Presidential Election Of 2016

Kirsten Gillibrand Becomes A Rock Star: Mixed Feelings On The Part Of The Author About This

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has become a rock star on the issue of sexual harassment in the military, on university campuses, and in the entertainment, media, and business community, and now has been attacked in a tweet by President Donald Trump, who intimated that Gillibrand, when asking him years ago for campaign contributions, seemed willing to do “anything” for such support, a demeaning and sexist and misogynistic retort by Trump, which is, of course, nothing new.

Democratic women in Congress have reacted today with outrage, and are demanding a Congressional investigation of the charges against Donald Trump, brought to the forefront in the election year of 2016 by 16 women.

This was followed up by Democratic women Senators demanding Minnesota Senator Al Franken resign, which this author criticized as bullying and denying Franken an ethics hearing on charges of sexual harassment.

This situation with Franken alienated me from Gillibrand, as I stated on the blog four days ago.

While I appreciate Gillibrand’s engagement on the issue of sexual harassment, I still stand unwilling to consider her for President in 2020, due to the mistreatment, as I see it, of Senator Franken. However, many observers believe Gillibrand has benefited greatly on this issue, and that it might catapult her into a leading position in the Democratic Party battle for the Presidency three years from now.

Of course, I condemn Donald Trump’s crude Twitter reaction to Senator Gillibrand, and hope the issue of Donald Trump’s moral turpitude can, somehow, have an impact in his being forced out of the Presidency in the coming months of 2018.

Are We On The Way To President Paul Ryan?

With the growing evidence of Russian collusion and lying by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and many others in the administration, the possibility is growing of the first time in American history where the Speaker of the House of Representatives might become President by succession.

It could have happened in 1974 had there not been the 25th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1967.

That amendment allowed for the appointment of Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew, and within eight months of becoming Vice President, Ford became President.

If this had not been able to happen, there would have been no Vice President for ten months, and Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma would have become President, instead of Gerald Ford, when Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

Ryan may very well have been aware of Russian collusion in the eyes of some observers, but unless that is proved to be so, he would become President if Mike Pence was forced out, and Donald Trump was forced out, and if there was no time to select a new Vice President under the 25th Amendment.

Ryan, not at all admired, and much criticized by this blogger in 2012, when he was the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney. would be a terrible successor, with his Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy, and his desire to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and end the concept of government assistance to the needy through Medicaid, Food Stamps, and aid to dependent children.

We are in a time frame where Donald Trump is a nightmare, but Mike Pence, with his overtly theocratic view of religion and government is a different nightmare, and Ryan is a third example of what horrible choices the nation faces from the results of the Presidential Election of 2016.

It will take decades to recover the damage already done, and the damage yet to be done.

Mike Pence And Spiro Agnew: Two Crooked Vice Presidents?

It is seemingly a possibility that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in coverup of Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election, and that he has often lied about his involvement in that corrupt action.

Pence was the leader of the transition team for Donald Trump, and had to know about the illegal actions of Michael Flynn in that transition period, and in the 25 days that Flynn was National Security Adviser, before he was fired.

Pence is deeply enmeshed in the scandal that is being revealed by the investigation of Robert Mueller, and he may not survive to succeed Donald Trump, because he failed to keep himself separate from the emerging scandal.

This is very different than Gerald Ford, who insured by his words and actions that he could not be accused of any involvement in the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

Ford had replaced Spiro Agnew in the Vice Presidency under the 25th Amendment, with Agnew involved in conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud, having accepted payments from contractors during his time as Governor of Maryland and even the Vice Presidency itself, and resigned, having pleaded guilty to one felony charge of tax evasion.

So it could be that Mike Pence will go down in history as the second crooked Vice President forced out of office.

Pence is about to be interviewed by Robert Mueller, and Pence has had his own personal lawyer for months, so stay tuned as to what might happen that no one would ever have conceived when the Trump Presidency began.

