Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Stan Musial—Progressive & Decent

Stan_Musial_1953

I regret the death a few days ago of Hall of Fame baseball player Stan Musial at age 92.

(Above–Stan Musial.)

Mr. Musial was loyal to his wife, loyal to the Midwestern river city of St. Louis and welcoming to Jackie Robinson when he broke into the Major Leagues in 1947.

Mr. Musial campaigned for John Kennedy in ’60, was appointed to LBJ’ s President’s Council on Physical Fitness and supported Barack Obama.

Mr. Musial was active in the Polish-American community.

Mr. Musial had a basic decent progressive conservatism that I have a lot of regard for as an outlook of life. Mr. Musial was not a radical in any sense, but if more folks had his day-to-day commitments and values this would be a better society.

Here is the Associated Press obituary for Stan Musial.

Here is Stan Musial’s lifetime baseball record from Baseball Reference.com.

January 21, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

State Of The Union Another Reminder That It Is Up To Each Of Us To Act—You Can’t Just Sit And Watch Stuff

I just watched the State of the Union address.

Here is a brief history of the State of the Union address from the website of the U.S. House of Representatives.

(Above–1963 State of the Union. President Kennedy is addressing Congress. Behind Mr. Kennedy is Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the left and House Speaker John McCormack on the right. The Miller Center at the University of Virgina is a great non-ideological resource to learn about all the Presidents from Washington to Obama.)

Anything I write on the topic will be stale by tomorrow afternoon and I want to go watch Elizabeth Warren on The Daily Show. I suppose I can go as far to say that the speech was effective enough as the President seeks reelection and that the most wealthy should indeed pay a fair share of the taxes.

We should also recall that President Obama has raised a lot of money and that he has obligations to his large contributors. It is wishful thinking that the President is a socialist.

Here is a story on the speech from the New York Times.

Here is a transcript of the speech. 

Here is a take on the speech from the great liberal magazine The Nation. 

As a matter of general principle–Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Learn your history, keep up with the present, get involved in whatever way suits your life, take responsibility for the future of our nation and the world, and please forgive my preaching in this run-on sentence.

January 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debt Ceiling Standoff Reminiscent Of Cuban Missile Crisis—An Interesting View Of The Cuban Missile Crisis

The debt ceiling talks have begun to remind me of the Cuban Missile  Crisis.

(Above–Soviet missiles in Cuba. Big trouble back in 1962.)

Which side will blink first?

(Here are facts about the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

As for the debt ceiling negotiations, I hope President Obama does not sell us out with benefit cuts and domestic spending cuts that make life tougher than it is already. The wealthy have the resources to pay more taxes. If the debt is such a threat, then everybody needs to be part of the solution. Though the real issue–jobs– is ignored by both major parties. 

A great book for an interesting take of the Cuban Missile Crisis is Humanity–A Moral History of the Twentieth Century by Jonathan Glover.

This book examines the brutality of the 20th century and the competing impulses of good and evil in indviduals and in larger society.

It is not a cheery book.

From the 2000 review of Humanity in the New York Times—-

Glover draws hope from the recurring breakthroughs of moral resources and from the happy episodes in which they conspired to avert disaster. During the Cuban missile crisis, Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy were reminded of the human cost of the nuclear brink they were approaching, Khrushchev by memories of two world wars fought on his soil, Kennedy by a graphic briefing of the aftermath of an atomic bomb. And each understood they were in a Hobbesian trap. Kennedy had just read Barbara Tuchman’s ”Guns of August” and saw how the leaders of great nations could sleepwalk into a pointless and awful war. Khrushchev, thinking like a game theorist, wrote to Kennedy: ”You and I should not now pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied a knot of war, because the harder you and I pull, the tighter this knot will become. And a time may come when this knot is tied so tight that the person who tied it is no longer capable of untying it, and then the knot will have to be cut.” By identifying the trap, they could set the shared goal of escaping it. In the teeth of opposition from many of their advisers, both made concessions that may have literally saved the world.”

Here is a link to the first chapter of Humanity.

I believe that there is good and evil and that people make choices about how they will proceed in life. At the same time, I think we are often trapped in circumstances not of our own making, and that we are not always in control of our choices in life.

I don’t see any fatal contradiction  inherent to these views. It is unlikely that existence itself could come to term without a foundation of conflict, contradiction, and competing elements. These aspects of creation echo in the decisions made by leaders in times of crisis, and in the everyday lives that you and I lead.

We can admit the reality of contradiction and conflict while at the same time choosing clear and hopeful courses of action.

We can take part in the issues of today while looking at the lessons of the past.

We can move forward in a difficult world.

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Governor Perry Correct To Call For Prayer To End Drought—Maybe Plagues Are Being Visited Upon Texas For Neglect Of The Poor And We Should Pray For A Better Governor


Texas Governor Rick Perry has declared three days of prayer in response to the drought that is impacting Texas and helping to cause severe wildfires.

( Above–It is hot and dry in Texas) 

These three days run from April 22 to April 24.

Here is the link to the official proclamation.

From the proclamation—

WHEREAS, these dire conditions have caused agricultural crops to fail, lake and reservoir levels to fall and cattle and livestock to struggle under intense stress, imposing a tremendous financial and emotional toll on our land and our people; and

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up;  it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

This is good. Texans of all kinds find solace and hope in prayer. Governor Perry is right to call upon Texans to consider the hard times that many in our state are dealing with at the moment.

However, if prayer is a possible solution to the drought impacting all Texans, it could also be so that the drought is a plague being visited upon Texas from God for how hard our hearts our towards the poor and most vulnerable in our state.

Governor Perry and our Texas legislature are currently considering brutal cuts to our state budget. These cuts would hurt some of the most needy and most hard-working Texans.

Texans have the option to pray for Governor Perry to be a more decent human being. Texans have the option to pray that we consider climate science as we deal with droughts and hurricanes in the Lone Star State.

Here is a 1953 Life Magazine article reporting how Texans at that time also dealt with a drought and prayed for rain.  Maybe at that time Texans were being punished for Jim Crow laws. Maybe Texas has been on the wrong side of God for a long time.

Prayer and concern for others is of great value. At the same time, we must recall John Kennedy‘s words” that here on Earth God’s work must truly be our own.”  

(Below–The Seventh Plague as painted  in 1823 by John Martin. The seventh plague visited upon Egypt by God was as follows–“And Moses stretcheth out his rod towards the heavens, and Jehovah hath given voices and hail, and fire goeth towards the earth, and Jehovah raineth hail on the land of Egypt’


April 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Non-Profit Community-Owned Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl—Vince Lombardi Was A Democrat

The Green Bay Packers, who just won the Super Bowl, are the only community-owned non-profit team in American major league sports.

(Above–Citizen-owners at the Packers game. Photo by yunggunn2k3.)

From the Georgetown University newspaper The Hoya

“Unlike the 31 other professional football teams, or any other sports team for that matter, the Packers are not owned by some wealthy individual (or group of individuals) seeking a profit. Instead, they’re owned and managed by 111,968 devoted fans. In that lies their power….Green Bay fans themselves vote on and serve as part of the board of directors, which appoints the pivotal managerial and coaching staff of the Packers. Unlike most other teams across the nation, when Packers fans are frustrated, they don’t have to suck it up. They have the ability to enact change through shareholder votes and air their grievances directly with Packer management.Socialism has worked pretty well in this case.”

Socialism seems to work pretty well for the Packers.

Not only that, legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, was a loyal Democrat.

Coach Lombardi was close friends with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Here is a great quote from Coach Lombardi—

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Congratulations to the citizen-owners of the Green Bay Packers.

Building on a foundation of teamwork provided in good part by the enduring example of the visionary Vince Lombardi, a true people’s championship has been won at Super Bowl XLV.

(Below—Coach Vince Lombardi–A Great American.)


February 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barack Obama Turns 49 On August 4—Here Are Our Youngest Presidents

(Blogger’s Note–This is a post from late 2007. With President Obama turning 49 tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to run the post again.)

