Month: March 2013

Under 30s In This Decade More Socially Liberal, More Democratic

Those citizens under 30 years of age now, and throughout this decade, are emerging as much more socially liberal and Democratic than many realized.

Under 30s now have no problem with gay marriage, immigration reform, more gun regulations, preservation of abortion rights, and tolerance toward the growing diversity of America’s population.

They are far less religious in a traditional sense, and are more likely to vote Democratic now and in the long term, and young women, particularly, are thrilled at the thought of having a woman President in Hillary Clinton or someone else, as an example of massive social change similar to the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

This spells gloom and doom for the Republican Party if they do not “get their act together”, so to speak!

Imagine, 37 percent of the electorate in 2020 will be under 30, meaning born after 1990!

Lyndon Johnson’s Withdrawal From Presidential Race 45 Years Ago Today Led To Five More Years Of Vietnam War, Tragically!

On this day, 45 years ago, the nation was stunned by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the Presidential race of 1968 to devote attention to an attempt to end US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Sadly, the action led to no such thing, as Richard Nixon was elected, and continued the war until 1973, gaining nothing permanently, as Vietnam would be unified under Communist North Vietnam in 1975.

Meanwhile, the number of American troops killed more than doubled to 58,000, with many more wounded, some permanently, and massive damage done by US bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and we are still paying for the cost of that war with aging veterans of the war who need medical and psychological care that is never ending.

It seems clear that had Vice President Hubert Humphrey been elected to succeed Johnson, US involvement in the war would have ended sooner than the beginning of the second term of Nixon.

And the Great Society of LBJ would have been continued and expanded on a massive scale with Humphrey, the premier liberal of his time, in the Presidency.

And had Robert Kennedy not been assassinated, and somehow became the Democratic nominee, instead of Humphrey, there would also have been a quicker end of the war, and an expansion of the Great Society.

America went from a nation at its peak in the 1960s, to a deterioration of the middle class after 1973, due to the investment in war spending that continued, leading to three major wars in the 1990s and 2000s, and eating up funding that could have been used for more social and economic change and reform.

The conservative counter revolution did great damage, and we are paying heavily now in our national debt which multiplied under Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, mostly in foreign policy and defense spending, while the top two percent became ever more massively wealthy due to major tax cuts on them, which did not promote stimulation of the economy!

Barack Obama is trying to reverse the course that has been endemic since 1968, but is being challenged and obstructed at every turn, but even with that, already he has become the major Presidential reformer in domestic affairs since the retirement of Lyndon B. Johnson!

The “Red” South Becoming More “Blue” Rapidly For Presidential Elections

The Republican Party has depended on the South for much of its electoral vote strength in the past thirty years, but rapidly, the movement from “Red” to “Blue” is emerging, especially in looking to the Presidential contests of the future.

Barack Obama was able to win Florida and Virginia both times he was on the ballot, and also won North Carolina the first time.

But Texas and Georgia are perceived as moving toward the Democrats by 2020, if not 2016, which would mean that the five largest states in the South in electoral votes would have 111 electoral votes likely to be in the Democratic camp, while the Republicans would only have 49 electoral votes from the other six “Old South” states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi!

So the GOP has a major problem, as if it loses the South, two to one in electoral votes, and already has lost the Northeast, the Pacific Coast, and the Upper Midwest, what is left for it to grow into a major challenger to the Democratic Party in the future?

Public Opinion Supports Gay Marriage, Path To Citizenship, And Responsible Gun Measures, But Right Wing Does Not Care!

It is clear that public opinion polls, along with the results of the Presidential and Congressional Elections of 2012, indicate a desire to move ahead on many issues, but the Republican Party, which only won the majority of the House of Representatives by gerrymandering (losing the popular vote nationally for Congressional seats), refuses to budge!

The majority of Americans support:

Gay Marriage Rights

A path to citizenship for illegal immigrants over time and with penalties

Responsible Gun Measures, including universal background checks, and restrictions on some kind of weapons and size of magazines–particularly after realization that at Sandy Hook Elementary School, over 140 bullets were fired in just five minutes, killing 20 children and six teachers and administrators.

The Republican Party in Congress and nationally has less than 30 percent public opinion support, the lowest in modern times, but it has no effect on party leaders or members, and there are still examples of gay bashing and immigrant bashing, only worsening the image of a party out of tune with the American people!

40 Years Since End Of US Involvement In Vietnam

40 years ago today, after what was then the longest war in American history, the United States finally withdrew its armed forces from South Vietnam, after the Paris Peace Accords signed in January of 1973.

58,000 Americans had been killed in a war propping up a corrupt regime under different Vietnamese generals, a war that could have been ended in the first year of the Richard Nixon Presidency, but he was not going to be the President under whom we lost a war.

Instead, sadly, it was lost two years later, during the administration of Gerald Ford, when North Vietnam broke the agreement, and attacked and took over South Vietnam at the end of April 1975, unifying the nation under the Communist government that would now be known as the “People’s Republic” of Vietnam, with Saigon, the old South Vietnamese capital, being renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

America would normalize relations with Vietnam in 1995, and we have trade and normal diplomatic relations with our former adversary now, but the memory of the loss of those 58,000 still haunts survivors of that conflict, and the families who still mourn their sacrifice, and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, is our monument of respect to their commitment to our nation!

The Republican Party Losing Its Future By Refusing To Accept Their Shortcomings And Promote Change!

The Republican Party is, obviously, suicidal, as it is taking the wrong and unpopular stand on so many issues:

Refusal to back any gun regulations, even after the Newtown Massacre, alienating many mothers and parents.

Refusal to move much on illegal immigration, alienating Hispanics and Latinos, and Asian Americans.

Refusal to stop attacks on women’s rights, alienating large numbers of educated, suburban and young women.

Refusal to stop the attack on Social Security and Medicare, alienating millions of people nearing retirement, and many senior citizens.

Refusal to recognize that gay rights and gay marriage are the future, and therefore, alienating both gays and lesbians and their supportive families and friends, while at the same time, many of these Republicans have been married more than once, and have no concept of “family values”.

Refusal to cooperate on creating a budget that will pass both houses, and face the reality that taxes will have to go up, even more so now that there is growing danger of war with North Korea and/or Iran.

Refusal to repudiate their own Tea Party extremists, who will destroy the party’s future, as they will defeat responsible conservatives, but be unable to win seats in the US Senate or the White House anytime soon. As it is, the Republicans could have won Senate seats in Nevada, Colorado and Delaware in 2010, and Indiana and Missouri in 2012, but Tea Party supporters promoted lunatic nominees over responsible conservatives, and because of that, the Democrats were able to gain seats and keep the majority!

The Republican Party is living in illusion, in denial, in a time warp, in a parallel universe, and they are allowing the evangelical right wing Christians and the radio talk show hosts and Fox News Channel to steer them so far to the right that the majority of the American people will repudiate them for the long run, until they finally get the message, that the nation is a centrist nation, unwilling to cater to right wing extremists!

David Petraeus Returns To Public Life After Resigning From CIA Over Love Affair Five Months Ago: What Does It Mean?

Retired General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA and of the military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, has returned to public life after his sudden resignation over a love affair five months ago.

Long rumored to be interested in a political career as a Republican, including a possible plan to challenge President Barack Obama, which went by the wayside when Obama made him CIA head, Petraeus, apologizing for his misbehavior in a public speech, can now be seen as a possible GOP candidate for the White House in 2016, when Obama is leaving.

Being a candidate when the Presidency will be open to change is a lot better bet than challenging a sitting President, and when one looks at the GOP field, Petraeus is certainly a more viable and legitimate candidate than many of the Republican officeholders now considering the Presidency run in 2016.

Of course, he would need to clarify what his views are, and if he turns out to be a moderate conservative, he would be a competent and competitive choice for the White House, certainly more than anyone now seen as a candidate, other than, maybe, Jeb Bush, and Jon Huntsman!

