Day: October 1, 2010

The Tea Party Movement And The Republican Party: Clear And Present Danger! :(

The Republican Party has had a long history, and has given the United States some very outstanding leaders in the Presidency, in the halls of Congress, and in the state governorships!

Like any political party, it has had its bright, as well as gloomy moments, but it is now seriously threatened with being taken over by some of the most loony, arrogant or unqualified candidates for public office that anyone can ever remember! 🙁

Witness the following:

1. Many, if not all, of these candidates are for privatization of Social Security, Medicare, and veterans benefits, the end of unemployment compensation, the shutdown of the US Department of Education, the repeal of health care legislation, the reversal of Wall Street reform, the end of credit card and student loan reform and any economic stimulus, and overall, support the return to failed policies of the Bush administration and the Newt Gingrich “Contract With America”! They also do not “believe” in evolution, climate change, or science in any form, but advocate religion and oppose immigration reform, gay rights, and any other ideas that are part of what they call the “socialist” agenda! 🙁
2. Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell has lied about her education, has advocated that evolution is a myth, has admitted that she was involved with witchcraft, has used campaign money to pay for personal expenses, and has advocated that any form of sex before marriage, including masturbation, is to be avoided!
3. Florida Gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott was involved in Medicare fraud in the 1990s, but has no shame in running for chief executive of the fourth largest state!
4. Nevada Senate nominee Sharon Angle has been making inconsistent statements on many issues, constantly contradicting herself! She also believes that if the elections this November do not lead to the desired results, that there should be Second Amendment remedies!
5. New York Gubernatorial nominee Carl Palladino has sent out campaign literature with a smelly garbage scent, has accused his Democratic opponent of having scandals in his private life without any evidence of such, has threatened journalists with personal harm, and has fathered a child outside of wedlock while married! He has also made it clear that he will not cooperate with the state legislature if he is elected Governor of the third largest state!
6. Many GOP nominees have used obscene amounts of their personal fortune to attempt to “buy” the political office they seek, including Rick Scott in Florida, Carl Palladino in New York, Gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman in California, Senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina in California, and Senatorial nominee Linda McMahon in Connecticut!
7. There is so much more that could be said here about other nominees, including Mike Lee of Utah, Ken Buck of Colorado, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and last, but certainly not least, Rand Paul of Kentucky, all GOP Senate candidates! 🙁

Many traditional Republicans have been unwilling to support the nominees after they have been defeated, including Rick Lazio in New York, Bill McCollum in Florida, Mike Castle in Delaware, Rob Simmons in Connecticut, Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and Trey Greyson in Kentucky!

In a time as difficult as we are facing now in this country, we have a group of candidates who threaten the stability of state governments, the US Senate, and also the US House of Representatives (which has numerous Tea Party Movement candidates with crazy, dangerous platforms)!

If most of these candidates are elected, the country will suffer from office holders who endanger the future of the nation, and soon there will be “buyers’ remorse”, and the GOP will be threatened by total chaos, as we will have people in power who will refuse to negotiate or compromise, which is part of the nature of successful politics!

And as the author has stated elsewhere, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell had better watch out, as they will likely face a nightmare, which could include their being deposed as Republican leaders–or if they survive, they might at some point WISH they had not been leaders of their party in Congress! 🙁

What a terrible scenario could be in the offing! 🙁

Jimmy Carter: Time For Re-Evaluation Of The Man And His Presidency!

Former President Jimmy Carter turned 86 today, and thankfully, left the Cleveland hospital where he had been admitted a few days ago after taking sick on an plane flight from Atlanta, on his way to a book signing of his newly published Diary of his Presidential years from 1977-1981!

Carter is often portrayed as a “failed” President, who has become regarded as a very successful, active, accomplished former President, way beyond most Presidents!

Carter has been intimately involved in promoting world peace, fighting hunger, promoting housing for the poor through Habitat for Humanity, and witnessing the legitimacy of elections all over the world! His Carter Center in Atlanta, and his Presidential Library have been active participants in advocating social justice and human rights! He has also become controversial in his statements and actions, particularly regarding Middle East peace between Israel and the Palestinians!

Carter has never avoided those who are critical of his ideas and actions, has been unafraid of his detractors, and with his nearly thirty years of retirement, he is nearing a record for the longest post Presidency, with only Herbert Hoover having lived in retirement longer!

In September 2012, he will break the record of 31 years, 7 months and 16 days of Hoover! Around Labor Day in 2012, we will be celebrating the longevity of a man who deserves a new revision of his time in the Presidency!

