Republican Party

The Political Year 2018 Reviewed, And Hopes For A Political Renaissance

The year 2018 saw the drastic blunders and mean spirited nature of the 45th President come to full fruition.

It was the year of diplomatic, economic, environmental, and social steps backward, wiping out a lot of the good that has been done by Presidents and Congresses of both parties in the past 70 plus years since World War II.

It was the year of the passing of political leaders who always had the motivation to do good, even when they sometimes went the wrong direction on specific issues—John McCain and George H. W. Bush.

It was a year when the Federal Judiciary stood up to Donald Trump most of the time, but also a year when extreme right wing judges were approved, and a Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, similar to Clarence Thomas in his mistreatment of women, was confirmed despite that reality.

It was also the year of more gun related deaths and opioid deaths than have died in war since the end of World War II.

It was the year when schools and religious institutions and public gathering places were subjected to mass death by people who desperately needed mental health intervention.

It was the year when racism, nativism, misogyny all had massive revival, assisted by the behavior of the Chief Executive in the Oval Office.

It was the year when the Republican Party lost all credibility as it refused to stand up and condemn the unstable behavior of Donald Trump, and allowed him to hijack the historical reputation of the party.

But in the midst of all this gloom, it was also the year of the rise of women, racial and religious minorities, gays and lesbians, and young people to more political power and influence than has ever been seen in American politics and society.

The Democratic Party became the bastion of future hopes of reform and change, and they have the backing of millions of Americans who desperately want a different direction for American politics and society.

2019 needs to be the year of movement against Donald Trump, and hold him accountable for his crimes and sins, and the likelihood of the Trump Presidency coming to an end by criminal indictments against family members, leading to the resignation of Trump, as occurred with Richard Nixon, seems likely.

The future of American democracy and constitutional government is at stake as we enter 2019, but the massive “Blue Wave” evokes hope and optimism.

Let us all hope for a better, more productive 2019 politically and socially.

Trump Insisting On Border Wall, While Abandoning Commitment To Resistance To ISIS And Taliban In Middle East, The Much Greater Long Term Threat To National Security

Donald Trump is creating an economic and constitutional crisis in his stubborn insistence on a border wall, which will not insure the safety of the United States, and is a financial boondoggle.

Meanwhile, he is abandoning a commitment to resistance to two Muslim terrorist groups which are still major problems in the Middle East, ISIS and the Taliban, leaving it to other nations that have ill intent—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the murderous regime in Syria—to resolve that issue, which, instead, will lead to the further growth of terrorism, which will spread around the globe.

This is a much greater long term threat to American national security, and one can sure that in the future, we will have some kind of major terrorist attack caused by ISIS and or the Taliban in a manner that will affect many Americans.

This, if it happens under the Trump Presidency, would be a perfect excuse for Trump to attempt to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and accomplish his underlying goal of creating an authoritarian dictatorship on a Fascist model.

This cannot be allowed to happen, and the new 116th Congress must resist Trump at all costs, and Republicans who have any morals or ethics or concern for our historical heritage of rule by law, must join with Democrats to insure the survival of our democratic system of government, at what is clearly now the greatest crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when, fortunately, we had a level headed and mentally stable President in charge.

Two Profiles In Courage, Harry Truman And Gerald Ford, Died On This Day

Today, December 26, marks the anniversary of the death of President Harry Truman in 1972, and of Gerald Ford in 2006.

Both Truman and Ford were rare, Presidents who succeeded to the office during the term of others elected, and both facing major challenges and being “Profiles in Courage”.

Both never actively sought the Presidency, did not have the driving ambition and motivation to run for President, and both were thrust into crises—Truman with the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt before the end of World War II, and Ford with the resignation of Richard Nixon in the Watergate Crisis—that required firm determination to keep the nation united in difficult times.

Many may have wondered if either Truman nor Ford would meet the challenges they faced, but they both did, at a time now when we have the greatest crisis since at least the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and yet we have the most incompetent, amoral, unstable, and unprincipled President in all of American history, when what we need is a Harry Truman or Gerald Ford.

