Tag Archives: Congressional Democrats

Treason: a serious four-letter word

One more comment on “treason,” and then I’m out … maybe, perhaps, hopefully.

When the president of the United States accuses fellow Americans of committing a treasonous act, he is accusing them of aiding and abetting enemies of the state. He is saying that those who commit such acts should be punished accordingly; the law allows traitors to be, um, executed.

Thus, when Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump tosses the t-word at congressional Democrats whose “crime against the state” is to sit on their hands during the president’s State of the Union speech, he’s being politically vulgar in the worst way possible.

Trump did that while speaking to an Ohio crowd this week. He called Democrats’ actions “un-American”; someone in the crowd yelled “treasonous,” which Trump heard and took it to the next step.

“Why not?” he asked about the word, getting guffaws and hoots from the adoring crowd.

Members of the loyal opposition often are impolite, or rude, or sometimes insulting during these speeches. However, hanging the ultimate four-letter word around them — calling their actions “treasonous” — betrays an utter ignorance of the very principle on which the Founding Fathers created the greatest nation on Earth.

Moreover, I am inclined to think that a more treasonous act would be to collude with a foreign power to corrupt our electoral process … if that happened, of course.


Protest is so very American, Mr. President

I just cannot let go of this idiocy muttered today by the president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump thought he’d tell an Ohio crowd that congressional Democrats who didn’t cheer the economic good news he delivered at the State of the Union were “un-American.” He took the bait offered by someone in the crowd by declaring them as acting “treasonous.”

I saw the clip and noticed the goofy look the president wears when he’s, um, joking. Maybe he was just kidding when he tossed out “treason” to describe Democrats’ behavior.

But still …

I need to declare that sitting on their hands in the congressional chamber is as American an act as I can think of.

Pardon me for reminding us all that the United States was created in an act of protest against a repressive government. Our nation’s founders created a governing document that codifies protest as an essential part of good government.

So, when members of an opposing party choose not to stand, cheer and clap when the president declares that all is good with the nation’s economy … well, that is their sacred right as American citizens.

My desire to seek to set the record straight on Trump’s latest idiotic declaration is aimed directly at the president’s most fervent supporters who actually believe this crap.

POTUS looking like he’s ready to dicker over DACA

I’ve spent most of the past eight months or so telling you why I believe Donald J. Trump Sr. is such a loser as president of the United States. I now want to say something good about him. Shocking, I know. But here it comes.

He has infuriated many of his more conservative core of supporters by doing the unthinkable: negotiate with Democrats in Congress. The latest attempt at deal brokering involves the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals matter.

Trump rescinded the DACA order a few days ago. He set a six-month phase-out window, enticing Congress to act on a legislative fix that would allow undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the United States so they could seek citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

He dined with Chuck and Nancy, aka Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House. They struck a form of an “agreement.” Trump would work with Democrats to preserve DACA. Schumer and Pelosi said they and the president agreed to a deal that would preserve DACA, enhance border security, but forgo money to build the wall across our southern border.

Trump has disputed the wall issue. He still wants to build the wall. I and many others think that’s a bad idea.

Trump stuns nation’s capital.

The heartening aspect of all this, despite the chaos arising from the dinner date at the White House, is that the president is now working constructively with those who oppose his policies.

For the 65 million or so Americans out here who voted for Hillary Clinton for president, this is a hopeful sign that the president is finally — finally! — understanding that governance is a team sport that requires presidents to seek common ground with what is euphemistically called the “loyal opposition.”

Have I changed my mind about Trump’s fitness for his job? Not in the least. However, in the spirit of fairness, I am delighted to offer a good word and encourage the president to do what he can to preserve DACA — and to keep working with congressional Democrats.

Partisanship has no place in foreign policy

OK, one more attempt at making sense of this Bibi blowup and I’ll move on.

It’s being reported that about a quarter of congressional Democrats are going to stay away from the speech Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make before a joint session of Congress.


