John Boehner

House Speaker Becomes A Race: Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz, Or Daniel Webster? YES, Daniel Webster (Not The Famous One)!

There is now developing a real race for who should be Speaker of the House, in the wake of the resignation of John Boehner.  It will make us miss Boehner, for all of the faults and shortcomings he possesses!

Present House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has flubbed badly in his comment on the House Benghazi Committee investigating the attack in Libya which led to the death of the ambassador and three others on September 11. 2011.  That committee has been in business longer than any special committee in the history of the United States, and is seen as a purely partisan venture. McCarthy made it clear that the committee was formed to weaken  Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, and now has tried to backtrack that statement, infuriating Jason Chaffetz of Utah, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has decided to challenge McCarthy for the Speakership.

McCarthy comes across as incompetent and a poor candidate to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and his inability to use good judgment on what to say publicly, plus his lack of experience (only nine years), lack of accomplishments, and his use of words such as “Hungria” for the nation “Hungary”. and making up a new word for Hillary Clinton (untrustable) instead of “untrustworthy”, raises intelligent people’s eyes.

But Chaffetz himself, while better spoken, has only seven years in the House, two fewer than McCarthy, and he was a former Democrat, who actually campaigned for Democrat Michael Dukakis for President in 1988, before meeting former President Ronald Reagan in 1990, seemingly transforming his  life.

To top it off, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster from central Florida, a distant relation of the famous Massachusetts Senator of the same name before the Civil War, but no match for his ancestor, is also in the race, and is seen as a Tea Party candidate for the Speakership.

This whole embarrassment of the battle between McCarthy, Chaffetz, and Webster makes clear that the nation is in trouble, having to look at any of these three men as being two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it will make us wish John Boehner had not resigned.

And the job to make the House Republicans be united and responsible, with the Tea Party element of 40 or so members the balancing act, means tough times ahead for the GOP, and gives a glimmer of hope that the Democrats might, maybe, be able to squeak out a majority of seats in the 2016 elections, but considered highly unlikely!

Kevin McCarthy, Incompetent And Unqualified, Soon To Be Two Heartbeats From The Presidency!

There have been many complaints over the past five years about Speaker of the House John Boehner, from the far right, and from the left, but at least we knew that Boehner had 20-25 years experience and was at least, basically, competent.

Now, with Boehner’s resignation, we are soon to be stuck with California Congressman Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker, a man who admits that the Benghazi, Libya hearings were simply designed to weaken Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton, and that the doctored Planned Parenthood videos are a ploy to help promote the anti abortion movement, and uses a word that does not exist, that Hillary Clinton is “untrustable”! He also called the nation of Hungary “Hungria”!

McCarthy is seen as better than Tea Party rivals, who would love to take over the Speakership, but McCarthy, with the least experience in Congress of any Speaker in more than a century, a total of only nine years and no special accomplishments and only two bills passed (both perfunctory), is someone to be concerned about as being only two heartbeats away from the Presidency!

Kevin McCarthy can be compared to former Vice President Dan Quayle in his looks and lack of any sign of intellect, and also to Sarah Palin, who also was good looking but lacking the brain power to be close to the Presidency!

What is it about the GOP that they find “good looking” men and women, who have no brains or intellect, and are a sign of the worst among us, putting the nation into danger by being so close to the Presidency, as Quayle was for 4 years; as Palin could have been for eight years: and as McCarthy now seems to be for at least the next 14 months, if not more?

America deserves much better than this!

The Crisis In The Speakership Of The House Of Representatives: Not A Laughing Matter!

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, second in line for the Presidency behind the Vice President of the United States.

Therefore, who is the Speaker of the House is not an idle matter, but of crucial importance, that he or she be a mainstream, responsible public official.

The Republican Party has produced disasters in the Speakership since 1994.

First, we had Newt Gingrich, who had a scandalous private life, and was extremely confrontational in his dealings with President Bill Clinton, and yet, right wing conservatives were unhappy with him, and he resigned after two terms as Speaker, a total of four years.

Then, his theoretical successor, Bob Livingston, was forced to turn down the Speakership, due to his own private life scandals.

Then, Denny Hastert became Speaker, seemed noncontroversial, and in comparison to Gingrich and Livingston, was just that.  But now, years after his decision to leave Congress after the Republicans lost control of the House in 2006, Hastert faces prosecution and is involved in a sex scandal involving when he was a high school wrestling coach 35 years ago.

And then, there was John Boehner, who lasted almost five years, but was under constant attack by the far right Tea Party Movement, and now has decided to resign at the end of October.  Boehner created constant confrontations with Barack Obama, but also, at times, was cordial with limits imposed by his party’s dynamics.

