Richard Nixon

Supreme Court Once Again Stands Up To Presidential Assertion Of Executive Privilege, And Limits It!

The Supreme Court of the United States for the third time in 48 years has stood up to a President who asserted “Executive Privilege”, and was smacked down by a court including members appointed by the President who was involved in the Court case.

First, we had US V Nixon in July 1974, having to do with Richard Nixon and the Watergate tapes, which the Court unanimously, 8-0, ordered them handed over to the Watergate Special Prosecutor and the House Judiciary Committee. This led within weeks to the resignation of Richard Nixon. Associate Justice William Rehnquist recused himself from the case, appropriately, as he had worked earlier in the Nixon Justice Department, but the other three Nixon appointees, Chief Justice Warren Burger, and Associate Justices Harry Blackmun and Lewis Powell, joined the unanimous decision.

Next, we had Clinton V Jones, 1997, which involved the issue of whether Bill Clinton could be required to testify in a civil trial while in office, a case brought by Paula Jones against Governor Clinton for sexual harrassment. The Court unanimously, 9-0, including his two appointees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, ruled that he had to give testimony, and this helped to lead to his impeachment in 1998. So there was no immunity from civil law litigation for acts done before taking office, and unrelated to the office.

And now, we have Trump V Thompson, a lawsuit brought by Donald Trump against the January 6 House Committee investigation of the January 6, 2021 Insurrection, in the name of Chairman Bennie Thompson. So documents to show the series of events leading to the Insurrection are now to be made available to the House committee, as it investigates the wrong doing of the 45th President. This is a major victory, and all three Trump Supreme Court nominees—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—voted with the majority 8-1, with only Clarence Thomas in oppostion.

This is a conflict of interest by Thomas, who should have recused himself, as William Rehnquist did in the Nixon case. Since Thomas’s wife was involved in the planning of the January 6 Insurrection, encouraging lawlessness, this should be grounds for removal of Clarence Thomas from the Supreme Court, highly unlikely, but would be appropriate!

One Term Presidencies That Mattered: Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush!

President Joe Biden stated at his end of first year press conference yesterday, that he planned to run for a second term in 2024, and that Kamala Harris would again be his running mate.

That is to be expected at this time, but by early 2023, Biden will need to make a final decision on running, so as to open the race to alternative choices if he announces he will retire.

The concept that a President must seek reelection was not the case with three Presidents, who decided not to run–James K. Polk in 1848, James Buchanan in 1860, and Rutherford Hayes in 1880. But Polk, despite not running for another term, is considered to have accomplished his goals, and as it turns out, his health was not good, and he died 105 days after leaving office in 1849.

Buchanan and Hayes are not considered to have had successful terms, and they may have sensed that they could not win reelection.

Other one term Presidents, such as Benjamin Harrison and Herbert Hoover, had horrible depressions to deal with, helping to cause their defeats in 1892 and 1932, and William Howard Taft had a split in his party with former President Theodore Roosevelt, which doomed his campaign for reelection in 1912.

Gerald Ford was a special situation, having not been elected, succeeding Richard Nixon, and having a bad economy, which doomed his desire for election to a full term in 1976, although he is considered in a kind manner at this point, having worked to unite America after the Watergate Scandal and resignation of Nixon.

But the two most recent Presidents defeated for reelection, before Donald Trump, had real accomplishments in office, although they were unable to win a second term, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Clearly, all Presidents since Rutherford Hayes in 1880, who have survived a term, have attempted to be reelected, but since Biden will be 82 years old weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024, he might decide not to run, or his health might be such that he is told he should not run.

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Jimmy Carter Closing In On 15,000 Days In Retirement From Presidency On Valentine’s Day!

Former President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) keeps adding to his record as the longest lived American President, being now 97 years, 3 months, and 17 days, at this writing!

His wife, Rosalynn Carter, is 94, and 5 months, as this writing, and the couple are married more than 75 years!

On January 20, Carter will have been out of the Presidency for 41 years, nearly ten years more than Herbert Hoover!

And hard to believe, Carter will be closing in on 15,000 days in retirement from the Presidency on Valentine’s Day, February 14!

Carter is amazing, and the longer he lives, the more his stature rises, as he is certainly considered the greatest retired President, in the sense of his contributions to American society and the world community, through his commitments to the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter is such a good, decent human being, and he will always stand out for his major accomplishments, including the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; the Panama Canal Treaty; diplomatic relations with China; the promotion of human rights in foreign policy; his presiding over three Cabinet agencies being created (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); his promotion of diversity in his appointments to all kinds of posts; and his exceptional environmental record, the greatest of any one term President, and considered the third best by Environmental historians, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon!

Sad 44th Anniversary Of The Passing Of Hubert Humphrey, My Original Political Hero!

On this day, January 13, 1978, 44 years ago, my original political hero, Senator, Vice President, and Presidential nominee Hubert H. Humphrey passed away from cancer at the young age of 66.

When I was young, Humphrey became my political hero, with his strong liberal championship of views on civil rights, and introducing many ideas that became part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in the mid 1960s.

Not well utliized by Johnson, Humphrey became the nominee of the Democratic Party for the Presidency in 1968, a divided party that had elements rallying around Senator Robert F. Kennedy before his tragic assassination, and also those who backed fellow Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy.

In a three way Presidential race, Humphrey would fall short, losing to Richard Nixon, and with George Wallace being a strong third party candidate.

Humphrey, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis, and then a US Senator from 1949-1965, returned to the Senate in 1971, replacing the retiring Senator McCarthy, and competed unsuccessfully for the Presidential nomination in 1972, and remained a major figure until his untimely death in 1978.

This author and blogger literally wept when Humphrey died, as I was drawn to his humanity, empathy, decency, and compassion.

And once he passed away, I looked around the US Senate for a successor leader I could believe in, and found the young Delaware Senator Joe Biden, still in his first term at age 35.

I feel fortunate that although there were many barriers to Joe Biden’s advancement to the Presidency, that after serving in the Senate for 36 years, and as Vice President under Barack Obama for eight years, that four years later, on his third try for the Oval Office, Biden finally won, and saved the nation from the menace of Donald Trump.

Neither Humphrey nor Biden were or are perfect, no such situation exists, but the two men shared characteristics that caused me to fall in love with them as political leaders.

I am sure that Humphrey would be very proud of Joe Biden, and the two men stand out as uncommonly models of leadership!

Vice Presidents Who Have Accepted Defeat Of Their Party In Electoral College Count

One of the roles of the Vice President of the United States is to count and announce the Electoral College vote at the end of a Presidential term.

Every Vice President has done so, constitutionally, in modern times, even when the Vice President may have been the Presidential nominee for the next term in office.

So we have Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, and Al Gore in 2001, who have played their proper role.

Also, Walter Mondale in 1981 and Dan Quayle in 1993 were on losing tickets as Vice Presidents, but played their proper role.

And Dick Cheney in 2009 and Joe Biden in 2017, both leaving office, did their duty!

Finally, after much hesitation and the intervention of Dan Quayle led Mike Pence in 2021 to do what he was required, constitutionally, to do in his role as Vice President!

Many groups and individuals, including those who are clearly conservative in nature, argue that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, enacted a decade after the disputed Presidential Election of 1876, and two close elections in 1880 and 1884, needs to be overhauled to prevent the crisis that occurred in 2021, only prevented by Mike Pence, at the last minute, following his duty, despite threats to hang him or murder him by mobs engaged in the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021!

Comparing Kamala Harris To Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for nearly a year, and has faced brutal criticism and attacks, and suggestions by some that she resign, because she has not been assertive in the role of Vice President.

Of course, these suggestions come from Fox News Channel anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who are actively involved in attempting a coverup of the events of January 6, 2021, even though they were stunned by the events of that day, and tried to reach Donald Trump to express their dismay.

It is insulting that conservative supporters of the January 6 Insurrection have the gall to attack Kamala Harris, when the major issue is that she is a woman, and of mixed African and Asian American heritage, as her father is from Jamaican origin and her mother of Asian Indian origin.

Who are the critics turning to as models?

Is it Mike Pence, who refused to speak up at all to Donald Trump for four years, but at least had the guts to uphold the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden on January 6, facing the threat of being hanged by rioters? That is his only redeeming quality.

Or is it Dick Cheney, who while qualified by experience, was a dangerous, out of control Vice President, under George W. Bush, who enriched himself by America’s engagement in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through leadership of Haliburton, and endorsed the use of torture against war prisoners?

Or is it Dan Quayle, who made everyone nervous for four years about the health of George H. W. Bush, as Quayle demonstrated how dumb and clueless he was?

Or was it Spiro Agnew, who resigned from office as a felon, after nearly five years a heartbeat away from the Presidency under Richard Nixon?

The only truly reputable Republican Vice President in the past half century was George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan! Although it must be said that the abbreviated Vice Presidency of Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford was also decent!

Meanwhile, Democrats could be proud of their Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; and Joe BIden under Barack Obama!

Kamala Harris is in the tradition of decency and dignity of Mondale, Gore, and Biden, and will do a fine job over the next three years, with her excellent qualification as former San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney General, and US Senator!

US V Nixon; Clinton V Jones; And Now Trump Lawsuit Against January 6 Committee Appeal To Supreme Court!

The Supreme Court has come out with two decisions in the past half century that made it clear of the limits of Presidential power!

In 1974, in US V Nixon, the Supreme Court, including three appointees of President Richard Nixon, unanimously by an 8-0 vote, declared that Nixon had to hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, leading to the resignation of Nixon from the Presidency within weeks!

