Tea Party Movement

From Strom Thurmond To Paul Thurmond: Is The Civil War Finally Over In The South?

South Carolina, which started the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, MAY have finally conceded defeat on June 23, 2015, with the courageous speech by State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of the notorious segregationist and racist Governor and Senator Strom Thurmond, who made his career on racial division.

A burden to the Democratic Party, when Lyndon B. Johnson was able to overcome Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, and courageously get through Congress the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Senator Strom Thurmond quickly switched to the Republican Party, and over the next generation, the Confederate South transferred its loyalties to the Republican Party, despite their hatred of the party because of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

The Republicans welcomed and embraced the segregationists, and did whatever they could to appeal to the prejudices of many Southern whites, rather than elevate them to a level of tolerance and open mindedness.

And when the Supreme Court damaged the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, it was Republican state legislatures and Governors who rushed to pass voter restriction laws, designed to harm African Americans and other minorities, as well as the poor, reminding us of what had happened after Reconstruction ended in the late 19th century. They were not afraid to show their purpose, to deny people the vote on flimsy grounds, and showed no conscience.

This sudden transformation after the Charleston Massacre is what finally brought out the truth, that the Republicans have been promoting racism, and even after the disaster, many Republican office holders and Presidential candidates were slow to react.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was hesitant to call for removal of the Confederate Flag, but finally did so under duress, but it was state Senator Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond, who showed true courage and guts in denouncing what his father had stood for, and saying the flag must be removed.

There are still plenty of bigoted Southerners in South Carolina and elsewhere, who rushed to buy Confederate flags, shirts, and other paraphernalia, but thank goodness that Walmart, Ebay, Amazon and other retailers announced the end of such sales yesterday.

It is time for the Republican Party nationally to stop voting restriction laws, and truly compete for the African American vote and the Hispanic-Latino vote too, and also to stop the attack on women and on gays and lesbians, as they are now the party of so much hate. The white racist vote is rapidly declining, and the GOP is living in the past, reveling in its promotion of narrow mindedness and intolerance!

We are all in this together as a nation, and the Republican Party must change dramatically, and must repudiate the Tea Party Movement whackos, or it will expire in the near future!

The Clown Bus Group Of Republican Presidential Contenders, Part III: The US Senate

In two earlier entries, we have discussed five “losers”, who were or are Republican Governors, but are not to be seen seriously as qualified to be President for various reasons; and three non office holders who think their medical and business careers make them Presidential material, but only in their deluded minds.

In Part III today, we will look at four figures who have served in the US Senate, three still there, and one who left nearly a decade ago.

First, we have Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a look alike for Joseph McCarthy, the old Communist witch hunter of the 1950s. Cruz had no problem shutting down the government in 2013, and continues to call for every part of ObamaCare to be repealed, despite the fact that Texas has more people who have no health care, including Medicaid. Cruz is a very evil man; a very nasty man; a very dangerous man to give executive power to; a man who thinks he is extremely brilliant, simply based on his Princeton and Harvard Law School degrees; a Senator disliked by just about all of his Republican colleagues; a man who would divide America and the Republican Party with his destructive Tea Party extremism.

Then we have Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who is the son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the libertarian champion. The two Pauls have a lot of young people who seem to adore them, as they both hate government, and both are isolationists in foreign policy. Rand Paul is an optometrist, who set up his own association, rather than go through the national organization, and it makes one wonder as to his true skill as an eye doctor. He has blundered on so many issues, and does not come across as very bright; has shown lack of concern for the poor in his own state; has made statements against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as being enforceable; has led filibusters in the Senate that have made one wonder about his ability to get along with others; but at the same time, has shown concern about privacy rights and the issue of minor drug offenses that has imprisoned so many young people, many of them African American. So despite his faults, he has some redeeming values, but he is not highly regarded by the Republican establishment, and to believe a libertarian will be nominated and elected President requires hallucinations by those who imagine such an event happening.