With much discussion of the relative youth of Senator Barack Obama, who is 46, here is a list of U.S. Presidents who have taken office in their 40’s with their age and year they were sworn in. Also included are the more notable aspects in the careers of our youngest Presidents before reaching the White House and a very brief account of their time in the White House.

(Above–Birthplace of U.S. Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio)

The links for the Presidents are to the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The information on the Presidents is first-rate and well worth taking time to review and study

James Polk, 49, 1845

Polk served  two years in the Tennessee House, two years as Governor of Tennessee and 14 years in the U.S House. For four years Polk was Speaker of the U.S. House.

Polk was an aggressive President in terms of territorial expansion of the United States. He acquired Oregon by treaty and much of Mexico by force in the Mexican-American War. He was not very helpful if you were a slave or a Native American. Some say Polk was too quick to go to war with Mexico.

Franklin Pierce, 48, 1853

Pierce served four years in the New Hampshire House, four years in the U.S. House and five years in the U.S. Senate.

Pierce is considered one of our worst Presidents for his inability to deal effectively with the tensions between the North and South. 65 year old James Buchanan did little better as Pierce’s successor.

Ulysses Grant, 46, 1869

Grant spent 15 years in the army and led the Union army in the Civil War. Grant was also Secretary of War in 1867 and ’68 under Andrew Johnson.

The common view of Grant is that though Grant was not personally corrupt, he led a corrupt administration.

James Garfield, 49, 1881

Garfield spent 17 years in the U.S House from Ohio. He was the chairman of a number of House committees over that time. Garfield saw combat in the Civil War and reached the rank of Major General.

Garfield was shot and killed nine months after becoming President.

Grover Cleveland 47, 1885

Cleveland had been an Assistant District Attorney of Erie County New York, Sheriff of Erie County and Mayor of Buffalo. He was Governor of New York for two years.

Cleveland , in my view, should be known best for his refusal to aid struggling farmers and for his allegiance to Gilded Age politics.

Theodore Roosevelt 42, 1901

The youngest President, Roosevelt had the experience of two years in the New York House, six years on the U.S. Civil Service Commission and two years as Police Commissioner of New York City.  He was also an Assistant Secretary of the Navy under William McKinley, Governor of New York for two years and Vice President for McKinley for just over six months before McKinley was assassinated.

Roosevelt was our first “progressive” President. He expanded the reach of government into health and safety regulation. He also was a major behind-the-scenes player in a revolution in Panama that allowed the United States to acquire the land for the Panama Canal.  Roosevelt was always doped up on his own testosterone so it is hard to know if he ever matured at any point in his life.

John Kennedy 43, 1961

Kennedy served in WW II, was elected to three terms in the U.S. House from Massachusetts and was a member of the U.S. Senate for 8 years.

Kennedy’s Presidency was cut short. he began a number of the liberal reforms that were carried on by Lyndon Johnson.

Bill Clinton 46, 1993

Clinton had been Attorney General of Arkansas for two years and Governor of that state for ten years.

Everybody has their own view of Bill Clinton.

Our youngest Vice President was John Breckinridge of Kentucky. Breckinridge was 36 when sworn-in in 1857 to serve with President Buchanan. After his one term in office, Breckinridge served as a General in the Confederate Army. Before the Vice Presidency, Breckinridge had been an officer in the Mexican-American War and a member of the Kentucky House and the U.S. House.

William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska is the youngest major party nominee for the Presidency. Bryan was 36 when he won the Democratic nomination in 1896. Bryan had served two terms in the U.S. House.

Senator Obama would be 47 on Inauguration Day 2009. He served eight years in the Illinois Senate and by 2009 would have four years in the U.S. Senate.

(Below—Polk’s Tomb in Nashville. Youth is fleeting.)

August 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shirtless Presidents

Barack Obama— 

 

John Kennedy—

Teddy Roosevelt—

Gerald Ford(The jumper on the left)

Ronald Reagan—

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog Readers Demand To Know—How Has Texas Voted In Recent Presidential Elections?