Eric Cantor, who was supposed to be Boehner’s successor, unexpectedly lost his seat in a nomination fight last year, just as he had the chance to become the first Jewish Speaker of the House, and his defeat apparently delayed Boehner’s decision to leave, until now after the Pope has visited the United States, and spoken before the Congress in joint session.  This event brought out the tears so common to Boehner, a devout Catholic.

Now the issue is who should succeed Boehner, two heartbeats away from the Presidency, with new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  of California favored even though he has only been in Congress nine years, has sponsored no important legislation, and never would have been in this position had Eric Cantor not been defeated  last year.

McCarthy seems pleasant enough on a personal basis, actually more than Gingrich, Livingston, Hastert, and now Boehner, but will the right wing Tea Party movement be satisfied with him, and will he be responsible enough to conduct himself with a willingness to work with President Obama for the next year?

What if a true right wing extremist ends up as Speaker, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a possible successor seen as a true extremist and often compared by many to David Duke, the former KKK leader, due to Scalise’s opposition to a Martin Luther King Holiday in Louisiana, one of the last states to adopt it?

America cannot tolerate a right wing extremist to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it can be hoped that, under the present circumstances, Kevin McCarthy become Speaker, but somehow, although unlikely, hope that disillusionment with the Republican control of Congress leads to Democratic control of the House, as well as the Senate, to occur in the 2016 national elections.

Since the House is gerrymandered, giving the GOP control despite more total popular votes for the chamber being Democratic, this seems unlikely, but those who feel it is urgent that the next Democratic President have both chambers of Congress willing to work with him or her, must work very hard to try to elect a Congress controlled by the Democrats!

Republican Party History: Key Dates Of 1860, 1912, 1964, 2016—the 52 Year Syndrome!

The Republican has had a long, controversial history since its founding in 1854 as a party opposed to the expansion of slavery, and containing within itself, those opposed to the institution of slavery itself.

After only six years, the Republican Party reached majority control of both houses of Congress and the White House, with Abraham Lincoln.

From then until 52 years later, 1912, the GOP dominated American politics, except in the South, where the Democrats prevailed.

In 1912, the party split between former President Theodore Roosevelt, an extremely popular and path breaking President, the greatest Republican President since Lincoln, and the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who was supported by conservatives of the time against TR’s Progressive Party challenge, which led to Taft only winning two states and 23 percent of the national popular vote, and putting Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the White House.

While the Republicans recovered in the 1920s, and almost defeated Wilson in 1916 with their nominee, Charles Evans Hughes, the Great Depression decimated the Republican Party, and the Democrats became the majority party, while the Republicans continued to battle between moderates and conservatives, with the moderates winning the nominations for President, until finally, Senator Barry Goldwater defeated the Establishment  forces led by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1964, 52 years after the earlier collapse.  Goldwater went on to lose the popular vote in a two way race by a larger margin than ever in American history, with Lyndon B. Johnson winning over 61 percent of the national vote.

This massive defeat did not end the civil war in the GOP, with Gerald Ford just barely winning the nomination over Ronald Reagan in 1976, and losing a very close race to Jimmy Carter.  But Reagan then won the White House, and the right wing felt it was in its glory, although Reagan was, actually, very unpredictable in his policies and views, and would today, probably be rejected by the extreme right wing in control of the GOP in 2015.

The right wing was unhappy with George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney as insufficiently conservative, and now there is full scale civil war in the GOP, including revolts against Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Carly Fiorina, all non office holders, demonstrates the right wing desire to fight the GOP establishment, but what it means is certain defeat in 2016.

Likely, no matter who is nominated, the Republican Party is, seemingly, at a 52 year mark, again ready to implode upon itself, and give the Democrats long term control of the Presidency, as the situation now appears!

A “Nice”, “Authentic” Person, Not A Mean Spirited, Uncaring Person: What People Want For Their Next President!

Americans are confused and upset about the uncertainties facing the nation, due to the political split in Congress and in the state legislatures. They might seem to cheer on a nasty, bullyish candidate who, momentarily, appears to vent their frustrations. But when emotions calm, that is not what the American people are looking for!

They want someone who is a “nice guy”, “authentic”, “real”, “truly concerned” about the issues and problems, confident and sure of himself, and a good debater who can overcome his opponents with his facts, knowledge, and charm, and convince the American people he is the right person for the Presidency! Joe Biden fits that description precisely, and even his opponents in the Republican Party, including Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and many others, respect and like him personally!

