Senator Ted Kennedy

Gerald Ford’s Pardoning Of Richard Nixon 44 Years Ago Today Should NOT Be Repeated For Donald Trump When And If Mike Pence Becomes President

On this day, 44 years ago, President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon, immediately undermining his Presidency, and insuring his defeat in a close race with Jimmy Carter for a full term in the Presidency in the election of 1976.

Ford was appointed Vice President under the terms of the 25th Amendment in October 1973, and confirmed and sworn in two months later, after Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned due to his own scandalous behavior.

Gerald Ford had nothing to do with the Watergate scandal, but by pardoning Nixon, while others involved in the scandal went to prison, he became highly controversial, and was attacked and vilified by many.

A quarter century later, however, Ford’s reputation revived, when a major critic, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, arranged for an award to be given to the former President, the John F. Kennedy library “Profile in Courage Award”.

Ford looks much better in history now, and in many ways, is the model of what an old style Republican President should be like, in the age of Donald Trump.

But this occasion of the pardoning of Richard Nixon brings to mind the idea that at some point, Donald Trump might be pardoned for his crimes, and the answer should be absolutely not, as Trump has gone way beyond Richard Nixon in his crimes, and will be shown to have committed treason, which no one has ever said Nixon did.

IF Vice President Mike Pence overcomes suspicions of his own collaboration and involvement in this massive scandal we are dealing with now, the worst thing he could do is pardon Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, there is no legal way to prevent such an action, but if it occurs, there will be a firestorm much worse than Ford experienced in 1974, and it would insure that Mike Pence would have no chance to be elected for a full term.

It would also further cement the demise of the Republican Party reputation, and likely, the future of the party under that name, and it could lead to the destruction of that party apparatus, and its replacement by a new mainstream conservative oriented political party.

Centennial Of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Birth: Most Prominent American Historian In Second Half Of Twentieth Century

Today, October 15, marks the centennial of the birth of renowned American historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, considered by many scholars to be the most prominent American historian in the second half of the 20th Century.

I was fortunate to have been a graduate student under Schlesinger at the City University of New York Graduate School from 1966 to 1975, and I was one of eleven graduate students to have had the opportunity to produce a Ph. D. Dissertation under his support and tutelage. That dissertation, later revised, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press under the title: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL in 1981.

Schlesinger was a very cordial and supportive sponsor of my dissertation, and we kept in touch occasionally over the next three decades, and I was saddened by his death in February 2007 at the age 89.

Schlesinger helped for me to confirm my liberal and progressive convictions, and my blog that you are now reading was partly inspired by his influence, and has now been operated for more than nine years.

While I do not claim any of the greatness that Schlesinger represented, I am proud of my association with him.

Schlesinger was a public intellectual and social critic, and although he never went beyond an earned Bachelors degree from Harvard University, he was a leading historian, although he had many critics.

He was a Cold War Liberal, strongly anti Communist, and a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Reinhold Niebuhr in 1947, and was its national chairman in 1953-1954.

A professor at Harvard University from 1947-1960, he was the son of the renowned historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, and related also to 19th century historian George Bancroft through his mother.

He was a speechwriter to Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956; speechwriter and Latin American policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy; speechwriter and adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy during his Presidential campaign in 1968; speechwriter and adviser to 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern; and also speechwriter and adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his 1980 Presidential primary campaign against President Jimmy Carter. That year, Schlesinger broke with his Democratic Party roots and voted for Independent Presidential nominee, Republican Congressman John Anderson, as did former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, both only revealed in their votes in the past few years.

Schlesinger was the author of more than 30 books and hundreds of articles, and was most famous for his two Pulitzer Prizes for his books: THE AGE OF JACKSON (1946) and A THOUSAND DAYS: JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE (1966). He also wrote three seminal volumes on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, only getting as far as 1936, and telling me of his goal to finish in a few more volumes, but that never happened.

But he also wrote an important book on the threat of Richard Nixon–THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY (1973)—and also the standard study of his friend, Robert F. Kennedy–ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS TIMES (1978).

Schlesinger was the recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities Chair at the City University of New Graduate School from 1966 to 1974, and that is how I became one of his graduate students.

His impact on the historical profession and American politics continues a decade after his death.

Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat Needs To Be Filled Pronto!

For the first time in 25 years, a Massachusetts US Senate seat will be up for competition as to who should represent the state.

But Massachusetts state law calls for an election no sooner than about five months after a vacancy.

This needs to be changed by the legislature promptly, as this is a crucial time on the health care legislation and other important initiatives of the Obama Administration.

The idea of a temporary filling of the Senate seat, by someone who would pledge not to run, sounds to me like a very legitimate and proper move.

Massachusetts should not be denied equal representation for such a long time, as unfortunately, Minnesota faced for six months because of the contested Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.

So hopefully, we will see a new Senator sworn in, who has been appointed to fill the seat for a brief few months, by Governor Deval Patrick.

Senator Ted Kennedy Dies

I woke up this morning to the inevitable, but still shocking, news that the greatest Senator of our time, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, had passed away overnight from a brain tumor.

My emotions about this are very strong, and it is obvious that this is a great loss for the nation, as well as the Kennedy family.

More will be said about this tragic event later today when I have time to reflect on what this man’s public career has meant to all of us, and what effect it might have on the future.