Lyndon Johnson

American Political Science Association Presidential Poll Substantially Different Than 2009 C Span Poll

It has been nearly six years since the last C Span poll on Rating Presidents took place in 2009, and now we have the American Political Science Association Poll of 162 Professors, scored late in 2014, and the differences between the two polls is startling.

First, the number of Presidential experts questioned is two and a half times as many now than in 2009.

But more than that difference is the ranking of many on the list, as for instance:

John F. Kennedy fell from 6th place to 14th place.

Andrew Jackson went from a tie for 12th place up to 9th place.

Dwight D. Eisenhower reached the highest he has ever been polled, up to 7th place.

Bill Clinton shot up from 15th place to 8th place.

Harry Truman fell to 6th place from 5th place, and Thomas Jefferson went from 6th place to 5th place.

Woodrow Wilson fell from 9th place to 10th place.

Barack Obama, not part of the 2009 poll, but ranked in 15th place in an early poll in 2011, ended up in 18th place.

James Madison (13th) moved ahead of James Monroe (17th) in the ranking, which seems odd when one looks at their Presidencies, with Monroe being 14th and Madison 20th in the C Span poll.

James K. Polk slipped from tied for 12th to 19th, which seems really strange.

Ronald Reagan and Lyndon Johnson slipped one each, from 10th and 11th places, to 11th and 12th places.

This author disagrees greatly with this poll in many ways, including:

Kennedy being dropped eight places seems acceptable, except that to put Jackson, Clinton, and Madison ahead of him seems not very sensible.

Jackson is back in the top ten, but it seems wrong to move him up.

Clinton being in the top ten may help Hillary Clinton, but realistically, this author thinks he is much too high, and will eventually slip out of the top ten back to mid teens where he was. He has risen fast, being 21st in the 2000 C Span Poll and 15th in the 2009 poll.

Truman should have remained ahead of Jefferson, and in fact, should be moved up to 4th ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Jefferson, due to his crisis leadership, and will end up there in time in this author’s belief.

Wilson has been slipping constantly, from 6th in 2000 to 9th in 2009 to 10th now, but this author would put him a bit higher and ahead of Jackson, Clinton, and Eisenhower.

Obama slipped from an early 2011 poll of 15th down to 18th, but this author would put him back at about 13th, ahead of Jackson, Madison, and Monroe.

Madison being ahead of Monroe seems ridiculous for his Presidency, although Madison was a great man, but not very successful as President.

Polk being an “imperialist” is a negative image to many, but no one term President was as successful, and he should not end up behind many of those ahead of him, and should remain about 12th or 13th.

Reagan and Johnson dropping one position each is not a big difference, but this author would put Johnson ahead of Reagan.

The debate on ranking Presidents will go on, but these are my thoughts on the topic, and I welcome commentary and analysis on this issue of ranking Presidents in 2015!

Racism Accusation Against Democrats By Cain Pastor Supporter: Is It Valid?

A new controversy has developed around a pastor supporting Herman Cain, an African American pastor to boot, that it is the Democratic Party which historically has been racist and segregationist and prejudicial, while the Republican Party is the party of opportunity and liberation of blacks.

How true is this interpretation of the past and the present?

It is literally TRUE that for a long time, the South was solely Democratic, the “Solid South” from the time of Reconstruction through the mid 1960s, including such outrageous figures as Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, Tom Watson of Georgia, Harry Byrd Sr. of Virginia, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Russell Long of Louisiana, Richard Russell of Georgia, George Wallace of Alabama, James Eastland of Mississippi, Jesse Helms of North Carolina and many others, all of whom promoted racism, segregation, prejudice, and in many cases, were members of or endorsed actions of the Ku Klux Klan. This also included the openly racist Presidential campaigns of Strom Thurmond in 1948 and George Wallace in 1968.

However, during this period from Reconstruction through the 1960s, the Republican Party, which had once stood for racial equality, and had promoted the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments during Reconstruction, abandoned blacks to the white Democratic South after 1877, and did not resist the loss of the right to vote for African Americans in the South. When blacks migrated north, and started to vote in substantial numbers, they switched over to the Democratic Party in a massive wave in the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Beginning with President Harry Truman promoting civil rights by executive order in 1948 and calling for civil rights legislation in his term of office, and the activities of Northern liberal Democrats led by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, and later leading to civil rights legislation under President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid 1960s, Southern whites migrated in massive numbers to the Republican Party, with the first political move being Senator Strom Thurmond’s switch in 1964, endorsing Barry Goldwater for President.

