US Senate

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

The Young (Under 45) Challenge To “Baby Boomers” Control Over Politics! Is It For Real?

If one goes by public opinion polls and turnout at rallies, the “young”, defined as those under 45, born after 1970, are rebelling against the “establishment”, the “Baby Boomers” in this upcoming Presidential Election of 2016.

They seem to want a complete  overhaul of government, and many of them are gravitating, ironically, to the OLDEST Presidential candidate of all, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who has been in office for 25 years in Congress, plus eight years as Mayor of Burlington!

One would think that Sanders was an “outsider”, but he has been in government positions for more years than anyone else running, including John Kasich and Hillary Clinton!

But he is seen as a dramatic change because of his attacks on Wall Street, and his non-interventionist foreign policy, including his votes against the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War.

But the question arises whether one can be sure that the young, particularly those under 29, and even more, those who are teenagers or early 20s, can be relied on to show up in the primaries and caucuses, and actually vote in November for the change they say they want.

Many observers are skeptical, and wonder if the youngest “new” voters really even understand politics, foreign policy, and major complicated issues, or are just “along for the ride”, the excitement of being involved now, but losing interest as the months go by.

We shall see just how the young among us will transform American politics, and if it leads, somehow, to the election of a democratic Socialist President, it will be historic, even more so, than the election of the first African American President!

Bernie Sanders Finally Gains Secret Service Protection: Long Overdue And Essential With Extremist Rhetoric Circulating About Sanders!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, not Communist in any fashion, is now receiving Secret Service protection, due to his rise in the polls; his basic tie with Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucuses; and his large crowds, second only to Donald Trump.

This has been long needed to do, as Sanders has already been labeled a Communist, a Marxist, a believer in social revolution; and is a major critic of Wall Street, who says what he thinks.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and others are starting the character assassination and smearing of a good man, who is no threat to America, but only to those who have no problem with the top one percent having total control of the American economy, as the middle class shrinks, and the “American Dream” is lost for future generations.

It is right wing hysteria, mixed in with Christian extremism, and anti Semitism and racism, that threatens Sanders, who would be the first Jewish Presidential nominee. were he to defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination.

Let us hope that whatever happens to the Sanders candidacy, that Bernie comes out of it hale and hearty, with a continued good public image, whether one supports him or not for the White House!

The Comeuppance Of Donald Trump; And Hillary Clinton Barely Survives!

So the voters  in Iowa, the small percentage who actually voted, have made their judgment!

It is true that more Iowans participated in the caucuses than ever before, but still less than a quarter of eligible people voted.

But what they have wrought is stunning beyond belief!

Donald Trump got his comeuppance, and it will be interesting to see his public reaction and behavior during this week before the New Hampshire Primary.

Ted Cruz may have won, but he will be bitterly opposed by mainstream Republicans, who are likely to converge around Marco Rubio after New Hampshire, with only John Kasich seen as a possible challenger to Kasich for the mainstream, depending on what happens next week!

Hillary Clinton barely survived, and Bernie Sanders now has a direct challenge to her in New Hampshire, which he is favored to win easily, but the question is whether he can survive beyond that as a viable Democratic candidate.

The odds of Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton as the party nominees, which this blogger predicted on December 31 on here, seems more likely than ever, with Ohio as the crucial battleground, and the reason why this blogger believes John Kasich and Sherrod Brown will be the Vice Presidential choices of the nominees this summer!

If Hillary Clinton Loses Iowa Caucuses, Full Panic Mode Is In Effect, And Joe Biden, John Kerry, Or Al Gore Might Enter Presidential Race!

If Hillary Clinton loses the Iowa Caucuses tonight, full panic mode is in effect, and one of the following might enter the Presidential race belatedly:

Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; Former Vice President Al Gore

It is claimed that Hillary will not be in panic mode if she loses tonight, but to lose tonight AND New Hampshire next week, if it happens, will be a major blow no matter what future states might do!

Bernie Sanders has great ideas, but despite polls that show him beating Donald Trump and other Republicans, it is hard to believe that will happen, as Sanders’ background as a democratic Socialist will be made to look as if he is a Communist, with the hammer and sickle emblem to be planted on all commercials and in all speeches by Trump or any other GOP Presidential nominee!

