Bob Dole

Iowa Caucus History, And Caucuses Elsewhere In 2024

In the past, there were up to 15 states that held Presidential Caucuses, with them first evolving in the 1970s.

Today, in 2024, there are only a few states that hold caucuses, with the overwhelming majority having Presidential primaries.

The only states in 2024 with caucuses being held by both major political parties are:

Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
North Dakota
Wyoming

Two other states have Republicans having caucuses, while Democrats have primaries

Those two states with this odd situation are

Missouri
Nevada

Notice none of these total seven states have large populations, with Missouri being the largest.

At the same time, the Iowa Caucuses have NOT been a good example of accuracy as to who would be the nominees or winners of the Presidency.

The only Presidents who won in Iowa and went on to the White House were:

Jimmy Carter 1976
George W. Bush 2000
Barack Obama 2008

Walter Mondale in 1984, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 won the Iowa Caucuses but lost the Presidency for Democrats, while for the Republicans, only Bob Dole in 1996 won in Iowa and then lost the Presidency.

Presidential Concession Speeches An Endorsement Of American Democracy!

The story of American democracy over two centuries and more has been graceful concession speeches by the losers of Presidential elections. Despite vehement and emotional feelings on both sides of an election, being a “good sport” and conceding in a proper manner is an American tradition!

The only time there was, in effect, no concession speeches was when South Carolina, and eventually ten other Southern states, eventually refused to accept that Abraham Lincoln had won the Presidency in 1860, and began the civil insurrection known to history as the American Civil War!

Other than that one time, losers of Presidential elections have always been gracious and patriotic in their acceptance of the victory of their rivals, until 2020 when Donald Trump refused to concede and provoked the US Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021!

Some elections have been very close, as in 1876, when Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden, in an election which dragged on to final determination until just before Inauguration Day in 1877, with Tilden accepting his loss.

The same situation occurred in 1884, when the Republican Party lost the Presidency for the first time in a generation to Democrat Grover Cleveland by very small margins, but James G. Blaine accepted defeat graciously.

In 1916, we had the second closest Electoral Vote margin after 1876, until later in the year 2000, with loser Charles Evans Hughes being gracious in defeat to President Woodrow Wilson.

The upset election victory of President Harry Truman over New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 was accepted in a proper way by Dewey. And later, Truman had Dewey visit the White House!

Richard Nixon in 1960 had advisers suggest he challenge John F. Kennedy over the close Illinois vote, but Nixon, outgoing Vice President, refused to drag out the matter, and accepted defeat in a gracious manner.

President Gerald Ford was heartbroken in 1976, when he lost to Jimmy Carter, but was very gracious in concession, read by his wife Betty Ford, because the President had developed laryngitis. And the Fords and the Carters became fast friends in later years, a closer friendship than anyone since John Adams and Thomas Jefferson!

Michael Dukakis was way ahead of George H. W. Bush at one point of the 1988 Presidential campaign, but was very appropriate in his concession speech.

President George H.W. Bush was devastated by his loss to Bill Clinton in 1992, as was Bob Dole in 1996, but both were proper in their concessions.

Al Gore fought the good fight in 2000, contesting the result for 36 days, but then conceding, when the Supreme Court intervened, and as outgoing Vice President, rejected any further battle over the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2001.

Senator John McCain was totally decent and proper in his gracious concession speech, congratulating the nation in 2008, on the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney had the same decency when he lost to Obama in 2012, and Hillary Clinton conceded the morning after the 2016 election to Donald Trump, although totally stunned by the loss.

So there was no excuse, and still there is none today, for any candidate for the Presidency who loses the election to refuse to concede, and instead to cause chaos, disarray, and literal violence, as that provoked by Donald Trump against Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.

So the time has come for Donald Trump to pay the price for the bloodshed and violence he provoked, and to be convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

And his decision to continue to provoke violence and what he calls “retribution” should lead to his incarceration BEFORE trial, as an example to the American people what happens, when anyone, even a former President, chooses to promote undermining of American democracy and the rule of law!

Fareed Zakaria CNN Special From May 2021 Updated: “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation Of The GOP”

The Welfare State–Secularism—changing racial situation.

Fareed Zakaria on a CNN Special today, updated from May 2021, entitled “A Radical Rebellion: The Transformation of the GOP”, presented an analysis of the disaster that the Republican Party has become:

in an era of conservatism attacking the concept of the Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal and the Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society;

allowing Right Wing evangelical Christianity and theocracy to take over the party in the name of God;

and working against the reality that the white majority face a future in America of minority racial groups together being a majority of the population in about 2040-2045.

