Tag Archives: Democratic Party

‘We all make mistakes?’ Seriously?

Harvey Weinstein hasn’t said much in public since these allegations surfaced about sexual harassment and rape.

The longtime film producer, mentor to many of the film industry’s superstars and a deep-pocketed Democratic Party financial donor, is in serious trouble. Stars are dropping him like a bad habit; politicians are donating money Weinstein sent them to charities relating to sexual harassment.

So, what does this guy say about his hideous alleged behavior?

“Everyone makes mistakes,” he said this week while piling into an SUV. Yes, Harv, everyone makes mistakes. You know, things like bouncing a check, or being late with a credit card payment, or running a red light in a busy intersection.

Not “everyone” sexually harasses women or tries to rape them.

We aren’t talking about a simple “mistake,” dude. We are talking, though, about sexual predation.

Democrats made up ‘Russia’ because they lost?

That darn Donald J. Trump cannot accept with any sort of grace that he won an election. He keeps telling Democrats that they lost it and keep rubbing their face in it.

Now the president of the United States is telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Democrats concocted the “Russia thing” controversy because they lost the 2016 election. They can’t take losing, he said.

Holy moly, man! I’ve heard of sore losers. I don’t think I’m one of those, just because my presidential candidate lost the 2016 election.

Rarely have I seen as sore a winner as the man who won the election.

Do I need to remind the president of a fact or two about “the Russia thing”? Yes, I believe I do.

First of all, intelligence professionals have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. They comprise individuals who belong to the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party. There really is no dispute that the Russians sought to influence the election’s outcome.

Second, I don’t believe that whatever the Russians did — planted phony stories intended to put Hillary Clinton in a negative light, for instance — was ultimately decisive. I do believe Trump would have won anyway.

The fundamental point, though, is that the Russians did meddle in our electoral process. They sought to undermine our free and fair election. The Russians did it!

It isn’t a made-up story. It’s no Democratic Party conspiracy.

The president won the election. He ought to shut his pie hole and accept his victory with a modicum of grace.

Sordid past catches up with this mogul

Harvey Weinstein once was called “God” by award-winning actor Meryl Streep.

Well, it looks like Streep’s version of “God” has taken a mighty fall and he’s feeling it right where it hurts.

Weinstein is a once-notable agent to the stars and a big-time Democratic Party donor. It turns out the fellow’s got a seedy, sordid and salacious past.

Allegations of sexual harassment — and even rape — have emerged to sink this guy, who this week was actually fired from the company he co-founded. Actors have bailed on him left and right. Women have come forward to accuse him of seeking to do naughty things with and to them.

To make matters worse — and yes they can get worse — Weinstein’s wife has announced she’s leaving him.

Oh, and then there’s the political side of it. All those Democratic pols, particularly the women who run for or who currently occupy public office? They’re donating the cash that Weinstein gave to their political efforts to charities, notably those that deal with women who are abused or harassed.

I get that we’re talking virtually about allegations. I haven’t heard of anything that’s been proven.

But this big-time big hitter is paying the price he likely ought to pay. All those allegations — they appear to be countless — seem to add up to a disgusting and disgraceful past that has caught up with this guy.

Republicans become party of diverse thought

I want to offer a good word or three about today’s Republican Party.

Yes, I’ve been beating them up a good bit of late. The GOP has deserved the drubbing. However, I want to speak to something that became evident after Donald John Trump Sr. tweeted out his decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces.

The Republican Party has exhibited a profound sense of diverse thought on that issue.

On one side, we have heard some of the more predictable reactions. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who’s now energy secretary in the Trump administration — said he supports the president “totally” in his decision to ban transgender citizens from service in defense of the nation. Fellow Texan, state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — a fellow not known for thoughtful rhetoric — said the armed forces are “no place for social experimentation.”

Then came the push back from other notable Republican pols. Many members of Congress expressed disappointment and dismay that Trump would use Twitter to announce such a staggering policy shift.

Then came a highly personal statement from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Utah lawmaker known as one of the Senate’s more conservative members. Transgender individuals do not “choose” to change their sexual identity, Hatch said. “They are born that way,” he added. Sen. Hatch said it is unfair to hold that against them.

The GOP has demonstrated considerable diversity as well in this debate over whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The moderate wing of the Republican caucus dislikes many of the provisions contained in the GOP-authored bill; it cuts too much from Medicaid, for example. The TEA Party/conservative wing of the caucus dislikes the overhaul because it doesn’t go far enough in repealing the ACA, the signature legislation authored by Democrats during the Obama administration.

Democrats, meanwhile, speak with a single voice on those and many other issues. It must be Democrats’ universal disdain for Trump and the fact that he managed to win the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Believe me, I understand their anger on that one!

However, the Republican Party has shown itself to be more willing to expose its differences in the months since Trump became president.

For that, I applaud Republicans.

Oh, and yes, the stalling of the Trump “agenda” — whatever it is — has played a key part in earning my praise.

Parties change, politicians don’t

One of the nation’s more well-known Republicans has bolted his party. I’m going to presume for the purposes of this blog post that it’s because the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump and Joe Scarborough no longer is comfortable with that association.

