Month: August 2011

The Virtues Of A Perry Or Bachmann Candidacy: Long Range Positive Impact On America!

With the growing likelihood, at least before a series of debates in a six week period in September and October that will test legitimacy, that Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann might win the GOP nomination for President, it must be said that there are numerous virtues if such an eventuality actually occurs!

The virtues are as follows:

1. The odds of such a far RIght WIng candidate winning the national election is extremely low, as America is a centrist nation, and will reject such craziness!

2. The Republican Party would be cleansed by the defeat of a Perry or Bachmann, and come back to its senses, moving to the center of the political spectrum, and by so doing, would have a good chance to win the White House in 2016, as it is not uncommon to have parties switch power in the Presidency every eight to twelve years!

3. The impact of the Tea Party Movement would be dramatically lessened, if not destroyed, by a massive defeat!

4. The Influence of the Christian Right evangelicals would be eliminated as a major factor in future Republican Presidential battles if the candidate loses in a disastrous way!

5. The urban-rural split within the country could be resolved by the triumph of the urban areas, where most of the people live–80 percent in 28 states with only 40 percent of the land area, as compared to 20 percent in 22 states with 60 percent of the land area!

6. Centrists and Independents would return to the Democratic Party in large numbers with an extreme right wing Republican such as Perry or Bachmann!

7. The chances of a strongly Democratic Congress in both houses would increase, as the “coat tail” effect of an Obama landslide would help to bring in Democrats, even in some Republican or swing districts, allowing the accomplishment of more of the President’s agenda, and making the GOP control of the House of Representatives a bad memory!

This election could be similar to the massive defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, changing the political climate for nearly a generation, bringing to power a moderate Republican, Richard Nixon, as compared to Goldwater.

Of course, such a defeat does not mean the complete end of the Right Wing forces in the GOP, but it would set them back for a period of at least 12-16 years as occurred from 1964-1980. And even Ronald Reagan ended up smoothing the rough edges of the Goldwater ideology when he was President of the United States in the 1980s!

The purging, the purification of the Republican Party, from its extremist roots is necessary to make the party a true, legitimate alternative for America in the 21st century! The American people will not allow such reckless candidates, as Perry or Bachmann would be, to win the White House, as at least the vast majority of them, believe in American “exceptionalism”, a different kind that will not allow anyone in the White House who represents a threat to the whole 20th century democratizing and reforms, and wishes to promote theocracy in America! Even Barry Goldwater did not wish to do that, and in fact, opposed religious influence to dictate to the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower!

The Republicans, Barack Obama, And The 2016, NOT 2012, Presidential Election!

All of America is focused on the 2012 Presidential Election, as the Republicans compete over who should oppose President Barack Obama for re-election.

There are a lot of people who seem to think that Barack Obama will be easy to defeat, because of the high unemployment rate, which will be the highest for a President running for re-election since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But these are not ordinary times, and the thought that Barack Obama is going down the road of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush is a false premise!

Remember that Ford, Carter and Bush I all had strong primary challenges, with Ford having to deal with Ronald Reagan, Carter with Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and Bush I with Pat Buchanan in the primaries and Ross Perot in the general election.

Also remember that none of those three Presidents had a record of domestic accomplishments that Barack Obama has!

Also remember that none of those three had the charisma or oratorical ability of Barack Obama!

Also realize that Obama has foreign policy accomplishments in the fight against terrorism, unmatched by any of those three, except briefly with the Gulf War under George H. W. Bush!

Although there are those competing for the Presidency in the Republican Party, actually, on the sidelines, there are others who desire the job, but either are not ready yet to run for the office, or are smart enough to realize that the odds of ultimately defeating Obama are long, so better to wait to 2016, when Obama would be finishing his two terms of office, if he is reelected.

It is a gamble, of course, to sit back and wait, but likely a good gamble, and if it is an open Presidential election, the odds of success for the Republicans grows by 2016.

So who is sitting on the sidelines, salivating for the Presidency, and secretly hoping no Republican is elected in 2012?

