Day: April 22, 2011

Richard Nixon And Republicans: Never The Twain Shall Meet, And Not Because Of Watergate!

Today is the 17th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s death, and it is clear that the Republican Party would not wish to claim ownership of the 37th President.

First thought of most readers would be that, of course, the Republicans would repudiate him because of the Watergate scandal which led to his resignation in 1974.

While certainly Watergate is an embarrassment that most Republicans would wish to repudiate, it is much more the case that the party would reject Nixon now because of his leadership in domestic reforms in his time.

Imagine, Nixon, in comparison to Republicans today, would be considered a “liberal”, even though he hated liberals and did everything he could to oppose the liberal philosophy, and even had his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, go after the “Radic Libs”!

But in fact, Richard Nixon extended the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson with such legislation as:

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Environmental Protection Agency
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Amtrak Rail System
Wage and Price Controls
Harry Blackmun on the Supreme Court
Affirmative Action
Support of the Equal Rights Amendment
Cost of Living Allowances For Social Security

And the list goes on: the fact is that Nixon could have vetoed these Democratic party initiatives, but instead promoted them and signed them into law!

So, for good reason, Richard Nixon would be repudiated by today’s right wing Republican Party, for being “too damn liberal”!

Town Halls Turn Against Republican Budget Plan To Destroy Medicare As We Know It: A Reversal Of 2009-2010!

In 2009-2010, the Obama Health Care plan received belligerent responses in many Town Halls for Democratic members of Congress, leading to much controversy and many confrontations!

Now, the tables have been turned, and Republican members of Congress are discovering in Town Halls that their constituents do NOT want Medicare destroyed, which the Republican budget plan of Congressman Paul Ryan represents!

The problem is that 235 Republicans in the House of Representatives just voted a week ago to adopt the Ryan plan, and as many predicted, it is becoming an albatross around the necks of the Republicans, and could lead to a massive switch in seats again, putting the Democrats in control of the House of Representatives after the 2012 election results are in!

What the Republicans refuse to recognize is that the American people, by large margins, including Independents, Republicans, and even Tea Party Movement people, want Medicare preserved as it is!

It is not just the senior citizens of this nation who like Medicare; it is also their children! And also, the seniors are not just selfish for themselves, but really feel strongly that their children and grandchildren should be entitled to the same excellent health care represented by Medicare!

Yes, Medicare is expensive and has cost overruns! But the answer is not to change Medicare into a voucher system which will victimize future senior citizens, but instead to TAX appropriately, as every other Western industrial nation does, so that EVERYONE is entitled to excellent health care in the long run, not just the short run!

And it is time to TAX the WEALTHY and the CORPORATIONS, both of which have a responsibility to all of us for their good fortune, and must play their role in promoting the best health care available!

Earth Day: Time To Reflect On Progress Made, But Challenges Ahead!

The environmental movement celebrates its greatest day on April 22 every year, since Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson promoted the idea of an Earth Day in 1970, and President Richard Nixon and Interior Secretary Walter Hickel acted on it nationally.

We have had environmental champions since, including Nixon, Hickel, President Jimmy Carter, Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus under Carter, Vice President Al Gore under Bill Clinton, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt under Clinton, and many others in and out of government!

We have also had those who have become environmental enemies, including President Ronald Reagan, Interior Secretary James Watt under Reagan, President George W. Bush, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, other Republicans in Congress, and of course, the corporate community!

So the battle for environmental protection is a never ending struggle, but one which is worth remembering on this Earth Day!

The energy industry is always at work to combat environmentalism, including the coal, oil, and nuclear power industry. The Republican Party is far from the era oF Theodore Roosevelt, the great conservationist, who would be mortified were he to come back and see what the GOP has become–a corporate party not concerned about pollution of the environment!