Saturday, July 11, 2015

There Have Been Great Men And Women In The U.S. Senate-- And Then There Have Been Mediocrities Like Roman Hruska

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Fake Democrat and Real Democrat-- There's a BIG difference

Among the best senators in the history of our country were Daniel Webster (Whig-MA), Robert LaFollette (R-WI), Robert Wagner (D-NY), LBJ (D-TX), Everett Dirksen (R-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Claude Pepper (D-FL), Teddy Kennedy (D-MA), Paul Wellstone (D-MN), Eugene McCarthy (D-MN), Huey Long (D-LA), Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME), Thomas Hart Benton (D-MO), and Hubert Humphrey (D-MN). Alan Grayson has proven that he is capable of making himself worthy to be counted among these. His primary opponent, New Dem Patrick Murphy, an unaccomplished spoiled brat and pathetic careerist, would be more likely to share a spot in history-- were he to ever ascend to the Senate-- with the historically worst members of that body:
Benjamin Tillman, Democrat of South Carolina, who served from 1895-1918, had the nickname “Pitchfork”, and promoted racism and segregation in a voluble manner, and condemned Theodore Roosevelt for his White House invitation to the African American educator, Booker T. Washington, in 1902.

James K. Vardaman served as a Democratic Senator from Mississippi from 1913-1919, and gained a reputation for using the N word effortlessly, and advocating violence and the Klan to keep African Americans in their place.

Theodore Bilbo was Democratic Senator from Mississippi from 1935-1947, and was infamous for his orations against African Americans, and was simply an embarrassment to the Senate he served in.

Harry F. Byrd, Sr. of Virginia served as a Democratic Senator from 1933 to 1965, and led the fight against the school integration decision of the Supreme Court in 1954, advocating “massive resistance”, promoting the closing of public schools in the Commonwealth. His being in the Senate for a very long time made him more damaging just by its duration.

Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina served as a Senator for the second longest term ever, nearly 48 years, first as a Democrat from 1954 to 1964, and then switched parties to the Republican side and served from 1964 to 2002. Thurmond had, while Governor of his state, been a third party candidate for President as a “Dixiecrat” in 1948, and promoted the reversal of President Truman’s executive orders integrating the armed forces and Washington, DC. He went on to be an activist against the entire civil rights movement, including calling Martin Luther King a “communist’, and only reluctantly, backed away slightly from his vehement stands in his later terms, partially to win reelection with a growing African American participation in voting in the Palmetto state.

Jesse Helms served as Republican Senator from North Carolina from 1973-2003, and gained a reputation of being the most implacable foe of civil rights, using the race card on a regular basis to win close races in his state. He was seen as the image of the Old South revived even in modern times. A lot of people, including some colleagues, were simply scared of him!

The seventh and last southern senator on this undistinguished list would be Phil Gramm of Texas, who first served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat, switched to the Republican party, and served as a Republican Senator from 1985-2002. While by the time that he served, the race issue was not emphasized anymore in an open way, Gramm proved to be very insensitive to the poor and deprived, emphasized a balanced budget over all else, and gained an image of being linked to powerful corporations. To top it off, after he left office, and when the Great Recession we are suffering through emerged, Gramm was judged as one of the ten on the list of villains on a CNN investigation, that helped by their actions and connections to have caused the collapse in the mortgage industry, and the general financial meltdown. He was also an embarrassment to Senator John McCain during the Presidential campaign of 2008, when he was one of his economic advisers, and complained that America was a "nation of whiners."

So sadly, seven of the top ten worst senators come from the South, with two from Mississippi, two from South Carolina, one from Virginia, one from North Carolina, and one from Texas.

The other three on this unfortunate list come from the “heartland,” two from the Midwest and one from the Far West.

Senator Roman Hruska served from Nebraska as a Republican from 1954-1976, and could be called the true measure of a mediocre Senator, who is most infamous for his assertion during the Senate debate over the nomination of G. Harold Carswell of Florida by President Nixon in 1971 to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, that indeed Carswell was a mediocre judge, but after all, a lot of Americans are mediocre, and they are entitled to one person on the Supreme Court who represents them! I think that is enough said about Hruska!

Then there is Senator Patrick McCarran, Democrat of Nevada from 1933-1954, who became infamous for being an active participant in promoting violation of civil liberties, most notably as part of the Second Red Scare in the years after World War II and into the mid 1950s. He was vicious in his pursuit of the destruction of many people’s reputations and livelihoods without justification.

Ok, now we are ready for the tenth and last, but actually the person who would easily be placed at the top of this list of the worst senators in US History. Many learned people may already have guessed who I am going to name.

Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who served from 1947-1957, became infamous for the “witch hunt”, the Second Red Scare, and the creation of a new “ism”, McCarthyism, which means unjustified attacks on and destruction of people for a purely political and ideological agenda. McCarthy had no limits in his tirade on people from all walks of life that the labeled very freely as “Communists”, and yet no one he ever attacked was ever convicted of any such charges. He undermined Americans’ faith in their own government and their Presidents at the time, Truman and Eisenhower, and too many of his colleagues in the US Senate were either supporting him for political ends or unwilling to stick their neck out and denounce him. Of course, there were those who were courageous in and out of the Senate and condemned him, but it took five long years before he was finally brought down by a censure vote after his accusations that the military services were rife with Communists. His demagogic actions, unfortunately, gained many supporters, many of whom, or their descendants, still defend this despicable man, the worst Senator ever, even today, and aim to divide us.

