Tag Archives: 2018 election

This is ‘winning,’ Mr. President?

Happy New Year, White House staff. They’re seemingly filled with anxiety about their future and the future, possibly, of the Man in Charge — the president of the United States.

Donald Trump has returned to the White House from his “working vacation” at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He is sunny, upbeat and ready for the challenges that 2018 will bring him.

I hope he’s really ready for what could be a rough year, as if 2017 wasn’t rough enough.

Sure, he got that tax cut through Congress and signed it into law before Christmas. But … that was it, legislatively. Of course, the president had a different take on it, calling his first year the most successful in the history of Planet Earth.

A new year is now upon us all. The White House reportedly is getting ready for more senior staff shakeups. I guess they’re getting used to it by now. Trump has let one White House chief of staff go; he canned the White House communications director, who replaced the guy who resigned; he fired his first national security adviser; the first White House press secretary quit in a huff.

Deputy Cabinet officials have yet to be named in many departments. The secretary of state might be on the bubble; but then again, maybe not.

And, yes, we have the special counsel’s investigation into that “Russia thing.”

Against all that backdrop, there is a concern among White House staffers about a potential Democratic onslaught in the upcoming midterm election. “They absolutely should worry about 2018,” said Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush. “I do fear a wave election. Democrats are highly motivated to vote against Trump and all Republicans. Trump has got to grow beyond the base, and he has got to make himself less hated among a group in the middle.”

Anxiety abounds

Yet the president keeps talking about “winning” and saying all is good, all is bright, all is just plain peachy within the White House.

I, um, don’t think that’s the case.

Resolutions remain a waste of time, effort

Here comes yet another new year.

It’s my 68th such occurrence. That means New Year’s Day is, um, no big deal — unless you consider that I have far fewer of them ahead of me than behind me. Those of you of a certain age might think that way. I’ll just take this new year as it comes.

2018 is an election year. That makes it special, particularly in this era of Donald John Trump. He’s rewritten the political playbook. His very presence on the political scene make any thought of prediction a dicey endeavor.

I’m out of the predicting game … politically speaking, that is.

As for those New Year’s resolutions, I’m out of the resolving business, too.

I declared years ago that I wouldn’t make any resolutions. I hardly ever have kept the resolutions I’ve made. At my age — which I’ve noted already — it makes no discernible sense for me to resolve to do anything.

Sure, I’ll be a good husband; I’ll continue to do what my wife tells me to do. I’ll help my sons when they ask for it; I’ll give advice, too, but only when they ask for it. I’ll be a doting grandfather. Whatever little Emma wants, she’s likely to get — no matter what!

I won’t resolve to do those things. They’re all a given.

I do look forward to the new year, though. They always present new challenges. This year will be markedly different for my wife and me. We’re likely to relocate soon to North Texas; that will depend on the speed with which we are able to sell our Amarillo house.

I’ll just resolve to get through the New Year celebration, however, without making a single resolution.

A new year awaits. I am ready to welcome it.

Would a Democratic ‘wave’ imperil the president?

I want to broach a subject that isn’t getting a great deal of attention … at least that I’ve noticed.

The 2018 midterm congressional election poses a potentially grave threat to the presidency of Donald Trump.

Politico reports that White House aides are telling the president directly that Democrats across the country are poised to score possibly decisive gains in both chambers of Congress. Democrats might take control of the Senate and the House. Indeed, Republicans’ Senate majority has been pared to just 51-49 with the election of Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election earlier this month. And the House? Well, there’s now increasing chatter about Democrats possibly being able to wrest control of that chamber from Republicans.

Where is the eminent threat to Trump and his presidency?

If Democrats gain control of Congress, then we have an increasingly real possibility of impeachment.

Yes, the bar is set pretty high. And, yes, it’s also a highly political event. Witness what transpired in 1998 when Republicans found their long-sought reason to impeach President Bill Clinton. The president handed it to them by lying under oath to a grand jury about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The House moved rapidly and impeached the president, who then was acquitted in a Senate trial.

What might happen in, say, 2019 if Democrats take control of Capitol Hill. They have possible violations of the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution, which prohibits presidents from profiting from their office. Or, we might have evidence of collusion with the Russians in connection with the 2016 presidential election. Or, we might find something out about the president’s foreign investments, which could be unraveled by the special counsel’s ongoing investigation.

Republican toadies already have indicated they have no desire to impeach the president. Democrats, though, think quite differently. If they are handed the speaker’s gavel, as well as the gavels pounded by committee chairs, there might be some impetus to remove the president from office.

Trump’s behavior has, at times, seemed erratic — and weird. I don’t know how his strange Twitter habits or his manner of speaking publicly constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but the 2018 election might empower the opposing party to take serious — and decisive — action against a president its members have detested since the day he took office.

Break from politics? Umm, not this year, folks

The past couple of years have enticed High Plains Blogger — meaning me — to take a break from political commentary during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

I am not going to take such a break this year.

I decided to stay in the game, but with one important caveat: I am going to refrain from some of the occasionally harsh rhetoric I use to describe certain politicians with whom I disagree.

You know about whom I refer, in particular.

There are others, to be sure. But my intention for the next few days will be to keep a civil tongue in my mouth — so to speak — and offer criticism without referencing the president in ways that I have been prone to do on occasion.

It’s my way of adhering to some semblance of civility and decency during this holy time.

It’s a joyful season for my family and me. Indeed, I intend to avoid discussing politics with friends and family members on Christmas day. Those who read this blog, thus, are forewarned. No discussion of the president, his administration, his policies, his pronouncements … nothin’, man!

I might, time permitting on Christmas, take a moment to salute a pol or two who does something that merits praise.

That would enable me to maintain the Christmas spirit … wouldn’t it?

For now, I’ll try my level best to keep the dagger sheathed, the arrows in the quiver … whatever!

The coming year promises to provide plenty of ample targets of opportunity. Hey, it’s an election year!

Enjoy yourselves.