Tag Archives: 2018 election

Trump displays limitless amount of inappropriateness

Donald J. Trump amazes me, if you can believe that.

The president’s willingness to inject himself into ongoing legal investigations is utterly astonishing. He keeps firing off Twitter messages that seek to coerce, intimidate and bully federal investigators looking into government corruption.

And, oh yes, he continues to undermine the Department of Justice’s professional prosecutors as well as the attorney general, the man he appointed to lead the DOJ.

The Justice Department has charged U.S. Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, two Republicans — one from New York, the other from California — on corruption allegations. Trump doesn’t like that, given that he, too, is a member of the GOP.

He tweeted this: Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……

So, in effect, Trump is saying that Sessions and the Justice Department shouldn’t do their jobs. They shouldn’t proceed where the evidence takes them. They need to place the protection of the GOP majority in Congress ahead of the law on the eve of the midterm election coming up in November.

Good, ever-lovin’ grief, man!

I keep having to stipulate that although I am no fan of Sessions, he doesn’t deserve the constant harangue he is getting from the president. So damn what if Collins and Hunter were early and vocal supporters of Donald Trump? That doesn’t exempt them from law enforcement investigation when evidence surfaces that implicates them. DOJ gumshoes are doing the job they signed on to do.

I am sickened to the max at Trump’s continuing inappropriate use of Twitter to attack the Department of Justice, a key executive branch agency. Doesn’t the president realize that he is the chief executive of the federal government?

I have to ask, moreover, this question: If the president is so innocent of the questions being leveled against him, why does he keep acting like a guilty individual?

Speaking of endorsements …

Here it comes. Donald Trump has announced his total support for Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He’s planning a major campaign rally for the Cruz Missile, who is fighting for re-election against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

Then we have Twitter posts such as the one that appeared in February 2016, when Trump and Cruz were rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

Cruz is “another all talk, no action pol,” Trump said at the time.

Now he is giving Cruz his blessing?

This is the kind of flip-flopping that gives politics a bad name. In my humble view.

Oh sure, Democrats do it, too. But you are welcome to spare me the “both-siderism” argument that emerges in these partisan political discussions.

We’re talking in this instance about a particular contest that now includes the president of the United States of America, the head of state, head of government, commander in chief, leader of the Free World … blah, blah, blah.

The public domain is full of this kind of thing that will require some explaining. I do not expect the president to come clean on whether he was speaking the truth then, or whether he has re-defined the truth to fit the moment.

POTUS plans big rally for the Cruz Missile

I’m all giddy.

Donald J. Trump has posted a Twitter message that reads the following:

Isn’t that cool? The president is coming to Texas to campaign for Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent who’s seeking to fend off an apparently burgeoning challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Trump says he is “picking the biggest stadium in Texas we can find.” Let me think. I believe that would be the Cowboys’ crib in Arlington, which is only about 30 miles or so from where I live in Collin County.

This means I’ll get to attend a Donald Trump rally. It means — if it works out — that I’ll get to sit in a crowd of screaming maniacs.

Take my word for this: I won’t join them in whoopin’, hollerin’ and howlin’ when Trump spouts untruths. Oh, no. That’s not for me.

I’ll plan to be there because from what I understand these rallies are worlds unto themselves. They reportedly thrive in what can be called a parallel universe that functions right next to the real world.

Hey, I’ve made no secret of my desire to see Beto O’Rourke knock the Cruz Missile out of the sky.

To be sure, Trump hasn’t yet disclosed where this rally will occur. The state has plenty of large venues. The University of Texas football stadium in Austin also is possible, but Austin ain’t exactly Trump Country or, for that matter, Cruz Country.

The Cowboys stadium in Tarrant County, though, makes more sense.

It also gives me a chance to attend a Donald Trump, shake my head in disgust — and then declare that Beto O’Rourke would do a better job representing rank-and-file Texans than the man Trump has offered his “complete and total Endorsement.”

Oh, and such a rally would give the O’Rourke plenty of grist to remind Texans that Cruz once called Trump a “pathological liar,” someone who is “amoral” and a true-blue “narcissist.”

Is the senator a man of conviction — or is he a man of convenience?

Strange verb sets off ‘dog whistles’

I’ll admit that I don’t know Ron DeSantis from the man in the moon.

He is the newly nominated Republican candidate for Florida governor. He is running this fall against Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum.

OK, it has gotten a bit complicated.

DeSantis — a devotee of Donald J. Trump — just happened to say that Florida voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum as the state’s next governor.

Here it comes: Gillum is African-American. DeSantis’s use of the word “monkey” in a curious verb form has a good many folks wondering about the potential racial intent of using such a word regarding an African-American political opponent.

This particular word has gotten politicians and assorted public officials in trouble over many years. I need not chronicle for you why African-Americans — as well as many other Americans, such as me — find it at minimum careless.

At worst it reveals a hideous side of those who use such a term when referencing someone who happens to be a racial minority.

According to MSN.com: In a statement, Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for Mr. DeSantis, rejected the idea that the candidate’s comments had a racial undertone.

“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses,” Mr. Lawson said. “To characterize it as anything else is absurd.”

OK, a prepared statement from a political flack isn’t good enough. We need to hear from Rich DeSantis. In person. Live and in real time.

‘Your favorite president’? Hardly, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump clearly isn’t talking to me. I know he doesn’t know me from Adam, doesn’t give a rip what I think about anything.

However, he put this Twitter message out that said:

The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!

What does he mean “your favorite President!”?

My favorite president left office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Everyone knew the president would brag about the election results. He took credit for GOP victories in the U.S. House of Representatives. I get that the GOP won eight out of nine seats. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, kind of like the way Trump doesn’t tell the whole story about his own election to the presidency in 2016. Instead, he fabricates the circumstance of his election, calling it a “record,” most lopsided victory since Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984 … blah, blah, blah.

So now he’s yapping about his party’s victories. They are by the skin of the president’s teeth. In congressional districts where Democrats have no business being competitive.

Hey, I understand that a win is a win and that winners are defined clearly as those who get more votes than the other guy.

These wins, though, don’t deserve all the braggin’ they’re getting from Donald Trump.

There’s winning and then there’s, um, ‘winning’

A win is a win. In politics, you win when you get more votes than the other candidate.

Then again, you’ve got the so-called “big picture,” or as they’re fond of saying these days, “the view from 30,000 feet.”

The Republican candidate for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, Troy Balderson, has more votes at this moment than his Democratic opponent, Danny O’Connor. Balderson got a boost at the last minute from Donald Trump, who ventured to central Ohio to stump for the GOP candidate.

No doubt the president will take credit for Balderson’s apparent victory. I say “apparent” because it’s damn close and they’re still waiting on those “provisional ballots” to be counted; analysts think O’Connor will win most of those votes. Whether they put him over the top remains to be seen. There might be an automatic recount as well if the final vote margin triggers the state-mandated recount law.

However, you’ve got another factor coming into play.

The 12th District is supposed to be one of Ohio’s most solidly Republican districts. Trump carried it by 11 points in 2016. It’s been represented by GOP members of Congress for more than 30 years.

Democrats are proclaiming some sort of moral victory. Republicans will state the obvious: Our guy got more votes than the other guy, that means our guy wins.

What does this razor thin margin mean in a district that the Republican should have won in a walk? It means — to me! — that the GOP may be in deep doo-doo as the 2018 midterm election approaches.

The nation’s top Republican, Donald John Trump Sr., is behaving like a man who fears what a special counsel might uncover about that “Russia thing.”

Where I come from, fecal matter still rolls downhill.

O’Rourke might reshape the Texas landscape

Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune has written a quite insightful story that starts with one of the better ledes I have read in some time.

Livingston writes: It’s the most backhanded of compliments.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke‘s campaign for U.S. Senate has caught so much fire throughout the state that the new favorite betting game in Texas politics is “How close can he get to Ted Cruz in November?”

The implication in the question’s phrasing is that O’Rourke’s loss remains a given.

Her essay is tough to read if you’re supporting O’Rourke’s bid to defeat the Cruz Missile.

Here it is.

O’Rourke is raising a lot of money, far more than Cruz. He has embarked on an unusual campaign strategy, conducting town hall meetings and meet-and-greet with voters who live in heavily Republican rural communities.

Cruz is taking this challenge seriously. Moreover, Cruz does have numbers — and history — on his side. Texas comprises many more Republicans than Democrats; and the state has gone more than two decades since the latest time it elected a Democrat to statewide office.

Yes, O’Rourke’s fight faces some potential head winds.

However, before we assign O’Rourke to the political scrap heap, let me offer this brief reminder.

In 2016, American voters managed to elect to the presidency a man who had never sought a public office. He had zero public service experience and zero inclination toward serving the public. He hurled ghastly insults that offended millions of Americans while campaigning for the presidency.

But … Donald Trump won the Electoral College on the strength of 78,000 votes in three key states and, thus, took office as president of the United States.

Against very long odds.

So, have stranger things than Beto O’Rourke winning this fall happened already?

Yes. They have.

Trump trashes Gipper’s 11th commandment

Wherever he is, the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, is an unhappy man.

President Reagan once invoked what he called the 11th commandment, which is that Republicans shouldn’t speak ill of other Republicans.

So, what does Donald Trump do? He endorses candidates within GOP state primaries, and speaks badly of those he opposes.

The president did so again in Kansas, backing secretary of state Chris Kobach. What’s worse is that Trump threw the incumbent governor, Jeff Colyer, under the proverbial bus.

This is totally outside the political norm. Presidents usually don’t get involved in primary battles. They hold their political fire for the general election. They back whoever their party — Republican or Democrat — nominates and then campaign against whoever they face in on Election Day.

Donald Trump’s grip on the Republican Party is stronger than ever. He is demonstrating it now with his primary endorsement of Chris Kobach.

Wasn’t there a time when President Reagan was the GOP’s most beloved figure? If so, those days appear to be gone. I hope, for the party’s sake, they won’t be gone forever.

I’ll concede this final point: I didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 or 1984 … but damn, I do miss him.

Just wondering about bipartisan endorsements

Presidents proclaim their desire for bipartisanship. Yes, I am inclined to include even Donald John Trump in that notion.

There, that all said, what might happen if former President Barack Obama — who this past week issued his first round of endorsements ahead of this year’s midterm election — had decided to throw in a token Republican?

He would have been excoriated as a political traitor, a turncoat, a panderer.

Yes, such an endorsement would have been virtually unprecedented.

The former president went with an all-Democrat slate of endorsees. That’s fine. It’s expected.

It all changes, though, when presidents take office and bemoan the lack of help from “the other party” when they seek to get legislation approved.

What we have here is a never-ending conflict between the partisan goal of electing those of your own party and the act of governing with members of both political parties.

Senate races decided by differing factors

As I watch the Beto O’Rourke-Ted Cruz race for the U.S. Senate from Texas, I am struck by what is missing in the debate over who Texans should elect.

I am not hearing much chatter on which of these men will do more for Texas.

Will it be Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic congressman from El Paso, or Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent from Houston? Which of them will work tirelessly on behalf of Texans’ specific needs, wants and desires?

Am I missing something here?

There once was a day when U.S. senatorial clout mattered to the home folks. I want to cite an example from my home state of Oregon.

For years, Oregon was represented by two moderate Republicans: Mark Hatfield and Bob Packwood. They were joined at the hip on many issues. They were linked to each other so closely that we in the media used to refer them as “Sen. Hatwood” or Sen. “Packfield.”

They both attained influential committee chairmanships beginning in 1981 when the GOP took control of the upper congressional chamber after Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in the 1980 presidential election.

Hatfield and Packwood worked diligently to protect Oregon and Pacific Northwest interests.

Along the way, Sen. Packwood ran into ethical trouble relating to the way he treated women who worked on his staff; Packwood ended up resigning his seat. Sen. Hatfield remained the Boy Scout.

As we look at the current day, in Texas, I don’t hear the kind of chatter about Sen. Cruz or, how well he works with Sen. John Cornyn, the state’s senior U.S. senator. My sense is that the two Texans have a bit of a frosty relationship.

Cruz’s tenure in the Senate seems to have centered on his own future. He ran for president in 2016 and was among the final GOP primary candidates to hang in against the party’s nominee before bowing out.

Cruz’s theme so far appears aimed at ginning up GOP interest to counteract rage from the other side. According to the Texas Tribune: “The biggest challenge I have in this race … is complacency,” Cruz said. “People say all the time, ‘Oh, come on, it’s a Texas re-elect. How could you possibly lose?’ Well, in an ordinary cycle, that might be true. But this is not an ordinary cycle. The far left is filled with anger and rage and we underestimate that anger at our peril.”

O’Rourke has closed a once-gaping deficit to make it a race. I’ll stipulate once again that I am pulling for O’Rourke to defeat Cruz.

I’m just waiting to hear from the challenger — or from the incumbent, for that matter — what they’ll do to help Texans.