Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Slick Rick Nixon: Woodrow Wilson- The Third Party Speech, 1912

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Source: Slick Rick Nixon– Governor Woodrow Wilson, for President in 1912 

Source: Slick Rick Nixon: Woodrow Wilson- The Third Party Speech, 1912

On domestic policy and perhaps even foreign policy, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, were very similar. They were both Progressives ( in the classic and real sense ) but Teddy Roosevelt wanted to be President again after declining not to run for reelection in 1908 and perhaps not regretting that and after not getting the Republican nomination for President in 1912 created the Progressive Party and ran third-party for President in 1912.

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Source: Slide Player– Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party

Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat and back in 1912 the Democratic Party wasn’t seen and wasn’t a progressive party. A party that was dominated by right-wing Southerners who were basically Neo-Confederates and Nationalists. Wilson wasn’t those things, but he was to the right of Teddy Roosevelt. And in the Republican Party you had a conservative party led by President William H. Taft.

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Source: Slide Share– A new Progressive Party 

So in 1912 America was still a fairly conservative country, but there was an opening on the Left and perhaps even Far-Leftwith Eugene Debbs and his Socialist Party to take on the Conservative Republicans led by President Taft, with the Wilson progressive wing in the Democratic Party and the Roosevelt progressive wing in the Republican fleeing to the Progressive Party. Leaving President Taft without enough voters to get reelected.

I don’t see how Woodrow Wilson becomes President of the United States in 1912 or in the distant future if it’s just Democrats vs Republicans. Because the Republican Party had the Conservatives and the Progressives and the Democratic Party was a Dixie party controlled by Southern Neo-Confederates. Which is one thing that makes the 1912 presidential election so interesting and such a great election, because it really was liberal democracy with so much choice for American voters to choose from for President. A real Conservative in William Taft. A real Progressive in Theodore Roosevelt. And a moderate Progressive in Woodrow Wilson. As well as a hard-core Socialist in Eugene Debbs.

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Book TV: Afterwords- U.S. Senator Tom Daschle Interviewing Ira Shapiro: Broken

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Source: Book TV– Ira Shapiro

Source: Book TV: Afterwords- U.S. Senator Tom Daschle Interviewing Ira Shapiro: Broken

Warning! This post is for all of you not just political junkies, but Congressional junkie. Which are people with a special type of mental disorder that is worst than simply just being a political junkie. But for people who watch at least one hour of C-SPAN a day and at least one Congressional hearing or part of a hearing each week. You’ll get no news about what rehab the latest hot celebrity is going to and for what for. Or what shoes that person wore when they stopped for coffee in Malibu.

In all seriousness or as serious as I’ll be for this post, the U.S. Senate is broken and needs to be reformed. So does the U.S. House of Representatives by the way ( the lower chamber of Congress ) and I’ll get into a little bit of that with this post as well. But this is really about the Senate ( the upper chamber of Congress ) because it’s so important as an institution because like the court system and the U.S. Justice Department, they’re the only institutions that can hold the President and Executive accountable regardless of which party is in the White House or what the makeup in Congress is both in the House and Senate. And when the Senate doesn’t operate properly because of either hyper-partisanship or one party in the Senate is simply too divided to act, the country suffers and has to live with the gridlock.

Why is Congress both the House and Senate broken? Part of that has to do with the addiction to absolute power that both the Democratic Party and Republican Party has. This consumption to not just control the White House and Congress, but to have such large majorities in both chambers that they wouldn’t have to work with the minority party, especially the minority leadership on anything. I don’t believe it’s so much the leadership’s in both parties that are driving the hyper-partisanship but the hyper-partisan fringe bases that literally see any type of compromise with the other party as treason and an offense that deserves a primary for that member of Congress or the leader, who decided to work with the other party even on need to pass legislation and when the margins in Congress are close.

Another part has to do with gerrymandering both from the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party as well. Not just in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, where the Republican Party has successfully if not unconstitutionally gerrymandered all of the House districts in those states. But the Democratic Party has done this as well in California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. It’s just that the Republican Party currently controls 34-50 statehouses with a solid majority of individual legislatures all over the country and has been more successful at this what I would I call at least an unconstitutional hyper-partisan policy.