In no special order, here is a list of ambitious Republicans:

1. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
2. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
3. Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida
4. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
5.Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
6. Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia
7. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
8. Governor Rick Scott of Florida
9. Governor John Kasich of Ohio
10.Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina

Notice particularly THREE Floridians who have ambitions–Bush, Rubio and Scott, and realize the fact that Florida will have 29 electoral votes, the fourth largest number, as Florida is the fourth largest state.

So, particularly among Republicans in Florida, there are those who secretly hope that 2016 will be an open election, and are willing to sit back and wait for just that reason!

Nostalgia For The 19th Century: The “Good Old Days” Of The Gilded Age?

Here we are in the second decade of the 21st century, and yet the Tea Party Movement and the Republican Party contains within itself a great nostalgia for the past–the 19th century Gilded Age!

Why is the Gilded Age seen in such a positive light by the Right Wing of the Republican Party? Let us count the ways in no special order!

1. Labor unions were struggling to survive, and workers were working long hours under horrible work conditions with no protection and no basic rights for the working men, women and children. Yes, children as young as 6 were working for menial pay, as well as women being paid less than men.

2. Immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and Asia were being discriminated against, and paid less than “native born” workers, and living in slums in the big cities.

3. Women had no rights legally and were not allowed to vote or control their work conditions.

4. No one had any health care, pension, minimum wage protection or sick leave or vacation leave, and could be fired on a whim of the employer.

5. African Americans mostly lived in the South and faced segregation, lynchings, and sharecropper poverty, and civil rights of any kind did not exist.

6. Corporations ruled in America, major monopolies which corrupted the political system on all levels–national, state and local.

7. State and local governments controlled just about every aspect of their population’s lives in a very inadequate manner, and the federal government was extremely minimal in its impact upon the people.

8. There was no social safety net of any kind, other than churches and other organizations which were unable to do much for those less fortunate, in poverty, or having serious medical ills.

9. Racial supremacy was a widely held belief, along with Laissez Faire Economics and Social Darwinism.

10. Education was minimal for the vast majority of the population, and therefore allowed little social mobility for the average American.

11. If natural disasters occurred, little assistance or aid was available, except to pray to God for divine guidance.

This nostalgia today is VERY SIMILAR to the above reality of the Gilded Age, but we have had a century of reform, including the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society and other reforms on specific issues at other times!

We have had reform oriented Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama promote major changes that have made America a better nation!

Now the proposal of the Right Wing in the GOP is to reverse the reforms and changes that have made America an improved nation over the past century. The desire is to negate, to veto, to wipe out the social safety net, labor reforms, and so many other hard earned reforms. This is being offered as the GOP answer to the economic crisis we are in, as if making things worse and protecting the corporations and the extremely wealthy is the answer to our difficulties!

Returning to the Gilded Age is precisely the wrong thing to do! We cannot allow such a disaster to occur in 2011, or EVER!

Ironic: Stalemate On Capitol Hill Would Nearly Balance The Budget By Lack Of Action, Raising Taxes On The Wealthy And Corporations!

It has recently been recognized that the budget stalemate on Capitol Hill could actually have a great result at the end of 2012, just in time for the inauguration of the new Presidential term!

The reason is that the so called “Bush tax cuts” expire then, and if the Democratic Senate and Republican House do not cooperate on budget issues, and if President Obama determines he will make no deals with the GOP, as he has done too often in the past, the accomplishment will be that trillions of dollars will be raised through taxation, and the nation will come close to balancing the budget!

The deficit would be cut by almost 40 percent under the circumstances of NOT having any legislation, and the richest 5 percent of the population, who received half the entire benefit of the Bush tax cuts, would have to pay up in major ways, about time!

The tax rates would go back to those of the Clinton Presidency, when 23 million new jobs were created, as compared to 3 million under George W. Bush!

If Congress does nothing, a total of $7 trillion in revenue will be available over the next ten years, solving most of the problem of growing debt by increased taxation!

So the attitude of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party should be to stall, create gridlock and stalemate, which the Republicans have been excellent at doing, and turn the tables on the Republicans and their wealthy taxpayer-corporation supporters! If the elite could pay even higher tax rates under Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, more so than even under Bill Clinton, and economic growth was the result, the answer is to “Bring It On!”

