Tag Archives: 2020 election

Candidate calls a halt; his issue lives on

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was one of those 0-percenters who sought to catch fire among the huge field of Democrats running for president of the United States.

He didn’t ignite. Today he ended his campaign.

That’s the bad news … for Inslee. The good news is that his signature issue, climate change and Donald Trump’s ignorance of its significance, lives on.

Gov. Inslee had vowed to make climate change/global warming the linchpin of his campaign. Sure, he said he felt strongly about other issues, but this one really floats his boat.

As for Trump, he calls climate change a “hoax.” He said it’s cooked up by China, which wants to undermine and destroy the U.S. fossil fuel industry. The president is blowing it out of his backside.

Inslee sees the issue as the nation’s premier national security concern. So do many other Americans. I am one of those millions of others who stands with Inslee and others who want the government to pay attention to the tangible evidence that climate change is having around the world … and to acknowledge that humankind is at least partially responsible for the damage it is inflicting on Planet Earth.

Gov. Inslee vowed today to remain active in the dual-edged pursuit of (a) talking up the dire peril that climate change is posing and (b) the peril the nation faces if it re-elects Donald J. Trump to another four years as president.

Keep up the fight, governor. I stand with you.

Will primary challenge ‘doom’ Trump? Maybe, but …

There once were a few presidential political truisms upon which one could count.

  • Incumbent presidents were almost impossible to defeat.
  • Presidents who faced intraparty challenges on the way to their nominations were damaged goods going into the election; they would lose.

Then along came Donald J. Trump to upset many politically traditional thoughts.

I am looking at the Republican Party challengers that are already running or are considering a run against Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld already is in the hunt for the GOP nomination. Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford might get in.

Will either or both of them be able to inflict enough damage on Trump to ensure he gets beat in November 2020? I wish.

Let’s flash back for a moment. President Johnson got challenged in 1968 by Sens. Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy in the Democratic primary. LBJ dropped out. RFK was murdered. Clean Gene lost the nomination to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who then got beat by Richard Nixon. Republican President Ford faced a 1976 challenge from Ronald Reagan, and then lost the election to Jimmy Carter. President Carter got challenged by Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1980 and then wiped out by Reagan.

The future might seem bleak, then, for Donald Trump as he seeks re-election.

I am not going to count him out strictly on the basis of one or possibly two GOP challengers.

Trump has this way, strange as it seems, of demonizing his foes. He did so in 2016 while wiping out 16 GOP contestants and then as he did against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What’s more, the cult following the president has developed within the Republican Party voting base suggests to many of us that the core Trump support is going to hold firm no matter what.

I do hope that Weld — and maybe Sanford — can soften up this guy enough for whomever the Democrats nominate, enabling the other party nominee to finish him off in the fall election next year. I want him out of office.

Except that Donald Trump has obliterated so many conventional political norms that it would be folly to presume any sort of tradition will remain true to form.

Sanford: Trump doesn’t deserve re-election, but he gets my vote

Former South Carolina congressman and governor Mark Sanford speaks out both sides of his mealy mouth.

He might run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. He said he doesn’t believe Trump deserves re-election. He might campaign against him in the GOP primary.

But then …

When he’s asked whether he would vote for a Democrat in the (likely) event Trump wins the GOP nomination, Sanford said he is a “core Republican” and that yes, he would vote for Trump over the Democratic nominee.

Please!

Let’s ponder two quick points. One is that while Sanford might be a “core Republican,” the president is not. He is a Republican In Name Only who gloms onto GOP policies because they appeal to his base of supporters. He has no pre-presidential history within the once-great political party.

The second point is that Mark Sanford is the guy who, while serving as South Carolina governor, told his staff to lie to the media about his whereabouts. His staff declared the governor was “hiking the Appalachian Trail” while in fact he was taking a tumble in Argentina with the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

Is this guy any more trustworthy than the president he wants to see defeated but who would get his vote anyhow? At best that is a debatable point.

Obama won’t endorse in Dem primary? Smart move, Mr. President

Former President Barack H. Obama has made it clear: He will keep his hands off the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest; there will be no endorsement coming from President No. 44.

Is that a slap in former VP Joe Biden’s face? Does that mean Obama secretly — or openly — wishes Biden wouldn’t run? No. Not in the least.

What it tells me is that the former president is keeping his options open while his fellow Democrats battle it out for the nomination and for the right to face off against Republican incumbent Donald J. Trump.

Obama is following a time-honored script. Don’t endorse in primaries; keep your cool; wait it out … and then offer your support to the nominee!

That isn’t how Donald Trump has handled a lot of down-ballot races, most notably starting with the 2018 Alabama U.S. Senate race. At first he endorsed incumbent senator, who then lost the GOP primary to that wacked-out judge, Roy Moore. Trump then endorsed Moore for election over the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, who then defeated Moore in the 2018 general election.

Trump has gotten his finger nails dirty in other intraparty races, too.

It just isn’t customary.

Barack Obama must have a favorite or two among the Democrats seeking to run against Trump. He’s going to keep it to himself.

Can anyone blame him for wanting to keep his proverbial political powder dry? I cannot.

Stop the presses! Mooch predicts POTUS dropping out

Anthony Scaramucci has climbed way out on the proverbial limb with this prediction.

The former short-term White House communications director said that Donald Trump is going to bail out of the 2020 presidential race by next March. Yep, that’s The Mooch’s crystal ball talking to him and to us.

Do you believe The Mooch is a credible source on this one? Well, I don’t either.

The Mooch, who served as WH communications chief for 11 whole days before Trump fired him at the start of his administration, told the Huffington Post that Trump cannot stand the thought of losing his re-election bid. He said it won’t dawn on Trump until March 2020 that he doesn’t stand a chance of being re-elected.

So, according to The Mooch, he’ll drop out.

The idea that The Mooch would say such a thing out loud tells me that will inspire Trump to fight even harder to stay in office.

I’ll be candid. A major part of me wants to believe Scaramucci knows what he’s talking about. I would love few things more in life than knowing that Donald Trump will not seek a second term as president of the United States. That he was elected in the first place simply blows my mind.

The other major part of me realizes, though, that The Mooch likely doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

If only I could be assured that The Mooch knows something about POTUS that no one else knows.

National intelligence network takes another hit

The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, is heading for the door Thursday. He served the nation with diligence and distinction. He spoke the truth about the threats to the nation.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, didn’t listen to him. Coats will be gone very soon.

So, too, will his No. 2, the deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, a career CIA official. She’s a pro. Gordon also served for many years in the national intelligence network with supreme diligence.

Gordon is leaving office along with Coats.

What is wrong with this picture? Plenty. I now will explain briefly.

The DNI office now is without its top two intelligence officials. Coats is a politician, having served in the U.S. House and Senate before taking on the DNI job in the Trump administration. However, he stood behind the intelligence professionals who determined without equivocation that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016 and are doing so yet again in advance of the 2020 presidential election.

Coats butted heads with Donald Trump. He “spoke truth to power.” The man with the power, Trump, isn’t hearing it.

As for Gordon, custom dictated that she would have stepped into the DNI spot as the acting director. She, though, took the advice of intelligence pros and submitted her resignation.

Trump now has Joseph Maguire as acting DNI. He comes from a counterintelligence agency. He could be a solid choice, but he lacks the overarching background that Sue Gordon would have brought to the office … had she chosen to stay on in the Trump administration.

Ladies and gents, we have a leadership vacuum at the top of our nation’s intelligence apparatus. As for the president, he continues to demonstrate utter cluelessness on how he intends to protect us from hostile powers that are threatening the integrity of our very system of government.

Biden’s gaffes don’t measure up to Trump’s lies

Oh, here we go again.

Joe Biden said that the Parkland shooting survivors called him while he served as vice president of the United States.

Oops! Except that the high school massacre occurred in 2018; Biden left the vice presidency in January 2017.

The gaffes have been piling up lately. The former VP blurted out he would accept “truth over facts.” Before that he uttered something about “poor kids” doing as well academically as “white kids.”

My goodness. The gaffes reportedly have Democratic voters worried about the former vice president’s intellectual stamina were he to secure the party nomination and then face off against Donald J. Trump.

Which brings me to my point. Are the Biden gaffes as serious as the Trump lies? Hah! Not even close, man! The Trump penchant for prevarication is much, much worse than the occasional blooper that flies out of Biden’s trap.

However … we have this problem with Trump’s incessant lying. We’re getting used to it! The Trump lies — which have totaled something far north of 10,000 since he became president — are becoming part of the dialogue these days. “It’s just Trump,” some Americans are saying.

Many voters don’t seem to care that the president cannot tell the truth if his life depended on it. He lies about everything. Big things. Small things. Important matters. Trivial matters. Trump lies when the truth wouldn’t hurt him in the least. He just lies.

It’s pathological, man … which is how I believe Ben Carson, the nation’s housing secretary, described it when he and Trump were competing for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

If Biden manages to win the Democratic nomination, all of us — you and me — can expect the president to seek to make hay over Biden’s occasional verbal hiccups.

My question is this: Are we going to hold the president to any kind of truth-telling standard? We damn sure had better.

Hey Democratic candidates for POTUS, come on down!

Hey, I understand the large field of Democrats running for president of the United States have been seen scurrying around the Iowa State Fair. They’re scarfing down alleged “fair food,” kissing babies, shaking hands, begging for votes.

Good for them. Good for Iowa, which kicks off the nation’s first electoral process leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

However, we’ve got a state fair coming up right here in Texas. The Texas State Fair commences in Dallas on Sept. 27. It runs until Oct. 20. They’ll play a big college football game — Texas vs. Oklahoma — during the run of the fair.

Oh, and Texas figures to be every bit as much of a “battleground state” in 2020 as, say, Iowa. And … our primary will be early in the election season.

Here’s my point. I want to see the Democrats pour into Texas just as they have done in Iowa, are doing so as well in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early primary states.

I live a bit north of Big D, but I just might find some time to venture to the State Fairgrounds before the fair closes down for the year. I want to see some of these folks up close. I want to hear with my own ears what they’re telling voters, how they’re pitching their candidacies.

Come on, candidates. Big Tex beckons you to the Texas State Fair.

What’s more, the fried beer is worth a try.

Say it ain’t so, Joe … please!

Joe Biden … you gotta love ‘im.

He tries to say the right thing and then he trips over his own misspeaking tongue. Such as what came out of his mouth while speaking at an Iowa political event.

“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

Poor kids … white kids? What the hell?

He corrected himself immediately, but I have to say — even as someone who tends to look favorably on the former vice president of the United States, this kind of verbal clumsiness cannot stand.

I get that he paused immediately and added, “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.” To be brutally honest, this is the sort of rhetorical gaffe that gets politicians into trouble — without fail.

The vice president remains the front runner for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Democrats seem comfortable with the former VP, believing he served the nation well as President Obama’s chief executive branch deputy, not to mention the 36 years of service he turned in as a U.S. senator before becoming vice president in 2009.

C’mon, Mr. VPOTUS. You need to do better than that.

I’m just tellin’ ya.

Federal bench: to date the silent issue of 2020 campaign

Let’s see, we’ve had two rounds of Democratic Party presidential primary debates, with 20 candidates beating the hell out of each other over a number of issues and, yes, drawing some blood from the Republican president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

I’m waiting, though, for discussion about what the Democrats plan to do about one of the serious consequences of the 2020 election: appointing judges to federal benches all over the nation.

This is where we learn about how “elections have consequences.”

Barely halfway through the president’s term in office, he has been able to seat two new justices to the nation’s highest court. Trump has solidified — so far — the court’s conservative majority. He replaced one conservative icon, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, with another reliable conservative jurist, Neil Gorsuch; he put another conservative on the court, Brett Kavanaugh, to succeed moderate/swing justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired.

He’s already sprinkled his brand of judicial conservatism — however he defines it — on federal courts across the nation.

Count me as a voter who does not want to see the federal bench populated by right-wing zealots shrouded in black robes. Trump has promised to carry through with that threat/promise, in so many words.

I am waiting for Democrats to speak openly about the judicial appointment issue as they talk to and about each other during the primary campaign. I want some assurance that they will look for men and women of impeccable integrity, who have no personal “history” to which they must answer and who understand fully how to interpret the U.S. Constitution without putting a rigid right-wing spin on what they think the framers intended when they wrote the document more than two centuries ago.

States that have long-term governors understand the importance of these appointments. Rick Perry served as Texas governor longer than anyone else in state history and he appointed more judges to state courts than anyone else as well. Gov. Perry’s legacy will stand with those appointments, for better or worse, even as they stand for election and re-election in the years to come.

For the federal bench, though, the stakes are even more profound. These judges are appointed to serve for as long as they live, if they choose to do so. Federal judges are the living, breathing embodiment of how consequential presidential elections can become.

Let’s be sure to air these issues out with clarity and conviction.