Another contributor to this hyper-partisanship in America has to do with dark money. Where outside groups can give a Senator or Representative, financial contributions to their political campaigns without anyone else knowing about that. Not even their constituents would know where the members of Congress are getting their political money. As well as third-party hyper-partisan groups in both parties who run adds in a state or district  in an attempt to push the incumbent or candidate to vote a certain way when their issue is addressed in Congress. Or run ads to make a particular incumbent  or candidate look bad and to support their opponent without actually naming the candidate. And these groups don’t have to reveal how they’re funding their political operations and neither do members of Congress.

So what would I do about it? Well like any good responsible doctor ( and I’m not ) before they recommend a prescriptions for their patients physical issues, they first look to see what the problems are and then look to see what can be done about those issues. What I’m doing here is a political diagnosis of Congress, especially the Senate which traditionally has operated and been run through bipartisanship. Where the Minority Leader was almost as important and powerful as the Leader of the Senate.

There are several things that can be done to fix Congress. And trying to make the Senate look like House where the minority party is simply just there to vote against the majority party, like in the House for the most part, which seems to be the goals of current Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, or to try to make the House look like the Senate where you basically need a super majority to pass the most basic pieces of legislation except for reconciliation, wouldn’t work.

The House needs to continue to be the House, otherwise Congressional gridlock will just get even worst. But the House should be more like the Senate at least in this sense. Allow for the minority party under the leadership of the Minority Leader, to offer relevant amendments and alternatives to all legislation in the House. Both in committee and on the floor. The majority party would still not have to work with the minority party, but at least the minority would be able to debate, offer amendments and alternatives, and get votes on those proposals.

Reform if not eliminate the Senate filibuster. Right now even amendments to bills can be filibustered and blocked in the Senate. If you keep the filibuster, only limit it to the final passage of bills after debate and voting on amendments have been completed.

Allow the minority party under the leadership of the Minority Leader, to offer amendments to all bills that come to committee and make it to the floor for debate and consideration. Eliminate the filibuster, but replace it with a tabling motion that could only be made by the Leader and Minority Leader, that could only be offered at the end of debate on legislation. Which would take 60 votes to overrule the tabling motion. Which means the Senate along with the judiciary and the U.S. Justice Department, will continue to serve as checks on executive power regardless of which party is in power and if they have complete power with Control over Congress as well. But the Senate and House as well, would be able to get back to debating and legislating. Offering other ideas and alternatives as well.

Amendments and alternatives to bills, could no longer be filibustered or even tabled with this new set of Senate rules. But either floor manager ( the Chairman or Ranking Member of the committee ) could mark amendments that don’t have bipartisan co-sponsors as controversial. Amendments that are simply design to weaken or defeat bills. And the member with the controversial amendment could appeal to the chair and their amendment would then need 60 votes to pass, instead of 51. But they would still get their amendment voted on.

Eliminate gerrymandering of all U.S. House districts, as well as all state legislative districts in the country. Which will vote out the hyper-partisans on the Far-Right and Far-Left in America. Those people would be replaced by center-right Republicans and Center-Left Democrats. And these Representative’s would then have political incentive to work with members of the other party and even vote with them from time to time.

Pass a Federal complete disclosure act of all political contributions to all Federal campaigns. For all Federal incumbents and candidates, but all third-party groups would also have to disclose under Federal law how they’re paying for their political operations. Where they’re getting their money and have no loopholes in this disclosure act. American voters would then be able to see where their members of Congress, as well as their President, is getting their political money. When they see a third-party political ad on TV, they’ll see where that group is getting their money.

Don’t see commonsense bipartisan proposals and plans ever passing in Congress and don’t expect an approach to how Congress operates like this anytime soon. Not until the U.S. Supreme Court outlaws gerrymandering at least. Unless Americans voters make this an import issue and you start seeing rallies around the country calling for the end of hyper-partisanship in Congress. But if you want to fix Congress, especially the Senate, but the House as well, this would be an approach that could accomplish that.

Deborah Gordon: Governor George Romney- 1968 Interview by Lou Gordon: On Being Brainwashed on Vietnam

Source: Deborah Gordon: George Romney 1968 Interview by Lou Gordon: On Being Brainwashed On Vietnam

Governor George Romney not only telling Lou Gordon that he was against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War in 1968, but that he had been brainwashed. Which is a very interesting point and for these reasons. Prior to Watergate and the Vietnam War, Americans tended to trust what their government was telling them until they saw real information that contradicted that. The Silent Generation is probably the last generation that tended to believe what their government was telling them.