Alabama Surpasses Arizona With Hateful, Nativist Anti Immigration Law!

After the uproar over the Arizona illegal immigration law of 2010, now being appealed in the federal courts, one would have thought that no state could surpass them in narrow mindedness, hate, and nativism, but that has now become the case with the state of Alabama.

The state of some of the worst examples of “Jim Crow” segregation for many generations, and the state of infamous segregationist George C. Wallace, has now put into action an anti immigration law that is described by many as the cruelest imaginable!

Four Alabama church leaders–Episcopal, Methodist, and Roman Catholic–have led the fight against the law, which goes into effect two days from now!

They say it criminalizes acts of Christian compassion by making potential criminals of anyone who may work or live with them or show them consideration!

Undocumented immigrants may not work, rent a home, sign any contract, and can be stopped by the police to check their status if there is suspicion of any kind!

Anyone who knowingly “conceals, harbors, or shields” an illegal immigrant can be charged with a crime–including renting a place to live, driving that person to church, or taking them to a doctor!

Schools must check the status of all students, and businesses can lose licenses to operate if they hire illegal, undocumented immigrants!

Harassment and racial profiling are the result, and the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing to block enforcement!

This situation reminds one of the anti Jewish actions taken by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the mid 1930s, with the Nuremburg Laws coming to mind. Of course, many will say that is ridiculous as a comparison, but is it really, when one looks at the past history of African Americans in Alabama during the near century of “Jim Crow” laws and racial violence by the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups, and also the intimidation visited against Jews and Catholics?

The only people who can celebrate this law are the KKK, and other white supremacy groups! It puts Alabama to shame, and puts it back on the list of the ten worst states, a group that it might have been escaping with some racial progress in recent years, but now rapidly disappearing with this hateful, nativist, despicable legislation!

The Anti Science, Anti Knowledge Political Party: The Republicans!

The Republican Party race for the Presidential nomination in 2012 is revealing just how ignorant, how dim witted, and how opportunistic all of the candidates are, with the one exception of former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

Only Huntsman is willing to speak up for science, for global warming, climate change, and evolution. All of the rest of the field, except Mitt Romney, prefers to point out that they are “good” Christians, and therefore allow theology to trump science, and put their heads in the sand!

What a model for America’s children, who are being encouraged to let religion dominate their brains, rather than science!

And Romney, who privately has the same views as Huntsman, is starting to hedge on it publicly, because he has no guts or courage, and wants the GOP Presidential nomination so badly he will sell his soul, and act as if he totally agrees with the rest of the ignorant crowd competing against him!

So we have six candidates out of eight who do not accept science, one (Romney) who has no willingness to stand up for what he knows is factually correct, and Huntsman, the only true, sincere, EDUCATED candidate, also with more foreign policy insight than all seven of his opponents combined, competing to run against a man (Barack Obama), who is highly educated, understands science, respects the scientific method, and speaks for knowledge and education!

One would think that the obvious battle for President should be between Huntsman and Obama, an intelligent competition!

Instead, it seems pretty certain that one of the others will be the nominee of the party for the leadership of our country, and responsibility for world affairs. This is due to polls (Public Policy Polling), which indicate that only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warning, and only 35 percent believe in evolution!

The anti intellectualism of Republicans is absolutely mind boggling and troubling for the future of America in the 21st century!

George W. Bush To Rick Perry: The Potential Further Deterioration Of The American Presidency In The Election Of 2012!

Much has been written about the faults and shortcomings of the George W. Bush Presidency, but we are now faced with another Texas Governor who could, if elected, make us wish for the “good old days” of Bush 43, and certainly for the “very good old days” of Bush 41, and even to wish for a “Bush 45 (Jeb Bush)”!

