US Senate

Reflecting On The Age Issue Over Next Decade

America is faced with many crises, but one not much paid attention to is the Age issue.

We are seeing more people in government who are reaching their 70s and 80s, and that is a worrisome trend.

Certainly, people in their 70s and 80s can be active, engaged, constructive, as this author, in his mid 70s is, as an adjunct college professor, lecturer, author, blogger, contributor of articles on history and politics, and participant on radio shows about history and politics.

But this author is NOT making government policy, and is not facing the daunting challenges of dealing with a multitude of challenges in domestic and foreign policy, that affects and will continue to affect hundreds of millions of Americans, and seven billion people worldwide.

We see Donald Trump in his mid 70s, showing signs of craziness and dementia. We see Joe Biden, who this author loves, not quite as swift and alert as he seeks the Presidency. We see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both seemingly very alert and energetic, but reaching 79 and 71 by January 20, 2021, both older than Trump when he was elected, and with Biden reaching 78 by Inauguration Day 2021.

We see the top three Democrats in leadership in the House of Representatives all nearing 80 in the next couple of years, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the same with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There are about four Senators over 80 already, and Dianne Feinstein was elected at 85 in 2018, to serve another six year term to age 91. And at least two Senators will be added to that list over 80 in the next few years.

We have two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who are 86 and 81, and their refusal to leave years ago has created the possibility of an extreme right wing Court if Donald Trump wins reelection.

There has to be recognition of the need for younger generations to inherit power, and for older generations to accept that their time has passed.

Kentucky, The State With The Two Worst Senators, But Appealing To Racism Of White Working Class And Poor, And Remaining In Office

Kentucky is one of the bottom ten states in economic statistics, and its two United States Senators are probably the worst combination of Senators of any state.

Kentucky is a state of many poor whites in Appalachia, with very meager education, if any beyond high school, and resentful of minorities advancing, although they are a smaller percentage than most states. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have exploited the fears of their ignorant, poorly educated white population to stay in power, and do absolutely nothing for their citizenry.

Only Louisville, the home of the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and Lexington, with the University of Kentucky, have any signs of interest in progress beyond the exploitation of fear of the federal government. And yet, if left up to them, McConnell and Paul would cut and destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as mining laws that protect workers.

And Matt Bevin, an extreme right wing conservative, and wealthy businessman in the tradition of Donald Trump, managed to be elected in 2015, and faces reelection this November. Kentucky has only had three Republican governors since World War II, but one can be sure Trump will campaign among gullible poor whites, and stoke fear of minorities and of “socialism”, the programs of the New Deal and Great Society that keep these people above water, although barely.

Kentucky will have its gubernatorial election in November, with Andy Beshear, the son of the previous Governor, Steve Beshear, and presently Attorney General of the state, trying to defeat a governor considered close to the worst in the nation. Let us hope that he succeeds, as his father was considered an outstanding governor.

Time For John Hickenlooper, Steve Bullock, And Beto O’Rourke To Give Up Presidential Candidacies, And Run To Help Create Democratic Senate Majority In 117th Congress!

It is time for three Presidential contenders to give up their candidacies and run instead for the US Senate in their states, and help create a Democratic Senate majority for the 117th Congress of 2021-2022.

Former Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Montana Governor Steve Bullock; and former Texas Congressman from El Paso, Beto O’Rourke, have no real opportunity to continue further, although O’Rourke has qualified for the third Democratic debate in Houston in September. Despite that, and his courageous and outstanding reaction to the El Paso Massacre, it is clear that he is NOT going to progress any further to the top tier of candidates.

Bullock is fascinating, and did well in the second Presidential debate, but he came in too late, and has no traction, despite his being quite impressive.

And Hickenlooper, well, he is a massive dud, and apparently is leaving the race later today.

All three would be wonderful Senators, and the Democrats need a minimum gain of four seats, or three, if the Vice President in the next term is a Democrat, and can organize the Senate majority.

If the Democrats win the Presidency, but fail to win the Senate majority, then nothing will be accomplished, as Mitch McConnell or his successor as Senate Majority Leader, will bottleneck any agenda of any Democrat, whether it be Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, or Pete Buttigieg, the most likely choices at this point to be serious contenders for the Democratic nomination for President.

All Time High Of Women Senators (25) from 19 States, And Six States Have Two Women Senators!

The 116th Congress has an all time high of 25 women Senators from a total of 19 states, and 6 states have both of their Senators being women, another all time high!

There are 17 Democrats and 8 Republicans among the women serving in the US Senate.

Arizona has Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally.

California has Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

Minnesota has Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

New Hampshire has Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen.

Nevada has Catherine Cortez-Masto and Jacklyn Rosen.

Washington has Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

All but Martha McSally in these states with two women Senators are Democrats.

What Is Nancy Pelosi Waiting For? The Need For Impeachment For Historical Reasons!

The time has come for the impeachment inquiry regarding Donald Trump go move forward.

After the Special Counsel Robert Mueller testimony at the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, there is no reason to wait anymore.

Some might say that Trump will not be convicted by the US Senate, so it is a waste of time.

But even though Trump will not be removed by the Senate, it is important to impeach for historical reasons, to make the record clear for all time that Donald Trump deserves to be impeached.

If Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton could be impeached for far less reasoning, then Donald Trump, with his multitude of sins as President, deserve to be impeached, and have his future obituary highlight the impeachment, as it has for Andrew Johnson and will do so for Bill Clinton in the future.

It is time for Nancy Pelosi to move ahead on impeachment.

Bob Dole Reaches 96 Years Of Age, Now Seen As Statesman

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas yesterday reached the age of 96, and while often involved in heated political debates over four decades, is now seen as a statesman.

Dole served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and as United States Senator from 1969 to 1996. He was the Chair of the Republican National Committee from 1971-1973; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985; Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995; and twice Senate Majority Leader from 1985-1987 and 1995-1996.

He had the distinction of being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee under Gerald Ford in the Presidential Election of 1976, and then the Presidential nominee in 1996, both losing efforts. He is the only person to be nominated for both offices, and lose both offices.

Dole was a combative, and often acerbic politician, who annoyed this blogger and author, but one knew that he was an ultimate patriot and would support Democrats in important and crisis moments over the years, while being a very partisan Republican.

He worked across the aisle with many Democrats, including Senator George McGovern of South Dakota on nutrition issues and food stamps.

He was a war hero, who nearly died in combat in Europe in April 1945, and lost the use of his left arm and limited mobility in his right arm, but that did not stop him from having a public career, and being an advocate for the disabled.

Dole has had a great sense of humor, and has worked to promote bipartisanship, starting the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

He helped to raise funds for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his former opponent, Bill Clinton, in 1997.

His marriage to Elizabeth Hanford Dole has lasted 44 years, and his wife served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan, and as Secretary of Labor under George H. W. Bush, before serving as a US Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009.

By reaching the age of 96 today, Dole has outlived most of the colleagues of his age group who served in public office, and is one of the last World War II veterans of renown still with us.

Let us hope he reaches 100, although now he is almost exclusively using a wheel chair as he did in saluting his former rival, George H. W. Bush, at the funeral of the 41st President in December 2018.

Could There Be Two Women On The Democratic Presidential Ticket In 2020?

One wonders if it is conceivable that the Democratic Party might have two women on the ticket in the Presidential Election of 2020.

Such a combination might be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for President and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar for Vice President, with an eleven year difference in age between Warren, who would be 71 in 2020, and Klobuchar at age 60.

Also, California Senator Kamala Harris with Amy Klobuchar is another possibility, with Harris being four years younger than Klobuchar at age 56 in 2020.

A bigger question is whether two of these women could actually cooperate and work together well enough, with the clashing egos, to be a success.

And how would the American people react to two women on the ticket?

We do know that many nations have had women leaders, and we also know that New Hampshire and Arizona have had an all women teams in top state government positions in recent years.

The Rise Of Kamala Harris

As a result of the first Democratic Presidential debates in Miami, Florida, it is clear that the biggest beneficiary of those debates is California Senator Kamala Harris.

She has surged to number two in many polls, just behind Joe Biden, but in striking distance of the former Vice President.

Harris has been able to raise much more funding, and much more attention is being given to the charismatic Senator, often called the “female Barack Obama”, due to her mixed race ancestry, with her mother being born in India and her father in Jamaica.

Harris has a great passion and intensity, which is very appealing, and she has a delightful laugh, and her good looks make her a very attractive potential President.

If she can do well in the early caucuses and primaries, and win the California Primary on March 3, 2020 convincingly, she will be hard to stop for the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

Is Beto O’Rourke Finished As A Presidential Candidate?

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas, who came within a few points of defeating Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, seems to be on the road to oblivion at this point.

After a heralded amount of attention during the Senate race and when he came out as a Presidential candidate, O’Rourke seemed to be a hot item.

But he has deteriorated in his polls and raising of money, and his performance at the first Democratic Presidential debates was lackluster at best, and fellow Texas Julian Castro challenged him, and came out the winner, and has seen his prospects improve, as O’Rourke’s prospects have deteriorated.

It is not yet the time to write him off, but right now, Beto O’Rourke is in a decline, and he will need to restore his fortunes at the second Democratic debates at the end of July in Detroit, or else his candidacy will likely be finished.

Does Elizabeth Warren Neutralize Bernie Sanders As A Presidential Candidate?

It could be that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren might neutralize Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a Presidential candidate.

After the first set of debates, Warren has surged in support, and is expressing much of the same message as Sanders.

In the first polls coming out after the debates, she has been shown to be ahead of Sanders in several polls.

The fact that she is younger by eight years, and comes across to many as much more pleasant and cordial and sincere than Sanders does, is a major problem for the Vermont Senator.

One gets the sense that Bernie Sanders may have reached his peak, and may be on the decline, and not just temporarily, but time will tell.