The Vietnam War and Watergate, go up to the Iran Contra in the 1980s, and Bill Clinton scandals minor and major, real and fake, from the 1990s and of course that started to change. If Americans were to believe what their government was telling them, they need real hard information and facts first before they believe what their Representative or Senator, or President is saying. Americans today are more inclined to believe that their politicians are lying to them when they’re attempting to sound factual, than they’re simply just wrong or actually telling the truth.

But why do Americans tend to believe their government is lying to them, or at least not telling them the truth? Go back to the mid and late 1960s with President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War, where President Johnson and his National Security Council were saying how great the Vietnam War was going and that we were winning that the Communist Vietnamese were close to surrendering. When the fact any solider or marine on the ground in Vietnam fighting for America and to free Vietnam from communism, knew the opposite was true. The Americans won the battles but the Communists were winning the war and holding their territory with Americans taking a lot of causalities and injuries.

What Governor Romney was telling journalist Lou Gordon in 1968 about his trip to Vietnam and what he personally saw there as far as the war there, was that America wasn’t wining this war even though that is what the American military and foreign affairs officers were telling Governor Romney is that America was winning. So Romney thought he was being brainwashed by his government officials there which is why he came out against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War after supporting it before.

 

C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

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Source: C-SPAN

Source: C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

I agree with Scott Berg as far as how consequential President Woodrow Wilson was. “We must create a world safe for democracy”, is the most famous and important quote of the Wilson Presidency. That is the foreign policy in one way or another that America has used and been a part of since his presidency, except for again perhaps Donald Trump who is more of a Nationalist and not so much interested in working with our allies when it comes to foreign policy. And when America does act in foreign affairs and national security, President Trump and his Administration tends to do it alone.

Almost every President since Woodrow Wilson has had their own version of this liberal internationalist policy that is about promoting, protecting, and defending, democracy around the world.

President Franklin Roosevelt and then later President Harry Truman, were our strongest liberal internationalist hawks. World War II being the perfect example of that where America conquered Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and knocked out those authoritarian regimes that were replaced with democratic government’s and democratic constitution’s.

President Dwight Eisenhower was perhaps our most cautious liberal internationalist President and believed in limited usage of our military power. And understood the importance of having a strong military like our other President’s, but understood perhaps the limits of American power and that we couldn’t do everything ourselves as a military power. Probably the most anti-Neoconservative President that we’ve had.

John F. Kennedy perhaps being the strongest anti-Communist President that we’ve had and strongest cold warrior that we’ve had as President as a liberal internationalist.

President Lyndon Johnson tried to literally wipeout communism in all of Vietnam and using almost exclusively American power to do that.

President Richard Nixon was  a strong anti-Communist himself but was the great negotiator and believed the best way to defeat communism and authoritarianism in general, was to open authoritarian regimes up to Western culture and freedom.

President Jimmy Carter was a strong liberal internationalist and anti-Communist himself as President, as well as a World War II Naval veteran, believed that communism wasn’t the only threat to freedom and human rights. And gave his best speech as President in 1977 about the importance and need for human rights and freedom and that communism wasn’t the only opponent of those things.

President Ronald Reagan, believed that America should no longer try to live with the Cold War, but win it by ending it. President Reagan, obviously didn’t win the Cold War and defeat the Soviet Union by himself with all the President’s I just mentioned going back to Harry Truman, all having a major role there. But President Reagan hated communism so much and the system that Russia had that it had to be defeated and eliminated and replaced with a more responsible governmental system.

President George H.W. Bush, saw a world post-Cold War where America would be able to trade and work with all of our new European allies and even ben able to work with Russia to keep the peace in Europe and protect democracy there, but also protect and defend democracy in other parts of the world. Like in Asia and Africa. The 1991 Gulf War wasn’t America against Iraq, but America, Europe, and even Arabian countries, against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It took President Bill Clinton at least two years to develop his own foreign policy as President, but the Balkans in Southern Europe and the wars going on there is where you finally see the Bill Clinton Doctrine as President. That America wouldn’t stand by and watch authoritarian regimes try to wipeout ethnic groups and ethnic minorities in their own countries. And because of this foreign policy the Communist ethno-Seriban State of Yugoslavia, is no longer in existence. And we now see democratic peaceful countries in the Balkans. And President Clinton worked with Europe and this was a American/European campaign against Yugoslavia. First during the Bosnian/Serbian conflict in Yugoslavia and then later in Albanian Kosovo.

