Category Archives: Donald Trump

Run, Gov. Weld, run!

Wouldn’t it be just a kick in the backside if William Weld re-creates a Eugene McCarthy moment in the 2020 race for the presidency of the United States?

Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, has formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to mount a primary challenge against Donald Trump. Weld said many other Republicans “exhibit all the symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their captor.”

Weld ran for vice president in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket headed by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The ticket didn’t do too well, gathering just 4.5 million votes, or about 3 percent of the total.

He wants back into the fight, this time as a Republican.

The McCarthy moment? In 1968, the Vietnam War was raging and Sen. McCarthy, a Minnesota Democrat, mounted a Democratic Party primary challenge against President Lyndon Johnson. McCarthy — a vehement anti-war candidate — took his campaign to the nation’s first primary state, New Hampshire.

He then finished a very strong second to President Johnson, sending shockwaves through the Democratic Party establishment. McCarthy’s strong showing brought Sen. Robert F. Kennedy into the race. Then on March 31, 1968, LBJ spoke to the nation to announce an end to the bombing campaign against North Vietnam — and then said he would not seek or accept the Democratic nomination “for another term as your president.”

History does have a way of repeating itself. If only Gov. Weld can mount any sort of serious challenge to the wack job serving as president of the United States.

One’s hope must spring eternal. Mine does.

Still waiting for that ‘presidential’ moment

A critic or two of my blog has noted that I continue to resist referring to Donald Trump by placing the term “President” in front of his name. They don’t like it, calling me disrespectful of the man who was duly elected to the nation’s highest office.

So help me, as the Good Lord is my witness, I am waiting for that moment — or perhaps a sequence of moments — when I can feel as if the president of the United States has earned that honor from yours truly.

It hasn’t arrived. I don’t know if it will. I want it to arrive. I feel like the guy waiting for the bus or the train that’s overdue. I keep craning my neck, standing on my tiptoes, looking for all I can for some sign that the vehicle is on its way.

The same is true with Donald Trump.

As a presidential candidate, the man disgraced himself and the office he sought with behavior that is utterly beyond repugnant. The denigration of the late Sen. John McCain’s heroic service to the nation as a prisoner during the Vietnam War; the mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s serious neuro-muscular disability; the insults he hurled at his Republican primary foes; the hideous implication, for example, that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was complicit in President Kennedy’s murder.

Also, we had that years-long lie that Trump fomented about President Obama’s eligibility to run for and to serve as president of the United States; Trump was one of the founders of the so-called “Birther Movement.”

He brought all that, and more, into the White House when he won the 2016 election.

Since taking office, he has acted like the carnival barker he became as a candidate. His incessant Twitter messaging, the manner in which he has fired Cabinet officials and assorted high-level federal officers have contributed to the idiocy that he promotes.

There have been moments of lucidity from this president. He pitched a much-needed effort on federal sentencing reform; he struck at Syria when it gassed its citizens.

The rest of it has been not worthy of the office this individual occupies.

I want to be able to string the words “President” and “Trump” together consecutively.  I cannot do it.

Maybe one day. Something tells me I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Hoping POTUS ignores yammering from the far right

If the speculation that Donald Trump will sign the border security deal hammered out by Congress is true, then I want to offer a preemptive word of praise to the president.

He deserves a good word for resisting the yapping and yammering from the far right wing of his Republican Party who contend that the bipartisan deal is a loser.

Well, if you’ll indulge me for a moment . . .

I have yapped at Trump quite often about his adherence to the likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson — blah, blah, blah — over their efforts to dictate his legislative agenda.

He listened to ’em once on this border security matter and as a result, we endured a partial government shutdown that stained the president badly.

I don’t like all of the deal, either. It’s better than it could have been had congressional Republicans dug in their heels. Instead, they worked out a $1.37 billion appropriation to build 55 miles of “barrier” along the southern border. It’s not what the right-wing gasbags want, but it keeps the government running.

I hope the president heeds the instinct to ignore them, that he signs the deal, and that we can put this idiocy to rest — at least for now.

It’s all about ‘compromise,’ Mr. President; sign the deal

I could swear on a stack of Bibles I heard Donald Trump say the word “compromise” during his State of the Union speech the other evening.

He mentioned it as one of the benchmarks he said he seeks to set as he and Congress look for ways to govern the United States of America.

So, we have a deal to avert a partial government shutdown. The deal contains some money for The Wall, but not the $5.7 billion Trump wanted. It contains some other perks and expenditures to stiffen security along our border.

