Neoconservatives

Trump, The Most Repudiated Presidential Nominee In American History, Starts Off With Controversial Appointees

Donald Trump not only is the most unpopular President in American history in public opinion polls before his election, and not only in the popular vote margin of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, nearing one million and counting, but also in the total repudiation of his candidacy by:

Republicans who refused to endorse and support him
Conservatives who also refused to endorse and support him
Economists who warned against his election, as dangerous to the economy
Historians who warned against his election, looking at history
Defense and Security personnel who thought he was dangerous
Diplomatic personnel who were alarmed at his nomination
Newspapers that were traditionally Republican and conservative endorsing his opponent
Foreign Governments alarmed by his candidacy

Now all of these opponents must come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump is our President Elect, and alarm is spreading, as Trump has announced Stephen Bannon as his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House, despite his misogyny, racism, nativism, antisemitism, islamophobia, homophobia and white supremacy views.

Trump also is considering neocon John Bolton, a highly abrasive personality, who was a controversial recess appointment as UN Ambassador under George W. Bush, to be Secretary of State, with the leading alternative being abrasive and egotistical former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York!

Republican Party Split Begins Around Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump!

The Republican Party is deteriorating before our eyes, as they face the threat of Donald Trump.

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham all reject him.

So does Erick Erickson, Bill Kristol, most of the Weekly Standard and National Review conservatives, and most US Senators and Congressmen of the party.

Others such as John McCain and Susan Collins and Kelly Ayotte are steering clear of him, while not repudiating him.

Many Republican Senators running for reelection are in a no win situation, including McCain, Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Mark Kirk.

Many Wall Street Republicans, and much of the Wall Street Journal group, and even elements of the Fox News Channel crowd, reject Trump’s candidacy.

Neoconservatives in the party are infuriated with Trump’s foreign policy views.

Social conservatives cannot accept Trump’s support of limited abortion rights and LGBT rights, including transgender bathroom issues.

And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stating his inability to support Trump at this point is totally stunning!

There is a sense of desperation, and the belief we are in the midst of a revolution in the party system!

The Achilles Heel Of The Republicans Has Emerged: Lack Of Foreign Policy Knowledge Or Expertise!

It used to be that the Republican Party had candidates who had a reputation for foreign policy expertise, including Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush.

Now, we have Rand Paul, representing the isolationist viewpoint; and the viewpoint of the neoconservatives, which includes just about everyone else, all who have apparently learned nothing from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  They want to commit US military forces to another war, but of course give not a care to veterans once they come home from war, often wounded physically and mentally by their experience.

And some have not a clue as to what is going on in foreign policy, demonstrating unbelievable ignorance, particularly Dr. Benjamin Carson and Donald Trump.

As this blogger has stated many times in the past few years, in the 2012 election cycle, ONLY Jon Huntsman had any legitimate background in foreign policy; and in the 2016 election cycle, only John Kasich demonstrates any experience in foreign policy, although inferior to that of Huntsman.

One may criticize Barack Obama in some areas of foreign policy, but his top aides and advisers on this have included Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry.  Many would criticize all of them, but in comparison to the Republican camp, they are people of experience and awareness of the complex world we live in!

When it comes to foreign policy, this time there is no doubt that the Democrats with Hillary Clinton will emerge superior in knowledge, experience, and competence!

The Best Republican In 2012: Jon Huntsman! The Best Republican In 2016: John Kasich! But Not An Endorsement!

There is no debate that former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman was the best Republican in the Presidential campaign of 2012. He had the best credentials, including real foreign policy expertise, and unwillingness to take crazy, extremist stands on issues or to make nutty statements. Of course, it got him nowhere, and he gave up running for President again long ago!

Now in 2016, there is no question that out of a horrible group of potential Republican Presidential candidates that Ohio Governor and former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich is easily the best potential nominee in 2016.

Kasich was very late in announcing, doing so only this week, and being ignored in all of the hype about Donald Trump, who has taken all of the oxygen out of the room with his rantings and ravings, and insults against anyone who criticizes him, whether fellow Republican contenders or the news media.

But Kasich is the most experienced of all of the potential GOP nominees, and has avoided coming across as a right wing extremist in his statements. He is clearly a conservative, but considered in the “mainstream”, whatever that means.

No one is saying, certainly not this blogger, that he is about to vote for John Kasich if he was the GOP nominee.

