Theocracy

Are We On The Way To President Paul Ryan?

With the growing evidence of Russian collusion and lying by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and many others in the administration, the possibility is growing of the first time in American history where the Speaker of the House of Representatives might become President by succession.

It could have happened in 1974 had there not been the 25th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1967.

That amendment allowed for the appointment of Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew, and within eight months of becoming Vice President, Ford became President.

If this had not been able to happen, there would have been no Vice President for ten months, and Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma would have become President, instead of Gerald Ford, when Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

Ryan may very well have been aware of Russian collusion in the eyes of some observers, but unless that is proved to be so, he would become President if Mike Pence was forced out, and Donald Trump was forced out, and if there was no time to select a new Vice President under the 25th Amendment.

Ryan, not at all admired, and much criticized by this blogger in 2012, when he was the Vice Presidential nominee for Mitt Romney. would be a terrible successor, with his Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy, and his desire to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and end the concept of government assistance to the needy through Medicaid, Food Stamps, and aid to dependent children.

We are in a time frame where Donald Trump is a nightmare, but Mike Pence, with his overtly theocratic view of religion and government is a different nightmare, and Ryan is a third example of what horrible choices the nation faces from the results of the Presidential Election of 2016.

It will take decades to recover the damage already done, and the damage yet to be done.

Vice President Mike Pence: Could Be Most Engaged And Active Vice President Yet!

It seems more likely by the day that Vice President Elect Mike Pence could be the most engaged and active Vice President yet!

The Vice Presidency began to grow under Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, because Ike was willing to delegate authority, and Nixon was smart and ambitious.

Nixon was the first Vice President to play a major role in policy making.

Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; Dick Cheney under George W. Bush; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama all added to the office of Vice President, but now it seems as if Donald Trump, who does not have a clue on anything in government, may be leaning on Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, before becoming Indiana Governor over the past four years.

The good thing about Pence is that he is smart, intelligent, experienced in government, fully qualified, if need be, to take over the Presidency.

He is not Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, who was the VP running mate of John McCain.

But despite his abilities, we must realize that Pence is a theocrat, who always says that his evangelical Christian faith is the most important thing in his life, and utilizes his right wing Christian beliefs to oppose abortion rights and gay rights in a vehement fashion. He also does not believe in climate change and science generally, and also promoted the idea that tobacco does not cause lung cancer, a preposterous idea.

So one would not wish to see Pence end up in the Presidency by plan or by circumstance, but in the meanwhile, he could be the single most important player in the Donald Trump administration over the next four years.

Mike Huckabee The New Orval Faubus, Ross Barnett, And George Wallace!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is rapidly becoming the new Orval Faubus, Ross Barnett, and George Wallace—a defiant Governor against the Supreme Court!

Faubus, Governor of Arkansas; Barnett, Governor Mississippi; and Wallace, Governor of Alabama—all vehemently opposed the Supreme Court decision on school integration of 1954 (Brown V. Board of Education), and refused to cooperate with integration, respectively, of the Little Rock, Arkansas high school; the University of Mississippi; and the University of Alabama—and mounted confrontations with the federal government, leading to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy to send the National Guard into those states to enforce the edicts of the federal courts.

None of those three Governors look well in American history, rather are seen as law breakers and demagogues, for opposing the Supreme Court decision.

Now Mike Huckabee stands out as a religious fanatic, a man who does not understand separation of church and state, and as a bigot in his attitude toward gays and lesbians.

His idea that the Supreme Court in Obergefell V Hodges is acting in a lawless manner is totally preposterous, but notice he does not oppose the Court when it comes up with a decision that he agrees with, which demonstrates his total hypocrisy, and his own phoniness about the teachings of Jesus, who never referred to gays and marriage in the Old or New Testament.

Huckabee has become a right wing theocratic demagogue, who seems to think taking such a stand will advance his Republican Presidential candidacy, but even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was against the majority opinion on gay marriage, says that no county clerk, such as Kim Davis, can use religious views to avoid her responsibility to do her job, as working for government is a civil job.

