Lyndon B. Johnson And The Great Society

Essential To Pass Voting Rights Legislation, Which Republicans In Senate Supported Unanimously In 2006!

Voting Rights legislation is essential if America is to remain a democracy.

The 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24, and 26th Amendments guarantee voting rights, as did the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed as part of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Supreme Court in 2013 weakened the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County V Holder, and have caused the deterioration of voting rights, now accelerated by many states in the South and Midwest and Mountain West creating all kinds of restrictions, designed to prevent minority groups, the elderly, college students, and the disabled from ability to vote.

This MUST be reversed by dropping the filibuster and allowing “reconciliation” to be used to insure voting rights are restored to what they were.

The shocking thing about this whole matter is that the Republican party unanimously supported renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 under the Presidency of Republican George W. Bush! The vote was 98-0, so therefore, there is no excuse for Republican opposition other than they have allowed their party to be hijacked by Donald Trump and his supporters.

But it is still hard to believe that at least some Republican senators–such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and others who voted to convict Donald Trump, and also those Republican Senators retiring in 2022, should by their consience, if they have one, support the voting rights legislation promoted now–the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Freedom To Vote Act.

Nineteen states have passed 34 restrictive laws, which would be negated by passage of the above two proposed laws. Meanwhile, 25 states have passed 62 expansive laws, and the right to vote should be the same in every state, so action to overcome restrictions is essential!

Fareed Zakaria CNN Special From May 2021 Updated: “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation Of The GOP”

The Welfare State–Secularism—changing racial situation.

Fareed Zakaria on a CNN Special today, updated from May 2021, entitled “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation of the GOP”, presented an analysis of the disaster that the Republican Party has become:

in an era of conservatism attacking the concept of the Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal and the Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society;

allowing Right Wing evangelical Christianity and theocracy to take over the party in the name of God;

and working against the reality that the white majority face a future in America of minority racial groups together being a majority of the population in about 2040-2045.

He covers from the John Birch Society in the 1950s;
to William F. Buckley, Jr and the National Review;
to Barry Goldwater and the conservative takeover in 1964, leading to massive victory of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society;
to Richard Nixon and the “Southern Strategy”in 1968;
to Jerry Falwell and the “Christian Coalition” and the “Moral Majority” in the late 1970s and early 1980s;
to Ronald Reagan and the “Reagan Coalition” in the 1980s;
to Pat Buchanan’s challenge of George H W Bush in 1992;
to Newt Gingrich and the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 and after;
to the promotion of right wing propaganda and lies by Fox News Channel starting in 1996;
to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the 2000s;
to the Tea Party Movement rise under Barack Obama’s Presidency;
to the rise of Donald Trump in 2015-2016;
to the “Big Lie” about the Presidential Election of 2020;
to the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection;
to the present extremism in the Congressional and State Republican parties in 2021;
to the constant threat to women’s rights, including abortion;
to the right wing rejection of Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as not conservative enough;
and the growing racism, nativism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and homophobia that have become alarming realities for the future of American politics!

Effect Of John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Reverberates On America 58 Years Later!

This author and blogger was a sophomore in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

It was the most stunning event of my life until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Kennedy assassination transformed American politics dramatically, both in good ways and bad ways.

It brought about the possibility of the greatest period of reform since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, with Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

But it also brought on a devastating long term war in Vietnam, and the beginning of disillusionment with government at all levels.

Had Robert F. Kennedy survived and won the Presidential Election of 1968, instead of being assassinated after winning the California primary in June 1968, the potential for more great reform and change, and to avoid the Presidency of Richard Nixon, would have existed.

WIth RFK’s death, after the earlier tragedy of JFK, America was put into a permanent decline in hope and optimism for the next forty years, as even the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 did not revive the hopes of the Kennedy legacy.

Instead, we had Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cause great regression in so many ways, as Richard Nixon had done earlier.

Barack Obama was a bright light, but faced great opposition, and the horrors of Donald Trump as his succession!

Joe Biden, who has a bust of RFK behind him on the left in all photos when he is sitting at his desk, is trying to revive the Kennedy legacy of hope and promise, and has made a good start.

But it is clear the two Kennedy assassinations in the early and late 1960s have left a permanent scar on the nation!

