Ronald Reagan

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

George H. W. Bush And John Adams: Comparisons

With the death of George H. W. Bush, we can make many comparisons with John Adams.

Both were born in Massachusetts.

Both served as Vice President under their Presidents for eight years, John Adams under George Washington, and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Both only had one term as President, defeated for reelection.

Both are seen as lower in ranking than their predecessors, George Washington and Ronald Reagan, who served two terms in office.

Both had the President elected after them rank higher in rankings of Presidents, and both Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton served two terms in office.

Both outlived their wives.

Both had a son become President, and live to see that occur.

Both reached to the age of 90, with Adams being the longest lived until Ronald Reagan, then Gerald Ford, then George H. W. Bush, and then Jimmy Carter surpassed his age.

Bush died at the oldest age of any President, although Jimmy Carter could surpass Bush if he lives to March 22, 2019.

Both died after 25 plus years in retirement.

Both have been rated higher than their son, John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, in rankings of historians and political scientists, and it is unlikely that their sons will ever surpass them.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

Orange County California, Reagan And Goldwater Stronghold, Goes Completely Democratic In Midterm Elections Of 2018

Orange County California, with a population of about three million people, sandwiched between Los Angeles and San Diego, has long been conservative Republican “Country”, but in the Midterm Elections of 2018, all of the Congressional districts went to the Democrats, a startling development.

The heroes of Orange County have been Ronald Reagan, and before him, Barry Goldwater, and Democrats knew they had no opportunity to succeed in that Southern California bastion.

But now, not only did Democrats gain all four seats in that county, but also won seven of the 14 formerly Republican held seats in the California state delegation, making for a total of 46-7, compared to the former 39-14 division between Democrats and Republicans.

The Republican nominee for Governor, John Cox, lost Orange County by a hair to incoming Governor Gavin Newsom as well.

The Republican Party is dead in California for now, although the House Minority Leader is Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

It all started 25 years ago when the Republicans promoted nativism and bigotry under Governor Pete Wilson against Latinos and other immigrants, and started their generation long decline in the Golden State.

The same is likely in the future for Arizona, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, and if these named states start to veer to the Democrats, which is likely in the 2020s, then the Democrats will have a lock on the Electoral College, after being victimized twice in 2000 and 2016.

President Trump In Time Of Tragedy: A Horrific Leader, Unable To Express Deep Mourning And True Compassion

Donald Trump is truly the most horrific leader possible in time of tragedy, unable to express deep mourning and true compassion and empathy.

Think of Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Astronaut Disaster in 1986.

Think of Bill Clinton and the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

Think of George W. Bush after September 11, 2001.

Think of Barack Obama after the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, and the Sandy Hook School Massacre in 2012.

These and many other disasters are times when we look to leaders to act appropriately, and we see Presidents of both parties and all philosophies know how to act.

Not so with Donald Trump, who instead:

Throws paper towels in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and threatens to cut off funding for the island.

Shows up at an inappropriate time after the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre, when funerals for the victims are being held.

Comes to Paradise, California, after the most disastrous fire in modern history, and refers to the town as “Pleasure”, of all names.

His body language and facial expressions show he does not give a damn, and he does not know how to console and hug and show a dose of empathy and compassion.

Rather, he is going through the motions, more staging an appearance so he can draw attention to himself than anything else.

Donald Trump proves again, and again, and again, and again, that he is a horrible human being, a disgrace to the American Presidency, who deserves none of our compassion as he faces the challenge of a Democratic House of Representatives ready with subpoenas and investigations galore, which will stress him out in massive ways.

It could not happen to a “better” person.

Donald Trump Rejects Human Rights As A Principle Of American Foreign Policy, Even Theoretically, After Saudi Torture And Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

President Donald Trump has just destroyed all sense of morality, ethics, and principle, by rejecting human rights as a principle of American foreign policy, even theoretically.

Certainly, other Presidents have often ignored human rights as a principle, including Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan above all, but none as openly as Donald Trump, who has just decided to ignore intelligence information that concludes that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered the assassination and torture of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in the United States and working as a journalist for the Washington Post.

Instead, Trump is giving bin Salman a pass, refusing the concept of some kind of punishment to be meted out on Saudi Arabia for this horrendous murder and dismemberment.

No one is saying that the US should break off relations with the Saudi government, but a nation can use other strategies and tactics to indicate outrage at such a violation of human rights.

But instead, Trump, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, are choosing to show a lack of concern or principle about the basic decency of promoting basic human rights.

It is just another sign that Trump is cozying up to authoritarian dictators, all for his own economic betterment. It has led to bitter denunciation by many public figures in government, including many Republicans, as well as Democrats.

