Presidential Election of 2008

The Phenomenon Of Retread Politicians Who Look For Publicity, Relevance, And The Presidency!

The recent comments of former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani wondering if Barack Obama loves America, causing a firestorm of criticism and putting potential Republican Presidential candidates on the spot as to what to respond to these comments, reminds us that America has a list of retread politicians, many of whom have been out of public office for very long periods of time, but feel a need to look for publicity and relevance, and want to be President.

Guiliani has been out of office since 2001, and flopped badly when he tried for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

But now we have “retread” politicians who wish to be President, after long periods of not having run for office, including Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and even, possibly, former New York Governor George Pataki, although no one takes that seriously.

The question is whether being out of the loop for nearly a decade or more causes voters to wonder about their viability, and the upcoming Republican Presidential race will test that matter.

Scott Walker, The New “Glamour Boy” Of The GOP: A Lightweight Candidate For President!

The new “glamour boy” of the Republican Party, being touted by many observers, is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who wowed many at the Iowa Conservative Conference, hosted by Tea Party Congressman Steve King.

Walker is a favorite of the Koch Brothers, who helped Walker to survive the recall attempt in 2012, and helped him win the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Since this third victory in four years, Scott Walker has been very cocky, arrogant and egotistical, bragging about having had three victories for Governor in four years, and how he is the “new face” that the Republican Party needs to win the Presidency.

The argument is that he can carry the Midwest and gain his home state for the Republicans, a claim that no serious political analyst believes to be true.

YES, a Governor who is Republican can win many states, but winning a Presidential election is something very different!

Walker has zero foreign policy expertise and knowledge, and demonstrated it on ABC’s This Week, in an interview with Martha Radditz. He showed the same lack of knowledge and smarts as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin showed in 2008.

Walker has done great damage to labor; to education; to health care for the poor and disadvantaged; and is being investigated for his connections to Tea Party and outside corporate interests.

Walker has taken the state of Robert LaFollette, Sr.; Robert LaFollette, Jr.; William Proxmire; Gaylord Nelson; Patrick Lucey; and Russ Feingold, and brought corruption and undermining of good government to the Badger State.

For that, he cannot be forgiven, and the goal must be to undermine his potential front runner status, mostly coming about as a “fresh face”, instead of retreads, such as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabbee; and more extreme right wingers, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

Scott Walker is bad news, and he is starting to be exposed for the phony he is, and the lack of intellect that he clearly demonstrates!

The Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus: NOT An Indicator Of The Nominee Or Winner Of The Presidential Election!

The race for the Presidency begins in Iowa, with the caucuses in early January of the election year!

But Iowa has never been a true indicator of the future of a Presidential candidate, and the tendency has been, in the Republican Party, to have one of the most extreme right wing candidates win Iowa, and then collapse over time, and one can say, thank goodness for that!

So in 2008, Mike Huckabee won in Iowa.

So in 2012, Rick Santorum won in Iowa.

The likelihood is that someone as extreme and divisive as Huckabee or Santorum, both of whom are testing the waters to run for the Presidency again, will win Iowa in 2016, and again, make it a totally irrelevant event!

Expect that one of these two past winners of the Iowa Caucuses wins it again in 2016, but also Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, and Rick Perry have a shot at winning, while Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie have no chance of winning Iowa, but all to the good long term!

The Complete Reversal Of American Politics: Republicans In The South, Democrats In Large Populated Northeastern, Midwestern And Western States!

The defeat of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday marks the complete reversal of American politics from the years 1877 to the present.

After the Reconstruction of the South ended, with Union Army troops leaving, twelve years after the Civil War, the South became an area totally dominated by Democrats, resentful of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War defeat, and the passage of Amendments 13, 14, and 15, ending slavery, making blacks citizens, and giving the men the right to vote.

The South went into massive resistance, creating Jim Crow segregation to replace slavery, and until the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, it was always a solid Democratic South with no black voting, due to discriminatory state laws that were ignored by generations of the federal government. Hoover won much of the South due to his Catholic opponent, Alfred E. Smith, in 1928, and Eisenhower won over Adlai Stevenson twice in the 1950s due to his personal popularity and World War II D Day reputation.

But only when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, starting in the 1950s, and reaching its peak with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, did we see the beginning of a mass exodus of office holders and ordinary white population, to the Republican Party, starting with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1964, switching parties to back Republican Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As the Democrats started to lose power in the South, the nomination of Southern governors Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and the rise of “New South” Governors like them and others in the Democratic Party, slowed up the switch to the GOP.

But the election of Barack Obama, considered anathema in the South, has now led to the entire wiping out of Southern Democrats in Congress, except for black and Jewish members of the House in districts gerrymandered that give the Republicans more total Congressional and state legislative seats in the South. Only a few other white non jewish members of the House remain, and they are endangered in the political climate of the South in 2014.

