Posts Tagged Ronald Reagan
Republican Presidents And Political Scandals–The Five Greatest Scandals, Unmatched By ANY Democratic Presidential Administration!
As we witness the accusations of “scandal” in the Obama Administration, it is easy to forget that in historical terms, it is Republican Presidents who have presided over the most significant and numerous scandals.
Any objective historian would know that the five top scandalous Presidential administrations are all Republican Presidents!
In chronological order, they are:
Ulysses S. Grant—1869-1877–best known for the Credit Mobilier Scandal.
Warren G. Harding—1921-1923,–best known for the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Richard Nixon–1969-1974–best known for the Watergate Scandal.
Ronald Reagan–1981-1989–best known for the Iran-Contra Scandal.
George W. Bush–2001-2009–best known for the Scooter Libby Scandal.
Realize there are MULTIPLE scandals under each of these Republican Presidents, and by analysis, the “scandals” under Democratic Presidents pale by comparison, although no claim is made here that Democratic Presidential administrations are “holier than thou”!
The Republican Party and conservatives are having a field day on the supposed Obama scandals over the Benghazi, Libya terror attack that killed the ambassador and three others; over the improper investigation of right wing groups by the Internal Revenue Service; and the investigation of Associated Press journalists on the basis of a national security investigation.
We are being told that Barack Obama is another Richard Nixon, when it is more appropriate to say that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are examples of another Richard Nixon, to a much greater level!
Nixon was involved in the promotion of break ins; internal revenue service investigations of political opponents, including Ted Kennedy; had an “enemies list”; had his aides do “dirty tricks”; blocked investigations by the Congress and the FBI. He undermined the Presidency in massive ways, and abused power in ways that have harmed the image of the Presidency ever since.
Ronald Reagan may have had a more pleasant persona, but he authorized illegal activities against Nicaragua, backed arms sales to Iran, feigned ignorance of Iran Contra, and promoted secrecy and suspicion of his opponents.
George W. Bush promoted deception and lies to get American into Iraq; engaged in the exposure of a CIA agent who opposed what he was doing; gave his Vice President Dick Cheney unprecedented power to abuse his position; had the IRS investigate liberal groups; engaged in lies and deception not seen seen Richard Nixon.
Barack Obama is NOT engaged in corruption of any kind, but his enemies are pursuing him as if he was the abuser that Nixon, Reagan and Bush II were, but it is all theater, and just like the pursuit of Bill Clinton for his personal behavior, it will fail, and the GOP will suffer as a result!
The sad part of this hot pursuit of Obama is that even liberal media are jumping on the bandwagon of attack, and they should be ashamed of themselves, as they demonstrate no knowledge of history, and are just pursuing a story to build up circulation and readership and make money, a sad moment for the media, when they allow the right wing propaganda to control them!
Barack Obama has fought for higher taxes on the wealthy, and brought them about in 2013, as Bill Clinton did in 1993.
Under Bill Clinton, we had the greatest period of economic prosperity in American history, the rich paid more, and the country did not tank!
Now under Barack Obama, the deficit in government spending is rapidly declining, and the stock market is at an all time high, both occurring as we see higher taxes on the wealthy once again!
The Republicans complain bitterly once again, and again, they are wrong, and economic expansion is occurring, even with the GOP attempts to block it, and instead, draw attention to what they call “scandals”, which, by comparison with scandals and controversies under George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, pale by comparison!
The result of the GOP political “dirty tricks” is that they will NOT harm Barack Obama’s historical accomplishments, or Hillary Clinton’s chances for the White House, which depend only on her desire to run. If she runs, she is the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017!
President Barack Obama has been President for more than four years, and is in the crucial first year of his second and last term in the White House.
The time for applause over his second term victory is over, and he must face the facts that his administration is in crisis, caused by his own lack of outfront leadership over what goes on during his watch in the Oval Office!
The Benghazi matter is being politicized, but more needs to be revealed about that tragedy, and no coverup is going to work, although it seems clear there is no “smoking gun” on that issue.
The confusion over the IRS checking out conservative and Tea Party groups is reprehensible, and it must be made clear who was involved, people appointed by the President, or civil service bureaucrats who have gone way beyond their authority, and abused their positions. Heads must roll, and if it is the bureaucracy, then the whole agency must be cleaned up of those who have broken the law, and prosecutions must follow quickly!
The Associated Press matter, if related to national security matters, must also be revealed in total, as media should never be interfered with by the Justice Department, and a full investigation must be pursued, with Attorney General Eric Holder properly recusing himself in this matter.
The point is, that despite Republicans gleefully jumping on these controversies, it is yet possible that nothing that Obama could have done would have been able to prevent these controversies, but he MUST be proactive, not laid back and withdrawn, which has too often been his mode of operation in his first term.
Obama is in danger of ending up like other second term Presidencies, in the midst of scandals which undermine their legacy, no matter how good those legacies might be.
Progressives do not want Obama to end up in the troubled historical legacy of such predecessors as:
Ulysses S. Grant–Credit Mobilier Scandals
Harry Truman–several minor scandals
Dwight D. Eisenhower—Sherman Adams Scandal
Richard Nixon–Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–Iran Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinksy–Paul Jones Scandals
George W. Bush—Scooter Libby Scandal
The only way to avoid this fate is PROMPT, ASSERTIVE, PROACTIVE leadership by our 44th President, who has done so much good, and should not allow his enemies to destroy him by a policy of passivity, and leading from behind!
Former George W. Bush “brain” Karl Rove is totally delusional, as yesterday, he declared on Fox News Channel that George W. Bush belonged with the “greats” among the Presidency, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan!
This is the same man who failed to elect most of the Republicans that he supported through his campaign organization, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy patrons who believed he knew who to back and could win seats in Congress.
This is the same man who said on Election night that Mitt Romney was going to win, and denied the obvious Barack Obama victory when it was already happening!
Bush will make the list of Presidents as one of the FAILURES of the Presidency, in the company of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Pierce.
Rove has conveniently forgotten Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, all of whom rank better than Ronald Reagan, who might be number 11, but not in the top ten of all Presidents!
And Bill Clinton may eventually rank above Reagan as well, and Barack Obama might also make the top ten to twelve list, when he has left the Presidency, and passions have cooled down!
For those of us who are Presidential junkies, the only time we see a group of Presidents and First Ladies together in public is at openings of Presidential libraries, and at funerals of Presidents and First Ladies.
Since these do not happen very often in either regard, today’s gathering of five Presidents and five First Ladies at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was an exciting moment, no matter how one feels about the Presidency of George W. Bush.
Seeing Jimmy Carter looking hale and hearty; George H. W. Bush in a wheelchair in obviously poor health although only being less than four months older than Carter; Bill Clinton his usual talkative, charismatic self; George W. Bush being very positive, despite the clear cut failures of his time in office; and Barack Obama, always good with saying the right things, was fascinating!
Seeing Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush looking good, considering their advanced age; Hillary Clinton looking ready to run for President any time now; Laura Bush being her usual sweet self; and Michelle Obama looking always as an elegant lady, was also very inspiring!
Of course, Nancy Reagan, while not mentioned, was absent, as she is in her early 90s and not in good health.
And we saw the two daughters of Lyndon Johnson and of Richard Nixon, along with the daughter of Gerald Ford, but no other Presidential children, other than the two daughters of George W. Bush, of course! But only Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, was present, not the son and daughter of Nancy Reagan, Ron Jr. and Patti. And neither was Caroline Kennedy, or the other children of Gerald Ford, and none of the children of Jimmy Carter, or the Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea!
In any case, for those who are into photographs of a group of Presidents or First Ladies, today was a very good day!
Today is the 44th Earth Day, first promoted by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and endorsed by President Richard Nixon.
The environmental movement has had its successes under Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
At the same time, the environmentalists have had major setbacks under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, particularly under Reagan and the second Bush, the two worst environmental Presidents of the last century, while Carter and Nixon stand out as the best environmental Presidents after Theodore Roosevelt.
The corporate world has been responsible for much of the damage to our environment since the Industrial Age, with their mad dash for profits and lack of concern for the health and safety of the people in the areas they produced steel, mined coal, drilled oil, and the myriad of other industrial activities that produced a massive wealth ending up in the hands of a small oligarchy. They exploited their workers and took advantage of consumers, along with destruction of the environment, and without any apologies. And they still have massive influence with both parties, and any ability to deal with the issue of environmental damage is always counteracted by the financial resources of corporations out to prevent any major changes in policy and regulation.
So while progress has been made over these years since 1970, there is still a massive battle for the future of the nation’s environmental health over the long term. Environmentalists cannot let up their battles on Capitol Hill and in the courts!
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday at the age of 87, leaving behind her much discussion of her impact on her nation, on America, and on the world.
