Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘New Democrats’

“John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only a…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only answer their questions, but wanted to do it and answer them with depth. Very similar to Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, he was very quick off the cuff and could answer questions with humor. Meet The Press liked interviewing him, because he was likable, popular, well-known and very funny. The 1950s was a fascinating time and JFK was in Congress the whole time as the country was dealing with the Cold War, post World War II economic boom, the early days of the civil rights movement and even American women starting to make important impacts out of the home in the American economy. Meet The Press had female anchors and questioners. There were women in Congress like Senator Margaret Chase Smith and many others. Jack Kennedy was in his thirties and early forties during this decade and had a great future ahead of him if he wanted it. Which is why Meet The Press loved having him on.

Jack Kennedy, was sort of an absentee Representative in the House. Somewhat bored and loved being a bachelor and enjoying the Washington nightlife when Congress was in session. It wasn’t until JFK decided to run for the Senate in 1952 that he started taking his job more serious and making his positions known in Congress. There are a lot of things to love about Jack Kennedy and he is my political hero, but he’s definitely someone who grew in office. Wasn’t a great Representative, but a good Senator at least in the sense that he started taking issues seriously and studying them and not just going to his committee hearings, but knowing the right questions to ask. I don’t believe JFK becomes President of the United States on his personal appeal and family name alone in 1960, had he not become a serious Senator and taken his job in Congress seriously and getting on the road and getting his political platform out there.

I’m not sure JFK gets into his politics without his father Joe pushing him. But it’s clear that once JFK got into politics and ran for the House in 1946 and was elected he loved it and became a natural campaigner and politician. He gave a great speech, great interviews, knew how to excite and inspirer people. He wasn’t a natural public servant and someone who actually loved doing the job that he was elected to do. He tenure in the House is a pretty good example of that. I believe he sort of grew in public service once he was elected to the Senate, especially his second term when he started considered running for president in 1957 or so. But was someone even though had a fairly thin resume outside of Congress and somewhat of a thin voting record and list of accomplishments in Congress, was someone who was great at expiring people and laying out a vision for how America could be even greater and how all Americans could succeed in America.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

ABC News

ABC News

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I think the biggest tragedy that the JFK assassination had on the Democratic Party is that Jack Kennedy was that last bridge between the Center-Left Liberal and Progressive Democrats and the New-Left that came of age in the Democratic Party in the mid 1960s up to the early 1970s or so. People who were much further left than the Liberals and Progressives in the party and had more social democratic and even communist leanings. Who were anti-American establishment, anti-military, anti-war, anti-law enforcement, anti-government use of force in general, who wanted to bring down the American federal form of government and replace it with a social democratic and even communist government in some cases.

Jack Kennedy was a Liberal Democrat who wanted to use government to carry out many liberal, progressive and even social democratic goals as it has to do with the economy. And creating an economy where more Americans could benefit. But didn’t have a big centralized government solution for every problem. He didn’t want to make Americans dependent on government, but use government to empower struggling Americans of all races to become dependent on themselves and be able to live in freedom. JFK is killed in 1963 and less than a year later the so-called Great Society is created by President Lyndon Johnson, with all sorts of new progressive, or social democratic federal programs to take care of millions of Americans. JFK would be what we would call a New Democrat today. A Center-Left Liberal who believed government could help people help themselves instead. And not leave them dependent on government.

JFK was a Cold Warrior, anti-communist, pro-freedom and freedom for all Americans, not just European-Americans and he did come out for what would be called the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the summer of 1963. Who wanted to create an American economy where all Americans could benefit and live in freedom. With strong investments in education and job training, aid to struggling communities so they could educate their kids as well, job training for struggling Americans who were working, but not able to make enough money to live well, because they lacked skills. In many ways he was the last great Center-Left Liberal Democrat of his generation that came to power and became President of the United States. We didn’t have another Democrat with similar politics become President who had a successful presidency until Bill Clinton in 1993. And I would argue Barack Obama as well and not just because I’m a big fan of both President’s Clinton and Obama.