Democrats Need To Go On The Offensive, Play Hardball, If They Are To Keep Control In Congress In 2022!

The Democratic Party has a history of staying cordial, pleasant, and being unwilling to go on the offensive and play hardball.

The Republican Party, historically, and conservatives in general, are always on the offensive, play nasty and dirty, and love to stir emotions of fear and scare as regular tactics.

This was true even before the age of Donald Trump, using the words “Socialism”, “Communism”, “Liberalism”, and “Progressivism” as code words to keep uneducated and ill informed voters to support a party that only truly cares about corporations and the wealthy, and is excellent as “pulling the wool over one’s eyes”, about what is truth, facts, and reality.

From the age of Joseph McCarthy, through Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and on to Donald Trump, their strategy and tactics have been to manipulate and deceive Americans to think they are the true party of the average Americans, which is furthest from reality.

So Democrats must become more aggressive, and go on the attack, not just against Donald Trump, but the Republican Party as a whole, as a threat to American democracy and the rule of law.

And they must emphasize the details of what they are doing with their “Build Back Better” agenda, the most advanced programs since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The “Build Back Better” programs will have a dramatic effect on everyday life for tens of millions of Americans, long overdue to make the lives of average Americans along the lines of other Western democracies in Europe, Canada, and Australia!

Democrats In Disarray; Progressives Vs. Moderates—What Is The Future Of “Social Infrastructure”?

It now seems clear that the progressive vs moderate battle in the Democratic Party is making the party look in disarray.

One must realize that with a 50-50 Senate and only a 6 vote margin in the House, this is not the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, or the time of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

If Georgia’s two Senate seats had not been won in a runoff in January 2021, the opposition Republicans would be in charge, and nothing that the Democrats want would be occurring, or have the potential of occurring.

And as much as there is anger toward West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, it would not work to attack them to the point where either might consider switching parties.

So the future of “Social Infrastructure” now seems essential to pare down from the proposed $3.5 trillion over 10 years to, more likely, a figure in the $2 trillion level.

This means some of the programs proposed will have to go by the wayside or be cut back in coverage or years, an unavoidable situation, highly regrettable, but reality must set in, sadly!

The Ultimate Week Of Reckoning For Joe Biden And The Democratic Party Future

President Joe Biden has been in office a week more than eight months, and he has had high public opinion ratings until the last month, with so many issues clashing, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan; the continuing COVID-19 Pandemic debate; and the problems at the Mexico border.

So right now, Biden is backed by only 43 percent in some polls, and the pressure is on to move ahead this week on the domestic policy agenda.

This will be seen as the ultimate week of reckoning for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party future, as debate begins on the Physical Infrastructure bill which passed the Senate with a bipartisan support of 69-30 on August 10, and the House of Representatives will vote on it this week.

The proposed “Social Infrastructure” bill, which would be the most expanded reform program since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt is more complicated. Progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats are fighting over the price tag of $3.5 trillion over ten years, and the issue also of gaining the support of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who are resisting modifying the filibuster to accomplish the legislation.

The price tag might have to be lowered substantially, and the issue of the order of voting for the two pieces of legislation is also holding up progress, as moderates want the bipartisan bill passed now, and the more progressive “Social Infrastructure” bill to be passed later, while progressives in the party want passage of both at the same time.

Time To Make Clear That “Social Infrastructure” Bill Is Over TEN Years, NOT One Year, And Essential!

It is very disconcerting to see West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and some moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, make clear their opposition to the proposed $3.5 trillion “Social Infrastructure” legislation, while supporting the $1 trillion “Physical Infrastructure” bill that has bipartisan support in the Senate.

The “Physical Infrastructure” bill covers roads, bridges, airports, rails, water systems, clean drinking water, cleaning the environment, and high speed internet access, and is urgently needed, gaining a 69-30 bipartisan vote in the Senate.

But the “Social Infrastructure” bill, over TEN years, NOT one, would cover many urgent matters, including:

Expansion of Child Tax Credits and establishment of paid family and medical leave
Expansion of Medicare to include dental, hearing, and vision benefits and possibly lower the Medicare age from 65 to 60
Funding for Elder Care and Disabled Care in their homes
Funding for Child Care so young children would have two years of publicly funded pre-Kindergarten Education
Funding for two years of Community College Education for students after high school
Funding for Climate Change legislation and promotion of electric vehicles
Provisions to lower the price of prescription drugs
Infrastructure investment for Native American communities
Increase in taxes on wealthy people and corporations, which in many cases pay ZERO taxes right now
Bolstering the Internal Revenue Service’s staff and enforcement resources to do its job of raising tax collection

If passed into law, it would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s!

The lie that is being spread is that the $3.5 trillion bill is all in one year, when it is actually over ten years, or $350 billion per year.

Meanwhile, the defense budget, bloated with lots of projects that are not needed but bolstering the profits of defense corporations which pay bribes to get their programs funded, is $700 billion per year, double the amount for the infrastructure bill.

This means that defense over the next ten years would be 7 TRILLION, double the social spending, but of course, defense is presented as one year at a time, while social reforms are portrayed as all at once, when it is totally false!

It is urgent that both pieces of legislation pass, and not be derailed by lies and deception. Government for all the people, not just the privileged, is long overdue!

Remembering Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lyndon B. Johnson, WEB DuBois,19th Amendment Anniversaries In Time Of Turmoil

Late August is a time to remember the contributions of three political leaders who were true statesmen, one civil rights leader and educator, as well as the celebration of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts died on August 25, 2009; Senator John McCain of Arizona died on August 25, 2018; President Lyndon B. Johnson was born on August 27, 1908; WEB DuBois died on August 27, 1963; and the 19th Amendment (Women Suffrage) was ratified and declared in effect on August 26, 1920.

These four individuals had a dramatic effect on American history, and the woman suffrage amendment has transformed American history as well.

Ted Kennedy is one of the greatest US Senators of all time, with his 47 plus years of service on all kinds of crucial issues.

John McCain is one of the heroic Senators, who also sacrificed years of torture and imprisonment in Vietnam, and was the true conscience of the Republican Party.

Lyndon B. Johnson promoted the greatest series of domestic reforms (“The Great Society”) since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and those reforms still impact America today.

WEB Dubois was the most significant early leader of the Civil Rights Movement before Martin Luther King Jr. and impacted the concept of Black History, and holding America to a higher standard of racial advancement.

The 19th Amendment overcame the long discrimination against women participating in public life, and has had an immeasurable effect on the American promotion of democracy.

56th Anniversary Of Medicare And Medicaid: A Salute To Lyndon B. Johnson And The Great Society!

The nation is celebrating the 56th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, a time to salute President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society of the 1960s.

It is impossible to imagine how much worse off this nation would be if Johnson had not used his powers of “Wheeling and Dealing” to accomplish the health care legislation which has saved millions of American lives in the past half century, and made the lives of the elderly, the disabled, and the poor far better.

Government is not there just for the wealthy to get tax breaks, but also to serve the needs of the American people, and it is soothing to know how much Medicare and Medicaid have changed the lives of the American people.

Along with Social Security, passed into law under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in 1935, Medicare and Medicaid have transformed lives over the decades, despite the naysayers, mostly conservatives and Republicans, who love to call these laws “Socialism”!

If these transformational legislative achievements are “Socialism”, so be it!

The Disaster Of The US Senate

This author, scholar, and blogger has long studied and been fascinated by the institution of the US Senate, only second to the office of the American Presidency.

There have been many great US Senators, out of the nearly 2,000 who have served in that body.

But there have also been many disgraceful, disastrous US Senators, who have undermined the reputation of that institution, and too often, have stood in the way of progress and democracy.

This reality has become much more prevalent in recent years, as one party, the Republicans, have set out to promote only the interests of the wealthy and corporations, while utilizing the race card, to keep working class and lower middle class whites loyal to a party which promotes racism, nativism, misogyny, and promotion of Christian theology!

And as the population of the nation continues to grow, the undemocratic nature of the US Senate becomes ever more tragic and unrelenting.

The facts are that 15 states, with 38 million people, elect 30 Republican Senators dedicated to negativism and stalemate, while California, with 40 million residents, elects two Democratic Senators.

With the population trends of the nation moving forward, by two decades from now, 2040, close to 70 percent of the nation will be represented by 30 Senators, while the remaining Americans, disproportionately whiter, older, and more rural, will have 70 US Senators!

This reality will, long term, harm any possibility of major reforms and change, such as represented by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!