US House Of Representatives

Pew Research Poll Shows Built-In Advantage Long Term For Democrats Over Republicans

It has been a tough time for Democrats in recent years with the loss of the House of Representatives in the 2010 Midterm Election and the loss of the US Senate in the 2014 Midterm Elections, plus the loss of so many state governorships in the last three two year cycles, along with many state legislatures.

A lot of the problem is due to the failure of the demographic groups that favor Democrats to come out to vote, particularly in the midterm elections.

But the long term advantage, at least on paper, is with the Democrats, according to a new Pew Research Poll of groups and which party they favor.

Blacks (69), Asians (42), religiously unaffiliated (36); postgraduate women (35), Jewish (30), Hispanics (30), and Millennials (16) all favor Democrats.

Mormons (48), Evangelical Christians (46), White Southerners (21), White Men with some or no college education (21), White Voters (9), and Voters 69-86 (4) all favor Republicans.

Overall, 48 percent of partisans favor Democrats, and 39 percent favor Republicans.

So the key issue is getting people out to vote and fighting Republican attempts in the states to make it more difficult for those who favor Democrats from registering to vote, a tactic that has been used particularly since the Supreme Court negated portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013!

An Analysis Of Vice Presidential Selection 1960-2012 Strongly Favors The Democrats Over The Republicans

One can gain a lot of understanding about the two major political parties when one examines the history of Vice Presidential selection by the major party Presidential candidates between 1960 and 2012, a total of 14 national elections.

If one looks at the Democratic Party, it is fact that ALL but one time, the Democratic Presidential nominee chose a sitting United States Senator to be his running mate as follows:

1960–Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
1964–Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
1968–Edmund Muskie of Maine
1972–Tom Eagleton of Missouri
1976–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1980–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1988–Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
1992–Al Gore of Tennessee
1996–Al Gore of Tennessee
2000-Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
2004–John Edwards of North Carolina
2008–Joe Biden of Delaware
2012–Joe Biden of Delaware

The only exception was 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Also, after Tom Eagleton dropped out as the Vice Presidential running mate of George McGovern in 1972, due to having been revealed as having had psychiatric treatment, Sergeant Shriver, the former Peace Corps Director, head of the War On Poverty, Ambassador to France, and Kennedy in law, replaced him on the ticket.

All of the ten US Senators who ran for Vice President came to the national ticket as outstanding legislators with solid records of accomplishments, while Ferraro might be considered the weak link, the only real such case, for the Democratic national tickets. The only Senator who, in retrospect, might be considered not an ideal choice would be Edwards, for the personal life scandals that were revealed in later years.

Also, all of these Vice Presidential selections sought the Presidency after being chosen as a VP running mate, and Mondale, Gore, and Biden served notably as Vice President, all adding to the prestige of the office.

On the other hand, the Republicans had a very different scenario, as only four times out of fourteen did they select a United States Senator as their Vice Presidential choice for a national campaign, as follows:

1960—Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (former Senator 1936-1952)
1976— Bob Dole of Kansas
1988—Dan Quayle of Indiana
1992—Dan Quayle of Indiana

Three times, the Republicans selected state governors as their Vice Presidential nominees, as follows:

1968—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1972—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
2008—Sarah Palin of Alaska

But most commonly, the Republicans for a total of seven times selected a member or former member of the House of Representatives, as follows:

1964—William E. Miller of New York
1980—George H.W. Bush of Texas
1984—George H. W. Bush of Texas
1996—Jack Kemp of New York
2000—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2004—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2012—Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Out of these 14 cases, it is clear that Quayle, Agnew and Palin, in particular, stand out as horrible choices, and with the nation being burdened with nearly five years of Agnew and four years of Quayle in the Vice Presidency.

At the same time, Miller seems a nonentity who was chosen, and Cheney and Ryan, while competent, both stood out as particularly controversial selections, based on their public record in the past and the future as well.

Only Dole, Bush, and Kemp stand out as noncontroversial choices.

So it is clear that the Democrats have been much wiser in their Vice Presidential choices than the Republicans in the past half century!

Age Limits In Congress Arise As Issue As John McCain Plans For Another Term In Senate In His 80s!

As Senator John McCain of Arizona announced that he will seek another six year term in the US Senate, which would bring him into his mid 80s in that chamber, the question arises of some type of age limits that needs, desperately, somehow, to be applied in the future.

The number of octogenarians who have served in the Senate is, by research, somewhere in the mid 30s, out of a total number of Senators since 1789 numbering, at this point, 1,973 in total!

