Panic Of 1873

Republicans Gave Us The “Panic” Of 1873, “Panic” Of 1893, The Great Depression, And The Great Recession, And Are Now Further Harming America With Tax Cuts For Wealthy And Corporations

The Republican Party gave us the Great Depression of 1929 under Herbert Hoover, caused by Republican policies under Calvin Coolidge.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democrats, and the New Deal programs saved millions of Americans in the years from 1933 to 1939, when the military buildup for a potential entrance into World War II finally led to a total recovery of the economy.

Earlier, in the 1870s, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the Panic of 1873, which lasted until 1879, also under a Republican Congress.

In the early 1890s, Republicans, under President Benjamin Harrison, undermined the economy, and as Democrat Grover Cleveland succeeded Harrison in the White House, America entered the Panic of 1893, which did not end until 1898, and entrance into the Spanish American War.

And in late 2007 until early 2009, we had the Great Recession under Republican President George W. Bush, the worst situation since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression, and it took the entire Barack Obama Presidency to bring unemployment down from 10 percent to under 5 percent, and the stock market grew by close to 250 percent.

Obama accomplished a revival that was greater than FDR, and without going to war.

Now, the Republicans are trying to ram through a massive tax cut for corporations and the wealthy top one to two percent, which will further harm America. It is likely to lead to another Great Recession, made worse by the likelihood that the Republicans will attempt to undermine Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in 2018, because of lessened funding with the cut in taxes collected. This will force massive cuts in the social safety net of the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

Presidents And Alcohol Issues

There are many ways that scholars and Presidential “junkies” evaluate Presidents, and one not often thought about is the problem of alcohol issues, Presidents who have had problems of drunkenness that affected their ability to do their job.

Three are well known for having major alcohol problems, and at least for two of them, it affected their performance in office.

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) had a massive alcohol problem, made worse by the fact that his last and only child was killed in a train accident shortly before the inauguration in 1853. His Presidency is seen as one of the absolute worst, and his signing of the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 was a major step toward the Civil War.

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) was a great General who won the surrender of Robert E. Lee, and yet, it was well known that he drank too much, although it was claimed that he made better military decisions when drunk. But this massive drinking problem undermined his ability to do his job, and his Presidency became one of massive scandals, generally known as the Credit Mobilier Scandals, which along with the Panic of 1873, undermined his historical reputation.

George W. Bush was also a certifiable alcoholic, although it seems as if he had stopped drinking after his wife, Laura, threatened to leave him in 1986, when their twin daughters were still very young. But some have wondered about whether some of his decision making was influenced either by “stealing” a drink, or the damage done by the alcohol dependency that he had become captive of in earlier years.

Additionally, there are many who think that the following Presidents may have had too much dependency on liquor, while not maybe at the level of Pierce, Grant, and George W.

John Adams (1797-1801)
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Chester Alan Arthur (1881-1885)
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)

The strongest cases would be Cleveland and Taft, both of whom were very overweight, and evidence of their extensive drinking is found in different sources about their lives. Also, it was known that Harding drank liquor every day in the White House, despite Prohibition being in effect

The evidence against Adams, Van Buren, Buchanan and Arthur is less extensive, but all three were known to be drinking a lot more than would be safe for one’s health.

The situation of Johnson and Nixon is more based on their personality traits, that under stress, they were likely to drink excessively, but not apparently an habitual problem.

At the same time, those who would be seen as least likely to lean on alcohol would include Rutherford B. Hayes, whose wife was infamously known as “Lemonade Lucy” for banning alcohol at White House gatherings; Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, who were vehement in their enforcement of Prohibition of liquor; and Jimmy Carter, who avoided alcohol, although his brother Billy was an alcoholic.

Troubled Second Terms Of Presidents Common Theme

Sadly, it is much more likely that a second term in the Presidency will downgrade the historical image of that President, no matter how successful he might have been in the first term.

Below is a list of second term Presidents— including those who succeeded to the Presidency during the term, and then were elected on their own—who faced adversity big time in that last term in the Presidency, indicating the negative developments.

