Ronald Reagan

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!

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!

Assessment Of Biden’s First Year: A Lot Accomplished With A 50-50 Senate!

Conservative journalist David Frum, who worked in the George W. Bush Administration, makes clear that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in his first year in office with a 50-50 Senate, more accomplished than even Barack Obama with a 57 member Democratic Senate in 2009!

But the naysayers are at work, claiming the Biden Presidency has not been a success, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, inflation, and Afghanistan.

That is preposterous, as if Donald Trump had been in office, for certain the first and third issues would have been no different, and the second one would have occurred no matter what was done!

Trump had misled and botched up the COVID 19 Pandemic, and regarding Afghanistan, had made an agreement with the Taliban with no Afghanistan governement involvement in 2020, to withdraw from that nation in May, not August 2021!

Inflation happens in cycles, and under Ronald Reagan it was a major issue in 1982 midterms but was resolved by 1984 when Reagan ran for reelection.

The hope is that the same will occur in the next year, and will not be as big an issue as it is presently!

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!

Trump Republicans Have Become Pro Russian, Stunning Reversal Of Republican Party History!

The Republican Party historically was always anti Soviet Union, and its peak was in the time of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Second Red Scare of the 1950s, and the tough line of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that followed in later years.

Now there is a complete reversal in the age of Donald Trump, with the 45th President cozying up to Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, and leader of the Russian Federation since 2000, who has already invaded Georgia (2008) and the Crimean area of Ukraine (2014), and now threatening another invasion of the remainder of Ukraine!

Rather than unite around President Joe Biden against a potential Russian invasion, Republicans on Capitol Hill, the majority ignoring the January 6 US Capitol Insurrection perpetrated by Donald Trump and his authoritarian supporters, instead are critical of any strong reaction to Russia’s government!

This is mind boggling, and demonstrates how the Republican Party has become authoritarian and Fascist in nature, promoting the end of American democracy and instilling fear of what they call “white replacement” theory!

Fareed Zakaria CNN Special From May 2021 Updated: “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation Of The GOP”

The Welfare State–Secularism—changing racial situation.

Fareed Zakaria on a CNN Special today, updated from May 2021, entitled “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation of the GOP”, presented an analysis of the disaster that the Republican Party has become:

in an era of conservatism attacking the concept of the Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal and the Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society;

allowing Right Wing evangelical Christianity and theocracy to take over the party in the name of God;

and working against the reality that the white majority face a future in America of minority racial groups together being a majority of the population in about 2040-2045.

He covers from the John Birch Society in the 1950s;
to William F. Buckley, Jr and the National Review;
to Barry Goldwater and the conservative takeover in 1964, leading to massive victory of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society;
to Richard Nixon and the “Southern Strategy”in 1968;
to Jerry Falwell and the “Christian Coalition” and the “Moral Majority” in the late 1970s and early 1980s;
to Ronald Reagan and the “Reagan Coalition” in the 1980s;
to Pat Buchanan’s challenge of George H W Bush in 1992;
to Newt Gingrich and the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 and after;
to the promotion of right wing propaganda and lies by Fox News Channel starting in 1996;
to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the 2000s;
to the Tea Party Movement rise under Barack Obama’s Presidency;
to the rise of Donald Trump in 2015-2016;
to the “Big Lie” about the Presidential Election of 2020;
to the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection;
to the present extremism in the Congressional and State Republican parties in 2021;
to the constant threat to women’s rights, including abortion;
to the right wing rejection of Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as not conservative enough;
and the growing racism, nativism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and homophobia that have become alarming realities for the future of American politics!

Effect Of John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Reverberates On America 58 Years Later!

This author and blogger was a sophomore in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

It was the most stunning event of my life until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Kennedy assassination transformed American politics dramatically, both in good ways and bad ways.

It brought about the possibility of the greatest period of reform since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, with Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

But it also brought on a devastating long term war in Vietnam, and the beginning of disillusionment with government at all levels.

Had Robert F. Kennedy survived and won the Presidential Election of 1968, instead of being assassinated after winning the California primary in June 1968, the potential for more great reform and change, and to avoid the Presidency of Richard Nixon, would have existed.

WIth RFK’s death, after the earlier tragedy of JFK, America was put into a permanent decline in hope and optimism for the next forty years, as even the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 did not revive the hopes of the Kennedy legacy.

Instead, we had Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cause great regression in so many ways, as Richard Nixon had done earlier.

Barack Obama was a bright light, but faced great opposition, and the horrors of Donald Trump as his succession!

Joe Biden, who has a bust of RFK behind him on the left in all photos when he is sitting at his desk, is trying to revive the Kennedy legacy of hope and promise, and has made a good start.