A kind Texas Liberal reader by the name of Kathleen has e-mailed me asking the results of recent Presidential elections in Texas.

You will see that Texas has voted Democratic for President just once since Lyndon Johnson of Texas left the White House. Regretfully, 2008 seems likely to continue that pattern.  

Here is how Texas has voted for President since 1948.

1948

Truman (D) 65.4%

Dewey (R) 24.6%

Thurmond (Dixiecrat) 9.3%

(Below—Harry Truman)

Truman pass-the-buck.jpg

1952    

Eisenhower (R) 53.1%

Stevenson (D) 46.7%

1956

Eisenhower (R) 55.3%

Stevenson (D) 44.0%

1960

Kennedy (D) 50.5%

Nixon (R) 48.5%

(Below–Richard Nixon in World War II.)

1964

Johnson (D) 63.3%

Goldwater (R) 36.5%

1968

Humphrey (D) 41.1%

Nixon (R) 39.9%

Wallace (I) 19.0%

1972

Nixon (R) 66.2%

McGovern (D) 33.3%

(Below—George McGovern)

George McGovern bioguide.jpg

1976

Carter (D) 51.1%

Ford (R) 48.0%

1980

Reagan (R) 55.3%

Carter (D) 41.4%

Anderson (I) 2.5% 

1984

Reagan (R) 63.6%

Mondale (D) 36.1%

1988

Bush (R) 56.0%

Dukakis (D) 43.3%

1992

Bush (R) 40.6%

Clinton (D) 37.1%

Perot (Reform) 22.0%

(Below–Clinton, Bush and Perot in 1992.)

Debates.jpg

1996

Dole (R) 48.8%

Clinton (D) 43.8%

Perot (Reform) 6.7%

2000

Bush (R) 59.3%

Gore (D) 38.0%

Nader (G) 2.2%

2004

Bush (R) 61.1%

Kerry 38.2 %

(Below–George W. Bush)

 

Thanks to Kathleen for the question.

I have many reference sources on politics and would be happy to reply to any question on American political history that you the blog reader might have. Just leave a question in the comment space.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal.

( Please click here for one of the most popular posts ever on Texas Liberal—Blog Readers Demand To Know What Is Done With Shamu’s Body After He Dies.)

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Will Alabama Vote In The 2008 Presidential Election—Views, Facts & History

How will Alabama vote in the 2008 Presidential election?

The odds are good that this deeply misguided state will cast its nine electoral votes for the Republican candidate. 

( Above you see a marker with the state motto of Alabama. Make of it what you will.)

It is not for me to give up on people. I don’t have any final call on who can be redeemed and who can not.

But I must say that Alabama is a place I have largely given up on.

This is because of a 2003 statewide referendum in Alabama.

In this vote, the people rejected a proposal by conservative Republican Governor Bob Riley to provide more funding for education, bring about a more equitable state tax scheme, and raise taxes on some people, though not all people, in Alabama. The initiative was also supported by Alabama Democratic Party.

Governor Riley cited a New Testament instruction to “take care of the least among us” as part of the reason he supported this measure.  

The plan was rejected 67% -33%. 

Do you imagine that Alabama has good educational results and a fair tax structure?  

What can you do with such a place? The people made the call about how that want to live and what values they have.

There are many good people in Alabama I am sure. I am sure these folks are tying their best.

Still, Alabama it’s John McCain territory all the way.

For many years Alabama voted Democratic as part of the “Solid South” of former Confederate states.

Alabama switched to supporting Republicans in seeming response to the Civil Rights movement.   

In 2004, whites in Alabama voted 80% 19% for George W. Bush while blacks voted 91%-6% for John Kerry.

It’s a clear and unfair simplification to say all whites who voted for Mr. Bush in Alabama are racist.

Yet the history of this state is there for all to consider.

Here are some basic facts about Alabama in Presidential elections—

2006 Population Of Alabama—4.599 Million, 23rd in population, 70% white, 26% black, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian.

Here are some basic facts and history about Alabama.  