Sadly, it does not seem as if Mike Pence has the guts or commitment to do what needs to be done, to take action to assert the need for the 25th Amendment Section 4 to take away power for mental reasons from Donald Trump, or to push for his resignation, or for his Republican Party to take action in league with the Democratic Party, as the two parties did in 1974, pressuring Nixon to resign for the good of the nation.

Let us stop for a moment, however, to honor both Harry Truman and Gerald Ford as men who deserve our respect and approval for what they did to advance America in difficult times.

Latinos In Congress Gain Major Role In 116th Congress

There are 57 million Latinos, from Puerto Rican heritage, as well as Cuban, Mexican, and one from Ecuador in the United States as 2018 comes to an end.

A record of 43 Latinos will be sitting in the 116th Congress, with some in leadership roles, as Latinos now constitute 18 percent of the total population, the nation’s largest minority group.

New Mexico Representative Ben Ray Lujan has been chosen by the Democratic Caucus to be Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth ranking position in the House Leadership, and could be on the road to being a future Whip, Majority Leader, or even Speaker of the House in the future.

Meanwhile, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will be in charge of the party’s campaign arm for Senate races in 2020, the first Latina to have a position of authority in the Democratic Party.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will be headed by Texas Representative Joaquin Castro, and his brother, Julian, is about to announce his candidacy for President, the first serious Latino to compete for the White House.

The caucus will pursue comprehensive immigration reform; reconstruction in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; raising the minimum wage; lowering the cost of health care; and dealing with climate change.

Ten new Latinos are coming to Congress, the largest increase ever, with five Democrats who were first time candidates defeating Republican incumbents in November, including one Latina.

Four other Latinas will be in the new Congress, including two from Texas, and one from the Bronx, New York, and one born in Ecuador.

35 of the 43 Latinos in the next Congress are Democrats, to 8 Republicans, with only one new Republican Latino, elected in Ohio, the first Latino ever elected from Ohio.

Seven other first time Republican Latinos Congressional candidates lost, in the era of the anti Latino and anti immigrant rhetoric common to Donald Trump and his administration.

And two Republican Latinos lost their seats in California and Florida, not a good sign for Latino impact on the Republican Party in the future.

The Temper Tantrum Of Donald Trump Must Face Democratic Discipline As A Lesson Of What Is Coming

The shutdown of the US government over the Christmas holidays is truly “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

Donald Trump is showing just how much of a toddler’s behavior we have to deal with in the Oval Office, and he must face Democratic Party discipline and taught a lesson of what is coming.

Trump will not get his way, will not be allowed to waste taxpayer money in such a reckless way, when a proposed Mexico Wall will have no effect on national security, as there are other ways to protect the border in a more technological manner than a wall which cannot be accomplished in many areas of the 2,000 mile boundary between the US and Mexico.

Trump’s portrayal of the danger of terrorism at the border is preposterous on its face, and instead, he should be changing his plan to leave Syria and now Afghanistan abruptly, when the true terrorist threat of ISIS and the Taliban is being encouraged by Trump’s decision to take rash action on withdrawal of troops.

Leaving both Syria and Afghanistan is a dangerous move that not only affects US national security, and encourages a future Al Qaeda type attack on the American homeland, but also on Americans and other friendly nation nationals in the Middle East over the long haul, as just occurred with two young women slaughtered in Morocco in a brutal ISIS manner.

Withdrawal also encourages Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria’s mass murder dictator, and endangers Israel, as it allows expansion of Iranian influence. One can be critical of Israel’s government and its policies, but still be concerned at any threat to its security and survival.

Also, leaving Syria put the courageous Kurdish minority which has fought bravely alongside the US and other allied nations in the cross hairs of the Turkish government, which plans a blood bath to slaughter them, and prevent their establishment of their own nationhood, and this should not be allowed to happen.

If Trump is permitted to win this battle, then constitutional democracy in America and worldwide is threatened.

And Democrats and loyal Americans must make Trump’s Presidency a nightmare, which forces him to resign from office, or convince sensible Republicans that he must be told his time is up, a la what happened with Richard Nixon in 1974 at the end of the Watergate Scandal.