Trump returned from his campaign rally in El Paso and said he is unhappy with what a bipartisan group of senators and House members cobbled together. He said he needed time to — cough, cough! — “study” the deal that has found its way to the White House.

Effective legislating almost always requires compromise, which means no one gets what they want fully. You have to give a little here and little there and then you come up with something that is mutually acceptable.

I believe that’s what we have in this deal. I wouldn’t consider it perfect, either.

However, it moves us along and gives everyone ample breathing room to consider longer-term repairs to whatever the hell it is that troubles them.

Sign the damn deal, Mr. President! You pledged to work toward a system of government that includes “compromise.” Here’s your chance to prove — for once! — that you’re a man of your word.

Trump’s boast about working hard rings hollow

Donald Trump’s brainless boast about being the hardest-working president in U.S. history rings as hollow as his many other such fits of braggadocio.

He has bragged about his wealth, how he has the “best brain,” how he knows “the best words,” how he attended the “best schools.”

Now in response to the revelations about the “executive time” he takes as president and reports of how he spends huge amounts of that time watching TV and firing off Twitter message, he has decided to brag about how hard he works at making America great again.

My life’s experience has taught me a lot about people.

I have learned that rich folks don’t brag about their wealth, geniuses don’t boast about their intellect, the well-educated don’t brag about the quality of the schools they attend.

I also have learned that heroes don’t brag about their heroic exploits and those who work hard don’t feel the need to remind us of the time put into the jobs they do.

The president of the United States appears to act like the most insecure man ever to hold that high office.

Sad.

2020 could produce The (Actual) Year of the Woman

The Year of the Woman was thought to be 1992.

Clarence Thomas had to fend off allegations of sexual harassment from Anita Hill at his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The controversy produced an outcry from those who said Hill was treated badly by the all-male U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

So the next presidential election was thought to produce an electoral backlash against President Bush, who lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton.

Here we are now, 27 years later and we’re going to see another Year of the Woman. Indeed, more women than men so far have announced their candidacies for president of the United States. Why do you suppose is bringing out all these women who want to succeed Donald Trump as president?

Gosh, it might be that Trump has denigrated women since the moment he announced his presidential candidacy in 2015. It might be the way he has acknowledged how his status as a “celebrity” and a “star” allowed him to grab women by their genital area.

The plethora of female candidates for POTUS might be a result of the #MeToo movement that has brought serious national attention to the way women have been dismissed and disrespected — and sexually assaulted — by men in power.

The Year of the Woman in 1992 was a preliminary event to what well might be the main event coming up in 2020.

How might POTUS defend his record?

The 2020 presidential election campaign is taking shape. Democrats are lining up seemingly by the dozens to campaign against Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent.

I’ll have more to say about the contenders later. Today, I feel the need to explore the type of campaign this incumbent president is going to wage.

Donald Trump had no public service record to commend him for election as president in 2016. He relied instead on a phony argument that he was a self-made zillionaire who worked hard to build a real estate empire from scratch. It turned out that isn’t the case. Voters bought it anyway and he was elected.

Now he’s running for re-election. As the incumbent, the president has a record now on which he must run. He is going to be asked to defend his record. How in the world is he going to do that?

The nation already has undergone two partial government shutdowns on Trump’s watch; a third shutdown might occur at the end of the week. He has groveled in front of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, refusing to acknowledge publicly that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016. Trump has heaped praise on North Korean despot Kim Jong Un after threatening to blow his country to smithereens with “fire and fury” the likes of which the world has never seen.

He went to Europe and scolded NATO allies because they weren’t paying more for their defense; along the way he has hinted that the United States might withdraw from its most vital military alliance.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to build The Wall along our southern border and said “Mexico is going to pay for it”; Mexico isn’t paying for it, period, meaning that he wants you and me to pay the bill. The president’s rhetorical clumsiness has revealed a host of frightening views, such as his assertion that the KKK/Nazi rally in Charlottesville rally and riot included “fine people, on both sides.”

Now that Trump has a record to defend, I am left to ask: How in the world is this guy going to sell it to voters? How does he reach beyond his base of supporters to ensure that he gets re-elected?

He has spent his term in office kowtowing to his base. He has done damn little to reach beyond that core 38 percent of voters who think he is the best thing to happen since pockets on shirts.

Just as Donald Trump defied conventional wisdom by being elected in 2016 with zero public service experience, he seeks to do it again in 2020 by defending a presidential term that has far less to show for it than he will trumpet along the campaign trail.

