Theodore Roosevelt

Potential Michael Bloomberg Independent Presidential Candidacy Complicates Election Outlook In Massive Way!

The revelation that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (2002-2014) is considering entering the Presidential race of 2016 as an Independent complicates the election outlook in a massive way.

One could argue that an Independent candidacy will not succeed, as the best any independent or third party candidate has ever done is former President Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive (Bull Moose) party candidate in 1912, ending up second rather than third, and winning six states, 88 electoral votes, and 27.4 percent of the popular vote.

But Bloomberg, the seventh wealthiest billionaire in America by 2015 statistics, and 13th wealthiest in the world with about $41 billion in assets, could upset the apple cart, and could have a real chance to win.

For one thing, as a former Democrat, then a Republican, and finally an Independent, Bloomberg proved he could govern New York City, arguably the second most difficult governing job in America next to the Presidency itself.

And as a social progressive, Bloomberg represents danger to the Democratic party and its reliable 18 “Blue” states, since a three way election could give Bloomberg the balance of power, and possibly lead to him winning some of those states, and denying Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders the Presidency, and indirectly aid the Republican nominee,  Donald Trump or whoever else it is.

And the scenario of no one winning 270 electoral votes is the nightmare, as if that happened, the House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, and having more than 26 states with a Republican majority delegation, would have the final say on who the next President is, as in long ago 1800 and 1824!

The Bloomberg candidacy will be explored later by this blogger, with more detail and analysis, but this is NOT good for the Democratic Party!

The Republicans’ Penchant Toward Abolishing Government! Why They Cannot Be Allowed To Control The Executive Branch!

The Republican Party has created lots of employment for people who want to run for office and be part of the government.

And yet, the Republicans are always out to abolish government, even though they are part of it!

Going back to 2012 and even further back as far as the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even earlier to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson,  and actually even earlier with James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans would love to abolish (in no special order):

The Internal Revenue Service–Wilson

The Social Security System–FDR

The Department of Labor–Wilson

Mine Safety and Health Administration–Carter

Occupational Safety and Health Administration–Nixon

National Labor Relations Board–FDR

The Department of Commerce–TR

The Department of Health and Human Services–Ike and then Carter reorganization

The Food and Drug Administration–TR

The Medicare System–JFK and LBJ

Medicaid System–LBJ

State Children’s Health Insurance Program–Clinton

Affordable Health Care Act–Obama

The Department of Education–Ike and then Carter reorganization

Federal Aid To Education—Ike

The Department of  Agriculture–Lincoln

The Department of Energy–Carter

The Department of Housing and Urban Development–JFK and LBJ

Civil Rights Acts—Ike, JFK, and LBJ

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity–LBJ

The Department of the Interior–Polk

The Environmental Protection Agency–Nixon

Bureau of Land Management–Truman

National Park Service–Wilson

Federal Emergency Management Agency–Carter

Consumer Product Safety Commission–Nixon

Corporation for Public Broadcasting–LBJ

National Endowment for the Arts–LBJ

National Endowment for the Humanities–LBJ

Federal Reserve System–Wilson

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–Obama

United States Postal Service–Nixon

Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)–Nixon

This is a list of 33 government agencies and programs that the Republican Party, at different times, and particularly during Presidential and Congressional campaigns, has promoted that we abolish!

The following Presidents were responsible for these government agencies and programs:

James K. Polk–1  Abraham Lincoln–1–TR—2–Wilson–4–FDR–2–Truman–1–Ike–4—JFK–3—LBJ–8—Nixon–5—Carter–5–Clinton–1—Barack Obama–2.

So THIRTEEN Presidents of both parties—nine Democrats and four Republicans— have presided over the creation of government agencies and programs that have made life better for the American people!

If one gave the Republican Party total control, we would see our government decimated, and only private corporations and the greed of the elite upper class would rule and regulate every aspect of American life!

Watching the South Carolina GOP debate yesterday, this is always their game plan–abolish, abolish, abolish!   Hate government, undermine government, defund government, fear government, distrust government!

