Progressives

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh A Very Political Choice, Reminding Us Of Past Political Wars

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh comes across as a very nice man on the surface, with a nice family, and a long history and record as a Judge on the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

He is smart enough and well spoken enough, but that is not enough for the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh is a political “animal”, involved in the Ken Starr Impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton two decades ago, and also engaged in the fight to help George W. Bush stop the vote count in the state of Florida in the Presidential election of 2000.

He also has a clear record of opposition to abortion rights as a devout Catholic who wishes to impose his personal views on the nation, instead of promoting “Stare Decisis”.

He also has a record of opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

So both of these important issues are now in danger as a result of his nomination.

Kavanaugh also has stated that a President should not face indictment and prosecution in office, which makes him a likely ally of Donald Trump in any future possibility of pursuing the President for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violation of the Emoluments clause, and Russian collusion.

It will be extremely difficult to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, but the Democrats, if they stay united, and if Republicans Susan Collins and or Lisa Murkowski can be convinced to oppose, it can be stopped.

These are very difficult times for progressives, but it is not time to give up, not yet at least!

The Trump Juggernaut Overrunning Moderate Democrats: Between A Rock And A Hard Place!

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and moderate Senate Democrats are “between a rock and a hard place”, with the Trump juggernaut about to run them down!

There are 10 Democratic moderates who are running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump.

If they all remained loyal to their party, and IF Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski joined them, a Supreme Court pick could be stopped, but that is asking for too much to be assured.

And if they do not support the Trump nominee, it could kill their chances of reelection.

But of course, if they vote for the Trump nominee, many Democrats and moderates might decide it is not worth voting, and they will lose their elections anyway.

So what to do?

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, last year.

All three are in great danger of losing their seats, with or without the Supreme Court nominee controversy they now face.

Then we have Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also in great danger of losing their seats.

The other five “Red State” Democrats are probably safer, and unlikely to lose their seats—Bob Casey Jr of Pennsylvania (who however is anti abortion in his background); Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Debbie Stebanow of Michigan; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; and Bill Nelson of Florida (but his seat will be the most expensive race ever, with opponent Rick Scott spending tens of millions to defeat Nelson).

So if one is to promote the left wing Democratic view, we would say to hell with these Senators, whose voting record is far from ideal, but the alternative to staying united no matter what these ten Senators decide to do on the Supreme Court nominee of Trump, is to see the Republicans gain more seats and lock up the Senate for the long haul.

That is why it seems to this blogger that to promote or expect a left wing Democrat as the Presidential nominee, while ideal in theory, is likely to kill off any chance of the Democrats winning the Presidency in 2020, after what could be a Democratic debacle in the Senate races this year.

What seems likely to happen is that the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch will vote for the Trump Supreme Court choice and will survive, and the other seven Democrats—particularly the three women—McCaskill, Stabenow and Baldwin—will vote against and yet survive as well. Casey will be conflicted but probably vote NO and survive, as well as Brown. And Tester should still be able to win another term as well.

The toughest seat to keep will be Bill Nelson in Florida, but it seems likely he will vote NO on the nominee.

So at the end, the likely vote will be 53-46, all 50 GOP Senators, including Collins and Murkowski, with the exception of the absent John McCain, and Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, with anger and disgust by Democrats, but the only likely road to those seats being saved.

So IF all seats are saved, except possibly Florida, and then IF Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and maybe Texas are gained, the Democrats MIGHT have a 51-49 or 52-48 Democratic Senate, and the battle against Trump will have another day and more to fight, the best possible under present circumstances.

Of course, all progressives have to pray for the good health and continued life of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, to serve until 2021, a tall order, as if that does not happen, the Supreme Court is lost with a certainty until close to 2045-2050, past the lifetime of this blogger and probably all of my readers.

This is a gloomy reality, but we have to do whatever we can do to promote a Democratic majority in both houses, and accept that not all Democrats will be progressives, but will at least be of the party persuasion!