But it is clear the two Kennedy assassinations in the early and late 1960s have left a permanent scar on the nation!

Birthday Of Joe Biden And Robert F. Kennedy November 20, And The Issue Of Age!

Yesterday, November 20, was the 79th Birthday of President Joe Biden, our oldest President in office.

It was also the birthday of Robert F. Kennedy, who Biden perceives as a hero, with Biden having a bust of RFK always in every photo on his left side when Biden is at his desk in the Oval Office.

Biden is working so hard to accomplish the greatest social change legislation in the past 55 years since Lyndon B. Johnson accomplished the massive reforms of the Great Society in the mid 1960s, something RFK wished to build on if he had lived and become President in the Presidential Election of 1968.

The issue of age constantly is brought up as Joe Biden will be 82 years old weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024.

Biden certainly has aged since he was Vice President under Barack Obama, but he is still capable and alert, although his annual physical shows his gait has slowed a bit.

But when one compares Biden to Donald Trump or Ronald Reagan at the end of their terms, and even Trump now a year later, Biden is far more mentally capable than either of them.

And the idea that Donald Trump at age 78 and a half at the time of inauguration three years hence would magically be much more mentally and physically capable than Joe Biden, when already it is clear that Trump is a danger with his reckless rhetoric, and promotion of hate, sedition and treason, makes one have to wonder about the mental stability of Donald Trump followers, who see him as a God like figure!

Joe Biden might decide one term is enough, considering his age, and that would be perfectly understandable, as only one third of our Presidents have served two terms.

Joe Biden is a transformative figure in the Presidency, who is having an historical impact, and this is just his first year in office!

A new generation can follow him and continue the good works, and common decency, that would make Robert F. Kennedy proud, if he was alive, on his 96th birthday!

Democrats Need To Go On The Offensive, Play Hardball, If They Are To Keep Control In Congress In 2022!

The Democratic Party has a history of staying cordial, pleasant, and being unwilling to go on the offensive and play hardball.

The Republican Party, historically, and conservatives in general, are always on the offensive, play nasty and dirty, and love to stir emotions of fear and scare as regular tactics.

This was true even before the age of Donald Trump, using the words “Socialism”, “Communism”, “Liberalism”, and “Progressivism” as code words to keep uneducated and ill informed voters to support a party that only truly cares about corporations and the wealthy, and is excellent as “pulling the wool over one’s eyes”, about what is truth, facts, and reality.

From the age of Joseph McCarthy, through Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and on to Donald Trump, their strategy and tactics have been to manipulate and deceive Americans to think they are the true party of the average Americans, which is furthest from reality.

So Democrats must become more aggressive, and go on the attack, not just against Donald Trump, but the Republican Party as a whole, as a threat to American democracy and the rule of law.

And they must emphasize the details of what they are doing with their “Build Back Better” agenda, the most advanced programs since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The “Build Back Better” programs will have a dramatic effect on everyday life for tens of millions of Americans, long overdue to make the lives of average Americans along the lines of other Western democracies in Europe, Canada, and Australia!

Theodore Roosevelt 163rd Anniversary Of His Birth At Time Of Destruction Of His Reform Efforts

Theodore Roosevelt, the second greatest Republican President (after Abraham Lincoln), born on this day in 1858, represented progressive reform, the use of the federal government to promote and monitor political and economic reform.

He saw the danger of unbridled capitalism, and the need to recognize labor rights.

He saw the need for political reforms, bringing government closer to its citizens, through the utilization of direct primaries, initiatives, referendums, the recall method, women’s suffrage, and proposals to modify the powers of the Supreme Court and the life term of its membership.

He wanted limits on outside groups spending on political campaigns, which he saw as undermining American democracy.

He was the heroic promoter of the environment, regarded as the greatest President on conservation of natural resources, and the promotion of the expansion of national parks and monuments.

He was the first President to suggest the need for a national health care program, and so much of his agenda on social and economic reform came about with the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and now, Joe Biden wishes to extend what TR first promoted more than a century ago!

His 1912 Progressive (Bull Moose) Party had a platform that makes it seem more like 2012, and he still represents the Republican Party at its best since the time of Abraham Lincoln, and particularly as compared to now. The Republicans have become a Fascist authoritarian party that is undermining American democracy, and working to limit the right to vote despite the various constitutional amendments (15, 19, 23, 24, 26) to insure that right, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

TR was certainly imperfect, as he promoted white supremacy typical of his time, and was imperialistic in his treatment of Latin America, as well as his promotion of an expansion of the military, but it is clear he would repudiate the Republican Party of the 2020s.

And notice how the Republican Party glorifies Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, NOT Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt!