Day: February 25, 2012

Are Presidential Apologies Acceptable? YES, Depending On Circumstances!

President Barack Obama has been criticized by his Republican Presidential opponents for apologizing for the burning destruction of copies of the Koran in Afghanistan, which has led, regrettably, to mass rioting and deaths of two American servicemen in east Afghanistan.

This apology was designed to protect Americans fighting and living in Afghanistan, and to improve relations with the Islamic world, and also remove the swaggering attitude that existed under George W. Bush for eight years, making our nation extremely unpopular around the world, not only in Islamic nations.

Historian Robert Dallek correctly stated that we cannot say as a nation that we are without sin or blame. And it is not as if no other President has dared to apologize, as they have.

Ronald Reagan apologized for the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II in 1988.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush offered issued several apologies, not always well received in America, but done nevertheless. Of course, apologizing for past actions are easier than for those occurring in one’s own administration.

The criticism of Republican Presidential candidates is not shared by many conservatives who understand the need for a close relationship with the Afghan government to accomplish anything in that nation’s war effort.

A Forecast Of The Future? Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley Vs. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Yesterday, the political website POLITICO sponsored a debate between Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell over the controversial social issues that have come to the forefront in the past few weeks.

Martin O’Malley came to the strong defense of President Barack Obama, and hailed the successes of the administration, while being critical of the Republicans, led by Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell, who became embroiled in a controversy over an invasive vaginal ultra sound bill to undermine abortions by women.

O’Malley at the same time defended the decision in Maryland to make that state the eighth state to legalize gay marriages.

Bob McDonnell was on the defensive, as he explained his change of heart on the invasive ultra sound bill, after much outrage by women and the news media and others who believe in the right of privacy and women’s rights.

As one watched this debate, one could imagine the scenario of a possible 2016 Presidential debate between the two men, governors of neighboring states, with totally opposite views, and both strong defenders of their viewpoints.

Martin O’Malley is already seen as a top tier Presidential candidate for 2016 in the Democratic Party, and Bob McDonnell has obvious ambitions on the Republican side, and has made it clear that he is interested in a Vice Presidential slot with Mitt Romney, if Romney were to choose him. That is the obvious, although denied, reason for his backing off on the invasive ultra sound bill that he seemed ready to sign.

O’Malley has showed evidence that he would be a hard, aggressive campaigner if he ran for President, as he has become one of the major defenders of President Obama’s record, and a critic of the governors of not only Virginia, but also Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, all hard line conservatives, who he accuses correctly of presiding over very poor employment growth, while Obama, by intervening in Michigan and other Midwestern states, has promoted a revival of the auto industry and the general economy, along with the general progress in decline of the unemployment rate.

Not only is Martin O’Malley demonstrating that a Catholic can have an open mind on issues such as abortion and gay marriage and labor rights, but also Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, is showing the same on these issues, and both are certainly to be considered front runners for the Presidential nomination in 2016.

Not all Catholic politicians allow their faith to dominate their politics, although Rick Santorum, particularly, and convert Newt Gingrich, both seem to feel that their religious views should be dictated to the population at large, even though we were founded as a nation on the concept of separation of church and state, which John F. Kennedy so clearly enunciated as the first Catholic President of the United States!

The Clash Of The Future Now: Arizona As Ground Zero

The state of Arizona is a perfect example of a right wing state clashing with the future, and it is now Ground Zero.

This is the state of Governor Jan Brewer, just about the most despicable woman politician, not an easy thing to say when one thinks of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, but she fits the bill with her words and actions, including her disrespect shown to the President Barack Obama by pointing her finger at him, and lying about it and many other things.

This is the state of Senator Jon Kyl, thankfully retiring at the end of this year, with his former respectable image destroyed by evidence of bias, prejudice, and loads of stupid statements in the past few years.

This is the state of Senator John McCain, once respectable and moderate, but now old and grouchy and ready to take America into another Middle Eastern war anytime.

This is the state of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, being investigated on charges of violating the rights of prisoners and mistreatment of Hispanics, whether legal or illegal, and not caring about image or violations and abuses, as he promotes a “tough guy” image embarrassing to his state.

This was the state of Russell Pearce, who thankfully was recalled by the voters of his state senate district, but was infamous for anti immigrant and pro gun legislation seen as very extreme.

This is the state of Paul Babeu, Pinal County Sheriff, another “tough guy” and hardline against illegal immigration, who is now shown to have had a sexual relationship with an Hispanic male, which has now become a scandal and will hamper his attempt to serve as a Republican in the next Congress.

This is the state which has a state senate which has banned ethnic studies courses for Hispanics as undermining their “Americanism”, and a state legislature which passed the infamous SB 1070 immigration bill now being challenged by the US government in court.

This is the state which has been judged by NATIONAL JOURNAL to have the second most conservative House of Representatives delegation, only behind, regrettably, my resident state of Florida. Notice that I say “resident”, as this author and blogger still identifies as a New Yorker, the state he lived in, went to school in, and worked in, until moving to Florida in 1989. The fact that New York’s House delegation is rated seventh most liberal, behind only Hawaii and five New England states makes this author proud!

Getting back to Arizona, the state, despite these disgraceful “public servants” and legislative record of discrimination and prejudice, is rapidly changing demographically, and can best be described as having two groups migrating to the state over time—older white retirees, and young Hispanics and Latinos, which guarantees continued clashes, but with young Hispanics and Latinos having the advantage for the future.

Thirty percent of Arizona is now Hispanic, compared to 58 percent white, and over the next decade, it is possible that whites will become less than the majority of Arizonans, and this will affect its politics dramatically.

Some think Arizona could go to Barack Obama, in the Presidential Election of 2012, although that still seems unlikely. But by 2020 and after, the Democrats will have a great advantage, as will be the case in Texas as well.

So the white population is facing a future in which it will NOT control the agenda, the state legislature, or the House delegation or the Senate seats. This is the clash of the future, already displaying itself now, as Arizona is becoming Ground Zero in the recognition of the transformation of America that will be national in the next generation!