US House Of Representatives

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!

The Do Nothing 113th Congress Worse Than 112th Congress, And Far Worse Than Truman’s 80th Congress In 1947-1948!

History tells us that President Harry Truman ran against the Republican controlled 80th Congress in his election campaign of 1948, calling it a “Do Nothing” Congress.

What he meant was that they were passing laws that he considered counterproductive, including the anti labor Taft Hartley Act, which he vetoed, but passed over his veto by a two thirds vote in both houses of Congress.

But in actuality, that 80th Congress passed over 900 laws, and cooperated with Truman on funding for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, and also agreed to creation of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council and the Defense Department.

By comparison, the 112th Congress of 2011-2012 became the least productive Congress in history, passing fewer than 300 laws, but now the 113th Congress has passed fewer than 150 laws, making them half as accomplished as the previous Congress.

There is a total refusal of Republicans to cooperate at all with Barack Obama, and they have had the shortest work calendar of any Congress, including the previous one!

Now they are taking a five week break, despite so many crucial issues to deal with, and their public opinion rating is the lowest it has ever been!

But will the American people, with the reality of gerrymandering ruling the House of Representatives, be able to unite and give the Democrats back control of the House? Not likely, and the US Senate is also dangerously in play!

So two more years of stalemate and gridlock are likely!

Fifty Years Ago, A Lie Led To War: The Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution Under Lyndon B. Johnson

A half century ago, the move toward massive escalation of the war in Vietnam began, with the false, misleading report of the supposed attack on US ships, the Turner Joy and the Maddox, by North Vietnamese patrol boats off the of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Lyndon B. Johnson immediately called for a resolution from Congress, infamously known in history as the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, calling for a bombing attack on North Vietnam and its key cities, the capital of Hanoi and the port city of Haiphong.

The push for quick action led to a 416-0 vote in the House of Representatives, and an 89-2 vote in the US Senate, with Oregon Senator Wayne Morse and Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening, both Democrats, the only negative votes, and with both heavily criticized as “unAmerican” for their skepticism and doubts, and their desire to know much more information before they cast their vote for military action.

This event led to a war which killed 58,000 Americans, and divided the nation like nothing had since the Civil War a century earlier!

It divided the Democratic Party, and caused its defeat in 1968, as the nation repudiated LBJ through the defeat of his loyal Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey.

It led to total disillusionment with American foreign policy, and growing distrust of the Presidency as an institution, something which remains the same way today!

LBJ might be remembered for his great domestic achievements under the appellation of the “Great Society”, but it caused the loss of his stature when he misled the nation on the road to proving his “manhood” by going to war, and it ultimately destroyed the liberal coalition which brought his domestic reforms.

This is a very sobering moment a half century later, what might have been if only LBJ had not gone into a massive war in Vietnam, including maybe a continuation of the “Great Society”, and no Richard Nixon in the White House at all!

Have We Gone From Speaker John Boehner To Speaker Ted Cruz?

The Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives have made life miserable for Speaker of the House John Boehner, blocking actions he has wished to take over the past two years, and now again, they are blocking any action on the immigration crisis of Central American women and children at the US-Mexico border!

Instead, the Tea Party Republicans are stalling any action, on the advice and prodding of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, which is privately infuriating Boehner and mainstream conservatives in the GOP!

So, apparently, for the first time in American history, a lunatic right winger in the Senate, and his name is NOT Joseph McCarthy, is undermining his own party in the lower chamber, while laying waste to doing as much damage as possible to the Senate, and its GOP leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky!

So civil war is occurring, and it is causing disrespect for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and it is hard to imagine the scenario in January 2015, if the GOP keeps the House of Representatives and gains control of the US Senate!

The odds of a Speaker Boehner are dwindling rapidly, and we could end up with a Tea Party Ted Cruz backed Republican as Speaker of the House, so new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California had better pay heed!

A Revolutionary Idea: Two Democratic Women That Could Lead To Massive Democratic Victory In 2016 And Beyond!

The assumption is that Hillary Clinton has the great advantage for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, but there is great concern that she could have opposition on the Left of her party, and needs shoring up of the base on issues such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts represents—attack on Wall Street greed, and advocacy of relief of student loan interest rates, the minimum wage battle, unemployment compensation extension, and other populist issues.

Warren has shown strength in campaigning in “Red” states such as Kentucky and West Virginia, as she supported Alison Lundergan Grimes and Natalie Tennant in their Senate bids.

Warren is a lightning rod who inspires people in states where the masses of the population have suffered under uncaring Republican Governors, Senators and House members, and many people have gravitated to her when they hear her message of speaking for the average American of all backgrounds, somewhat reminiscent of Robert F. Kennedy nearly 40 years ago!

The question is whether Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren could co-exist and work as a team for a national campaign and in an administration after victory.

The question is why not, and while their ages in 2016, 69 for Hillary and 67 for Elizabeth are not the best scenario, it could open up the possibility of one term each for both women in the White House, OR two terms for Hillary with Elizabeth a willing participant in the Vice Presidency.

The two would be a dynamic team, and would inspire women, working class whites, African Americans, Latinos, labor, and progressives, liberals, moderates, and independents in such a manner as to turn “Red’ states “Blue”, leading to a massive victory nationwide and a long term Democratic dominance!

Why cannot America accept two women as their leaders? It is about time to do just that, and it would motivate and inspire the largest voter turnout in American history!

One could project that the so called “swing” states of Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida would all be ‘Blue”, but so, likely, would be Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and some possibility in Texas and Arizona, as well!

That would leave only the Great Plains states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma); the Southern states of South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi; the Mountain States of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah; and Alaska as remaining “Red” states.

It is time to consider the revolutionary change of two women leading our government, two talented women of great competence and brilliance—Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren!

40 Years Since Impeachment Process Against Richard Nixon, And Now Impeachment Has Been Abused Against Bill Clinton And Barack Obama!

Forty years ago, in the waning days of the Richard Nixon Presidency, the House of Representatives began considering resolutions of impeachment against the 37th President.

That impeachment proceeding, leading to three articles of impeachment, was a bipartisan action by both Democrats and Republicans against a President out of control, and committing violations of his oath of office.

Therefore, with a bipartisan vote, the House Judiciary Committee recommended articles of impeachment against Nixon on the basis of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and refusal to hand over evidence, in the form of tapes and other materials, to the Special Prosecutor investigating the Watergate Scandal.

Richard Nixon proceeded to resign after these resolutions passed, and with the knowledge that the Supreme Court, in an unanimous 8-0 vote a few days earlier, had demanded (US V. Richard Nixon) that the President hand over the Watergate tapes to the House of Representatives and the Special Prosecutor.

That impeachment proceeding was justifiable and necessary, but the move against Bill Clinton in 1998 was NOT justified, and neither is the impending movement, even acknowledged by the White House, against Barack Obama, that he has abused his executive powers with executive orders, even with far fewer such executive orders than previous Presidents! The first step toward impeachment of Obama is the vote of the House of Representatives, by party line vote yesterday, to sue the President for abusing his authority under the Constitution, a wholly political act with no justification!

Ironically, Obama is accused of abusing his powers, while at the same time being accused of being weak and indecisive in his conduct of foreign policy!

Both the Clinton impeachment and the pending Obama impeachment is purely partisan politics, a desire to besmirch two Presidents, who in many ways have achieved more in their terms of office than any recent Republican President, including the “knighted” and “holy” Ronald Reagan!