Thomas Jefferson—-The Chesapeake Affair, and the Embargo Act.

James Madison—The War of 1812, and burning of the White House and the US Capitol by the British.

Abraham Lincoln—Assassinated within six weeks of starting second term of office.

Ulysses S. Grant—-Exposure of Credit Mobilier Scandal, and the Panic of 1873.

Grover Cleveland (non consecutive terms)—Panic of 1893, Pullman Strike, Cancer surgery on the President’s jaw in secret.

William McKinley—Assassinated after six months of his second term in office.

Woodrow Wilson—-Controversy over Versailles Treaty and League of Nations, the Red Scare, and the stroke which paralyzed him in his last 18 months in the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—-Split in the Democratic Party over the Supreme Court “Packing” plan, attempted “Purge” of Southern Democrats, Recession of 1937-1938, and controversy over isolationism and World War II.

Harry Truman—After finishing the term of FDR, facing the Second Red Scare and the Korean War controversy.

Dwight D. Eisenhower—The Soviet move into space with Sputnik, and the U-2 Spy Plane Incident with the Soviet Union.

Lyndon B. Johnson—The escalation of the Vietnam War, and the invasion of the Dominican Republic, both highly controversial.

Richard Nixon—The Watergate scandal and the move to impeach, and the resignation.

Ronald Reagan—The Iran Contra Scandal

Bill Clinton—The Monica Lewinsky Scandal, and the Impeachment Trial.

George W. Bush—The Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the Great Recession.

Let us hope for better fortunes for Barack Obama in his second and last term!

Second Term Presidencies Are Difficult: The Odds Against Success Of Barack Obama!

When one examines two term Presidencies, it is clear that there is a great likelihood of disappointment and failure as the President becomes a “lame duck”, and particularly, so after the midterm elections, as everyone looks forward to the race for his successor in office.

The following Presidents had difficult second terms:

Thomas Jefferson–with the Chesapeake Affair
James Madison–with the British attack on Washington DC during the War of 1812
Ulysses S. Grant–with the Panic of 1873 and exposure of the Credit Mobilier scandals
Grover Cleveland–with the Panic of 1893 and the Pullman Strike
Woodrow Wilson–with the First World War and the Treaty Of Versailles and his stroke
Franklin D. Roosevelt–with the failure of the Supreme Court “Packing” Plan and Recession Of 1937-1938
Harry Truman–with the Korean War and the Red Scare (McCarthyism)
Richard Nixon–with the Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–with the Iran-Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–with the Monica Lewinsky Scandal and the Impeachment Trial
George W. Bush–with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Hurricane Katrina and failed attempt to privatize Social Security

The only Presidents to have successful second terms were:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Theodore Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Barack Obama hopes to bring about:

Immigration Reform Legislation
Gun Control Legislation
Climate Change Legislation
Stability in International Affairs

The likelihood of success is very doubtful, however, with so much division, conflict, turmoil, and polarization, caused by the Tea Party Movement and the Republican control of the House of Representatives.

At most, Obama might be able to promote changes in the judiciary, particularly on the Supreme Court, if vacancies occur, as is expected, but even there, it is assured there will be major battles over every appointment, and the possibility of filibustering nominees.

This reality is already showing itself with the interference and opposition to Susan Rice to be Secretary of State, before she was ever considered for nomination, and now Chuck Hagel, a possible choice for Secretary of Defense, who despite being a Republican, has already built up major opposition in the party that he represented in the Senate for 12 years from the state of Nebraska!

There seems the likelihood that no matter what Obama does or says, he will have vehement opposition, not only during the first two years, but even in his last two years as a “lame duck”, having less influence each month as the Presidential Election Of 2016 approaches!

Right Wing Talk About Impeachment Or Resignation: A Dangerous And Preposterous Idea!

The right wing will stop at nothing to get President Barack Obama out of office!

Talk of impeachment comes from a Texas Republican Congressman Michael Burgess of the Dallas area, the same district that used to be represented by Dick Armey, the head of Freedom Works and promoter of the Tea Party Movement. Burgess’s reasoning is that Obama is totally ineffective and should be removed for that reason, rather than any specific violation of the Constitution.

The concept of impeachment has already been abused, as with the proceeding against former President Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. It is preposterous to say that even if a President is ineffective, which is highly debatable, in the case of Obama, that it should be considered an impeachable offense. In any case, even were an impeachment proceeding to develop, there is no possibility of a two thirds vote in the US Senate to convict and remove the President, and all it would do, therefore, is cause more economic tumult and political disarray, which is precisely what this country does NOT need!

If one wants to place blame for the chaos and tumult going on right now, it must be shared not only by the President and his party, but also, and to a greater extent, the refusal of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, and their extremist Tea Party allies, to negotiate and compromise on any agreement that would raise taxes to help balance out the budget crisis!

But now, we also have right wing critics who are suggesting that the President resign because of lack of public support, and that he first replace Joe Biden as Vice President with someone more unifying. This assumes that Joe Biden would resign, and one wonders who would the right wing prefer to become Vice President temporarily before becoming President. Would the extremists accept Hillary Clinton? Highly doubtful, and in any case, why should the right wing tell us who our President is, when Obama was elected for a four year term and should finish that term, and leave it to the American people as to whether they prefer him or the Republican opponent as their next President!

It would be unprecedented for Obama to resign, even if one thinks of him as a failure, which he is clearly NOT!

Only Richard Nixon has resigned, just 37 years ago on August 9 because of the Watergate Crisis, and that was for criminal activity!

Only Woodrow Wilson secretly planned to resign in 1916 if he lost reelection, with World War I on, and America in danger of getting involved. His secret idea was to hand over the Presidency to his opponent, Charles Evans Hughes, ahead of time, if Hughes had won.

Many Presidents have been seen as failures in different ways, but NEVER has a President resigned because of that belief, and it would destroy the whole American system of government if every time there was discontent, the President should be forced out by resignation.

Think of the many cases that would exist:

1, James Madison, when Washington, DC was attacked by the British, and Congress and the President had to flee, during the War Of 1812.
2. Martin Van Buren, when the country suffered from the Panic of 1837.
3. John Tyler, upon succeeding the dead William Henry Harrison in 1841, being told he was illegitimate even though he had been Vice President.
4. James Buchanan, when we went through the Panic of 1857, and later when the South was seceding from the Union.
5. Abraham Lincoln, when he waged war against the South, and violated civil liberties in wartime for purposes of saving the Union.
6. Andrew Johnson, who was actually impeached but found not guilty, who many wanted to resign as well, because of his opposition to the goals of the Radical Republicans on Reconstruction policy.
7. Ulysses S. Grant, who presided over the worst political corruption up to that point of time, and under whom we suffered from the Panic of 1873.
8.Warren G. Harding, who had the most corrupt administration after Grant, but died just as we learned about the extent of the corruption.
9. Herbert Hoover, who was cautious and ineffective as the Great Depression became the worst economic crisis in American history.
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for his controversial domestic and foreign policy actions and strong executive leadership in the time of the Great Depression and World War II.
11. Harry Truman, who many thought should resign after the Republicans won both houses of Congress in 1947-48, and for his Korean War policies.
12. Jimmy Carter, for his ineffective policies on the economy and the Iran hostage crisis.
13. Ronald Reagan, for the Iran Contra scandal which erupted in his second term of office.
14. Bill Clinton, for various accusations of scandals, and for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, which led to impeachment, but not conviction by the Senate.
15. George W. Bush, for taking us into war In Iraq on false pretenses, and reckless spending, creating the debt problems of today.

The answer is NOT to have a President resign, but rather to overcome partisanship in a crisis as we have now, and unite around the President, help him, not attack him, and put COUNTRY FIRST!

The Presidency will be destroyed if we let the naysayers rule the roost, and tell the occupant of the Oval Office to resign, as that will not restore confidence!

We have survived good and bad Presidents, and the answer is to follow the US Constitution and stop this irresponsible attack by the right wing on the Constitution they claim to revere, but in practice violate and abuse on a regular basis!