Tag Archive: Bill Clinton

Donald Trump, the Great Divider

Armed white supremacist in Charlottesville, VA

Successful presidents of both political parties are usually the ones who, in times of crisis or difficulty, rise above partisanship and unite America. There are many examples of this, from Abraham Lincoln literally keeping the Union together, to Franklin Roosevelt leading us against Germany and Japan in World War 2, to Ronald Reagan eulogizing the Challenger Space Shuttle astronauts or calling upon Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton soothing a shocked America after the Oklahoma City bombing, George W. Bush standing with firefighters at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks, and Barack Obama successfully hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden. We may not agree with the policies these presidents pursue after such crises (for example, Bush’s Iraq War), but at least for a time, these leaders make us feel like we’re part of one big, strong nation.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with Donald Trump. Rather than being a Great Uniter, he has repeatedly proven himself to be the Great Divider, usually along racial and ethnic lines. Indeed, Trump essentially begun his presidential run during Barack Obama’s presidency by being one of the head cheerleaders in the “birther” movement, which questioned Obama’s Americanism and his birth certificate. Trump then ran his own presidential campaign in a divisive manner from the get-go, saying in his presidential announcement speech about Mexican immigrants:

They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

From there, Trump has pitted one group (often his base of white males) against another, including the following partial list:

The Republican Party is dead. What comes next?

Republican Party bends to Donald Trump

Republican Party bends to Donald Trump

This week may well be viewed as the week in which the Republican Party died. After Party primary voters chose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee in May, Trump this week chose Steve Bannon, the chairman of right wing website Breitbart News, as his campaign manager, effectively shunting aside Paul Manafort, an experienced GOP strategist and lobbyist. Today, Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign. While Manafort was facing a Russian influence scandal, had become a lightning rod for negative publicity and thus had to go, he was at least a mainstream Republican who deals in reality. Trump’s choice of Bannon as a replacement for Manafort pushes Trump’s presidential campaign, and thus the Republican Party, further into fake conspiracy theory territory.

Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders: the endgame appears

Bernie Sanders speaking in South Bronx, NY

Bernie Sanders speaking in South Bronx, NY

Last night’s Democratic Party primary results in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island were clarifying for a couple of reasons. First, Hillary Clinton‘s wins over Bernie Sanders in four out of the five states other than tiny Rhode Island, especially her healthy and wide margins of victory, respectively, in delegate-rich Pennsylvania and Maryland, all but assured that Clinton will clinch the Democratic Party nomination for president. The other clarifying element of last night’s results was that the endgame for Clinton, Sanders and the Democratic Party finally started to emerge. Here’s what that endgame looked like:

Democratic vs. Republican Presidents Part 5: The Environment and Climate Change

Intermountain Power Project coal-fired plant, Utah

Intermountain Power Project coal-fired plant, Utah

The death of Republican U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has refocused attention on how much is at stake in the 2016 presidential election. We have an ongoing series on this subject, including the president’s power to nominate Supreme Court justices and other federal court judges. Another area of great importance and great difference between the parties which is at stake in November is the future of our environment, including fighting climate change.

Democratic vs. Republican Presidents Part 4: Choosing Federal Judges

The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative Republican majority

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative Republican majority

(This is the fourth installment in a series about differences between Democratic and Republican presidents in areas where they have direct control. See our Democratic vs. Republican Presidents category for the rest.)

For some voters, the president’s constitutional power to nominate U.S. Supreme Court Justices when vacancies occur is reason enough to vote for one political party or the other. But it goes much deeper than that. The president’s power to nominate all federal judges when vacancies occur is crucial to the direction of the country on nearly every issue, including marriage equality, guns, crime, civil rights, taxes, the environment, etc.

The New York Times’ embarrassing election coverage

The New York Times Building

The New York Times Building

Like it or not, the 2016 election cycle is in full swing. Numerous media outlets are well into covering the campaigns and candidates. These media organizations are also giving early clues as to the quality of their  election coverage. If the last week is any indication, the New York Times has distinguished itself both for bias and inanity.

Hastert and Duggar sitting in a tree

Dennis Hastert

Dennis Hastert

After the recent sexual revelations involving Josh Duggar and Dennis Hastert, businesses that replace windows in glass houses are doing very well. Both the Duggar and Hastert cases are about hypocrisy, and psychologists might also say they involve loudly criticizing others’ sexual behavior to cover one’s own past behavior. But both cases offer some sharp political lessons:

Seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced last Sunday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. While Clinton is one of the best-known people in the world, more folks might be familiar with knee-jerk labels used to describe her. In fact, Hillary has a long record of commitment to progressive American values. Here are seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President:

The party of “no chance”

“If one candidate is appealing to your fears, and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you’d better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope!”
Bill Clinton

Republicans just got punished in the Senate for saying “no” to an up or down vote on an unprecedented number of President Obama‘s Executive and Judicial Branch nominations. Now the Republicans are gearing up for the 2014 mid-term elections by running against the Affordable Care Act, rather than running for anything. That could prove to be a big mistake.

The hate behind DOMA, finally revealed

Credit U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and Obama appointee) Elena Kagan with outing the Republican discrimination behind their 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At today’s hearing before the Supreme Court, Kagan read from the Republican-drafted House Report that accompanied the original DOMA legislation:

Congress decided to reflect an ‘honor of collective moral judgment’ and to express ‘moral disapproval of homosexuality.’

Here’s the entire quote from pages 15-16 of the 1996 House Report: