Posts Tagged John McCain
While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.
Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.
Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.
Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.
Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.
John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.
Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.
Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.
Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!
When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!
Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.
There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.
Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?
After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!
Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!
It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!
The Employment NonDiscrimination Act was approved by the US Senate this week by a vote of 64-32, including 54 Democrats and 10 Republicans, who agreed that to allow discrimination against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity was immoral, unethical, simply wrong in America in 2013.
At the same time, 32 Republican Senators continued to show no concern about such discrimination, and in so doing, condemned themselves in history, as much as those opposed to the Civil Rights laws passed over time to ban discrimination against Americans, based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, and disability.
The House of Representatives majority would back such legislation, but it is clear that Speaker of the House John Boehner, personally opposed to the bill, will not call for a vote, because he knows a large percentage of his own party would vote against it, so it will likely languish until the Democrats can win a majority of the House in future years.
The honor roll of those Republicans who showed a conscience and principle include:
John McCain of Arizona
Susan Collins of Maine
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
Jeff Flake of Arizona
Rob Portman of Ohio
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Mark Kirk of Illinois
Orrin Hatch of Utah
Dean Heller of Nevada
Notice that not even one Senator from the South supported ENDA. One would have thought that, possibly, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, sometimes open minded on some issues, would have done so, but the power of the Tea Party, religious groups that promote prejudice and hate in the name of their brand of Christianity, and the reality of reelection contests for Alexander and Graham in particular, make that impossible.
After all, being reelected is more important than doing the right thing for the long run of history, right?
The vote of the US Senate yesterday to agree to overcome a potential filibuster, and allow a final vote on ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) is a great move forward on civil rights.
The proposed law, discussed for many years, would ban employers from firing, refusing to hire, or discriminating against workers or job applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The procedural vote was 61-30 with 54 Democrats (all but Claire McCaskill, who was not present), and 7 Republicans (Susan Collins, Kelly Ayotte, Dean Heller, Mark Kirk,. Rob Portman, Orrin Hatch, and Pat Toomey) in favor.
So the bill will pass the Senate in the next few days, but disturbing is that 30 Republicans had the nerve to vote for continued discrimination, and 8 Republicans were not recorded as voting.
It will be interesting to see if any of these 38 Republicans will vote for the final bill, particularly such Senators as John McCain and Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and John Thune, who at times have shown some moderation as compared to most in the Senate Republican caucus.
At the same time, Illinois moved today toward final acceptance of gay marriage, making that state the 15th to have gay marriage, going into effect by the summer of 2014.
At the same time, other states seem to be moving in the same direction, including Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, although at different measurements of progress.
Regarding the ENDA legislation, IF Speaker John Boehner allowed an open vote, the legislation would become law, with most Democrats and enough Republicans to make it the law of the land , but Boehner has indicated that he will not allow a vote, which, if it is pursued all the way, would stop any chance to do what is morally right to do, stop job discrimination, So pressure must be brought to convince him to change his mind, and allow a vote even without a majority of his caucus.
A crowd descended on the gates at the White House on Sunday, led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee.
They stood by as Confederate flags were brandished, and a speaker said it was time for Barack Obama to stop obeying the Muslim faith, and to resign from the Presidency!
What a spectacle it was, with National Park police called out in riot gear, in case the demonstration became unruly or worse.
These three demagogues—Cruz, Lee, and Palin—who are destroying the Republican brand with their fight to undermine the federal government, blamed Obama for the shutdown of the federal government, rather than Cruz and Lee taking responsibility for encouraging House Tea Party Republicans to do what everyone knows they provoked, intimidating Speaker John Boehner into what has become a disaster for the Republican Party brand!
By appearing with these Confederate, secessionist, states rights riight wingers, they are encouraging violent insurrection against the government, and poisoning the atmosphere for peaceful resolution of differences, and also undermining respect for the office of the Presidency!
Republican leadership—much more than Senator John McCain of Arizona and Congressman Peter King of New York—must speak up and denounce these tactics, or the GOP is totally doomed as a major political party for the long run!
The Republican Party has had its key elections which transform the party on a regular basis 52 years apart, and we are on the way to that occurring yet again!
In 1860, just six short years after the founding of the party in the upper Midwest, the Republican Party won its first national victory, gaining control of both houses of Congress, and electing Abraham Lincoln, even though he won slightly less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote. The party went on to dominate American politics for the next 52 years, only losing the Presidency twice to Grover Cleveland, in 1884 and 1892.