No Republican Presidential candidate fits that bill, not one of them.

Neither does Hillary Clinton fully evoke that feeling, and Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley simply do not have the ability to go all the way, and Sanders has the issue that most Americans are totally ignorant of the word “Socialism” and its meaning, and that harms his candidacy!

Face it, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Dr Benjamin Carson, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina—all of these come across as mean spirited and uncaring.

Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio come across in a somewhat better fashion, as does George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, but none of them have the personality and genuine nature of Joe Biden!

We have never elected a President since World War II, with the exception of Richard Nixon, who was not likable when elected. Lyndon B. Johnson, while not that likable, was in office before he faced election, as was Harry Truman, so they are not included. But all the others, despite whatever shortcomings they had, were likable when they were elected, except for Nixon.

We want to “like” our President, and the Republican Party has a major problem with “likability”, which guarantees they will lose, even to a candidate such as Hillary Clinton, who is not seen as particularly “likable”, while Sanders, O Malley and Joe Biden are all very “likable”. But Biden stands out over O’Malley and Sanders!

Jewish American Heritage Month And Barack Obama Commitment To The Jewish Community And To Israel

President Barack Obama gave a brilliant speech this week at a Washington DC synagogue, commemorating Jewish American Heritage Month.

Obama, an accomplished orator, celebrated the Jewish American influence on American history and culture; reminded us that he has hosted Passover Seders every year at the White House; and made clear his total commitment to the survival and stability of Israel.

This comes at a time when there has been debate and conflict about the difficulties between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is openly supportive of the Republican Party, and allowed himself to be used by Speaker of the House John Boehner before the Israeli parliamentary elections. Netanyahu should not have come to the US for a Congressional visit without the approval and support of the President, and John Boehner purposely set up the situation, which dramatized the personal animuus between him and the President, and Netanyahu and the President.

But despite these differences, Obama made clear that the stalwart support for Israel, no matter who leads the government, and the continued employment of the IRON DOME security system, shows that personal differences will NOT stand in the way of protection of Israel.

But at the same time, Obama continues to push the idea of two states in the area, Israeli and Palestinian, and the need for dialogue and progress on the issue of recognition, and limitation of new settlements in the West Bank.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is active in undermining Obama, and the Presidential campaign will sharpen differences, but the Jewish people in America, by about 65 percent, KNOW that Obama will do nothing to harm Israel, and that Israel has our back in any crisis or emergency, as always since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.

The US And Israel: Support For Israel, But Not Benjamin Netanyahu!

The United States has been a strong supporter of Israel throughout the 67 year history of the Jewish nation, whether it has been Democratic or Republican Presidents in office, and that will not change, and should not change!

But that does not mean that our policies vis a vis Israel must always be in lockstep to every Israeli Prime Minister.

There have been disputes and differences between Israeli governments and American governments throughout the history of the relationship over strategies and tactics, but in all circumstances, when Israel has needed American support, it has been there from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, and that will continue.

Just like relatives, there have been and will be fights, sometimes even public, that are embarrassing, but occur, because that is the nature of families, and Israel and America are like one big family, with certain relatives very annoying in their assertion of their personalities on the overall relationship.

But when crisis arises, when so called “push come to shove”, family is together, and that includes the assurance that America will always be there for Israel at crucial moments. And one must remember that it is Barack Obama who has provided more funding for the IRON DOME system, which has been used by Israel to protect its security with its dangerous neighbors, including Palestinian terrorists.

This moment, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming to the US to speak to a joint session of Congress without advanced approval of President Obama, and with Netanyahu long a public and private critic of President Obama, and in cahoots with the Republicans in Congress, is not good. With Speaker of the House John Boehner breaking the Logan Act, which bans private diplomacy of anyone outside the executive branch of government, a law passed in 1798 and updated in 1994, only adds to the problem.

Yes, the threat of Iran is present, but it is not an imminent threat, and the attempt of the US, along with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China to negotiate on nuclear issues is worthy of follow through to see if Iran is willing to accept the idea of no nuclear weapons development.

If Iran reneges on such an agreement, then Israel would be backed in any potential confrontation with Iran. But the need to TRY to avoid another Middle East War, which would lead to more deaths and destruction in Israel, and make the area ever more dangerous, is worth a try to avoid war, before committing to a war that would be devastating to the entire area.

The US would be engaged in another major war, and not an easily won war, but the world would see the reality of Iran, if they reject an agreement with the six major powers.

Netanyahu has been known to lie and exaggerate, so it is worth a chance for peace, and avoidance of war, and that is why many Jewish Democrats in Congress are boycotting this speech on Tuesday, and it is why many Jewish organizations and spokesmen are condemning the speech, and calling for its delay until after the elections in Israel in two weeks.

A good solution to all this would be the defeat of Netanyahu and his Likud Party, much too ready to go to war, when peace should be tried first!

The Republican House Of Representatives Implodes: The Tea Party Is Destroying Congress!

Speaker of the House John Boehner has again been smacked down by the extremist right wing Tea Party caucus, about 50 members who so hate Barack Obama and everything he stands for and represents, that they are ready to bring down the government, and undermine the Department of Homeland Security created during the George W. Bush Administration in the aftermath of September 11!

Boehner must either join with Democrats to bring about the funding of this crucial government agency, with the rest of the Republican majority, OR he must resign in disgrace, as he has already proved totally unable to deal with the extremists who do not care about the heritage and traditions of the Republican Party in its 161 year history!

This nation cannot allow ourselves to be taken hostage by a group, which in its intentions, is no better than anarchists or terrorists, ready to take down the institutions of government if they cannot get their way, their desire to take us from the 21st century to the 19th century!

The House of Representatives, the “People’s Branch”, has become unable to accomplish what such a body is designed to do, govern effectively and do the business of the people!

We are in the midst of a revolution, the greatest crisis for the Speakership since the “Revolution of 1910” against Speaker Joseph Cannon, stripping him of much of his absolute powers, and democratizing the House operations. Something on that level seems essential now to take away power from this anarchistic, but also Fascist in orientation, cabal of 50 members who will stop at nothing to destroy effective government!

This crisis has been delayed a week by the last minute action of the House to allow a one week extension of the Homeland Security budget, but the same struggle will face us on March 6!

Speaker John Boehner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu And President Obama: An Unwise Controversy!

The Speaker of the House John Boehner has contempt for President Obama.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has contempt for President Obama.

Netanyahu has long been known to be a Republican partisan, and has demonstrated no discretion in his treatment of President Obama.

Israel has been treated in an appropriate way, meaning their viewpoints are considered, and the security and safety of Israel has always been at the forefront of American foreign policy in the Middle East, including the increased protection provided by the Iron Dome system.

Israel receives more foreign aid than any other nation from America, and knows the US is behind them in any perilous situation.

But that does not mean we must bend to the will and desires of any particular Israeli government, and we are still a sovereign nation, and may disagree on tactics and strategy with any foreign government.

To say that Barack Obama is an enemy of Israel is totally preposterous, and Benjamin Netanyahu is playing with fire in agreeing to speak before a joint session of Congress, without Presidential support and endorsement. He is making a vast mistake in defying President Obama, and allowing a disreputable Speaker of the House to make a political issue out of a relationship that should not be politicized.

Boehner should withdraw the invitation so close to an Israeli national election, or Netanyahu should change his plans, and if neither happens, the only nation that will be hurt, unwisely, and unnecessarily, is Israel.

A dispute within the family of the US-Israeli relationship is nothing new, as it has been common for there to be differences on policy and personality under other Presidents, including Presidents of both parties, but this controversy threatens long term harm, from which no one gains!

The Inauspicious Beginning Of The Republican 114th Congress: 25 Republicans Repudiate John Boehner, And White Supremacist Steve Scalise Kept As House Majority Whip!

The opening of the Republican controlled 114th Congress was an embarrassment in two major ways.

First, while Speaker John Boehner began his third two year term in that position, he suffered the repudiation of 25 members of his caucus, who refused to support him, making for the largest rebellion against a sitting Speaker in 150 years, since the Civil War era. Instead, these 25 rebels voted for Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (a distant descendant of the great Massachusetts Senator of the 19th century; Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert; Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Army General Colin Powell; and others, making a joke out of the proceedings.

Then, despite the outcry against Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, who spoke at a David Duke sponsored event in 2002, claiming not to know that Duke sponsored the event, failed to stop him from being kept on as House Majority Whip. Scalise had claimed in the past that he was a “David Duke Republican”, but now claims ignorance of the racist, antisemitic career of the former Ku Klux Klan leader and his connections to the American Nazi Party. Duke ran for Governor and Senator in the early 1990s in Louisiana, and former President George H. W. Bush led the fight against his candidacy for Governor in 1991, but somehow, Scalise was not affected by that history, and was wiling to connect himself to Duke. Yet, the GOP decided to keep him as third ranking Republican in the House.

So a very inauspicious beginning for the GOP, as they try to convince the American people that they represent the nation, and should gain the White House, as well as Capitol Hill, in 2016!