Supreme Court Membership Could Be Increased In Future By Democratic Party Senate Majority, Perfectly Legal

Progressives have developed the idea that in the future, when Democrats gain the majority of the US Senate, they may move toward increasing the membership of the Supreme Court, playing hardball as much as the Republicans have under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell refused to allow hearings for Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to replace the dead Antonin Scalia, saying it was an election year, and improper to allow an outgoing President to make an appointment.

This was preposterous, as John Adams named John Marshall Chief Justice in 1801, after losing reelection to Thomas Jefferson; Andrew Jackson chose Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney in 1836, his last year in office; and Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison and William Howard Taft chose Justices in their last year in office; and Herbert Hoover chose Benjamin Cardozo in 1932, his last year in office; and Dwight D. Eisenhower chose William Brennan in the year of his reelection campaign; and Ronald Reagan chose Anthony Kennedy in his last year in office in 1988.

We have had differing numbers of justices. up to ten, and there is no constitutional barring of adding more Justices, as Franklin D. Roosevelt wished to do in 1937.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as the saying goes, and this might be a way to wield power on the part of the Democrats to create a balanced Court, as otherwise, we will have the most extremist Court since the 1920s!

Republicans Plan “Scorched Earth” Midterm Election Campaign, As Nasty And Degrading As Donald Trump Pursued In 2016!

Hard to believe, but indications are clear that the Republicans are planning a “scorched earth” midterm election campaign, as nasty and degrading as Donald Trump pursued in 2016.

Insults, smearing, and the dirtiest tactics imaginable beyond comprehension are planned, with the argument that Trump understands the American people, and therefore, the campaigns for office will be as vile and mean spirited as his, to meet the new low level of public discourse brought about by Trump.

No apologies, no limits, no second thoughts, about saying and promoting further division and hatred of people who are not the opponents, but the “enemies”.

One can be sure there will be massive doses of misogyny, racism, nativism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and foul language utilized, since it appeals to the lowest common denominator among Americans.

Instead of bringing the level of dialogue to a higher level, we will see yet more disgusting and reprehensible behavior by candidates.

Character assassination will be common, and likely, it will turn off many voters who might decide to avoid voting, out of fear, or disgust, or resignation that the era of Trump is here to stay.

That is why Democrats and liberals and progressives must fight hard to resist this, and to convince voters change IS possible!

While not easy for Democrats, liberals, and progressives, we must fight tooth and nail, and now allow ourselves to be intimidated, as the common decency and future of the American people is at stake!

Why Don’t Republicans Abandon Donald Trump, And Promote A “True Believer”, Mike Pence?

A growing question, in the midst of ever expanding Donald Trump corruption regarding Russian Collusion, Obstruction Of Justice, Violation of the Emoluments Clause, Stormy Daniels Scandal, and the Michael Cohen controversy, is why Republicans do NOT abandon Trump, and promote a “true believer”, Vice President Mike Pence.

For those of us are who progressives, the thought of a President Mike Pence is a horror, as Pence is clearly a man who promotes theocracy in a manner that is clearly dangerous.

This is a man who was losing, at least in polls, his original plan for reelection as Indiana Governor in 2016, when Donald Trump “rescued” his career, by selecting him as his Vice Presidentila running mate.

Pence had a record of being allied with the Tea Party Movement while a Congressman, that arose in the wake of the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Pence had a record of promoting the tobacco industry, and denying that cigarette smoking caused lung cancer.

Pence had a record of advocating conversion therapy to undo the “sin” of being gay or lesbian, even though he has denied that, but it is fact that he was and is a vehement opponent of gay rights and gay marriage, and that he wears his evangelical Christianity on his sleeve.

Pence had a record of being a leading misogynist, vehemently opposing the right of a woman to choose in regards to abortion, and his wife Karen has had a strong influence on his thinking on this, and on issues involving women’s equality in other areas.