He savaged his Republican primary foes with insults and innuendo en route to the GOP nomination in 2016; he continued to toss grenades at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I look for much more of the same from the incumbent this time around.

The 2016 presidential campaign was ugly enough. The 2020 campaign is looking like a bloodbath.

Donald vs. Beto: battle of crowd size?

Donald Trump will stage a rally soon in El Paso to talk about his desire to build The Wall along our southern border.

Beto O’Rourke, who might challenge Trump in 2020, is going to stage a counter rally to say that his hometown is safer than Trump is saying it is.

So, how might we compare these two events?

Trump likes to boast about the size of his crowds. If he pulls more listeners than O’Rourke, you can bet the farm he’ll highlight that aspect of his rally. If O’Rourke’s crowd is larger, well, POTUS will keep quiet about it.

Consider this factoid, which might not matter at all: Trump’s 2016 percentage of the presidential vote in El Paso County totaled 26 percent. Beto did a whole lot better than that in his 2018 campaign effort against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Please, Mr. POTUS, no shutdown . . . again!

OK, Mr. President, you once said you would be “proud” to take responsibility for shutting down part of the federal government in pursuit of The Wall along our southern border.

Then you made good on that prideful pledge. The government shuttered for more than a month, the longest ever such demonstration of political idiocy in U.S. history.

So here we are again. Some of us thought, Mr. President, there might be a deal in the works. The New York Times reported over the weekend that you and congressional Democrats were close to a deal in principle. Then it ended. The talks wilted.

Do you really intend to take pride in another one of these idiotic demonstrations? Do you really intend to deny more federal workers of their paychecks? Do you really mean to create this kind of chaos in their households, the kind that matches at times what is happening inside the White House?

You can knock off the “national emergency” bullsh** as well, Mr. President. There is no such emergency occurring on the border. Those crime-ridden cities you keep mentioning? They’re among the safest in the country.

While we’re at it, have you mentioned the crime in northern border cities such as, say, Detroit? The Motor City sits on the Canadian border. Is there a connection between its proximity to an international border and the crime that plagues it? Hey, I am just asking, Mr. President.

If you hadn’t looked Sen. Charles Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the eye in that goofy Oval Office meeting and said you would be proud to shut down the government, I wouldn’t lay this at your feet.

You, though, say you’re The Man. You keep insisting you’re the best deal maker in human history. You keep telling us about the “fine-tuned machine” you are running inside the White House.

Make the deal, Mr. President. The Wall already is under construction in places. Democrats don’t favor “open border,” nor do they want criminals pouring into the country. For you to say such a thing is just another shameful example of fear-mongering.

Stop the demagoguery. Do not allow the government to shut down again. This ain’t how you lead, Mr. President.

Trump to meet ‘Little Rocket Man’ one more time

If the North Korean dictator/killer Kim Jong Un is the “smart cookie” that Donald Trump has called him, then he must be scratching his noggin about this “bromance” that is developing between him and the president of the United States.

The two men are meeting Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam for their second summit. The irony of the summit location surely isn’t lost on Trump critics who are fond of bringing up the alleged “bone spurs” that purportedly kept the future president out of the military during the Vietnam War. But . . . I digress.

The point here is that Trump keeps tossing love at a dictator who has allowed mass starvation of his people, had members of his family killed because of policy disputes, has threatened to invade South Korea, has detonated nuclear bombs, has threatened to launch missiles at the United States.

Trump used to refer to Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and once threatened him with “fire and fury” if he keeps threatening the United States.

Good grief! Talk about running hot and cold!

Trump disparages intelligence chiefs

The summit is going to take place just as the president is disputing the assessment of his high-level intelligence chiefs who say that North Korea is still pursuing development of nuclear weapons, despite Kim’s reported pledge to dismantle his nuclear program. CIA operatives report that the North Koreans continue to work toward adding to their small, but relatively potent nuclear arsenal.

What in the world is the president going to tell Kim when the two men get together in Vietnam? Is he going to scold him? Will he challenge him to demonstrate his stated commitment to end the nuclear development effort? Or will the two men come out of their meeting and pledge their “love” for each other?

The most troubling aspect of this meeting the continual deference Trump displays toward strongmen around the world. The iron-fisted rulers of Russia, The Philippines, Turkey and, oh yes, North Korea keep getting weird compliments from a U.S. president who praises them for their, um, “strong leadership.”

If only we Americans could make that same boast.