Lyndon B. Johnson

Democratic Party Historical Accomplishments

The Democratic Party has been criticized for the fact that in its 188 year history, it was the party that promoted slavery, segregation, and lynching, being dominated for a long time by its ugly Southern membership.

This cannot be denied, but it is the Democratic Party which has also, in the last century of history, had many historical accomplishments.

Among these are:

First Catholic nominee for President–Alfred E. Smith 1928
First Catholic President elected–John F. Kennedy 1960
First Catholic Vice President elected–Joe Biden 2008
First Jewish nominee for Vice President–Joseph Lieberman 2000
First Jewish Presidential candidate as serious contender–Bernie Sanders 2016
First African American President–Barack Obama 2008
First Woman nominated for Vice President–Geraldine Ferraro 1984
First African American Presidential Contender–Shirley Chisholm 1972
First Woman nominee for President–Hillary Clinton 2016
First woman Secretary of State—Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton
First Southerner elected President since 1848–Jimmy Carter 1976
Youngest elected President–John F. Kennedy 1960
President who gave us Social Security–Franklin D. Roosevelt 1935
President who gave us Medicare and Medicaid–Lyndon B. Johnson 1965-1966
One Term President who advanced Environmental Causes the most in history–Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
President who gave us ObamaCare–Barack Obama 2010
President who advanced Civil Rights—John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson 1960s
President to appoint first Jewish Supreme Court Justice—Woodrow Wilson 1916 (Louis Brandeis)
President to appoint first woman Jewish Supreme Court Justice—Bill Clinton 1993 (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
President to appoint first African American Supreme Court Justice–Lyndon B. Johnson 1967 (Thurgood Marshall)
President to appoint first Hispanic-Latino Supreme Court Justice—Barack Obama 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor)
President who promoted Containment Foreign Policy with the Soviet Union—Harry Truman
President who promoted concept of international cooperation—Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt
First Woman Speaker Of The House of Representatives–Nancy Pelosi 2007
Most accomplished Congresses, Democratic controlled—-63rd and 64th (1913-1917) under Woodrow Wilson; 73rd and 74th (1933-1937) under Franklin D. Roosevelt; 89th Congress (1965-1967) under Lyndon B. Johnson; 111th Congress (2009-2011) under Barack Obama
Great Supreme Court Justices appointed by Democratic Presidents—Louis Brandeis 1916 by Woodrow Wilson; Hugo Black 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; Felix Frankfurter 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; William O. Douglas 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; Thurgood Marshall 1967 by Lyndon B. Johnson; Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1993 by Bill Clinton; Stephen Breyer 1994 by Bill Clinton

Barack Obama Enters His Last Six Months As The 44th President Of The United States!

Today marks six months until the end of the Obama Presidency.

Barack Obama has survived, literally and figuratively, for seven and a half tumultuous years as the 44th President of the United States.

He has come under the most blistering attacks of any President, including Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, since the times of Abraham Lincoln.

He has been insulted, ridiculed, not given proper respect, and accused of every sin imaginable.

No matter what he says and does, no matter how innocuous it is, right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel and Republican politicians at all levels have refused to cooperate on anything that would be beneficial to the nation at large.

His opponents make him out to be evil incarnate and constantly having ulterior motives, and they have stoked racism to new levels that are shocking in 21st century America.

Blockade, stalemate and gridlock have occurred on an every day basis, but despite that, Barack Obama has been an historic President, and has moved to add to the progressive tradition of Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism in the early 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s, and Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society in the 1960s.

So when history is written, Barack Obama will stand out as a path breaking President, and will, assuredly, end up in the top ten of all Presidents over the long haul of historical analysis.

Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s Choice For Vice President: Most Likely To Be A Sitting US Senator

It is two days until Democrat Hillary Clinton announces her Vice Presidential running mate, and it is almost certain, looking at history, that it will be a sitting United States Senator.

If one looks back historically from 1944 onward, every VP nominee except one and a half times (to be explained in next paragraph) was a sitting Senator.

The only exceptions were Sargent Shriver (second choice after Senator Thomas Eagleton withdrew over his mental shock treatments being revealed) in 1972, and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and those were the two worst Democratic defeats ever in their history.

So 16 out of 18 elections, a US Senator ran for Vice President:

Harry Truman 1944
Alben Barkley 1948
John Sparkman 1952
Estes Kefavuer 1956
Lyndon B. Johnson 1960
Hubert Humphrey 1964
Edmund Muskie 1968
Walter Mondale 1976 and 1980
Lloyd Bentsen 1988
Al Gore 1992 and 1996
Joe Lieberman 2000
John Edwards 2004
Joe Biden 2008 and 2012

Notice that 8 of the above 13 Senators who ran for VP were from the South or Border states, and two were from Minnesota–and keep this in mind as you read further down on this entry.

So it would seem to this blogger that, based on history, one can assume that three cabinet officers—Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (a recent name added to the mix), would be unlikely to be chosen.