Trump must be taught his limits or the nation is endangered long term.

Nearly One Out Of Four Members Of The 116th Congress Will Be Women, All Time High

The role of women in American politics has grown dramatically in recent years, and in 2019-2020, the 116th Congress will have its highest number of women in history, 102 in the House of Representatives, and 25 in the US Senate.

89 of the House women are Democrats, while 13 are Republicans, and in the Senate, 17 women are Democrats, and 8 are Republicans.

So 106 women in Congress are Democrats, as compared to 21 Republicans, nearly five times the rate among Democrats as compared to Republicans.

Every state except four have had Congresswomen, the only exceptions being Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota and Vermont, but with the first three having elected Senators, so only Vermont has never had a woman represent the state in Congress.

Nearly 38 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives are women, while only 6.5 percent of Republicans are women.

About the same percentage, 38 percent, of Democrats in the Senate are women, while about 14 percent of Republicans are women. 

35 Democratic women were elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018, to just 1 Republican woman, an amazing statistic.

2 Democratic women were elected to the Senate in November 2018, to just 1 Republican,  plus 1 Republican appointed to fill a seat to 2020.

So clearly,  the Democrats are the party of women by vast margins, as compared to Republicans.

The longest serving Congresswoman ever, Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, has served 36 years and will start her 19th term in January.

Nancy Pelosi, the past and future Speaker of the House, is starting her 17th term in Congress, having served 32 years.

And this all began with Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana, elected to serve in 1917-1918, and sponsoring the woman suffrage 19th Amendment.

Nancy Pelosi Proves A Woman Can Overwhelm A Bully, A Braggart, A President Who Is Unfit To Be President

Nancy Pelosi was a great, productive leader of the House as Speaker from 2007-2011, and she will be again.

She was easily the best Speaker of the House since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, who was Speaker under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from 1977-1987.

She accomplished more under the last two years of George W. Bush and the first two years of Barack Obama than any modern Speaker other than O’Neill in the past 45 years, and makes all Republican Speakers–Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Paul Ryan–look pitiful by comparison.

The House of Representatives will have a much more complicated calendar for the first time in 12 years, as she will push and promote the Democratic agenda in the next two years, along with consideration of the possible impeachment of Donald Trump.

Her performance in showing up Trump at an open to the press 17 minute verbal dispute in the Oval Office was masterful, and showed she can best a man who thinks he is smart and brilliant, but was shown to be “an Emperor without clothes”.   Trump was humiliated by how Pelosi portrayed him  and his manhood, and has shown, despite her reaching the age of 80 by 2020, that she is the right person to lead Democrats into a hoped for massive victory in 2020 for the Presidency and the US Senate, and retention of the House majority.

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

Mueller Investigation Proves Donald Trump Has Committed Impeachable Acts, But Trump Denies Everything

The Robert Mueller investigation, as of Friday, has proved that Donald Trump has committed impeachable acts, but Trump denies everything.

The next two years, clearly, will see a constant battle over Trump, as he clearly has no intentions of leaving office.

The 2020 election seems more than ever a battle for the Constitution and American democracy.

The fireworks we have seen in two years of Donald Trump are just the prelude to the most tumultuous and dangerous moment in American history, far surpassing even the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, and Richard Nixon and the Watergate Crisis.

With a divided Congress, impeachment seems likely, but absolutely no possibility of the Republican controlled US Senate doing the right thing, and moving to convict and remove the President by a two thirds vote.

It is clear that Donald Trump cares more about himself than he does for the nation, and will stop at nothing to divide us, and attempt to win a second term.

It would seem highly unlikely that he could possibly win a second term, but in theory, he could cobble together a combination of states and electoral votes and pull another victory out, even with public opinion polls unlikely to ever show a majority support him.

One even has to wonder if he lost reelection, whether he would accept defeat and leave office on January 20, 2021, and how the government bureaucracy would conduct itself in such an eventuality.

By comparison,  Richard Nixon looks so much more principled and respectful of the Constitution, while Donald Trump is clearly of a totalitarian mind, and somehow, he must be stopped and removed from office.