US House Of Representatives

Virginia: The Disgrace Of Bob McDonnell And Eric Cantor!

Virginia, the home of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson as Governors, has now seen its recent Governor, Bob McDonnell, convicted on multiple charges of abusing the office and accepting bribes from a wealthy businessman.

At the same time, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his party’s nomination in a true shock to many, now is going to Wall Street to use his influence, and make millions of dollars off of his contacts with other legislative members and powerful lobbyists.

Both of these developments are disgraceful, and show that the Republican Party in Virginia is totally corrupt, an embarrassment to a state which has had remarkably little corruption historically, as compared to most other states.

Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson would turn over in their graves if they knew how politics has deteriorated from the idealistic times of the Founding Fathers!

Any Chance Of A GOP Woman President Anytime Soon? NO!

The Republican Party is in deep trouble among women in America.

Sure, there are the religious women who are against abortion, and those women who have no problem with the male dominance and sexism of Republican office holders.

These numbers are probably about one third of the nation, and primarily in the South, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain West, not areas generally of high population.

But in the Northeast and New England, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, women as a group are outraged at the male chauvinism and sexism of Republican office holders in Congress, and even in state legislatures.

Women in polls are overwhelmingly Democrats, not so much because the Democrats are without fault or shortcomings, but because they have demonstrated concern for women’s issues, such as health care, education, child care, raising of the minimum wage, single mothers, maternity leaves, campus rapes, and so many other issues that affect women, whether single or married, young or old, every day.

And Republican women officeholders offer no relief, as they back up the sexist, chauvinist men proudly!

Yes, there are four Republican women Governors, although Jan Brewer of Arizona is leaving, and no one would perceive her as caring about women’s issues, or really, anyone but herself and her own selfish interests. She has been a disgraceful, hard hearted Governor of Arizona.

What about Mary Fallin of Oklahoma? She allowed executions to go forth that are clearly promoting “cruel and unusual punishment”, and really torture. She is a disgrace to womanhood and her own reputation!

Then there is Nikki Haley, who would have ambitions, but her record as Governor, and her lack of compassion for poor women in her state, as well as poor people generally, disqualifies her on a national level.

And then, we have Susana Martinez, probably the least objectionable of the four GOP women Governors, but still, except for her Mexican American heritage, seen as a lightweight, and really, a President from New Mexico, who has not served in national government at all? Give us all a break!

So now to the US House of Representatives! Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leaving government, thank goodness, and yet may face prosecution in scandals involving her Presidential campaign in 2012. Did she ever have anything constructive to say in her eight years in Congress? Of course not, instead coming across as totally looney and uncaring, and ready to issue idiotic, stupid and false statements in unison with equally lunatic male colleagues such as Steve King of Iowa and Louie Gohmert of Texas as only the most outrageous of many looney male Republican colleagues in the lower chamber.

Then we have Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who causes any sane person the desire to roll eyes constantly and shake heads, as to her outrageous statements, not quite as crazy as Bachmann, but still enough to make one wonder what planet she comes from!

Then, there is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the highest ranking woman Republican ever in the House. She is a pleasant lady, but is not seen as Presidential material, and seems lacking in true understanding of many women’s issues.

The rest of the Republican women in the House are not worthy of consideration at all on a Presidential level, and there are only 19 women Republicans in the House anyway, compared to 63 for the Democrats.

So now to the US Senate, where there are only four Republican women. Susan Collins of Maine is the most distinguished, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither is seen as Presidential timber, and they come from states extremely small in population, if not land area.

Deb Fischer of Nebraska is a newcomer, not particularly distinguished, and not seen as Presidential level, and finally, we have Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is often boomed as a possible future candidate, but realistically, no one should put betting money on her, although if any woman Republican presently in office were to announce for President, it would be her.

Face the facts, women Republicans are few and far between, and mostly poorly qualified, and if there is to be a woman President anytime soon, it will be a Democrat!

And those potential Presidents include Hillary Clinton, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the US Senate.

94th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage Amendment 19! And Women’s Equality Day!

Today, August 26, commemorates the 94th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Amendment 19, and is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.

Women had to fight for the right to vote since the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, a full 72 year battle!

And yet, there are those, such as Ann Coulter, the conservative ideologue, who calls for the abolition of the 19th Amendment, because the majority of women vote Democratic!

There are one third of women who are strongly Republican, anti abortion, anti feminist, anti promotion of more laws to benefit women in their daily lives. You see this in the GOP House women members, who one has to wonder about their sanity!

But women have come too far to allow their hard earned rights, not only voting, but controlling their own destinies, without the interference of right wing forces who would love to put them back into the bedroom and the kitchen, stop working, stop being educated, and being the dutiful wife and mother as their only role!

The vast majority of women will continue to assert their basic human rights, as well they should!

Mitch McConnell’s Plans For The 114th Congress: Total Deadlock And Stalemate!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky made it clear at the time of the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009 that his party would refuse to cooperate with the President on any legislation or policy.

Now, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell is pledging that if his party wins the Senate majority, and the House stays Republican, that he will promote massive budget cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency, and attempting again to destroy ObamaCare. He would attach these changes to budget bills, and if Obama vetoed, then we would have another government shutdown, as disastrous as the last one was for the Republican Party and the nation!

This is ever more reason why Democrats, progressives and liberals, and independents MUST come out enmasse on Election Day to prevent a GOP Senate majority, as that will also mean no replacement on the Supreme Court if anyone leaves, which is likely, in 2015 or 2016.

Ironically, this kind of behavior would likely reverberate on the Republicans in 2016, when two thirds of the Senate seats up for election would be their party, but the attitude seems to be one of total warfare and destruction while they have control.

The Republican Party is becoming totally nihilistic and anarchistic, not worthy of the long history of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

How A Speech Elevated Four Presidential Candidates To Nomination, And Two Of Them To The White House!

The power of oratory in advancing a political candidacy for the Presidency,that no one expected to occur, is part of American history!

There have been four cases of people who were elevated to a Presidential nomination, and two of them to the White House, by the electrifying effect that a speech had on their political party and the nation at large!

Two of these were Democrats, and two were Republicans.

One of the Democrats was former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who delivered the “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention, with this leading to his Presidential nomination. Despite losing to William McKinley, Bryan went on to be the nominee of the Democrats two more times, in 1900 and 1908.

The other was Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, who gave a dynamic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, arguing against a divided America, and calling for a united America, instead of a “red’ America and a “blue” America. It drew attention to him, and after being elected to the US Senate, he decided to campaign for the Presidency, and overcame many adversities to win two terms in the White House, but sadly saw “red” and “blue” America split ever further apart!

The first Republican was businessman Wendell Willkie, who despite no political experience, stirred the Republican National Convention of 1940 with his speech and charisma, and went on to become the nominee of his party, but losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Ronald Reagan was the other Republican, making a well noticed speech on television in support of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP nominee for President in 1964. Goldwater lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson, but Reagan gained enough support and notice to run for California Governor in 1966, and eventually to be elected to two terms as President in the 1980s!

So the power of speech and charisma has had a great effect on American politics!

Intrastate Rivalries For The Republican Presidential Nomination In 2016

The potential exists for four intrastate rivalries for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

First, we have Texas with Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Then, we have Florida with Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush.

Also, there is the rivalry in Wisconsin between Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker.

Finally, in Ohio, we have Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman as potential candidates.

Perry and Kasich have sought the Presidency before, although Kasich did so very minimally in 2000.

The best bet would be Marco Rubio and John Kasich among these competitors, as one assesses these eight political leaders at this time.

The Ambitions Of African American Republicans For The Presidency A New Phenomenon!

All of a sudden, the push is on to promote a right wing African American for the Republican nomination for the Presidency!

In 2012, Herman Cain of Georgia ran a disastrous campaign for the Presidency, using his background as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza as his qualifications as a businessman to run for President, along with his tenure on the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City for a few years in the 1990’s. He made a fool of himself, and yet is seen as potentially planning to announce his candidacy again!

At the same time, former Congressman Allen West of Florida, who served only one controversial two year term in the House of Representatives, is rumored to be planning to run for President.

Also, famed pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson of Maryland is known to be planning to run for President!

Interesting that Herman Cain, with no real substantial government experience, thought he was qualified to be President!

Also interesting that Allen West, forced out of the military for his reprehensible behavior with a prisoner of war in the Iraq conflict, thinks, based on one tumultuous term in the House, that he is qualified to be President!

Also, ironic that Dr. Benjamin Carson, with no political experience, but having the ego to think that he has divine intervention to run for the White House, is forming a political action committee, after confronting President Obama at a Prayer Breakfast a year and a half ago!

These men have nothing positive to offer, are purely negative and confrontational personalities, and will not convince the African American community, or Latinos, or women, or thinking independents, that they have the qualifications to be President of the United States. Meanwhile, white racists in the Republican Party will, seemingly, embrace them, but only to cover their tracks on their reprehensible behavior toward President Obama. One can be assured that none of them will get anywhere near the Presidential nomination of the Republican Party!

These men have no credentials to be our Commander in Chief, other than their own egos, and their nasty, aggressive personalities and lack of concern for working families is troubling, sending the wrong message to those less fortunate, whether white, African American, Latino, Asian American, or Native American!

It will also be interesting to see, if all three, or even two of them end up running, how they will treat each other in their mad dash to outdo each other in their ambitions for the Presidency!

40th Anniversary Of Gerald Ford Becoming President: A Blessing For The Nation!

It has been 40 years since Gerald Ford became President, upon the resignation of our most dangerous President, Richard Nixon, due to his impending impeachment and trial in Congress, based on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice in the Watergate Scandal.

The 25th Amendment, only ratified and added to the Constitution in 1967, allowed Ford, who had replaced the corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, to become our 38th President.

Ford helped to end the great national nightmare of a corrupt President and a corrupt Vice President. He was the right man for the time, well liked and well respected, and not ambitious to be President. All Ford had wanted to do in his 25 year career in the House of Representatives was to become Speaker of the House.

Suddenly thrust into the responsibilities of the Presidency, Ford showed courage and guts in his selection of Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President; the pardoning of Richard Nixon, which probably helped to defeat him in a close race for the Presidency in 1976 with Jimmy Carter; his handling of the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia, which save captured hostages; and his brilliant appointment of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ford knew how to cross the aisle, and make friends of rivals, including President Carter, with the two men becoming fast friends once Carter left office, and with Carter giving the eulogy at Ford’s funeral in 2006.

Ford also gave us one of the greatest First Ladies in American history in Betty Ford, and his moderate conservatism is what one would wish for now from the much further right wing Republican Party of 2014.

It is well worth a visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Ford Presidential Museum, as this author and blogger did a year ago, which caused him to gain growing respect for the 38th President of the United States, who showed up at the precisely proper time when the Presidency itself was under attack!

40th Anniversary Of Richard Nixon Resignation, Due To Watergate Scandal

It is hard to believe, but it is now 40 years since Richard Nixon was forced out of the Presidency, due to the Watergate Scandal.

It was stunning that a President, who had won 49 of the 50 states, and all but 17 electoral votes, would be the only President to resign after only one year and almost seven months of his second term.

It was also amazing that Nixon was the only President facing impeachment, and resigning after the House Judiciary Committee, in a bipartisan vote, adopted three articles of impeachment, who truly deserved impeachment.

Andrew Johnson was wrongfully impeached and found not guilty in 1868, and Bill Clinton was to face the same circumstances and results in 1998-1999. And now, there is a threat of Barack Obama facing the same scenario next year, but with the same results assured.

The point was that Richard Nixon had actually been abusive of his powers as President, and had led a lawless administration unmatched before or since.

It is also a tragic story as, in reality, Richard Nixon had many accomplishments in foreign and domestic policy, many of which remain part of American life 40 years later, particularly so in domestic affairs, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among others.

The evaluation and interpretation of Richard Nixon will continue to be controversial, and a new HBO special, “Nixon on Nixon,” has been unveiled this week, demonstrating the man’s illegalities and prejudices and biases, straight from the Watergate tapes themselves. Additionally, a new book has been published with the revelation of these tapes, authored by historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University, with the assistance of Professor Luke Nichter of Texas A & M University.

So Nixon will be written about for generations, both for the good he did, as well as the bad!