Right Wing Conservatives

Chief Justice John Roberts To Become The New Balance On The Future Supreme Court?

Chief Justice John Roberts has been on the Court for 13 years now, and he is generally perceived as a conservative.

But he has surprised some conservatives, as when he kept ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) alive in 2012.

Also, Roberts has often stated by the doctrine of “Stare Decisis”–to stand by things decided”–although he has not been consistent on this over the years.

The odds of Roberts siding with the liberals on the Court for the image of the Court named after him as Chief Justice, is a thin measure of what kind of balance he might present on the future Supreme Court.

It seems likely that on balance, he will be “number 5”, in the middle, but that middle will be much farther to the Right than Anthony Kennedy or Sandra Day O’Connor represented.

But then again, Justices have surprised their Republican Presidents who appointed them, as with Earl Warren and William Brennan under Dwight D. Eisenhower; Harry Blackmun under Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens under Gerald Ford; O’Connor and Kennedy under Ronald Reagan; and David Souter under George H. W. Bush.

The best estimate is that no one should count on John Roberts avoiding “his” Court from being regarded as the most right wing, conservative Court since the time of Warren G. Harding. Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover nine decades ago, before the Great Depression and New Deal began the transformation of constitutional law.

The Mystery Of 2016: Why Hillary Clinton Has Low Public Opinion Rating, And Bill Clinton Continues To Rate High In Public Opinion!

As the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia, there is much turmoil and rancor over the revelation of Democratic National Committee emails, apparently hacked by Russian state supporters, to harm Hillary Clinton by her connection to now disgraced Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

There is no debate that Debbie has run the DNC poorly, and shown bias toward Bernie Sanders, and it is right that she is not participating in the activities of the convention. She also faces a fight in the primary against a Bernie Sanders supported candidate in the Florida primary on August 30.

Despite that, I have met Debbie a few times, and always thought she was a decent, kind, and competent person, but her handling of the Democratic National Committee activities have besmirched her reputation permanently in history, a tragic development.

But beyond this controversy, the mystery continues to arise. Why does Hillary Clinton have such low public opinion rating, while her husband, former President Bill Clinton, continues to rate high in public opinion, and always has?

Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified nominees for President in all of American history, but she is not a good politician, in the sense that she has trouble arousing supporters, and is not, as she even admits, the expert communicator that her husband, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, are.

Clinton has made mistakes, certainly, but so have all Presidential nominees and all Presidents. But much of the attack on Hillary Clinton is manufactured by right wing conservative forces and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

And she is blamed for her husband’s misbehavior, but somehow, that does not affect the popularity of her husband, so this is inscrutable!

There, clearly, is a anti woman mentality among many men, and even a large percentage of women, both of whom seem to feel that a woman is not qualified to be President.

However, the belief is that once Bill Clinton speaks at the convention on Wednesday that he will be able to boost the candidacy of his wife, and that once he goes on the campaign trail in the next months, that he will help to elect his wife to the Presidency.

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

Theodore Roosevelt’s 157th Birthday A Moment To Celebrate His Great Influence On American Political Reform!

Today marks the 157th anniversary of the birth of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.

TR was one of our greatest Presidents, usually ranked number four or or five on most scholarly lists of Presidents, seen as “Near Great” right behind the top three, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington.

TR transformed the Presidency and started its modernization, and he believed the President could assert his authority over Congress and the courts, and use the news media to appeal to the American people, using his so called “Bully Pulpit”.

TR believed in the federal government intervening socially and economically, and he promoted new government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and labor reforms.

TR also supported political reforms, including the direct primary, limitation of Supreme Court terms, and the breaking of the two term tradition for the Presidency, when he ran for President on the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party line in 1912, four years after completing nearly two full terms as President as a Republican.

TR loved to call himself “Progressive”, and he promoted the Progressive Era with the power of his personality.

TR believed in the environment, and the protection of our natural resources through quadrupling of our national parks and forests, and worked to end corporate monopolies.

TR was a breath of “fresh air” in  the Presidency, which had declined in significance and quality of leadership from the time of Abraham Lincoln.  He believed in giving America a “Square Deal.”