So either Kim Davis does  her job without discrimination, or she needs to be forced out of office, or thrown in prison until she agrees to obey the federal courts, which DO have the final say on all constitutional matters.

Marriage is not something to be voted on, but rather a basic human right, and prejudice and bias and homophobia must not be allowed to interfere with the right of two adults to marry!

Criminalization Of Christianity And Kim Davis? Hardly!

A federal court judge appointed by George W. Bush has ordered County Clerk Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky to jail for failing to issue marriage licenses to anyone in her county, due to her “religious” beliefs that do not “allow” her to permit marriage licenses to gays and lesbians.

Kim Davis is a hypocrite, who has been married four times, divorced three times, and had twins with someone not her husband at the time, and then, suddenly, she became “religious”, and therefore, will not fulfill her job duties to which she was elected.

It is not as if she can be summarily fired, as she was elected by the voters last November, but she can be required to do her duties as a public official, or be told to resign, or else, someone else should fulfill her duties on marriage licenses in her stead.

If this is allowed to fester, other county clerks in Kentucky, Alabama, and Texas, and other states can use the excuse to disobey the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage,  or really, we can start having government officials refuse to obey federal law on other matters as well!

The Civil War is long over, and states must obey federal law, whether they like it or not, just as those opposed to Citizens United or the Voting Rights Act  or other conservative decisions have the option of trying for a constitutional amendment if they do not wish to accept the Court decision.

We are a nation of laws and the Constitution, and the Supreme Court, right or wrong, is the final arbiter, as we are not a nation governed by the beliefs of any religious group, and no such group should be allowed to dictate what they will obey when it comes to law.

The concept of criminalization of Christianity is totally baseless, and no one should take it seriously, as there is no persecution of Christians, although there is persecution of Muslims, in some areas Jews, and certainly of Atheists and Agnostics!

We are a nation of many different Christian groups with a variety of doctrines, but we are not a “Christian” nation, a theocracy, and no religion can be allowed to control public policy!

Mike Huckabee, The Supreme Court, And The “Supreme Being”!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a candidate for the Presidency, and a former preacher as well, is going off the deep end in his vehement opposition to gay marriage.

Apparently, Mike Huckabee believes that the American people do not need to obey judges and the federal courts, and the Supreme Court, if they do not like or agree with their decisions.

If Barack Obama were to say this, he would be pushed toward impeachment, but Mike Huckabee is promoting disobedience of the judiciary, and shows total ignorance of our legal history!

What he is advocating, taken to its extreme, would mean that the Citizens United case would be ignored, and that billionaires would not be able to distort our election process, something any sensible person would advocate, but the only way to overcome this is by constitutional amendment!

So if gay marriage is made legal in all of America at the end of June, the only way to overcome it is to bring about a similar constitutional amendment.

The same goes for those who are upset about interracial marriage, civil rights laws, the lax enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, racial integration, and a whole host of other “objectionable” decisions made by the courts and the Supreme Court over 226 years of our history!

Mike Huckabee demonstrates his ignorance of our history, and of the significance of Chief Justice John Marshall, and of “judicial review” and the famous Supreme Court case, Marbury V. Madison in 1803.

Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and really ALL Presidents; and many other government figures over the years; and citizens of America throughout its history, have denounced Supreme Court decisions!

BUT the only alternative is a constitutional amendment, ladies and gentlemen, and for any Presidential candidate or President to call for defiance of the Supreme Court is grounds for impeachment and removal from office.

In America, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter, good or bad, and really, it is both, depending on the issue and how people perceive it!

We are NOT a theocracy, and the “Supreme Being”, that Mike Huckabee advocates, is NOT the final arbiter of constitutional cases, and never has been! Thank goodness for that, as it would take away the democracy that America has evolved into over more than two centuries of American history!