Only Virginia has both its Senators and Governor (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe) as Democrats, and only Florida has one other Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson at this point, as we enter 2015.

And both Virginia and Florida have Republican dominated legislatures, as well as the other states that made up the Confederate States of America.

And, of course, Florida includes the heavily Northern South Florida, and Virginia has the heavily Northern North Virginia, influenced by being part of the DC suburbs, and otherwise, these three Senators and one Governor would not be in public office.

So the complete reversal of a century and a half ago has occurred, and is unlikely to be changed for a generation or more, at the least.

This means that the South will remain as it is now for a generation or more, and that the issue of race nearly a century and a half ago, again stands out as the key difference that separates that section from the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the heavily populated areas of the nation in the Northeast, Midwest and West are more Democratic than ever, and are unlikely to change either over time, creating political deadlock long term over the future, stifling change and creating constant political conflict and deadlock!

Jerry Brown’s Fourth Presidential Campaign Coming In 2016?

California Governor Jerry Brown is one of the most fascinating figures in American politics.

Always a bit different than other politicians, and often seen in his younger days as “flaky”, Brown is now 76 years old, and will begin his fourth term as governor of the largest state in the Union, California, next month.

Brown became noticed nationally precisely forty years ago when he succeeded Ronald Reagan, who had defeated Brown’s dad, Pat Brown, who had served two terms as Governor, before Reagan’s two terms.

Brown was 36 years old when he began his first term as Governor. Now he is 76 years old, and has proved to be a true survivor over four decades of American history.

After leaving the California Governorship at the end of 1982, and having lost a race for the US Senate, Brown ended up in public office again as Mayor of Oakland, and State Attorney General, before deciding to run again for Governor in 2010, 28 years after his having left that office.

Brown came into a state reeling from economic disaster under previous Governor Gray Davis, who was removed from office in a recall election in 2003, but his successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had little more luck on the economy.

But now, the California economy is flourishing by comparison, with the budget deficit overcome by tax increases and some budget cuts.

So there are observers who think Brown might just announce his fourth Presidential candidacy, having challenged ultimate nominee Jimmy Carter in 1976; President Carter in 1980; and ultimate nominee Bill Clinton in 1992.

And the thought that Brown might challenge Hillary Clinton, 24 years after challenging her husband, is, in itself, a fascinating story.

Is there any chance that Jerry Brown, 40 years after first trying for the Presidency, could actually be elected the 45th President?

The odds would be astronomical, but considering that we had a failed candidate (Richard Nixon) come back in 1968; an obscure peanut farmer from Georgia (Jimmy Carter) win in 1976; a losing Presidential contender nearly 70 (Ronald Reagan) come back to win in 1980; a candidate who had a sex scandal erupt during the battle for the nomination in 1992 (Bill Clinton), but overcome it to win: and an mixed race first term US Senator with an unusual name (Barack Obama) win in 2008; who can say this could not happen?

Is Mitt Romney To Be A Repeat Of Richard Nixon And Ronald Reagan, Having Another Chance To Be President?

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee, is giving strong hints that he might seek the Presidency again, after failing to win the nomination in 2008, and then losing to Barack Obama in 2012.

Public opinion polls show him leading, mostly based on recognition factor, that having been the nominee two years ago, most Americans know who he is.

But Romney lost, and to believe that a loser for the Presidency has another life defies reality.

Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan ran three times each for the Presidency, and never won.

Thomas E. Dewey and Adlai Stevenson ran two times each for the Presidency, and never won.

The only first time losers who won the Presidency were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, along with Richard Nixon

The only other President in modern times who lost a battle for a nomination and went on to reside in the White House was Ronald Reagan. It is also true that George H. W. Bush tried for the nomination against Reagan in 1980, but the battle was lost early, while Reagan fought to the convention in 1976 against Gerald Ford before he lost a very close race for the nomination.

So forgetting the early Presidents, the only realistic comparison is Romney to Nixon and Reagan.

But Romney is NOT Nixon or Reagan in any comparison.

Nixon had 14 years of federal government experience when he ran the first time for President in 1960, and Reagan had eight years as Governor of California, about one seventh of the nation, while Romney had one lone term as Governor of Massachusetts, and never had real interest in governing, as Nixon and Reagan did.

Nixon was very knowledgeable in how government worked, and Reagan had very strong conservative credentials and principles, and Romney has neither, as he only served as Governor to add on to his business experience.

No matter what one thinks or thought about Nixon and Reagan, we knew we would get what we saw, a man who had real commitment to definite ideas, while Romney is infamous for having no principles or beliefs that he will not change tomorrow if it might advance him.

Face the facts, that no one could possibly accuse Nixon or Reagan of being shallow, of “flip flopping”, of being someone who is a mystery, and of just wanting to be President for the sake of being President.

But that is the basic definition of Mitt Romney!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!

The Future Of The Republican Party: Rob Portman Vs. Mike Huckabee As A Symbol!

With Gay Marriage rapidly expanding, by refusal of the Supreme Court to stop it in eleven states, raising the total of states to 30 and counting, the Republican Party now faces its future!

With a majority of states and population now supporting or accepting gay marriage, and with a majority of people under 50, and even a majority of Catholics and even evangelical Christians in support, how long will the Republican Party hold out and be on the wrong side of history?

Do they wish to be recorded and remembered in the long run for their refusal to accept that marriage is NOT something to be voted on, to have a popular vote (which would not be lost in any case) on a basic human right, both in race in Loving V. Virginia and on sexual orientation now? Do they wish to be seen for what they are now, biased, prejudiced, hateful, narrow minded, and allowing religious beliefs of some people to dictate the lives of everyone else, when we have separation of church and state?

Conservatives were wrong on civil rights for African Americans, wrong on interracial marriage, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on immigration then and now, and wrong on gay rights and marriage, and for the Republicans to continue to follow their hateful, narrow minded views, will guarantee the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

The Republican Party has a choice! It is time for MORE Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors and other office holders to come out in support of gay marriage NOW! So far, only four sitting US Senators and a few members of the House of Representatives have had the courage to speak up. The Senators are Liza Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP will have a massive problem being elected to the House and Senate majorities in 2016, as it is, and the suddenly emerging “dark horse” status of Rob Portman, the only one of the above four Senators, who MIGHT consider running for President, and have a shot at being the nominee, present the Republican Party with a choice!

Either demand that any GOP nominee accept the inevitable, OR nominate Senator Portman as the most legitimate candidate for 2016, bypassing all the other extremist, lunatic, whacky candidates in the field, picking a moderate mainstream conservative as the future of the party!

Republicans, reject Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else who refuses to accept gay marriage, and ONLY support a person such as Rob Portman, who has accepted it, and is from a key swing state, Ohio, which every winning President has won except in 1960 in modern times!

It is true that Portman supported gay rights and gay marriage due to his son coming out as gay, but he could have done what many so called “religious” people do, and repudiated his son, a most despicable act for any so called “religious” person to do, a mockery of the idea of religiosity!

If the GOP decides to follow the route of the above candidates who have made it clear that they will not accept gay marriage, the ideal candidate for them would be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a once seriously mainstream conservative candidate for President in 2008, who has gone off the deep end, become a lunatic, a bigoted man with crazy views, since he joined Fox News Channel, and now mirrors the lunatic right wing talk show hosts on radio, as well as Fox News Channel!

Huckabee has made clear that he will NOT accept what is happening on gay marriage, and if the GOP continues to give in to Supreme Court actions or lack of action on gay marriage, that he will leave the Republican Party!

The best thing the GOP could do is repudiate Huckabee, who has already destroyed his name in history, and have him leave the Republican Party, and let the swinging door hit him in his rear end, or in fact, kick him out the door, declaring to him and others like him, “good riddance!”

The best thing the GOP could do is nominate Rob Portman, or others who finally accept gay rights and gay marriage, and look to a future of NOT accepting prejudice, bias, and the power of the Religious Right, which should be escorted to the door, and told to go to Hell, where they belong!

A great ticket right now would be Portman of Ohio for President and Susan Collins of Maine for Vice President, and that would also overcome the misogyny of the Republican Party!

Imagine The Possibility: FOUR Independents In US Senate In 2015-2016, All Allied With The Democratic Party Caucus!

An amazing development is now seen as possible, if not likely, at this point, 26 days before the Midterm Elections of 2014!

We already have two Independent Senators, both of whom ally with the Democratic Party caucus: Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Angus King of Maine.

A third one seems likely now, with Independent Greg Orman seen as likely to defeat long serving Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts, which would mark the first non Republican Senator elected in that state since 1932. It is believed that Orman would then ally with the Democrats.

That is itself is a surprise, but with no Democrat in the race, Orman is seen as ten points ahead of Roberts.

Suddenly, a fourth Independent Senator seems possible, in another state considered Republican territory, South Dakota, another Great Plains state!

There we have a three way race, of former Republican Governor Mike Rounds; Democrat Rick Weiland; and former Republican Senator Larry Pressler, who served 18 years in the Senate from 1979-1997, after two terms in the House of Representatives from 1975-1979, and who also was, briefly, a GOP Presidential candidate in 1980.

Right now, the race is very close, with Rounds in a slight lead, but Pressler not much behind, and Weiland a few points behind Pressler in public opinion polls.