TR has been attacked by many right wing conservatives in the Republican Party for “grabbing power”, but he had a dramatic effect on many future Presidents of both parties, setting a standard for Presidential power.

TR remains more controversial in foreign policy, where he made America a world power, but gained an image in Latin America and in Asia of being a “bully” and an imperialist, but even in that area of policy, despite controversy, it is clear that TR dramatically moved America toward its world role.

TR is also one of the most interesting personalities in the White House, a fascinating figure who has had a long range impact on the future of America, both domestically and foreign.

Controversy will remain, but TR will continue to be ranked as a Near Great President in the future!

 

 

The Die Is Cast: The Key Senate Race And The Key Gubernatorial Race Of 2014!

As we look forward to the fall, and just two months until the Midterm elections of 2014, it is clear that there are two key races that will determine a lot of the future of American politics.

One is a Senate race, and the other is a gubernatorial race.

The Senate race is that of Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky against his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the election which is likely to determine if the Republicans win Senate control. It is a very expensive and bitter race, and pits the oligarchy and right wing conservative agenda against a young woman, half McConnell’s age, who is dynamic and charismatic and could be a great leader in the Senate, if only she can overcome the 30 year seniority of McConnell, who has shown no concern about the struggles of his state, and particularly of the large white population in the coal mining industry.

Probably, however, the most expensive single race will be that of former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican from 2007-2011, left the Republican Party, lost an Independent candidacy for the Senate against Marco Rubio in 2010, and then switched to the Democratic Party in 2012. Republican Governor Rick Scott will have tons of money, including his own wealth, to throw against Crist, and this is a classic struggle of a former Governor against a sitting Governor. Scott has been absolutely the worst Governor in America, and there are plenty of candidates for that description! He has done great damage to the environment and to health care and education, and is seen as a true detriment to the state, which is heavily Republican in its legislature, but is turning to Charlie Crist to try to revive the Democratic Party fortunes in the future. Scott also was involved in Medicare fraud, but avoid prison by paying heavy fines, but he should never have been allowed to run for public office after that massive health care scam!

Florida is the largest state to have a truly competitive gubernatorial race, as California with Jerry Brown and New York with Andrew Cuomo do not have really such a situation, and Texas might, with Wendy Davis challenging Greg Abbott, but the polls indicate Florida is a true tossup, as is the Kentucky Senate race.

So these two races are the key ones to focus on, as they will determine a lot of the political future of the next two years!

94th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage Amendment 19! And Women’s Equality Day!

Today, August 26, commemorates the 94th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Amendment 19, and is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.

Women had to fight for the right to vote since the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, a full 72 year battle!

And yet, there are those, such as Ann Coulter, the conservative ideologue, who calls for the abolition of the 19th Amendment, because the majority of women vote Democratic!

There are one third of women who are strongly Republican, anti abortion, anti feminist, anti promotion of more laws to benefit women in their daily lives. You see this in the GOP House women members, who one has to wonder about their sanity!

But women have come too far to allow their hard earned rights, not only voting, but controlling their own destinies, without the interference of right wing forces who would love to put them back into the bedroom and the kitchen, stop working, stop being educated, and being the dutiful wife and mother as their only role!

The vast majority of women will continue to assert their basic human rights, as well they should!

Georgia Republican Nightmare, And Likely Loss Of Senate Seat Of Saxby Chambliss

Georgia has become a strong Republican state, and Senator Saxby Chambliss has fit the mold of a mainstream conservative Republican, but has avoided the image of being a nutty, looney Tea Party type/

But Chambliss, who has been in the Senate for 12 years, chose not to run for reelection, and the Georgia Republican primary race to replace him has begun very early, and is causing nightmares and headaches for the GOP, fearful that they will end up with a Tea Party nut, and lose the seat to Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn, a very highly respected man from his years of service in the Senate from 1972-1997.

Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey are two House Republicans from Georgia, who are so right wing extremist that they are seen as an embarrassment to Georgia and likely, if either one ends up as the GOP nominee, to lose to Michelle Nunn, in a state tilting toward a future Democratic majority with the growing Hispanic vote that is emerging in the Peach State.