You could write all sorts of pieces about the JFK presidency and his impact on the Democratic Party and country as a whole. But to cover everything you would have to write at least one great book. With this piece I’m more interested in his impact on the Democratic Party and American politics. And post JFK the Democratic Party moved very Left if not Far-Left, especially when it came to foreign policy and national security, but criminal justice and law enforcement, where by 1980 or so the Democratic Party was no longer trusted on these issues. And it wasn’t until mid 1990s or so when under President Clinton that the Democratic Party was once again trusted to govern and defend the country. The JFK assassination was horrible for the country, but it really hurt the Democratic Party as well. Because again he was that bridge between the Center-Left and Far-Left of the party.
David Von Pein: JFK With Peter Jennings- 1983

Read Full Post »

Bill Clinton
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Just to start off, you should know that I’m a big fan of Bill Clinton and a lot of my politics and own liberalism comes from him. And following his own career and he would’ve been someone I would’ve been more than happy to vote for twice for president if I was eligible. At risk of sounding overdramatic Bill Clinton I believe at least saved the Democratic Party. The country was moving right and moving away from Progressive Democratic centralized government designed to take care of people. More towards individual freedom especially as it related to the economy and was tired of seeing their taxes going up especially as the debt and deficits were going up as well.

Congressional Republicans at some point probably in the 1990s was going to win back Congress both the House and Senate. Just because of where the country was and Republicans starting to dominate the South and continued to do well in the Midwest. Now that didn’t have to be 1994 and President Clinton’s first two years probably sped up the Republican takeover of Congress. But that was going to happen in the near future if not 1994. And had it not have been for Bill Clinton the Democratic Party wouldn’t have been in ready with any message to respond to Conservative Republicans who came to power in the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions.

Without Bill Clinton the Democratic Party would’ve still been dominated not by FDR Progressives who are actually pretty practical mainstream leftists, but McGovernites from the New Left who came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s and got organized inside of the Democratic Party. People who were anti-military, anti-law enforcement, anti-establishment in general from the Right and Left. People who wanted to essentially tear down the American liberal democratic form of government and private enterprise system. And transform America into Scandinavia economically, politically and everything else. Going up against Conservative Republicans who thought the current government was already too big with the political backers and resources to support them.

What Bill Clinton did what was called the Third Way was give Democrats and Americans an alternative to the Reagan Revolution in the Republican Party that essentially want to tear down everything that was built up from the New Deal and Great Society. And the McGovernites the New Left in the Democratic Party that wanted to expanded everything that was built up in the New Deal and Great Society and turn America into a Scandinavian social democracy. And to say there was a third way that center-left New Democrats could take to offer Americans to bring the Democratic Party back to power. That wasn’t about big government or small government, but using government in a responsible limited way to empower people in need to be able to also live in freedom.

Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party that has basically been running and governing under his vision of government, or something very close to it since 1993 when he became President of the United States. The days of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and George McGovern are over. And now the Democratic Party at least at the leadership level has been about saving the programs that people need and work well. Empowering people at the bottom and near bottom to be able to move up in life and not have to live on government dependence indefinitely. A party that will defend the country both through law enforcement and with the military. That won’t try to overtax the middle class and respect their incomes and will be responsible with Americans tax dollars. And that to me at least is the legacy of President Bill Clinton.

Read Full Post »

Primary Colors (1998) part 1 (1)
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

I saw the movie Primary Colors in the spring of 1998. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but that’s a different story with a long time friend of mine from high school who’ll go nameless. And we saw it for free because my friend worked at a movie theater, one of the few perks of being friends of him. And I looked forward to seeing this movie, because it reminded me of a real-life Southern politician another New Democrat. The real Liberal Democrats, who’s a political hero of mine, who had the ability and vision to do great things. But lacked personal discipline, made too many mistakes for someone with his intelligence who also had a strong take charge attractive wife played by Emma Thomas. Who’ve could’ve been very successful on her own.