And no one is saying that everything he has said and done is endorsed or acceptable. He has shortcomings as everyone else does, but in comparison, he comes across as the best alternative IF the Republicans were to win the Presidential Election of 2016. His stands on immigration, education, and Medicaid make him better than any alternative the Republicans have.

In many ways, John Kasich is the alternative to Jeb Bush, to whom he has been compared, but has much more experience than Bush has had, and avoids the connection to the Bush name.

And lately, Jeb Bush has been making horrible statements of his views, which seem to be catering to the Tea Party crowd, while Kasich so far is seen as less willing to cater.

Having said that, Kasich has just made some terrible statements about climate change (that nothing should be done as it is God’s will) and about military intervention in the Middle East, making one worry that he could be linking up with the neoconservatives, who took us into the Iraq War, similar in that regard to Jeb Bush.

So again, this is not an endorsement, but simply recognition that were the nation forced to accept a Republican President, John Kasich is the best of a terrible crop of candidates!

Serious Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II—The Importance Of Florida And Ohio

We have, so far, examined 13 of the 16 Republican Presidential contenders, most of whom could be considered a “Clown Bus”!

Only four of the 16 are serious contenders, and so far we have looked at Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, who President Obama would like to see as the nominee of the opposition party, as he believes Walker’s terrible economic record, his anti labor stance, and his dramatic attack on the University of Wisconsin budget, along with the connection to the Koch Brothers, would make him easy to defeat.

And then there are the three remaining contenders, from crucial swing states Florida and Ohio, so arguably the three best primed to have a real chance to win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of two earlier Presidents named Bush, comes across as more moderate, more mainstream than just about any other contender, but he had a mixed record as Florida Governor, and has been out of office for ten years by 2016, and last ran 14 years ago by 2016. He is, certainly, seen as a man among boys, but he also is too close to the neoconservatives who took us into endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also exhaustion at having a third President Bush, after the disastrous Presidency of his brother, George W. Bush.

Then we have the youthful, good looking, charismatic Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is Cuban American, but much more appealing and less extreme than fellow Cuban American Ted Cruz of Texas. But Rubio has come across often as not too bright; has distorted the story of his parents leaving Cuba to make it seem as if it happened under Fidel Castro, when it happened two years earlier; has come across as having no guts on immigration reform; and has had issues with his finances and his connections with Norman Bramam, a South Florida auto dealer and billionaire. Some see him as the equivalent of a Republican Barack Obama or John F. Kennedy, but that is pure illusion.

And then we have the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who had 18 years in the House of Representatives, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and has accepted Medicaid under ObamaCare as Governor of Ohio since 2011. He is very personable, engaging, and experienced, including recently, in a way that no other GOP contender can match him. And he comes from the crucial swing state of Ohio, more crucial than Florida, another swing state. And why is Ohio more important than Ohio? The answer is that every single Republican President from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush has won Ohio, so it is an essential state on the road to victory.

While all three of the above are serious contenders for the White House, it is clear that John Kasich would be the strongest, most competitive nominee imaginable, similar to what Jon Huntsman was in 2012. But that is precisely why the Republicans, almost certainly, will NOT select Kasich.

In any case, the Republican Party is on the road to defeat for the White House, and Donald Trump only further complicates that whole situation.

Republican Infighting On Who To Blame For ISIL (ISIS): Rand Paul Vs. John McCain And Lindsey Graham! It Only Helps The Democrats In 2016!

The Republican Presidential race is getting ever more heated and divisive, as the fight over who is to blame for the rise of ISIL (ISIS) rages.

The standard argument of many Republicans is that Barack Obama is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS). And some blame Hillary Clinton since she was Obama’s Secretary of State in his first term.

At the same time, Democrats say it is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who are responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS).

But now, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who could be described as a “dove” in foreign policy, blames neither Obama nor Bush and company.

Rather, he blames fellow Republican Senators and Super “hawks” John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham (a soon to be announced opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination) for the rise of ISIL (ISIS)!

And, to top it off, the Wall Street Journal says it is Rand Paul who is responsible for the rise of ISIL (ISIS), as he is an “isolationist”!

So civil war is breaking out in the Republican Party over the Middle East and military intervention.

It is clear that IF somehow, highly unlikely, Rand Paul were to win the GOP nomination, the neoconservatives who took us into Iraq in 2003 would refuse to support him, all to the good for Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic nominee for President in 2016.

