John F. Kennedy

Hillary Clinton Campaigning As A “Progressive”, Against Husband Bill Clinton’s “Moderate” Presidency!

Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a “progressive”, but her husband, while in office as the 42nd President, was far from progressive!

Many would say that Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a “raging moderate” in so many ways.

Despite being attacked by Republicans incessantly, and being impeached by them as well, Bill Clinton actually cooperated with them on many issues, and was also often quite critical of liberals in his own party.

Witness:

He signed into law the end of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.

He signed into law the end of the federal guarantee of welfare in 1996, leaving it to the states to decide levels of support of single mothers and children, and the elderly and disabled.

He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was a big step back from the idea of gay equality.  Earlier in 1994, he had promoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backing away from equality for gays.

He signed the Omnibus Crime legislation in 1994, which was a major crackdown on crime, and that allowed the arrest and incarceration of many young people, many of them African American and Latino, on minor drug charges, filling up America’s prisons.

He signed NAFTA into law in 1993, which undermined labor, and caused an influx of foreign goods, due to the low tariffs, now opposed by his wife.

He signed into law a repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998,  which led to bank expansion of loans and mortgages, and much larger banks that helped to lead to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

He called himself a “New Democrat” in 1992, criticized liberalism often, and was involved in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council group.

This does not mean that Bill Clinton did not have some really positive aspects domestically to his Presidency, but he was certainly considered by many to be a “Republicrat”, rather than a Democrat.

He, along with Jimmy Carter, were the least progressive Democratic Presidents, when compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and also Barack Obama, after Carter and Clinton.

This might be because Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats, but the point is that Bill Clinton, while good on some issues, was not a progressive, as his wife now is campaigning on against Bernie Sanders!

Does it mean that Hillary Clinton cannot have “learned” from the mistakes  of the 1990s, honestly?  NO, but the point is she is very different as a campaigner than her husband was!

Of course, when one thinks about it, Hillary is running for the Presidency a full generation after her husband won his second and last term, the last time he was facing the voters!

 

The Age Issue’s Effect On Hillary Clinton, But Also Possibly On Bernie Sanders, Against Younger Republicans in November!

The Iowa Caucuses results demonstrate a major problem that Hillary Clinton faces–the age issue.

A vast majority of young voters, those under 45, but even more so those under 29, supported Bernie Sanders, the oldest candidate ever to seek the nomination of a major political party.

Even John McCain (age 72)and Bob Dole (age 73) were not the same age at the time of the election campaign as Bernie Sanders.

Even Ronald Reagan (age 73) was “younger” when seeking reelection in 1984!

How is it that young voters, who flocked to Barack Obama, age 47 in 2008, now love Bernie Sanders, age 75 by the time of the election?

What is it about Hillary Clinton age 69) that makes young Democratic voters dislike her that much, when young voters back in 1992 liked her husband, Bill Clinton, age 46?

This is a serious issue, as it looks more likely that Hillary, the likely Democratic nominee, will face a much younger Republican candidate in Ted Cruz, age  45, or more likely, Marco Rubio, also 45 but five months younger than Cruz.  It means that the age difference would be almost 24 years.

The argument that either Cruz or Rubio are not “old” enough or experienced enough to be President is an argument that will not work, as John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and particularly Barack Obama, were accused of the same “weakness”, but all became President.

To have the Democratic nominee, either Hillary or Bernie (six years older) as the “old” candidate, against a young Republican such as Cruz or Rubio, is unprecedented in American history.

A difference of 24 years is not the all time difference, as John McCain was 25 years older than Barack Obama in 2008; Bob Dole was 23 years older than Bill Clinton in 1996; and George H. W. Bush was 22 years older than Bill Clinton in 1992, but in each case the Democrat was the younger nominee.

But if it was Bernie Sanders against Cruz or Rubio, the difference would be nearly 30 years!

This time, it will be the opposite, with the Democrat much younger than the Republican, and one has to wonder how it might affect the election results, particularly with younger voters in the Democratic Party gravitating to Bernie instead of Hillary, and possibly younger voters in general going for Cruz or Rubio due to youthfulness!

Major Mystery: The Lack Of Traction Of Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Presidential Candidacy

As we await the beginning of actual voting next week and after that, a major mystery remains.

Why did former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley turn out to be a total dud as a candidate?