The question being could her husband be successful on his own. Same question in this movie Primary Colors was full of scenes that looked like the real person I’m talking about and if you’ve seen the movie and follow American politics, you probably already know who I’m talking about. And the movie was also based on this real-life person, liberal governor from the South who culturally fit in very well with his state and the broader region. Who didn’t have any Federal Government experience, not even serving in the military. Who despite being a Southerner, fit in very well with people outside of that region especially Northeastern and Hollywood Democrats who have a lot of power in the Democratic Party if not run the party.

The main politician in Primary Colors the character played by John Travolta, great actor and a very funny man GOV. Jack Stanton running for President, had the strong wife that I was talking about. Started running for President in New Hampshire with a very small budget and staff, just like the real-life person. Had a sex scandal that involved a long time friend of the Governor, had really smart political strategist also from the South played by Billy Bob Thornton. Again long time friend of the Governor just like the real-life person, veteran politicos as well a young people on his staff. Just like the real-life person and there was a question of whether GOV. Stanton evaded the Vietnam War Draft just like the real-life character.

There was a primary debate where GOV. Stanton had a big moment to win the debate just like the real movie. There was a campaign event, where GOV. Stanton was able to connect with the audience his I feel your pain moment just like the real movie. When GOV. Stanton basically told the audience that “I know times are tough, but I can’t promise you the jobs you lost are coming back. That its time that a lot of American workers go back to school and learn other trades”. Which also happened with the real-life character. And of course the comeback kid moment in New Hampshire where GOV. Stanton does well enough in New Hampshire to keep his campaign going.

Of course the real life person I”m talking about is Bill Clinton who back in 1991-92, when he was running for President was Governor of Arkansas and was a Liberal Democrat ,but in the true sense. Progressive sure, but also understood the limits of government and the New Deal and Great Society. And that government has to be more responsible with tax revenue and of course all those situations that I just laid in the movie actually happened with Bill Clinton or were very similar.

Very intelligent, but not very discipline, strong intelligent wife with Hillary Clinton. Small budget and campaign in New Hampshire, memorable debate where he takes in Jerry Brown. The campaign event where he feels the senior citizens pain and walks up to her and hugs her. The sex scandal with Jennifer Flowers, the story of whether Bill Clinton dodged the Vietnam War. Great Political Strategist Jim Carville these things being true.

Primary Colors was based on Bill Clinton and his 1992 campaign for president where of course he was elected president. And also based on a book by author Joel Klein that was fictional with different names for the characters. But still based on a true story and they both did a very good job and this was a very entertaining movie.

Read Full Post »

Jimmy Carter
This post was originally posted at FRS FreeState Plus

You do not see Jimmy Carter running on the economy here and telling people about how great the economy is. With inflation not being much of a factor or with low-interest rates, or plenty of energy, oil and gas to go around. With low unemployment and high economic growth, with no American hostages around the world, or without Russia on the march in the Middle East, or anything like that. Because the Carter Campaign knew all of that wouldn’t be true and that actually all the opposites to those things were true.

The country was in bad shape in 1980 and back in recession with the American hostages still in Iran. A country that did not want Americans or other Westerners in their country at all. So what the Carter Campaign is trying to do here in this ad campaign is run on what they could and what was left to run on. That the military was stronger, that America was at peace in the world for the most part not involved in any foreign wars. And that even Egypt and Israel were at peace with each other as well. And all of that is true.

Read Full Post »

JFK

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

President Kennedy, getting a rare opportunity at a retake of an interview that he had before. David Brinkley and Chet Huntley, interviewing President Kennedy about Vietnam. Which of course in 1963 was going through a civil war between Communists in the North and Democrats in the South. The Eisenhower Administration decided to back the Democratic North in a limited way through aid and other resources. That the Kennedy Administration decided to continue when they came into office in 1961. Almost three years later in late 1963 President Kennedy was in a position where he needed to decide how much should America help the Democratic South after they sent advisers into Vietnam to assist the South. But I think it was clear that he wasn’t in favor of sending American troops in to fight the Vietnam Civil War.