Democrats are angry that Republican Speaker John Boehner invited Bibi to speak without consulting with the White House. I get their anger. It is infuriating that Boehner would flout longstanding diplomatic protocol by inviting a foreign head of government in such a manner.

Netanyahu, in remarks today to a pro-Israel group, said he doesn’t want to become the object of partisan scorn in Washington. Indeed, such partisanship shouldn’t be an issue when we’re talking about foreign policy matters.

Who, though, turned it into a partisan event? I’ll go with Boehner, who stuck it in the president’s eye in the way he invited Netanyahu. The prime minister opposes negotiations to get Iran to stop its nuclear development program; he favors tougher sanctions on Iran now, along with Boehner and most Republicans; Obama opposes the sanctions; and the president is miffed over the invitation issue.

None of this means the United States and Israel are going to part company. Netanyahu will affirm the nations’ close ties Tuesday, just as he did today.

The partisan nature of the protest, though, smacks more of petulance than anything else.

I’ll say it again: Democrats should listen to Bibi in person and give him the respect that the leader of our nation’s strongest Middle East ally deserves.


Democrats wrong to boycott Bibi's speech

It’s probably too late to change anyone’s mind, but it’s never too late to drive home a point that needs to be made.

Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu’s audience as he speaks to a joint session of Congress this week will be missing about 30 congressional Democrats, who’ve decided to boycott the speech for a couple of reasons.


One is that House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation of Netanyahu was done without consulting the White House. What’s more, Boehner wants the United States to impose sanctions on Iran, which is negotiating with other nations on a possible deal to end its nuclear development; Netanyahu is expected to make that case during his speech to Congress — which the White House doesn’t want to happen.

The other is that the invitation injects the United States into Israeli politics, given that Netanyahu’s governing coalition is facing an election shortly. President Obama has said it’s inappropriate to invite a foreign head of government to make such a speech so close to an election in his or her country.

Democrats shouldn’t boycott the speech. They should sit there, applaud politely, listen to Netanyahu and then decide whether they agree with whatever he says.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said, “I will not dignify it by being here. It is an unfortunate incursion into Israeli politics.”

“As a long-time supporter of the U.S-Israel relationship, I believe the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress — just days before Israeli elections — is highly inappropriate,” U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said in a statement. “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

I don’t think Boehner’s invitation was appropriate, either. I also disagree with the idea of imposing sanctions at the very time we’re seeking a negotiated settlement on whether Iran should pursue its nuclear program. Let the negotiations run their course; if they fail, then drop the sanctions hammer.

But the Israeli prime minister is a key U.S. ally — the current spat notwithstanding. His standing among world leaders compels his foes to sit and listen to his message.

Having said all that, it’s good to know that the absent lawmakers will have access to TV, radio and the Internet to hear the prime minister’s remarks.

Be sure to listen.


Raise the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling battle is about to be joined once more in Congress.

It’s a fight Congress and the White House shouldn’t wage. It threatens the nation’s credit rating, which already has been bumped downward and it poses an extreme threat to our economic health — not to mention the retirement accounts of many tens of millions of Americans who are fed up to here with the foolish games being played.

I am one of those fed up Americans.


Congressional Republicans, led by the tea party yahoos, are posing a serious threat to our well-being. They say the debt ceiling shouldn’t be increased, claiming some specious notion that federal spending must be brought under control. It is true the government spends too much. It also is true that if we do not honor our financial obligations — such as paying our bills — the consequences are going to eclipse the petty arguments that might lead us to default on those obligations.

The GOP’s tea party cabal keeps invoking the name of their patron saint, President Ronald Reagan, when discussing these fiscal matters. Here’s a flash: President Reagan, working with a Democratic-led Congress, boosted the debt ceiling 18 times during his two terms in the White House. No muss no fuss. No one griped openly about government “spending too much,” even though the deficit increased during President Reagan’s time in office.

Congressional Republicans are playing with fire if they take us down this road. Mark my words, they will suffer some grievous political burns if they fail to allow the United States to meet its financial obligations.