Tag Archives: 2016 election

Russians are at it again … imagine that!

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Russia has its favorite American political candidate. His name is Donald J. Trump. Russia is doing precisely what Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, said it would do: attack our electoral system just as it did in 2016.

Is Donald Trump going to express any outrage over it? Is he going to meet with Republicans and Democrats in Congress seeking to find meaningful sanctions to levy against Russia?

No and no.

What in the name of electoral sanctity does it take for the Trumpkin Corps to wake up to the reality that their guy poses an existential threat to our democratic way of life?

He invited the Russians to find Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign; the Russians obliged. Trump stood with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and openly denigrated U.S. intelligence conclusions that Russia interfered in 2016; he sided with Putin.¬†Robert Mueller got the task of investigating all of that and determined that Russia had attacked our election and said it would do so again. He was right. Trump’s response has been to disparage Mueller’s findings.

Trump hasn’t yet said a single critical word about Putin’s chicanery. He spoke on the phone with the Russian strongman, but didn’t bring up the issue of Russian electoral interference … or the issue of Russian goons placing bounties on the lives of American service personnel killed in battle against the Taliban.

Where I come from that is called “dereliction of duty.”

And yet, the Trump faithful continues to give him a pass. Whatever they might feel privately they keep strictly to themselves. The public outrage is nowhere to be seen or heard.

Donald Trump has become the most dangerous existential threat to the nation he was elected to govern. The Russians know it and, in my view, that is precisely the reason they are seeking to work on behalf of his re-election.

Trump’s boorishness is beyond … boorish

I am running out of ways to express my disgust and utter astonishment over Donald Trump’s public utterances.

I look at some of the public opinion polling that puts Trump at a 42 percent — give or take — approval rating and I wonder: How in the name of sanity does anyone continue to stand with this idiot?

Trump’s passel of platitudes now includes some hideous accusations about Joe Biden being against God, against the Second Amendment, how he has forsaken African-Americans, that he is a far-left socialist.

Trump sounds like someone who thinks he is going to lose the election in November.

Then he tells reporters that he might not accept the election results, which he says will be the result of the “most corrupt election in history.” What if the Russians interfere this year as they did in 2016 and try to persuade Americans to re-elect Trump? Then it’s OK, he will say.

Trump’s hideous record, exemplified by the reprehensible initial non-response to the coronavirus pandemic, only confirms what I and other critics have said all along … which is that this guy cannot lead the nation. He has no understanding of the role he took an oath to perform.

He is left now to fabricate issues against which he will run.

Trump’s incessant lying, demagoguery, posturing, fraudulent characterizations of his record have revealed to the world that the United States made a terrible mistake in electing this clown in 2016.

My goodness, we have to correct that mistake.

How does Trump defend his record?

How is this supposed to work?

Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency in 2016 by proclaiming that the country was in dire peril. He said “I, alone” can fix the nation. He won the election and then delivered an inaugural speech remembered for one line: “This American carnage ends right here and right now.” It was a dark, foreboding speech.

Four years later he is campaigning for re-election by summoning voters to the same fear he harvested in 2016.

How is that supposed to make voters feel better another four years under the leadership of the Carnival Barker in Chief?

Donald Trump is presiding over a nation that is in infinitely worse condition than it was when he took office. How does he tell us he can repair what is so badly broken now?

To be fair, he didn’t cause the pandemic that has killed 160,000 Americans. His failure to respond proactively at the front end, though, clearly must be considered the cause for so many of those deaths. Oh, and the economy? It has collapsed. The one aspect that Trump sought to hail as his signature positive argument has been destroyed by the pandemic.

He is going after Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee, hammer and tong. He is accusing Biden of wanting to ruin the suburbs, take our guns away, of being “against God,” of being a “far-left” politician.

Where are the accomplishments on which Trump wants us to re-elect him? They don’t exist. Trump’s campaign looks almost identical to the previous one.

How does this equate to a re-election strategy?

I am baffled.

Follow the Nixon lead, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump just cannot commit to accepting the election results in November … if he loses to Joe Biden.