Why do the Republicans advocate all this, and yet wish to be the government?

The answer is that their hatred and suspicion of government is promotion of anarchy and chaos, without regulation to promote a level playing field, and give average  Americans a fair shake and the possibility of advancement!

This is why the Republican Party cannot be entrusted with control of the executive branch, as that is one way, no matter what happens with the Congress, to protect the government agencies that have made life better for vast numbers of Americans in the last century and even earlier!

 

 

 

 

Right Wing Militia Takeover Of Federal Wildlife Refuge In Oregon Must Be Ended, And Federal Authority Asserted Over Public Lands!

Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican President, asserted federal authority over public lands in the West in the early 20th century, to insure that industry and big business would not destroy our natural wonders.

Abraham Lincoln, a Republican President, asserted federal authority to prevent the Southern secessionists from breaking up the Union through assertion of states rights in the Civil War.

George Washington, a Federalist President, used federal troops to resist defiance of the federal government’s authority to impose taxes on Pennsylvania at the time of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Andrew Jackson, a Democratic President, was ready to use federal military force against South Carolina in the Nullification Crisis, but avoided through a negotiated compromise.

We live now in a time of right wing militia who have in the past, and still do today, work to defy federal authority, and to claim the Constitution backs them up, which is a total misunderstanding of the nation and its history.

The US government must enforce taxation and control of public lands under the Constitution  and its laws, and must not allow open defiance of such authority!

If the seizure of public lands in Oregon, a federal wildlife refuge, this past weekend, by members of the lawless Bundy family, can be ended peacefully, all to the good!

But one can be sure that if it was black activists or Muslims or Latinos who were occupying and seizing public lands, the outcry would be that they must be removed forcefully from the scene of their illegal actions.

We would have people saying these are terrorists, law breakers, dangers to national security and the rule of law.

So the fact that these are white men is no excuse to allow a pass on enforcement of federal authority!

Negotiations for these rebels, these trouble makers, these law breakers, to leave peacefully and soon must begin, but after a reasonable period of time, the FBI and the ATF and other law enforcement authorities MUST take action, including the use of force, to let all extremist right wing elements to know that the US government will not allow itself to be pushed around by hoodlums, by bullies, by extremists, who want to undermine the authority of our federal government!

Activist Vs. Passive Presidents, 1901 To The Present

There have been 19 Presidents since the accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency in 1901, upon the assassination of William McKinley.

Some have been activists, hard workers, dynamos, who saw the Presidency as a position that required constant attention, and avoided much vacation time, but even when on vacation, these activist Presidents were always working and alert to changing events.

Among the 19 modern Presidents, the following 11 Presidents would qualify as part of the activist category:

Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

The other 8 Presidents since 1901 were much more passive, avoided work, were quite frankly lazy, and took lots of vacation time, often were not alert to changing events, and delegated authority to others:

William Howard Taft

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Note that all eight passive Presidents were Republicans, while only Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush were activist Republicans, joining the 8 Democratic Presidents in that category!

Also, note that the eleven activist Presidents all were highly intelligent and curious about the world around them, while the eight passive Presidents were generally less naturally intelligent, with the exceptions of William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover, both highly intellectual and accomplished, although both were seen as unsuccessful in office, and defeated for reelection!

Republican Implosion: 1912, 1964, 2016—Each 52 Years Apart After Lincoln And First Republican Victory In 1860!

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and also included abolitionists, those who wanted the end of slavery, in its membership.

Six years later, the Republicans won the majority of the Congress,and in a four way Presidential face, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency with less than 40 percent of the total national vote.

Within  six weeks of the Presidential inauguration, the Civil War had begun.

For the next half century, the Republicans dominated national politics, winning control of the Presidency for 44 of 52 years (with only Democrat Grover Cleveland winning two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and 1892), and usually held the Congressional majority with a few exceptions.

But then in 1912, 52 years after the Republicans became the national majority, the party had a “civil war” between President William Howard Taft and his predecessor in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, leading to the formation of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, and TR ending up second and Taft third in popular and electoral votes.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, and promoted a great era of reform, known as the New Freedom, and also adopted TR’s reform platform, known as the New Nationalism.