He covers from the John Birch Society in the 1950s;
to William F. Buckley, Jr and the National Review;
to Barry Goldwater and the conservative takeover in 1964, leading to massive victory of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society;
to Richard Nixon and the “Southern Strategy”in 1968;
to Jerry Falwell and the “Christian Coalition” and the “Moral Majority” in the late 1970s and early 1980s;
to Ronald Reagan and the “Reagan Coalition” in the 1980s;
to Pat Buchanan’s challenge of George H W Bush in 1992;
to Newt Gingrich and the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 and after;
to the promotion of right wing propaganda and lies by Fox News Channel starting in 1996;
to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the 2000s;
to the Tea Party Movement rise under Barack Obama’s Presidency;
to the rise of Donald Trump in 2015-2016;
to the “Big Lie” about the Presidential Election of 2020;
to the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Insurrection;
to the present extremism in the Congressional and State Republican parties in 2021;
to the constant threat to women’s rights, including abortion;
to the right wing rejection of Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as not conservative enough;
and the growing racism, nativism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and homophobia that have become alarming realities for the future of American politics!

The Tradition Of Gracious Losers Of Presidential Elections Not Being Accepted By Donald Trump!

The tradition in Presidential elections is for the loser to concede with grace and statesmanship.

One can forget about that with President Donald Trump, who is promoting conspiracy theories, and according to some sources, has every intention of refusing to cooperate on the transition, and staying in the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, refusing to leave the building or attend the inauguration of his successor.

Other Presidents have refused to attend the inauguration of their successor, including John Adams when Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated in 1801; John Quincy Adams when Andrew Jackson was inaugurated in 1829; and Andrew Johnson when Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated in 1869.

We have seen in modern times all of the Presidential losers concede graciously—Richard Nixon in 1960, Barry Goldwater in 1964, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H. W. Bush in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Donald Trump is acting like a spoiled child, a privileged character, a prima donna, who clearly would love to be an authoritarian dictator and has been a threat for four years, but the American people have clearly made him aware that his “employment” in the White House for four more years is not desired, and that he has, effectively, been “fired” by a vast margin of about 5-6 million popular votes by the time all of the votes are counted!

If Donald Trump Loses Just 4 Percent Of Republican Voters, He Loses Election Massively!

Donald Trump is losing more than four percent of Republican voters, according to public opinion polls, who seem mostly to be cultish like, willing to accept any Trump outrage as acceptable.

But the revelation that Trump has paid no federal taxes for 10 of the last 15 years through 2017, and only paid $750 each year of 2016 and 2017, is enough to turn a small sliver of Republicans, who still have a brain and reasoning power, against Trump!

After all, they and the rest of us, except the very wealthy, DO pay federal taxes, so why should Donald Trump NOT pay his fair share of taxes?

Trump also has exploited the federal budget with all of the costs of all his golfing adventures, and charging everyone who goes to any of his Trump hotels, including Vice President Mike Pence and others, higher rates, paid at federal budget expense. And when his children travel and spend, it is all on the rest of us taxpayers!

So statistics indicate that Trump has no chance to win simply by losing a small percentage of Republican voters, which now seems certain!

Beyond the small sliver of Republicans who have a brain and ethics, also consider that Joe Biden’s lead among women is nearly double that of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and that similar statistics hold for independents and moderates for Biden as compared to Clinton in 2016.

And third parties will not take nearly 6 percent of the vote and help Trump this time around, but rather no more than 2-3 percent at most.

Joe Biden will go into Tuesday night’s debate with a tremendous edge, and all he needs to do is expose the lies, the danger, and the incompetence of Donald Trump.

Also, realize that Trump is losing MORE former Republican officeholders and cabinet and military personnel who served under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, as well as those who worked for the Presidential campaigns of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney!

And many conservative commentators, those NOT connected to Fox News Channel, or other further right wing media, also long have condemned Trump, and are engaged in working to retire him, and bring him to justice!

So watch as Donald Trump deteriorates before our eyes in the next month, and yet threatens American democracy, while the military has made it clear that they will not back any undemocratic moves by the Fascist in the White House!

14 Weeks Until First Vote In Iowa Caucuses

As the House of Representatives is working on its impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, the political calendar is starting to close in on many Democratic Presidential contenders.

It is now only 14 weeks until the first Americans vote on 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday, February 3.

Iowa is not truly decisive on who wins the nomination and the Presidency in either major political party, as the only times that Iowa was a sign of the future was when an incumbent President was not on the ballot, and even then, not very often.

Democratic Party

Walter Mondale in 1984

Al Gore in 2000

John Kerry in 2004

Barack Obama in 2008

Hillary Clinton in 2016

George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992 failed to win Iowa.

Republican Party

Gerald Ford in 1976

Bob Dole in 1996

George W. Bush in 2000

Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 failed to win Iowa.

So only George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008 won Iowa and went on to win the Presidency in the fall of those years.

So do not expect that who wins Iowa will automatically be the nominee for the Democrats in November 2020.

Since 1972, Iowa has been accurate on the Democratic nominee 43 percent of the time, and 50 percent accurate on the Republican nominee.

Iowa is not representative of the nation in its population mix, but it gives a leg up to a few of the candidates, while dashing the hopes of so many others.

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell A Traitor To American Values And National Security, And Will Be A Leading Villain In American History!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will go down in history as a traitor to American values and national security, and be seen as a leading villain in American history.

When one compares him to other Senate Majority Leaders, including:

Democrats Alben Barkley, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mike Mansfield, Robert Byrd, George Mitchell, and Tom Daschle

and Republicans Howard Baker and Bob Dole

McConnell pales by comparison.

The fact that his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, is in the Trump Cabinet, is in itself a massive example of corruption and conflict of interest.

But beyond that, McConnell denied President Barack Obama his right to have a Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, to be considered for the Court in 2016.

McConnell has also refused to allow any strengthening of voter security to prevent a Russian government collusion in our election system, as occurred in 2016.

McConnell has also been involved with Russian businessmen investing in Kentucky industrial projects, a clear cut example of treason.

McConnell has made clear that if a Supreme Court appointment occurs in the election year of 2020, he will allow such an appointment, after NOT allowing it in 2016.

McConnell has not allowed votes on House of Representatives bills, with the ability to vote them down, but not even allowing a vote on so much potential legislation, in order to avoid the Republicans in the Senate from putting their careers on the line by actually having to vote to prevent reforms of all kinds.

McConnell’s major goals has been to enrich the top one percent with tax cuts; to destroy all regulations possible on business and industry and destroy as much of the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and to pack the federal courts with extremist right wing judges, many of them incompetent, who wish to destroy civil rights, organized labor, consumer rights, environmental regulations, women’s rights; and other progressive causes and laws, wiping out all fairness and movements towards social justice and equality.

Bob Dole Reaches 96 Years Of Age, Now Seen As Statesman

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas yesterday reached the age of 96, and while often involved in heated political debates over four decades, is now seen as a statesman.

Dole served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, and as United States Senator from 1969 to 1996. He was the Chair of the Republican National Committee from 1971-1973; Chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985; Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995; and twice Senate Majority Leader from 1985-1987 and 1995-1996.

He had the distinction of being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee under Gerald Ford in the Presidential Election of 1976, and then the Presidential nominee in 1996, both losing efforts. He is the only person to be nominated for both offices, and lose both offices.

Dole was a combative, and often acerbic politician, who annoyed this blogger and author, but one knew that he was an ultimate patriot and would support Democrats in important and crisis moments over the years, while being a very partisan Republican.

He worked across the aisle with many Democrats, including Senator George McGovern of South Dakota on nutrition issues and food stamps.

He was a war hero, who nearly died in combat in Europe in April 1945, and lost the use of his left arm and limited mobility in his right arm, but that did not stop him from having a public career, and being an advocate for the disabled.

Dole has had a great sense of humor, and has worked to promote bipartisanship, starting the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

He helped to raise funds for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his former opponent, Bill Clinton, in 1997.

His marriage to Elizabeth Hanford Dole has lasted 44 years, and his wife served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan, and as Secretary of Labor under George H. W. Bush, before serving as a US Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009.

By reaching the age of 96 today, Dole has outlived most of the colleagues of his age group who served in public office, and is one of the last World War II veterans of renown still with us.

Let us hope he reaches 100, although now he is almost exclusively using a wheel chair as he did in saluting his former rival, George H. W. Bush, at the funeral of the 41st President in December 2018.

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

The Conservative Political Action Conference: The Cult Of Personality Supporting Donald Trump Without Question Or Qualms

The Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend was a telling example of where conservatism has gone—to a cult of personality supporting Donald Trump without question or qualms.

It is very clear that intelligent conservatives, many who write commentary, and those conservatives, many who worked for Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, and for GOP nominees Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, are horrified by the utterances, actions, and personality of Donald Trump.

But the “mob” of ignorant “groupies” who worship Donald Trump are clearly mean spirited, and as racist, nativist, misogynist, and white supremacist as their leader, and their and his behavior at the CPAC conference was shocking, terrifying, and disgraceful.

Trump put on a show of more than two hours, ranting and raving like a maniac, in his longest speech in office. He hugged the American flag twice in a lunatic manner, and attacked every imaginable critic and “enemy”, and cheers were heard for his continued attacks on John McCain months after his passing, totally reprehensible. And through it all, there were cheers from people who sound like the next generation of Nazis and Fascists.

One would think this was a rally of Nazis at Nuremberg, and was similar to the rally at Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to violence and the murder of one young woman, an event in which Donald Trump claimed that “both sides” had good people at that rally.

There were no good people at CPAC, none, and it is a sign of how Donald Trump has promoted hatred, fear, violence, and is intent on destroying everything good and decent ever promoted into law by responsible Republicans, as well as Democrats.

The threat of Donald Trump to American democracy is real, and the movement to take action against the 45th President is in full gear, with the hope that future damage can be prevented, but we are at a turning point that is crucial for the future of the American republic and for democracy.