The Growing Likelihood Of A Democratic Woman Presidential Nominee In 2020: Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar

With the failure of Hillary Clinton to become President, and with the growing misogyny of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the likelihood of a Democratic woman Presidential nominee in 2020 has multiplied.

One would think that the failure to elect the first woman President would make it less likely that another woman would come along and challenge in a serious manner, but a large percentage of women clearly want such an eventuality.

There are four potential women Presidential candidates as the situation now exists: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris, and Wisconsin Senator Amy Klubuchar.

Their ideological bent is in that order, with Warren the most progressive and Klobuchar more to the moderate center.

Only Warren is well known at this time, but she tends to engender more fierce opposition, while also being, by far, the best debater.

Gillibrand has been a leader on sexual harassment in the military, while Harris has the least time in the Senate, but was formerly Attorney General of California, and reminds many of Barack Obama as she is mixed race with parents from India and the island of Jamaica. She has brought notice for her tough questioning and aggressiveness in just a few months in the Senate.

Klobuchar has been in the Senate longer than the other three, and much more effective at working across the aisle, and to try to accomplish legislation without dramatics. She comes from the Midwest, so might be better able to appeal to the Rust Belt. But she is not “exciting” in her personality, as compared to the other three women.

Trying to guess which would have the best chance, it would seem that Warren or Klobuchar, at the opposite ends of the Democratic Party from Left to Centrist, would have the best opportunities, but impossible to know.

Somehow, this blogger finds Amy Klobuchar interesting, and not to be ignored, but we shall see what develops.

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

How The Republican Majority Supreme Court Has Promoted Corporate Control And Voter Suppression, And Undermined American Democracy

Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission (2010) and Shelby County V. Holder (2013) are the two decisions of the majority Supreme Court in the last decade which have destroyed the concept of fair and free elections in America.

Those cases, and Bush V Gore (2000) have done everything possible to undermine the majority of the people in Presidential elections, as well as other elections in states, which should have favored the Democratic Party.

And now, with a new right wing Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, possibly more extremist than Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito on the Court since April, the future is very gloomy for progressive values and beliefs.

Realize that the Democrats have won the popular vote in Presidential elections six of the last seven times, from 1992 to 2016, only losing to George W. Bush in 2004.

But the Supreme Court Republican majority has allowed corporations to be seen as people, and this has led to extreme abuse by many wealthy corporate special interests, and individual millionaires and billionaires, to put excessive amounts of funding into negative campaigns against liberals and Democrats, and to fund right wing extremist campaigns for legislation they want, and for conservative candidates they desire.

And loosening the enforcement of voting rights by states has allowed many states to place new voter restrictions on poor people, minorities, young people, and the elderly, making voting an onerous process, and in effect, working for voter suppression, which apparently had an effect in the 2016 Presidential election in some states, and for sure, in Wisconsin, one of the crucial states that gave Donald Trump the victory by a very small margin of votes.

The undermining of American democracy is in full swing, and the fear is that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in regards to Republican and conservative repression of much of the law and legislation, and the election process itself, in the future, with the ability of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to “fix” the future, one of moving backwards by a century or more in so many respects.

Time For Donald Trump To Be Held Accountable For Sexual Crimes

In the midst of all of the revelations about sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a multitude of Hollywood figures, and people involved in politics, journalism, and the business world, Donald Trump has gained a free pass.

His supporters did not care about his sexual escapades which were numerous over the years, and he did not care about exposure of such exploits, but he has continued to say that all the women who have claimed abuse and exploitation are liars, even after the Access Hollywood tape that nearly derailed his candidacy in October 2016, until FBI head James Comey announced and then backed away from a further investigation of Hillary Clinton, which took attention off that Trump scandal.

There is so much evidence by his own public statements that Donald Trump is a master at exploiting women, probably more so than Bill Clinton, and possibly more than many others who have been exposed, but still managing to avoid accountability.

Now, in the midst of this scandal of powerful men exploiting women, is the time for a full prosecution in court of the claims of the multitude of women against Donald Trump.

And since Bill Clinton was impeached, partially for his sexual exploits and lying, so should the same situation await Donald Trump.

One of the impeachment charges against Donald Trump should be his lack of moral and ethical rectitude, and if Bill Clinton is to be dredged up after facing impeachment and disbarment, so should Trump meed the same fate.

Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.

The Nightmare Year Of Donald Trump, But Suburbia, Women, Minorities, White Collar Educated, Those Under 45, And Independents Are Organizing To End The Trump Presidency

A year ago on this date, Donald Trump “won” the Presidency, with 26 percent of all eligible voters backing him, 46 percent of actual voters, and losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and having 8 million others voting for third party candidates, therefore having 11 million more people voting against him than for him.

No President who has won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote has done so poorly, as compared to John Quincy Adams losing to Andrew Jackson by 38,000 votes in 1824; as Rutherford B. Hayes losing to Samuel Tilden by 252,000 votes in 1876; as Benjamin Harrison losing to Grover Cleveland by 110,000 votes in 1888; or George W. Bush losing to Al Gore by 544,000 votes in 2000.

Also, Trump’s Electoral College victory with 304 electoral votes is only 46th of 58 national elections.

The past year, since his victory, has been a horror in so many ways, as Donald Trump has accomplished nothing in legislation, but has undermined a century of progress under Republican and Democratic Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama in domestic and foreign policy.

He has abused his executive authority to declare war on the environment, promoted discrimination against immigrants and Muslims, advocated the end of government regulation of business, undermining on civil liberties and civil rights, disarray in our foreign relations with our allies and our enemies in the world, destroyed the concept of civility and common decency, and damaged the image of the Presidency itself.

But he has also demonstrated a level of scandal and corruption far greater than the corruption which took place under Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

His appointees, with a few exceptions, have been a total disgrace, making them the worst cabinet in performance and ethics we have ever seen.

Assuredly, Donald Trump will be the second President, after Richard Nixon, to be forced out office in the next year by the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The reaction against him among intelligent voters is already evident from Tuesday’s off year elections, as suburbia, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and independents are organizing to end the Trump Presidency and punish the Republican Party that nominated him, have collaborated with him, and are conspiring to enrich the wealthy yet once again, as they did under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In so doing, the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class, and shown no compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and senior citizens.

A major wave election in 2018 is in the offing, as the goal is to destroy the cancer of the Trump Presidency, although some of the damage he and his party have done will take decades to eliminate totally from the nation’s domestic and foreign policy.

This is a major national tragedy, a setback that the nation will pay for long term.

Democratic Division And Post Election Accusations A Bad Sign For The Future: We Need New And Younger Leadership

In the midst of the Donald Trump Presidency disaster in the making, the opposition Democrats are, seemingly, working very hard to destroy any chance for the party to recover from the 2016 election, and move on to hoped for gaining of the US House of Representatives in the midterm elections of 2018, and long range possibility of gaining the US Senate majority as well.

Division and post election accusations between the Hillary Clinton camp and the Bernie Sanders camp over the Democratic National Committee handling of the campaign only helps Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Donna Brazile, who headed the DNC in the last months of the 2016 campaign, is publishing a book this week, which with its accusations that the Clinton campaign helped to fix her nomination, and discussion that Brazile considered replacing Clinton with Joe Biden in September, after she had a bout with pneumonia, only causes more disarray.

The Democrats have no real leader now, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are not inspiring at all, and Pelosi in particular needs to step aside, and allow younger Democrats to move up to power.

As this blogger has said before, while he admires Joe Biden, there is a need for a new generation of leadership running for the Presidency in the future, as well as moving up in House of Representatives leadership.

So we need to stop shoring up Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn in the House, and we need to look to others to run for President than Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren, all over 70 as the House leaders are also.

People in their 40s, 50 and early 60s are the future, just as when we had John F. Kennedy at age 43 in 1960, Jimmy Carter at age 52 in 1976, Bill Clinton at age 46 in 1992, and Barack Obama at age 47 in 2008!