US Senate

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Mueller Investigation Proves Donald Trump Has Committed Impeachable Acts, But Trump Denies Everything

The Robert Mueller investigation, as of Friday, has proved that Donald Trump has committed impeachable acts, but Trump denies everything.

The next two years, clearly, will see a constant battle over Trump, as he clearly has no intentions of leaving office.

The 2020 election seems more than ever a battle for the Constitution and American democracy.

The fireworks we have seen in two years of Donald Trump are just the prelude to the most tumultuous and dangerous moment in American history, far surpassing even the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, and Richard Nixon and the Watergate Crisis.

With a divided Congress, impeachment seems likely, but absolutely no possibility of the Republican controlled US Senate doing the right thing, and moving to convict and remove the President by a two thirds vote.

It is clear that Donald Trump cares more about himself than he does for the nation, and will stop at nothing to divide us, and attempt to win a second term.

It would seem highly unlikely that he could possibly win a second term, but in theory, he could cobble together a combination of states and electoral votes and pull another victory out, even with public opinion polls unlikely to ever show a majority support him.

One even has to wonder if he lost reelection, whether he would accept defeat and leave office on January 20, 2021, and how the government bureaucracy would conduct itself in such an eventuality.

By comparison,  Richard Nixon looks so much more principled and respectful of the Constitution, while Donald Trump is clearly of a totalitarian mind, and somehow, he must be stopped and removed from office.

The Best 14 Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020

As one looks ahead to 2020, this author and blogger wishes to indicate who he considers to be the 14 best potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

There are an estimated 30 or more potential candidates who might announce for President, but many of them seem wanting in many respects, and as stated by this author yesterday, having more than about a dozen would be counterproductive.

Of course, individual politicians who wish to run are not going to concern themselves with numbers, but I wish to indicate the list that I feel is the most legitimate, and most likely, that we will see the final few Presidential contenders emerging  as  serious possibilities.

So in no special order, except by geographical sections, here goes:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

Former Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke of Texas

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

So the list includes 8 Senators, 2 House members past or present, three Mayors past or present, 1 Governor, and 1 former Vice President of the United State, who served in the Senate for 36 years..

It is an impressive list, heavily weighted toward US Senators, but with some alternatives from elsewhere, and some from farther left and others more toward the moderate center, with the question being what is the best strategy for the Democrats for the Presidential campaign of 2020.

Democratic Donnybrook Could Endanger Chances Of Democratic Party Unity For 2020

Now that the nation is looking toward the new 116th Congress, opening on Thursday, January 3, with a Democratic controlled House of Representatives and a Republican controlled Senate, attention is starting to be paid to the upcoming Presidential Election of 2020.

The season for announcing one’s candidacy is upon us, and already, it seems clear that the Democrats are going to offer the nation too many candidates.

The all time record is the Republicans in 2016 offering 17 candidates, and it forced debates to be two rounds, which was totally preposterous and confusing, and benefited Donald Trump.

We might, this round for the Democratic party, be faced with 30 or more potential nominees, but honestly, that is totally crazy.

This author believes that more than 12 candidates makes a mockery of the process, and it is urgent that potential candidates be realistic, and not shoot for the stars, so to speak.

It is counterproductive for many, who realistically have to believe their chances are limited, to crowd a field of candidates with much more funding, name recognition, staff, and journalistic attention required to sustain themselves, but not available for so many candidates.

An ideal group of 12 would include some veterans of presidential campaigning; some newcomers; some racial and ethnic representatives; some women; and some from diverse geographical sections of the nation.

Not everyone has the personality, temperament, and ability to be President, and it is essential that a tone of realism is introduced into the process.

If the Democrats become engaged in a full scale donnybrook, it will endanger the chance of the party for unity in 2020, and could lead to Republican retention of the White House.

The 116th Congress, 2019-2020, In Detail: Hopefully, The First Step To A Democratic Senate and Democratic President Elected In 2020

The 116th Congress, opening on January 3, 2019, will have exactly 100 new members, an all time high turnover.

It will contain 235 Democrats and 200 Republicans in the House of Representatives, a gain of 40 seats by the Democrats, the most massive turnover since the Midterm Elections of 1974, after Richard Nixon had resigned that August due to the Watergate Scandal.

The Senate will be 53 Republicans to 45 Democrats and 2 Independents (Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont), an increase of two seats for the Republicans.

It is much more “Blue” or Democratic and younger and more diverse in every way, a true “Blue Wave”.

The average age of the newcomers is age 49.

63 of the new members are Democrats, and 37 are Republicans, with the Democrats having 60 new House members and 3 Senators, while the Republicans have 31 new House members and 6 Senators.

So there are 91 new House members and 9 new Senators, making a turnover of about 20 percent of the House and 9 percent of the Senate in membership.

40 of the new 100 members of Congress are women, 36 in the House and 4 in the Senate.

60 of the new members are men, 55 in the House and 5 in the Senate.

24 of the new House members are Hispanic, Native American and people of color, but all of the newly elected Senators are white.

History Makers include: Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tennessee, the first woman elected to Congress from her state; two Native American women elected to the House from Kansas and New Mexico; the Kansas Congresswoman being the first openly gay person elected to Congress from Kansas; first two Latina women elected to Congress from Texas; first Muslim women elected to Congress from Michigan and Minnesota; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York the youngest elected Congresswoman ever in Congress; the first black Congresswoman ever elected from Massachusetts and Connecticut; and Kyrsten Sinema the first woman elected to the Senate from Arizona, and also first openly bisexual member of the Senate.

We also have older new members in their 70s, Mitt Romney in the Senate at 71, and Donna Shalala of Florida in the House at 77.

The new Congressional group is highly educated, with 70 percent having gone to graduate school; one third having law degrees; 12 having MBAs; seven members having at least two graduate degrees; and Kyrsten Sinema having four graduate degrees.

19 members have served in the military, including 6 in the Army, 11 in the Navy, and 2 in the Air Force.

4 of the newcomers are professional athletes in their past, including 2 NFL football players, 1 professional hockey player, and 1 mixed martial arts fighter.

Also, there are 3 doctors, one dentist, 1 nurse, and 5 educators in the group of 100 new members of Congress.

The average age of members of Congress remains about the same as it has been, 58.5 years.

The total number of women in Congress are 124, an all time high, including 100 in the House and 24 in the Senate.

Finally, 21 percent of the Congress is Hispanic, Native American, and people of color.

Hopefully, the “Blue Wave” of 2018 will lead to a Democratic Senate and Democratic President in the Presidential Election of 2020.

Two Mayors Potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Contenders: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti And Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

At least two Democrats who have served as Mayors of their cities are likely to enter the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has spent his entire career in city government, serving on the LA City Council before his election as Mayor of the second largest city in 2013. He has had to deal with the issues facing nearly four million people, and has spent time in Iowa and New Hampshire, hinting of his plans to seek the Presidency. Garcetti has ties to the Jewish, Italian, and Mexican communities as he is ethnically related to all three groups.

Of course, California will also likely be the state that will contribute other potential nominees, including Senator Kamala Harris and Congressman Eric Swalwell, and potentially billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer, who has led the impeachment movement against Donald Trump.

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu offers the rare case of a Southerner who might be able to gain some traction, having served as Mayor from 2010-2018, after earlier service as Lieutenant Governor of the state, and as a member of the state House of Representatives. He is seen as a moderate, in the vein of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in the past, but most observers would see him as more likely to be a potential Vice Presidential running mate to help a more progressive Presidential nominee.

The odds of Garcetti lasting longer in the Presidential competition than Landrieu seems likely, but at this early point, there is no way to know what the political future holds.

Democratic “Blue Wave” Victory Much Greater Than Had Been Imagined Possible

It is now evident that the Midterm Elections of 2018 were a revolution in many respects, a true “Blue Wave.”

We now know that 8.8 million more people voted Democratic than Republicans, the widest margin in American history, more than any other midterm election in modern times.

We now know that the Democrats gained 39 seats, and one more possible, in the House of Representatives, greater than anyone could have envisioned, meaning they will have 234 or 235 seats to the Republicans 200 or 201.

We now know that white suburbia, women, younger voters, independents, and racial and ethnic minorities all went over to the Democratic camp by wide margins.

We know know that seven more states have Democratic Governorships, and that such despicable people as Scott Walker, Kris Kobach, David Brat, and all of the Orange County Republican House members (Reagan Country) lost their races to Democrats.

We know that now Arizona and Nevada, along with Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania seem more likely to go Blue in 2020.

However, we also know that Democrats and progressives lost in Florida, Georgia, and in the Texas Senate race, and that seats were lost in the Senate in Florida, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota.

Overall, with some disappointments, a great result, and optimism about 2020.

Three Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders In 2020 From Virginia: Terry McAuliffe, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner

As the 2020 Presidential campaign begins, there are three potential candidates who come from Virginia, which has become a very “Blue” state.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe has hinted he plans to run. He is probably the most controversial of the three Virginians, having been the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the first George W. Bush term, as well as Chair of the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign for President, and co-chairman of the reelection campaign of President Bill Clinton in 1996. He is certainly the most hard nosed politician of the three Virginians.

Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, may run, but does not seem drawn to the idea of running at this point. Many observers feel that Kaine did not help Hillary Clinton, and was a lackluster campaigner. Also, Kaine is seen as moderate in a party moving to the left rapidly.

Senator Mark Warner, also seen as a moderate, and about the wealthiest member of Congress, has long been thought of as a potential candidate, and he has been very active in pursuing the Russian Collusion investigation in the Senate, as the ranking member or Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Interesting point is that all three Virginians have been Governors of their state, and all three have been seen as successes in that position, leading to Kaine and Warner being elected to the Senate.

But none of these three seem at this point, even if they announce, to be likely to win the Democratic nomination.

The one who might have the best chance is Warner, but although he is a more dynamic person than Kaine, it still seems unlikely that he will get very far in the various primaries and caucuses in 2020.

But of course no one can be sure what will happen in any Presidential campaign, so it will be interesting to see if any of these three Virginia politicians move forward toward the nomination in 2020.

Five Or Even Six Potential California Presidential Candidates In 2020: Kamala Harris, Eric Garcetti, Eric Swalwell, Tom Steyer, Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown

California may have up to five or six Democratic Presidential candidates competing in the primaries and caucuses in 2020.

Senator Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Congressman Eric Swalwell all are expected to announce in the coming months.

Additionally, entrepreneur and political activist Tom Steyer has been promoting the impeachment of Donald Trump in the past year, and the Los Angeles resident is believed to be planning to run as well.

And some think even newly minted Governor Gavin Newsom might also decide to announce for President.

And get this, even outgoing Governor Jerry Brown, age 80 now, might even, it is rumored, decide to try for the Presidency for a fourth time, as he did in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

California is one out of every eight people, and with the California primary slated for March 3, 2020, it could be a Californian who wins the primary, and gets the largest portion of delegates out of a total larger than any other state.

So to ignore California is to do so at one’s own risk.

Two Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders For 2020 From The Midwest: Sherrod Brown And Amy Klobuchar

The importance of the Midwest in presidential elections has always been something to realize, and ever more so after Hillary Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa in 2016.

Many think had she chosen Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, then she might have won those states, along with Pennsylvania, enough to swing the Electoral College.

So, therefore, much attention is being paid to two Midwestern Democratic Senators, both easily reelected in the Midterm Elections of 2018, as potential Democratic Presidential nominees.

One is the same Sherrod Brown, who never thought of himself as a future President, but is now seriously thinking about it. He is giving interviews where he makes clear that he is seriously considering a run for the White House, and is seen as someone that should not be ignored as a serious candidate if he runs.

Brown has been a member of the Senate for 12 years, and before that, of the House of Representatives for 14 years, after having served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years, and in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that.

He is an unabashed liberal who has had appeal for the working class, something many Democrats have had trouble with, although Joe Biden has been of similar vein. Brown would be 68 in 2020, a full decade younger than Joe Biden, and Ohio has been a crucial state in presidential elections, with six Ohioans elected President between 1868 and 1923, and Ohio being a state every elected Republican President has won from Abraham Lincoln through Donald Trump.

Also reelected to a third term in the Senate is Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a inheritor of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Klobuchar was Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Attorney from 1998 to 2006,and gained a reputation as a tough prosecutor, before her election to the Senate. She has sponsored or cosponsored 98 pieces of legislation, more than any other Senator. She is seen as bipartisan, able to work “across the aisle”, and has a good public image, but not as controversial as Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand, other women thought to be likely to announce for President.

This author has particular feelings of support of Klobuchar for the Presidency, and think she has an excellent chance of being the Democratic nominee for President in 2020, and is more likely to gain support of white working class males, more than Warren, Gillibrand, or Kamala Harris of California. She would be 60 years of age at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020.

Both Brown and Klobuchar are solid possibilities for the Presidency, and are from the “heartland”, rather than the Atlantic and Pacific Coastlines.

So when assessing the upcoming Democratic Presidential race, do NOT dismiss Sherrod Brown nor Amy Klobuchar.