This author believes that the United States will one day realize the danger of what has been done, that Mohammed bin Salman will turn out as King of Saudi Arabia in the future, as the most dangerous foreign leader long term, probably more than Kim Jong of North Korea, who like bin Salman, is in his early 30s, and both will be a nightmare long term in the world, way beyond the leaders of Russia and China, who are twice their age.

The Ultimate Outcome Of The Midterm Elections Of 2018: The Social Welfare, Social Justice State Is Permanent After 83 Years

The ultimate outcome of the Midterm Elections of 2018 is the success and institutionalization of the Social Welfare, Social Justice State, finally permanent after 83 years.

It all goes back to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the passage of Social Security in 1935, bitterly fought by Republicans and conservatives of that era, and still argued about by such leaders as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan over the next half century.

But in 1983, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated a bipartisan deal to save Social Security, not destroy it as Reagan had wanted to do, and it is the fundamental part of the Social Safety Net.

In 1965, after years of opposition by Republicans and conservatives, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society accomplished Medicare and Medicaid. It has continued to be attacked and condemned, but it has survived and is a great part of the Social Safety Net.

Then, in 2010, Barack Obama accomplished the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, with no cooperation from Republicans or conservatives, even though back in 1993, conservatives, with the support of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, came up with a very similar health care plan, in opposition to the Bill and Hillary Clinton health care plan, which ultimately failed of passage. Also, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts accomplished a very similar plan as ObamaCare, but ran against his own plan for the nation when he ran for President in 2012.

The Republicans continued to try to destroy ObamaCare ever since 2010, having 70 votes on it over the years, but Chief Justice Roberts and Senator John McCain in 2012 and 2017, respectively, backed continuation at crucial moments. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that, clearly, ObamaCare is here to stay, so like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare has survived and become a permanent part of the Social Safety Net.

The Democrats and progressives have accomplished these great pieces of legislation since 1935, and the goal has always been to improve the laws, as no one ever said they were perfect, but it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who have advocated and succeeded in accomplishing the Social Welfare, Social Justice state, and they should be very proud of the work they have done.

So FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the three most successful domestic policy Presidents, and not just in the areas mentioned in this article!

Midterm Election History In First Presidential Midterms Since 1946, And Likelihood Of Results Of Midterm Elections In 2018

With the Midterm Elections of 2018 upon us in less than two weeks, it is time to analyze midterm election results in the first such elections after a new President has come to office, starting with Harry Truman in 1946 and all the way through to Barack Obama in 2010.

We are discussing 12 Presidents and how they were factors in the midterm elections which followed their entering the Presidency.

Six of the 12 Presidents entered that first midterm election with their popularity in public opinion polls under 50 percent—with the order of lack of popularity being lowest to highest the following—Truman, Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, Obama, Clinton, and Carter. Notice this list is all Democrats except for Reagan.

The other six Presidents were above 50 percent popularity at the time of the first midterm elections–from the highest to the lowest being George W. Bush, Kennedy, Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, Nixon, Ford. Notice this list is all Republicans except for Kennedy.

The record shows that only George W. Bush and Kennedy saw the best results, with Bush seeing a gain of 8 House seats and 1 Senate seat, in the year after September 11, and Kennedy losing 4 House seats but gaining 2 Senate seats in the weeks after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

And George H. W. Bush, Nixon, and Eisenhower midterms showed respectively 8 House seats and 1 Senate seat lost; 12 House Seats lost and 1 Senate seat gained; and 18 House seats and 1 Senate seat lost.

Only Ford, three months after taking over the Presidency, and with still a high public opinion rating of 54 percent, but the Nixon Watergate Scandal still reverberating with Ford’s pardon of Nixon, do we see a major loss of 48 House seats and 4 Senate seats lost.

Meanwhile, those six Presidents with a lower than 50 percent public opinion poll rating at the first midterm of their Presidency saw a much greater loss, with Carter having the smallest loss, 15 House seats and 3 Senate seats lost with a 49 percent rating.

Reagan, with a 42 percent rating, lowest except for Truman, saw a loss of 26 House seats but one Senate seat gained.

The other four Presidents—Johnson, Clinton, Truman, Obama—suffered far worse losses—with Johnson losing 48 House seats and losing 4 Senate seats, the same as Ford, who had ten points higher public opinion rating of 54 percent to LBJ’s 44 percent.

Clinton, Truman, and Obama, all Democrats,lost massively in seats in both houses of Congress—Clinton losing 54 House seats and losing 8 Senate seats; Truman losing 55 House seats and losing 12 Senate seats; and Obama losing 63 House seats and losing 6 Senate seats.