In 1997, in Clinton V Jones, the Supreme Court, including two appointees of President Bill Clinton, unanimously by a 9-0 vote, declared that a President had no immunity from civil law litigation in federal court for acts done before taking office. This case involved the sexual harrassment charge brought by Paula Jones against Governor Bill Clinton

Clinton’s evasiveness in testifying in court about Paula Jones led to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998, although found not guilty by the Senate in the impeachment trial in 1999.

Now, Donald Trump wants “executive privilege” to be in effect to prevent evidence in White House records of what he was doing on January 6, 2021 involving the Capitol Hill Insurrection, to be presented to the January 6 House Committee, investigating the events of that day. President Joe Biden has authorized waiver of such privileges, since Trump is a former President.

Despite having three Trump appointments to the Supreme Court, the strong likelihood is that the Court will, unanimously, reject such arguments, as earlier Courts did involving Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

If such does not happen, which seems like a long shot, then the Court will have besmirched its reputation for the long term, and the reputation of Chief Justice John Roberts will be damaged forever.

And that will promote the likelihood of attempts to add four new members to a Court which will be the most condemned and pilloried since the time of Chief Justice Roger Taney during the Civil War!

The Republican Party Of History Is Gone! 1854-2022!

The Republican Party of history once stood for human rights, civil rights, racial equality, in the age of Abraham Lincoln.

The Republican Party of history once stood for progressive reforms, in the age of Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Sr., and George Norris.

The Republican Party of history once stood for promoting internationalism and fighting the Cold War for democracy and against the threat of totalitarianism, in the age of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party of history once stood for Civil Rights in the age of Senators and Congressmen who joined with Democrats to promote political and social reform.

The Republican Party of history had its elements which were evil and divisive, but the party overall stood for basic principles of decency while promoting conservatism and the concept of limited national government.

But now, the Republican Party has promoted massive give aways to the wealthy, while having no concern about the needs of the middle class and the poor.

But now, the Republican Party consorts with authoritarian regimes of the Left and the Right, including collaborating with Vladimir Putin to fix the Presidential Election of 2016, and to make concessions to the Russian Federation during the era of Donald Trump.

But now, the Republican Party has the craziest conceivable elements in its party, who promote sedition, treason, and attacks on the Constitution and the rule of law.

Only a small element of the 2021-2022 Republican Party is part of the mainstream of American politics, and they are outnumbered and attacked for their commitment to decency, honesty, and the tenets of American democracy. Plaudits to Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Tom Rice, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and a small group of other courageous, principled Congressmen and Senators!

Donald Trump and his ilk, which include millions of ignorant, prejudiced white supremacists, antisemites, Islamophobes, racists, nativists and misogynists, represent a dire threat to the American republic, and must be combatted by every legal tool available, to allow America to reach its 250th anniversary in 2026 as a nation still keeping its values and heritage that are a model for democracy around the world in the 21st century!

The AntiSemitism Of Donald Trump Stated Loud And Clear!

AntiSemitism has sadly been part of American history, and we have had Presidents whose attitudes towards the Jewish people have been questioned.

Many question Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reaction to growing evidence of the Holocaust during World War II.

Harry Truman’s reaction toward Jews and Israel only developed due to his long friendship with Eddie Jacobson, and yet he could not visit Truman at his home in Independence, Missouri, due to the antiSemitism of Truman’s wife, First Lady Bess Truman.

Richard Nixon, while assisting Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, expressed antiSemitic slurs on the Watergate Tapes.

Many Jews have questioned Jimmy Carter’s criticism of Israel, and accused him of being an antiSemite.

George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker uttered criticism of Israel and of Jewish influence.

Many Jews have always believed that Barack Obama was unfavorable toward Israel’s government under Benjamin Netanyahu.

But none of these Presidents, not even Nixon, match the antiSemitism of Donald Trump, which many thought was well hidden, but now has come out full blown, beginning with his statement in 2017 that the Neo Nazis and white supremacists at Charlottesville, Virginia had some “good people” on their side.

Now, in an open interview, he is critical of Jews who have the gall to vote for Democrats and are not in lock step on Israel’s government policies, and condemned in foul language former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for congratulating Joe Biden on his election victory in 2020!

And yet, there are Orthodox Jews and a percentage of extremely wealthy Jews who continue to support Donald Trump, even to the extent of continuing to back the Fascism of Trump displayed on January 6, 2021, and to promote the “Big Lie”, that Trump won the Presidential Election of 2020! They are blind to the evil that Donald Trump represents, and are a danger to the concept that Jews believe in social justice and compassion for those less fortunate!

Those Jews who continue to support Donald Trump even now should be roundly condemned and ostracized, and only are accelerating antiSemitism nationwide and worldwide!