Sanders is, sadly, reminiscent of South Dakota Senator George McGovern, a wonderful human being with great ideas, who defeated Establishment favorite Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine in 1972, and then was smashed by a landslide of epic proportions, 49 states, by flawed President Richard Nixon, soon forced out of the Presidency due to the Watergate scandal.  But the Nixon campaign was able to make McGovern out to be an extreme leftist, and the Democrats went into eclipse, and moderation took over with Jimmy Carter in 1976.

It is very sad, but already Trump is labeling Sanders a Communist, and for the ignorant population of much of America, that will be enough to make it impossible for Sanders to win the White House!

And as said before many times, the Supreme Court future is at stake, so we may yet see other Democrats enter the race in the near future, IF Hillary has major troubles in the next eight days!

Wipe Out Memory and Statues Of Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson? NO WAY!

A major campaign has been mounted to “cleanse” America’s history of political leaders who were racists, people who advocated and owned slaves, and those who promoted segregation and “Jim Crow” after slavery ended 150 years ago.

So the move is on to wipe the name of various major figures off of buildings, and the removal of statues and monuments erected in their honor.

The biggest “villains” in this quest to “correct” the past are President Thomas Jefferson, Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and President Woodrow Wilson.

There is no question that all four, and others, can be condemned for their beliefs and behaviors.

But if we are to “discipline” them, then should we NOT add eight of the other nine pre Civil War Presidents who owned slaves; and the multitude of political leaders since the end of the Civil War who promoted segregation and racist views in the century and a half since 1865?

So while we are at it, why  not wipe out all American history, instead of recognizing the sins and shortcomings  that exist, as any good history professor will do in class, including this blogger, and also point out the major contributions that these leaders had on the totality of American history?

We cannot wipe out the past, and the move to sanitize it is a massive mistake!  We need to TEACH and LEARN about it, and draw attention to it for present day political leaders, not try to make believe it never occurred in the first place!  The goal should be to demand that today’s leaders stop promoting racism, nativism, and misogyny by exposing their transgressions!

So NO, to the attempt to reconstruct history, and wipe out the past, too common, ironically, to what happens in left wing and right wing dictatorships!

Major Mystery: The Lack Of Traction Of Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Presidential Candidacy

As we await the beginning of actual voting next week and after that, a major mystery remains.

Why did former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley turn out to be a total dud as a candidate?

O’Malley was one of the best Governors in America during his eight years in that position, and he had the charisma, good looks, and youth, that one would have thought that he would be a serious challenger to Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others of the “older generation.”

After the experience of the “younger generation” backing John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008, one would have thought that O’Malley would have similar appeal, and without being the first Catholic nominee; the first Southerner since 1848; a flawed candidate with a sex scandal from a small Southern state; and a mixed race African American with little national experience to deal with!

And yet, it was a candidate even older than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden–Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont—with his declaration that he was a Democratic Socialist; was an Independent who only became a party member when he announced for President; and with a New York Jewish background (not necessarily a plus across the nation), who became the favorite of newer voters, younger voters (under 45), and those who would be thought to prefer someone closer to their age and from a larger and more significant state (Maryland) than Vermont represents.

The lack of traction of O’Malley remains a deep mystery, and one wonders if his run this year will give him an upper hand, despite it being a total flop, if the Democrats lose the Presidency in 2016.

Could it be the beginning of the rise on top of the disaster, if it occurs, of a Democratic defeat this year?

Certainly, no one in their right mind who is a progressive, wishes for failure this year to lead to success later!

But sometimes, repudiation now leads to success later!

Imagine A Three Way Presidential Race Of Three New Yorkers, And Possibly Two Of Them Of Reform Judaism Religion!

The scenario now exists that the Presidential Election Of 2016 could involve THREE New York residents competing against each other, an idea which seemed impossible to happen even with one candidate since the time of Thomas E. Dewey’s loss to Harry Truman in 1948.

We saw Nelson Rockefeller fail three times in the 1960s to be the GOP Presidential nominee; we saw Robert Kennedy’s tragic campaign come to an end in 1968 by assassination; we saw John Lindsay attempt a Presidential run in 1972 and fail badly; we saw Mario Cuomo flirt with the idea in 1992 and decide not to run; we saw Rudy Guiliani flop badly in 2008; we saw George Pataki also flirt with the idea of running, and when he finally did in 2015, totally flop; and of course, we saw Hillary Clinton fail to stop Barack Obama in 2008.