O’Malley was one of the best Governors in America during his eight years in that position, and he had the charisma, good looks, and youth, that one would have thought that he would be a serious challenger to Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others of the “older generation.”

After the experience of the “younger generation” backing John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008, one would have thought that O’Malley would have similar appeal, and without being the first Catholic nominee; the first Southerner since 1848; a flawed candidate with a sex scandal from a small Southern state; and a mixed race African American with little national experience to deal with!

And yet, it was a candidate even older than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden–Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont—with his declaration that he was a Democratic Socialist; was an Independent who only became a party member when he announced for President; and with a New York Jewish background (not necessarily a plus across the nation), who became the favorite of newer voters, younger voters (under 45), and those who would be thought to prefer someone closer to their age and from a larger and more significant state (Maryland) than Vermont represents.

The lack of traction of O’Malley remains a deep mystery, and one wonders if his run this year will give him an upper hand, despite it being a total flop, if the Democrats lose the Presidency in 2016.

Could it be the beginning of the rise on top of the disaster, if it occurs, of a Democratic defeat this year?

Certainly, no one in their right mind who is a progressive, wishes for failure this year to lead to success later!

But sometimes, repudiation now leads to success later!

The Republicans’ Penchant Toward Abolishing Government! Why They Cannot Be Allowed To Control The Executive Branch!

The Republican Party has created lots of employment for people who want to run for office and be part of the government.

And yet, the Republicans are always out to abolish government, even though they are part of it!

Going back to 2012 and even further back as far as the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even earlier to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson,  and actually even earlier with James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans would love to abolish (in no special order):

The Internal Revenue Service–Wilson

The Social Security System–FDR

The Department of Labor–Wilson

Mine Safety and Health Administration–Carter

Occupational Safety and Health Administration–Nixon

National Labor Relations Board–FDR

The Department of Commerce–TR

The Department of Health and Human Services–Ike and then Carter reorganization

The Food and Drug Administration–TR

The Medicare System–JFK and LBJ

Medicaid System–LBJ

State Children’s Health Insurance Program–Clinton

Affordable Health Care Act–Obama

The Department of Education–Ike and then Carter reorganization

Federal Aid To Education—Ike

The Department of  Agriculture–Lincoln

The Department of Energy–Carter

The Department of Housing and Urban Development–JFK and LBJ

Civil Rights Acts—Ike, JFK, and LBJ

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity–LBJ

The Department of the Interior–Polk

The Environmental Protection Agency–Nixon

Bureau of Land Management–Truman

National Park Service–Wilson

Federal Emergency Management Agency–Carter

Consumer Product Safety Commission–Nixon

Corporation for Public Broadcasting–LBJ

National Endowment for the Arts–LBJ

National Endowment for the Humanities–LBJ

Federal Reserve System–Wilson

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–Obama

United States Postal Service–Nixon

Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)–Nixon

This is a list of 33 government agencies and programs that the Republican Party, at different times, and particularly during Presidential and Congressional campaigns, has promoted that we abolish!

The following Presidents were responsible for these government agencies and programs:

James K. Polk–1  Abraham Lincoln–1–TR—2–Wilson–4–FDR–2–Truman–1–Ike–4—JFK–3—LBJ–8—Nixon–5—Carter–5–Clinton–1—Barack Obama–2.

So THIRTEEN Presidents of both parties—nine Democrats and four Republicans— have presided over the creation of government agencies and programs that have made life better for the American people!

If one gave the Republican Party total control, we would see our government decimated, and only private corporations and the greed of the elite upper class would rule and regulate every aspect of American life!

Watching the South Carolina GOP debate yesterday, this is always their game plan–abolish, abolish, abolish!   Hate government, undermine government, defund government, fear government, distrust government!

Why do the Republicans advocate all this, and yet wish to be the government?

The answer is that their hatred and suspicion of government is promotion of anarchy and chaos, without regulation to promote a level playing field, and give average  Americans a fair shake and the possibility of advancement!

This is why the Republican Party cannot be entrusted with control of the executive branch, as that is one way, no matter what happens with the Congress, to protect the government agencies that have made life better for vast numbers of Americans in the last century and even earlier!

 

 

 

 

Personal Attacks On Barack Obama Far Surpass Such Nastiness Toward Any Other Modern President!

Here we are, about to start the eighth and last year of the Barack Obama Presidency, and new evidence of the personal attacks on Barack Obama continues to mount, far surpassing such nastiness toward any other modern President.