With Carter’s Diary and Vice President Walter Mondale’s Memoirs coming out, and the short volume in the American Presidents series by Henry Holt and Company also being published, it is time for historians to dig into the records of the Carter Library and other archives and reassess the impact of his Presidency on America!

Despite the harsh criticisms visited on Carter during and since his Presidency, it is likely that his reputation over time will grow, and he will be regarded as a much better President than most think of him in the present!

The Amazing Revival Of Bill Clinton!

Former President Bill Clinton has emerged as the most popular Democrat in the nation, with ratings in the 60s in public opinion polls, while President Barack Obama languishes in the low 40s! Of course, Bill Clinton is not in a position of power, while Obama is!

Considering how Clinton faced impeachment in 1998-1999 and was constantly pilloried by the Republican party, it is amazing how he remained highly popular in his last years as President!

Out of office, he became intimately involved in the Clinton Initiative, promoting health care, education, eradication of poverty, and involvement in world issues of all kinds, making him a world leader of high respect!

His popularity may have suffered during his wife’s pursuit of the Presidency in 2007-2008, but he has now become a trusted adviser to the Democratic Party and President Obama, promoting the party’s values and programs!

It is clear that if the Democrats avoid the major disaster many have predicted, it will be due a lot to Bill Clinton’s campaigning!

Bill Clinton has devoted his post Presidential years to great deeds, in that sense matching, if not surpassing, former President Jimmy Carter!

It has been said that if there were no 22nd Amendment, Bill Clinton would have run for a third term in 2000, and would have beaten George W. Bush!

It has also been speculated that were he able to run in the future, after years of retirement, he would be a tough candidate to beat for the White House!

But Bill Clinton, no longer able to wield power in office, has become a giant figure, much admired by a majority of Americans, and his contributions should be saluted for what they are: fantastic! 🙂

The Major Treasure Of The US Senate: Russ Feingold Of Wisconsin In Danger! :(

If one had to select one member of the US Senate who is the epitome of the ideal Senator, the author would choose Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin!

If there was ever a person who had strong principles and has used good judgment, and has always been independent enough to challenge his party leadership at times, it is Russ Feingold!

Feingold sponsored with John McCain the McCain-Feingold legislation that attempted to regulate “soft” money and its deleterious effect on political campaign spending!

This is a man who had the guts and courage to oppose the hysterical rush toward the Patriot Act in 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, sensing that civil liberties would be restricted too harshly in the wake of the emotions felt by Americans over that horrible series of events!

Feingold has been one of a very few Senators to support same sex marriage, and was an early opponent of the Iraq War! He has acted in many ways as a true Independent!

He is one of a very small sample of past and present Senators that the author has felt a passion about, that he has been and would be an historic Senator!

But right now, at least according to polls, the Republican nominee for his seat, after Feingold has served so well and honorably for 18 years, is seen as having a real chance to defeat Feingold!

Ron Johnson, a millionaire manufacturer, backed by the Tea Party Movement, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, is ahead in many polls, and this has set off an alarm bell among progressive and liberal supporters, who had assumed Feingold’s seat was safe, considering Feingold’s exceptional record!

It is hoped that Feingold will retain his seat, as his leaving the Senate would be a tremendous loss to that body and to progressives and liberals nationwide!

Gallup Poll On Republican Presidential Nomination For 2012: Romney In Front!

Here we are, a month before the midterm elections, and a Gallup Poll indicates that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the front runner for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, with 19 percent, with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at 16 percent, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at 12 percent!

Further behind is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia with 9 percent, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul with 7 percent!

Further behind with single digits are Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence!

It must be pointed out that being ahead in the nomination battle just before the midterm election has been the “kiss of death” in the past in both parties, so the fact that Mitt Romney is ahead cannot be seen as a clue to his likely nomination two years from now!

Romney would seem to many observers to be the best choice because of his business background and administrative experience as Massachusetts Governor, and as the head of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee back in 2002, but it does not mean that the GOP will do the rational thing and select him!

The question is: will his Mormon faith, his earlier “liberal” image as Massachusetts Governor, his promotion of a state health care plan often compared to “Obamacare”, and the fact that he does not seem to fit well with the Tea Party Movement now influencing the Republican Party, doom his chances to be the challenger to President Obama in 2012?

If one had to bet the future, it would seem as if Mitt Romney will have trouble winning the nomination, as it is seen as unlikely that early voting states, such as the caucuses in Iowa, and the primary in South Carolina, will support him over more socially conservative candidates, as many of the other potential nominees are perceived!