Presidential Scandals

Republican Presidential Administrations From Richard Nixon To Donald Trump: Indictments, Convictions, Prison Time, Plus Warren G. Harding And Ulysses S. Grant

We are in the midst of the most corrupt series of Presidential scandals in American history in the 15 months of the Trump Administration.

An investigation of Presidential scandals since Richard Nixon left office demonstrates the following:

Under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, there were no serious, protracted scandals of note.

Under Ronald Reagan, there were serious scandals that led to 26 indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 sent to prison–most outstanding being the Iran Contra Affair, which led to indictments of the Secretary of Defense, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, two National Security Advisers, Deputy Chief of Staff, as well as criminal prosecution or resignation of the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under George H. W. Bush, he gave pardons to a number of people convicted under Reagan, and some wondered if the President was covering his own rear end, and potential involvement in the Iran Contra Scandal in particular.

Under Bill Clinton, while there were a lot of investigations under Republican Congresses after 1995, and the President was impeached in regards to the sex scandals with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, there were no serious scandals that led to any indictments or convictions.

Under George W. Bush, there were a lot of scandals, leading to 16 indictments, 16 convictions and 9 sent to prison, and many people working for Bush resigned rather than testify in many investigations. There were many abuses centered around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the promotion of national security, and led to resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Lewis “Scooter” Libby who was the aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and White House Adviser Karl Rove among others.

Under Barack Obama, there were no serious violations of the law or scandals, despite many investigations by Republican Congressional committees, including Hillary Clinton after the Benghazi Libya attack on the US Embassy by Muslim extremists.

When one adds the massive scandals under Richard Nixon, and now Donald Trump, it is clear that under Republican administrations, corruption and abuses have been widespread, although not under Gerald Ford, and that the three Democratic Presidents, despite much criticism, had no serious scandals on the level of Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2 and now Trump!

And when one goes back to earlier scandals under Warren G. Harding in the 1920s and Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s, both Republican Presidents, it only adds to the image and reality of Republicans presiding over scandalous times, as well as nine of the last ten economic downturns since 1953, along with the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover after 1929!

Stormy Daniels Scandal Not Going Away, And Neither Is Robert Mueller: Dual Threats To Trump Presidency

The Stormy Daniels Scandal is not going away, and it is causing Donald Trump to avoid commenting on Twitter or in public utterances, very unlike the behavior of the 45th President.

And Trump is having great trouble finding good attorneys to supplement his defense against the upcoming interview with Robert Mueller, which assuredly will not save him, his family, and his administration from a massive series of indictments and convictions, including the removal of the President sooner rather than later.

Trump is doomed, and he knows it, and his administration will go down, ultimately, as the most corrupt administration in all of American history, worse than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant, with the latter two not personally involved, as Nixon was, so Nixon and Trump will be in exclusive company with each other.

But Nixon will, by comparison, look like a choir boy in the extent and seriousness of scandals.

Trump will be seen as a traitor; as a person who obstructed justice; as a President who broke the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution; as a Chief Executive abusing power; as someone who openly colluded with Russia in fixing the Presidential Election of 2016; as a leader involved in illegal financial activities that could land him in prison in New York, outside of the Presidency itself, and also put his family members in prison as well.

Donald Trump will rue the day that he decided to seek the White House!

Working For White House A Dead End For Future Prospects Beyond That Service

It used to be that someone going to work for the White House under any President was an honor and a privilege, advancing the interests of the nation, as well as the particular President.

Now that vision of government service for a President has lost its allure, lost its glamour, and it has become a dead end for future prospects for any individual for that service.

The revolving door at the White House, the constant turnover of personnel, either being fired, or deciding to resign, has become the most tumultuous such situation of any President of the United States in American history.

And the number of people working for President Trump who have become involved in aspects of the most corrupt early term of any President, is leading to the likelihood that many people working for Trump will end up in legal trouble, and may be charged with various offenses and possible prison time, as a result of their decision to work for President Trump.

So the future lives of many people have been damaged, if not destroyed, by the low ethical and moral basis of the Trump Presidency.

It took much longer for the scandals of the Presidencies of Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, and Richard Nixon to emerge, and one has to wonder what it will be like in the remaining years of this term if, by some miracle, Donald Trump survives in office until the end.

Trump Presidency Rapidly Becoming More Corrupt Administration Than Nixon, Grant, Harding!

After only eight months in office, the Trump Presidency is rapidly becoming more corrupt than the Presidencies of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding.

