Woodrow Wilson

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

Presidents In Conflict With The Judiciary Are Nothing New Historically, But Trump Could Be The Biggest Threat Yet To Our Constitutional System

The conflict of President Donald Trump with the judiciary is not the first time there has been a challenge from a President to the judicial branch.

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson had regular conflict with Chief Justice John Marshall and the federal courts in the first third of the 19th century.

Abraham Lincoln had vehement disagreements with Chief Justice Roger Taney in the era of the Civil War.

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both found the Supreme Court as standing in the way of progressive reform in the early 20th century.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was so frustrated by a conservative Supreme Court negating important legislation of the New Deal in the mid 1930s, that he proposed the idea of adding six new Justices to the Court in 1937. This came to be known as the “Court Packing” plan, and was soundly defeated, including by members of his own Democratic Party.

Richard Nixon had issues with the rulings of the Earl Warren Court before he was President, and the continued Warren influence on the Court under his successor, Warren Burger. And, Nixon was stopped dead in his tracks in US. V. Nixon in 1974, forcing him to hand over the Watergate Tapes to the Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, leading him to resign the Presidency in August 1974.

Barack Obama was critical of the John Roberts Court on its conservative decisions early on in his Presidency in 2010.

And now, Donald Trump has unleashed what many consider the strongest challenge to the whole federal judiciary, alarming many constitutional experts as far more dangerous and threatening to the checks and balances of the Constitution and the separation of powers.

It is clear that Trump has declared war on the judiciary, but it could be that the Roberts Court will smack back at him when cases regarding his abuse of power make it to the Court, so Trump may be “hoist by hid own petard”, and regret the attacks he has made on the whole court system.

One Hundred Years Since End Of The First World War: Nothing Learned From Sacrifices Of That War, And Danger Of Another World War

It has been precisely one hundred years, a full century, since the “Great War”, the First World War, ended on November 11, 1918. About 18 million military and civilians died in that war, as well as about 125,000 Americans, the second highest loss of life in America after the Civil War, and until the Second World War surpassed it, at least doubling the American loss of life in the First World War.

What Woodrow Wilson called “the war to end all wars” did anything but that, leading within a generation to the Second World War, followed by many other regional wars, and the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.

Now we have the age of world wide terrorism, and growing danger of another world war, and Donald Trump is in the midst of creating the conditions that would lead to this third World War.

America and the world have not learned from the sacrifices a century ago, as politics, religion, and egotism continue to cause conflict, and we are now moving closer to authoritarianism in the world than we have seen since the end of the Cold War a quarter century ago.

And Trump has disgraced the commemoration in France this weekend by failing to travel to a cemetery that contains many Americans and others who sacrificed for our nation a century ago.

And his promotion of extreme nationalism over patriotism has been rebuked appropriately by French President Emmanuel Macron.

This is a President who has not yet gone to a combat zone, as every other President has done, and is working to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would be a true disaster, and hopefully will be stopped by the 116th Congress, with a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

The Midterm Elections Of 2018 Come Down To A Referendum On Donald Trump

It is now certain that the Midterm Elections of 2018 are a referendum on Donald Trump, in a way unseen since at least when Richard Nixon went out and campaigned in the midterm 1970 elections.

Donald Trump is becoming more unstable and reckless by the day, and by his nonstop campaigning in states with Democrats in the Senate, but support for Donald Trump in 2016, the results will be seen as either a repudiation or an endorsement of the President.

Trump is behaving in a more erratic manner than ever before, including talk about ending birthright citizenship by executive order, even though even conservatives make it clear that cannot be accomplished other than by a constitutional amendment.

Trump is also claiming he is sending thousands of soldiers to the Mexico border, more than we have seen since Woodrow Wilson was President a century ago, during the Mexican Revolution, although it seems the Pentagon has no such plans actually to do so.

Trump is making Central American refugees, mostly women and children, seem like a terrorist, drug dealing, criminal mob, and now has even stated that if any refugees show any sign of throwing rocks at soldiers, then he will order the troops to use firearms against these people.

This would remind us of what happened at Kent State University in 1970, when National Guardsmen opened up fire with live ammunition against a demonstration of students against the invasion of Cambodia, and killed four and wounded nine.

Trump is lying to scare voters, instill fear, and make people hate migrants (poor women and their children) who are simply escaping bloodshed, violence, and gangs trying to recruit their children in nations that have fallen into disarray by American policy over the last few decades.