The Bush family and their supporters are clearly vigorously opposed to a President Rick Perry. Jeb Bush has been indirectly critical of the GOP Presidential field, saying instead of just attacking President Obama, real alternatives to his policies are needed, a swipe at Rick Perry. His son, Jeb Bush, Jr. has formally endorsed Jon Huntsman, and Huntsman met with the elder President Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, before entering the race. Bad blood has existed between the second President Bush and Perry, who was his Lieutenant Governor and succeeded him when Bush became President in 2001. Karl Rove, adviser to the second Bush, has been vehemently against Perry, as he and the Bush family were when Perry ran in the 2010 GOP primary for another term against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

George W. Bush promoted “compassionate conservatism”, and while that is often ridiculed, in fact, for all its faults, Bush’s administration DID promote a prescription drug plan for seniors, although it was not funded by taxes and has added to the national debt. Bush also was not, and his family are not, supporters of the Tea Party movement, which in many ways, are a reaction against steps taken by Bush in the economic crisis of 2008–2009.

Now we have Rick Perry, who has threatened Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve Board, an appointee of Bush. He has had the gall to say Barack Obama does not love America, even though Obama’s record of going after terrorists successfully far outdoes the eight years of Bush and Dick Cheney. Perry has also attacked Social Security, calling it a Ponzi scheme, and is trying to stir younger Americans to rise up against paying the Social Security tax, which effect would be to bring the whole system down and deny senior citizens the safety net that has worked well for 75 years, and is in good shape, even without any modification, for 25 more years, and with some tinkering, will be just fine for the long run!

Under Perry, the number of poor Texans, growth in minimum wage jobs, decline of educational funds and standards, and percentages of people with no health care coverage, has magnified, while under Bush, many of the statistics showed much more positive results. And one cannot just say that the Great Recession beginning in 2008 caused these downturns, as they were occurring all along during the past ten and a half years of Perry’s Governorship!

Perry has also had more people executed, including those on which there was doubt, than under Bush, and he is proud of this, as if that is an accomplishment! And the people around Perry make Bush’s “people” look brilliant by comparison!

The only virtue Perry would bring to the White House would be to make us “appreciate” George W. Bush for the first time, as the further deterioration of the Presidency would be in full swing!

Obama Successes In Midst Of Difficult Times!

Barack Obama has had a rough August, what with the battle over the debt ceiling, the lowering of the Triple A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s, the resulting stock market disarray, and the growing discontent in the polls with the unemployment crisis.

And yet, Obama has succeeded in recent days in a number of areas, which should raise his public opinion polls somewhat.

First, he has accomplished in combination with the Arab League, NATO, and UN backing, with the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, although the leader is not yet accounted for.

Second, the number two man in the Al Qaeda terrorist leadership, after the death of Osama Bin Laden, has been murdered in Pakistan, indicating further disruption in Al Qaeda leadership, and making some think Al Qaeda may never be the same. This comes on top of the successful elimination of numerous other Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives over the past couple of years by the Obama Administration!

Finally, it is already evident that Obama’s government has responded far better on Hurricane Irene than George W. Bush did on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2006. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is doing a superb job, and the same can be said for the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano!

So in the midst of much criticism and bad times, there are some developments to applaud, and to prove once again, the ups and the downs of being President of the United States!

The True Nature Of Republican Anarchism Reveals Itself!

The Republican Party has moved so far to the Right that the list of outrageous views and statements that can be compiled gets worse all of the time! There seems to be no limit to their nastiness, selfishness, mean spiritedness, and anarchistic statements against government!

Witness the following in no special order:

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in California, condemns the entire New Deal and Great Society, saying Social Security and Medicare have been a total failure! He seems to suggest that such parts of the social safety net should be phased out, and demonstrates no recognition of how these programs have made old age much more dignified over the past 50-80 years, plus offering assistance to widows, children, and the disabled!

Virginia Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan say that earthquake and hurricane relief will be dealt with, but that equivalent budget cuts will have to be arranged to cover those costs! This will affect average Americans and cause more joblessness, and shows absolutely no concern about the economic effect on the long range future of the nation!

