Vice Presidency

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

George H. W. Bush And John Adams: Comparisons

With the death of George H. W. Bush, we can make many comparisons with John Adams.

Both were born in Massachusetts.

Both served as Vice President under their Presidents for eight years, John Adams under George Washington, and George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan.

Both only had one term as President, defeated for reelection.

Both are seen as lower in ranking than their predecessors, George Washington and Ronald Reagan, who served two terms in office.

Both had the President elected after them rank higher in rankings of Presidents, and both Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton served two terms in office.

Both outlived their wives.

Both had a son become President, and live to see that occur.

Both reached to the age of 90, with Adams being the longest lived until Ronald Reagan, then Gerald Ford, then George H. W. Bush, and then Jimmy Carter surpassed his age.

Bush died at the oldest age of any President, although Jimmy Carter could surpass Bush if he lives to March 22, 2019.

Both died after 25 plus years in retirement.

Both have been rated higher than their son, John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush, in rankings of historians and political scientists, and it is unlikely that their sons will ever surpass them.

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.

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.

Spiro Agnew Lawyer Says Donald Trump Should Resign, For The Good Of The Nation, As Agnew And Richard Nixon Did

Martin London, the attorney who represented Vice President Spiro Agnew in 1973, when Agnew resigned under fire, has come out and said Donald Trump should resign for the good of the nation.

London also says that things will not get better for Trump, as more revelations come out, and that Trump would be helping his family, and possibly saving them from legal dangers, if he would agree to resign.

As bad as Spiro Agnew and Richard Nixon were, they had the dignity to realize that time was up, and that they should clean the slate by resigning, and therefore, retain some level of dignity.

But Donald Trump is not Spiro Agnew nor Richard Nixon, so the odds of his agreeing to leave the Presidency are not good.

He may have to be pulled kicking and screaming out of the Oval Office by Secret Service agents, a hard to imagine scenario.

But also, the nation could be in danger, and Trump could attempt to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and one would hope he would be stopped by the Justice Department, the Secret Service, and the military leadership, if such a dastardly deed were attempted.

Treason In US History: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, John Tyler, Jefferson Davis, And Now Donald Trump

Treason is a tough issue to approach.

Certainly, Benedict Arnold committed treason, and is condemned for it in history, when he attempted to hand over West Point, New York and its thousands of soldiers to the British in 1780, during the American Revolution.

Some observers think Aaron Burr may have committed treason after leaving the Vice Presidency in 1805, attempting to seize part of the Louisiana Territory or take away Spanish territories further west. He was arrested, brought to trial for treason, and Chief Justice John Marshall ruled he had not committed treason by the normal definition, and conspiracy without actions should not lead to conviction. Still, many people then and since, think Burr was guilty of treason.

President John Tyler gave up his citizenship, and supported the Confederate States of America, becoming part of the provisional Confederate Congress in 1861, before his death in 1862, therefore committing treason.

Jefferson Davis committed treason, as President of the Confederate States of America, as did Vice President Alexander Stephens and other public officals, and arguably, General Robert E. Lee, and other Confederate generals, as well.

And now, it is becoming more likely that the 45th President, Donald Trump, has committed treason by colluding with the Russians to fix the Presidential election of 2016. The President is indicting himself by his own Twitter comments, and contradictory statements being made on a regular basis, and he exudes guilt, and has for many months.

The Robert Mueller investigation is mounting evidence that is leading to that conclusion, and the Southern District of New York investigation, particularly in relation to Michael Cohen, is also moving in that direction.

A proposal that I would wish to make regarding this whole situation.

John Tyler, when he died, was not accorded the normal situation of a President who passes away—that is, flying the flag at half staff, and giving a President a state funeral.

The same, of course, was the case with Jefferson Davis.

So it seems appropriate to say that when Donald Trump passes away, no matter what happens in the interim regarding the present investigation of his behavior and actions, there should be no flying the flags at half staff, and no state funeral, as a traitor should not be accorded such an honor.

Of course, his death and burial would be reported, but it should not be given the dignity of what every other President, except John Tyler, was accorded!

Eve Of Richard Nixon Resignation From Presidency 44 Years Ago, And Sense Trump Is On Road To Similar End

We are on the eve of the 44 year anniversary of the resignation of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, who faced the reality that he had been impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, by a bipartisan vote.

Nixon had also been ordered by the Supreme Court, which included four Justices selected by him, to hand over the Watergate “smoking” tapes, which demonstrated his guilt.

It was certain that the US Senate would move to convict him on impeachment charges, had he chosen to fight, but Republican Senators, headed by Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and leading House members, had gone to the White House to inform Nixon that he did not have the support to survive an impeachment trial vote of two thirds of the Senate and more, convicting him, and removing him from office.

It was tomorrow, August 8, 1974, that Nixon went on television, and announced he would resign at noon the next day, August 9, and Vice President Gerald Ford would succeed him in the Oval Office.

As we come up to this anniversary, there is a growing sense that Donald Trump is on the road to a similar end.

No one believed Richard Nixon would resign, but he did, and few are willing to believe that Donald Trump will resign, but it looks more and more likely.

Trump is indicting himself on Twitter, and his involvement in Obstruction of Justice seems clear, along with other violations.

And his family members are in trouble too, particularly Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner.

The Robert Mueller investigation is moving fast forward, and it seems, at least to this author and blogger, to be inevitable that Vice President Mike Pence will be President by the end of the year.

We shall see how accurate this author and blogger is, so stay tuned!

What If Utah Senator Mike Lee Is Nominated For Supreme Court?

Early speculation on who Donald Trump might select to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court centers on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, an original Tea Party member, having served in the Senate, and promoting libertarian ideas since 2011.

Not always a supporter of Trump, and not backing him in 2016 due to the Access Hollywood tape, Lee would still be a prime choice for Trump.

Lee is only 47 and could be expected to serve on the Court until 2050 and beyond.

He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has to consider the Supreme Court nomination, and there are 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats on that committee.

To believe that any of his GOP colleagues on the committee, or even in the Senate, would vote against their party member, is hard to conceive.

And if all 50 Republicans stay united (minus John McCain, who is not likely to return to Washington DC anytime soon), at the worst, Vice President Mike Pence can vote if need be, but a 50-49 vote is a majority, and likely, a few Democrats, in red states facing election, would cross the aisle and vote for Lee, as they did for Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

Having a Senator on the Supreme Court is not unheard of, as it has happened 15 times in American history.

Most famously, there was Alabama Democratic Senator Hugo Black, who served on the Court for 34 years from 1937 to 1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. And President Harry Truman appointed two Senators—Sherman Minton of Indiana, who served from 1949-1956; and Harold Burton of Ohio who served from 1945-1958.

Also, there have been 17 Congressmen who served on the Supreme Court, including Warren G. Harding appointee George Sutherland of Utah who served from 1922-1938; and Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Kentucky, who served from 1946-1953, appointed by President Truman.

Finally, 6 Governors have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the last and most famous being California Governor Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and serving to 1969; along with significant appointments by President Abraham Lincoln of Ohio Governor Salmon P Chase to be Chief Justice, serving from 1864-1873; former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes, first appointed to the Court by William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1916, and then returning to the Court as Chief Justice by appointment of President Herbert Hoover from 1930-1941; and Michigan Governor Frank Murphy, appointed by FDR and serving from 1940-1949.

The Octogenarians And The Presidential Nomination Battle In 2020—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg

Soon, once the midterm elections of 2018 are over, no matter what happens, we will start to see the beginnings of the Presidential Election of 2020 campaign.

And in the Democratic Party, we have, in theory at least, FOUR soon to be Octogenarians who MIGHT decide to run for the nomination of their party.

All four would be in their 80s during the next term.

First, we have former Vice President Joe Biden, who would be 78 days after the 2020 election.

Then, we have Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who would be 79 at the time of the 2020 election.

We also have soon to be former Governor Jerry Brown of California, who would be seven months past 80 at the time of the 2020 election.