We are not talking here about disagreement and attacks on Barack Obama for his viewpoints, his beliefs, his policies, his attitudes, or the results of his effect on the nation.

We are talking about attacks on his appearance, his clothes, his religious views, his wife, his children, his childhood, his close friends, his sincerity when he makes statements or sheds tears or laughs—really anything imaginable that any stupid, ignorant, nasty person could possibly conjure up to demonstrate lack of respect and decency toward an American President!

Yes, comments have been made about John F. Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism; Lyndon B. Johnson’s acquisition of wealth; Richard Nixon’s character; Gerald Ford’s blunders; Jimmy Carter’s ineptness; Ronald Reagan’s ability to promote mythology; George H. W. Bush’s poor communications skills; Bill Clinton’s womanizing; and George W. Bush’s intellectual limits.

But none have had depictions of Obama and his family as chimpanzees; or said Michelle Obama looks like the family dog Bo; or that the children are monkeys; or that Obama is homosexual; or that his wife is really a man; and other outrageous personal attacks, and not by teenagers, but by full fledged adults who believe what the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups preach. No one else has been called the AntiChrist, the devil, the personification of evil, and accused of every immoral action imaginable.

More evidence showed up two days ago when it was revealed that the Presidential dog Bo was subject of a threatened kidnapping by a crazy person, with this blogger posting about this on Facebook, and getting some of the most nasty, sick, abusive responses directed at the First Family and the President.  It is enough to make one furious at the mental illness that many Obama haters clearly have, and makes one realize it is almost a miracle that the President has not been harmed after more threats against him than any President since Abraham Lincoln!

And what other President has been condemned by extremist right wing so called church pastors and talk show hosts with insulting statements that only a person of no character or ethics would ever dream of such attacks?

After seven years of Barack Obama, the level of racism and bigotry is in full pitch, an embarrassment that should not exist, and a sign of just how far we have to go to overcome prejudice and narrow mindedness, as his election twice to the Presidency has not led to an improvement in public decency. until and when such attitudes are wiped from the American psyche!

And the concept that the opposition party would condemn such attacks in the name of common decency is not present, and never has been, as Republican leaders remain silent, and in so doing, are endorsing these nasty, outrageous personal attacks that have reached a fever pitch unseen in earlier American history!

Activist Vs. Passive Presidents, 1901 To The Present

There have been 19 Presidents since the accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency in 1901, upon the assassination of William McKinley.

Some have been activists, hard workers, dynamos, who saw the Presidency as a position that required constant attention, and avoided much vacation time, but even when on vacation, these activist Presidents were always working and alert to changing events.

Among the 19 modern Presidents, the following 11 Presidents would qualify as part of the activist category:

Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

The other 8 Presidents since 1901 were much more passive, avoided work, were quite frankly lazy, and took lots of vacation time, often were not alert to changing events, and delegated authority to others:

William Howard Taft

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Note that all eight passive Presidents were Republicans, while only Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush were activist Republicans, joining the 8 Democratic Presidents in that category!

Also, note that the eleven activist Presidents all were highly intelligent and curious about the world around them, while the eight passive Presidents were generally less naturally intelligent, with the exceptions of William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover, both highly intellectual and accomplished, although both were seen as unsuccessful in office, and defeated for reelection!

9 Of Last 10 Economic Recessions Under Republican Presidents Since 1953!

It is a fact of history that nine of the ten economic recessions since 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became President, have come under Republican Presidents as follows:

July 1953 to May 1954–Eisenhower

August 1957 to April 1958–Eisenhower

April 1960 to February 1961–Eisenhower

December 1969 to November 1970–Nixon

November 1973 to March, with un 1975–Nixon/Ford

January 1980 to July 1980–Carter (Democrat)

July 1981-November 1982–Reagan

July 1990-March 1991—HW Bush

March 2001-November 2001–W Bush

December 2007-June 2009–W Bush/Obama–last five months under Democrat

The longest recessions were under W Bush and Obama; Reagan; and Nixon/Ford, with the unemployment rate reaching 10 percent, 10.8 percent, and 9 percent respectively in those recessions.

The shortest recession was under Jimmy Carter, six months in 1980, but the only Democrat to have a recession begin while in office, and  suffered at the polls partially on that fact, that it was in an election year!

Eisenhower had three recession periods, while Nixon had two, and W. Bush had two.

