Day: November 22, 2010

Barack Obama, The START Treaty, And The Senate Republicans: Politics In The Offing? :(

The Russians and the United States have negotiated a new START Treaty to lessen the danger of nuclear weapons spread, and to verify that each side is keeping the agreement to cut down nuclear stockpiles.

This is a good agreement to cut nuclear weapons stockpiles by thirty percent over seven years, and six former Secretaries of State–three Republicans and three Democrats–have supported ratification of the treaty, which requires a two thirds vote of the Senate!

Leaders of NATO, the national security community and the Joint Chiefs of Staff also support the treaty, but it seems as if the Republicans in the Senate are determined to delay a vote to next year, when there will be six more Republicans in the Senate! ๐Ÿ™

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona seems to be the key figure involved in negotiations with the Obama Administration on the treaty, and it seems doubtful that, in the crowded congressional agenda in the lame duck session, that the treaty will get a full hearing and a positive vote, which could endanger US-Russian relations in the long run!

This potential stalling and possible defeat of the treaty next year, if not this year, would come despite support of some GOP senators, including particularly Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, an acknowledged foreign policy expert who is highly respected in the Senate by all of his colleagues!

Should politics get in the way of an important treaty such as this? No, but what else is new? ๐Ÿ™

Quinnipiac Poll On Republican Presidential Race Puts Sarah Palin Ahead!

A new Quinnipiac poll on the Republican Presidential race puts former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ahead of four male opponents!

Palin leads with 19 percent, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 18 percent, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at 17 percent, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia at 16 percent, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at 6 percent!

Palin has been on Fox News Channel; on the Learning Channel with her reality series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”; and her daughter Bristol on Dancing With The Stars where she is one of three finalists in the season finale this week!

But being ahead is really a “death wish”, as invariably being ahead in the polls after the midterm election is a sign that leads to defeat for the nomination 18 months later! This has happened on a regular basis going back many election cycles!

What is most interesting about the top five in the race is that only Tim Pawlenty is a new face, as all the others are retreads from the past campaign, except Gingrich, who has not been seriously in elective politics for twelve years, and instead has been making a living by being a political commentator and author!

So don’t count on Sarah Palin making it all the way to the nomination, although her opponents do see her as a threat, and the attacks will come thick and fast as these different candidates announce their bids in the next few months to be the GOP nominee for President in 2012!

Arrogance Of GOP Toward Media Should Lead To Public Repudiation! :(

During the recent Congressional campaign, many Republican candidates took a hostile, antagonistic attitude toward the news media, refusing to be interviewed by or answer questions, except from “friendly” media.

This included Senate candidates Joe Miller in Alaska, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, and Sharron Angle in Nevada. Notice that all of these candidates lost, and the American people should continue to defeat any candidate who is such a prima donna that he or she refuses to face the challenge of news media they do not like! ๐Ÿ™

This refers to Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, both of whom have just made clear that they will not deal with liberal media sources, even though Barack Obama has had to deal with right wing media on a regular basis, despite their irresponsible and reckless manipulation of the news and of the truth! ๐Ÿ™

As President, anyone has to deal with any challenge that comes his or her way, and if they are afraid or unwilling to deal with news media they do not like, then it indicates that they are not qualified to lead this great nation into an uncertain future!

Barry Goldwater, John McCain, And Gays In The Military: Vast Difference In Views!

Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP nominee for President, was the epitome of conservative Republicanism in the mid to late 20th century. No one would say he was soft on the military in any form!

Goldwater was succeeded by Senator John McCain, who was later the 2008 GOP nominee for President. Seen historically as a moderate, he has recently become much more conservative, due to his 2010 Senate race.

But McCain’s Republican roots and conservatism are clearly quite different than Barry Goldwater, who certainly believed in smaller government, but also believed in personal freedom from government in social ways, as well as economic!

So therefore, in his later years, when abortion became a hot issue, and then even later, when gay rights became a controversy, Goldwater spoke up in favor of abortion rights and gays in the military. As he said about gays in the armed services, what really mattered was whether a soldier could shoot straight, not IF he was straight!

Unfortunately, John McCain is now becoming one of the leading opponents of ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, despite studies and surveys that show a vast majority of military personnel have no problem with the issue, and with the knowledge that most European countries, Canada, and Israel have gays in the military without any complication!

McCain’s opposition to abortion also separates him from his predecessor, the MR. CONSERVATIVE of the Republican party after the death of Senator Robert Taft of Ohio in the early 1950s!