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, running for President, says that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should not exist and is unnecessary, as the states and local governments can handle natural disaster, describing that as the response in past storms in Texas decades ago! He conveniently forgets or is ignorant of the fact that the worst hurricane in history, in Galveston, Texas, part of his district, experienced 6,000-12,000 dead in the year 1900, because of lack of awareness and response to that hurricane! Paul wants to go back a century, and what he is calling for is anarchism of the worst kind, such hatred of national government that he would leave recovery to states, particularly in the Gulf area, which historically have had just about the worst concern and commitment to their citizens, particularly the poor who are always more often the victims of natural disasters!

There will be more outrageous statements and criticisms of the federal government on the role they should play regarding the social safety net, and the reaction to natural disasters. We are living through a time of lunacy and insanity, of anarchism just as dangerous as any Islamic terrorist could ever present to our nation!

And sadly, it is also some Christian “terrorists”, just as dangerous to our nation, who are claiming that these natural disasters visiting the Atlantic Coast are due to gay marriage and abortion and having a black President! And the hatred prevalent at some church services conducted by these lunatic pastors against Barack Obama is terrifying! Jesus Christ has been totally distorted in his message of compassion and love by these reckless, hate mongering pastors who manipulate gullible followers in a dangerous, inciting manner!

We are in a very dangerous political climate that makes one wonder about the stability of the American republic!

The What-Ifs Of History: 10 Vice Presidents And One Speaker Of The House Who ALMOST Became President By Succession!

Anyone who has studied American history knows that NINE Vice Presidents succeeded to the Presidency because of death in eight cases, and resignation in the ninth case, of the President.

What very few people realize is how many times Vice Presidents missed being President by a stroke of luck, and this is not including those who became President later by election.

In the past century, a total of TEN Vice Presidents and ONE Speaker Of the House, came close to succeeding the President in office, but since they did not, they are pretty much forgotten! Here is the list and the circumstances:

1919-1921–Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralytic stroke, but recovered slowly, and his wife Edith held cabinet meetings, and kept Vice President Thomas Marshall in the dark about the medical status of Wilson. This was, by far, the longest period of medical incapacity of a President, 18 months! Had Wilson died, Marshall would have been President.

1933–Franklin D. Roosevelt was subjected to an assassination attempt 17 days before being inaugurated. Had the assassination attempt been successful, John Nance Garner would have been President.

1944-45–Franklin D. Roosevelt was diagnosed secretly with congestive heart failure, and had he died sooner than he did, Henry A. Wallace would have been President.

1950–A distant assassination attempt against President Harry Truman at Blair House, where he was staying while the White House was under renovation, would have led to Alben Barkley being President. Truman was not in the building at the time of the assassination attempt.

1963–The evening of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, past midnight, newly inaugurated President Lyndon Johnson was almost shot by accident by a Secret Service agent at the Vice Presidential home, which would have led to Speaker of the House John W. McCormack being President.

1965-1969–Lyndon Johnson, who had suffered a severe heart attack in 1955, and had bad drinking and smoking habits, and a gall bladder operation while President, would have had Hubert Humphrey succeed him as President, had he died in office.

1975–Twice, President Gerald Ford was subjected to assassination attempts in the month of September. Had either attempt been successful, Nelson Rockefeller would have been President.

1980–A plot against the life of President Jimmy Carter by John Hinckley, who later shot President Ronald Reagan, occurring in the fall campaign, would have led to Vice President Walter Mondale in office before the national election, and might have led to him defeating Reagan, out of tragedy and sympathy over the assassination.

1991–George H. W. Bush had a heart problem, atrial fibrillation, and had it been more serious, leading to his death, Vice President Dan Quayle would have been President.

1998-1999–When Bill Clinton was under investigation in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and faced eventual impeachment and trial, had he resigned or been removed, Vice President Al Gore would have become President.

2001- On September 11, there was theoretical danger by terrorists against President George W. Bush, as he flew to different locations on Air Force One. Had bad fortune occurred, Dick Cheney would have become President.

Just imagine Presidents Thomas Marshall, John Nance Garner, Henry A. Wallace, Alben Barkley, John W. McCormack, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and Dick Cheney!

It shows just how important the Vice Presidency is, and who is the occupant of that office!