Like many TV programs, I’m going to take a break for a few months to renew thoughts and prepare for a long election process…but first, here is the initial blog of my four-part series on the evolving Republican and Democrat candidates …as they stand today.
By January, the political scene will explode with election rhetoric all day long and there will be plenty of statements to challenge, promises to question, and behaviors to be wary of. Voters should be asking themselves many questions…about the position of these candidates on war, taxes, healthcare, education, jobs, wages, and if their religious ideology and their views are paramount to yours, and if the rule of law in our country is secondary to the rule of God…as in the case of Sharia Law in the Middle East?
Below is information on all the candidates and some actual comments they have recently made.
The Republican Candidates (in alphabetical order)
• Jeb Bush has said he is his own man, but is he? Rather than assemble a team of his own, he selected 17 of Daddy’s and dubya’s former advisors…the same ones who took us into Iraq needlessly. He demonstrated his weakness and inability to make a definitive statement when he gave four different answers in four days when asked, “Given what we know now, would you still have gone into Iraq?” Bush tried to explain his position on Iraq by providing a muddied expression of support for the war. Bush later tried to clean up his mess by finally acknowledging he would have done things differently in Iraq. On the domestic front, Bush along with other family members were also linked to a series of business scandals — including Medicaid fraud and shady S&L deals which ultimately lead to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a firm that had been strong since its founding in 1850. Jeb made $1.3 million as a financial advisor at Lehman, but just months after his hiring, the institution collapsed, taking a lot of Florida state money with it. (Bush Family Value$ – The Bush clan’s family business, Stephen Pizzo, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1992/09/bush-family-value)Because of questionable financial issues and two mediocre debate performances, his poll numbers remain in the mid-single digits. As he sticks to the foreign policy of the past, that past also demonstrates Jeb’s lack of compassion for the less fortunate when in 1994 he said, “Under his plan, Florida would refuse to accept federal funds to aid the state’s poor families, and restrict benefits to just two years of assistance. To be eligible for benefits, poor women would be required to ‘identify the fathers of their children, submit to random drug tests and work if jobs were available,’” (Miami Herald, March 1, 1994; http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Jeb_Bush_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm ) Twenty years later, he still lacks empathy for others when he announced that rather than raising the minimum wage, “People need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families.” (Quote of the Day: Jeb Bush Is Still Chasing Economic Unicorns; http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/quote-day-jeb-bush-still-chasing-economic-unicorns) Or when he said, but later walked back, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” (What Jeb Bush’s ‘gaffe’ on women’s health really tells us; https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/08/05/what-jeb-bushs-gaffe-on-womens-health-really-tells-us/) Is compassion, integrity, and intellect something our next president should have?
• Ben Carson, the only black Republican candidate, did well in the first and second debates. As a result, his numbers have risen briskly. He is strong on calmness and weak on information, facts, and reasonable solutions. He has had a distinguished medical career in neurology, used fetal tissue research in his medical work, and published his results. So, why is he choosing not to support this medical procedure now? In addition, why is he electing to make controversial statements about prisons and gays, such as “because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight—and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.” His comment on healthcare is equally disturbing: “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.” (5 Ben Carson Quotes Proving Why He’s Too Crazy To Be President; http://www.forwardprogressives.com/5-ben-carson-quotes-proving-hes-too-crazy-to-be-president/) Do you believe Obamacare is the worst thing to happen in our country since slavery? Worse than the Great Depression? Worse than 9/11?
• New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is known for his bullying and currently doesn’t have the support of his own state. With responses like these, to questions asking Christie whether his child goes to a public or private school, it is easy to understand his lack of support: “First off it’s none of your business. I don’t ask you where you send your kids to school. Don’t bother me about where I send mine.” (Chris Christie’s 10 best quotes; http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72413.html ) Christie, stilled mired in the George Washington Bridge scandal, continues on as if it didn’t happen. In the second debate, Christie, who is polling near the bottom of the pack, tried to raise his numbers by stressing the need for the middle class to grow…not a popular Republican talking point. However, he supports the popular GOP notion of shutting down Planned Parenthood taking healthcare resources, breast cancer screenings, and contraceptives away from millions of women. According to Christie, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports the “the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts in a way that maximizes their value for sale for profit” – a totally skewed statement of ideology rather than fact. (Chris Christie Says Hillary Clinton Supports ‘Systematic Murder Of Children’, September 16, 2015; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gop-debate-planned-parenthood_55fa12b2e4b08820d91758bb)
Is it time for Christie to abandon his presidential dream?
• Ted Cruz continues his role as a disruptor rather than a legislator elected to govern. Rather than compromise, he wants to again shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood, costing the country billions of dollars in lost revenue. His spoiled child antics, if I don’t get my way, you can’t play with my toys, is costing both the country and the Republican Party. And if he shuts down Planned Parenthood, he has no plans to provide alternative healthcare services to the millions of low income men and women who are now receiving it. Cruz not only thinks his views are all that matter, he thinks he is above the law as well and that his views should supersede the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and has said: “If the citizens of the state of Iowa or the citizens of the state of Texas want to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman … the states have the constitutional authority to do so and the federal government and unelected judges cannot set aside the democratically elected legislature’s reasonable decisions to enact and protect traditional marriage.” (You Need To See These 11 Scary Quotes From GOP Presidential Candidate Sen. Ted Cruz; http://newsone.com/3101135/gop-presidential-candidate-2016-senator-ted-cruz-quotes) Yet, he had no problem accepting the corruption of our democratic process with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Disagreeing with our laws is an American right, but deciding which laws of the land you will follow and which ones you won’t, is neither legal nor smart. What would America look like if everyone decided to follow only the laws they liked?
Part 1 of 4: Next week
Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, and George Pataki
If they are all still in the race