Without doubt, Thatcher was the most significant Prime Minister of Great Britain since Winston Churchill, and was the most significant woman leader of the 20th century anywhere in the world.
Without doubt, she transformed the world by her alliance with President Ronald Reagan, and convincing him that working with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War could come to an end and lead to the downfall of the Soviet system in eastern Europe.
Without doubt, Thatcher had a dramatic effect on domestic politics in her country, with her strong anti labor, anti immigrant policies, gaining a reputation as the Iron Lady who never compromised on her beliefs and created great social and political turmoil that still reverberates in a nation in the midst today of a failing austerity program, that should demonstrate what America should not be doing with its own economy!
But instead of Republicans and conservatives idolizing her for her hard line economic and social policies, they should learn from her ascendancy what happened to the opposition Labour Party, which had gone too far to the left, and was brought by default to the middle of the political spectrum, ultimately leading to the triumph of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a moderated party.
And this is what the extremist right wing Republican Party of 2013 so far has failed to accept—that their party has gone off the deep end in the era of Barack Obama, the first African American President, and that they will NOT come back to power on the national level as long as they veer ever further to the far Right, allowing right wing Christianity, right wing talk show hosts, and extremists on social and economic issues to continue to wield power over their future in the form of the Tea Party Movement!
Just as Margaret Thatcher led to Tony Blair over time, Barack Obama will lead, it is hoped, to a Republican Party more in the mold of the GOP of the 1960s and 1970s—the party of moderate conservative leaders who could appeal to a wide swath of Americans, rather than a narrow ideological group which causes a bad name and reputation for the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and the Reagan who was much more moderate in many ways than conservatives paint him to have been!
In recent years, the idea has developed that anyone can be a politician, even if no experience in government.
Therefore, we have had a businessman, Herman Cain, who operated a pizza corporation, and ran as a candidate for President in 2012.
We have been told that government should be run as if is a corporation, but government is NOT the same as business.
Now we have a brilliant neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, who is renowned for saving many children’s l lives, who is considering running for President in 2016, just as Herman Cain did in 2012.
Both, and others like them, are to be commended for their successes in their chosen fields, but neither, and often others, such as Donald Trump, who has flirted many times with running for President, are unwilling to work their way up through the state legislatures, state executive branch, the House of Represenatatives, or the US Senate, or working in a Presidential cabinet or major role in the military before running for President..
No matter how competent they are in their fields of business, medicine, or any other occupation, that does not mean that they should be seen as ready to jump into the fray, and believe, without ANY political and governmental experience, that they are qualified, or have any clue as to what runnning a government is all about.
It trivializes politics and government, as it would be if someone knowing nothing about history or math or science or whatever, goes in and teaches a class to college students, or someone who has never studied and practiced law or medicine or accounting or whatever, suddenly claims they are qualified to be engage in those professions!
This has nothing to do with whether it is Republicans or Democrats, or men or women, or people of different ethniciities or racial backgrounds!
The point is that many critics of Barack Obama claim he had too little experience in government, when he actually had TWELVE years in public office.
Many other Presidents have had less experience than Obama, including Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. But all of them had some government experience. And Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ullyses S. Grant had years of military experience, which also qualifies as knowledge to operate a government. And even Mitt Romney ran the state government of Massachusetts before running for President!
45 years ago on this day, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, ending his brief but eventful life at the age of 39.
Since his death, the vicious attacks on his nonviolent disobedience tactic in the civil rights movement has been rejected, except by the extreme right wing, which still contends that King and his followers were “communists”, the automatic accusation used whenever anyone challenges the establishment in any form.
King is now memorialized by the national holiday, and the King Memorial in Washington DC makes him also a national figure of massive proportions, as he was in life.
One has to wonder what King would have been like, had he survived until today at the age of 84.
Would his contributions have been greater, and would civil rights have advanced further than it has since his death?
Would he have become a factor in future elections in a way that might have changed the course of history?
What would have been his effect on the prosecution of the Vietnam War under Richard Nixon?
How would he have reacted to Jimmy Carter as the first Southern President since Zachary Taylor in 1848?
How would the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II Presidencies have interacted with him, assuming everything politically would have been the same?
And finally, how would King have reacted to Barack Obama and his leadership in the Presidency?
Would American foreign policy and domestic policy have been influenced much by a live Martin Luther King, Jr?
All of this is speculative, but it is clear the nation lost a great deal with King’s untimely death in 1968!