Defense Policy

Presidential Succession Law Of 1886-1947 Needs To Be Renewed!

In 1947, the Republican controlled 80th Congress, in a fit of partisanship and anti FDR sentiment, changed the Presidential Succession Law of 1886, enacted during the first term of President Grover Cleveland.

That law made the succession for the Presidency beyond the Vice President to be as follows: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, and then other cabinet agencies, including Interior and Agriculture.

That law made sense, as it meant that in case of tragedy hitting the President and Vice President, that members of  that President’s cabinet, people loyal to him, knowledgeable in  foreign and defense policies, and domestic policies, would be next in  line, in case of an emergency.

But the Republicans after World War II were furious that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected four times, so not only added the 22nd Amendment, limiting any future President to two elected term, or a maximum of ten years if he succeeded during a term, but also decided to make the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate second and third in line behind the Vice President.  That, of course, meant, that if anything had happened to President Harry Truman, and with no Vice President for the remainder of that term of office, that Speaker Joseph Martin, a Republican, would have succeeded him.

The idea of having the opposition party gain the Presidency during a term due to a tragedy was not based on what was good for the nation, but pure partisanship by the GOP.

But now, the extremism in the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement right wing whackos, makes the idea of John Boehner, or some other Republican gaining power of the executive branch under a Democratic administration totally reprehensible, as that would mean a dramatic turn to the far Right, although the people voted in a Democratic administration.  Also, the President pro tempore of the Senate, a position which is honorary based on seniority in the majority party in the Senate, brings the danger, not only of partisanship, but also the reality of a very old Senator, unfit to serve, being third in line for the Presidency, and at the time of Truman, second in line to be President!

That is why there is a need to repeal the 1947 law and return to the 1886 law, which makes the most sense, as the Speaker of the House, while elected, is only chosen by one Congressional district out of 435, and is therefore NOT representative of the nation, as much as a cabinet member, selected by the President but subject to Senate confirmation, is representative of the policies and ideals of the elected President!

The likelihood of this happening short term is near zero, but it is worthy of consideration for the near future!

A Fascinating Idea! Former Republican Senators Richard Lugar And Chuck Hagel As Secretary Of State And Secretary Of Defense In Second Obama Term!

A fascinating idea has surfaced, which is very exciting in many ways.

It is clear that there will be a reshuffling of President Obama’s cabinet over the next few months, and two openings will certainly be likely in the State Department and the Defense Department.

For State, it has been suggested that Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, might take the post. Also, Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador, is mentioned. Both would be wonderful in the position.

BUT there is a school of thought that IF President Obama wanted to show bipartisanship, he could do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in World War II–pick Republicans who are intelligent, sane, responsible, and who are no longer serving in the Senate, to serve in his cabinet, and the State Department would offer a great location to put soon to be former Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, an acknowledged foreign policy expert, and a man who has worked well with Obama when they were both Senators, and went off to Russia to promote the safe collection of nuclear weapons stockpiles in 2005-2006. Lugar is a wonderful statesman, and would fill the job with excellence and professionalism. And he has been, like Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman in the past, and is still the ranking member of the committee until he leaves the Senate in January.

Additionally, as suggested earlier, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam War veteran and military expert, would be an excellent choice to serve in the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense. Always highly regarded and respected, Hagel would add stature to our Defense Department.

Such appointments would neutralize, to a great extent, Republican attacks on President Obama in the areas of foreign policy, national security, and defense policy.

If FDR could have Republicans Henry Stimson as Secretary of War, and Frank Knox as Secretary of the Navy in 1940 and after, why cannot Barack Obama make a smart move that would help his administration to succeed, and also promote bipartisanship, at a time when it is desperately needed?

The Flap Over “Politicizing” Of The Death Of Osama Bin Laden

A major flap has developed over the “politicizing” of the death of Osama Bin Laden by the Barack Obama campaign team, but it is false in its pretenses.

George W. Bush bragged about his intervention in Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein. and that was seen as acceptable by Republican operatives.

There is nothing wrong with taking credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden, and claiming it as an accomplishment, as one can be certain that IF the mission to kill Bin Laden had failed, the Republicans would be constantly beating Obama over the head on the failure, much like they did when Jimmy Carter failed to rescue the hostages in Iran in April 1980.

And it is a fact that Mitt Romney had said in 2007, that he was unwilling to spend inordinate amounts of time or money to find and eliminate Osama Bin Laden, something people in his campaign want us to forget!

And Mitt Romney only makes things worse by his nasty comment that EVEN Jimmy Carter would have tried to get Osama bin Laden, and in so doing, besmirching the record of Carter, which is a lot better than Republicans give him credit for.

So if it is alright to attack if something fails, then it is alright for praise and take credit if something succeeds.

So the Republicans are hypocrites, annoyed that Obama can look strong in foreign and defense policy, more than George W. Bush, who was unable to accomplish the goal of getting bin Laden in eight years in office!

And in a surprise, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post is wrong to criticize Barack Obama on this.

And congratulations to Bill Clinton, for agreeing to do a commercial for Obama, endorsing and praising Obama’s actions against Osama bin Laden one year ago, making this country safer than it has been since September 11!