Pence has a very good relationship with Republican leaders and many conservatives, as well as right wing evangelical leaders, so it would seem logical that at some point, the pressure will be on for these groups to pressure Trump to resign.

An upcoming meeting of right wing evangelicals, scheduled for Tuesday June 19 with President Trump, could become the motivation to tell Donald Trump the gig is up, and that if he does not resign, that the move will be on to force him out.

That day will mark 23 days after the length of time of Zachary Taylor in the White House in 1849-1850 before his death, a total of 492 days. So on the 515th day of his Presidency, one might expect the pressure to grow on Trump, and to lead to his resignation shortly after, making him the fourth shortest term of any President in American history!

A total of 10 Presidents have served less than a full term, but seven of them had at least two years and five months, but the likelihood of Trump lasting two years to January 20, 2019, can now be seen as extremely unlikely. And to expect him to last five more months to June 20, 2019, and surpass the fourth shortest Presidency, that of Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923, is certainly a long shot!

A Potential Way For Democrats To Win White Working Class Vote Of Midwest And Pennsylvania In 2020: A Ticket Of Joe Biden And Sherrod Brown!

Face the facts: The 2020 Presidential race has begun, as several politicians in both parties, and even Donald Trump, have started to appear in Iowa and or New Hampshire, the first caucus and first primary state respectively.

There is a myriad of potential candidates for the Democrats, but the thought comes to mind that the Democrats cannot afford to sacrifice the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania, which were lost by Hillary Clinton by small margins in 2016.

And when one thinks about the wide variety of nominees, the thought that comes to mind, at least to this observer, is that a ticket that could win the vote that gave Donald Trump the victory in the Electoral College in 2016, is:

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN OF DELAWARE
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN OF OHIO

Biden and Brown, the KILLER BEES, were both under consideration in 2016, but Biden did not run due to the death of his son Beau Biden, and Brown was on a short list for Hillary Clinton, but Tim Kaine was selected instead.

Both Biden and Brown have made their careers to a great extent on the backing and support of the white working class, from which both came, and which both understand, and it is part of their “blood”, so to speak.

Brown must win his Senate seat in Ohio this November, but is favored, and has expressed interest before in higher office, and he has served two terms in the Senate, and 14 years before that in the House of Representatives, and also served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years before coming to Congress. He also served in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that. So he has vast experience, being in elected office 42 of the past 44 years, since 1975

And of course, Joe Biden sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008, and is superbly qualified for the White House with 36 years in the Senate and eight as the most active and involved Vice President in history, shared with Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter, having served a total of 44 years from 1973 to 2017.

When have we had two people on a national ticket, each with 44 years in office by 2020? NEVER, and both are solid progressives who care about the American people!

Both Brown and Biden are aggressive campaigners, and great orators, and would know how to take the fight to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or any other Republican nominee for President.

Ohio is the crucial state in so many elections, and Brown could bring the whole Midwest and Pennsylvania to the Democrats, and Biden knows how to appeal to the struggling white working class.

Of course, many will say Joe Biden will be too old at age 78, and that Sherrod Brown at age 68 makes for an old ticket, and that no women or minorities or younger nominees would have the opportunity to be the nominees in a nation that is leaning toward a more diverse future. But Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, a community college professor, and Brown’s wife, Connie Schultz, a well respected journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2005, would also add to the campaign as future First Lady and Second Lady of the land. Schultz has focused on the underdog and underprivileged in her journalism career, and is now Professor of Journalism at Kent State University, after years of being a journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

The first goal is to WIN the White House, and it is hard to argue against the idea that a Biden-Brown ticket could bring success.

The Plot To Privatize The Department Of Veterans Affairs, And The Firing Of Secretary David Shulkin, Just A Beginning To Privatize Much Of Federal Government

It is clear that Donald Trump, and his right wing friends, billionaires Charles and David Koch, and other right wing extremists, are out to destroy the Federal government involvement in just about every government agency other than the original cabinet agencies created in 1789–State, Treasury, (War)Defense, and Justice.