Then we have South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is the major “hawk” in the Senate, along with his good friend, Arizona Senator John McCain. There is not a war or country that Graham and McCain do not wish to intervene in, and both are diametrically the opposite of Rand Paul on foreign policy. While Graham has some more humane views on some issues domestically, he has no real support that could win him the nomination for the Presidency, and many hold it against him that when in the House of Representatives, he led the move toward impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.

And then we have former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who lost his Senate seat in 2006 by a landslide; who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2012; but who is a right wing extremist on social issues, and is committed to disobey a Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, which is pending, if he becomes President. Santorum is infamous for outrageous, narrow minded views, as he is the favorite of the Religious Right, and his social views would take back America to many decades earlier. His chances of being the nominee are the lowest of these four Senators, all of whom are embarrassments to the historical traditions of the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower!

So we have covered now 12 of 16 potential Republican nominees, and further analysis of the four remaining candidates—one Senator, one former Governor, and two sitting Governors—will be forthcoming soon.

The Road Ahead For Marco Rubio: Many Barriers To The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

When one examines the field of candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Florida Senator Marco Rubio seems, clearly, to be one of the top candidates.

Rubio has many positives, including:

Young, handsome, charismatic

From the ultimate “Swing” state, with the third highest number of electoral votes

An Hispanic (Cuban American)

Representative of a “new generation”

A “fresh face”

Seen by many as the Republican Barack Obama, but also seen as the Republican equivalent of a Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy in age and charisma

A person with a substantial state government legislative experience, including being Florida House Speaker

But, Rubio also has many negatives, including:

He has to compete against fellow Floridian, former Governor Jeb Bush, his mentor

The Cuban American members of Congress from Florida (Lincoln Diaz Balart and Ileane Ros Lehtinen) support Bush over their fellow Cuban American

Rubio’s support of comprehensive immigration reform, alienating many conservatives, but then backing away from it, alienating other groups, including Latinos who are not Cuban American

Rubio’s being seen as too close to former Miami Congressman David Rivera, who has been seen as involved in corrupt, questionable activities

Rubio being questioned about spending habits while Florida House Speaker, regarding expenditures paid by the state party that were personal expenditures

Rubio being too close to billionaires including Miami’s Norman Braman, and Nevada gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, and being often in financial difficulties in which Braman has helped him with financial support

Rubio being seen as a Tea Party leader, but trying to separate himself from the extremists of the movement

Rubio seen as not fully understanding foreign policy, where he often seems ignorant of facts and favoring false realities

Rubio seen as not aggressive enough, as compared to rivals, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckebee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

The Republican “Appeal” To Hispanics/Latinos Of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz: Greatly Exaggerated!

A lot of propaganda is going around stating that Republicans have a real chance to gain the backing of Hispanics/Latinos in the 2016 Presidential race! Really?

The Republican Party has done everything possible to alienate Hispanics/Latinos, including opposition to the DREAM Act; unwillingness to change immigration policy; insulting statements about Hispanics/Latinos from many Tea Party elements; and hostile policies toward issues that matter to Hispanics/Latinos in states, such as Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

So the argument goes that Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush, can, somehow, win the vote of Hispanics/Latinos because, after all, George W. was able to do so, and also, Jeb’s wife is Mexican-American, and Jeb speaks good Spanish.

Also, it is said that Marco Rubio, who speaks fluent Spanish, can appeal to Hispanics/Latinos; and that Ted Cruz, who does not speak Spanish, can also do so, simply because they are both Hispanics, of Cuban ancestry.

This assumption is totally false, as more than 70 percent of Hispanics-Latinos voted for Barack Obama in 2012, and neither George W. Bush nor John McCain could gain more than 40 percent of their vote, and both George W. and McCain were supportive of, and sympathetic to Hispanic/Latino issues.