But Jeb Bush has a major burden to carry with his name, and Huntsman is too intelligent and sensible and experienced in foreign policy, and in the crazy Republican Party of 2013, he would probably get no traction!

Petraeus, at least on paper, would be far better than anyone else, and could bring the GOP back to common sense and a responsible image, almost like another Dwight D. Eisenhower, but the question is how he would approach the major issues of the day, and whether he would be able to communicate effectively as a candidate and nominee, and be able to overcome the loonies in the GOP, including the evangelical right wing Christians that want to use the Bible to govern America!

The Bush V. Gore Attorney Rivals Now On Same Side For Gay Marriage

It is ironic that the two attorneys joining forces to fight for gay marriage and call for the rejection of Proposition 8 in California and the Defense of Marriage Act are rivals who fought the case for the 2000 Presidential election contest in the Supreme Court between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Now, Ted Olson and David Boies are working together after Olson won the case for George W. Bush, but both of them, one Republican and one Democrat, felt that the case for gay marriage was so strong that they were willing to overcome their rivalry, and fight for a basic human right, the right to marry, for all people, not just straight but gay as well!

It demonstrates that there is a case for both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives, to join together on an issue of fairness, equality, equal protection of the laws, and basic civil rights.

The gay marriage and gay rights movement could not have finer advocates for their cause than these two brilliant attorneys!

No Matter What Supreme Court Decides On Gay Marriage, Republican Party Is On Wrong Side Of History!

The Supreme Court may decide to deal with the issue of gay marriage in a very narrow sense, rather than a broad sense, due to the possibility that Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito may influence Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy to join their side, as they do about 70 percent of the time.

But no matter what happens, the Republican Party will suffer, since the momentum of history is moving the nation toward acceptance of gay marriage, with young people having no problem accepting it, and senior citizens, a majority of whom oppose it, soon to be gone from the scene. And the Republican Party officeholders caving in to their conservative evangelical Christian base will marginalize them very soon.

It is interesting that Republicans NOT in office, more than 100 of them, have endorsed gay marriage, while only Ohio Senator Rob Portman has been willing, among Republican officeholders, to back the concept. So such hate mongers and extremists as Bryan Fischer, Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, and Tony Perkins hold undue sway over the party, and the effect will be that the GOP will be unable to compete on an even basis for the Presidency and the Senate, although they may be able to hold on to the House of Representatives, due to gerrymandering which helps to set up rural districts that will continue to resist cultural change.

But again, in the long run of history, the Republican Party is painting itself into a corner, and burning their bridges behind them, as the population changes and social attitudes become more tolerant.

Justice Harry Blackmun (1973), Justice Anthony Kennedy (2003), And The Likelihood Of Transformative Moment In Constitutional History Again!

Associate Justice Harry Blackmun was a THIRD choice of President Richard Nixon for the Supreme Court in 1970 after rejection of Clement Haynesworth and G. Harrold Carswell, and Blackmun went on to make history in 1973, in authoring the decision in Roe V. Wade, arguably the most important decision in modern times on women’s rights!

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was a THIRD choice of President Ronald Reagan in 1988 after rejection of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg, and Kennedy went on to make history in 2003, in authoring the majority opinion in Lawrence V. Texas, arguably the most important decision in modern times on gay and lesbian rights!

Are we about to see another transformative moment in the Court’s history and in constitutional history, with the upcoming case on gay marriage, being argued tomorrow and Wednesday, with Kennedy believed likely to continue to support gay advancement, and the hope that he will bring along Chief Justice John Roberts, who has a sense of history, and already showed leadership and courage in backing ObamaCare last June?

Many experts believe the Supreme Court will broadly back gay marriage, although they could just do a narrow decision on Proposition 8 in California, and on the Defense of Marriage Act as an alternative.

But this decision, if broadly based, could be of similar impact, as Loving V. Virginia was on interracial marriage in 1967, or Brown V. Board Of Education was on racial integration of public schools in 1954!