This is an issue that Democrats need to emphasize in the upcoming campaign, the tremendous economic revival under President Barack Obama!

Finally, the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton administrations saw great economic growth as under Obama after his first five months in office, so Democrats have an exceptional record on the economy over the last 62 years of American history!

 

Two Speakers Of The House Who Could Have Become President Due To Presidential Assassination Issues

In 1947, the Presidential Succession Act was changed from cabinet members to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate being right behind the Vice President of the United States.

Since then, as a result of the change of the law, there have been two circumstances involving Presidential assassinations and threats, which provided for the possibility of the Speaker of the House of Representatives becoming President.

The first was Republican Speaker Joseph W. Martin, Jr of Massachusetts in late 1947.  The Zionist Stern Gang group, terrorists fighting for the creation of an Israeli nation, had been engaged in violence and assassinations against the British and their control of Palestine.

Margaret Truman, the President’s daughter, claimed her father, President Harry Truman, was threatened with death by letter bombs sent by the Stern Gang to Washington, DC, which were intercepted without harm by the Postal Service, with the assistance of the Secret Service.  Had Truman been harmed, however, we would have a switch of parties in the White House, and the second Speaker to become President, with the first being President James K. Polk in the Presidential Election of 1844.

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963,  Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had suffered a massive heart attack in 1955, became President, and had he died in office over the next 14 months, Democratic Speaker of the House John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, who was 73 years old, would have become President.

A Secret Service revelation in recent years was that President Johnson was in danger of being shot by an agent overnight after the Kennedy assassination, when he walked out of his home after midnight, leading to an agent, who thought there was an intruder on the property, to withdraw his firearm and aim it until he realized it was the President.  The story is that Johnson backed up in shock, but imagine if he had been killed about ten hours after becoming President!  And then we would have had the oldest President in American history, Speaker McCormack, an unwilling heir apparent!

These incidents make one wish that the Presidential Succession Act  be returned to the 1886 law, making the cabinet members of the President, starting with the Secretary of State, next in line after the Vice President.  But that is unlikely to happen, particularly while the Republican Party controls Congress!

November 22–52 Years And Still In Recovery From JFK Assassination

For anyone who was at least eight years old in 1963, they will never forget the shock of the John F. Kennedy Assassination on this day 52 years ago!

We will never forget where we were when the shocking news was revealed, and we are still reverberating from the effects of that tragic event.

We have had no Presidential death in office since, and the odds are catching up, with a world burdened by “lone wolves” domestically, and international terrorism!

The death threats against President Barack Obama have been, as I reveal in my recent book, the greatest in number of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

Just this past week, it was revealed that a person was arrested who had made dangerous threats against President Obama on Facebook, including wanting to feed Obama to a wood chipper!

What kind of crazy mind would think up something like this, and also, thankfully, write about it, so that he could be apprehended?

Mental illness, along with religious fanaticism, are the main causes of the threats faced today by our President, but one can wonder, as many has, how Obama has survived nearly seven years without being directly harmed.

Not only Obama, but all Presidential candidates and the next President and Vice President, whoever they are,  have been and will be under constant threat in a overly dangerous world!

It makes one wonder why any sane person would want to seek the Presidency or serve in that office!

Major Features On “Progressive Professor” Blog

Many of my readers may not realize, or be paying attention to, the fact that besides commentary on political and historical events, the blog also includes multiple radio interviews, as well as op-eds, relating to my recent book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN  PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).

There are, as of now, 13  interviews on the right side of the blog, which a reader can click on to listen to many of my radio interviews in the past three months.  Additionally, there are 2 op-eds that I have published on the website THEHILL.COM in the past month .  Soon, there will be two C Span videos, one with the author interviewed for an hour by Brian Lamb to be aired on C Span on Sunday, November 29 at 8 pm, 11 pm, and 6 am on Monday, November 30 ; and a lecture and book signing on my book at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, Florida, lasting 90 minutes, to be taped on December 8, 2015, and being shown on C Span sometime in January.

There are also, on the right side of the blog, past radio interviews on other current events topics; several newspaper interviews in past years and one from a month ago; and three videos of 90 minute lectures I did at Florida Atlantic University on Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson in recent times.

There is also a new feature, CONTACT ME, which allows for anyone who is interested in requesting my participation in future lectures, interviews, or scholarly engagements to contact me, and is located on the top of the blog on the right.