Steve Scalise

Gun Violence Against Congressman Steve Scalise And Others Deplorable, And Incited By Bad Blood On Both Sides, And By Donald Trump!

The shocking violence in Alexandria, Virginia, by a crazed gunman, who shot five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana is a sign of escalating violence in this nation, incited by bad blood on both sides of the political spectrum, but also by Donald Trump, who in the past two years has called for violence against his opponent Hillary Clinton, and encouraged violence by his supporters at his campaign rallies against any critics, and that he would pay their legal costs, or so he said.

The political invective is higher now than it has been since the Civil War Era, and Trump cannot be said to be innocent in any fashion, and he likes to act like a bully, and intimidate his critics and opponents. But also, the two parties, Democrats and Republicans, have reached a stage where they cannot “cross the aisle”, as they often did in past decades, to accomplish major goals in legislation.

And conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel has also incited people with their poisonous atmosphere–including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, and so many others, all of whom spew hatred.

Some conservatives try to claim that Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, and others considered to be progressives, are doing the same thing on their programs, but that is pure BS!

The political atmosphere has been deteriorating for the past 25 years since Bill Clinton came to the Presidency, and many of the talk show hosts on the Right have become multimillionaires in the process, and Republican leadership has gone along with this to gain their own agenda.

The fact that the shooter of Steve Scalise and others was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, will, assuredly make the right wing talk show hosts further inflame the situation, so those on the left cannot remain silent, as some are advocating.

We deplore the shooting, and do not advocate violence, but that does not mean we shall remain silent in the midst of government abuses and illegalities.

The American people expect their government to be accountable to its citizenry!

The Crisis In The Speakership Of The House Of Representatives: Not A Laughing Matter!

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, second in line for the Presidency behind the Vice President of the United States.

Therefore, who is the Speaker of the House is not an idle matter, but of crucial importance, that he or she be a mainstream, responsible public official.

The Republican Party has produced disasters in the Speakership since 1994.

First, we had Newt Gingrich, who had a scandalous private life, and was extremely confrontational in his dealings with President Bill Clinton, and yet, right wing conservatives were unhappy with him, and he resigned after two terms as Speaker, a total of four years.

Then, his theoretical successor, Bob Livingston, was forced to turn down the Speakership, due to his own private life scandals.

Then, Denny Hastert became Speaker, seemed noncontroversial, and in comparison to Gingrich and Livingston, was just that.  But now, years after his decision to leave Congress after the Republicans lost control of the House in 2006, Hastert faces prosecution and is involved in a sex scandal involving when he was a high school wrestling coach 35 years ago.

And then, there was John Boehner, who lasted almost five years, but was under constant attack by the far right Tea Party Movement, and now has decided to resign at the end of October.  Boehner created constant confrontations with Barack Obama, but also, at times, was cordial with limits imposed by his party’s dynamics.

Eric Cantor, who was supposed to be Boehner’s successor, unexpectedly lost his seat in a nomination fight last year, just as he had the chance to become the first Jewish Speaker of the House, and his defeat apparently delayed Boehner’s decision to leave, until now after the Pope has visited the United States, and spoken before the Congress in joint session.  This event brought out the tears so common to Boehner, a devout Catholic.

Now the issue is who should succeed Boehner, two heartbeats away from the Presidency, with new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  of California favored even though he has only been in Congress nine years, has sponsored no important legislation, and never would have been in this position had Eric Cantor not been defeated  last year.

McCarthy seems pleasant enough on a personal basis, actually more than Gingrich, Livingston, Hastert, and now Boehner, but will the right wing Tea Party movement be satisfied with him, and will he be responsible enough to conduct himself with a willingness to work with President Obama for the next year?

What if a true right wing extremist ends up as Speaker, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a possible successor seen as a true extremist and often compared by many to David Duke, the former KKK leader, due to Scalise’s opposition to a Martin Luther King Holiday in Louisiana, one of the last states to adopt it?

America cannot tolerate a right wing extremist to be two heartbeats away from the Presidency, and it can be hoped that, under the present circumstances, Kevin McCarthy become Speaker, but somehow, although unlikely, hope that disillusionment with the Republican control of Congress leads to Democratic control of the House, as well as the Senate, to occur in the 2016 national elections.

Since the House is gerrymandered, giving the GOP control despite more total popular votes for the chamber being Democratic, this seems unlikely, but those who feel it is urgent that the next Democratic President have both chambers of Congress willing to work with him or her, must work very hard to try to elect a Congress controlled by the Democrats!

The Inauspicious Beginning Of The Republican 114th Congress: 25 Republicans Repudiate John Boehner, And White Supremacist Steve Scalise Kept As House Majority Whip!

The opening of the Republican controlled 114th Congress was an embarrassment in two major ways.

First, while Speaker John Boehner began his third two year term in that position, he suffered the repudiation of 25 members of his caucus, who refused to support him, making for the largest rebellion against a sitting Speaker in 150 years, since the Civil War era. Instead, these 25 rebels voted for Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (a distant descendant of the great Massachusetts Senator of the 19th century; Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert; Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Army General Colin Powell; and others, making a joke out of the proceedings.

Then, despite the outcry against Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, who spoke at a David Duke sponsored event in 2002, claiming not to know that Duke sponsored the event, failed to stop him from being kept on as House Majority Whip. Scalise had claimed in the past that he was a “David Duke Republican”, but now claims ignorance of the racist, antisemitic career of the former Ku Klux Klan leader and his connections to the American Nazi Party. Duke ran for Governor and Senator in the early 1990s in Louisiana, and former President George H. W. Bush led the fight against his candidacy for Governor in 1991, but somehow, Scalise was not affected by that history, and was wiling to connect himself to Duke. Yet, the GOP decided to keep him as third ranking Republican in the House.

So a very inauspicious beginning for the GOP, as they try to convince the American people that they represent the nation, and should gain the White House, as well as Capitol Hill, in 2016!