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

The Misinterpreted Thomas Jefferson, By The Right Wing, On the 272nd Anniversary Of His Birth

Thomas Jefferson, our most brilliant President intellectually, one of the great Founding Fathers, has been so misinterpreted by the right wing conservatives and Republicans, who have no clue as to his beliefs and thoughts.

The right wing has worked to distort Jefferson, making him out to be many things he was not.

They tell us Jefferson believed in a national religion, when Jefferson was a skeptic about organized Christianity, and became Deist in his beliefs, and opposed the concept of theocracy.

They tell us that Jefferson believed church and state should be unified, when he was the promoter of the Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom.

They tell us that Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the goodness of state and local governments over national government, which was true to an extent during the 1790s debate of Jefferson Vs. Alexander Hamilton, which helped to create political parties in America. But once he was President, Jefferson was a believer in a broad interpretation of the Constitution and the power of the national government.

They tell us that Jefferson would have been a supporter of the Republican Party of 2015, when his belief in civil liberties would have made him appalled at that party’s abuse of civil liberties in the name of national security.

They tell us that Jefferson would have been supportive of foreign intervention against Muslim civilization, due to Jefferson’s intervention in the Mediterranean against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa during his Presidency, but Jefferson did not promote Islamophobia, as most Republicans and conservatives advocate in their rhetoric.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson was a complex man, with many contradictions and often hypocritical views, as on race and slavery, but Jefferson was a man who believed in the power of learning and the intellectual life, and he would have been totally shocked at the goal of the Republican Party to keep the population ignorant, and to promote fear, instead of an enlightened view of mankind and events.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz Publicly Back Discriminatory Indiana Law! What Hope Is Left For The Republican Party In 2016?

The Republican Party is going totally nuts, more than ever, as now potential Republican Presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz have issued public statements supporting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and the passage of a law designed to make it possible that business proprietors can refuse service to gays and lesbians, when commerce has nothing to do with religion, since we have separation of church and state, and are not a theocracy.

Christians of the right wing extremism keep on saying that they are being persecuted, when they are the ones who promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and antisemitism, along with other wrongs, including degradation of women, and ministerial sexual abuse in too many cases over the years!

With Christians being over 90 percent of Americans, it is preposterous to say that they are being persecuted, when they are the ones who promoted persecution in the name of Jesus, a Jew who would never have advocated their hateful actions of racism, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia!

It leaves one to wonder if there are any Republican nominees who can appeal to the mainstream of America, as it is clear most, if not all, of the other potential nominees for President, while not yet specifically stating that they back the Indiana law, it is clear that in their hearts that they will continue to resist gay rights, even with a Supreme Court decision likely this June! Based on past statements and actions catering to the Religious Right, we know that Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, and Dr Benjamin Carson are likely to back Mike Pence in the coming days!

The only possible hope left seems to be the longshot possibility of Jon Huntsman, who tried for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, but has given up on running in 2016, easily the most decent possible candidate; or possibly Ohio Governor John Kasich, who appears to be a reasonable conservative, but has said he will decide whether to announce for President sometime this summer. Kasich, so far, seems potentially a candidate who might be able to represent the mainstream of the party, and yet remain a responsible conservative, but who can say that he will not self destruct as Jeb Bush has, for instance, just done with his statement backing Mike Pence and Indiana in promoting discrimination and homophobia?

Conservative Argument That America Is A “Christian Nation” NOT True!

The right wing loves to say that Americans are a “Christian nation”, but that assertion is NOT true!

It is true that a majority of Americans are born to the Christian faith, whether Catholic or any of the many Protestant sects, or Eastern Orthodox.

But our Founding Fathers, while born Christian, were in many cases skeptics about organized Christianity, and certainly had no mission to promote a church-state combination, a theocracy, as they knew of the turmoil and sufferings of such combinations in European history, including Great Britain, France, the German states, and Czarist Russia, along with the effects of Islam on the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Therefore, the Constitution of the United States made clear to keep separation of church and state separate, and there is no statement of America as a “Christian nation” by the Founding Fathers.