The second question being about the Kennedy tax cuts of 1963 that President Lyndon Johnson finally got through a Democratic Congress in 1963 after the assassination of President Kennedy in November of 63. The American economy of 1963 wasn’t that different from the American economy of 2011-12. As far as economic and job growth. The economy in both periods was growing and creating jobs, but not very rapidly and slowly recovering from previous recessions. What President Kennedy wanted to do was put through an across the board tax cut and pay for it by cutting loopholes. To drive consumer spending and economic growth. There were concerns in Congress about how a tax cut that size would affect the deficit. And that is what the President was dealing with then.

Jack Kennedy, was a true Liberal Democrat, because he believed that liberty was worth defending here at home. That America had to be strong at home first economically before we try to show strength abroad. And the we way we should try to show strength abroad was not to try to police the world by ourselves, but work with our allies to preserve peace and expand freedom to people who were looking for it, but didn’t have it. Because they were being held down by an authoritarian dictatorial regime. Where they have very little if any say on what goes on in their own country. And these were the reasons that the President wanted to help Democratic Vietnam, get the Senate to pass the Test Ban Treaty and to pass a large tax cut. Because he wanted to defend freedom at home and abroad and strengthen the American economy. So more Americans could live in freedom.

Read Full Post »

John F. Kennedy

Liberal Democrat

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

The 1960s elections especially the presidential election between Senator John Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, were fascinating for several reasons. But it was a fascinating election season before Jack Kennedy and Dick Nixon won their party’s nomination for President. The Democratic primaries had two of the strongest leaders in the Democratic Party competing with each other for the Democratic nomination, in Senator Kennedy and Senator Hubert Humphrey.

The two Senators represented different factions of the Democratic Party and even different generations of the party. Even though they were both from the same generation officially. Hubert Humphrey represented the old guard, or what I call the Old-Left of the Democratic Party, the FDR coalition of Northern Progressives and Southern Conservatives who tended to work together on economic policy and foreign policy, but were different on civil rights obviously.

Senator Humphrey came out in favor of civil rights before it became popular to use as an example. And Senator Kennedy represented what I call the Reformed-Left, people who were called New Democrats in the 1980s, the true Liberal Democrats in the party. The JFK vs HHH Democratic primaries weren’t just about who would try to lead the Democratic Party in the next four years. But who would lead the country and which faction of the Democratic Party would lead the country in the next four years.

And I believe had Jack Kennedy not of been assassinated as President in 1963 and gotten reelected in 1964, the Vietnam War doesn’t happen at least as far as how the United States was involved in it. And that he would’ve realized how big of a mistake it would’ve been for America to try to win that war at least on our own. And what’s called the New-Left that came together in the 1960s because of the Vietnam War and the Great Society, against the war, but strongly in favor of the Great Society.

I don’t believe the New Left emerges that’s become Occupy Wall Street today. Because there wouldn’t of been a need for it and the old FDR/LBJ coalition would’ve stayed in place and the Democratic Party would look different today. Had Senator Humphrey defeated Senator Kennedy in 1960 and somehow gone on to defeat Vice President Nixon in the general election. The Democratic Party would look different today as well because again I don’t believe a President Humphrey would’ve gotten the United States as involved in the Vietnam War as it did.

And the New-Left or Occupy Wall Street isn’t in existence today, because again there wouldn’t of been a need for it. But the Reformed-Left or New Democratic Coalition doesn’t emerge either, or at least not as early as it did. Perhaps Senator Kennedy runs for President in 1968 and gets elected, but a lot of New Democrats of today that came from the Baby Boom Generation that looks up to Jack Kennedy and see him as our leader, I’m not a baby boomer I’m a Gen-Xer, but Jack Kennedy is a big political hero of mine. And I’m a New Democrat as well.

The JFK-HHH primaries was really about the sole or future of the Democratic Party and where we were going as a country. And what the Democratic Party was going to look like in the future. Which is why these primaries were so important and a big reason why people were so fascinated. Because JFK was new as a national leader and spoke differently and had different ideas and a different vision. As far as where he would take the country and Democratic Party. Against HHH who represented the old guard or Old-Left in the Democratic Party that were looking to expand the New Deal.

Criterion Collection: Primary 1960- John F. Kennedy Rallies The Crowd

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: