What if america was a parlimentary democracy!
The rise of george w bush!
In 1981,the liberal party under jimmy carter lost to the conservitives led by former movie actor and former califonia premer ronald reagon.reagon steped down as leader of the tories,reagon was replaced by his finance minister george w bush. Bush won a mandate in 1989 but lost in 1993 to former Arkansas premer bill Clinton and the liberals.
Clinton and the liberals won a second mandate in 1996. Conservitives hoped for a victory under bob dole. Dole seamed old and tired. Clinton apealed to younger vioters and older voters.
Dole resigned as party leader the day after the election. Jack kempt was the interem leader until a new leader could be chosen at a leadership convention.
There was a lot of interest in runing for the top post. Despite the poor showing in the election,tories had done well in various provincial elections. They had gained some ground lost in 1992. They were hopeful that they may be able to return to government in 2001 with the right message and mesinger.
Canidates included tory budget critic john kasich,senator orwin hatch,senator john Ashcroft ,former ambassador alen keys, bissinessman steve forbes,former cabinent minister lamer alecxander,Elizabeth dole,activist gary baur. There were two canidates that seam to be the two front runers! Those were george w bush and john mcain.
John mcain was from a military family . His grand farther and farther were admiral in american navy. Mccain was a prisinor of war during america’s conflict witg viet nahm. He endured cruelty at thw hanoi hilton. After his release he went to law school. He was apounted to the senate replacing bary goldwatter at the reconmandation of then premer reagen. Mccain worked on reforming campaign finance reform.
George w bush was the son of former pm george hubert walker bush. His grandfather was a senator from conecticut. Bush had been a oil compony executive. And texas ranger part owner. In 1994 he led the conservitives to victory in texas ousting the government of liberal ann richards.
Bush had positioned himself as a blue tory. He had tried to identify himself with reagen. Mccain tried to present himself as a man of the people. While some said that was disinjenous sence he spent the last 11 years in the non elected uper chamber. Mcain touted his suport for campaign finance reform. Bush apealed to religius voters,something prime minister reagan had done.
Bush was considered the front runer but mccain had suport as well. Former deputy prime minister dan qayle considered runing for leader but droped out. The confrence was sheduled for sumer of 1997.
Bush ran on his record in texas. Mccain had never served an elected office. The orther canidates hoped to break though.
At the leadership convention ,dole,Ashcroft and kasich droped out after the first balot. Hatch droped out on the second. At the end it was between keys,mcain and bush.
The back and forth between the bush and McCain camps had been contentious. The two agred on many isues but there alies hated the orther. Rather then drag it on. McCain droped out and endorsed bush before the final vote all but asuring a bush victory.
Bush became leader of the conservitive party,augest 27th 1997. After delivering a victory speach declaring the tories are back in town,bush flew to the nations capital in philidalfia. Without a seat in parliament he had to lead behind the veil until he won a bi Election.
In October he won a seat in texas, ironically the same seat he lost in his younger years. Bush took over the party. Now he would go from leading one of the largest provinces to leading the opisistian to the popular bill clinton.
End of part one
In 1998,ricard gaphardt was man of the year for time magazine. He slowly became one of the most powerful people in the united states.
Could he hold on to the speakers gaval? Gaphardt had a favorable pol rating tgehoughout 1999 And 20000. There were several seats that were held by republicans and seamed in play.
2000 Was a presidential election year. Though bill Clinton was stil popular ,there was Clinton fatigue. Al gore did not quite have the pizaz that his boss had. Could republicans cash in on george bush’s coatales?
The democrats fielded canidates in califonia and new york. Grass roots groups involved in isues sutch as gun control,pro chioce and climate change also went on the ofensive.
The republicans had problems of there own. Former speaker Gingrich was forced to step down as republican leader. His replacement, lousiana’s robert Livingston was quite efective, he was forced out after hustler magazine uncovered several scandals involving him. He was replaced by wrestling coach turned congressman dennis hastert. He was respected by hours republicans. Republican voters felt that he was the political reincarnation of bob micheals. George w. Bush tried to distence himself from congresional republicans and.especially the empeachment debacle.
Al gore argued the need for a democrativ congress to help get his agenda passed. He campagned for a patcients bill og rights,a perscription drug program,a social sicurity lock box, as well as reducing green house gass.
Al gore ended up wining the presidentcy but barely. The results of the election was stalled due to reconts in florida. The supreme court in a five four decision declined to stop the recont. George bush finally conceded.
While the presidential race was close,the democratic victory was not. Democrats were able to put a final nail in the cofen of the 1994 republican revolution. Incumbents sutch as bryan bilbrey of California ,republican micheal forbes of new york even republican joe Scarborough of florida lost. Gaphardt was back.
With the third democratic presidential mandate and a democratic congress,president gore hit the ground running. He formerly perposed the patcients bill of right and a persciption drug program. He tried to off set the rx program with targarted tax increase on top owners. It pleased deficit hawks, blue dog were not pleased with the tax increase.
The patcients bill of rights did pass with most democrats voting for it and a few republicans. This got the ire of grover norquest. The senate passed it but the vote was a lot closer. Senator McCain voted no even though he suported it in principle.
President gore signed the perscription drug bill and the bill of rights at the same time in an elaborate signing cerimony. Republicans depicted gore ans gapheardt as tax and spend liberals.
Not only did the honey moon between voters and the white house go shower,so did the honey moon between the president and the speaker. The president perposed a carbon tax. It was aimed at top erners but after the perscription drug program,even some moderate to conservitive democrats were saying enough is enough.
Gaphardt tried to talk him out of it. The president got angery with him. He explaned to him that this is no ordinary emergentcy. The fate of the planet was literally in the balience. The president acused gapheardt of not being a true belever. At one point gaphardt threten to switch parties although it was an idle threat.
Gaphardt decided to go ahead with the vote. Gaphardt was feeling the presure from all sides. Democratic representive vurgil good switched to republican as did ohio congresman tony hall and texas congressman ralph hall. Gapheardt got the bill passed. He was mentally and physically exchausted.
Democrats were becoming more and more unpopular. Republican were wining the generic balot in the sumer of 2001. Gapherdt himself considering leaving congress.
Then every thing changed. Terrorist aligned with ossama bin ladden hijacked several planes. Two hit the world trade center. Another hit the pentigon.a fouth crashed in pensivania. Republicans and democrats joined together. President gore targeted alquida camps in athganistan,somolia,sudan and philipines.
It changed the nature of the presidentcy. Gore vowed to keep america safe. Democrats became very popular. Then politics came back. Republican asked for tax relief. Gore said we have to fight terorism,save the planet and save social security all at the same time. He declared that they could not aford it.
Republicans made tax relief a big isue. Democrats acused republican of puting the ritch above the little guy. On election day, democrats kept control of the house and senate.
Gaphardt remaned speaker. David boner ran for governor if Michigan. Nancy pilosi of sanfransisco replaced her. President gore wanted pilosi to replace him. Gore tried to get gaphardt to run for the senate or governor or acept a cabinent post. Gaphardt decided to stay on. Gore decided not to take him on.
The president continued to take on terrorist all over the world. He used multiple tools in his arsenal. He created the department of homeland sicurity. He apointed former general Wesley clark to the post.
While Howard deen the former governor of vermont who claimed to represent the democratic wing of the democratic party considered runing against gore in the primary in opodistion to his use of the military as a hit squared. Gore also feard gapheardt might jump in. Gaphardt was not interested.
Dean decided not to run for president. Gaphardt passed on it as well. Gore faced john mcain. McCain ran on doia better job in the war on terror. He even sugested invading iraq. He susjested that iraq may have helped plan 911 attacks.
Al gore won relection wining 49 percetof the vote. The democrats lost a few seats but kept control of the house. The senate was 50-50 but with the tie breaking vote by vice president bob ghram they basically had a mojority.
President gore really wanted nancy pilosi as speaker. Gore ofored him un ambassador but he declined. While he did not want to lose sec of sate holbrock ,he was wiling to sack him to get gaphardt out of the speakers chair. gaphardt was not interested.
Pilosi did not want to challenge gaphardt but would if she had gore’s complete suport. Though gapheardt considered leaving any ways he did want to be taken out in a corps. Former president Clinton who did not like that gore was outshining him went on 60 minutes prasing gapheardt. While gore did not like his old boss mediling he dis not want an on air fued. He abandoned plans to take on gapgeardt.
Gore wanted to extend the carbon tax. Gaphardt feared the democratic colition would implode. Gore was in legacy mode and wanted to be the environmentle president. Gapheardt perposed off setting the tax with the elimination of the esate tax for ten years. Gore knew the deficit hawks would rebel. Gore decided to back down al together.
Gore looked weak. Us got vicrories in the war on teror.then gore poparity plumited after whay seemed to be a poor responce to haricaine Katrina. Gore numbers went to an all time low.
Right before the election,senator john kery said if you don’t get a good education ,you might end up in somolia.
In the 2006 election , democrats lost control of the house. Even gapheardt himself lost his seat in st lois. Although in 2008, russ carnahan won it back for the democrats. Republican took control with tom delay the former pest exterminator as speaker.
Gapheardt was replaced by nancy pilosi. Gapheatdt was apounted ambassador to Germany wich he continued to be until the end of his term. He returned to st. Lois in 2008 but kept a low profile.
Speaker of the house richard gaphardt encouraged the parties to work together as he took the gaval as speaker. He called for rejection of the politics of personal destruction. He urged republicans and democrats to do the work of the American people not engage in partisan bickering.
The house began work on the minimum wage increase. The minimum wage was passed in the house. They sent it on to the senate where it was passed with 57 yes and 43 no. It was signed into law by the president. The minimum wage went 5:18 to 5:85.