Recent winners— 2004–G.W. Bush 62%, 2000– G.W. Bush 56%, 1996– Dole 50%, 1992– G.W.H. Bush 48%, 1988– G.W.H. Bush 59%.

Last Democrat To Carry State—Jimmy Carter 1976.  

Last Non-Southern Democrat To Win State-John Kennedy 1960. This was at the end of the days of the Democratic Solid South.

Presidents From Alabama—None. 

Vice Presidents From Alabama—William King. (Above) Served only in 1853 as he died the year he was inaugurated. Vice President King was the running mate of Franklin Pierce.  Mr. King’s profile on the U.S. Senate web page shows a long career in the Senate. He was not a major player, but he saw a lot of history. The profile also hints at what I’ve read elsewhere. That Vice President King was gay and that he was involved with his one-time roommate and future President James Buchanan.     

Candidates For President From Alabama Winning At Least 3% Of The Popular Vote In A General ElectionGeorge Wallace,1968. Governor Wallace won 13% of the vote and carried five Southern states. His third-party states rights campaign is seen by some as a bridge for white Southerners from longtime allegiance to Democrats to the current Republican status quo.  

The house below is part of the de Tonti Historic District in Mobile.

  

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Observations On Clinton/Obama Debate

Welcome to Texas Liberal live blogging of the Texas Primary debate between Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York.

Above is a photo of Stephen Douglas of Illinois of the famous Lincoln–Douglas Debate of 1858.     

7:05 PM—Mrs. Clinton mentions the great Barbara Jordan.

7:10 PM–Senator Obama correctly points out what a waste of resources the War in Iraq has been, though does not mention that Mrs. Clinton voted for the war.  This great web page discusses the obscene cost of the Iraq War.

7:18 PM–In a question about Cuba, Senator Obama says it does not hurt to talk to people.

He’s right. What does it hurt to talk?

7:22 PM—Everybody likes to mention John Kennedy.

7:25 PM–Senator Obama mentions shipping out jobs to other nations. But maybe it is time for India and China to live the kind of lives we have lived here for many years. What about scaling back our lives to some degree as the world changes?

7:30 PM–Mrs. Clinton discusses aggressive government regulation to address the housing crisis.

Good for her! People like government a lot better when it is doing something for them. Government has a role in people’s lives.

7:35 PM–Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama both right on immigration. Find a path to citizenship for these folks.  

7:41 PM– Mrs. Clinton and Senator Obama both right again. Border fence a bad idea. How can you police and fence all of the border? Sensible policy ideas would work much better.

7:49 PM—Commercial Break–No reason not to profit off democracy.

7:53 PM—Question about how civil this debate has been in contrast to rough words spoken in past.

Mrs. Clinton works a few jabs in.   

8:00 PM– Senator Clinton denigrates the idea that words matter and that hope matters.  

8:05 PM–Senator Clinton fails to mention that her health care effort helped lead to the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress and all the years of damage that takeover caused.

8:09 PM–Another commercial. The TV and the computer are in different rooms and I have not seen any of the debate. Just hearing it. Here is a picture of my TV—

8:14 PM—Obama wrong on health insurance. Everybody has to have it.  

8:19 PM–Mrs. Clinton mentions Kosovo. Learn about this new nation with this BBC link.

8:23 PM–Aggressive bellicose John McCain said we might be in Iraq for 100 years more and also joked about bombing Iran.  

8:27 PM—Mrs. Clinton mentions Brownsville. Here is my favorite Brownsville blog—Bloggin’ All Things Brownsville.

8:33 PM—Question about earmarks. Earmarks are often good. They create jobs and help local areas complete needed projects. 

Mr. Obama says that many earmarks are good.   

8:39 PM—Mrs. Clinton refuses to say she will not allow so-called superdelegates to decide the nomination. 

8: 45 PM–Senator Obama and Mrs. Clinton mention all the hard times they have had in life.  

Mr. Obama was raised by a single mom.

Mrs. Clinton mentions, indirectly, her cheating husband.

