Lyndon B. Johnson

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!

 

48 Hours That Transformed History—January 22-23, 1973!

Forty three years ago today and tomorrow marks one of the most significant 48 hour periods in American history!

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson passed away at age 64 and the Supreme Court declared the right of women to have abortions in Roe V. Wade on January 22, 1973.

The next day, January 23, 1973, the announcement of an agreement to end the Vietnam War was made.

So we lost our most creative, reform oriented President since Franklin D. Roosevelt; and women gained the right to control their own reproductive lives,;and the war that divided the nation like no other since the Civil War finally was ending.

Today, 43 years later, we have seen attempts to cut back on the Great Society accomplishments by Republicans in Congress, only stopped by the veto of Barack Obama!

We have seen constant attempts to ban abortion, and restrictions put on women’s reproductive rights, a major social issue that will not go away!

And the effects of the Vietnam War still reverberate today, and more recent wars in Iraq and ongoing in Afghanistan continue to cause emotional political debate about commitment of American troops to fight overseas, including against ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East!

A book about those two days is appropriate by some scholar who can remind us of the tremendous significance that 48 hours of events can have on American history!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Last “State Of The Union”: A Moment To Reflect On The Past Seven Years Of Accomplishment, And Set Future Goals!

Barack Obama gave a dazzling State of the Union address last night, showing flashes of the original Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he first came to public notice.

The President used this last major speech of his administration to set the record straight on what had been accomplished, and what he saw as his goals for the long term future of the nation.

Obama made clear that he will dedicate his post Presidency to a war on cancer; a seeking of criminal justice reforms; a promotion of the climate change agenda; and continuing to promote the struggle against international terrorism.

As we look back seven years, despite all of the bitter recriminations visited against the 44th President, we have to marvel at what he has accomplished:

A massive revival of the American economy, including halving the unemployment rate, more than doubling the stock market, and rescue of the auto industry. after the tragedy of the Great Recession.

A major social change on the issue of gay rights and gay marriage, the new human rights initiative of the 21st century.

A path breaking law, ObamaCare, which will have a long range effect, after fine tuning, as Social Security and Medicare  in earlier generations, so Obama is carrying on and adding to the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The pursuit of diplomacy over engaging in more warfare, although using modern methods including drones, to pursue terrorism, and having major, unsung success, without committing our young men and women to the battlefield as cannon fodder!

The promotion of civil rights and equality on a level long overdue, to continue the legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Barack Obama proved once again how compassionate and sincere a human being that he really is, a trait which will play well in history, and the odds of his Presidency being ranked as one of the more significant and transformative  in our history have greatly increased, as he nears the end of his time in the Oval Office!

 

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!

Republican Implosion: 1912, 1964, 2016—Each 52 Years Apart After Lincoln And First Republican Victory In 1860!

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and also included abolitionists, those who wanted the end of slavery, in its membership.

Six years later, the Republicans won the majority of the Congress,and in a four way Presidential face, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency with less than 40 percent of the total national vote.

Within  six weeks of the Presidential inauguration, the Civil War had begun.

For the next half century, the Republicans dominated national politics, winning control of the Presidency for 44 of 52 years (with only Democrat Grover Cleveland winning two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and 1892), and usually held the Congressional majority with a few exceptions.

But then in 1912, 52 years after the Republicans became the national majority, the party had a “civil war” between President William Howard Taft and his predecessor in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, leading to the formation of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, and TR ending up second and Taft third in popular and electoral votes.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, and promoted a great era of reform, known as the New Freedom, and also adopted TR’s reform platform, known as the New Nationalism.

Despite many shortcomings of Wilson, the domestic reform programs was the greatest in substance in American history.

The Republicans returned to national power in the Presidential Election of 1920 and kept it until Herbert Hoover and the coming of the Great Depression, and Franklin D. Roosevelt then brought Democratic dominance in 1932 and after, with his New Deal, a much greater reform period than that under Wilson.

The Republican Party was only able to win back Congressional majorities in the midterm election of 1946 and again in the Presidential Election of 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency, but two years later, the Democrats regained the majority in both houses for the next quarter century.

The more conservative wing of the GOP lost their chance to gain a Presidential nomination when Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon won the nominations for President from 1940-1960, but the conservatives overcame the Eastern Establishment, as it was known, and soared to the Presidential nomination with right wing Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, 52 years after 1912.

But now we had “civil war” again, as Eastern Establishment Republicans who had competed against Goldwater, including most notably Nelson Rockfeeller, refused to support Goldwater in 1964, and some just sat on their hands, while others backed Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.  This led to a massive defeat for the GOP in 1964, and LBJ went on to a landslide victory and the promotion of the Democratic Party’s Great Society.

The battle for the future began when Ronald Reagan sought the Presidency against incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, but going on to triumph in 1980, creating what conservatives considered a “Golden Age”.  However, after Reagan, the Establishment returned with President George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney from 1988 to 2012.

As the GOP became ever more conservative and right wing extremist, and was hijacked by the Tea Party Movement after 2009, the party has reached a point where the Establishment, including some of the 2016 Presidential candidates, but also much of Republicans Congressional leadership, was seen as unacceptable, and we have now witnessed a rebellion against “office holders”, and the rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Cason, and Carly Fiorina.

It seems as if the GOP is on the way to another “civil war” 52 years after 1964, wh8ich could be the final implosion of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to a massive Democratic victory, including the possibility yet again of a third age of reform, spurred on in the past by Wilson and LBJ, and maybe now, either Hillary Clinton, or who can say, maybe even Bernie Sanders!

Wars Since 1969 All Under Republicans: Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq!

When one examines American history since the inauguration of Richard Nixon 47 years ago this coming January, one comes to the conclusion that all of our military engagements that led to combat deaths have been under Republican Presidents!

Republicans have always been willing to point out that Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson, all Democrats, led America into major wars–World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

But since Nixon became President and continued the Vietnam War for four more years, causing greater casualties than under Lyndon B. Johnson, all four wars that have been fought have been under Republican Presidents:  the Vietnam War from 1969-1973; the Persian Gulf War in 1991; the Afghanistan War begun in 2001; and the Iraq War begun in  2003.  These wars occurred under Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.  The war in Iraq was continued by Democrat Barack Obama until 2011, and the Afghanistan War still continues on a smaller scale under Obama.

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!

 

150th Anniversary Of 13th Amendment, Ending Slavery: Abraham Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy!

Yesterday, December 9, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, lobbied for and pushed through by the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln, his most enduring legacy!

The Republican Party and its first President were totally principled and decent in what was done 150 years ago, and yet slavery in a different form would continue, with a century of legal segregation of the races, until Lyndon B. Johnson engineered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And unjust imprisonment of African Americans. as well as people of other races and ethnic backgrounds and poor people of all races, due to inability to have proper legal representation and a biased legal system, including private prisons, means that slavery in a different form has always existed and still flourishes in 2015!

And the Republican Party and its conservative ideologues have completely destroyed the heritage of a party with great Presidents and a list of great members of Congress and governors who carried on the early tradition of the Republican Party a century and a half ago.

Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, if they came back to 21st century America, would be shocked at what has happened to their party!

So the fight against the mean spirit and lack of compassion and empathy of the modern GOP is a continuing one, as we celebrate the official end of slavery a century and a half ago!