There are plenty of statements by many Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and others that advocated separation of church and state, and a sense of skepticism about organized Christianity being part of government.

We also have evidence that conservative Christian pastors condemned the Constitution after its adoption because of the fact that it was a document which, clearly, was secular in nature, and some called the Constitution an atheistic document, which shows how hard the Founding Fathers had worked to undermine the creation of a theocracy, which would allow persecution of non Christians or non believers in religion itself.

After the Civil War, the right wing Christian pastors tried repeatedly to amend the Constitution to make America a Christian nation and make references to Jesus Christ, but those attempts failed, and the only religious reference that would become normal was to say “In God We Trust” on American coinage.

The deleterious effect of this movement among right wing Christian pastors, however, led to anti Catholic and anti Jewish practices and laws locally, discriminating against the immigration of so called “undesirable” groups.

Additionally, for a long period of time, commerce was limited by “Blue Laws”, which banned economic activities on Sundays, finally overcome about 50 years ago, as if someone does not wish to do shopping or other commerce on the Christian Sabbath, that is their choice, but should not be imposed on others, one of the examples of what happens when theocracy and its narrow mindedness is allowed to take hold.

So America is NOT a “Christian nation”, but rather a nation of a diverse number of religious groups, with a majority of Christian sects, including Catholicism, something the majority Protestants did not wish to acknowledge!

Do Not Believe Polls Which Predict GOP Senate Majority!

So many polls are now predicting that the Republican Party will win control of the US Senate. But polls have been proved wrong before, and the Democrats should not run scared, just run aggressively against the Do Nothing Republicans, similar to what Harry Truman did in 1948!

The Republican Party is wrong on immigration reform; is wrong on the right of workers; is wrong on the treatment of women at work and in their private lives; is wrong on the environment and climate change; is wrong on the need for gun regulation; is wrong on the use of the race card; is wrong on its refusal to promote infrastructure spending; is wrong on its decision to oppose more expenditures on veterans; is wrong in its opposition to ObamaCare; is wrong in its attacks on Social Security and Medicare; is wrong in its efforts to deny voting rights; is wrong in its advocacy of wars everywhere, rather than pursuing diplomacy and peace; is wrong in their anti intellectual, anti science agenda; is wrong in its promotion of theocracy, rather than separation of church and state; and is wrong in its planned strategy to obstruct all judicial and executive nominations and therefore to cripple operation of the courts and government agencies.

The Democrats are likely to keep the following Senators–Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; Mark Warner of Virginia; and Mark Begich of Alaska.

They have a good chance of defeating Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, with their nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes; win the open Senate seat in Georgia with Michelle Nunn; win the open Senate seat in Iowa with Bruce Braley; win the open Senate seat in Michigan with Gary Peters; and an even chance to win the open West Virginia seat with Natalie Tennant over Republican Shelley Moore Capito.

The only seats seen likely to switch from D to R are: South Dakota and Montana; while the Democrats have a good shot at winning Kentucky and Georgia. With West Virginia possibly going Republican with Capito, and Maine having a chance that Republican Susan Collins loses to Democrat Shanna Bellows, if such happens, it is no gain by the Republicans.

The best prediction is that the Republicans MIGHT gain two seats, falling four states short of the six needed to make Mitch McConnell Majority Leader, with him likely to lose to Grimes in Kentucky, in any case.

The worst case scenario for the Democrats is the loss of South Dakota and Montana; and the loss of West Virginia, therefore meaning a Republican gain of three seats!

And in 2016, with two thirds of the seats being Republicans, the Democrats are sure, in an election where their Democratic Presidential nominee will be heavily favored, to win a large number of additional seats, nearing up to 60 from a possible low of 52 in 2014!