Debate over.

Now nothing to watch until rerun of That ’70’s Show at 11.

I thought these candidates had pledged they would entertain me 24 hours a day.

What do I do now?   

February 22, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Texas Liberal Super Tuesday Live Blogging–Still Worth Reading Even Though The Day Is Done

Texas Liberal Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Is Up & Running—(And Now That The Day Is Done, It Is Still Worth Reading!)   

Huckabee Wins W.V.—-6:00 PM 

Mike Huckabee got his Super Tuesday started right by winning the West Virgina Republican convention. He takes all 18 delegates from West Virginia.

What a shock that Republicans have winner take all primaries and conventions!

West Virginia was one the most Democratic states until George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. It seems 71% of West Virginians live in a gun-owning household. I wonder if gun ownership entitles those folks to health insurance? 

John Kennedy’s 1960 primary win in West Virgina over Hubert Humphrey proved a Catholic could win an overwhelmingly Protestant state.    

Obama Takes Georgia—6:00 PM

Barack Obama has been called as the winner of the Georgia Democratic primary.

Georgia is 29% black. This means the Democratic electorate in Georgia has many blacks.

President Bush won Georgia with 58% in 2004. That means Georgia whites vote strongly Republican.

If Mr. Obama is nominated, by how much will Southern black turnout increase? Will Southern whites be open to a black candidate? CNN says Mr. Obama won 40% of the white vote in Georgia. But a Democratic primary is different from a General Election. 

Wrong To Bribe Voters, But Okay To Give Them Alcohol—6:15 PM 

Today I was reading America’s Three Regimes—A New Political History by Morton Keller.  

Here is what this book says about 18th Century Southern elections—

“…there was much treating of voters to drinks on Election Day—“swilling the planters with bumbo”—just as in English towns. But there appears to have been little overt vote buying of the sort common in 18th century English parliamentary elections.”

Seems like progress. I would not refuse a drink at the polls.

McCain Best In Connecticut—7:00 PM

John McCain has won Connecticut.

Mr. McCain had the endorsement of Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman. Mr. Liberman’s endorsement might help Mr. McCain with so-called “Independent” voters in November. It seems less clear this endorsement will help with the more conservative voters Mr. McCain is struggling to win.  

Unlike G.W.H Bush In 1980, Romney & Obama Win Home States—7:17 PM

Mitt Romney has won his home state of Massachusetts and Barack Obama has won his home state of Illinois.

It’s reassuring to win your home state

The first George Bush lost his home state of Texas to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Texas Republican primary. The margin was 51–47%. 

Hillary Clinton Projected In Oklahoma–Oklahoma 2nd Best State For Socialist Eugene Debs In 1912—7:25 PM

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one state Democrats will be avoiding in the general election campaign. President Bush won the Sooner State 60-38 in 2000 and 66-34 in 2004.

Oklahoma voters were not always so misguided. The great Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 16.4% of the Oklahoma vote for President in 1912. Nevada was the best Debs’ state that year. His national total was 6%. 

I have faith in the people of Oklahoma and I know they will wake up someday soon. 

McCain Winner In Tiny Delaware—He Could Be A Threat In Some Northeastern & Middle Atlantic States—7:50 PM

John McCain has won Delaware. This goes with wins already tonight in Connecticut and New Jersey. All three of these Atlantic seaboard states have voted for Democrats for President in recent elections.

If there is any Republican who could make a run at these places next fall it would be Mr. McCain.

Delaware was the only state to vote for the winner in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1996.  In 2000 and 2004 Democrats carried Delaware. 

Italy Moves Towards Elections—Rest Of The World Continues To Exist– 8:15PM

The center left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost its governing majority and an election seems likely within the next two months. Regretfully, conservative Silvio Berlusconi may return yet again as Prime Minister. Based on the last few Italian elections, it will be close.

No matter how focused we are on ourselves, the rest of the world still exists.   

Obama Is Alabama Winner–2nd Black Man To Win That Primary— 8:35 PM

Between 1932 and 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won at least 81% of the vote in the one-party Solid South state of Alabama.