Finally, we have former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who would be three months short of 79 when the 2020 election occurs.

So all four would be in their 80s during their first term of office.

All but Bloomberg have actually been Presidential candidates, with Bloomberg flirting with it, but never taking the step.

Biden ran in 1988 and 2008, while Sanders ran in 2016, and Brown in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The least likely to announce is Brown, but knowing his past history, who can say he would not announce?

Bloomberg seems second least likely to run, but is spending $80 million to help Democrats win the midterm elections in Congress and the states.

Both Biden and Sanders seem certainly to announce, in a field that could include more than 10 potential candidates.

If one had to project whether any of these four men might actually be the Democratic nominee, it would be Joe Biden, who is the most centrist of the four.

With both Sanders and Bloomberg being “independent”, outside the party membership, and both very unwilling to compromise or negotiate with party leaders, and with the Democrats insisting that only party members run for the White House, there would be massive conflict with either trying to take the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

Truthfully, the best scenario would be a “NEW GENERATION”, someone in their 40s, 50s, or low to mid 60s, becoming the future of the party, rather than an “old timer”, who we would need to worry about more than normally, as to who their Vice President was, since the odds of an octogenarian serving a full term in the Presidency, would be quite a gamble!

Ranking Vice Presidents And Their Influence On Their Presidents, From Richard Nixon To Mike Pence

Recent information has made it clear that Vice President Mike Pence is a weak Vice President, apparently intimidated by President Donald Trump, and unwilling to challenge him in any way.

In fact, Mike Pence has fawned over Donald Trump in a very degrading way and manner, that we have never seen in any other modern Vice President.

Until Richard Nixon under Dwight D. Eisenhower, no Vice President ever had much impact on their President.

Nixon became the first activist Vice President, given lots of assignments and work, but never openly fawning on Ike.

Lyndon B. Johnson under John F. Kennedy was not utilized very effectively, but he never kowtowed to Kennedy.

Hubert Humphrey under LBJ knew he had to support the Vietnam War, but did not lose his dignity in the process.

Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon actually did a lot of work attacking the news media for Nixon, although he was poorly treated and abandoned by Nixon when he caused his own legal trouble, that forced him out of office.

Gerald Ford kept his dignity under Nixon in the eight months he was Vice President, before succeeding Nixon in the White House.

Nelson Rockefeller was given responsibilities by Gerald Ford, more than anyone since Nixon under Ike.

Walter Mondale became the most active and engaged Vice President, totally on the same wave length with Jimmy Carter.

George H. W. Bush, while not a “bosom buddy” of Ronald Reagan, played an important role and had total respect of Reagan.

Dan Quayle was a disaster under George H. W. Bush, and a real embarrassment, but Bush always treated him with respect, nevertheless, and kept him on the ticket for 1992.

Al Gore was very close and involved with Bill Clinton, until the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, which led to a breach never fully healed.

Dick Cheney was almost President in the sense that he was leaned on by George W. Bush in his first term, losing some of his power and input in the second term.

Joe Biden had the closest, most intimate relationship with Barack Obama, at least on the level of Walter Mondale with Jimmy Carter, and they remain close today, as do Mondale and Carter.

And now, Mike Pence, who seems afraid of his boss, Donald Trump, and it seems clear he has no guts to challenge Trump on anything, making him look totally wimpy and weak.

We are in a constitutional crisis, but Mike Pence is not willing to fight for the country and its democracy, but rather for Tyrant Donald Trump, so he will go down in history as a disgraceful Vice President, with no guts or courage to challenge Trump, and take away his authority under the 25th Amendment!

So, in conclusion, ranking the last 13 Vice Presidents in influence, one would say the ranking would be:

Joe Biden and Walter Mondale tied for first

Cheney, Gore and Bush tied for second.

Rockefeller and Nixon tied for third.

Johnson and Humphrey tied for fourth.

Ford, for shortage of time and circumstances, fifth.

Pence might be sixth, ahead of Agnew and Quayle at the bottom of the list.

Our future with Vice President Pence is not promising!