Then the house worked on an economic stimulus pakege witch would give education tax credet was low income families. The pakege will lower taxis on the midle class.
The republicans tried to loud it with amandments. Congresman ron paul put a buy American first provision. Congresman steve largent of Oklahoma put an amendment that would alow a moment or silience in the classroom. The bill stalled.
Domastic policy gave way to world afairs. The north atlantic treaty alience decided to take action against serbien president slobodon milosevic for his war crimes comited in Kosovo. President Clinton agried to paticipate in the mission. President Clinton asked for a use of force against serbia. He got it. With the house and senate got democratic control,it passed.
While gaphardt decided to get his economic pakege passed without the republican amendments. The house pased the pakege.
In the senate, senate mojority leader tom dashle tried to get it without amendments. Senator john askroft of mosori denonced it as a waste of government mony. Ascroft staged a filibuster before the senate.
There were democrats who had misgivings about it. Many felt that this was not the time to cut taxes on anyone. Gaphardt realy wanted a victory more then just a minimum wage increase.
The pakege passed the senate on steptember fith 1999. The confrence commite pased a bill that excluded the agregrious parts. President Clinton signed the streghthen American families act. This was viwed as a huge victory for president Clinton and speaker gaphardt.
There were some calls for gaphardt to run for president. Some saw him as a stronger canidate then vice president gore. Gaphardt who wanted to be speaker for a long time decided to pass on it. Many saw gaphardt as a more sutible sucsesor to Clinton then gore.
Could the democrats keep the house? Republicans tried to go to the middle under the leadership of robert Livingston of Louisiana. A sex scandal forced Livingston to anounce that he would not relection. This left the republican largly leaderless. While dick army was number two,he lacked suport to become leader.
Could the democrat keep control of the house. Gaphatdt was fairly popular. He enjoyed almost as much popularity as the president. With the presidential election ,there was a chance whoever won the presidentcy might create coatales.
To be continued
In 1992, demicratic governor bill clinton ended the 12 years of republican presidents when he defeated george hubert walker bush in 1992. After trying to pass a health care bill ,the voters gave republicans control of both houses of congress for the first time in forty years.
Bill Clinton,who was already called the come back kid was able to pin the blame on a government shutdown on the republicans. The republicans had a weak nomine in senator robert dole of kanas and Clinton was relected. The republicans retaned control of congress.
Ever sense the early days of the Clinton administration,there has been an investigation into a scandal involving the failed white water investment. During the investigation, it was uncovered that president Clinton had an afair with intern monica Lewinsky.
Republicans under house speaker newt gingrich decided to persue empechment against Clinton. The democrats argued that this was about sex and did not amount to a high crime and misdemeanor.
Democrats running in the 1998 midterms hoped to make it a key campaign isue. House democrats hoped that oppisition to empeachment would return them to the mojority and make Richard gapheardt of mosorie speaker of the house.
Gaphadt had represented the st. Lois area in congres sense the 70s. He was house mojority leader until 1994. Gaphardt replaced tom foley of Washington sate as leader of the democrats in the house.
Gaphardt worked hard to retake the house in 1998. He was able to convince congreswomen jane harmon to remane in the house and not run for governor of California. They were able to assemble other good canidates as well.
The democrats were able to depict republicans as obstructionest . They depicted them as power hungery people who cannot win elections so they try to use tools like impeachment.
At the same time there was a series of infighting in the republican leadership in the house. Newt gungrich was finding his leadership hanging by a thread.
The democrats were able to win enough seats to control a smal mojority in the house. Gapheadrt was now poised to become speaker.
Newt gungrich quickly anounced that he would be leaving the house and steping down as republican leader. Republican would stil be in charge of the lame duck congress.
There was still the matter of impeachment. Newt wanted to go ahead with the vote to empeach. Many wanted him to take it off the agenda.
Gapheardt had a meating with newt. In exchange for haulting the vote on empeachment,gaphardt would ask for a censure vote on the president during the lame duck congress. Newt agreed.
While president Clinton publicaly signed off on it,he was angery with gapheadt. He wanted republican to go ahead with impeachment. He beleved it would destroy the party for some time. Gapheardt did not want the matter to follow the new seision. Gaphardt wanted to vote on minimum wage increase and a middle class tax cut and low income economic stimulus pakege. The two had quite an argument witch both camps called a brawl.
Right before the vote on censure was to be taken,us and british forces hit Baghdad in what was called operation desert fox. Publicaly gaphardt said he wilingly postponed the vote. Years later it came up that he was angery with the timing. He privately refered to it as operation monica.
The censure vote was held. All but twenty democrats voted yes. On the air the president sounded concilitory. Behind the scenes Clinton tried to have gapheardt replaced but there was no apitite within the cuckus to replace him.
Finally the time had come to sware in Richard gapheartdt as speaker. Republican leader robert Livingston gave up the gaval to gapheardt. Gapheardt called for republicans ane democrats to work together for the good of all Americans.
To be continued.