In 1948, after Harry Truman desegregated the army, Strom Thurmond, running on a States Rights ticket, won 80% of the vote.

Now Barack Obama has won the Alabama Democratic primary. He is in fact the second black man to do so. Jesse Jackson won it in 1988.  

Obama Winner In Kansas—Governor There Possible VP, But She Most Likely Could Not Deliver Her State—9:24PM

Senator Obama has won Kansas. That state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius, has been out working for Mr. Obama and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. But Kansas is so Republican that I don’t think she deliver Kansas on Election Day.

That would be just as John Edwards did not help in North Carolina in 2004, or Lloyd Bentsen did not help Democrats in Texas in 1988.

With the Electoral College map so tight, a potential running mate needs to be able to put a state in play. Kansas is not such a state for Democrats.

Romney says losing is “fun and exciting.”—9:38PM

Well, he did say “fun and exciting” and he was referencing the campaign—But I am paraphrasing to a degree. Romney said he is going to stay in the race past tonight. 

Governor Romney’s father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, won exactly 3,830 Republican primary votes when he ran for President in 1968. So there is at least one threshold the son has surpassed.    

Obama First In Minnesota Caucus—I Think Paul Wellstone Would Have Been Pleased—10:09 PM

I can’t know for a fact, but I think the great liberal Paul Wellstone of Minnesota would have taken to the campaign of Senator Obama. Here is the link to Wellstone Action! They do a lot of good work for the liberal and progressive side of the debate. 

McCain Makes Lousy Surrender Comment—10:30 PM

I had the misfortune of watching Senator McCain on CNN today. He was saying that Democrats who favored a times withdrawal from Iraq were advocating “surrender.”

What does “surrender”mean here? Does Senator McCain think that Democrats advocate American troops in Iraq turning over their weapons to the militants and asking for mercy? That’s what surrender is.

Would a real man of honor make such a comment? No Democrat supports any type of surrender.      

Huckabee Somewhere Between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson–11:00 PM

Mike Huckabee has won Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alabama this evening. He says he is in the race to stay.

Governor Huckabee has the string support of Evangelical Christians. Evangelicals played a large role in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000. But Bush also had the support of low-tax conservatives and the Republican establishment. Governor Huckabee is no George Bush.

On the other hand, he is more of a candidate than was Pat Robertson in 1988. Mr. Robertson never won a primary and as a “message candidate” won only 9% of primary voters. Running the same year on the other side, Jesse Jackson won 29% of Democratic primary voters. 

So Mr. Huckabee is more than Pat Robertson was in 1988–Though that will not be nearly enough.

McCain in California And Missouri– Can Schwarzenegger Make McCain Viable In California This Fall? 11:36 PM 

All night we’ve been hearing McCain had not made the knock-out punch. Well, it seems to me he at least has everybody else on the ropes pretty good. These two late night wins are most helpful to Mr. McCain.

An even bigger question than who will win the California primary tonight, will be is the more moderate Westerner McCain viable in California in November. You can bet that subject is already on the Republican radar. Just forcing the Democratic nominee to campaign in California this fall will be a Republican victory.

I’m certain McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger is already thinking it out. (While his wife Maria Shriver will no doubt continue her work for Senator Obama.)   

Signing Off With Obama’s Alaska Win—The Race Now Moves On Texas, Ohio & Other Points–12:08 AM

Barack Obama is the winner is Alaska.

  

The race now moves on to Texas, Ohio, and other points.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Youngest Presidents And What They Did Before Reaching The White House

 

With much discussion of the relative youth of Senator Barack Obama, who is 46, here is a list of U.S. Presidents who have taken office in their 40’s with their age and year they were sworn in. Also included are the more notable aspects in the careers of our youngest Presidents before reaching the White House.

The links are to the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The information on the Presidents is first-rate and well worth taking time to review and study 

James Polk, 49, 1845

Polk served  two years in the Tennessee House, two years as Governor of Tennessee and 14 years in the U.S House. For four years Polk was Speaker of the U.S. House.