Broun is more nutty and looney than Gingrey, but they both call Barack Obama a Socialist, and Broun denies evolution and the Big Bang Theory of the origins of the universe. He is a medical doctor who allows his Christian faith to dictate his life over science facts, and denies global warming as a reality. He compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler in intent, and is known to spout off at the mouth, making himself look foolish and dumb.

Phil Gingrey is also a doctor, and tried to defend the rape comments of US Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri, when Akin ran for the seat of Senator Claire McCaskill in 2012. To imagine a doctor saying such rape comments were legitimate is mind boggling.

The fact that two medical doctors come across as lunatics makes one wonder about how the medical profession is being hurt by such loonies, who reject science and have loose mouths with stupid comments and beliefs!

There are five other GOP candidates for the Senate seat, but with the backing of the Tea Party and other right wing groups, it seems likely that either Broun or Gingrey will win the GOP primary a year from now, and likely lose to Michelle Nunn in November!

The only good thing about these two men running for the Senate in Georgia is that one will be eliminated from Congress, and hopefully, the other will be eliminated by defeat in November 2014 for the Senate seat, and this would be a Democratic gain of a Republican seat.

Conservatives Call Barack Obama First Racist President: Look In The Mirror And At History, Right Wingers!

What a preposterous statement by many people in the Right Wing of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, to call Barack Obama our first “racist” President, because of his detailed, courageous, principled statement about race yesterday before White House reporters!

What Obama said about young black men growing up in America is absolutely true, and despicable, and Obama made it clear that he had, personally, experienced the same racism, and all that talk show hosts can do is throw the appellation “racist” at the President, rather than admit the history of the country, and the reality of the profiling of blacks in 2013, along with Hispanics and Latinos as well!

And the Right Wing chooses to ignore history, probably affected by fake historian David Barton, who promotes a sanitized view of American history, and has had a dramatic effect on textbook companies, pressuring them to write myths, rather than facts, about American history!

The facts are as follows:

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, and Zachary Taylor all owned and exploited slaves, and some of them had children with their slaves, what could be called rape situations!

Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren forcibly removed Native Americans, the infamous “Trail of Tears”, while in office; and William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, and Zachary Taylor all gained their original fame by killing Native Americans, and bragging about it!

Andrew Johnson was probably the most outspoken racist President, and made it clear in working against the Freedmen’s Bureau continuation after the Civil War!

Ulysses S. Grant warred against Native Americans during his Presidency in a massive campaign to take away their lands!

Republican Presidents after Grant ignored violations of civil rights by Southerners, beginning with the fixed election of Rutherford B. Hayes on a promise to end military occupation of the South and let Democrats take care of their own states, and promoting racial segregation, Jim Crow laws!

Woodrow Wilson demonstrated strong racist tendencies and views during his administration, catering to the Southern Democratic heritage of his boyhood!

Many Presidents in their writings displayed racist thoughts, and some did so in speech at times, including Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan (who talked about welfare queens).

Only since Truman has it been fashionable to be FOR civil rights, but even then, Nixon and Ronald Reagan worked against civil rights any opportunity they were given!

So we have at least 18 Presidents who were racists, or displayed racist tendencies, toward African Americans and Native Americans in different forms!

So the concept that Barack Obama is a racist for speaking up on injustices toward people of his heritage is outrageous, ridiculous, and preposterous to the extreme!

Do you hear that?—Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and the rest of their ilk?

Centennial Of Gerald Ford’s Birth: A Time To Honor Our 38th President!

Today is the centennial of President Gerald Ford’s birth, and a moment to celebrate and honor our 38th President.

Gerald Ford will never go down as a great, near great, or above average President, being ranked right in the middle of our 43 Presidents, but he made a vast difference to our nation.

Gerald Ford demonstrated decency, humanity, courage, conviction, and decisiveness when such attributes were needed.

Gerald Ford became President by accident, having had no desire or ambition to be President, but steadying the ship of state after the Watergate Scandal led to the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Thank goodness the nation had found out about the corruption and venality of Vice President Spiro Agnew, forcing his resignation, and the implementation of the 25th Amendment, just passed and ratified six years earlier.

Nixon picked Ford as Agnew’s successor due to his popularity with both his Republican colleagues and the respect and high regard that he was held in by the opposition Democrats, who controlled both houses of Congress.

