Day: March 17, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day: 22 American Presidents Have Irish Roots!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and whether Irish or not, the nation tends to celebrate it, almost as if it is a national holiday.

It turns out that fully half of our 43 Presidents–a total of 22– have Irish roots, including:

George Washington
James Madison
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Chester Alan Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

It is interesting how exactly half (11) were in the Presidency before 1900, and the same number (11) since 1900, with nine of the modern eleven Irish Presidents with Irish roots since 1961!

Senator Rob Portman, Gay Marriage, And The Republican Party Future

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, former Budget Director for President George W. Bush, one of the few moderate conservative voices in the Republican Party in the US Senate, has come out in favor of gay marriage, making him the first Republican Senator to do so, and unlikely to have others follow him. This seems, clearly, due to the fact that his younger son Will is gay, and Portman wants his son to have a happy life, and the rights and privileges of marriage someday.

One could point out that Portman only spoke up because of his son, which is clearly the case, but it still took courage for him to do what he did.

And it is interesting to see former Senator Rick Santorum spew his usual narrow minded hatred, and one has to wonder what if one of his children came out as gay or lesbian. As a “devout” Catholic, he probably would do what so many “devout” Christians have done, sadly, and that is to throw out their child, disown him or her, have no more contact with him or her, act as if that child no longer exists, rather than understand that gays do not choose to be what they are. Why would anyone want to be facing hate, prejudice, discrimination, and bodily threats if one could avoid it?

So for anyone claiming to be “devout” and “religious” and act like Rick Santorum and so many others, is hypocrisy, and until and when the Republican Party stops allowing the religious Right to control the party agenda, it will never win over the vote of the younger generation, which is totally tolerant on the issue of sexual orientation.

Many non office holding Republicans have come out for gay marriage rights, and Ted Olson, former Solicitor General under George W. Bush, is leading the case to be presented before the Supreme Court, and there is a feeling that the majority of the Court, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who made for the success in the Lawrence V. Texas case in 2003, on gay privacy rights, will declare gay marriage rights to be constitutional throughout the United States, although churches and synagogues would not be required to marry gay people. Such a decision for gay marriage would involve the right of civil marriage alone.

The Republican Party needs to change its view, or else, like in many other ways, it will go into the dustbin of history!