So that would leave the following as possible choices, all US Senators:

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Cory Booker of New Jersey
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Al Franken of Minnesota

The problem is that Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio have Republican Governors, so at least temporarily, a seat would be lost by Republican appointment, which could be crucial to organization of the US Senate next year.

So it would seem to this blogger that Tim Kaine is the most likely choice, followed by Amy Klobuchar (bringing a woman to the ticket, but not the highly controversial Elizabeth Warren).

In two days, we shall see!

First Time In American History That An Outgoing President Really Promotes His Party Successor Nominee!

The Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama event yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina, was amazing to see–a sitting President putting his reputation on the line for his potential successor, unlike any in American history, and for someone who was his bitter rival eight years ago.

It is wonderful to see such warmth and camaraderie develop, and one can assume it is totally sincere on both sides.

And Vice President Joe Biden is also putting his reputation on the line on Friday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and these two events are just the beginning of a “romance” between Hillary and her two rivals in 2008.

This is historic, as it has NEVER happened in American history, as far as can be ascertained.

It did not happen for William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 in a public display, although TR did endorse his successor quietly.

It did not happen with a very sick Woodrow Wilson and his potential successor, James Cox, in 1920, as Wilson was recovering from a paralytic stroke.

It did not happen with Herbert Hoover in 1928, as Calvin Coolidge was not thrilled by his successor, thinking he was too anxious to gain publicity over the more retiring Presidential personality.

It did not happen with Harry Truman toward Adlai Stevenson in 1952, with Truman staying out of the fray, although he had promoted Stevenson to run in the first place.

It did not happen with Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was very lax on supporting Richard Nixon in 1960, until the final week or so.

It did not happen with Lyndon B. Johnson who was alienated from Hubert Humphrey in 1968, because Humphrey was backing away from Johnson’s Vietnam War policy, and Johnson even hoped privately for Richard Nixon’s election.

It did not happen with Ronald Reagan who did very little openly for George H. W. Bush in 1988, although he endorsed him.

It did not happen with Bill Clinton who was avoided by Al Gore in 2000, which might have affected the results of the election in a detrimental manner for Gore

It did not happen when John McCain was the nominee to succeed George W. Bush in 2008, as McCain worked to avoid public contact with the unpopular President.

But now in 2016, having the backing of both Barack Obama and Joe Biden will help Hillary Clinton to gain unity and win the Presidency in November!

Public Opinion Polls Show A Widening Lead For Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump, Even In “Swing” States!

Here we are at the end of June 2016, and the public opinion polls show a widening lead for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump, even in “Swing” states.

Donald Trump is self destructing, and this less than three weeks before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and Republicans running away from Trump in droves, wishing for an alternative, but realistically, not able to gain one, other than maybe voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico and his running mate, William Weld, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts.

If this trend continues, the reality of a massive landslide seems inevitable, and it would have the effect of a 1964 landslide of Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater.

North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia and Arizona, and even possibly Utah, seem possible to go for Hillary Clinton, an unheard of thought just a few months ago, and with Hillary Clinton winning every state that Barack Obama won in 2012.

That would mean an Electoral College total of 401 electoral votes, with 69 being added to the 332 that Obama gained in 2012, and it would mean 32 states and DC out of the 50 states.

Vice Presidency More Significant Than Ever Before In 2016, With Oldest Presidential Nominees In American History!

The Vice Presidency has been growing in significance and stature in the six decades since Richard Nixon was Vice President and started to grow the office.

We have had outstanding men in the Vice Presidency since then, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden.

We have also had “lemons”, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to scare us at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Now that our Presidential candidates will be the oldest in American history in combination, with average age of past 70, combining Democrat Hillary Clinton at 69 plus and Republican Donald Trump 70 plus on Inauguration Day, it is more essential than ever that we have the best possible men or women placed in that position for the upcoming Presidential election!

But so many of the proposed nominees, that have been bandied about by the news media and the candidates’ campaigns are far from the best possible candidates, and they can cause worry about succession, if the winner of the election dies in office of natural causes or by assassination in the next four years, with the odds growing on each possibly occurring.

The idea of two “senior citizens” competing for the most stressful job in the world is not comforting, and the fact that it has been 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed, and 71 years since the natural death of a President in office (Franklin D. Roosevelt), as well as 42 years since Richard Nixon resigned.

We need distinguished Senators or Governors ready to come forth and offer a strong backup to the two nominees, but particularly in the case of the Republicans, the odds of such a person arising is not likely!

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!

Hillary Clinton Best Qualified To Take Oath Of Office Since George H. W. Bush

Presidents come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and some come ill equipped to deal with foreign policy and or domestic issues.

It is often said that learning on the job is the best experience, but that puts the nation at greater risk.

So the question arises: Since World War II, what Presidents came to office fully qualified to take the reigns of power?

This judgment is not one of approval or disapproval of the President and his record, but simply his qualifications when he took the oath of office.