The Republican Party ever since the New Deal has shown little interest or support of the advancement of civil rights as a party, although individual moderate to liberal Republicans have supported such reforms.

So the statements of this pastor supporting Herman Cain are true in the long run of history, but saw a massive change beginning slowly with the New Deal, but culminating with the Great Society, and nothing has changed that dynamic since the 1960s.

The Crisis Within The Republican Party For 2012!

The Republican Party, once a proud party, is in total disarray, as all the attention is grabbed by what many call the “joke” candidates who have no chance to win, and yet are promoting a terrible image for the party, so much so, that the American people are totally unimpressed!

And yet, there is growing discontent with President Obama, due to the budget crisis, the stubbornly high unemployment, and the soaring gasoline prices, but there is no valid alternative!

At this point, there could be a landslide effect toward Obama, similar to what was the situation when Lyndon Johnson walloped Senator Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election, and in fact, no candidate gains 20 percent support in the latest polls, similar to what Goldwater had 47 years ago!

The control of religious conservatives and Tea Party activists are entrapping all reasonable, rational thought, and holding hostage any realistic, mainstream candidates from emerging!

Face the facts! The following so called “candidates” are disasters in the making in any order: Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Haley Barbour, and any others who come out of the woodwork to claim they wish to run!

The “birther” issue and the race issue and the gay issue have destroyed all of the above from serious consideration by anyone with intelligence!

The only “serious” candidates, but lacking excitement for now, are Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, and really stretching it, Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush, who have evinced no interest in running, but would have to be seen as serious and viable were they to announce for President!

Any “bully” Governor, such as Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, or John Kasich, would be counterproductive, as all of them have caused great opposition and controversy!

It is time for Republican leaders to follow former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove and do everything they can to derail all the loonies, and promote Romney, Pawlenty, Huntsman, Daniels or Bush as the ONLY viable candidates out of a sad group of people who betray the Republican heritage since 1854–the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and yes, even Ronald Reagan!

Richard Nixon And Republicans: Never The Twain Shall Meet, And Not Because Of Watergate!

Today is the 17th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s death, and it is clear that the Republican Party would not wish to claim ownership of the 37th President.

First thought of most readers would be that, of course, the Republicans would repudiate him because of the Watergate scandal which led to his resignation in 1974.

While certainly Watergate is an embarrassment that most Republicans would wish to repudiate, it is much more the case that the party would reject Nixon now because of his leadership in domestic reforms in his time.

Imagine, Nixon, in comparison to Republicans today, would be considered a “liberal”, even though he hated liberals and did everything he could to oppose the liberal philosophy, and even had his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, go after the “Radic Libs”!

But in fact, Richard Nixon extended the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson with such legislation as:

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Environmental Protection Agency
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Amtrak Rail System
Wage and Price Controls
Harry Blackmun on the Supreme Court
Affirmative Action
Support of the Equal Rights Amendment
Cost of Living Allowances For Social Security

And the list goes on: the fact is that Nixon could have vetoed these Democratic party initiatives, but instead promoted them and signed them into law!

So, for good reason, Richard Nixon would be repudiated by today’s right wing Republican Party, for being “too damn liberal”!

President Obama Comes Out Swinging: It’s About Time!

Many liberals and progressives have been frustrated by President Obama’s desire to come across as moderate and to cooperate with the Republican Party opposition, despite their concerted campaign to oppose him in every possible way in the past two and a half years.

Obama’s willingness to compromise on the budget deal in December and again this month has made many wonder if Obama had the “cajones” to come out swinging against the GOP agenda to take us back to the 1920s, or even the Gilded Age of the late 19th century!

Obama’s speech this Wednesday resolved that issue, as the President came out in an assertive manner against the Paul Ryan plan to gut Medicare, and promote a ruthless cutting of the social safety and economic regulatory network that the Democrats set up under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society!

Obama declared that he will not allow the destruction of Medicare, in favor of a voucher system which would put senior citizens and disabled people back into poverty, as was the case before Johnson pushed through a way to promote dignity in old age by providing what every other industrial nation has, not only for older and disabled people, but all citizens in their nations!

Obama declared that he would not abandon the needs and security not only of senior citizens and the disabled, but also the young, the poor, and the average working man and woman, who is being victimized by a tax policy that has created more stratification of incomes than ever in American history, and greater than any other democratic nation in the world!

While there is a need for reforms within Medicare and Medicaid and other government programs, Obama said he would use a scalpel rather than a machete to deal with necessary changes.