At the most, it looked like Hillary Clinton would run, as she has again in 2016, and would have a good chance to be the first New Yorker to run for President and actually be the nominee since 1948, but the idea that THREE candidates would all be from New York is amazing, considering the rise of the Sun Belt since World War II, and the slow decline of New York into political oblivion, although still even now the fourth largest state.

But now we have Clinton; we have Bernie Sanders, who is a Vermont Senator, but grew up in Brooklyn, and left for Vermont in 1968, but is still a New Yorker in the way he speaks; we have Donald Trump who is certainly a New Yorker through and through; and we have former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, originally from Boston, but a long time New Yorker, and Mayor from 2002-2014.

So the possibility of three New Yorkers running is very much alive, and if Sanders is the Democratic nominee and Bloomberg, alarmed by Sanders’ candidacy as well as Trump as a possible Republican nominee, does actually run on a third party or independent ticket, we would have two Reform Jews running along with Presbyterian Trump!

Sarah Palin Will Be The Achilles Heel For Donald Trump, As She Was For John McCain!

Former half term Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has reared her “ugly head” once again, now openly and vigorously supporting Donald Trump for President, and making a total fool of herself in her public speeches and appearances!

Sarah had been out of the public eye for awhile, other than the fact that her daughter Bristol had a second child out of wedlock, and just before her support of Trump became public, her son Track was arrested for domestic violence against a girlfriend, who he assaulted, threatened with a firearm, and was arrested in a very drunk stupor.

Not only did Sarah make an incoherent speech that made her look her usual STUPID, but she then blamed Barack Obama for her son’s situation, because she claimed that Track had PTSD from service in Iraq! While that is highly speculative, Track was in the military under George W. Bush, not Obama, who ended that war!  And does it mean that anyone with PTSD has a free pass to assault, and that all veterans with that condition, or otherwise, do so?

Veterans groups were outraged by the whole matter, and the idea that Sarah has a dysfunctional family, and spends her time making money spewing divisive comments and hate, is even more outrageous.

Sarah should go home and deal with her family and stop blaming Obama for a new low charge which is preposterous, that every soldier who does criminal activity, can blame it on the President.

Watch as Sarah Palin, who Trump says he admires and respects and might give her a position in his administration, becomes a burden to Trump, an Achilles Heel, as Sarah was to John McCain!

And since Sarah backed Trump, despite his ridicule of McCain for being a war prisoner in Vietnam, McCain needs to come out and condemn both Sarah and Donald, for their reprehensible behavior, as Sarah again proves she has no regard for the tremendous favor McCain did for her, making her his VP nominee.

McCain will never live down that mistake, unless he admits to it, and kicks Sarah to the curb as garbage not worthy of his respect or admiration anymore!

 

If Common Sense Reigned, John Kasich Would Be Republican Presidential Nominee! But Will He? Unlikely!

We are in the midst of Republican candidates engaged in mud throwing and character assassination.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are bitterly engaged in this, but so are Marco Rubio with Jeb Bush, Chris Christie with Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina showing an ugly personality of arrogance and inability to tell the truth on anything.

Only one candidate, and a very qualified one, is avoiding the bloodbath going on, but will that mean that common sense will reign, and that Ohio Governor John Kasich will be the Republican Presidential nominee?

Kasich has moved up in New Hampshire, and has a chance to do very well there, while having just about zero chance in evangelical Republican Iowa.

No one matches John Kasich in his total government experience, his knowledge of national and state government, and his rational nature.

This is not saying that John Kasich is an ideal candidate, and most certainly, this blogger would not vote for him, but IF the nation should end up with a Republican President following Barack Obama, there is no better choice than John Kasich, of the candidates who are announced for President on the Republican side of the equation!

This blogger predicted on December 31 the likelihood that Marco Rubio would be the Presidential nominee, and that Kasich would be the Vice Presidential nominee.  That still seems to make sense, and Kasich being on the ticket at either end would be a plus for the GOP, as every Republican President who has ever been elected from Lincoln to George W. Bush has won Ohio, and note that Gerald Ford lost the full term for the Presidency in 1976, greatly due to the failure to defeat Jimmy Carter in Ohio.

So if common sense reigned, Kasich would be the nominee with the best chance to win, but will he?  Highly unlikely!