...S. I. Hayakawa, Republican of California, 1977-1983, who became most noticed for opposing the Panama Canal treaty by stating that “we stole the canal fair and square, and should not give it back!”

Rick Santorum, Republican from Pennsylvania, who served from 1994-2006, and was probably most noticed for opposing gay equality, and worried publicly that the next step would be dogs and humans marrying!

Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, serving from 1998–2010, unable to get along with anyone in his own party, let alone the other party, and often saying inane things, and serving as an embarrassment to his fellow home state senator and Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Ironically, Bunning had had a distingished career as a baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies from 1955-1971, had pitched a perfect game in 1964, and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. That distinguished career, unfortunately, did not translate into the Senate, and he has recently been noted for working to prevent access to Presidential records in the National Archives by preventing the bill from being considered, what is called “legislative privilege” to put a hold on a bill by one individual senator. When he retires next year, he will NOT be missed!

John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, serving from 2002 to the present, having been a Supreme Court judge in Texas before being elected to the Senate. However, it has been hard to watch Senator Cornyn and not be embarrassed by his statements and actions.

Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, serving since 2005, and a medical doctor. But like Cornyn, it has been hard not to wince when observing his statements and actions in office.

We cannot end this entry without adding Coburn’s fellow Republican Senator, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who has served since 1994. He is best known for being the leading fighter against former Vice President Al Gore’s global warming initiatives, but beyond that, it is just hard to watch and listen to him on any subject!

One other newcomer who seems to be going down this road to be on this list is Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who has served since 2005, and has recently been railing about “socialism”, and saying health care is not a right, but a privilege.
Thursday, Alan Grayson announced he would give up his safe Orlando House seat to run for the Florida U.S. Senate seat being opened up by the departure of Marco Rubio. The Wall Street-allied Democratic Establishment headed by the odious Chuck Schumer is working harder to keep the independent-minded progressive out of the Senate than he's working against any Republican. Schumer wants followers, not innovators or free thinkers, people who say "Yes, sir," not people like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Jeff Merkley. He even forced Massachusetts weakling Ed Markey to contribute to the primary campaign Schumer's running for Murphy against Grayson, despite Markey's pretensions to being the Senate's foremost environmentalist (in the light of Murphy's ardent and consistent support for the Keystone XL Pipeline Markey used as a prop for his own elevation to the Senate-- except opposing it like a good Democrat).

A few days before Grayson jumped into the race, wrote a letter to his followers delving into the question of why Democrats grassroots voters have such a propensity to not vote (which Gaius Publius wrote about Thursday). It goes back to the party bosses' inability to recall what made them Democrats before they became so rich and powerful and tied in with the national elites themselves. He wrote that he "polled Florida non-voters. I found that the main reason why they didn't vote last year was simple: They couldn't see any difference between the candidates. When there is no difference between the candidates, Democrats don't vote, and Democrats lose."
By way of background, the top race in Florida last year was the race for Governor. The Republican incumbent was Rick Scott, whose hospital chain perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud in history. (That is not a misprint.) Nevertheless, because he had an (R) next to his name on the 2010 ballot, he won. He has been a horrible governor, easily one of the worst in the country. Everyone knew that the Democrats had a chance to bring him down last year, especially since our Democratic President had carried Florida twice in a row. There are 500,000 more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in Florida.

The Democratic nominee was Charlie Crist, a REPUBLICAN former governor. Crist was so far to the right that he was known as "Chain-Gang Charlie." In 2010, when Scott was first elected, Crist killed the Democrat's chances for a US Senate seat from Florida by dropping out of his own Republican primary, where he was 25 points down, and running as an "independent." That "stinking maneuver" (as Yitzhak Rabin would have put it) made Marco Rubio the junior senator from Florida.

Rather than shunning Crist for blowing that 2010 Senate race for the Democrats, the Democrats actually recruited him. They crowned someone who was a Republican just a few years earlier, and a conservative Republican at that, as the "Democratic" nominee for governor.

Political strategists called this a brilliant move by the Democratic Party. And Democratic voters were appalled, as my own little poll showed. Democratic voters stayed home in droves, and the Democrats lost.

As Gov. Howard Dean has said, if you offer people a choice between a real Republican and a fake Republican, they will choose the real Republican every time. And they did. Getting back to our poll, we focused on people who actually could have voted, not permanent residents, convicted felons whose rights had not been restored, or children. We offered the non-voters 12 different reasons to explain why they hadn't voted. Reason #1, the most "popular," was that "people did not like either choice for Governor." Forty-one percent of the Democratic non-voters said that this was the main reason why people didn't vote.

By the way, the non-voters were overwhelmingly Democratic, whether or not they were registered as such. When asked whom they had favored in the 2012 Presidential race, they chose Obama over Romney by 17 points. President Obama won Florida-- among the actual voters-- by less than one point.

So, let's be honest. When we put up a pseudo-Democrat or a neo-Democrat or a quasi-Democrat or a semi-Democrat for Team Blue, our voters are not amused. They are not fooled. And we only hurt ourselves.

The voters deserve a choice. In fact, they insist on it. Or they simply won't vote.
Suggestion: Go to this page, watch the video, take it to heart and think about what you can do to make sure Alan Grayson wins that Florida Senate seat, not Patrick Murphy, a spoiled life-long Republican disguised as a (bad) Democrat.


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1 Comments:

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mf Lehman said...

Joe McCarthy is quite wrongly given credit - or in this case, blame - for McCarthyism. In fact, the hunt for communists in the Federal government and removal of anyone who had been so accused without being able to confront the accuser began under Harry Truman. McCarthy was actually the last to engage in the witch hunting.

 

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