US Senate

The Growing Threat Of Donald Trump Against The Life Of His Opponent, Hillary Clinton: NOT A Laughing Matter!

Donald Trump has done it again–a threat against the life of his Democratic Presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

On August 8, Trump spoke of “Second Amendment” remedies, that those who oppose the limiting of gun rights in any fashion, and see Hillary as a threat to those rights, might have a solution to the threat, implying action against Clinton.

He was roundly condemned for this assertion, and Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and NSA, said if anyone outside the hall where the speech was given had said such a thing, he would be in a police wagon being questioned, and facing prosecution.

And Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, referring to the Newtown Massacre that killed 24 young children and six teachers in December 2012, said Trump was reckless and would have blood on his hands if such an event occurred.

But Trump went ahead and said on September 16 that Clinton should agree to have her Secret Service team lay down their arms and “see what happens”, so he has not learned from the earlier incident.

Trump should be told now that his freedom of speech does NOT include such reckless language that could endanger his opponent, and that if something untoward were to happen, that he could face prosecution for having presented “a clear and present danger”, under Supreme Court case Schenck V US (1919), which limits freedom of speech.

And this is all happening in the month when there were eight incidents involving President and assassination threats, and also the assassination of Huey Long in 1935, all covered in the chapters of my Assassinations book, which will be in paperback by March 2017.

Barack Obama Becomes Best Presidential Booster Of A Potential Successor In American History

When one looks at American history, it is indeed rare that a President leaving office really goes out of his way to boost and promote his party’s nominee to succeed himself.

That is the case, however, with Barack Obama, who is vigorously campaigning for Hillary Clinton in a manner no one would have predicted after the 2008 Democratic primary battle between the two candidates.

Of course, not everyone, and in fact, no one, except Abraham Lincoln, has picked his leading rival for the nomination to the most important cabinet post, Secretary of State.

Lincoln selected Senator William Seward of New York, who turned out to be a great Secretary of State under Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. And despite attacks, Hillary Clinton did a good job as Obama’s first term Secretary of State.

It is rare in modern times that a President gets his chosen successor to be elected, and none spent the time or effort that Obama has done and will do through the election, as he sees the victory of Hillary as a way to promote his own legacy.

Ronald Reagan backed George H. W. Bush as his successor, but did not go out of his way in the same way that Obama is for Clinton.

And Dwight D. Eisenhower was far from enthusiastic about his Vice President, Richard Nixon, succeeding him.

And Bill Clinton was not allowed by Al Gore to campaign for him, because of Gore’s belief that Clinton’s sex scandal and impeachment trial made him someone to avoid during the election campaign, a mistake that probably helped to defeat Gore, ironically, as the nation overall embraced Clinton despite the scandal, with Clinton keeping high popularity ratings.

Hillary Clinton Health Reminds Us Of Importance Of Vice Presidential Choice

The fact that Hillary Clinton has Pneumonia has drawn attention once again to the issue of Vice Presidential choices.

Ignorant people have argued that the Vice Presidency does not matter, and has no effect on electing the President of the United States.

But that is not true, as any intelligent voter should be concerned about the quality and competence of a person who is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency on a daily basis.

it has been a long time since we faced a Presidential death, 53 years since John F. Kennedy, and even the resignation of Richard Nixon is now 42 years ago.

So the odds are getting better that we could have a Vice President once again ascending to the Presidency during a term, and with the combination of the two oldest Presidential nominees to run since Ronald Reagan, who had early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is urgent that we think about the Vice Presidential running mates much more than we usually have done.

Right now, any sane person would agree that Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia is far superior to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, if either had to assume the Presidency, based on experience, viewpoints on issues, and basic character.

Pence is a right wing extremist on so many issues, while Kaine is a mainstream Democrat, and well liked by his colleagues in the Senate, and capable of “crossing the aisle” in a way as Joe Biden, the present Vice President, has done so often.

Pence is an ideologue, and not good at “crossing the aisle”, and very mean spirited and judgmental on so many issues, a perfect fit for Donald Trump, but not good for the nation at large.

The Double Standard For Donald Trump

Donald Trump has made more outrageous, deceptive, insulting, and inaccurate statements in nearly 15 months as a Presidential nominee, than any other Presidential candidate in American history.

Any other candidate would have been easily destroyed, or weakened, or repudiated if he or she made far less statements that were outrageous, deceptive, insulting and inaccurate.

It is frustrating to political observers that Donald Trump gets away with so much, and yet his loyal followers are not perturbed one iota by his sins.

It makes one wonder about the common sense and basic intelligence of those who adore him.

It makes one wonder about the dangers of a democracy that can lead people to support candidates that are as authoritarian, narrow minded, and intolerant as Donald Trump has proved to be in this campaign.

We have had authoritarian figures who have been a minor threat, such as George Wallace in 1968 on the American Independent Party; or Huey Long who was planning to challenge Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936; or Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, the leader of the Red Scare—but none are them were ever nominated by a major party for the Presidency.

So we are faced with the crisis that although it seems very unlikely that Donald Trump will be elected President in November, the thought that it COULD happen is terrifying enough!

Hillary Clinton Is Almost Like FDR In The Oval Office–Two Terms Under Her Husband And One Term Under Obama–No One More Experienced!

A different way to look at Hillary Clinton is to realize that she has spent more time in the White House at the center of power than anyone in American history, except Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was elected four times, and died in the early months of his fourth term, a total time of 12 years 39 days.

Well, Hillary was married to Bill Clinton, and was intimately engaged in the events of that 8 year Presidency.

She also was deeply immersed in foreign policy with the White House under Barack Obama, as his Secretary of State for four years.

So Hillary Clinton has been in or around the Oval Office for twelve years, and therefore, has had more time in that environment than anyone except FDR, who she would surpass in time by the beginning of March 2017.

No one has ever had this kind of experience, along with eight years in the Senate, in all of American history.

So Hillary Clinton is superbly qualified for the Presidency, while no one is claiming that she is perfect, but no one running this year for President is such, and none in our entire history as a nation.

Another Nail In The Coffin Of Donald Trump: The Dallas Morning News Editorial Endorsing Hillary Clinton

The Dallas Morning News is a conservative newspaper, which has endorsed Republican Presidential nominees since World War II, but this time they are endorsing Hillary Clinton, and have made it clear that they consider Donald Trump totally unqualified for the Oval Office.

This lack of an endorsement comes as some polls show Texas in play, along with Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Montana, and Utah, all possibly going “Blue” for this election, a development that no one really believes possible, but it seems it could happen.

Donald Trump has made many Republicans and conservatives alienated, with the closest alienation earlier being Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, which led to a massive defeat, including states that one would have expected to vote Republican.

It is clear that Donald Trump has sealed his fate by his words and actions, along with his corruption and past scandals and failures.

He is ill prepared to be Commander in Chief, has poor judgment and temperament, and his loose mouth is a danger to diplomacy and international order.

The Death Of Phyllis Schlafly: The War On Women And Social Change By A Divisive Woman Of The Right Wing

The death of Phyllis Schlafly yesterday marked the end of the life of a hateful woman who opposed feminism and gay rights, and promoted the rise of Republican conservatism in a masterly, if overwhelmingly nasty, manner.

Schlafly became first noticed when she vigorously backed Republican Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, when the Establishment Republicans repudiated him and led to his massive defeat.

She ended her life with an endorsement of Donald Trump a few weeks ago, again a candidate repudiated by much of the Establishment Republicans.

In between, she bitterly fought the Equal Rights Amendment and Gay Rights, and headed the Eagle Forum, an extreme right wing organization, which became engaged in promotion of right wing attitudes on all subjects, including immigration and attacks on the federal government in favor of states rights.

The woman was very intelligent and effective in promoting her beliefs, and became noticed when she debated the role of women in public life on numerous television programs back in the 1970s, infuriating those who could not stomach her extremist views.

Somehow, it seemed as if Phyllis Schlafly would never leave us, but now, finally, at age 92, she has, and her impact, as negative as it is, will still be felt for a long time.

Republican Officeholders Hope Split Ticket Voting Will Work In November, But Highly Unlikely To Be A Major Factor

Republican officeholders are hoping that the concept of split ticket voting will work in November, that their constituents will know who they are, and will support them even if they find Donald Trump distasteful.

That is a dangerous assumption, that historically does not work. On the average in recent years, statistics show that only about ten percent of voters, particularly in Presidential election years, actually vote split ticket.

Since 2004, the President who wins has coattail effect, the opposite of the previous generation. It seems that more people are deciding that they wish to give the President the ability to get things done, rather than trying to blockade him from accomplishing his goals.

Of course, a lot has to do with the officeholder’s record in office, and different states have different political cultures.

But it seems likely that with Hillary Clinton favored to win the White House, and so many Republican seats up this round, that we will see, at the least, the gaining of Democratic control of the US Senate, and at least, a closer division in the House of Representatives, although the 30 seat gain needed to win control is a real long shot.

For the Senate, the goal for the Democrats has to be to gain as many seats as possible, as some are likely to be lost in 2018, when in the midterm elections, there are more Democratic seats up. The tendency in recent midterms has been to have a counter reaction against the party of the President, as a way to express disapproval of the President’s record and agenda.

Potential To Add Seven Democratic Women Senators In November Races

The potential exists to add seven Democratic women to the US Senate, and replace one Democratic woman with another Democratic woman this November.

Senator Barbara Boxer of California is retiring, and Kamala Harris is running to replace her, although her opponent, also a Democrat, is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. So no matter what happens, a Democratic woman in the Senate from California is being replaced by a woman from the Democratic Party.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, is trying to defeat another woman, Republican Kelly Ayotte, for her Senate seat, and has a good chance of winning

Also, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is running to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but is in a tough race, that may be the only Democratic seat in danger, against Republican nominee Joe Heck.

Tammy Duckworth is running for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Mark Kirk, and is favored to win.

Katie McGinty is running in Pennsylvania against Republican Pat Toomey, a race seen as very close.

Deborah Ross is running in North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, another close race.

Ann Kirkpatrick is in a very competitive race in Arizona against well known Republican Senator John McCain.

Finally, Patty Judge is running in Iowa to replace Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a tough fight.

There are 20 women in the US Senate now, 14 Democrats and 6 Republicans. One woman, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, will be replaced by a man, Chris Van Hollen. And Kelly Ayotte could be the one Republican woman who leaves the Senate if she loses to Maggie Hassan.

So the end result could be 5 Republican women and a grand total of 20 Democrats if all the women listed above were to win.

That is certainly unlikely to happen, but if it did, we would have the highest number of women Senators in any Congress in American history—25!

Three Women Of Multi Racial Heritage Running As Democrats For US Senate And Favored To Win

Three women of multi racial heritage are running as Democrats for the US Senate, and are favored to win their races.

These three women are:

Tammy Duckworth of Illinois
Kamala Harris of California
Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada

Duckworth has a Chinese mother and white father and was born in Thailand; Harris has an Indian mother who migrated from India and a father of Jamaican heritage; Masto is a Latina of Mexican heritage.

All three are superbly qualified, and would bring to the Senate the first women of multi racial background, of other heritages than White Anglo Christian or Jewish.

Duckworth was severely wounded in Iraq, losing both legs and damaging her right arm, and is a true hero. She served in the Illinois and US Department of Veterans Affairs, and has been a Congresswoman from Illinois for the past four years.

Harris served as District Attorney of San Francisco and is now California Attorney General.

Masto was Attorney General of Nevada from 2007-2015.

Masto will have the toughest race, while Duckworth, and especially Harris, seem certain to win at this juncture.

The US Senate would become much more diverse and representative if these women are fortunate enough to be elected.