So one might say that having about 1.6 percent of all US Senators lifetime in their 80s or 90s is not a big deal, but it actually is, as level of health and well being, while fine for some, realistically, is not overall good statistically for people in their 80s, with dementia a particular problem and early death a statistical likelihood. Really, when one has reached the ninth or tenth decade of life, no matter how good in performance one has been, and no matter how much one feels he or she can do and contribute, it is, simply, time to allow someone new and younger to serve a Congressional district or state!

No one is indispensable, and that should include Supreme Court Justices as well, as the likelihood of excellence at such an advanced age is highly unlikely, but often, it is just stubbornness and ego that keeps these government leaders in their positions.

Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Barbara Boxer of California realized this, and on the other hand, Diane Feinstein of California did not, Chuck Grassley of Iowa did not, Orrin Hatch of Utah did not, Richard Shelby of Alabama did not, James Inhofe did not,and now John McCain has not. Additionally, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will reach 80 in the next few years, and yet, it is really time to go, gentlemen!

Do we really want Senators possibly reaching their 90s in office, as Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Carl Hayden of Arizona did, reaching the ages of 100, 93, 92, and 91 in office?

Enough is enough, and age 80 should be the limit with no exceptions, and therefore, one would not be permitted to run for office past age 74 at the time of the election, so that they leave during the year they reach age 80!

in other words, we need a “youth movement” in the United States Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, so it is time for such luminaries as Michigan Congressman John Conyers and New York Congressman Charles Rangel to stay goodbye at the end of their present term of Congress!

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!

Five Years Of “ObamaCare” Successes, And Ted Cruz Is Now Applying To Be Covered!

It has been five years since “ObamaCare” became law, and it has been a massive success in so many ways!

And to top it off, its biggest critic, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the first announced Republican Presidential candidate, despite saying his goal is to repeal “every word” of the legislation, is now going on “ObamaCare” since his wife will be taking a leave of absence from her Wall Street job as he runs for President! This mirrors the complete hypocrisy of Cruz, all Republicans, and the conservative think tanks who have bitterly opposed the law since Day One.

President Barack Obama pointed out this week that “ObamaCare” is the Republican and conservative (Heritage Foundation) plan of 1993, in opposition to Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s more expansive health care plan. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, the Republican leaders, who became, respectively, the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader after the midterm Congressional elections of 1994, endorsed the plan, and Mitt Romney adopted the basics of it when he brought about “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts in 2006. And yet, he refused to endorse “ObamaCare” despite the many similarities to his own state plan, and claimed it was not designed for national adoption, and only good in his state, total hypocrisy, which marked his constantly shifting and lying Presidential campaign in 2012!

The Affordable Care Act, the official name for “ObamaCare”, has done the following over the past five years:

130 million Americans cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

76 million Americans with private medical plans have received expanded access to free preventative services.

16.4 million Americans have gained health care coverage since the law passed, people who never had such coverage before now.

11.7 million people have signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace Plans in 2015.

9.4 million senior citizens have saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drug costs since 2010.

5.7 million young adults under 26 have been able to have health care coverage under their parents’ plans.

And now, Ted Cruz and his family can be covered under a plan he has tried to destroy, and is still committed to destroying if he becomes President.

But that is not going to happen, as Ted Cruz is a Joseph McCarthy look alike and as much of a “bomb thrower” as the infamous leader of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s was, and has cost the government and taxpayers a loss of $24 million in the forced government shutdown in late 2011, a totally reckless act!

This man comes across as a total lunatic, and his dad is more extreme than him, the worst example of an nutty right wing Christian evangelical demagogue, who preaches hate and division, rather than the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the fact that Cruz had a captive audience of students at Liberty University, who were forced to attend his Presidential announcement, or be forced to pay $10 to the university, is totally mind boggling!

The true nature of Ted Cruz is shown by his willingness to accept “ObamaCare” while trying to smother it for the past five years, not caring about the health care and lives of millions of Americans!

Do All Potential Presidential Candidates Represent The Wealthy And Powerful? NO, Not Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren!

What does a person do if he or she is disgusted with our political system, and the growing theory that no matter who we elect, Wall Street and the wealthy gain?

Well, what he or she can do is promote the Presidential candidacy of two United States Senators, who have made it clear in their time in public office that they are enemies of Wall Street and the Establishment!

Those two Senators are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren!

One problem that Bernie Sanders has is that he will be 75 years old in 2016, and has totally white hair, and he will be a year older than Vice President Joe Biden. He also is a Capital S SOCIALIST, and the vast majority of Americans think Socialism is evil because of their ignorance on the term, while not realizing how much of our social and economic reforms in the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and Great Society years are Socialist ideas! This nation has benefited greatly from “Socialist” programs, but there is a fear of anything which is to the advantage of the middle and lower classes, much of it implanted in the minds of Americans through wrong headed propaganda!

But Bernie Sanders, the longest serving Independent in the history of the Senate and House of Representatives, is the real article, a sincere, genuine, authentic, articulate advocate for the middle class and the poor, and every criticism he makes and every idea he enunciates cannot be refuted if one really examines the facts! But facts often seem not important, as mythology and promotion of fear reign instead!

Bernie Sanders would be a revolutionary President, in the sense that he would truly change the direction of the nation in a positive way, but of course, the conservative right wing and Republican Party would fight him tooth and nail, and accuse him of every sin possibly conceived, and with a viciousness matching Barack Obama in the White House, because, after all, Sanders would be a “real” Socialist, not the phony one painted on Barack Obama, and in the distant past, Franklin D. Roosevelt! Sanders has made it clear that he will not accept large contributions, and will have, therefore, great trouble in raising money, so it is not clear if he will, ultimately, run for President.

At the same time, Elizabeth Warren, former Harvard Law School professor, became controversial for her advocacy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s creation, and could not be confirmed to head that agency that was created under Barack Obama’s Presidency, and instead ran for the US Senate. She has become a great favorite of those on the left, and now is being boosted for President by many, including the Boston Globe and MoveOn.org, along with many other groups.

Warren is seen as better than Hillary Clinton, because Clinton is seem as too cozy with Wall Street, and too hawkish in foreign affairs, so Warren is seen as a more ideal choice for the Democratic Party liberals, who worry that Clinton could be a disappointment in the Presidency. Warren has resisted running, however, so just like Sanders, may not be willing or able to run a national campaign, and she knows she would gain vicious attacks as Sanders would, and as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have experienced too often!

But there is no certainty that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will announce for President, so we may not gain the opportunity to have either of these talented legislators offered to us for the Presidency!

Who Should Have Been President? The Following List Of 12 Great Political Leaders

A high percentage of the 43 American Presidents are looked upon as having been inferior, disappointing, and in some cases, clearly unqualified to be President.

And then there is a list of both Presidential nominees, and also Presidential seekers, who are looked upon as those who SHOULD have been President, but never were.

First the list, which numbers 12,and then an explanation of each case.

Henry Clay
Daniel Webster
William Seward
Samuel Tilden
Charles Evans Hughes
Robert LaFollette Sr
Adlai Stevenson
Hubert Humphrey
Nelson Rockefeller
Bob Dole
Al Gore
Hillary Clinton

Two of the above (Clay and Webster) were Whigs; five of the above (Seward, Hughes, LaFollette, Sr., Rockefeller, and Dole) were Republicans; and the remaining five of the above (Tilden, Stevenson, Humphrey, Gore, and Clinton) were Democrats.

Henry Clay ran three times for President, in 1824, 1832, and 1844, and is regarded by many experts as the absolutely most outstanding Senator in all of American history, who made many contributions in government, including being Speaker of the House, an influential Senator (Kentucky) , and Secretary of State.

Daniel Webster is the other most outstanding Senator (Massachusetts) before the Civil War, and was seen as being as much of a statesman as Clay, and also served as Secretary of State.

William Seward lost the Presidential nomination to Abraham Lincoln, but was considered the leading Republican in his time as a Senator from New York, and also served as Secretary of State.

Samuel Tilden was the reform Governor of New York, who lost the Presidency despite a major lead, which in percentage, was greater than Al Gore, the other person who won the popular vote, but lost the election, and never became President.

Charles Evans Hughes was a giant figure in American government, as Progressive Governor of New York; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Secretary of State; and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Robert LaFollette Sr. was “Mr. Progressive”, the best state Governor (Wisconsin) in all of American history, and rated one of the top five Senators of all time, and actually tied Henry Clay in a scholarly poll as the best US Senator ever in American history.

Adlai Stevenson was a brilliant intellectual, who could not defeat President Eisenhower, but was regarded as an “egghead”, and served as Ambassador to the United Nations, years after he served as a Governor of Illinois.

Hubert Humphrey was one of the greatest Senators (Minnesota) to grace the upper chamber in American history, and introduced much of what became the Great Society, and he served as Vice President of the United States.

Nelson Rockefeller never was nominated for President, but was seen as a very capable and wise four term Governor of New York, one of the best in American history, served as Vice President, and having the potential to have been a great President, but could not gain the support of his party.

Bob Dole was a masterful Senator (Kansas) with a long career in Congress, and the ability to get things done, and regarded as the second greatest Senate Majority Leader, after Lyndon Johnson, in American history.

Al Gore won the Presidency in popular votes by more than a half million, but lost the contested state of Florida in a Supreme Court vote, based on party line, rather than the principle that the Court had no right to intervene in the state of Florida’s Supreme Court judgments. Gore served as Vice President, after service in the House of Representatives and the US Senate (Tennessee).

Hillary Clinton was one of the most outstanding First Ladies; Senator from New York; Secretary of State; and now had the opportunity, potentially, to come off this list, IF she is able to win the Presidency in 2016 and become our first woman President.

The nation would have been much better if any or all of these 12 political figures had gained the opportunity to serve in the White House!

Hubris, Arrogance, Greed, Hypocrisy: The Definition Of Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock!

Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock has seen a swift rise and, now, a swift fall, from what had been a promising career in Congress, all due to the following characteristics: Hubris, Arrogance, Greed, Hypocrisy!

Elected to Congress at age 27, he is now resigning at age 33, and faces possible prison time for his ethics violations, including spending lots of money inappropriately, and engaging in questionable deals with lobbyists that have made him a millionaire at a young age.

Additionally, he has shown reckless and inappropriate behavior in taking office staff and assistants on foreign trips on taxpayer money, and has shown hubris to the extreme by posting thousands of personal pics of his activities on Instagram, and leaving the impression by his habits, dress, and statements that he is gay.

No one really cares about his sex life, but this is a man who has consistently voted against any legislation that gives any rights or privileges to gays and lesbians, so with his rumored gay connections, it makes him a total hypocrite, as many Republicans are, past and present, with indications that many on Capitol Hill are gay, apparently much more than Democrats who advance gay rights, including marriage.

How anyone who is trying to hide his gay tendencies has the gall to behave in a way that makes people think he is, and then to work against gay and lesbian rights at every turn, is beyond any sympathy from gays or straight people.

Schock will deserve whatever he gains in legal issues and possible prison, for his hubris, arrogance, greed, and worst of all, hypocrisy. The question which arises is why and how Aaron Schock could imagine that his misbehavior and actions would lead to anything else other than the grief and disgrace he now faces! He clearly is a very stupid young man, who has destroyed a promising future!

And if he goes to prison, with the image left that he is gay, he will experience what Republican Presidential possibility Dr. Benjamin Carson claimed to great criticism, that going to prison makes straight people gay. With Schock’s reputation, he will clearly face harassment in prison, and will not be able to count on his Congressional career to save him from assault!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: Too Good To Be True!

If there is one United States Senator who is truly committed in a full sense to the advancement of the average American, to the working people of America, it is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders, 73 years old and white haired, is a democratic Socialist, and that last word will scare many clueless and ignorant people away from him, thinking he is a dangerous radical, which could not be further from the truth.

Sanders, a Jewish guy from Brooklyn, New York, who moved to Burlington, Vermont, and became its mayor in the 1980s, and then went on to Congress in 1991, has the distinction of being the longest serving Independent member of Congress in its entire history.

Serving in the US House of Representatives for 16 years from 1991-2007, he is now in his second term as a United States Senator, and has won each race for either house of Congress easily over Democrats and Republicans in a state that used to be strongly Republican over the long run of history.

Sanders runs his races on a “dime”, very little campaign funding, but the people of his state KNOW he is truly committed to their advancement, and has always attacked powerful corporations, political corruption, and the military industrial complex.

Sanders is fully committed and genuine in his desire for the advancement of women, minorities, immigrants, gays and lesbians, labor and the environment. He allows no special interests to influence him, and he is a purely authentic politician, and there are very few others in Congress or in government at any level.

He has been considering running for President, but reluctant to ask for financial support, and can only get it or will only accept it from the so called “little” people, and is reluctant to trash his potential opponents in the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton.

Therefore, he is uncertain about running, and wonders if his message of progressive principles could gain any headway, and that is a tragedy for America, as Bernie Sanders is precisely what and who we need to deal with the sickness that is American democracy in 2015.

The nation would be blessed by a Bernie Sanders Presidential candidacy, and by the very long shot that he might win, which would be a miracle beyond belief!