challenge, history tells us that an incumbent President with a challenger in his own party, wins the nomination but loses the Presidency, as happened to William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush in the 20th century.

25 Years Since Richard Nixon Death On Earth Day

It is now a quarter century since President Richard Nixon died, ironically on Earth Day, April 22, 1994.

Nixon has been rightly criticized and attacked for the Watergate Scandal and related illegal actions, which led to his impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, before his resignation when the Supreme Court ordered he hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski.

But historians regard Nixon as the second best Environmental President of modern times, just behind Theodore Roosevelt, and ahead of Jimmy Carter, as he went along with the Democratic Congress in promoting the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and could have prevented it by a presidential veto.

Many might say that other Presidents belong that high up in the rankings, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy, and Obama’s involvement is still being evaluated as to where he should rank in the listings.

One thing for sure, other than TR and Nixon, no Republican President ranks high, except in the damage done, as for instance, particularly with Ronald Reagan, Warren G. Harding, and more than either of them, Donald Trump.

Three Millennial Presidential Contenders: Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, Eric Swalwell

The Presidential Election campaign of 2020 includes three millennials, those born in the 1980s, which means anyone of the three, if elected President, would be far younger than Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell, born in November 1980, would be 40 years and about two months old on Inauguration Day 2021.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, born in April 1981, would be 39 years and about nine months old on Inauguration Day 2021.

And South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, born in January 1982, would be 39 years and one day old on Inauguration Day 2021.

John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President, and was about 43 years and almost eight months old in January 1961, while Theodore Roosevelt, succeeding to the Presidency upon the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901, was about 42 years and and 10 and a half months old when he became President.

All three fit the image of a new generation of leadership, similar to Kennedy in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992, and Barack Obama in 2008.

The odds are growing that Pete Buttigieg may be that leader, after his official opening of his campaign on Sunday, with an inspired message to his supporters in South Bend, Indiana.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Longest Lived President! Hooray! And His Legacy Will Be Remembered In History!

President Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, became this morning the longest lived President of the United States, surpassing George H. W. Bush, who passed away last November 30 at the age of 94. After 111 more days, Carter is now longer surviving than Bush, who broke the record of Gerald Ford, who broke the record of Ronald Reagan, with all four having reached 93, and Bush and Carter becoming 94 last year.

On October 1, Carter will reach the age of 95, and on October 17, Carter and his beloved wife Rosalynn, will have had a longer marriage than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, with 73 years and about three months duration.

Carter, much vilified, and not appreciated in his time in office, has become much more respected and honored with his longest retired Presidency of 38 years, two months and two days as of today. And his Vice President, Walter Mondale, still survives as well, and they are the longest surviving team in American history, with Mondale past the age of 91, and no other Presidential and Vice Presidential team reaching that age except for Reagan and H. W. Bush.

Carter may have the possibility to reach 100, as he has combated brain cancer for three and a half years, and continued to do good deeds. He is the model of what a President should be like in his conduct in retirement, as well as his basic behavior in office.

He is diametrically opposite of Donald Trump, who is the most horrendous President in his behavior, or at most, ties with Andrew Johnson.

Carter is a truly religious man in his words and actions, while Trump only worships himself, although he has the gall to sign Bibles and appeal to people by literally wrapping himself in the flag at a recent event, taking advantage of the hypocrisy of right wing evangelical Christians who have no issue with his conduct or behavior, while they condemned the moral behavior of Bill Clinton.

Birch Bayh, One Of The Best Senators Of Late 20th Century Dead At Age 91, A Truly Creative Legislator Who Should Have Been President

Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, who served in the Senate from 1963-1981, passed away this week at age 91.

Birch Bayh was one of the best United States Senators of the late 20th century, a truly creative legislator who should have been President.

He competed in 1976 for the Democratic Presidential nomination against Jimmy Carter and many others, and he was the favorite of this blogger and author.

This is a man who promoted the passage of the 25th Amendment, providing for an Acting President if the President was incapacitated, and of the appointment and approval of a Vice Presidential replacement when there was a vacancy in that office.

This was the reaction of Bayh and others after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and with Lyndon B. Johnson having had a serious heart attack in 1955, and with potential successors being House Speaker John W. McCormack (age 73), and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Carl Hayden (age 86).

Bayh also promoted the 26th Amendment, giving 18 years olds the right to vote, and he also sponsored the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment, which failed of passage by enough states.