Despite many shortcomings of Wilson, the domestic reform programs was the greatest in substance in American history.

The Republicans returned to national power in the Presidential Election of 1920 and kept it until Herbert Hoover and the coming of the Great Depression, and Franklin D. Roosevelt then brought Democratic dominance in 1932 and after, with his New Deal, a much greater reform period than that under Wilson.

The Republican Party was only able to win back Congressional majorities in the midterm election of 1946 and again in the Presidential Election of 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency, but two years later, the Democrats regained the majority in both houses for the next quarter century.

The more conservative wing of the GOP lost their chance to gain a Presidential nomination when Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon won the nominations for President from 1940-1960, but the conservatives overcame the Eastern Establishment, as it was known, and soared to the Presidential nomination with right wing Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, 52 years after 1912.

But now we had “civil war” again, as Eastern Establishment Republicans who had competed against Goldwater, including most notably Nelson Rockfeeller, refused to support Goldwater in 1964, and some just sat on their hands, while others backed Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.  This led to a massive defeat for the GOP in 1964, and LBJ went on to a landslide victory and the promotion of the Democratic Party’s Great Society.

The battle for the future began when Ronald Reagan sought the Presidency against incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, but going on to triumph in 1980, creating what conservatives considered a “Golden Age”.  However, after Reagan, the Establishment returned with President George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney from 1988 to 2012.

As the GOP became ever more conservative and right wing extremist, and was hijacked by the Tea Party Movement after 2009, the party has reached a point where the Establishment, including some of the 2016 Presidential candidates, but also much of Republicans Congressional leadership, was seen as unacceptable, and we have now witnessed a rebellion against “office holders”, and the rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Cason, and Carly Fiorina.

It seems as if the GOP is on the way to another “civil war” 52 years after 1964, wh8ich could be the final implosion of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to a massive Democratic victory, including the possibility yet again of a third age of reform, spurred on in the past by Wilson and LBJ, and maybe now, either Hillary Clinton, or who can say, maybe even Bernie Sanders!

Three “Unknown” Potential Presidents In Two Assassination Incidents: Abraham Lincoln And William McKinley

As discussed in my new book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA, in two of our tragic assassinations of American Presidents,  there are three, relatively unknown, potential Presidents who could have emerged.

Two of these individuals are relevant to the Abraham Lincoln Assassination–President Pro Tempore, Senator Lafayette Foster, of Connecticut; and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.

IF Vice President Andrew Johnson had been killed when Lincoln was, on April 14, 1865, as he was supposed to be under the John Wilkes Booth plot against the US Government, the next in line under the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 would have been Lafayette Foster, an obscure member of the Senate.

IF Lincoln had not replaced first time Vice President Hannibal Hamlin with Andrew Johnson, Hamlin would have become President, instead of Johnson.

Also, when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, only six months in office, succeeded him, but IF first term Vice President Garret Hobart had not died in office of heart disease in 1899, it is likely he would have been Vice President in the second term, and would, therefore, have become President.  We might not even know who Theodore Roosevelt was, as simply a New York Governor, but not of national significance, other than his role in the Spanish American War as a “Rough Rider” in Cuba.

So these three “unknown” potential Presidents–Lafayette Foster, Hannibal Hamlin, and Garret Hobart—remain in relative obscurity in history, and Andrew Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt became famous!

150th Anniversary Of 13th Amendment, Ending Slavery: Abraham Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy!

Yesterday, December 9, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, lobbied for and pushed through by the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln, his most enduring legacy!

The Republican Party and its first President were totally principled and decent in what was done 150 years ago, and yet slavery in a different form would continue, with a century of legal segregation of the races, until Lyndon B. Johnson engineered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And unjust imprisonment of African Americans. as well as people of other races and ethnic backgrounds and poor people of all races, due to inability to have proper legal representation and a biased legal system, including private prisons, means that slavery in a different form has always existed and still flourishes in 2015!

And the Republican Party and its conservative ideologues have completely destroyed the heritage of a party with great Presidents and a list of great members of Congress and governors who carried on the early tradition of the Republican Party a century and a half ago.

Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, if they came back to 21st century America, would be shocked at what has happened to their party!

So the fight against the mean spirit and lack of compassion and empathy of the modern GOP is a continuing one, as we celebrate the official end of slavery a century and a half ago!

Donald Trump And Ted Cruz: The Evil Combination And Double Threat To American Values And Decency!

Donald Trump continues to dominate public opinion polls, and behind him and rising is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz is unique in the fact that he will NOT criticize anything Trump says about anything, and this is clearly a campaign ploy, as Cruz believes that Trump will not be the party’s nominee, and that he will be able to inherit his supporters.

It seems clear that Trump supporters, when asked, will only consider Cruz as an alternative, and Cruz is suddenly working, also, on improving his image with reporters and fellow politicians, as he has a horrible image as a nasty, egotistical, brusque individual!

One can be assured it is all a “charm offensive” by Cruz, but anyone who has followed his Senate career KNOWS that Cruz is the most dangerous, most extreme, most hateful potential GOP nominee, bar none, even more than Trump on some issues like gay rights and climate change.  Cruz’s extreme right wing Christianity, fueled by his right wing pastor dad’s hateful rants on all kinds of issues, is a warning sign of the danger he represents, were he to become the GOP Presidential nominee.

Cruz has an uncanny similarity to the infamous “witch hunter” of the 1950s Red Scare, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and his lack of ethics and decency is a shared trait.

Cruz would take us back, if given power, and a Republican Congress, to the Gilded Age, as he opposes just about everything that progressives have accomplished since the time of Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

Every indication is, however, that Cruz as the nominee of his party, would cause a massive landslide defeat, a la Barry Goldwater a half century ago in 1964!

But no sane individual would want to test a chance of the possibility of a President Trump OR a President Cruz!

 

Urgency For Republican Party And Entire Nation To Condemn Donald Trump And Prevent His Presidential Nomination In 2016!

Racist, nativist, bigoted Fascist demagogue Donald Trump has just gone beyond the pale with his call for the banning of all Muslims to the United States, including any Muslim citizens who are traveling overseas as tourists or on business.

This is against the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and reminds us of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment in prison camps from 1942-1945!

We cannot sit idly by as this dangerous man is stirring up the extremist groups in America, and even his rhetoric is bound to cause violence against decent, law abiding Muslims in America, which would mean Trump has blood on his hands.

The Republican Party must declare that under no circumstances will they allow Trump to be their nominee, or else they will lose their status as a serious political party, as the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, cannot sit idly by as Trump totally destroys their historical image!

Anti Trump rallies must be organized around the nation, and make it clear that anyone who supports Trump on this matter shall be repudiated and isolated by family and colleagues as unAmerican!

Political Correctness Gone Mad: The Attack On Historical Figures’ Monuments And Statues Because Of Their Racism And Bigotry!

Face the facts, racism and bigotry is part of human history, whether we like it or not!

Many great leaders in government were racists, bigots, and should be denounced for that part of their historical record!

But to say that Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and innumerable others who have been important figures in American history should, therefore, be wiped out of history–have all statues removed, all monuments destroyed, all buildings renamed, all streets and schools no longer reflect their historical significance, much of it good,— is CRAZY and distorting history!

We can condemn the fact that many Presidents were slave owners; that Lincoln had a mixed record on racial matters; that Confederate leaders were out to defend slavery; that many 20th century Presidents had a prejudice toward various religious, racial and ethnic groups in American society; and recognize there is much to do to overcome racism and bigotry.

But all of the people mentioned are an important part of history in ways and on issues other than negative ones!  They had positive contributions that affected the long run of history!

So should the effect of Woodrow Wilson on Princeton University be wiped out; and should the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials and Washington Monument; and should Stone Mountain in Georgia and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and endless other monuments and sites named after imperfect people— be destroyed because some people are affronted about our past?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT, and instead use the truth of the past as a teaching moment, and strive to make America a better place now and in the future!