He defended the rights of working people and the middle class, who have borne the burden of taxes, while the elite upper classes have been gaining tremendous tax breaks for the past decade, at the same time that the Bush Administration put us into tremendous national debt growth due to two unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a Prescription Drug Plan not paid for by taxpayers!

Obama emphasized the importance of investments in education, transportation infrastructure and energy research, and cuts in wasteful defense spending, of which there is much evidence, and the need to stop thinking of all defense expenditures as sacrosanct.

Obama also said what is going on is part of the perennial battle over the role and size of government, going back to the Founding Fathers (meaning the struggle between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson). We must understand, he declared, that this is a country which has a social compact to care about others, not just oneself, and that the concept of ME must be transformed to WE–that when some are victimized, the rest of us should be seen as lessened in our commitment to human dignity! The “American Dream” must be kept alive for future generations!

The Republican reaction was to say that Obama was overly “partisan”, as if they have not been such since Day One of the Obama Presidency!

The problem in reality is that Obama has not been partisan enough, and finally seems to have woken up to that fact, that this is a battle over the future of the country, and we cannot allow the extreme right wing of the GOP to win control of all branches of government!

We must fight back and give the Republican Party “hell” as Harry Truman did in 1948, and speak for real change as Franklin D. Roosevelt did with his New Deal in the 1930s and Lyndon Johnson did with his Great Society in the 1960s!

This is a battle to retain the political, social and economic reforms of the past hundred years, and to move into the future with optimism, and a belief that all citizens must play their role in the future of the nation, rather than the obsessive gathering of wealth at the expense of society at large!

So a salute to the President, and we look forward to a year and a half of active, aggressive campaigning by him as he seeks a second term in the White House, and a repudiation of the anti labor, anti women, anti children, anti elderly, anti poor, anti environment, anti science, anti health care, anti consumer regulation, anti financial regulation, anti education, anti Hispanic and Latino, anti African American, and ultimately anti middle class agenda of the Republican Party, and the Tea Party extremists within and outside the party establishment!

66 Years Since FDR’s Passing: The New Deal Legacy

On this day, April 12, in 1945, the second greatest President in American history, Franklin D. Roosevelt, passed away after 12 years and 39 days in office!

The President during the Great Depression and World War II, FDR saved the country from dictatorship and perpetuated democracy; saved the American capitalist system; promoted a sense of hope and faith in the American future; gave people dignity and a sense of optimism; provided millions of Americans with employment and income; promoted thousands of public works projects; gave American labor rights to collective bargaining; revived American agriculture; provided a sense of security for the elderly through the establishment of Social Security; provided public housing and electricity to millions of poor people; and convinced the American people that big national government could be responsive and successful as compared to incompetent state governments!

FDR also saved the country during World War II in the fight against Fascism, Nazism, and Japanese imperialism; advocated the concept of an international organization called the United Nations to promote world peace and cooperation; and promoted American becoming the leader of the free world!

Of course, there are criticisms that can be made of FDR and the New Deal and World War II policies, but despite those, FDR offered so much good service as President, and gave America the future it would have in the next two thirds of a century!

Now, sadly, the Republican Party is starting an assault on the New Deal, as well as Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, but liberals, progressives, and the Democratic Party must continue to fight, and not give in, to the reactionaries who wish to return us to the 1920s and Gilded Age mentality!

Florida’s Governor, The Republican Party, And The Attack On The Disabled: A Personal Note!

The author of this blog is now facing the reality of what the Republican Party, the state of Florida, and Governor Rick Scott are perpetrating in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s!

The attack has begun on Medicare and Medicaid, with the proposal of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who proposes privatization of both programs over a ten year period for all under the age of 55, leading to vouchers in the future, which will not provide adequate medical coverage for the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the disabled who benefit from these two programs of the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson!

But meanwhile, in many states controlled by GOP Governors, including the state of Florida in which I live with my younger son, Paul, who is on Social Security, Medicare, and until March 31 of this year on Medicaid, the attack has begun to wipe out those on the Medicaid rolls, as simply too costly for these states!

Rather than raise taxes on the very wealthy and corporations, and certainly NOT lower taxes on these privileged groups, Rick Scott of Florida, along with Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Paul LePage of Maine, and others are rapidly wiping disabled people, such as my son, off of Medicaid, without any justification in writing, any explanation, any concern about what it might do to my son’s health and well being, and that of millions of others in these states!

