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Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

26th April 2011

It would appear as though Representative Ron Paul will soon be joining the list of Presidential hopefuls which would currently appear to include names such as Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Gary Johnson (not to mention the incumbent President Barack H. Obama). To shed more light upon these developments it may be best to quote directly from the National Journal‘s official website NationalJournal.com:

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he’s going to try a third time.

Sources close to Paul, who is in his 12th term in the House, said he will unveil an exploratory presidential committee, a key step in gearing up for a White House race. He will also unveil the campaign’s leadership team in Iowa, where the first votes of the presidential election will be cast in caucuses next year.

Clearly, Rep. Paul appears poised to make another run for the White House following a recent win of the CPAC straw poll which saw Mainstream Media outlet Fox News take criticism for their coverage of the event. The author of the aforementioned article seemed optimistic about Representative Paul’s chances in the upcoming election:

This would seem to be an ideal year for Paul: Since the last election, the Republican Party has moved much closer to his view on deficit reduction, which made him an early tea party favorite. All of the party’s top-tier presidential hopefuls are focusing on lowering debt, government spending, and tax rates, issues Paul has long advocated.

Readers of this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above to read about these developments in detail.

It is interesting to this blogger that of all of the coverage of the 2008 elections the speeches and comments delivered by Representative Paul along with those made by Representative Dennis Kucinich seem to have been both prescient as well as the only comments which were at all noteworthy in that campaign. However, during that campaign both Representative Paul and Representative Kucinich were considered far from “mainstream” candidates. Clearly, the shift in paradigm regarding Representative Paul as a candidate is attributable to changed conditions both in the United States and abroad.

As noted in previous postings on this blog, the Presidential elections can have a tremendous impact upon the international community. This is especially true in an Asian context as China and the economies comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) become increasingly important in a global economic context. It is likely that a Ron Paul administration would have policies which could be construed as substantially different from those of his predecessors. How events will play out in the lead-up to the election remains to be seen, but with issues such as the economy becoming of increasing concern to Americans this election could prove to be one of the most important in United States history.

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2nd April 2011

This blogger has been an avid follower of American politics since childhood and as a birthday present to himself this blogger will be following the 2012 election in an effort to contribute some worthwhile commentary on the unfolding campaign and the possible ramifications for Thailand, ASEAN, and Greater Asia. To quote directly from a recent posting on the New York Times official website nytimes.com:

The 2012 presidential campaign is finally getting underway, in fits and starts.

But the election season really arrives on May 2, when the Republican candidates gather in Simi Valley, Calif., for a televised debate at the library of their collective hero, Ronald Reagan.

Or, maybe they won’t.

The article cited above went on to note the fact that very few prospective Republican challengers have come forward at this point to “throw their hat in the ring” regarding a run for the United States presidency. Apparently, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken appropriate legal measures to fully explore the option of campaigning for the presidency, to quote further from the aforementioned article on the New York Times website:

[T]he April 15 fund-raising reports this year are likely to show almost no official campaign fund-raising, with the exception of Newt Gingrich, who announced the formation of an I.R.S. committee that allows him to start collecting money for a potential campaign.

Readers of this blog may recall that Mr. Gingrich recently made some news when questioning President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the administration’s position on the issue of enforcement of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). However, it would appear that unlike this blogger, Mr. Gingrich takes exception with Mr. Obama’s position on DOMA not because he is in favor of Americans being able to solemnize a same sex marriage, but because he feels that the Administration’s position on this issue is not in compliance with the United States Constitution as the US President is required to enforce American law.

The most interesting thing that this blogger found noticeable in the above cited article (and this blogger highly encourages readers to click on the links above to read this article in its entirety to gain some perspective on what is shaping up to be an important presidential campaign) was the fact that it made no mention of Representative Ron Paul. Although Dr. Paul has yet to announce his candidacy for the Presidency, and he may not do so, he did win the CPAC straw poll two years running. This accomplishment should not be overlooked as it was a similar victory which saw Mr. Reagan get catapulted to the front of the race for the US Presidency some 30 years ago.

On the American left President Obama is, naturally, the likely choice for the Democratic nomination, but even that should not be viewed as a foregone conclusion especially in light of the fact that some within the Democratic Party have called for a primary challenge against Mr. Obama. To quote directly from a posting on February 2, 2011 from the website Politifi.com:

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said Thursday that President Barack Obama “absolutely” ought to face a Democratic primary challenge from the left in 2012, predicting it would make him “stronger.” “I think primaries can have the opportunity of raising the issues and make the Democratic Candidate a stronger Candidate,” Kucinich told CSPAN’s Washington Journal.

Some commentators took Mr. Kucinich to mean that he was interested in running for the Presidency as a Democrat, but it would appear, at least for now, that this is not the case. However, the mere fact that the notion has been put forth introduces the possibility that Mr. Obama could face a primary challenge from within his own Party. How he would fare in such circumstances remains to be seen, but this blogger would not rule out the notion of a Democratic challenger while bearing in mind that Mr. Obama is a strong campaigner who would be a formidable opponent, especially in a Democratic primary.

For related information please see: Patriot Act Extension.

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8th March 2011

In what could possibly be one of the most convoluted political and legal issues currently in the American zeitgeist it has been reported by various sources that President Barack Obama is under pressure from many different groups regarding his recent decision not to enforce key provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). To quote directly from an article posted on AfricaOnline.com:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich suggested last week that President Obama overstepped his constitutional bounds when he announced he would no longer defend Defense of Marriage Act in court.

In matters pertaining to United States Constitutional law the lines between the political and legal spheres begin to blur and for this reason the issues surrounding what may be the most interesting legal situation in recent history are difficult to sort out for those who have not kept up with the evolving posture of this issue. To provide a brief summation: the United States Federal government is currently barred from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples pursuant to the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Meanwhile, 7 jurisdictions in the United States, including 6 sovereign States, currently license same sex unions. Meanwhile, many sovereign American States have promulgated State Constitutional amendments forbidding recognition of marriage between same sex couples. Currently, there is a case that has been adjudicated by the Massachusetts Federal District Court which found that States have a fundamental right to marry those within their jurisdiction. Amongst advocates of States’ Rights, the significant issue in the DOMA cases is: FEDERAL recognition of same sex marriages legalized and solemnized within the States’ jurisdiction. To continue quoting Mr. Gingrich according to AfricaOnline.com:

“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president,” Gingrich said. “Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.”

For those unfamiliar with the Roe versus Wade decision, this was the Supreme Court case which allowed women to receive abortions based upon an interpretation of the US Constitution. It is interesting that Mr. Gingrich noted the lack of “Mainstream Media” attention to this issue as there are those who could argue that the issue of equal rights for the LGBT community is an issue often overlooked by major media outlets. Clearly, the issue of same sex marriage is provoking strong reaction from various sectors of the American political spectrum, to quote directly from the website ThinkProgress.org:

Now, in the right’s furor over the administration’s announcement that it will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is calling for Obama to be impeached.

After the Arizona Republican advocated defunding the Department of Justice if it does not defend Section 3 of DOMA – “I would support that in a moment,” remarked Franks – he went on to say that he would “absolutely” favor impeaching President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder if such a move “could gain collective support”…

It would appear as though this issue is causing a great deal of political turmoil for Mr. Obama, but what is even more interesting are the underlying issues at stake for both the LGBT community and the sovereign States which comprise the United States of America.

To be clear, this blogger fully believes that the right to marry whomever one chooses to marry is a fundamental inalienable right and equal protection of that right should be accorded to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. In this blogger’s personal opinion, if two people wish to consensually enter into a marital union, then their respective genders should not be relevant for purposes of government recognition of that union. However, there is an even stronger argument in favor of requiring Federal recognition of same sex marriage and this argument stems from the fact that 6 states have allowed some form of same sex union (civil union or marriage). Clearly, States have traditionally been vested with the power to solemnize and legalize marriages within their respective jurisdictions and the Federal government should be required to recognize such unions, but the provisions of DOMA preclude such recognition. For example, same sex bi-national couples who have legalized a marriage in, say, Massachusetts cannot be accorded the same immigration benefits as their different-sex counterparts pursuant to the provisions of DOMA. There has been some discussion of legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would rectify this problem in the context of United States immigration, but this still leaves a fundamental question unanswered: when did the Federal government get the right to dictate to the States what shall constitute a marriage?

As to the Obama Administration’s decision to not pursue cases in support of the Defense of Marriage Act: the sentiment is laudable, but ultimately this action may not be in the best interests of the LGBT community as such inaction results in fewer, if any, cases or controversies coming before the Supreme Court thereby removing the platform for the Supreme Court to make a broad binding decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act itself (and possibly the overall issue of same sex marriage in general), the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the other legal issues, such as discrimination against same sex bi-national couples, which come “part and parcel” with continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act.

It is this blogger’s personal opinion that the United States Supreme Court will find in favor of recognition of same sex marriage, but in what could prove to be a sort of convoluted decision wherein Justices such as Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts find in favor of the right of the States to set policy regarding who can get married within their jurisdiction while the more “liberal” or “civil libertarian” wing of the Court finds in favor of granting same sex couples the right to Federal recognition of a legally solemnized State marriage based more upon a finding that the issue is one of civil rights.

For related information please see: LGBT Visa.

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