Sic cabinet members, at the least, have engaged in corrupt acts–Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, who has resigned, but also Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury; Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke; Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt; Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin; and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

A dozen Trump appointees have been fired or resigned, among them the most prominent being Michael Flynn, Stephen Bannon, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, and James Comey. And Trump has hinted at firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the investigation being conducted by Mueller over Russian collusion in the Presidential Election of 2016. Many others are on tenterhooks as to their survival in the Trump Administration, and some are expected to resign, due to the temper tantrums and tensions that exist in the White House under Donald Trump.

Many of the above list are on the way to indictment or at least engagement in corruption, and more of the cabinet members will be forced out, including others not yet publicly demonstrated to have engaged in corruption in office. Everyone is lawyering up, which is a sign of future trials and convictions coming.

No American President Has Had So Much Known Corruption So Early In His Administration As Donald Trump!

Here we are, just 125 days into the Trump Presidency, and already, we have so much known corruption in his administration, much more than has ever happened in any other Presidency.

Yes, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidency was notable for corruption, but it took a few years to be aware of it.

Yes, the Warren G. Harding Presidency was notable for corruption, but not much was known until late in the second and third year of his short Presidency.

And yes, the Richard Nixon Presidency, the most corrupt Presidency until now, but apparently soon to be surpassed, did not have any hint of so much corruption so early as four months, and really, starting immediately after the inauguration in the case of Donald Trump.

And except for Nixon, no President has ever been so personally engaged in corruption, and no attempt really to try to avoid it, as Trump is totally arrogant, and blames the news media for reporting the facts of the abuse of power.

Trump not only is more corrupt in a personal sense than even Richard Nixon, but is set on destroying the domestic legacy, not only of Barack Obama, but also of Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson, going back 50 and more years.

And while Trump has pledged not to touch Medicare and Social Security, one can be sure that over time, if allowed to, he and his party will work to destroy the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt as well!

Ronald Reagan: The Unvarnished Truth! Myth Versus Reality!

Ronald Reagan is treated as a saint by the conservative movement and the Republican Party, as a man and a President who could do no wrong, but the truth is otherwise.

Of course, no President and no human being is perfect, and all commit mistakes or show lack of sensitivity, but the point is that the 40th President’s image and historical record needs to come down to earth, on this, the 104th anniversary of his birth, and a quarter century after his leaving office.

So what should Americans and others know about Ronald Reagan, that is not general knowledge?

As California Governor and as President, the issue of mental illness was dealt with by cutting spending, and throwing mental patients onto the streets of America, creating a great increase in homeless population.

As head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Reagan cooperated with the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigation of Communists; worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare; and was an FBI informant for J. Edgar Hoover, all to protect his own image and security as he had been a strong liberal Democrat, and supporter of the New Deal.

Reagan sold illegal arms to Iran, what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, as he worked to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, despite Congressional admonitions banning such activities.

Reagan backed the apartheid government of South Africa, despite its horrific violation of human rights, and vetoed a sanctions law, which was passed over his veto in 1986.

Reagan’s Presidency saw the greatest amount of scandals of all sizes, only surpassed by the administrations of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding in overall malfeasance.

Reagan’s record on the environment is regarded by scholars as the absolute worst of all Presidents since 1900, and a big letdown after Jimmy Carter, who had one of the top three performances on that issue in American history.

Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis until 1987, and ridiculed the “gay plague”, only taking any interest when young hemophiliac Ryan White, and actor Rock Hudson, were revealed to have the disease in 1985.

Reagan supported backing the groups which fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, including such future terrorists as Osama Bin Laden; and also gave support to Saddam Hussein of Iraq in war with Iran, while still supplying arms to Iran.

The high ethical and moral standard said to be part of Reagan’s persona has now been revealed to be inappropriate, as he has been shown to have cheated on his first wife, Jane Wyman, and to have had affairs with dozens of actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day, among many others.

For a man who professed “family values”, Reagan and his wife Nancy ignored their children, Patti and Ron, Jr; and hardly saw their grandchild from Reagan stepson Michael; and hardly ever attended church services, although flirting with the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority of the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

So the truth about Ronald Reagan is far from the myth that has been promoted!

Republican Party Historically On Corruption And Impeachment: It Speaks For Itself!

The Republican Party has a very interesting history when it comes to corruption on the national level, and to the issue of Presidential impeachment.

The “self righteous” party, which tries to convince us that they are “holier than thou”, when it comes to corruption and scandal, has been responsible for the four most corrupt Presidencies in American history, and arguably, the fifth most corrupt Presidency as well!

At the same time, it is the Republican Party, in the 19th, 20th, and now the 21st century, that has constantly pursued the idea of Presidential impeachment as a weapon against Presidents of the Democratic Party!

Witness the following:

The Presidency of Richard Nixon, along with that of Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, and Ronald Reagan saw widespread corruption on a regular basis, and these are the four Presidents to have been in charge of the worst examples of corruption in American history, bar none!

Nixon is remembered for the Watergate scandal, but there is much more than that to be recognized as corruption.

Grant is remembered for the Credit Mobilier scandal, but there is much more than that to be recognized as corruption.

Harding is remembered for the Teapot Dome scandal, but there is much more than that to be recognized as corruption.

Reagan is remembered for the Iran-Contra scandal, but there is much more than that to be recognized as corruption.

And, by the way, George W. Bush is remembered for numerous scandals and malfeasance, much of it still hidden, but to be uncovered as time goes by, and once the junior Bush leaves us, when documents become much more available.

There is no one among Democrats who can match these five GOP Presidents in corruption, although many make out Bill Clinton and his personal demons as a scandal on the same level. But most of the so called other “scandals” under Clinton are conjured up, are manufactured, just as with Barack Obama and his so called, but not real “scandals” over Benghazi, the IRS, and other controversies which are not indeed “scandals”, but instead part of the plan to undermine him, as was done with Bill Clinton.

Sure, there were personal scandals under John F. Kennedy, and rumors of scandals under Lyndon B. Johnson, and minor scandals under Harry Truman, and accusations of scandals under Jimmy Carter, but none ever worked out to be on the level of scandals under Nixon, Grant, Harding, Reagan and the second Bush! And only Nixon was a justifiable case to bring impeachment charges, as he actually abused the Constitution and the Presidential office, and was, rightfully, in process of being removed from office, had he not resigned in 1974!

Meanwhile, the Republican Party historically has worked to promote impeachment of Democratic Presidents on a regular basis, and have brought unsubstantiated and unjustifiable charges against:

Andrew Johnson in 1868 over attempt to remove Secretary of War Edwin Stanton

Bill Clinton in 1998-1999 on his personal life scandals

Also, they have promoted impeachment threats or attempted moves to remove:

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934-1935 over the New Deal
Harry Truman in 1951 over the firing of General Douglas MacArthur
Jimmy Carter in general, working to undermine everything he promoted

So the so called party of enforcing the law and the Constitution has been involved in a systematic attempt to promote the cause of big business corporations and personal power grabbing while moving to undermine most of our Democratic Presidents in the past century and a half!

Part of this is also the attempt, constantly, to besmirch the record in office of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton and now Obama! Conspiracy theories have been rife in the Republican mind!

Realize that since Abraham Lincoln’s election, our first Republican President, there was constant deterioration after, until Theodore Roosevelt still upheld the good image of the GOP overall. But then there was rapid decline after, with a temporary revival under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and then constant decline after, with a smidgen of decency and class under Gerald Ford, and then much more rapid deterioration up to now. The GOP wishes to be regarded with respect, when it does not deserve it, based on the historical realities!

Also, realize that since 1861 to 2017, a total of 156 years, from Lincoln to Obama leaving office, we have had 18 GOP Presidents from Lincoln to Bush II and only 10 Democratic Presidents from Andrew Johnson to Obama. Republicans have held the White House for 88 years and Democrats for 68 years!

So the historical reality of the Republican Party being the party of corruption and lawlessness, and yet having the gall to threaten three Democratic Presidents with impeachment, two Democratic Presidents with actual impeachment, and on the road to impeaching Barack Obama on flimsy charges, speaks legions as to their lack of ethics and morality!

Two Anniversaries: Queen Elizabeth II And Ronald Reagan!

Today marks the 62nd Anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne of Great Britain!

While the Queen has very little real power, she has had a great impact, and she has a good opportunity to surpass her great great grandmothe, Queen Victoria, as longest reigning British Monarch and, also, longest reigning female monarch if she can survive another 381 days to September 10, 2014, and at age 87 and in good health, that seems very likely!

It is also the 103rd birthday of the late President Ronald Reagan, who is loved by conservatives and Republicans, recognized as significant by all historians and political scientists, but grossly overrated by the right wing in America, which refuses to see how complex, and often, contradictory Reagan really was!

The right wing loves to point out that Reagan ended the Cold War, as if he did it all on his own.

They fail to accept that he was damaging on the environment; on civil rights; on human rights; on the tripling of the national debt; on the growing homelessness and poverty; on the beginning of the destruction of the middle class (which has continued for 30 years now); on the crisis of AIDS (which he refused to address for a long time and which was the center of humor at cabinet meetings in his first term); on his willingness to support apartheid in South Africa (leading to one of his rare defeats, when Congress overrode his veto of apartheid sanctions); of the numerous scandals of his Presidency (making him the fourth most scandalous President after Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant, with the major one being the Iran-Contra Scandal); his willingness to lie consistently (as for example, his Welfare Queen myth, still used today by conservatives and Republicans); and numerous other faults and shortcomings.

We can honor both Queen Elizabeth II and Ronald Reagan today, but realize one did no harm, and the other did GREAT harm in so many ways, which will become more obvious, as the years go by, and further research is done!

Analyzing the “40s” Presidents As Barack Obama Celebrates His 52nd Birthday!

President Barack Obama celebrates his 52nd Birthday today, and all good wishes to our Commander in Chief!

Since this is his birthday, it brings to mind the fact that Obama is one of only nine Presidents to be inaugurated in his 40s, with Obama being the fifth youngest to be sworn in. The list of “40s” Presidents is as follows:

Theodore Roosevelt 42 years 322 days
John F. Kennedy 43 years 236 days
Bill Clinton 46 years 154 days
Ulysses S. Grant 46 years 311 days
Barack Obama 47 years 169 days
Grover Cleveland 47 years 351 days
Franklin Pierce 48 years 101 days
James A. Garfield 49 years 105 days
James K. Polk 49 years 122 days

Six of these nine Presidents were Democrats, all but Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, and James A. Garfield, who were Republicans.

All but Theodore Roosevelt became President by election, with TR succeeding William McKinley upon his assassination, so while TR is the youngest President, John F. Kennedy is the youngest elected President, although TR went on to be elected to a full term!

Five of these nine Presidents would be ranked in the top 15 of our Presidents, in the view of most scholars and experts—TR, JFK, Clinton, Obama, and Polk.

Cleveland would make a list of the top half of our Presidents, with Grant and Pierce rated much lower on their performance in the White House, and Garfield hard to rate, since he had such a brief term as President, a true loss to the nation that he died so early in his administration!

Tragedy was a factor in many of these “40s” Presidents, including:

Assassination of Garfield and Kennedy
Alcoholism of Pierce and Grant
Short retirement of Polk–103 days
Short life span of Kennedy, Garfield, Polk, TR, Grant, Pierce
Scandals under Grant and Clinton

So becoming President in one’s 40s is a mixed blessing, and one can simply ask Bill Clinton and Barack Obama how they feel about the torment and vicious attacks they have both faced, but how they have managed to overcome their critics and have outstanding records overall in the Oval Office!

Ranking Presidents Affected By Being A One Term Or Two Term President?

The game of ranking Presidents is a continuous topic among historians, political scientists, journalists, and ordinary citizens.

In the upcoming June issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly, Professor Curt Nichols, an assistant professor of political science at Baylor University in Texas, comes up with a new theory and premise about how Presidents are ultimately ranked in history.

Nichols used a statistical method known as regression analysis, utilizing Presidential ranking polls conducted by C Span, the Wall Street Journal, and the Siena Research Institute.

Each poll has different factors in judging Presidential leadership, with C Span having ten.

But Nichols says the rating score of Presidents is ultimately raised if the following six factors are considered:

Number of years served
Wartime leadership
If transformation of political landscape occurs in their term
If they are part of the Founding Fathers group
If they are considered “progressive” and pursue “equal justice for all”
If they are assassinated progressives

At the same time, two factors will decrease the rating scores of Presidents:

If the President is impeached, resigns, or has major political scandals during his administration
If they push the nation into political crisis or are unable to lift the country out of a political crisis

Going by this discussion, Nichols believes that IF Barack Obama is defeated for re-election, he will rank only as “average”, as number 22, between William McKinley and George H. W. Bush.

But Nichols also believes that If Barack Obama is re-elected to the Presidency, he could end up as high as number FOUR, behind Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George Washington, and ahead of Thomas Jefferson!

There is lots of room for debate on the Nichols viewpoint, but it certainly will cause much more discussion and analysis of the men who have been President of the United States.

A few observations here:

If wartime Presidents have an edge, then why is James Madison, William McKinley, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush rated quite low on the rankings list generally accepted?

One term Presidencies that stick out as better include James K. Polk and John F. Kennedy.

Two term Presidencies that are seen negatively include James Madison, Ulysses Grant, Grover Cleveland, and George W. Bush.

So whether having a second term really helps raise the stature of a President is still very debatable.

And whether Barack Obama could end up ranked ahead of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton is something that will be hotly debated into the long term future.