But if somehow, even less likely, Lindsey Graham were to win the nomination, he would face an equally divided party, and would have even less chance of defeating any Democrat for the White House!

Jeb Bush A Return To George W. Bush In Foreign Policy

It is quite clear that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, despite his statement at the end of this week that he would not have gone into Iraq had he known the results of this foreign policy disaster, would be very likely to follow the same Neoconservative foreign policy of George W. Bush if he won the Presidency.

Jeb Bush has the same foreign policy hawks behind him who were behind George W. Bush, people such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, and Dick Cheney. Some may be close to other GOP candidates, such as Ted Cruz for the moment, but be assured that if Jeb Bush wins the nomination, they will come rushing to unite around Jeb.

Considering that Jeb seemed to repudiate his brother’s Iraq War policy in a hesitant way, and yet no denunciation from the ultimate hawk, Dick Cheney, tells the truth of the situation—that Jeb would be a repeat of George W. Bush in foreign policy, without any doubts or scruples.

Therefore, despite some signs of moderation on domestic affairs, and more reasonable rhetoric than many other GOP Presidential possibilities, Jeb Bush would take us back to the disastrous past, and must be prevented from being the Republican Presidential nominee, or the President of the United States in 2017!

Jeb Bush A Return To George W. Bush, Not George H. W. Bush! Therefore, Unacceptable To Be The Next President!

The Bush Family has contributed two members to the Presidency, and in so doing, being one of three families to have done that—with the others being the Adamses (John Adams and John Quincy Adams), and the Harrisons (William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison).

But the two Adams Presidencies lasted one term each, and the two Harrison Presidencies lasted one month and one term.

The Bushes lasted four and eight years, and the first Bush Presidency is rated much higher than the second Bush Presidency, particularly in foreign policy, but also in domestic policy.

So if former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was to say that he would follow the lead of his father, that would be one thing.

But instead, Jeb makes clear now that he would follow the foreign policy of his brother over his father, and calls his brother his major foreign policy advisor.

Jeb also makes clear that the neoconservatives who advised his brother would be his key foreign policy team if he was to be elected President.

Based on these facts, Jeb Bush is, therefore, unacceptable to be the next President, as his brother is ranked in the bottom sixth of the Presidents, at number 36 out of 42, in the C Span poll of 2009.

It is one thing to have a disastrous Presidency in so many ways, but it is something else to decide that we would go down the same direction once again, so Jeb has lost his credibility to be the third Bush Presidency!

Rand Paul: An Interesting, But Flawed Candidate For President Who Cannot Fulfill His Promises!

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky became the second declared candidate for President yesterday, and he gave a fiery speech, surrounded by his admirers who are clearly very loyal and committed to him.

But to believe that Rand Paul can become the GOP nominee for President, and occupy the White House after January 20, 2017, requires a lot of illusion, and “smoke and mirrors”. It will, most certainly, NOT happen!

Rand Paul has appealing elements, no question about it. These include the need to protect our civil liberties from government encroachment by the National Security Agency; the need to rebuild our economy and help forgotten Americans to gain economic advancement, both middle class and poor; the need to stay out of foreign intervention unless essential, and avoid so many bases and expenses overseas, including no more increased spending on foreign aid; and changing the law enforcement system, including the unfair justice system that imprisons too many young African Americans for overly severe jail terms.

But at the same time, Rand Paul talks about balancing a budget, by cutting fundamental programs that are an entitlement for Americans through their payment of taxes (including Social Security and Medicare); has no solution for health care for millions on ObamaCare and those without ObamaCare and not able to gain Medicaid; talks about limiting federal intrusion in our privacy, a goal almost impossible to accomplish in an age of terrorism; has expressed doubts about the civil rights laws, including the basic one passed in 1964 under Lyndon B. Johnson; has to deal with the influence of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul who is much more controversial with his public record of actions and utterances that many Paul supporters seem to be aware of; and has major opposition and criticism from the massive hawkish influence within his party in the Senate and from the neoconservatives, who seem to want war with Iran, and do not want to cut defense spending dramatically, if at all!

Additionally, Rand Paul is anti abortion and anti gay marriage, and while that will please the Republican Party, it will undermine his opportunity to attract a majority of women and young people, despite the fact that many young people claim to be libertarian, but mostly because they are truly ignorant of what the true nature of libertarianism is. Libertarianism will NOT gain power in America, and is a bankrupt philosophy not achievable in the real world!

Rand Paul will certainly make the Presidential race more interesting, but his connection to the Tea Party will also undermine him, and no scenario that is realistic puts him down as the 45th President of the United States!

It Is Time For Other Democrats To Start Presidential Campaigns!

It has been a foregone conclusion to many political observers that former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to announce for President, and based on polls, is a runaway winner of the nomination, and likely to be our first woman President, and to be our 45th President of the United States!

It has never been a good omen that other Democrats have been reluctant to challenge Hillary Clinton, and are, seemingly, afraid to “test the waters” and announce their own candidacies.

Never in American history, except often when a sitting President or sitting Vice President is running for President, have we seen so many potential party challengers in either party simply stay on the sidelines, and of course, there have been challenges to sitting Presidents and Vice Presidents that make them sharper and insure they are better candidates. Such cases as Richard Nixon in 1960, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George H. W. Bush in 1988, and Al Gore in 2000 have run better races because of challengers. Presidents such as Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush have had to work harder to gain a nomination for the next term, and they all failed to be elected, but this was part of the political game.

So why anyone, including Hillary Clinton, should expect to have no rivals, is outlandish, and not good for the Democratic Party or democracy.

And frankly, after Hillary Clinton’s poor, unacceptable explanation on her emails on Tuesday, refusing to hand over the server of her email, eliminating thousands of emails by her own decision claiming privacy rights, and basically taking a hard stand on the whole matter, there is a clear cut reason for challengers to her nomination for President. Hillary Clinton has opened up a major wound in her candidacy, and it will not go away, and now it seems highly likely she is a flawed candidate in a major way, and is not anywhere near insured that she could carry enough states and electoral votes to become our 45th President.

The Democratic Party and the nation NEED challengers, instead of putting all their “eggs in one basket”, gambling that Hillary Clinton will be able to overcome the old Clinton image of the 1990s, of cover ups, of deceptions, of victimization claims, of stalling tactics, of creating legal issues, that so soured many people about the Bill Clinton Presidency.

Yes, Hillary is brilliant, and qualified, and talented, and intelligent, but she is not the only man or woman who is such, but to put the future of the Democratic Party in her hands is a tremendous gamble, and the country needs a Democratic President more than they need Hillary Clinton herself!

Added to her stubbornness and secrecy about the emails is her stated refusal to return contributions to the Clinton Foundation from leaders and citizens of nations, many in the Middle East, who abuse women and deny them equal rights, a subject Hillary Clinton is well known for advocating since her time as First Lady, attending the conference in Beijing, China in 1995, and speaking up for equality and fairness for women around the globe. But now, suddenly, that issue is on the back burner, and the millions in contributions are more important, and that shows that, having become wealthy, and having tons of money in the foundation as well, that Hillary Clinton has lost her sense of values and principles, and just wants to be President, because she wants to be President, as Ted Kennedy wanted to be President in 1980, when he challenged President Jimmy Carter, but had no real agenda other than wanting to occupy the Oval Office!

Hillary Clinton is not entitled to be President, any more than any other candidate, but for the good future of the party and the American people, it is time for other Democrats to come out of the woodwork and declare their candidacies, and fight hard for the nomination, and save the American people from a horrific set of alternatives for President in the Republican Party.

At this point, Hillary Clinton could take down the Democratic Party and the nation, crashing in defeat, and as a result, leading to a GOP Supreme Court that would last for the next 30 years; and a repeal of much of the good programs of the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and beyond!

We could see the good work done in domestic affairs by Presidents of both parties, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, destroyed by a right wing Congress, a right wing President, and a right wing Supreme Court.

We could also see the “neoncons” being triumphant, and taking us into more foreign wars, particularly in the Middle East, and leading to the deaths and injuries of tens of thousands of American men and women, sent to fight by a burgeoning defense industry that would make record war profits!

And we might see the end of any sense of what is right and wrong about women’s rights, minority group rights, gay rights, labor rights, and environmental rights.

The nation’s future is more important than what happens to Hillary Clinton, as she has had a stellar career in so many ways, but that does not mean that she is automatically entitled to become our next Commander in Chief!

And if the next President is not a woman, so what? That will come in time, but should not be the crucial factor in selecting the next President of the United States!

So, Democratic Presidential “wannabes”, come out of the shadow, show courage, and announce for the Presidency, as time is afleeting!