So in retrospect, Barry Goldwater comes across as a more tolerant man on major social issues than John McCain, and that shows how far McCain has moved away from his former “maverick” status!

This is a sad commentary on John McCain, and will affect his reputation in the history of the United States Senate! ๐Ÿ™

The Kennedy Assassination Anniversary And The Present Political Climate: A Warning Sign! :(

Today marks 47 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas! ๐Ÿ™

Anyone who lived through that horrific tragedy is still affected by it, but it is often forgotten that there was much hate and division at the time, a lot of it perpetrated by right wing extremists who preached that Kennedy was a Communist, or that his Catholic religion was a threat to the country, or that he was a threat to those opposed to civil rights and other reform activities that were making the federal government more involved in the daily lives of all Americans!

Today, we have a similar situation which is indeed very scary, to say the least!

We have an African American President, Barack Obama, who is depicted as NOT born in the United States; being a Kenyan or Indonesian citizen; being a Muslim; being a Communist, Socialist, Nazi or Fascist; trying to organize concentration camps against his enemies; hating the United States and everything it represents, etc, etc, etc!

We also have active hate being promoted by Fox News Channel and a whole cadre of right wing talk show hosts who will stop at nothing to spew their poison and to incite unstable people about the dangers of the President who “hates whites”! ๐Ÿ™

It is a well known secret that Barack Obama has more death threats against him than any other President, although no specific cases have come to light!

This poisonous rhetoric is dangerous, and could lead to another tragedy on the level of John F. Kennedy!

Whenever a President comes in promoting major changes, and particularly when he is different, as with his religion or race, all the nutbags come out of the woodwork, and endanger the entire nation by their rhetoric and accusations which incite others!

Today is therefore a day to reflect on the past tragedy, and organize to work against the hate mongers who have no aim other than the destruction of constructive dialogue!

It is also a day to pray for the health and safety of our President and his family, and call for an increase in sanity within America, at a difficult time!

Barack Obama’s Strategy To Deal With The Opposition Republicans: Should He Compromise And Alienate His Liberal Base? NO! :(

The midterm elections of 2010 have set up a difficult situation for President Obama, as he faces the next two years with a split Congress, only the eleventh and twelfth years since 1900 that this odd situation has occurred!

There are those who say he should follow the example of Bill Clinton who compromised with an opposition Congress on some issues, and yet was trashed by them in a very vicious way over the six years of their shared relationship!

Or he could fight with the opposition Congress, as Harry Truman did in 1947-1948, giving them “hell”!

Of course, both these Presidents had opposition in control of both houses, so really, comparing Obama to Clinton and Truman is not a precisely similar situation!

Rather, Obama’s situation is similar to William Howard Taft from 1911-1913; Herbert Hoover from 1931-1933; and Ronald Reagan from 1981-1987. But actually, there is no precise comparison to these Presidents either, as all three had a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate, the opposite of what Obama faces in 2011-2012!

History tells us that both Taft and Hoover had unhappy years under a split Congress, and both lost re-election in a landslide, so they are not good models!

The Ronald Reagan comparison is more relevant, and went on for six years. Reagan had his principles, and while not always able to gain his agenda, he never really wavered in promoting his goals, and this was seen as making him a man of honor and principle!

Whatever Obama does is a tough choice and will affect his rating in history, but it seems to the author that he came in wanting to be a “transformational” President, and the only way to do that is to stand up and fight, stop caving in to GOP opposition, recognize that they wish him failure and have said so, and unite his liberal base by insisting on doing whatever can be done to advocate political, social and economic reform, along the lines of his very productive first two years, the most accomplished since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!

We do not need another Jimmy Carter or even Bill Clinton; we need another Lyndon B. Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Woodrow Wilson who will fight his opponents and challenge the nation to greater goals!

Obama should use the powers of his office through executive orders, not give a damn about his conservative critics, and remember that he was elected by the American people to bring change, not just muddle through and waste his mandate of 2008!

If conservatives and Republicans wish to continue to be negative, so be it, and they will bring down on themselves the wrath of the American people in 2012 and beyond!

Their negativism, lack of care for the average American, and insistence on favoring the wealthy and the corporations will lead to a reaction in two years against them, and they will be repudiated, as they will be seen for what they are–obstructionists who do nothing to make the American economy improved!

Obama should wage a “war on the GOP”, and gain the nickname “Give them hell, Barack”, just as Harry Truman gained the nickname of “Give them hell, Harry”!