Then in 1912, the split between former President Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent President William Howard Taft, a conflict between conservatives and progressives, led to a disastrous defeat for Taft, the worst defeated President running for reelection ever in American history before and after 1912. This put the opposition Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and gave Democrat Woodrow Wilson two terms in the White House, although coming close to losing in 1916. He proceeded to promote programs known as the New Freedom and the New Nationalism, stealing the second slogan from TR.
The Republican Party went on to revive itself from 1920-1932, but was then made the minority party in voter registration after 1932, due to the Great Depression, and only won two terms in the White House under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two separate two year terms in Congress over the next 32 years.
After years of establishment Republicans losing, except for Eisenhower, the conservatives took over the party in 1964, again 52 years after the 1912 split, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, and suffered a massive defeat, insuring the biggest landslide victory in history for Lyndon B. Johnson, and the promotion of the Great Society.
While the Goldwater mentality in broad outline became the government under Ronald Reagan in 1980, the split between conservatives and progressives revived under the two Bush Presidents, as well as criticism of the Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney Presidential runs.
And here we are again with the right wing striving to take over the party, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, along with some others, trying to move the party to an extreme, more so than Barry Goldwater represented.
And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see another massive defeat, for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!
While the Syrian Civil War rages on, it is now clear that a moment long overdue is coming in the Republican Party–whether the anti government Tea Party Movement is finally going to get what it deserves—a total repudiation by the mainstream conservatives in the party over whether America takes a stand against the outlaw Syrian government and its war crime of chemical warfare against civilians!
Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have come out for the Obama stand, and are ready to fight for a resolution backing the President’s use of force against Syria.
So the gauntlet is thrown down for Tea Party members in the House, numbering about 75, and the Tea Party Senators, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee, and others, as we see whether they will stop the partisanship and anti government lunacy, and back Barack Obama for once!
As predicted, a “civil war” is likely in the GOP, and if the Tea Party Movement triumphs, it will doom the Republican Party after 159 years! This is a battle for survival of sanity, responsibility, and mainstream conservatism as an alternative to the Democratic Party!
Obama Brilliant: Call For Congressional Vote Will Gain Public Support And Rent Asunder The Republican Party Big Time!
President Barack Obama, in the midst of what may be his biggest foreign policy crisis, the planned bombing of Syria over the use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians, has displayed wisdom, coolness, and good judgment in calling for a Congressional discussion and vote, even though he has the authority as Commander in Chief to take action in the name of international law and common decency, morality, and ethics!
The Congress should be called back by Speaker of the House John Boehner immediately to meet on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, six days early, as this is a crisis which requires debate and vote as soon as possible!
But even if it goes another week, until debate begins, this move by Obama insures that no one can say he took reckless action in a hasty manner!
Of course, the Congress COULD decide NOT to back military action, but that is extremely unlikely, as the Senate is controlled by Democrats, and there are Republicans, a lot of them, who will back Obama, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham in the leadership, but others as well, even if some Democrats refuse to do so!
And in the US House, most Democrats will back the Commander in Chief, and not all that many Republicans, certainly not a majority, are necessary to back Obama!
But what will occur out of this controversy is that the Republican Party, already engaged in its own “civil war” between the so called “establishment” and the Tea Party lunatics, will now see the party rent asunder, cracking into pieces, which will affect the 2016 nomination battle, and the long term future of both groups within the party, with a good chance the GOP, as we know it, will NOT survive!
It will be fun to see the McCain-Graham and other mainstream conservatives fighting against libertarian Rand Paul, and likely Ted Cruz and others of the Tea Party group, and will force Marco Rubio to show if he has “cajones”!
The rhetoric will fly fast and thick, and will show up the Tea Party as dangerous, reckless, lunatic, delusional, and other colorful adjectives, and Rand Paul will see his isolationism, his naivete, his stupidity, his delusional nature, demonstrated for all to see!
And the nation and Barack Obama will come out looking intelligent, knowledgeable, courageous, principled, and we will thank ourselves for the fact that Barack Obama is our Commander in Chief in tough times, as was the case with Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton before him!
Senator Lindsey Graham Faces Whacko Tea Party Opponents In Republican Senate Primary In South Carolina!
Anyone who follows American politics KNOWS that South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is a solid conservative.
Graham tends to be critical of President Obama on most issues; was one of the leaders of the fight to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, while a member of the House of Representatives; and is always a strong supporter of defense and foreign interventions, as is his good friend, John McCain.
But that is precisely the problem he faces now in the upcoming battle for the Senate nomination of his party for a third term election in 2014. That is, he SOMETIMES agrees with the President; is TOO GOOD a friend of John McCain, seen by many conservatives as not conservative enough; and infuriates those who are isolationist and non interventionist in the libertarian movement led by Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
So therefore, Graham is labeled not acceptable to the Tea Party whackos who want to defeat him and put someone more right wing than he is in the Senate! Graham also has the gall to support immigration reform, and support the President on civil liberties policies..
So we have South Carolina State Senator Lee Bright taking on Graham, and this Tea Party activist has gone off the deep end, and demonstrated total insanity in his assertions that Graham is a “Community organizer” for the Muslim Brotherhood!
Think of how crazy and looney that assertion by Bright is, and it is clear that Bright is far from “bright”!
First, Graham Is NOT a community organizer, while Barack Obama was, but somehow these right wing nuts think anyone who helps poor people in urban neighborhoods is, somehow, not legitimate. Apparently, only if someone is involved in the corporate world and makes tons of profit and steps all over workers and consumers, is a person worth anything!
This is a very sick, twisted way of looking at fellow human beings, wishing to do nothing to help those less fortunate, and yet, one can be sure that Bright think of himself as a “good Christian”, which he most certainly is not, as if he examines the life of Jesus Christ, what does he think Jesus was?—A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER!
And to say that Lindsey Graham is working for the Muslim Brotherhood, when Graham is one of the most outspoken critics of that Middle Eastern group, makes Lee Bright certifiable to be committed for a mental examination as to his sanity! It is a totally preposterous idea, but just as much to say that Barack Obama is a Muslim or a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, when Obama has been responsible for the death of more Islamic terrorists and, sadly, some innocent bystanders, than George W. Bush did in his eight years in the White House!
As one observes the total lunatic nature of the Tea Party Movement, one realizes that there is a serious mental illness prevalent among people who claim to follow Christianity, but have no clue as to the teachings of their Lord and Savior!
The only blessing for Graham is that Bright is only one of three primary opponents, all nuts and looney, and that should help him to gain the nomination for a third term, by the division of votes among his opponents!
Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who this author has very little respect for, including regarding him as one of the worst Senators in American history, actually was starting to make me think that maybe I had misjudged him. He had begun to sound rational and reasonable on issues that he discussed on MORNING JOE on MSNBC, and I have always thought that his fellow Senator James Inhofe, who denies climate change, was far worse.
But lo and behold, Coburn has gone off the deep end, lost all credibility he had gained in my eyes, as a result of pandering to a mob mentality at a Town Hall meeting in Oklahoma, and this is not the only Republican to have done so this month!
Coburn is now claiming that Barack Obama, who has been very nice to him, and had meetings with him, is “perilously close” to meeting the standards for impeachment! And other Republicans are saying that they think they have the votes to impeach Obama, and one wishes that he could author the bill to impeach Obama, as if this is a laughing matter, a light matter, an action that if taken is no big deal, when it is INDEED a big deal!
The problem is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS for impeachment, as Republican strategist Nicole Wallace, who worked for John McCain in his 2008 Presidential campaign, has clearly stated, and any rational Republican, with the number diminishing, KNOWS this to be a fact!
These town halls are becoming an example of democracy gone amuck, where racists, nutcakes, whackos, lunatics, show up and demonstrate the worst elements of ignorant people thinking they know what should be done in government. And disturbingly, it is often women who spew forth hatred and venom and poison unbecoming a decent lady, let alone gentlemen!
Where is this going to stop? When are we going to have Republicans recognize that appealing to the ignorant mob rule is dangerous, and that responsible political leaders must take a stand against such craziness, even if, by so doing, they lose their coveted seats, which should not matter more than doing what is right and moral?
And if Colin Powell, the esteemed former General in the Persian Gulf War, and Secretary of State, can, rightfully, condemn the North Carolina Voter ID law as counterproductive and outrageous, and right in front of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the despicable legislation, just one of the many discriminatory Republican laws on voting rights, it is time for decent Republican voters who are dismayed by what has happened to their party, to make clear that they are abandoning any Republican such as Tom Coburn who speaks and talks in a reckless, irresponsible manner about our President and our government!
Do the Republicans look to promote anarchy and chaos, and follow the lead of demagogues Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and their ilk?
If so, they should be denounced and repudiated by all sane Americans!