Ford had served 25 years in the House of Representatives from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had been the Republican leader in the House for nearly nine years, when he was tapped for the Vice Presidency.

Ford had always had the ambition to become Speaker of the House one day, if only the Republicans were to gain control of the House, which they did not do for 40 years from 1955-1995.

Ford had to “walk on eggs” for the eight months of his Vice Presidency, being there to help Nixon but not be too closely associated with him, and he acted totally in an appropriate manner.

Gerald Ford was a likeable “regular guy”, and graced us with his First Lady, Betty Ford, a truly elegant woman who dignified and added to the role of First Ladies during her two years and five months as a woman of principle, courage, and openness not typical of most earlier First Ladies.

Gerald Ford served only two years, five months and eleven days, a total of 895 days in the Oval Office, the fifth shortest duration of any occupant in the Presidency, with shorter terms of Warren G. Harding, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield, and William Henry Harrison.

Ford faced tough challenges with the decision to pardon Richard Nixon; The Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia; the difficult Recession of 1974-1975, the worst since the Great Depression; the challenge for the 1976 Republican Presidential nomination by former Governor Ronald Reagan; and the difficult election campaign against former Governor Jimmy Carter.

Ford also faced the unbelievable threat of two assassination attempts within seventeen days in September 1975, fortunately ducking bullets twice in an heroic manner.

Ford stood out as a moderate conservative who always could work across the aisle with his rivals, the Democrats, something that would not be admired today by the Tea Party Movement element which has damaged the heritage, tradition and future of the Republican Party.

If Gerald Ford were here today, he would be shocked at the social conservatism of the religious Right and the venal attacks on Barack Obama by conservative ideologues, and would probably not be accepted in the GOP of 2013 as legitimate!

Gerald Ford outlived Ronald Reagan by six weeks, and remains, as of now, our longest lived President, and it is appropriate to wish him a happy 100th birthday!

And I am thrilled to announce that later this week, I will be visiting the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with my younger son, and am thrilled that the timing is such as to coincide with the Centennial of Gerald Ford’s birth! I am looking forward to learning more about the historical contributions of our 38th President, who deserves our respect and thanks!

The Distortion Of Jesus Christ By Right Wing Republicans And Their Allies

Jesus Christ, who was Jewish and never a Christian, preached love, tolerance, understanding, open mindedness, and other good thoughts, and offered himself as a way to unify mankind in the Middle East.

If he were here in the world today, and in America, he would be shocked at what many Republicans, conservatives, and right wing religious leaders have done to distort his loving message of unity.

We could call what has happened as making Jesus a Republican with all of the views that party now has in 2013!

These include the following, in the view of Right Wing Republicans and their allies, but NOT, of course, the truth, but rather propaganda!

Jesus is white and is certainly not color blind.

Jesus is a big supporter of the Confederacy, and can justify the past existence of slavery and racial segregation as factors which had a purpose to “organize” society.

Jesus loves guns, and they are to be owned to protect against evil forces out to undermine the faith.

Jesus loves the rich, the wealthy, and the top two percent, who are “achievers”.

Jesus hates poor people, who deserve what they get, the denial of food stamps, a safety net, and Medicaid.

Jesus hates gay people, and therefore created AIDS and STDs to punish those sinners.

Jesus believes that women are to be controlled by men, and denied control over their own destiny, and treated as subservient to the demands of men.

Jesus hates Muslims, who are all “evil”, and deserve to be killed in mass numbers as “nonbelievers”.

Jesus hates liberals and progressives, who are connected to the devil, and there is to be no compromise with them, and that also includes conservatives who say they are “moderates’.

Jesus hates science, because it challenges the beliefs of religion.

This is the mindset of right wing Republicans, and a danger to the future of America if it ever gained control of all branches of government. NONE of the above is the truth about Jesus!

As it is, the control of the House of Representatives, and many state governments and Governors, has led to the greatest division since the Civil War!

There is a need for devout Christians who understand the loving message of their savior to reclaim him from the hate mongers!

The author wishes to thank the website ADDICTINGINFO.ORG and Sherri Yarbrough for the ideas that led to this blog entry!