So the firing of Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is clearly a move to make Veterans Affairs privatized, which is a horrible idea, as taking care of our veterans should not be based on the profit motive. There is also a plan to privatize Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, the Post Office, and other government agencies.

Those who care about a responsive national government being protected must understand that “war” has been declared by the extremists on the right, who do not give a damn about the lives of 325 million Americans, only downgrading federal government as it has operated since the beginning of the 20th century and President Theodore Roosevelt.

Regulation and intervention has advanced America, but the big corporations and the elite wealthy want to reverse, and destroy, all progress for average Americans to make our nation more humane and responsive.

This is the time for liberals, progressives, and Democrats to work to deny the success of this plot, so every caring American must work to get rid of the Republican majority in Congress, so that the fight against the evil of the Trump Presidency can move forward.

Millennials Surpass Baby Boomers In Numbers, And Are Solidly Anti Trump In Various Polls

Millennials (those born from around 1978 to the early 2000s) have become the largest number of people in the population, surpassing Baby Boomers (those born from 1946 to 1964) in numbers, and indications are clear that they are solidly anti Trump in various polls.

The Baby Boomers were considered liberals and anti Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s, and yet now, many of them are among the most conservative in the nation, particularly in rural areas, where they tend to be heavily non college educated and alienated from racial and ethnic minorities.

But even the college educated Baby Boomers tend to be, as a group, much more oriented toward preservation of their Social Security and Medicare benefits, and less concerned about what happens to the younger generations, other their own families and friends.

This is a disconcerting situation, but adds to the general statement that when young, one tends to be more liberal and progressive, and when older, one becomes more conservative and right wing, and “territorial” in their views.

In the urban areas, Baby Boomers, much more diverse in religion, race, and ethnicity, are more likely to remain liberal and progressive.

It is time for the Millennials to speak up and get involved in the political system, as they will inherit the tragic circumstances of Donald Trump, and it will be up to them to return America to the social commitments and values of the younger Baby Boomers of the 1960s and 1970s.

2017 Horrible Year Of Reversal, In Many Ways The Most Tragic Year For America Since 1968!

In the past half century, since the tumultuous year of 1968, acknowledged by many scholars and experts as the most significant single year in American history since 1945 (the end of World War II), America has gone through much turmoil and tragedy. This includes Richard Nixon and Watergate; the end of the Vietnam War; the rise of terrorism in the 1990s, leading up to September 11, 2001; two other unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the Great Recession of 2007-2009, which finally has led to full employment and an economic revival after nearly ten years, but with many Americans left behind.

It has also been a fifty year period of much progess toward civil and human rights amid massive social change , with the Barack Obama years being seen as a positive time in so many ways.

But now, 2017 has revealed that we are in a dramatic retreat from much of the reform and change that has gone on since 1968, and the nation and the world are in total chaos and anarchy, due to the rise of a truly Fascist wannabe, Donald Trump, who has clearly stolen the Presidential election of 2016 and is in process of destroying all of the positive changes of the past 50 years.

Domestic and foreign policy, and constitutional law is in revolution, and 2018 will likely be a continuation of the nightmare of 2017, but with the hope that at least Donald Trump will be forced out of office in some manner, not yet clear.

But the likelihood that Vice President Mike Pence will become the 46th President sometime in 2018, bodes ill for the future, with his extreme right wing evangelical conservative beliefs, which would make him more conservative and extremist than even the most conservative Presidents of the past century, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan.

So we who are progressives have a lot of work to do next year to attempt to bring America back from the brink of destruction perpetrated by a man who is the most evil President in American history; and a party which has tarnished the reputation historically of Abraham, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and so many others who proudly carried the Republican mantle in the past 150 years until now.

It is time for progressives to fight with all their energy and strength to return this nation to the great advancements promoted by a century of Presidents and Congresses from the time of Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

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.