After nine years on Medicaid, and thank God, not much use, but occasionally having hospital bills because of seizures, my son is now faced with the possibility that future visits to hospitals will result in a massive bill, as a backup to Medicare coverage, that he will not be able to pay at the age of 27, as he does not have the ability to support himself financially, although he works very hard and diligently as a usher at a local movie theatre for the past six years, but only earns about $2,000 a year.

Were it not for the death of his mother six years ago, Paul would not be on Medicare coverage, and would not have any Medicaid coverage now as a result of the decision of Rick Scott’s government in Florida to cut him off from medical benefits! Being unable to pay the bill that Medicaid would have covered, Paul’s small attempt to establish a good credit rating will be destroyed once he has a hospital bill he cannot pay. And, unfortunately, as a retired (at least full time) faculty member in a couple of months, the author will not have the ability or legal responsibility to be able to pay what is likely to be a hefty bill from the hospital in the thousands of dollars, when a hospital admission were to occur!

The author is also concerned at the danger that Paul’s expensive medication for his seizure issues, more than $1,000 a month, might possibly be taken away, and the author’s inability to pay out for that kind of medication out of his own retirement income, even with future part time teaching!

Paul’s situation is just one example of what millions of people across America will be facing with the heartless, aloof, unconcerned attitude that Rick Scott and other Republicans, national, state and local, have on the issue of medical care for those less fortunate.

Paul is fortunate to have a loving father, and in the future, a loving brother, David, who will do whatever they can to insure him as good a life as they can afford, but what about the many people who will not have such fortune, and face being forced out of group homes and off Medicaid, and probably off prescription drugs they need to live and prosper? With Governor Scott’s executive order cutting funding immediately for Medicaid and disabled people, we will be seeing people much more health challenged than my son who will lose assistance in their daily lives, and in many cases, may have no place to live, and therefore, an inability to survive!

There is a need for everyone across the country who believes in human rights and dignity, and recognizes the crime being visited against the most unfortunate among us by Governor Rick Scott and other governors mentioned above, and by the Ryan plan in Congress for the next fiscal year, to organize and fight on this issue, by emails, phone calls, visits to state and congressional offices all over the nation, and marches and demonstrations nonstop to demand that this denial of rights and dignity to the most disabled and unfortunate among us be immediately stopped dead in its tracks, before we have dead people as a result of GOP “death panels” who decide we cannot afford Medicaid, but must make sure every fetus is born, but have no concern for what happens after birth!

For those who are reading this, thank you for your consideration of what I am saying, and know how much I love both my sons, and will continue to fight for them and all other people in this country who deserve nothing less than humane consideration by government at all levels!

The Tea Party Movement and the Republican Party may not care about what happens to the disabled and unfortunate among us, but we must pay them for their callousness with political action to repudiate their despicable, disgraceful message on how to save money at the expense of the needy!

The Significance Of National Public Radio: Thoughtful, Incisive Coverage Of News And International Affairs, NOT Propaganda As Conservative Talk Radio Is!

The Republican Party is out to destroy National Public Radio, which receives a small amount of its support from the federal government, but has been a major asset to the nation in all the years it has existed since Lyndon Johnson first promoted the concept in 1965!

National Public Radio offers thoughtful, incisive coverage of news and international affairs , not the propaganda and distortions of Conservative Talk Radio!

Listening to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and the other hate mongers who promote division and falsehoods over the airwaves, offers nothing but ignorance and distortion of the world we live in, and all hate anything foreign and prefer to promote narrow minded Christianity over open mindedness and tolerance. These despicable talk show hosts would rather enrich themselves than educate the American people in basic values and principles of our American democracy, or to assist them to appreciate the contributions of civilizations and societies around the world!

National Public Radio regularly gains massive financial support from thoughtful, educated listeners, who understand how important it is to civil discourse!

If we did not have National Public Radio, we would not have as much knowledge and insight into world events as we do, as many news organizations have cut back on coverage outside the United States because of budget cuts.

National Public Radio offers us the ability to interact with the world in a way that enriches every person who listens!

President Obama and the Democratic Senate will insure that National Public Radio remains available in smaller media markets where there are fewer media outlets, but the budget cuts will make the job of NPR more difficult to disseminate its quality coverage.

For the GOP to attack NPR, and also the educational contributions of PBS at the same time, is a opportunity to look into their souls and see just how narrow minded and bigoted and evil the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower has become!

Not for a minute would any of these outstanding Republican Presidents tolerate such a narrow minded and jaded view as the leaders of the party have presented themselves in today’s environment! This attack on NPR is an attack on education and tolerance and everything good in human beings, and the promotion of an agenda that could rightly be called an attempt at “mind control” by the plutocracy that now controls the Republican Party establishment, as it assaults human rights in the name of profit!

The GOP War On Women and Children: Despicable And Disgraceful! :(

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, appointed by President Ronald Reagan 25 years ago, and arguably the most conservative Justice in more than half a century, recently stated that women were not protected in the Constitution.

That shocking statement seems to be working itself out in the attack of the Republican Party, in Congress and in the states, on the rights and freedoms of American women and children.

Witness the following:

Republicans are trying to reduce women’s access to abortion care, and have been also trying to redefine rape, so as to lessen the opportunities or reasons for abortion.

A South Dakota legislator proposed a bill to make the murder of an abortion doctor justifiable homicide.

The party in Congress is trying to eliminate one billion dollars aid, including food, to low income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and children.

The party in Congress has proposed that hospitals be able to reject an abortion for a woman in danger of dying as a result of medical problems from the pregnancy.

Head Start, started under President Lyndon Johnson nearly fifty years ago, has been marked for a billion dollar cut in funding, eliminating spots for 200,000 children.

The Republicans want to cut spending on employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens, with two thirds of them being women.

The GOP called on Friday for elimination of all federal funding for Planned Parenthood health centers, which promotes responsible family planning.

And this series of actions against women and children are sponsored by people who profess to be “good Christians”, religious people who demonstrate absolutely no concern for life once it is born, and are mean spirited and nasty in their vicious attacks on women’s rights! 🙁

The Republican women in Congress, as a group, make one wonder how women could be so uncaring and lack compassion for those less fortunate, whether poor, young, or elderly. In many ways, they are actually worse than the Republican men! There is no way that Jesus Christ would approve of these “true believers”, who he would consider hypocrites in the extreme! 🙁

The Five Most Accomplished Congresses Of The Past Hundred Years!

As the 111th Congress officially comes to an end today, it is time to reflect on the accomplishments of the five best Congresses of the past hundred years.

The five most accomplished Congresses in chronological order would be as follows:

The 63rd Congress under President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1914).

The 73rd Congress under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1934).

The 80th Congress under President Harry S Truman (1947-1948).

The 89th Congress under President Lyndon B. Johnson (1965-1966).

The 111th Congress under President Barack Obama (2009-2010).

Notice all of the Congresses were under Democratic Presidents, but the 80th Congress was controlled by the opposition Republicans!

What makes these Congresses stand out?

The 63rd Congress–The Underwood Simmons Tariff, The Federal Reserve Act, The Federal Trade Commission Act, The Clayton Anti Trust Act, Internal Revenue Tax Act, La Follette Seamen’s Act.

The 73rd Congress–The Agricultural Adjustment Act, The National Industrial Recovery Act, The Tennessee Valley Authority, The Civilian Conservation Corps, The Public Works Administration, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, The Securities And Exchange Commission, Home Owners Loan Corporation, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, The 20th Amendment, The 21st Amendment.

The 80th Congress–The Defense Department, The Central Intelligence Agency, The National Security Council, The Council Of Economic Advisers,The 22nd Amendment, The Presidential Succession Act, The Taft-Hartley Act, The Truman Doctrine, The Marshall Plan.

The 89th Congress–The Elementary And Secondary Education Act, Higher Education Act, Department of Housing And Urban Development, Department of Transportation, Voting Rights Act, Immigration And Nationality Act, National Traffic And Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Medicare and Medicaid Act, National Foundation On The Arts And The Humanities Act, Federal Cigarette Labeling And Advertising Act, Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Freedom Of Information Act, Highway Beautification Act.

111th Congress–Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, Credit Card Act, Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, Student Aid And Fiscal Responsibility Act, Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act, Tax Relief And Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization And Job Creation Act, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act, 9/11 Health And Compensation Act, Food Safety And Modernization Act, START Treaty With Russia.

Much of the progress that this nation has seen in the past century is due to the activism of these five Congresses, and the Presidents in office at the time.

As we look to a likely very negative, regressive 112th Congress over the next two years, with a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, let us realize that we have seen great accomplishments in the past which should not be reversed by a reactionary Republican Party out to destroy all of the reforms that have made America a better place.

The fight to prevent regression and negativism begins tomorrow, and will be fought “tooth and nail” during 2011-2012. All progressives must unite in this battle and never give in to despair and cynicism. The battle for the future depends on it!