It is clear that three Presidents came to office very qualified to be President, and they would be, chronologically, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush!

Harry Truman was ill prepared; Dwight D. Eisenhower had never taken an interest in politics; John F. Kennedy was very challenged in his first year in office; Gerald Ford had years of experience but no real ambition to be President; Jimmy Carter had limited experience in government, as did Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as being governors of southern states did not prepare them for national leadership; Ronald Reagan had a very narrow view of national government and its importance; and Barack Obama had limited experience in national affairs, having only served four years in the US Senate.

On the other hand, Lyndon B. Johnson had been in government for thirty years and was a master legislative strategist, although foreign policy was certainly not his forte.

Richard Nixon had been Vice President for eight years, as was also with George H. W. Bush, and those years plus foreign policy expertise set them up well to be President.

Hillary Clinton is, without a doubt, the best equipped since the elder Bush to be President, as her years in the White House with her husband; her Senate years; and her four years as Secretary of State, even with problems, made her known worldwide, and she has the respect of foreign governments.  She is likely to be more activist in domestic affairs than her husband, which would also be a plus!

Sixth Anniversary Of ObamaCare, The Third Great Social And Economic Reform, Alongside Social Security And Medicare!

It was six years ago on March 23, 2010, that the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, was signed into law by President Obama, after a year long fight, with only three Republican Senators early on giving any support, and no House members.

The fact that ObamaCare was just like the Heritage Foundation–Newt Gingrich–Bob Dole program of 1993, designed as an alternative to HillaryCare, was ignored.

Also, the fact that Mitt Romney accomplished much the same thing in Massachusetts as RomneyCare was denied, even by Romney himself when he ran for President in 2012!

The hypocrisy and pure obstructionism of Republicans and conservatives was so obvious, and is obvious, to anyone who looks at the subject dispassionately!

Today, six years later, ObamaCare, while having its definite quirks and shortcomings, is a success, in the sense that it covers 20 million people who did not have health care before; has lowered the uninsured from 14 percent to 9 percent of the population; and has saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives of people who, without coverage, would have died in the past six years!

This is the ultimate Pro Life movement, the acceptance of the idea that ALL Americans should be entitled to health care as a basic human right, especially considering that every other modern industrial nation in Europe, along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand have it, and all of them way ahead of us!

So this is a time to salute Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, for having accomplished one of the three greatest economic and social reforms of the past century, alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt and Social Security (now 81 years old), and Lyndon B. Johnson and Medicare (now 51 years old)!

Try to imagine America in 2016 without Social Security and Medicare, and yet, if left up to the right wing Republican Party, they would not only repeal ObamaCare without any replacement for the 20 million Americans who have gained health care coverage, but also would repeal both Social Security and Medicare, “privatizing” both of them, and giving useless “vouchers” to millions of elderly, poor, and disabled people!

This is why the Republican Party, as it now is constituted, is doomed to be in the dustbin of history!

Joint Party Tickets A Good Idea? History Tells Us NO!

Recently, there has been some discussion of a “fusion” ticket as the way to stop Donald Trump.

One such scenario is to have Hillary Clinton run with John Kasich as her running mate.

That is totally preposterous, and history tells us that when the Vice President is of a different party than the President, it does not work out well.

The first contested Presidential election led to Thomas Jefferson as Vice President under his opponent, John Adams from 1797-1801, and that did not work out well, and in fact, helped to promote the 12th Amendment in 1804.

Then we had John C. Calhoun as Vice President under John Quincy Adams in the years 1825-1829, and that did not work out well.

William Henry Harrison was elected in 1840 with this Whig candidate having a Democrat, John Tyler, as his Vice President.  Within a month, Harrison was dead, and Tyler had constant battles with the Whig Congress, because he did not wish to follow Whig platform ideas.

Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as his second term Vice President, despite the fact that Johnson was a Democrat in a Republican Presidency, and when Lincoln was assassinated six weeks later, we had one of the worst struggles in American history, as Johnson fought and resisted the Republican Party which had put him into the Vice Presidency, albeit briefly.

With these four examples, none of them working out well, we have never had such a situation arise again since, but we have had suggestions of doing what has never worked out well.

There were suggestions that Hubert Humphrey select Nelson Rockefeller in 1968, and that John McCain choose Joe Lieberman in 2008.

It simply will not work, and it undermines party loyalty and commitment to a President and his administration, if the next in line, in case of tragedy, transforms the power base in the Presidency.

As it is, we have had top cabinet members who are of the other party, particularly in the War Department as it was known before 1947, and the Defense Department, as it has been known since then., including:

Henry Stimson under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1945

Robert McNamara under John F. Kennedy, beginning in 1961, and continuing under Lyndon B. Johnson until 1968.

William Cohen under Bill Clinton from 1997-2001

Robert Gates under Barack Obama from 2009-2011

But the Vice President needs to be “on the team”, not a rival of the President in office!