Polk was an aggressive President in terms of territorial expansion of the United States. He acquired Oregon by treaty and much of Mexico by force in the Mexican-American War. He was not very helpful if you were a slave or a Native American. Some say Polk was too quick to go to war with Mexico.

(The picture above is of Polk’s Tomb in Nashville. Youth is fleeting.)    

Franklin Pierce, 48, 1853

Pierce served four years in the New Hampshire House, four years in the U.S. House and five years in the U.S. Senate.

Pierce is considered one of our worst Presidents for his inability to deal effectively with the tensions between the North and South. 65 year old James Buchanan did little better as Pierce’s successor.

Ulysses Grant, 46, 1869

Grant spent 15 years in the army and led the Union army in the Civil War. Grant was also Secretary of War in 1867 and ’68 under Andrew Johnson.

The common view of Grant is that though Grant was not personally corrupt, he led a corrupt administration.  

James Garfield, 49, 1881

Garfield spent 17 years in the U.S House from Ohio. He was the chairman of a number of House committees over that time. Garfield saw combat in the Civil War and reached the rank of Major General.

Garfield was shot and killed nine months after becoming President.   

Grover Cleveland 47, 1885

Cleveland had been an Assistant District Attorney of Erie County New York, Sheriff of Erie County and Mayor of Buffalo. He was Governor of New York for two years.

Cleveland , in my view, should be known best for his refusal to aid struggling farmers and for his allegiance to Gilded Age politics. 

Theodore Roosevelt 42, 1901

The youngest President, Roosevelt had the experience of two years in the New York House, six years on the U.S. Civil Service Commission and two years as Police Commissioner of New York City.  He was also an Assistant Secretary of the Navy under William McKinley, Governor of New York for two years and Vice President for McKinley for just over six months before McKinley was assassinated.    

Roosevelt was our first “progressive” President. He expanded the reach of government into health and safety regulation. He also was a major behind-the-scenes player in a revolution in Panama that allowed the United States to acquire the land for the Panama Canal.  Roosevelt was always doped up on his own testosterone so it is hard to know if he ever matured at any point in his life.        

John Kennedy 43, 1961

Kennedy served in WW II, was elected to three terms in the U.S. House from Massachusetts and was a member of the U.S. Senate for 8 years. 

Kennedy’s Presidency was cut short. In at least some respects, Kennedy, based on reports in the years since his death of risky relationships with women after reaching the White House, does not seem to ever fully grown up.

Bill Clinton 46, 1993 

Clinton had been Attorney General of Arkansas for two years and Governor of that state for ten years.

Everybody has their own view of Bill Clinton. 

Our youngest Vice President was John Breckinridge of Kentucky. Breckinridge was 36 when sworn-in in 1857 to serve with President Buchanan. After his one term in office, Breckinridge served as a General in the Confederate Army. Before the Vice Presidency, Breckinridge had been an officer in the Mexican-American War and a member of the Kentucky House and the U.S. House.  

William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska is the youngest major party nominee for the Presidency. Bryan was 36 when he won the Democratic nomination in 1896. Bryan had served two terms in the U.S. House.  

Senator Obama would be 47 on Inauguration Day 2009. He served eight years in the Illinois Senate and by 2009 would have four years in the U.S. Senate.  

A few observations—

It’s interesting that six of the eight Presidents who assumed office in their 40’s, were sworn in between 1845 and 1901.

Since 1901, life expectancies have gone way up. A man born in 1900 had a life expectancy of 47. Senator Obama’s 47 is not the 47 of Grover Cleveland in 1889. Milestones in life and other accomplishments now often come later in life.

That said, Mr. Obama might help you when you are down-and-out while President Cleveland did little for people in his day who needed help.   

Bottom line? I don’t think the record shows a great deal of difference between older and younger Presidents. George W. Bush, now 60, is not mature and does not make wise decisions even after seven years as President.         

I don’t view Senator Obama as being either young or inexperienced for the job. Beliefs and ability are what matters. 

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

   

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers