Great Image Of President Obama Trampling The Constitution—Bill Clinton And FDR Are Glad To See It Happen
I really enjoy this image I found on Facebook of Barack Obama trampling on what appears to be a torn-up copy of the Constitution.
There is also money strewn about. I guess that is to indicate Mr. Obama’s carelessness with tax dollars.
Around Mr. Obama are all the Presidents who served before 2009.
The Founding Father Presidents are beside themselves at Mr. Obama’s actions.
They miss the days when the Constitution protected slavery.
Abe Lincoln is mad.
I wonder what Mr. Lincoln would think today about all the states rights appeals we are hearing for the right.
Andy Jackson is engaging in angry finger-pointing.
Ronald Reagan looks a bit confused.
That part at least is true to life.
And Joe Whiteman is despondent and alone on the bench —and no doubt unemployed— as Mr. Obama stomps on our liberties and tosses cash around like it is worthless.
Applauding Mr. Obama’s terrible actions are Bill Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt and what looks to be Teddy Roosevelt.
These folks want to take us back not just before the Great Society and the New Deal, they want to take us back all the way even before the Progresssive Era of Teddy Roosevelt.
That way we can have dead rats in our meat again as Upton Sinclair detailed in The Jungle.
I think Lyndon Johnson is smiling as well.
Richard Nixon does not seem very glad about this disregard of our Constitution. You’d think Mr. Nixon would be cheering right along.
This illustration made my day.
Many conservatives sure do get into a tizzy over Barack Obama.
It has been two weeks since Republicans made significant gains across the country on Election Day.
The focus of the election was jobs and the economy. 56% of folks in a recent CBS News poll say the most important issue for the new Congress is jobs and the economy.
Yet as millions of Americans still deal with unemployment and underemployment, the Republican focus is on everything but jobs and the economy. Where incoming Republican governors have addressed jobs, it is to kill jobs by refusing already approved federal dollars for high-speed rail infrastructure projects.
* Republicans in control of the House of Representatives are planning nearly 300 investigations of President Obama. The last time a Republican House went after a Democratic President, it led to a destructive impeachment process. What excesses will we see this time?
* Newly-elected Republican Governors are killing high-speed rail projects that will create jobs. In Wisconsin, soon-to-be Governor Scott Walker received large amounts of campaign cash from road builders who have a direct interest in stopping rail projects. Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 7.8% in September.
* The Republican President of the Kentucky State Senate, David Williams, declared his allegiance to the Tea party and said he supported repeal of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment allows for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Mr. Williams believes that returning election of Senators back to state legislatures would move our nation back to the limited measure of popular sovereignty first written into the constitution. Many Tea Party supporters back this position.
Do you want to give your vote for United States Senator away? This is Tea party extremism in action. In September of 2010, Kentucky had an unemployment rate of 10. 1%. Yet what the Republican President of the State Senate is discussing is no longer allowing the public to vote for U.S. Senate.
* In Texas, Governor Rick Perry and Republicans in the state legislature are considering pulling out of Medicaid and out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This is being considered even though 3.6 million Texans use these programs. You can be certain that many in Republican rural Texas use these programs. Is this what these folks were voting for earlier this month? We’ll see about that when people find out that benefits are being cut.
What about all the people in Texas who work in jobs connected to health care? With such drastic cuts in funding, where will these people find work? Isn’t it good and honest work to be employed in health care so people can get better and go on with life? Where will we have any jobs in this society if we go after everything?
* The leader of the U.S. House Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann, spent her time spreading a lie that President Obama’s trip to India was costing 200 million dollars a day. This assertion was simply not true.
What exactly is the point of undermining the President of the United States as he goes to visit a globally important nation like India?
For Republicans in Washington and in states across the nation, this election was not about jobs and the economy. Instead, the election was about extreme ideology that puts the jobs and the health of the American people at risk.
Anger at Washington is not going to get you a job. It is not going to pay the bills if you get sick. The Republican bait-and-switch is in already in evidence. These folks have no constructive thoughts. It is the same anger-driven politics that led to President Clinton’s impeachment and to the placement of Sarah Palin on the national ticket two years ago.
It’s up to all of us to be aware of what is taking place, and to make sure that Congress is focused on jobs and the economy and not on sideshow hearings and ideological tangents.
In 33 of the 36 midterm elections held since the end of the Civil War, the party in the White House has lost seats in the United States House of Representatives.
We need to recall this as the 2010 midterm elections approach. There are underlying patterns in all things. This historical fact and pattern of midterm losses for the party holding the Presidency is one that has impacted both major parties over many years.
Beginning with 1866, only in 1934, 1998 and 2002 has the party holding the White House gained in the U.S. House.
In 1934, Democrats picked up nine seats to add onto an already large majority, as President Roosevelt remained popular and Republicans continued to be associated with the 1929 crash.
In 1998, Democrats won five new seats as part of the backlash against the Republican vote for the impeachment of President Clinton. Despite the Democratic pick-ups, Republicans retained narrow control of the House.
In 2002, Republicans gained seven House seats in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and due to the widespread public support of President George W. Bush at that point. This allowed Republicans to expand a slight House majority.
(Below–Dennis Hastert of Illinois was selected House Speaker in 1999 and held the office through 2007. Mr. Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker in Congressional history.)
What each of these elections has in common is that they took place in the shadow of larger history-making events. The Great Depression. A vote to impeach the President. The September 11 hijackings.
While in some cases the party occupying the White House has lost only a few House seats, the trend is unmistakable. Midterm elections offer voters a chance to vent against the party holding the Presidency.
In terms of a switch of party control in the House, this has occurred ten times in the 36 post-Civil War midterms. This is something I’ll be writing about in an upcoming post. I’ll also soon be discussing Senate results in midterms.
Liberals and all Democrats should recall that what is taking place today is is often how it is in our politics. It is difficult to see republicans doing well for the moment, but there is reason for hope in the days ahead.
Liberals and all Democrats should also recall that the election has not yet been held.
Consider donating or volunteering in the weeks ahead to the Democrat of your choice.
Here is some history of the House from the House Clerk. You can find, among many other things, the party breakdown for each session of Congress at this site.
A useful book is House–The History of the House of Representatives by Robert Remini.
(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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
President Barack Obama is in Russia meeting with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians.
(Above–Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin with Bill Clinton in 1995. They are saying it is time for vodka and broads.)
The facts about this visit and about Russia are out there for all to learn. Your daily newspaper tomorrow will likely have an article about today’s summit you can read as you eat your Fruit Loops.
I miss Boris Yeltsin. For reading my blog, I would like to give you a big bear hug like Boris Yeltsin might after six vodkas.
Boris Yeltsin, for better and worse, was a serious figure despite his behavior at times.
(Below–Boris Yelstin dancing.)
The White House has a new and improved web page. It looks nice and has many features. What I looked for first was information about President Obama’s urban policy. The President is establishing an office of urban affairs. Here is the urban policy section of the new White House web home.
If the director of this new office of urban affairs has been selected, I can’t find evidence of it by a Google. search. I don’t think this appointment has been made yet.
What are some of the ideas that Mr. Obama is suggesting as our new urban policy? (This is not to suggest that former President Bush had any urban policy that is now being replaced.)
Below, lifted from the White House, is a pretty basic idea to help folks. Increase people’s wages. Maybe with Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress this won’t be such a fight to enact anymore. And it would help people in rural and suburban America as well.
Increase the Minimum Wage: President Obama will raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011 and index it to inflation so full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing — things so many people take for granted.
Here is another fine idea from Mr. Obama —
Cap Outlandish Interest Rates on Payday Loans and Improve Disclosure: In the wake of reports that some service members were paying 800 percent interest on payday loans, the U.S. Congress took bipartisan action to limit interest rates charged to service members to 36 percent. President Obama and Vice President Biden believe that we must extend this protection to all Americans, because predatory lending continues to be a major problem for low and middle income families alike.
This next one would be fought against most forcefully here in Houston. We don’t even have zoning let alone having the federal government checking how we use and develop our land.
Foster Healthy Communities: How a community is designed — including the layout of its roads, buildings and parks — has a huge impact on the health of its residents. For instance, nearly one-third of Americans live in neighborhoods without sidewalks and less than half of our country’s children have a playground within walking distance of their homes. President Obama introduced the Healthy Places Act to help local governments assess the health impact of new policies and projects, like highways or shopping centers.
With this next one, long-term, as is mentioned below, is very much what is required. It seems to me that many folks are simply not trained for very much that is going to help them earn a decent living. I wonder how many competent people are out there to do the training.
Enhance Workforce Training: Obama and Biden will make long-term investments in education, language training, and workforce development so that Americans can leverage our strengths — our ingenuity and entrepreneurialism — to create new high-wage jobs and prosper in a global economy. A critical part of this process is ensuring that we reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and ensure that it strengthens federal investments needed for success in the 21st Century.
Two days before Bill Clinton was elected, I shook his hand in Cincinnati. I said to him—” Please don’t forget the cities.” He looked me right in the eye and gave me a heartfelt nod. Yet eight years later, I was not sure at all that America’s cities were better places to live.
I’m looking forward to the selection of a director for this new office and for swift action on an urban agenda from the new President. This is a subject I will follow as Mr. Obama moves ahead. I encourage you to do the same.
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.
Truman (D) 65.4%
Dewey (R) 24.6%
Thurmond (Dixiecrat) 9.3%
Eisenhower (R) 53.1%
Stevenson (D) 46.7%
Eisenhower (R) 55.3%
Stevenson (D) 44.0%
Kennedy (D) 50.5%
Nixon (R) 48.5%
(Below–Richard Nixon in World War II.)
Johnson (D) 63.3%
Goldwater (R) 36.5%
Humphrey (D) 41.1%
Nixon (R) 39.9%
Wallace (I) 19.0%
Nixon (R) 66.2%
McGovern (D) 33.3%
Carter (D) 51.1%
Ford (R) 48.0%
Reagan (R) 55.3%
Carter (D) 41.4%
Anderson (I) 2.5%
Reagan (R) 63.6%
Mondale (D) 36.1%
Bush (R) 56.0%
Dukakis (D) 43.3%
Bush (R) 40.6%
Clinton (D) 37.1%
Perot (Reform) 22.0%
(Below–Clinton, Bush and Perot in 1992.)
Dole (R) 48.8%
Clinton (D) 43.8%
Perot (Reform) 6.7%
Bush (R) 59.3%
Gore (D) 38.0%
Nader (G) 2.2%
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.)
Alan Greenspan admitted yesterday that he may have been wrong in some respects in his extreme free market approach to the American economy during his time as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
From Mr. Greenspan’s testimony yesterday before Congress—
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self interest of organizations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and the equity in the firms,” Greenspan said. Having run the… central bank from 1987 to 2006 — under…three Republicans and a Democrat — Greenspan acknowledged that views he’s long held are now in question. “The problem here is that something that looked to be a very solid edifice and indeed a critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down. And that, as I said, shocked me and I don’t fully understand why it happened,” he said. “And to the extent I figure out where it happened and why, I will change my views. And if the facts change, I will change.” Word of Greenspan’s confession spread quickly in Washington, where until recently he was treated as royalty….”After years of confrontation about the role of government regulation, I’m glad to see he now recognizes that his ideas are flawed,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and frequent Greenspan sparring partner, said in a statement.”
Less noticed yesterday was that former President Bill Clinton criticized his own administration’s handling of issues related to the world food supply—
“Former President Clinton told a U.N. gathering Thursday that the global food crisis shows “we all blew it, including me,” by treating food crops “like color TVs” instead of as a vital commodity for the world’s poor. Addressing a high-level event marking Oct. 16’s World Food Day, Clinton also saluted President Bush — “one thing he got right” — for pushing to change U.S. food aid policy. He scolded the bipartisan coalition in Congress that killed the idea of making some aid donations in cash rather than in food. Clinton criticized decades of policymaking by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others, encouraged by the U.S., that pressured Africans in particular into dropping government subsidies for fertilizer, improved seed and other farm inputs as a requirement to get aid. Africa’s food self-sufficiency declined and food imports rose.”
Free market policies, many of them quite extreme, regarding our most basic needs of money to live on and food to eat have failed. (Government oversight of these free market policies failed as well.)
Let’s hope that Senator Obama, if elected, and the newly strengthened Democratic Congress can make again the case for government’s—and by extension the average person’s— role in our economy and society. It’s clear that the old order has abdicated. For the moment at least. Now is the time for policies that favor people over greed in both the United States and the rest of the world.
Who have been the oldest candidates for President?
Senator John McCain will be 72 on Election Day 2008. This makes him the second oldest first-time major party nominee in Presidential election history. Here are first-time major party Presidential nominees nominated at age 65 or older. Listed after the name is the candidate’s age on Election Day and the year of the election. At the end of each listing is the lifespan of the candidate.
2. John McCain, 72, 2008—Republican running against man who would be one of our youngest Presidents. (1936-)
Staute of William Henry Harrison in Downtown Cincinnati
4. William Henry Harrison, 67, 1840–Harrison ran as regional nominee of Whigs as part of a failed plan to defeat Martin Van Buren in 1836. In 1840 Harrison was nominee of entire party. He was elected but died one month into his term. Beat Mr. Van Buren. (1773-1841)
Others have reached age 65 in the years between a first nomination and a subsequent nomination.
These men are—
With Texas U.S Representative Chet Edwards of Waco being considered for a place on the Democratic ticket with Barack Obama, here are other Texans who have run for Vice President on major and minor party tickets.
First the major party candidates—
John Nance Garner
The first Texan on a major party ticket was John Nance Garner of Uvalde. Mr. Garner ran successfully with Democrat Franklin Roosevelt of New York in both 1932 and 1936. Immediately before becoming Vice President, Mr. Garner was Speaker of the U.S. House.
Vice President Garner was never fully on-board with the New Deal. He offered support for F.D.R in his first term, but was a source of behind-the-scenes opposition in his second term.
In 1940, Vice President Garner opposed President Roosevelt for the Democratic nomination. Mr. Roosevelt was easily nominated for a third term.
( The link above to Mr. Garner, as well as the links to Lyndon Johnson ,George Bush, Martin Van Buren and Dan Quayle will take you to the excellent U.S. Senate page on Vice Presidents. There are first-rate profiles to be found of all VP’s at the Senate site.)
As Vice President, Mr. Johnson was placed in charge of America’s manned spaceflight program.
With the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Mr. Johnson became the first Texan to serve as President of the United States.
George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush of Houston was the first Texas Republican to run for, and serve as, Vice President. He ran with Ronald Reagan of California in 1980 and 1984. Mr. Bush held a variety of political jobs before his selection as Mr. Reagan’s Vice President.
Lloyd Bentsen, of Hidalgo County and Houston, ran with Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts in 1988. Mr. Bentsen had been a U.S. Senator since 1971.
Governor Dukakis had been tricked by early polls suggesting he had a chance to carry Texas in the general election. He did not win Texas in the fall.
The Dukakis/Bentsen ticket lost to George Bush and Dan Quayle of Indiana in 1988. This was the first time that two of the four candidates at the top of the ticket in a Presidential election were from Texas. Mr. Bensten had defeated future President Bush in the 1970 U.S. Senate race in Texas.
Mr. Bentsen later served as Treasury Secretary for Bill Clinton.
There have also been Texans who have run for Vice President with minor party tickets.
In 1880, Benjamin Chambers ran with future Populist Party founder James Weaver of Iowa on the Greenback Labor ticket. This slate won a decent 3.3% of the national vote that year. Greenback Labor ran on an economic agenda to the left of the major parties. Greenbacks favored an income tax and the vote for women. I think I might have voted Greenback in 1880.
James Britton Cranfill from Parker County was the Prohibition Party running mate in 1892. George Carroll ran on the second spot of the Prohibition ticket of 1904. While Mr. Carroll never became Vice President, he did serve two terms as an alderman from Beaumont.
(The profiles of Mr. Cranfill and Mr. Carroll are from The Handbook of Texas Online and are very good. I cannot find any information on Mr. Chambers.)
If Bill Clinton Can Be Forgiven For Years Of Adultery And Harassment, Can’t Obama Be Forgiven For Other People’s Sexism?
It was a Wall Street Journal article about some leading Clinton fundraisers. There is a group of big money Clinton supporters called “Hillraisers” deciding what step to take next.
Many are still mad about harsh remarks made about Senator Clinton that appeared in the media. From the article —
“The Clinton holdouts are typically most angry about what they say was the media’s sexist treatment of Sen. Clinton during the campaign. And though few, if any, blame Sen. Obama directly, they fault the Illinois senator and other party leaders for what they say was failing to do enough to stop it.
Susie Tompkins Buell, a Hillraiser from San Francisco, said, “What really hurt women the most was to look back and see all this gender bias.” Ms. Buell said she hasn’t decided whether to vote for Sen. Obama and plans to skip the August Democratic convention.”
If Senator Clinton’s people feel they can’t vote for Senator Obama, then that is what they need to do.
Supporters of Senator Clinton can decide for themselves if anything we saw in the Kentucky and West Virginia primaries had to with reluctance to have a black President.
Folks need to follow what course they feel is best.
My course will be to support Barack Obama, and be glad I lived to see the day a black person became President of the United States.
Senator Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, has a lifetime record of shameful conduct with women. Yet he had the support of women’s groups as President. Backers of Senator Clinton’s White House effort did not renounce President Clinton’s support for her in the recent campaign.
It’s not hard to imagine that if President Clinton had been able to restrain himself with Monica Lewinsky, Al Gore would have picked up the few extra votes needed to have kept the 2000 election away from the Supreme Court.
If Senator Obama has committed some greater offense in people’s minds, they should not vote for him in November. That’s a call for each person to make on their own.
Should Barack Obama contest Texas?
Senator Obama should strongly contest Texas only if he has a real chance to win Texas.
It takes a lot of money to mount even the appearance of an effort in a big place like Texas.
In 2004, George W. Bush won 61.1% of the Texas vote.
While Mr. Bush was a home state candidate, this number is consistent with Republican statewide majorities in Texas in recent years.
The last time a 60% or higher state flipped parties in one election cycle was Arkansas in 1980.
This had a lot to do with President Carter’s decision to place Cuban refugees in Arkansas and later rioting by these refugees. All that did not sit well with many Arkansans.
Georgia was 59.8% state for George H.W. Bush in 1988. Bill Clinton won Georgia with 43.5% in 1992 in a three-way race. (Though, contrary to myth, Governor Clinton would have won that race even if Ross Perot had not run.)
Many Southern states flipped from 60% for Richard Nixon in 1972 to wins for Jimmy Carter in 1976. But that involved a very weak Democratic ticket in 1972, and the unsual, for Democrats, Southern strength of Governor Carter.
It is hard to see how Mr. Obama wins Texas. Or, should he prove viable in Texas, it will likely mean he has easily won the election elsewhere and Texas is not essential.
As things stand today, Senator Obama might do best to focus his attentions outside of Texas.
Texas is likely a dry well for Barack Obama.
What identity could Barack Obama choose that would be both sincere and successful?
Once Senator Obama established his color, he then had to figure out how to present himself as a candidate who is also a Black man in a nation with a rough racial history.
He’s not a self-styled centrist like former U.S. Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee.
He’s not a careerist in a safe district like Representative Charles Rangel of New York.
He’s not an old-style activist like Jesse Jackson.
So who and what will Senator Obama be?
