Trump speaks stupidly

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Forrest Gump had it right when he said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

With that want to I delve into Donald J. Trump’s latest volley of stupid statements, this time involving one of the world’s premier epidemiologists, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

You see, we have the Liar in Chief calling Fauci’s work on the coronavirus pandemic a “disaster.” What’s more, he threw in an epithet hardly befitting anyone, let alone a president of the United States. He referred to Fauci as an “idiot.”

I am left with three thoughts.

One of them is how in the name of presidential statesmanship can Donald Trump refer to his handpicked science adviser on the pandemic as being a “disaster” to the White House pandemic response team. Trump selected this individual to serve on that team, tasking him with providing cold, hard scientific data. Trump promised to listen to the experts on the team. He lied about that, too!

The second thought is the use of the “idiot” term to refer to Fauci, an Ivy League-educated scientist and medical doctor who has served every president of both parties dating back to Ronald Wilson Reagan. He has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research, has led efforts to fight previous epidemics.

Dr. Fauci is as brilliant a doctor/scientist on matters of infection disease as anyone on Earth.

Yet he now is being scorned and vilified by a politician who cannot find his backside with both hands when it comes to discussing intelligently the complicated matters of science and epidemiology.

Finally, how in the world does Dr. Fauci continue to work for this moron? Fauci would be able to provide unfettered scientific advice and counsel to the nation without having to answer to Donald J. Trump, whose abject stupidity continues to marvel me.

Trump might concede … really!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am going out on a limb just a bit with the following observation, so I hope the limb doesn’t break.

I am placing a scintilla of faith that Donald Trump, if he loses the election to Joe Biden, will concede the presidency to his challenger. He won’t necessarily do it in the type of fashion to which we have become accustomed, but he is likely to bow out.

I say this understanding that I am likely to be laughed out of the proverbial room. I’ll stick with my story.

Trump has blathered and bloviated incessantly about what he believes is a corrupt election process. He said he would contest any result that produced a winner other than himself. For that matter, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has advised Biden against conceding a result if Trump ends up winning. I don’t believe Joe Biden will heed HRC’s goofy advice.

As for Trump, we all know he appears desperate to remain in power. Those who know him best advise the rest of us never to blow off something he says, that he is a man of his word. So, when he threatens to challenge an electoral result, we should take him seriously.

I stand by the notion that Donald Trump is as phony as the university he once pitched and is as phony as the billions of dollars he claims to possess in his financial portfolio. He is as phony as the success he touted on his way to winning the 2016 presidential election and he is as phony as pandering to the evangelical Christian movement that continues to hang on his every prevarication.

Do I think he actually would go through with a challenge if Joe Biden manages to score an indisputable Electoral College and actual vote victory next month?

No. I do not.

I believe instead he would make some sort of concession speech that acknowledges that Joe Biden won the election, but that he would promise to keep tweeting his brains out for as long as he is president … and well beyond.

As I’ve asked in previous proclamations, don’t hold me to this as a firm prediction. I am just going to harbor a glimmer of faith that some semblance of reason might prevail in that numbskull’s noggin.

Can it be, that Texas is state to watch on Election Night?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When someone as experienced — or “grizzled” as some might suggest — a politics watcher as Dan Balz speaks to matters political, I am inclined to heed his wisdom.

So … the venerable Washington Post political analyst has said that Texas might emerge as the nation’s most intriguing state during this Election Season.

How so? How can this once boring Republican bastion become such a hot spot for political pundits around the world? How can Texas possibly hold the key to whomever gets elected president of the United States next month?

Balz says we got a glimpse into a possible near future with Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s near-victory over GOP U.S. Sen. Ted “The Cruz Missile” Cruz in 2018. Balz figures O’Rourke’s close finish is harbinger of things to come. One of those “things” might be the reemergence of the Democratic Party in a state that has been locked in a GOP vise-grip for the past three decades.

The state’s changing demographics have nearly everything to do with it, Balz figures. Texas is becoming increasingly Latino. Indeed, the Latino population is on track to become the largest ethnic group in the state. Latino voters, therefore, might be inclined to vote more Democratic than, say, Texas Anglos.

I will this offer this no-brainer prediction: If Joe Biden manages to pick off Texas’s 38 electoral votes next month — which few pundits predict will occur — there is no way on God’s Earth that Donald Trump can win re-election.

Indeed, Biden is running neck and neck with Trump in this state, which in itself is a sign of big time change in Texas.

As Balz wrote in a column published in the Houston Chronicle: Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said Trump “catalyzed” the demographic changes that already were at work. “If we say what explains why Texas has become much more competitive in 2018 and 2020, it’s Donald Trump’s presence in the White House. He is a drag on the Republican Party.”

The intrigue with Texas, though, stretches down the ballot, where Democrats might pilfer more offices held traditionally by Republicans. So, as Dan Balz notes, stay tuned for these ballots to be counted. There well could be a surprise or two to be revealed.

Deja vu? Um, yep!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joe Biden holds onto a significant national lead over Donald Trump.

Time to celebrate? Pop the bubbly corks? Toast the dawn of a new age — or the return of a more decent age in politics?