What all this leads to is the strong belief that Donald Trump, with 47 percent approval rating most recently, will see a major loss of House seats for sure, and the guess at this time, after much reflection, is that it will be between 40-45 seats. In the Senate, with the great Republican advantage in only having 9 seats open for election, and the Senate having a 51-49 Republican margin, the odds of the Democrats holding on to their seats and gaining two or more of the nine contested Republican seats would seem to lead likely to a 50-50 tie, meaning a one seat Democratic gain, but still a Republican controlled Senate at 50-50, whereby Vice President Mike Pence will still organize the Senate for the next two years. This so unless there is a move by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who voted against Brett Kavanaugh, and has been attacked by her state’s Republican party leadership, to switch to Independent or Democratic support, and giving the Senate to the Democrats.

The Governorships generally follow Congressional results, and are extremely important for reapportionment of state legislative districts and US House districts after the Census 2020 population figures are tabulated, so having more Governors of one party over the other are crucial. At this point, it would seem likely that the Democrats will gain from 16 present Governorships by 10-11, and have 26-27 Chief Executives of states.

So overall, a Democratic gain to a majority of House seats to about 235-240 and 26-27 Governorships, but likely a tied 50-50 Senate, putting the results worse for Trump than for Reagan in the House and Senate, but not as bad as for Ford among Republican Presidents.

Donald Trump Stokes Fear, Prejudice, Insecurity, And Lies To Promote Republican Hopes To Keep Congress: Time For Public Reaction Of Repudiation

Donald Trump is attempting demagoguery in his hope to keep the Republicans in control of Congress.

He is telling us that the Central American migrant caravan of women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and some men, walking thousands of miles looking for a better life, and escaping violence, poverty, and dangerous gangs in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, is actually a bunch of criminals, terrorists, and drug promoters, and includes dangerous Middle Eastern type people.

He is telling us that transgender people are a threat to our society, and wants to clamp down on basic civil rights of people that are treated as if they are not human beings, by so called “good Christians”, who are actually biased, prejudiced, and corrupt right wing evangelicals who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

He is telling us that he is insisting that we pursue a new nuclear weapons buildup, since he is ripping up the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed by the Republican President Ronald Reagan with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, even though Reagan is seen by the GOP as a icon.

He is telling us that we are going to see a quick tax cut for the middle class very soon, even though Congress is not in session, and will not be doing any such thing, but is simply a tactic to fool stupid Trump followers who might suddenly be realizing that Trump and the Republican Party are out to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions in health care. They might also realize that the Republican Party is out to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, if given control of both houses of Congress once again by voters who have no sense of reality.

Donald Trump lies incessantly, and stokes fear, prejudice, and insecurity, and it is past time for the American people to react with a smashing rejection of everything Trump and his party represent, as they have undermined any sense of civility. Instead, they tell us that there are riots in California provoked by Democrats, but no sign of such violence, all just in Trump’s diseased mind.

Trump’s racism, nativism, Islamophobia, homophobia, promotion of fear, and refusal to speak one iota of truth all call for total repudiation two weeks from now.

Unwise For Republicans To Denounce Lisa Murkowski, And Democrats To Denounce Joe Manchin: They Could Switch Parties After Midterm Elections

Now that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has been accomplished, by the smallest margin since 1881, there is discussion in both political parties about retribution to be paid for the one Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and the one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who broke ranks in their parties and voted against the party line.

This is very unwise, and could reverberate after the midterm elections are completed.

What if the US Senate ends up with a 50-50 split, which would give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to organize the Senate for the Republicans?

If Lisa Murkowski is angry in November, she could decide to switch parties, becoming a Democrat, as long as the party promised, with her 16 years of Senate experience, to give her a committee chairmanship. That would make the Senate 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, backfiring on the Republicans.

Or what if the Senate became 51-49 Democratic, and Joe Manchin decided to switch to the Republican Party, making a 50-50 tie, giving Mike Pence the ability to organize the Senate for the Republicans?

What it comes down to is that no political party should punish its members because they are not always in lockstep with their party.

There is no reason why all Democrats have to be to the left of center, and all Republicans have to be to the right of center.

In the past, there were a lot of people who “crossed the aisle” on a regular basis, and accomplished great goals, as for instance Lyndon B. Johnson gaining support of many Republicans for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 due to his ability to work with Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen.

Another instance was a deal on Social Security reform in 1983 between Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.

The only way to move ahead is to overcome the confrontational, no holds barred rhetoric, that now has made Congress such an inept institution, and promote willingness of both parties to negotiate and compromise for the good of the nation and its future.