He also sponsored Title 9 of the amended Civil Rights Act in 1972, ending quotas for women in higher education and giving women equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Additionally, Bayh saved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when they were both in a small plane crash in 1964.

Bayh was the father of Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. He won three close races in Indiana, and then was defeated by future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980.

Beto O’Rourke Enters The Presidential Race: Is He The New Hope For The Democrats In 2020?

Former three term El Paso, Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is the newest entry into the Democratic Presidential race, and is exciting many young voters and others tired of the “establishment” veterans.

O’Rourke is 46, has three children 8, 10, and 12, and his wife Amy Hoover Sanders is 37. If he won the Presidency, it would bring a young family into the White House.

O’Rourke is seen as a moderate centrist, in the line of Joe Biden, but a full 30 years younger.

He came within about two and a half points of Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the Midterm Elections of 2018.

He shares the same first and middle name of Robert Francis Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy, and himself the Attorney General and New York Senator who sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968 before being assassinated on June 6, 1968. And he looks as if he a spitting image of a younger Robert Kennedy but much taller than RFK, although not related to him.

It is an oddity that his wife has the first name of Democratic Presidential rival Amy Klobuchar; a middle name the same as President Herbert Hoover; and a last name the same as Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders. And their older son’s first name is Ulysses, the first name of President Ulysses S. Grant.

O’Rourke has charisma, charm, and personal appeal, and that could just be the right combination for 2020, and opens up the chance that Texas just might go “Blue”, making it easier to win the White House.

There is a long way to go in this Presidential competition, but O’Rourke has made it more exciting, as earlier Barack Obama did in 2008, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

The Beginning Of A Challenge To Donald Trump For Renomination: William Weld And Larry Hogan

It seems as if the beginning of a challenge to Donald Trump for renomination by the Republican Party has arrived.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997) , also the Libertarian nominee for Vice President in 2016 with Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, has indicated he is planning to challenge Trump. He would be 75 at the time of the inauguration in 2021.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who just won reelection last year by a 12 point margin, has also indicated he plans to compete for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020. He would be 64 at the time of the next election.

Both are moderate Republicans, seen as centrist and pragmatic, and both won office in heavily Democratic states.

Weld has a distinguished aristocratic background starting with ancestors coming over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims in 1620. He was a counsel with the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Impeachment inquiry, and with one of his colleagues being Hillary Rodham, before she married Bill Clinton.

Hogan has the heritage of being the son of a Congressman, with the same name, who, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, voted to bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon.

Can either of them seriously overcome the advantages of being an incumbent President?

History tells us when incumbent Presidents are challenged for renomination, invariably, the President defeats his opponent, but then loses the election.

So even if Weld or Hogan cannot defeat Trump, hopefully, they can weaken him enough that he will follow in the tradition of William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush, who overcame, respectively, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Buchanan, and yet lost the second term as President.

Three Democratic Presidents In Past Half Century Promoting Peace And Diplomacy In Foreign Policy

The three Democratic President in the past half century—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama–all promoted peace and diplomacy in foreign policy.

Hopefully, the next Democratic President elected in 2020 will do the same.

Carter promoted the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel; brought about the Panama Canal Treaty; and opened up diplomatic relations with mainland China.

Clinton promoted the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, although later the progress made was reversed with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Clinton also opened up diplomatic relations with Vietnam. And he also was able to bring about the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, between Catholics and Protestants.

Obama ended involvement in Iraq in 2011, although later sending some troops back to deal with the rise of ISIS (ISIL). He also opened up diplomatic ties with Raul Castro’s Cuba, although lately, the progress made has been derailed by Donald Trump and by incidents involving attack on the hearing of diplomats in Cuba, not only the US, but also Canada. Additionally, the Iran Nuclear Agreement was arranged, with the backing of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia. Sadly, Donald Trump has backed away from the agreement, and the future is uncertain, including the possibility of war with Iran at some point.

Each of these Presidents had to use military force, as Carter did to try to rescue the hostages in Iran in 1980; Clinton bombing Serbia and Kosovo over murder of Muslims by Christians in the former Yugoslavia; and Obama continuing US intervention in Afghanistan.

But all three Presidents are seen as having the right intention, and did what they could to promote reconciliation and negotiation, rather than military confrontation.

Whoever is the next President needs to revive this tradition.

A further elaboration of this article will be published on HistoryNewsNetwork.org this Sunday, and all of my more than 100 published articles on HNN are listed on the right side of this blog.