Posts Tagged Republican Party
While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.
Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.
Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.
Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.
Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.
John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.
Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.
Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.
Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!
When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!
Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.
There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.
Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?
After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!
Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!
It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!
It is now clear that the Republican Party is imploding rapidly!
Witness the condemnation by right wing groups of the budget deal arranged by Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington, which helps to avoid another government shutdown, and attempts to provide a stable economic environment for the next two years. As Ryan said it, it is essential for some compromise, while not giving up one’s core principles. The deal is far from great, and will require payment of some retirement contributions by people in the military, and higher airline fees for passengers, but it is a step forward to avoid more economic chaos.
But various right wing groups have opposed the deal, and it is likely that Speaker John Boehner will have to count on Democratic votes to get the package approved later this week, before Congress takes a holiday break, possessing the worst record for performance of modern Congressional history! Boehner has already expressed his annoyance at conservative groups, and so the the infighting continues, as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Tom Coburn have already denounced the agreement.
One outcome of this agreement is likely the death knell of a Paul Ryan campaign for President, because after all, he was willing to “compromise”!
But this is not the only infighting going on, as Newt Gingrich and Ted Cruz had the “gall” to issue statements complimentary of Nelson Mandela, infuring the far Right, as if Gingrich and Cruz are not part of that group. It is the crazy loonies attacking the mere crazies.
For progressives, it is a fun time, and all that one needs is some soda and popcorn, and sit and enjoy the lunatic fringe acting more looney by the moment!
The right wing talking heads and the hate mongers who are always negative about any kind of progress or reform, are symbolically having their heads explode with the news that:
General Colin Powell supports a single payer health care system as the ultimate answer to the problem of health coverage.
Pope Francis has been named as the PERSON OF THE YEAR by Time Magazine, a richly deserved honor, and a hope for reform of the Catholic Church from its backward, regressive nature!
These are two pieces of news that brighten the day, and both men are great figures in world affairs.
But it will cause Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and the other right wing extremists, along with most of the Republican Party in Congress and in state governments, to be furious beyond belief, raising their blood pressure!
Anytime the right wing suffers a defeat or a loss, is a moment to celebrate, and it reminds us of the poison they spew against our courageous, principled President, who takes the attacks with equanimity, and goes about his business of doing what must be done to advance the nation for all of us, not just the elite wealthy!
This is a day to celebrate! Hallelujah!
It seems now more than ever that the Democratic Party is stepping aside for Hillary Clinton to be its nominee.
It may be that it simply seems like a “fait accompli”, an inevitable situation that makes possible rivals unwilling to enter the field, hesitant to challenge her.
The point is that Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have made it clear that they are not in the field, unwilling to promote any action that indicates a challenge to the giant shadow of the former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady.
No discussion is going on for anyone else, other than possibly Joe Biden and former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and it is really possible at the end that we will have the first uncontested nomination ever seen in modern American history, almost as if Hillary Clinton is President running unopposed for a second term in the White House, rather than as an outsider seeking the office of the Presidency.
Since Hillary resided in the White House for eight years, it is a scenario unseen in American history, and would strengthen her as the Republican Party, with its nightmarish group of candidates, fights it out on the far right, alienating the great center of the American population.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has never experienced what it is to be poor, unemployed, deprived in any form, is advocating that those millions who have been unable to find work should be punished for that fact, and be cut off unemployment compensation, despite the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Paul points out that employers are more likely to hire people out of work for four weeks than 99 weeks! That in itself is disgraceful discrimination, blaming the unemployed for what the wealthy on Wall Street did to us, in cooperation with the administration of a Republican Congress and President in the early 2000s, leading to the Great Recession.
So these unfortunate souls should lose their last lifeline, and go homeless and starve, as “tough love” is the so called “answer” for those down and out.
And of course, the dropping of unemployment compensation is teamed with massive cuts in food stamps, and refusal to consider an increase in the minimum wage, which, if it had kept up with the cost of living since 1968, would now be over $21 an hour.
So kick the disadvantaged when they are down, Rand Paul, heh? And this is the “Christian’ spirit? What is wrong with you and your disgraceful colleagues?
The push is on to promote an image of Ronald Reagan on South Africa that is false, that he was a supporter of freedom in South Africa, but could not do so because of the Cold War with the Soviet Union,
While it is true that Reagan worried about the African National Congress being linked to Communism in the 1970s and 1980s, the fact is that the US Congress, including a large number of Republicans, overcame a presidential veto of legislation to put sanctions on South Africa in 1986,
Who was on Reagan’s side? People like North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most outrageous racists ever to walk the halls of Congress, and ironically, hailed earlier this year by Texas Senator Ted Cruz as someone he admired, and wished there could be 100 Jesse Helmses in the US Senate today!
Also, one must recall that Reagan did not promote “human rights” in countries that Jimmy Carter had condemned, and withheld foreign aid from during his Presidency, nations such as the Philippines and Haiti, and only after “peoples” revolutions in those nations in the same year as the override of the presidential veto on South African sanctions, 1986, did Reagan suddenly become an advocate of human rights.
And one must remember that Reagan worked to undermine the civil rights laws in the 1980s, including opposition to affirmative action, and had never been an open advocate of those laws when they were passed.
So while no one is calling Ronald Reagan a racist, least of all the author, his lack of sensitivity on the outrage of apartheid in South Africa, still stand out as reprehensible!
And the greatest example of how the Reagan view has been repudiated is the fact that three former Presidents–Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush—and President Barack Obama, are all going to the funeral of Nelson Mandela next week, a tribute to the greatness of this man considered by many 30 years ago as a “terrorist”, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who himself could be considered a war criminal by many for the waging of the war in Iraq on false pretenses.
Dick Cheney is no model to follow, any more than Jesse Helms!
If this is said to be representative of the conservative movement in America, then they have made their own downfall as a serious alternative to what matters most, human rights and dignity!
It has been stated for the past five years by the Obama Administration, that there is a dire need for infrastructure spending, not only to create jobs as part of the economic recovery, but also to upgrade our deteriorating transportation system, whether highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, seaports, or train systems all across America.
Now with the train tragedy in New York City yesterday, the emphasis on the need to do something to upgrade our entire infrastructure shouts out at us more than ever, but the Republican Party has its head in the sand, and will not promote funding for what is essential for the American future.
We are now 14th in infrastructure statistics worldwide, and this is simply not sustainable for the long run, and the nation will suffer dramatically unless a drastic change in attitude, and willingness to fund growth, is accomplished!
The massive problems with the roll out of ObamaCare could hurt the Democrats in midterm elections coming up in November 2014.
The Republicans, by their shutting down of the government, were on the defensive, but now the unbelievable troubles with ObamaCare seem to be wiping out the edge that the Democrats had just two months ago.
It is clear that the American population is changing its views on government and major issues, based on each new controversy which arises, and that anything could happen eleven months from now.
It is also evident that IF the American people could defeat all incumbents, they would do so, and that many, at least in theory, would like a new political party.
But the American system of government is such that the reality of defeating incumbents is very difficult, and only a small percentage will be defeated next year. At the same time, having new political parties that can compete for power and influence is nearly impossible, as our party system, with its ups and its downs, has not changed in 160 years when 2014 arrives next month.
We are in a very difficult period politically, and trying to predict the outcome of the midterm elections, and even the Presidential race of 2016, has become ever more something one would not wish to bet on!