He is, like all of us, a work in progress.
My hope is that Senator Obama continues up a curve of personal maturity as he comes to fully understand how important his campaign is to the nation, and to people who never thought they’d see someone like Barack Obama running for President.
Some heat and gravity where Senator Obama is currently cool and light might help.
Still, Senator Obama is doing well so far. He is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination and leads John McCain in polls.
Senator Obama is at this point successfully navigating uncharted waters.
I was at first very open to Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
I felt some of the clips playing over and over on TV made sense.
I felt in some respects Pastor Wright was mirroring Martin Luther King in asking if America was in many ways a wicked nation that possibly merited judgement.
Beyond the public issues, Pastor Wright also reached me on a personal level.
At least according to family lore, I’m descended from people who were on the Mayflower.
People on the Mayflower were not at home with the society they were born into.
In my late teens and and early 20’s, I was a 1980’s Midwestern hardcore punk rocker.
Without exaggerating the bent of people who—for the most part—lived as others do, this was a crowd that had little affection for the tone and temper of American society.
There was definitely a Puritan tendency among punk rockers—A rejection of what was taking place around them.
I have a measure of sympathy for homeschoolers and Black Muslims.
They look around and are repulsed. Why wouldn’t they be?
So I welcomed Pastor Wright. I thought he might be a new voice. I thought he might have the discipline and personal austerity to reject the culture and add a new and needed dimension to the public discussion.
Jeremiah Wright is just another Andy Warhol ( photo below) 15 minutes-of-fame media hog. He says he hates the culture, but really he loves it. He found himself in the glare of lights cast by the bigots and idiotic cable channels, and he could not resist the starring role.
Not only that, he acted out of anger at Barack Obama instead of simply making his case for good or ill in a calm and disciplined way.
Pastor Wright has no obligation to help Barack Obama. But it is hard to see how he is serving his God or anybody else with his current conduct.
Please see the picture of Pastor Wright at the top of this post with another man who lacks discipline and self-respect.
Below is Jeremiah Wright’s secular idol along with Jimmy Carter. After a rough Presidency and rejection at the polls, Jimmy Carter made a patient step-by-step case that he was in fact a man of decency and vision.
Pastor Wright could still follow that better course–final judgement is not up to me–but he sure does not seem like a prophet or a leader of any kind at this point.
Will this endorsement help Senator McCain as he campaigns for the March 4 Texas primary against Mike Huckabee?
It can’t be taken as a given.
Let’s look at the electoral record for Mr. Bush in Texas going back to 1964.
In the 1964 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination to run against the great liberal Ralph Yarborough, George Bush needed a run off to win the nomination. He took 44% in the three candidate first round.
In the 1964 General Election, Senator Yarborough beat Mr. Bush 56%-44%. This even though John Tower had already claimed the other Texas Senate seat for Republicans.
In 1970, Mr. Bush was again the Republican nominee for the Senate. He lost this race to Lloyd Bentsen 54%-46%.
Mr. Bush was next on the Texas ballot in the 1980 Republican primary. Ronald Reagan won 51%-47%.
At the top of the ticket, Mr. Bush did win Texas in 1988 and 1992. Though in 1992 he won his home state with only 40% of the vote against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. This was the worst showing for a Republican presidential candidate in Texas since 1968.
In 1992, President Bush finished third in his other home state of Maine. Maine is where the Bush family keeps a second home. Mr. Perot, as well as Mr. Clinton, beat Mr. Bush in Maine in 1992.
The last major party nominee to finish third or worse in a state had been Harry Truman in Alabama in 1948. Though this was because Mr. Truman was not even on the Alabama ballot that year as the forces of Dixiecrat Candidate Strom Trurmond had taken over the Alabama Democratic Party.
Will Mr. Bush’s endorsement help Mr. McCain in Texas or with conservatives?
Well, based on these facts and on his lousy 37% national showing as a reelection candidate in 1992, it does not seem that to know Mr. Bush as a public figure is to have have full regard for his views.