What has the GOP done since 2008 to appeal to Hispanics/Latinos? Absolutely nothing, and the assumption, somehow, that the Republicans can, somehow, transform reality, is based on the false assumption that Rubio and Cruz, being Cubans, can appeal to Mexican-Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, and to other Hispanic/Latino groups from other nations of Latin America.

Only Cubans, who are about 3.7 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos have consistently voted Republican, and even their percentage voting Republican has changed over the 55 years since Fidel Castro came to power, with younger Cuban-Americans starting to wander from the commitment to Republicans that their grandparents and parents have had.

Mexican Americans, numbering about 64 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos, have never cared about the Republican Party, and neither have Puerto Rican Americans, who number about 9.4 percent, nor 3.8 percent who are from El Salvador, or 3.1 percent who are from the Dominican Republic, or any of the other smaller numbers of people from other nations in Latin America.

The Best Hope For The Republican Party For 2016: Governor John Kasich Of Ohio!

It is becoming very clear that the best hope for the Republican Party to regain the White House in 2016 is NOT Jeb Bush, is NOT Chris Christie, is NOT Rand Paul, is NOT Scott Walker and is NOT anyone else being considered other than the sitting Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.

Of all of the potential GOP candidates for the Presidency, it is John Kasich who has the most distinguished record of accomplishments, who has made very few flubs or blunders, who has avoided making stupid statements up to the present, who has come across as a serious possibility from the state that is the ultimate “swing” state, Ohio.

NO Republican President has won office without winning Ohio, and from 1868 to 1923, there were SIX Republican Presidents from Ohio—Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

The Republican National Convention will be in Cleveland, and what could be more dramatic than nominating the sitting Governor of Ohio in Ohio?

Kasich has the most years of experience of anyone on the Republican side, having 18 years in Congress, and risen to the Chairmanship of the House Budget Committee, before leaving Congress, being an anchor for awhile on Fox News Channel, then working on Wall Street, before winning two terms as Governor of the “Buckeye” state.

No one is trying to claim that Kasich has made no mistakes, but compared to everyone else in the race, Kasich is the highest quality. While in Congress, he supported the Brady Assault Weapons Ban legislation and angered the National Rifle Association. He angered Tea Party groups by accepting Medicaid expansion, one of a very few Republican governors who have done that.

Kasich has worked against abortion rights, and has been shown to be anti union, typical of Republicans on the other hand, but he has also come across as an independent guy, who some have said has been influenced by the fact that his parents, killed tragically in an auto accident, were Democrats.

Kasich was considered as Bob Dole’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1996 but Jack Kemp instead was the choice of the Republican Presidential nominee. In 1999, he considered a Presidential candidacy but dropped out and endorsed George W. Bush. He could have stayed on in his Congressional seat and easily retained it, but decided after 18 years, it was time to move on. Had Dole picked him, he would have been only 44, and had he had a more serious Presidential bid in 2000, he would have been 48. Now he will be 64 in 2016, still young enough to be vibrant!

Kasich is also a reasonable man, a pleasant man, and avoids the image of arrogance and elitism that so many other Republicans exude. One can imagine a President Kasich, and if forced to do that, would be better able to live with it, as he is not a Tea Party Movement guy, not a Religious Right guy, not a libertarian! In fact, he is a bit of a skeptic about religion in politics, and has changed his religious views over his lifetime from Catholic to Anglican. He is in the mainstream of America, and is the best that the GOP has to offer, assuming former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman does not change his mind and decide to run after all!

Rand Paul: An Interesting, But Flawed Candidate For President Who Cannot Fulfill His Promises!

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky became the second declared candidate for President yesterday, and he gave a fiery speech, surrounded by his admirers who are clearly very loyal and committed to him.

But to believe that Rand Paul can become the GOP nominee for President, and occupy the White House after January 20, 2017, requires a lot of illusion, and “smoke and mirrors”. It will, most certainly, NOT happen!

Rand Paul has appealing elements, no question about it. These include the need to protect our civil liberties from government encroachment by the National Security Agency; the need to rebuild our economy and help forgotten Americans to gain economic advancement, both middle class and poor; the need to stay out of foreign intervention unless essential, and avoid so many bases and expenses overseas, including no more increased spending on foreign aid; and changing the law enforcement system, including the unfair justice system that imprisons too many young African Americans for overly severe jail terms.

But at the same time, Rand Paul talks about balancing a budget, by cutting fundamental programs that are an entitlement for Americans through their payment of taxes (including Social Security and Medicare); has no solution for health care for millions on ObamaCare and those without ObamaCare and not able to gain Medicaid; talks about limiting federal intrusion in our privacy, a goal almost impossible to accomplish in an age of terrorism; has expressed doubts about the civil rights laws, including the basic one passed in 1964 under Lyndon B. Johnson; has to deal with the influence of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul who is much more controversial with his public record of actions and utterances that many Paul supporters seem to be aware of; and has major opposition and criticism from the massive hawkish influence within his party in the Senate and from the neoconservatives, who seem to want war with Iran, and do not want to cut defense spending dramatically, if at all!

Additionally, Rand Paul is anti abortion and anti gay marriage, and while that will please the Republican Party, it will undermine his opportunity to attract a majority of women and young people, despite the fact that many young people claim to be libertarian, but mostly because they are truly ignorant of what the true nature of libertarianism is. Libertarianism will NOT gain power in America, and is a bankrupt philosophy not achievable in the real world!

Rand Paul will certainly make the Presidential race more interesting, but his connection to the Tea Party will also undermine him, and no scenario that is realistic puts him down as the 45th President of the United States!

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton Becomes A Politician To Watch!

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who is in his first year in the US Senate, after only two years in the House of Representatives, is a man to watch.

He has rapidly gained notice by his organizing with 46 other Republican Senators to send a letter to Iran, making clear that any agreement between the United States and Iran must gain backing of Congress, which actually is not the case, as many agreements between nations do NOT require Congressional approval. The action of these Senators is a violation of the Logan Act, however.

This outrageous action arranged by Cotton puts him on the front pages, a notable achievement for the youngest member of the US Senate, being only 37 years old.

And when one looks into the background on Senator Cotton, it is shown that he attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and had Professor Elizabeth Warren as a professor in law school.

Additionally, Cotton served in the military in both the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War between 2005-2009, and very few members of Congress have ever served in a war zone!

Cotton is intelligent, handsome, well spoken, and will rapidly become adorable to the right wing and the Tea Party, and he has good relations with both already.

Do not be surprised if his political stock rises rapidly, and it is not beyond possibility that Tom Cotton could be a “dark horse” candidate for the Presidency in 2016, as he has all the proper credentials for the right wing to promote, boost, and finance his candidacy.

And if one says, hey wait, he would be only 39 at the time of the Presidential Election of 2016, the answer is that he is old enough under the Constitution to be President, and would be, of course, the youngest President in American history, were he to be elected.

However, William Jennings Bryan was 36 when he ran for President on the Democratic party line in 1896, so Cotton would not be the youngest major party nominee in history.

This is not an endorsement in any sense of Tom Cotton, but simply pointing out that one should not assume he is a lightweight who can be ignored, and there seems no possibility that he could actually be nominated or elected President.

But stranger things have happened such as . . . .Barack Obama!

The Republican House Of Representatives Implodes: The Tea Party Is Destroying Congress!

Speaker of the House John Boehner has again been smacked down by the extremist right wing Tea Party caucus, about 50 members who so hate Barack Obama and everything he stands for and represents, that they are ready to bring down the government, and undermine the Department of Homeland Security created during the George W. Bush Administration in the aftermath of September 11!

Boehner must either join with Democrats to bring about the funding of this crucial government agency, with the rest of the Republican majority, OR he must resign in disgrace, as he has already proved totally unable to deal with the extremists who do not care about the heritage and traditions of the Republican Party in its 161 year history!

This nation cannot allow ourselves to be taken hostage by a group, which in its intentions, is no better than anarchists or terrorists, ready to take down the institutions of government if they cannot get their way, their desire to take us from the 21st century to the 19th century!

The House of Representatives, the “People’s Branch”, has become unable to accomplish what such a body is designed to do, govern effectively and do the business of the people!

We are in the midst of a revolution, the greatest crisis for the Speakership since the “Revolution of 1910″ against Speaker Joseph Cannon, stripping him of much of his absolute powers, and democratizing the House operations. Something on that level seems essential now to take away power from this anarchistic, but also Fascist in orientation, cabal of 50 members who will stop at nothing to destroy effective government!

This crisis has been delayed a week by the last minute action of the House to allow a one week extension of the Homeland Security budget, but the same struggle will face us on March 6!

Marco Rubio Faces Problems In Presidential Bid And Florida Senate Reelection Contest

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is not having good tidings lately, as he considers whether to run for President in 2016, or seek a second Senate term.

Florida does not allow a candidate to be on the ballot for two political races, so Rubio must decide his future.

At this point, polls indicate he is way behind fellow Floridian Jeb Bush for support, even within the Sunshine State, among Republicans for the Presidential nomination.

Rubio has alienated many Tea Party types and others in the Republican Party for having worked for immigration reform, and then backing away from it under harsh criticism by the Republican right wing base.

Rubio has also indicated frustration being a United States Senator, and he faces a potential threat from a number of Democrats for his seat, whether he runs again for it or chooses to leave the Senate to run for President.

Democratic National Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Patrick Murphy, and believe it or not, former Governor Charlie Crist, and even Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, are all seen as interested in the race, and Rubio cannot count on South Florida for support, with three South Floridians, including comparatively moderate Murphy, potentially running.

Of course, there would be major fireworks in a Democratic primary, with both Wasserman Schultz and Crist having antagonized many while serving in government and running for office, which might give Murphy an advantage, and possibly even Levine, a comparative newcomer to politics like Murphy is, as well.

With Mitt Romney Out Of Race, Scott Walker Vs. Jeb Bush Seems Like The Presidential Race Leaders For The GOP!

With Mitt Romney out of the race; with his statement that a new generation of leadership (a knock against Jeb Bush) should lead the Republican Party to victory; and with Scott Walker seen as impressive at the Steve King promoted Iowa Conference of Tea Party and Right Wing forces; and new polls showing Walker gaining by Romney’s dropping out, it seems clear that the frontrunners for the moment, at least, in the Republican Presidential race are Jeb Bush as the Establishment figure; and Scott Walker as the Koch Brothers-Tea Party-New generation inspired alternative.

The situation will, probably, change often over the next year, until the Iowa Caucuses on February 1 and the New Hampshire primary later that month, but for now, we seem to have a choice between another Bush, who is clearly competent but turns many people off on the fact alone that he is a Bush; and the arrogant, cocky, egotistical Governor Scott Walker, who now has declared his desire to destroy the “Wisconsin Idea” concept of higher education developed under Governor Robert LaFollette Sr a century ago, and pursued for the past century by both Republican and Democratic Governors, and supported by most Wisconsin members of Congress and the state legislature, putting Wisconsin in the forefront of educational standards nationally.

Instead, Walker wants liberal arts education to be dropped, and instead promote “work force” education only, a system that would fulfill the Koch Brothers desire to move young people away from an education that promotes thinking, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, tolerance, and open mindedness. This is the equivalent in many ways of the thought control process in the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and must be opposed with every last ounce of strength by those who see the danger to education presented by Scott Walker and his cronies!

Even if one finds Jeb Bush objectionable in many ways, the goal must be, IF the choice is between Bush and Walker for the Republican Presidential nomination, to defeat Walker at all costs, as a man dangerous to our future, and totally unqualified in foreign policy, as proved in a recent interview. The man is a menace to our future political system!