Hold on. Democrats traveled down this road before, just four years ago. Remember that “President” Hillary Rodham Clinton led Trump at this stage of the 2016 campaign. Oops. Then she lost.

Trump eked out a fluke win, losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots but slithering into office with a narrow Electoral College win.

What must the Democrats do to avoid a repeat of that monstrosity of a result? Here’s one idea from the Peanut Gallery: Keep Biden on road and do not let up one little, teeny tiny bit.

Biden’s message has been consistent. He wants to unite the nation. He can deliver on that hope. Trump has given up any pretense of unity as he struggles, scrambles and flails in his attempt to hold onto power. He campaigns as the grievance candidate and from my vantage point, it isn’t going over with the vast segment of the nation that opposes his re-election.

Hang tough, Joe. Keep the fire burning. Keep reminding us of the terrible job The Donald has done. Speak to the majority of the nation that appears to long for a return to decency, dignity and decorum in the nation’s most exalted public office.

Big voter roll in Texas? Will they turn out?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I understand Texas set a record for registered voters, with 17 million Texans now eligible to vote in the 2020 election.

Good deal, yes? Of course it is!

Except for this little factoid: Texas historically has been one of the worst-performing states in the Union with respect to voter participation.

Our state turnout generally registers below the national average, which in itself isn’t great. Something like 60 percent of Americans voted for president in 2016. The Texas turnout was less than 50 percent.

We are getting a major push most from Democrats to “vote!” They want more of us to take part to defeat Donald Trump, boot him out of the White House and end this ridiculous experiment of electing an ostensible non-politician to the nation’s highest political office.

It’s good to know we have managed to register a lot of folks to vote for president this year and beyond. That’s only part of the story.

The more important chapter will be written if all 17 million of us turn out to vote. That won’t happen, but it would be gratifying to see us get somewhere close to that mark.

Trumpkins hang tough … astounding!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I must admit to a certain astonishment as I watch Donald Trump seek re-election as president of the United States.

It comes as I watch those members of the Trumpkin Corps continue to make excuses for their candidate’s astounding behavior. I admit to watching Trump at those rallies he stages and am shocked and amazed at how little substance he offers. Indeed, his rants and riffs are bereft of any policy initiatives.

He prances and preens in front of those adoring fans of his as if he’s a TV star … oh, wait! I forgot that he once was one once upon a time. He mocks Joe Biden because the former vice president chooses to wear a mask while speaking in public. Hey, we do have a pandemic among us that is still killing Americans by the hundreds every day.

Trump gripes about the news coverage he gets. He has taken aim at the moderator of the next “debate” scheduled for later this week with Biden, NBC reporter Kristen Welker.

Trump continues to deploy his Twitter account relentlessly, ad nauseum.

And still … the Trumpkins out there think he’s just the bee’s knees, the greatest thing since pockets on shirts, the alleged “messiah,” the guy who “tells it like it is.”

They ignore the president’s failure to respond initially to the COVID-19 pandemic. They dismiss Trump’s unwillingness to challenge Russian loon Vladimir Putin for placing bounties on our American fighting men and women and paying real money to Taliban terrorists for killing them on the battlefield. They ignore his un-Christian behavior at every turn yet some of them keep suggesting that God dispatched Trump onto the campaign trail in 2016 to save the nation.

This individual has created a cult of personality the likes of which I have never seen in this great nation of ours. He cuddles (proverbially) with murderous dictators and denigrates our own intelligence professionals. Trump recently said FBI director Christopher Wray “isn’t doing a very good job” because Wray says white supremacists pose an existential threat to this nation. He challenges the expert advice given him and the nation by the world’s pre-eminent infectious disease guru, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who – for the life of me I don’t understand this – continues to serve at the pleasure of this goofball.

Through it all Trump sways the faithful who just cannot bring themselves to acknowledge what the rest of us have seen all along. It is that their guy is as phony as they come.

Woe is POTUS?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump is campaigning for re-election as the grievance candidate for president of the United States.

That’s how Trump rolls. It’s all about him. All about what others are doing to him. What they’re saying about him.

Oh, a vision for the future? What will he do in the next four years? As the cliché goes … crickets. That’s all we hear are the bugs chirping through the silence.

The grievance candidate is trying to change what is looking like a grim trajectory for his re-election bid. Joe Biden continues to lead by double digits nationally and by solid single-digit margins in many “swing states.” The former vice president talks in excruciating detail about how he intends to help get us through the pandemic, how he intends to restore our national soul, how he intends to put people back to work. Yes, the ex-VP has a four-year plan.

Trump keeps yammering about how he has been done wrong by … oh, whomever.

Now he is calling Biden “corrupt.” He wants the Democratic nominee indicted and locked up. Same for former President Obama. And let us not forget he insists the same fate to befall Hillary Clinton.

Due process? Presumption of innocence? Forget about it!

I guess this is all my way of suggesting that Donald Trump is beginning to sound like a desperate man.

What in the world awaits this clown after he leaves the presidency is anyone’s guess. I have this hunch that Trump might fear the worst no matter the outcome of this campaign. Win or lose, he might believe he’s going down eventually. He knows he can’t stay in office forever.

So it is with the backdrop of a possible – if not probable – election loss in store, we find Trump seeking to find some sort of “sympathy vote” to bail out his backside.

The “woe is me” vote ain’t enough to turn the  tide.

The gap is so wide

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am not proud to admit this but the political chasm is widening in our house.

Not between my wife and me. It’s between businesses that support Donald Trump’s re-election and — yep — my wife and me.

We have unofficially decided we cannot do business with people who fly Trump-Pence 2020 flags, or festoon their buildings with MAGA posters, or knowingly give money to the GOP ticket’s presidential campaign.

It’s never come to this in our household.

We have been married for 49 years. We have gone through a whole lot of presidential elections since we tied the knot all those years ago. Yes, we have generally voted alike every four years.

The tenor of these times seems so radically different than ever before. There is so much anger in the tone of the debate and I lay the responsibility for that anger directly at Donald Trump’s feet. I mean, he started off with that dark and foreboding inaugural speech, the one with the sole memorable line about stopping “the American carnage right here and right now.” Trump hasn’t stopped anything. Indeed, the “American carnage” has worsened on Trump’s watch.

With that, I am left to scratch my head and wonder: Who in their right mind can continue to support this guy? We both now have committed to spending our money with businesses that are politically neutral (publicly, at least) or perhaps they will display their support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

It’s come down to this for us in these weird, wacky world of politics. Robert Kennedy used to say that politics is a “noble profession.” It has devolved into something markedly less noble than RFK envisioned.

I blame Donald Trump for that devolution as well and we cannot support businessmen and women who buy into the trash he has delivered.

Wanting a return to ‘regular order’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I will go to my grave never surrendering my deep and abiding loathing of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States of America.

This crazy election season is winding down to what I hope and pray is the correct end. That would be a decisive defeat of Trump and a victory for Joseph R. Biden.

I cannot even begin to predict how the end arrives. I am left only to speak from my heart and head that we return to some semblance of what we used to think of as “normal” political processes.

The late Sen. John McCain used to refer to it as “regular order.” He detested the way Trump would seek to circumvent Congress, how he would tweet his public policy without bothering to advise his closest key aides.

I am trying to wrap my noggin around what he might do were he to win re-election to a second term. I do believe Biden, a product of government and one who is fluent in the way it is supposed to work, will restore the “regular order” his good friend John McCain cherished.

The lying, dissembling and treachery have been an unconscionable aspect of the presidency on Trump’s watch. I point directly to the pandemic deception that Trump brought on this nation. He knew it was bad from the get-go but kept it from us, declaring it would vanish in just a few days. It hasn’t. It has killed nearly a quarter million Americans.

And this clown, Trump, wants another term? He wants four years to deceive us?

I have been saying until I run out of breath that Trump’s pre-politics life was spent enriching himself. He didn’t devote a single minute of his time to public service. And it has shown itself dramatically during his time as president.

Biden on the other hand has committed virtually his entire adult life to public service.

Is Joe Biden the perfect alternative to Donald Trump? No. But he is a damn sight better suited for the complexities of the nation’s premier public office.

As for Donald Trump, I just want him to vacate the people’s house — my house — as soon as possible. Some of us predicted long ago that he would be a disaster as president. He needs to go before he inflicts permanent damage on the nation we all love.

Trump: classic RINO

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we tool through the heart of Trump Country, I am struck by the sight of so many flags flying from businesses, lined up along private property lines and from passing motor vehicles.

I am aware of what the pundits say about places such as West Texas: It’s a heavily Republican region; the folks here just cannot vote for a Democrat.

Except that the argument breaks down immediately. Why and how? Well, I have maintained all along that Donald J. Trump isn’t a Republican. He’s a classic Republican In Name Only.  A RINO if there ever was one.

Why do I suggest such a thing. Let’s see …

The Office of Management and Budget announced this week that the annual federal budget deficit is going to top $3.1 trillion, the largest by far in American history. Real Republicans used to rail against deficit spending. They ran against President Carter in 1980 by vilifying Carter for presiding over a deficit of $43 billion. Trump is silent. Now, you expect silence from Democrats, because they traditionally haven’t worried as much outwardly about deficit spending. Trump never says a word about the deficit.

Then there’s Russia, the country once known as the Soviet Union, aka the Evil Empire. There once was a time when the GOP would look for reasons to condemn the Russians. No more, man. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is Trump’s boy. Indeed, dictators were among the most hated men on Earth if you listen to Rs talk about them. These days we hear from the leading GOP pol, Trump, that he admires the “leadership” exhibited by Putin, by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and other despots.

The GOP believed in free trade … once upon a time. Trump now believes in launching trade wars.

Republicans once were the party of “family values.” Trump is the anti-family values Republican. He admits to philandering, which cost him two marriages. His behavior is boorish, snotty, disgraceful.

He ran for president as a Republican because he figured it was the path of least resistance to the White House. It turned out to be a brilliant strategic decision. The GOP swilled the snake oil he was peddling.

Here we are. He’s running for re-election. The GOP has lined up behind its Pied Piper.

He is a classic RINO.