He sought to justify his skepticism of the results, casting doubt on their legitimacy, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

Simply by refusing to accept those results, Donald Trump is seeking to undermine the work done at the state and local levels of government to ensure that our elections are safe, free and secure. That’s how the president rolls. He said the same thing prior to the 2016 election, that he might challenge the results if Hillary Clinton won that contest. It turned out that Trump won; I don’t recall Clinton holding out for a possible challenge after she conceded defeat to Trump.

This is part and parcel of Trump’s background, starting with the obvious lack of public service experience. He was bred on the notion that everyone in business is out to cut someone else’s throat; therefore, they weren’t to be trusted. Had he an ounce of public service experience, Trump might take a different, more magnanimous approach to election results.

I harken to the 1960 presidential election. Vice President Richard Nixon lost that contest by a whisker to Sen. John F. Kennedy. JFK’s plurality totaled 112,000 votes nationally. Questions arose about the vote count in Illinois, where Kennedy won that state’s 27 electoral votes by just a handful. Republican operatives urged the VP to challenge the Illinois vote count, to tally up the ballots all over again. Nixon chose instead to let the vote count stand, to allow the president-elect to begin his transition to the most exalted office in the land.

Nixon put the country ahead of any personal political gain. To be sure, had Illinois’ electoral votes gone to Nixon, he still would have lost the electoral vote. But my point is that the vice president didn’t want to subject the nation to additional and, to his mind, pointless turmoil. His eight years as VP in the Eisenhower administration and his time in Congress taught him something about the value of public service.

Donald Trump has zero understanding of that need and will do all he can to sow seeds of doubt and discord in an electoral process that we all cherish.

Wishing media could dial back Biden’s poll reporting

The media are having a field day reporting on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s spectacular poll ratings against Donald J. Trump Sr.

Biden is leading Trump by double digits, the media tell us. Biden is leading Trump in virtually all the critical “swing states,” they report. Biden might already have enough Electoral College votes in the bank to assure his election in November, the reporting continues.

I want the media to dial it back. Why? Because it is beginning to fill me with a sense of hope that might not hold up as we head down the stretch toward Election Day.

My memory is vivid on some things. One of those matters involves what the media reported at this stage of the 2016 campaign. They said Hillary Clinton would cruise to an easy election.

I bought that narrative four years ago. I was so confident that I attended an election-night watch party with my wife at some friends’ house in Amarillo. We went there expecting Hillary Clinton to make a victory speech upon getting the concession call from Donald Trump.

Uhh, it didn’t happen. My worst political nightmare came to pass on election night 2016.

I am acutely aware that Joe Biden doesn’t carry nearly the negative baggage that Clinton did against Trump. I also am aware that much of Trump’s message that sold against Clinton is hitting the deck with a thud against Biden.

We have an economy in collapse, the nation’s response to the pandemic has been disastrous. Trump is campaigning against his own record as president, if you allow me to parse the rhetoric he keeps using.

I know the media have a role to play and a job to do. Part of all that is to tell us what the polling is telling us about the race as it develops. It’s just making me nervous.

Hoping for a President Biden … but not predicting it!

I learned a bitter lesson from the 2016 presidential election, which is that I am a terrible political prognosticator.

I predicted Hillary Clinton would be elected president. Late in the campaign I was foolish enough to think she’d win in a landslide. I couldn’t foresee the FBI reopening an investigation into that email non-story, nor could I predict that Clinton would ignore key swing Rust Belt states down the stretch.

Thus, the door was flung wide open for Donald Trump to traipse through. He won. I was horrified. I still am horrified at the prospect of this clown’s potential re-election.

Trump’s polling at this moment looks dire. He well might lose to Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumed nominee. Biden is polling 10 to 12 percentage better than Trump. The president looks as though he is flailing.

However, I am not going to predict that this Biden advantage will hold up. I will hope for it. I might even pray for it.

Joe Biden was not my first choice to be the Democratic Party nominee. I wanted someone to jump out of the tall grass and surprise everyone, mimicking the way Jimmy Carter did in 1976. That never happened.

Biden’s campaign was considered so much road kill after the first two primary events. Then he got an endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the leading African-American member of Congress; Biden won the South Carolina primary on the backs of black voters.

Now he stands on the verge of being nominated. I am all in.

Biden pledges to restore “the soul” of the nation that has seen its soul captured and re-created in the hideous image of Donald Trump. He now is talking about immediately reversing Trump’s decisions: on immigrants who were brought here illegally as children; on removing the nation from the World Health Organization; on removing us from the Paris Climate Accords; on restoring our commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden got beaten up during Democratic primary debates when he boasted of his ability to work with Republican legislators. I want him to bring that ability with him into the Oval Office. I am a firm believer in good government, not necessarily big government. Donald Trump doesn’t know how to cobble together a good government coalition. Joe Biden has many decades of experience working within Congress and the executive branch as vice president for two successful terms with the Obama administration.

Biden is no wacky socialist. He is, as Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham described him, “one of the finest men God ever created.”

I want Joe Biden to be elected president. I want to make that prediction, but I got burned in 2016. Therefore, I will rely on my hope that a better day will dawn once we count the ballots for president.

‘130 million to zero’? If only …

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Facebook friend — a gentleman I don’t know well, but likely will get to know better — put out a message that I found refreshing.

He wonders why the next presidential election won’t produce a vote result of “130 million to zero.” That would be with Joe Biden getting every ballot cast this coming November, with Donald Trump getting none of them. My friend estimates a nationwide turnout of 130 million votes being cast.

Man, that is a serious pipe dream, but as I survey the wreckage that Donald Trump has brought to the presidency, it does astound me that there could be any Trumpkin who voted for the carnival barker/con man in 2016 would stay with him this time around.

Of course they will. No one believes Joe Biden can pitch a shutout, although many of us — even those of us who live in Trump Country — certainly wish he could.

I keep seeing the polls that tell us Biden is leading Trump. Fox News has just published a survey that gives Biden a 12-percentage point lead over Trump. That lead likely won’t hold up, because the “smart money” suggests a close contest is on the horizon.

What does boggle my noodle, though, is how Trump continues to maintain the level of support he does. It stands at about 42 percent, give or take a point or two. How in the name of political incompetence can this guy continue to hold onto that support?

I wonder about all this recognizing fully — and acknowledge with all the candor I can muster — that I was terribly wrong about the outcome of the 2016 election. I was among those who believed Hillary Clinton would win. I wrote on this blog that I thought she’d win big.

What I must point out, though, is that public opinion polling that put Clinton up by 3 percent over Trump turned out to be correct. Trump, though, pulled what they call an “inside straight” by pilfering enough Electoral College votes to win the election. Therein lies the greatest threat to Joe Biden’s bid to oust the incompetent nincompoop who continues to demonstrate every single day that he presents an existential threat to the nation he governs.

130 million to zero? I wish.

Are we really ready to repeat this fluke?

I have written of Donald Trump’s election as president as being the greatest political fluke in U.S. history.

Hardly no one saw it coming in 2016. The pundit class, all the political “experts” believed to their core that Hillary Clinton would be elected. She wasn’t. Instead we got a guy who had never sought public office, let alone ever held one. Many of us predicted he would be a disaster as president of the United States.

I hate saying this — yes, I really do hate it — but he’s proven to be far worse than we thought. The Nitwit in Chief has shredded the presidency. He has destroyed relations between the legislative and executive branches of government. Trump has decimated our international alliances. POTUS has turned us into a worldwide laughingstock.

We have a chance in November to rescue what Trump has damaged. The destruction he has brought to intergovernmental relations can be restored by electing someone who understands how the executive and legislative branches can cooperate and seek common ground. Yes, that would be Joe Biden, the former longtime senator and two-term vice president.

However, the wreckage that Trump has brought will be difficult to clear from the landscape.