President George W. Bush is where you see a break from America’s liberal internationalist foreign policy doctrine. He was a Neoconservative as President with the 9/11 attacks being the ignitor to this new right-wing authoritarian unilateral foreign and national security policy. The 2003 Iraq War as basically America and Britain, against Iraq because America didn’t like Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Saddam was brutal to his people as President of Iraq, but never before had we eliminated another dictatorial regime simply because we didn’t like them.

President Barack Obama, gets I believe most of his best marks as President in foreign affairs especially in his first term. You can say what you want about Libya today but America and Europe working together, with both France and Italy, having major roles there, stepped in to that civil war and crude the Quadafi Regime in Libya. Not just because we didn’t like the regime there but because the Libyan Military was about to crush 100,000 people in Benghazi and we not stepped in the Libyan Military would have massacred 100,000 of their own people simply to protect the Quadafi Regime.

Woodrow Wilson was obviously a flawed President and was a racist as President who believed that European-Americans were superior to African-Americans, simply because of their race. And was a s supporter of the Jim Crow segregationist laws of the South and these are horrible aspects of the Woodrow Wilson Administration. But you’ll have a real hard time finding a President who had more of  an impact on America as they relate both to our economy with the Federal Reserve, the progressive income tax, and and support for workers rights, as well as foreign policy and national security, than President Woodrow Wilson. I don’t believe we become the world superpower without President Wilson, at least not as soon as we did without him. And he deserves a lot of credit for these policies.

 

Learn Out Loud: American Presidents Series- President Woodrow Wilson Biography

Source: Learn Out Loud: American Presidents Series- President Woodrow Wilson Biography

As I’ve blogged before I have mixed feelings about President Woodrow Wilson. Similar to how I feel about President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, President Lyndon Johnson as well.

One one side you have this brilliant foreign policy leader and President who literally is the father of the liberal internationalist doctrine. That was the American foreign policy with each President making their own amendments to that doctrine especially President George W. Bush who was a Neoconservative, that was about defending liberal democracy at home and abroad. Working with our allies to defend, protect, and promote liberal democracy and prosperity around the world. Work with friendly developing countries to promote and defend democracy and prosperity in those countries through foreign aide. President Wilson’s liberal internationalist doctrine, was the foreign policy doctrine of the Democratic Party all the way though President Barack Obama’s presidency.

And then on the economic front you have a pretty Progressive President in Woodrow Wilson. He expanded the regulatory state that was created by President Theodore Roosevelt with the creation of the Federal Reserve and creation of the national progressive income tax. He supported tariffs on foreign goods. He supported workers rights and even organized labor. He was in favor of creating public Unemployment Insurance that President Teddy Roosevelt first proposed as President, but like President Roosevelt President Wilson failed to get Unemployment Insurance through Congress.

But then you had this other side of Woodrow Wilson who along with being the father of America’s liberal internationalist foreign policy doctrine, President Wilson was also one of the father’s of Jim Crow laws and segregation among the races both in the public and private sectors. President Wilson had given life to the Southern Dixiecrat segregationist Neo-Confederate Governor’s in the South who didn’t see African-Americans has American citizens and perhaps even as human beings. And wanted them segregated from European-Americans through force. Who were in bed politically with the Ku Klux Klan and wouldn’t prosecute from for their terrorism against African and Jewish-Americans, As well as other racial and ethnic minorities in America.

You get Jim Crow and the segregationist policies out of the Woodrow Wilson Presidency and had he been successful in getting the League of Nations passed in Congress through the Senate and we’re talking about one of our greatest American president’s instead of being in the 20s of wherever he’s ranked but certainly in the middle of the pack. But you can’t get Jim Crow out of the Wilson Presidency, just like you can’t get Watergate out of the Richard Nixon Presidency. Because of the lasting horrible legacy of Jim Crow that went all the way through the 1960s in America. That alone could make a good argument for President Wilson not being a mediocre President, but one of our worst ever.

The Film Archives: Booknotes With Brian Lamb- August Hecksher: Woodrow Wilson- Biography, Background, Education & Politics

Source: The Film Archives: Booknotes With Brian Lamb- August Hecksher: Woodrow Wilson- Biography, Family Background, Education & Politics

As I mentioned last week, I have mixed feelings about Woodrow Wilson and his politics. Because on one side he’s basically the father of liberal internationalism and was our first liberal internationalist as President. This foreign policy that is about liberal democracy, defending liberal democracy, supporting liberal democracy around the world, and working with our allies to defend liberal democracy and promote liberal democracy. To defend liberal democracy against communism and other authoritarian philosophies around the world. This has been the dominate foreign policy of the Democratic Party going from President Wilson, all the way up to President Barack Obama.

But while President Wilson believed in liberal internationalism and defending liberal democracy around the world which was a reason why he got America involved in World War I, he supported and promoted authoritarianism at home. He is one of the father’s and architects of our Jim Crow laws that segregated the races in schools and other forms forms of access to American life like housing and backing to use as other examples. Which was always a big weapon and tool that authoritarian states like Russia and others used during the Cold War, used against America. Saying that while we attack their authoritarianism in their countries, we promote a different type of authoritarianism in our own country. By denying African-Americans access to American life simply because of their race.

So on one side you have a brilliant President when it comes to foreign policy and national security, similar to Richard Nixon or George H.W. Bush, but without as many national security qualifications as President Nixon or President Bush, But on the other side you have a President who believes Americans should be separated simply because of their race and that African-Americans are inferior to European-Americans, simply because of their race and complexion. You combine Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy, with Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights policy, with Bill Clinton’s economic policy, and you might have the perfect President politically. Because those three President’s were so successful in their one area. Without President Wilson’s lack of support for civil and equal rights, I believe we’re definitely talking about a great President instead of a mediocre President.

Hip Hughes: Keith Hughes- The Election of 1912 Explained

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Source: Hip Hughes

Source: Hip Hughes: Keith Hughes- The Election of 1912 Explained

As I’ve blogged before the 1912 presidential election is a very important and interesting election for many reasons. I mean if you’re a political junky such as myself the 1912 election is not the Super Bowl of American politics, but its the best Super Bowl of all-time. It’s the Super Bowls of Super Bowls and not like the modern Super Bowl or NFL where the last Super Bowl is automatically pumped up and sold as the greatest Super Bowl of all-time by the media and even the NFL, until the next Super Bowl. But this election was really the best ever I believe because of the clear choices that the American voters had.

1912 wasn’t about Democrat versus Republican and perhaps a charming entertaining third-party candidate who has hopes of getting 5% of the vote and sneak into the presidential debates. If there was TV back in 1912 at least 3-4 presidential candidates would’ve been invited to the debates and in the debates. Perhaps even all four with Socialist candidate Eugene Debs who got about 6% of the vote getting into the debates as well. Because the old progressive faction of the Republican Party thanks to Theodore Roosevelt, broke away from the Republican Party in 1912 and formed their Progressive Party.

The only thing that could’ve made the 1912 presidential elections better, perhaps along with TV, but instead of having two Conservatives in that election ( not to take a shot at Conservatives ) but have one Conservative being President William Taft. One Liberal whoever the Democratic candidate is. Along with the Progressive being Teddy Roosevelt and the Socialist being Gene Debs. But instead there were two Conservatives ( again, not to take a shot at Conservatives ) with President Taft and Governor Woodrow Wilson, and a Progressive, as well as a Socialist. Taft and Wilson, differed a little on economic policy, but tended to agree on the other issues. TR and Debs, differed a lot from Taft and Wilson and also differed a lot from each other. TR was truly a Progressive and Debs was truly a pacifist-isolationist Democratic Socialist. Similar to Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party today.

Liberal democratic politics meaning liberal democracy and not the Democratic Party necessarily and American politics in general, should be about choice. And not just one or the other like trying to decide if you want the chicken or fish on an airline flight, but several choices with each candidate looking different from the others. That is what the 1912 presidential election represented and what American politics should be about generally. And if that means having runoffs and reforming the Electoral College so the winner doesn’t win the election with 40% of the vote which is what Woodrow Wilson won with in 1912, then I would be in favor of that.