In a three way race, anything is possible, and it seems possible and plausible that Pressler could come back, 18 years after leaving the Senate, to his old seat, an amazing development.

Pressler, while a Republican in his past, endorsed and campaigned for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, so were he to win the Senate seat, it is seen as likely that he would caucus with the Democrats, and has criticized his party as one that has moved away from his beliefs toward the extreme Right!

So imagine a scenario where four Independents would all ally with the Democrats and insure their continued hold on the US Senate, something never having happened in the history of that legislative body!

Right Wing Propaganda About Barack Obama Refuted By Facts!

Barack Obama has been the most vilified President since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

There will be those who say that Richard Nixon was more attacked, and that George W. Bush was “victim” of constant criticism.

Yes, they were, as was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Jimmy Carter, but NONE of these Presidents came under such a barrage of total lies and mistruths on such a constant basis.

Barack Obama has been attacked on where he was born (Kenya? Indonesia? anyone?), on his being a Marxist or Communist or Socialist; of being anti white (by critics who are clearly scared of having a black President); of being anti Christian (by right wing Christians who regularly lie and deceive and distort, claiming to be following the teachings of Jesus, which they most certainly are not doing); and of being a Muslim, out to spread the Islamic faith and support terrorism!  He is also accused of being anti Semitic, and anti Israel.

Meanwhile, radical and terrorist Muslims constantly are critical of Barack Obama and have called on their supporters to find a way to kill him, and Obama has brought about more deaths of Muslim terrorists than George W. Bush or anyone else; has mounted missions to attempt to save Americans captured by the terrorists; was courageous enough to arrange the death of Osama Bin Laden, when others around him had strong doubts on the mission’s success; and now has declared war on ISIL (ISIS) and mounted a bombing campaign in both Iraq and now Syria, even though the right wing says he is afraid to go to war, and is too timid in foreign policy, all of it lies and deceit spread to ignorant people who think Obama is equivalent of a “Manchurian candidate” in the Presidency.

The charge that he is anti Semitic and anti Israel is belied by the fact of the Iron Dome system given to Israel by the United States, and the fact that ISIL (ISIS) calls Obama a President “owned by the Jews”.  Right wing Jews love to spread lies and distortion about Obama, but actually such people have complained about every American President, if they do not bow to every wish or demand of the Israeli government, while we give that nation more foreign aid than any other in the world.  So these charges are totally uncalled for, and reflect badly on those right wing Jews who spread that propaganda!

Many right wingers want to deny that Obama was ever President, and that his time in office should be not recognized as legal, as they claim his election was “stolen”, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but won in the Supreme Court, unprecedented, but based on a declared 537 vote popular margin in Florida, his brother’s home state;  and only won in 2004, because of another disputed vote count in Ohio against John Kerry.

This author and blogger has witnessed so called “friends” who spew forth right wing and racist propaganda, shocking him at the level of hatred toward our 44th President.  One so called “friend” said, when he found out I am publishing a book on Presidential Assassinations and Attempts by next May or June, that he hoped I would have to write another chapter (meaning about the assassination of Obama), which totally infuriated me, and I am not one to get angry very easily.

Another time, visiting the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, with my younger son, three women of about age 70, 40, and 20 were waiting with us to see a Truman documentary, and it came up in conversation that the 20 year old was visiting her relatives in Missouri, but was from Hawaii.

When I said, “so you are from Hawaii, which will have a Presidential museum in the future”, the three women in unison said “EWWWWW” to my shock, and we turned away in shock and anger, since I did not want to be rude to them, but I could not believe such sentiments, as no one ever said that about Richard Nixon or George W. Bush or anyone else!

And when the White House experienced an ‘invasion” at the North Portico last Friday, only ONE Republican openly spoke out about it, and demanded an explanation as to how the Secret Service “screwed up”, and that was New York Congressman Peter King of Long Island, New York, who is far less conservative than the leadership and masses of members of Congress from his party.  Not a peep from John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the myriad of other Republicans, including any of the likely competitors for the Presidency in 2016.  It is almost as if, secretly, they hoped for Obama’s demise, absolutely disgraceful, and reprehensible!

The right wing would suffer mightily if anything untoward happened to Obama, and if Joe Biden suddenly succeeded to the Presidency by tragedy, it would, effectively, end the Presidential Election of 2016, with Joe Biden being the equivalent of Lyndon B. Johnson after he succeeded John F. Kennedy, meaning there would be no way for any Republican to defeat a President Biden in those circumstances. Also, it would end the campaign of Hillary Clinton under those circumstances!

It is time for the right wing, on talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the think tanks that spew forth poison, to stop their attacks and show respect for our President!