Time and time and time again, this president refuses to speak to issues that compel his attention. The issue of race relations has returned to the top of our minds. The death of a black man by a white police officer who choked the life out of him for nearly nine minutes has galvanized a movement. Trump doesn’t speak to that tragedy specifically. Instead he quotes racist cops from more than 50 years ago and drives wedges between Americans, relishing the division he is creating and widening.

Yes, we also have the pandemic. Trump’s initial response was pathetic and rotten to the core. Tens of thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19; there will be tens of thousands more who will die. Trump claims success. For¬†what?

Are we really ready to commit the Greatest Political Fluke 2.0 come November? The polling tells us “no!” Then again, it said the same thing four years ago … and look at what we got.

Tempting to put faith in polls, however …

It is so tempting for those of us who want Donald Trump to get his head handed to him at the ballot box this November to place faith in all those polls showing him trailing Joe Biden by double digits.

Then again, these polls only serve to remind us of a painful truth about Trump, which is that he might be the luckiest — even with his utter incompetence and unfitness — politician in U.S. history.

I am forced to remind myself that Hillary Rodham Clinton also held big leads against Trump in the early summer of 2016. She enjoyed the backing of every major newspaper in the country. Pundits across the board predicted not just a Clinton win, but a possible landslide win at that!

Then it happened. Trump committed an act of proverbial political thievery by capturing three swing states that had voted twice for Barack Obama: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He won all three by a combined vote of 77,000 ballots and with them earned enough Electoral College votes to be elected president of the United States.

So, as tempting as it is to believe that Trump is in trouble politically in 2020 as he seeks re-election, I must reel in my enthusiasm.

I want Joe Biden to win this election. He wasn’t my first choice among Democrats. My initial hope was that the party would find a “sleeper,” a new voice among the huge field to back for the nomination. It didn’t pan out.

The former VP is now the presumptive nominee. He is beginning to clear his throat and is speaking with clarity and conviction about why we need to evict Trump and his cabal from the People’s House.

Circumstances have handed Biden some tailor-made issues on which to run: the pandemic, and George Floyd’s tragic death have produced hideous responses from Donald Trump. The economy has flat-lined as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Trump has failed miserably to rise to the level of leader. He is unable or unwilling to assume the role of Consoler in Chief. He has become instead the Numbskull in Chief with his idiotic posturing on the pandemic and then on how he favors unleashing “thousands of heavily armed” active-duty military personnel to put down peaceful protests against police brutality.

None of that guarantees a Joe Biden victory. Indeed, the former vice president has to pay attention to the political landscape and avoid giving away an election as Hillary Clinton did in 2016.

The polling data looks promising. However, it is far too early in this game to get excited about what it is telling us.

Did POTUS make an unintended admission?

Donald Trump now says the man he selected to be attorney general, Jeff Sessions, didn’t have the mental capacity to do the job.

That’s now the president’s description of Jeff Sessions, who had the bad taste — and the good sense — to recuse himself from an investigation examining whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Sessions did the right thing and for that he now is being vilified by the president who vowed to surround himself with the “best people” were he elected to office four years ago.

Has Trump now offered an implied admission that Sessions wasn’t among the “best people”? Did The Donald due sufficient due diligence in looking for an attorney general? If not, then why not? If he did, then why has Trump changed his mind about the quality of the guy he nominated to become the nation’s top law enforcement officer?

Trump offered the criticism of Sessions in an interview with Sheryl Attkisson. “He’s not mentally qualified to be Attorney General,” Trump said. “He was the biggest problem. I mean, look Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster.”

Trump now wants Sessions to lose the upcoming GOP primary runoff in Alabama for the U.S. Senate seat. He has endorsed Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach. The winner will face Sen. Doug Jones in the fall election.

I just am astonished as I read and hear Trump talk about men and women he selects to these key jobs, who then decide to do the right thing … and then become unqualified, unfit to the job to which they were selected.

Trump’s ad hominem attacks on these individuals tell me far more about him than they ever say about the men and women he denigrates.

Among the messages I get from these attacks is that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he is doing.