If this awful scenario were ever to occur, it would be grounds for nationwide marches and demonstrations, as to shoot and kill unarmed people who just have rocks, would be a war crime.

This is yet another reason why it is urgent that Donald Trump be repudiated next Tuesday, and that the Republicans be defeated nationwide, as otherwise, the horrors of a declaration of martial law, and the establishment of a Fascist dictatorship will be on us, and our democracy will be destroyed.

Future generations will look at such an event as the most horrific possible moment in US history, and it is possible to imagine a civil war breaking out, which our rivals in the world would love to see happen, as it would destroy the world leadership of the United States in a way that would not be retrievable for decades.

One Term Presidents Who Lose Reelection Reassessed

The historical image of One Term Presidents is that it is the worst thing imaginable to lose reelection, and that their historical image is damaged.

Actually, though, it could be argued that a one term Presidency often is a blessing in disguise in the long run.

Let’s examine what happened to the lives of Presidents defeated for a second term.

John Adams lost reelection to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, but went on to live another 25 years, see his son John Quincy Adams be elected and inaugurated President, and die at the age of 90 years and seven months, the all time record until the 21st century, when four other Presidents surpassed him in age.

John Quincy Adams lost reelection to Andrew Jackson in 1828, but went on to live another 19 years, and be elected to nine terms as a Congressman from Massachusetts, engaged in the fight against slavery as the only President elected by popular vote to an elected office after being President.

Martin Van Buren lost reelection to William Henry Harrison in 1840, but went on to live another 21 years, and be the Presidential nominee of the Free Soil Party in 1848, winning about 10 percent of the national popular vote, the first such third party to have an impact on a national election.

Grover Cleveland lost reelection to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, but came back to the White House by election in 1892, and later served on the Princeton University Board of Trustees after his retirement.

William Howard Taft lost reelection to Woodrow Wilson in 1912, but went on to become the only President also to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921-1930.

Herbert Hoover lost reelection to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, but went on to the longest retirement of more than 31 years, only surpassed by Jimmy Carter in 2012, and Hoover having growing respect for his post Presidential activities, and dying at the age of 90 in 1964, only five months less lifespan than John Adams, and the second President to reach that age.

Gerald Ford lost election to Jimmy Carter in 1976, after succeeding Richard Nixon under the 25th Amendment, but went on to growing recognition and respect in his nearly 30 years after his Presidency, setting the record for longevity until 2018, dying at the age of 93 and five months.

Jimmy Carter lost reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980, but went on to become the most outstanding former President in his activities and commitments to public service, and has had the longest retirement of any President, nearly 38 years, and has just reached the age of 94, being 111 days younger than George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, but went on to see his son, George W. Bush be inaugurated and serve two terms in the Presidency, and growing respect as he set the all time record of age 94 in June 2018.

On Constitution Day, Reflection On Danger To Our Constitutional Order From Nearly Two Years Of Donald Trump

Today, September 17, is the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Every public school and public university is required, and rightfully, by federal law, to commemorate this path breaking event, and educate the future generation, and indirectly, all of the American people on the significance of what was done by the Founding Father generation.

This year, more than ever, being educated and aware of the the details and meaning of the Constitution is urgent, as America faces a lawless, corrupt President, with the most corrupt group of Cabinet officers we have ever seen in American history.

We are witnessing a wrecking crew, out to destroy the stability of American foreign policy, and to damage the great domestic reforms in so many areas, brought us by many Presidents and Congresses. This is particularly so with those accomplishments internally of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama, the four Presidents who had the most impact of all of our Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt onward, but with other Presidents also being important in their contributions.

The crisis now faced is greater than any since the Civil War, and more of a threat than even Richard Nixon was four and a half decades ago.

It will be through the utilization of the principles of the Constitution that Donald Trump will be removed from office.

Presidential Pets From George Washington To Donald Trump, With Only Four, Including Donald Trump, Having No Pets

Forty of the 43 American Presidents from George Washington through Barack Obama, with the exception of Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, have owned and had pets while they served as President, as well in almost all cases, before and after the Presidential years.

Donald Trump is the first and only President since Andrew Johnson NOT to have pets.

But not only that, but also Donald Trump has utilized the term “dog” and the term “animal” as a pejorative against individuals, such as Omarosa Manigault Newman, and groups, such as Mexican immigrants.

Trump has also declared war on endangered species, and protection of wildlife, including advocacy of hunting and bringing home to America endangered animals from other nations in Africa and around the world as sport. So he disdains any respect for nature, a despicable trait.

Even the pardoning of turkeys before Thanksgiving has led to a hostile reaction by such turkeys and by the President himself, who seems uncomfortable with the holiday tradition.

Most of the Presidents have had dogs, with the exceptions of the following ten:

James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Andrew Johnson
Chester Alan Arthur
William McKinley

Every 20th century President and early 21st century have had dogs as pets, until Donald Trump.

Earlier Presidents mentioned above who did not have dogs still had other pets, including horses, birds, cows, and rabbits, with the exceptions again of Van Buren, Polk, and Andrew Johnson.

Cats are rare pets for Presidents, with only Abraham Lincoln, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley owning cats before the 20th century, and Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush having cats as pets since 1900, so a total of 12 Presidents out of 44.

The eleven Presidents with the most pets were in chronological order:

George Washington (7)
Abraham Lincoln (8)
Rutherford B. Hayes (10)
Theodore Roosevelt (24)
Woodrow Wilson (7)
Calvin Coolidge (25)
Herbert Hoover (10)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (7)
John F. Kennedy (19)
Lyndon B. Johnson (8)
Ronald Reagan (11)

So Calvin Coolidge, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover, and Rutherford B. Hayes had pets in double digits, while the other five listed had 8 pets (Lincoln and LBJ) and 7 pets (Washington, Wilson, and FDR).

Among the most famous pets in chronological order:

Warren G. Harding (Laddie Boy)
Calvin Coolidge (Rob Roy)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (Fala)
John F. Kennedy (Macaroni, a pony)
Lyndon B. Johnson (Him) and (Her)
Richard Nixon (Checkers, before the White House years) and (King Timahoe)
Gerald Ford (Liberty)
Ronald Reagan (Rex) and (Lucky)
George H. W. Bush (Millie)
Bill Clinton (Socks, a cat) and (Buddy)
George W. Bush (Barney) and (Miss Beasley)
Barack Obama (Bo) and (Sunny)

The Destruction Of The “Special” Friendship, Relationship, And Alliance Between The US And Great Britain For A Century

Ever since the beginning of the 20th century, the United States and Great Britain have had a “special” relationship and friendship, and became allies in 1917 when the US went into World War I.

Theodore Roosevelt was very close to Great Britain in the first decade of the 20th century, and Woodrow Wilson was a known “Anglophile” in his writings and scholarship during his years as a professor and university president before he ran for public office.

While the alliance during World War I did not survive in the 1920s and 1930s isolationist period, we were still friendly toward our former mother country.

Then in World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill became great allies and friends, as both nations fought against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

After World War II, the United States became the leader of the free world democracies, and allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the British fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, and in the War on Terror after September 11 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the British did not send troops into the Vietnam War, they have always been perceived as our closest friends in the world, alongside Canada.

But now, Donald Trump has openly criticized the British government and its leader Theresa May, and Trump is the most unpopular American President ever in modern times by every measure.

This is a very sad situation, and it is clear that we have just witnessed the destruction of this special friendship, relationship, and alliance between the US and Great Britain.

Cabinet Officers And The Presidency

Continuing our examination of the background of America’s Presidents, we will now look at the Presidency in relation to those who have held Cabinet positions under other Presidents.

So far, we have seen that there were 19 Presidents who served in the House of Representatives, 17 who served as Governors of their states, and 16 who served in the US Senate.

In regards to Cabinet officers a total of 8 Presidents served in a total of three different Cabinet positions.

Six of the 8 served as Secretary of State, including:

Thomas Jefferson under George Washington
James Madison under Thomas Jefferson
James Monroe under James Madison twice with a break of about a year when he served also as Secretary of War during the War of 1812, but then returned to the State Department.
John Quincy Adams under James Monroe
Martin Van Buren under Andrew Jackson
James Buchanan under James K. Polk

James Monroe served for about a year as Secretary of War under James Madison, as stated above, and William Howard Taft served in that position under Theodore Roosevelt..

Finally, Herbert Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge before running for President in 1928. Arguably, Hoover proved to be one of the best Cabinet officers in all of American history, and added great distinction to a Cabinet agency not much thought of as a major position otherwise.

Additionally, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt served as sub cabinet members under William McKinley and Woodrow Wilson respectively, both as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Also, William Howard Taft served as Solicitor General of the United States, the government’s lawyer before the Supreme Court, under President Benjamin Harrison.