Scarborough — who says he’ll register as an independent — is now host of an MSNBC talk show, “Morning Joe,” which he co-hosts with Mika Brzezinski. They’ve been in the news of late, with Donald J. Trump tweeting some nasty comments about Brzezinski, who happens to be Scarborough’s fiancée. It’s complicated, yes?

But the Scarborough’s departure from the GOP is part of a trend that swings in both directions, involving both major parties. It happens when a particular political party veers into an dramatically different direction. Such is the case with the Republican Party that nominated an inexperienced entertainer as its presidential nominee who then has behaved like someone who is clueless about political decorum, norms and custom.

Oh, and he’s also someone who continues on the same insult and innuendo barrage that got him nominated and then elected.

Scarborough is no Republican In Name Only, although I’m sure the devoted Trumpkins out there will call him a RINO as often as possible. He once voted to impeach President Clinton when he was serving in the House of Representatives from Florida. He fancies himself as a serious conservative thinker and commentator. He joins a few other long time prominent Republicans who have left the party for essentially the same reason. The noted Washington Post columnist George Will is the most notable example.

Here in Texas, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the other direction over many years as the state shifted from true blue to deep red. Democrats became Republicans because of the shift in Democratic Party ideology. I can think of several individuals: former state Rep. Warren Chisum of Pampa; the late former Gov. John Connally; former Gov. Rick Perry. They all were Democrats when they entered public life. They are far from the only Texas Democrats who would no longer feel comfortable with the party of their political “birth.”

So, now it’s Scarborough who’s bolted the GOP.

My hunch? We’re going to see more political out-migration.

Spinning losses into moral victories

Politics has this way of producing victories where none is apparent.

Democrats around the country, for instance, are seeking to turn electoral defeats into a form of winning. It’s a fascinating thing to watch — and it has me shaking my head.

A Kansas congressional district special election produced a Republican victory recently. The Fourth Congressional District seat once was held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Donald Trump appointed to become the nation’s top spook. Trump won that district over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and it has been in GOP hands seemingly since The Flood.

The Republican who won the seat in the special election did so narrowly. Thus, Democrats are claiming some sort of victory.

Today, voters in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District are going to the polls. They’re going to choose a successor to Tom Price, who represented the GOP-friendly district before becoming secretary of health and human services; the Sixth District once was represented by none other than the inimitable Newt Gingrich.

A large field is running. It includes five Democrats and 11 Republicans. The top vote-getter needs to win with 50 percent plus one vote to win the election outright. The leader is a Democrat, a young man named Jon Ossoff. Polling indicates he is likely to fall short — barely — of the majority he needs to win. If he doesn’t make it, he needs to face the No. 2 finisher, likely one of the Republicans. The GOP hopes the party will rally behind their guy and elect him over Ossoff in the runoff election.

Still, Democrats — even if they lose this election — are likely to crow about how they damn near flipped that district.

Please.

As a progressive-leaning voter myself, I am pulling for an upset in Georgia. I would be glad to see Ossoff score an outright victory by day’s end. A win by the young Democrat clearly would send a message to the president and his Republican friends that they’re likely to have a serious fight on their hands in next year’s mid-term congressional elections.

However, elections determine winners and losers. Candidates need to get more votes than their opponent to actually win. Falling short of the total they need today in Georgia will not stop Democrats from spinning a loss into some sort of moral victory.

As the old saying goes, “Close counts only in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

Hillary’s back? Please, no!

I have terribly mixed feelings about seeing Hillary Rodham Clinton climbing back into the arena.

First of all, she should have been elected president of the United States in 2016. She wasn’t. She squandered every single opportunity that stood before her, starting with the quality of the fellow to whom she lost the election.

Donald J. Trump is unfit for the office he occupies. But he’s occupying it. Not Hillary.

She shouldn’t run again … ever!

“She’s always been someone who gets out there and fights for what she thinks is right,” one former Clinton campaign staffer told The Hill.

“She’s striking an appropriate balance. She still has an appreciation that she’s not the face of the Democratic Party and people don’t want her to be … but having worked for her and having seen how hard she fights, I’d be disappointed if she spent the rest of her career in the woods.”

I get that she isn’t exactly positioning herself for another presidential run. That’s fine. She shouldn’t. She need not run for the highest office ever again.

Can she a voice of some sort? Can she speak on behalf of Americans — most of whom who voted in 2016 cast their ballots for her — who want to resist whatever it is that Trump wants to do? I suppose so.

I happen to subscribe to the prevailing political theory that the Democratic Party needs to find the freshest face it can find in 2020. I’m pretty sure the Democrats will find one.

As for Hillary, well, she has had a hell of a run in a lengthy public service career. First lady of Arkansas, then of the United States; a U.S. senator from New York; a consequential stint as secretary of state; then a major-party presidential nomination.

OK, so she didn’t win the big prize. Time should enable her to look back on her life and give her a chance to relish all that she was able to accomplish.

Maybe there’s more in store for her. I just hope it doesn’t include another run for the presidency.

Hillary won’t run for anything ever again

Matt Latimer is sniffing something weird.

I don’t know the fellow. He’s written an essay for Politico that posits a preposterous notion: Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for president of the United States in 2020.

Let’s me be among the many who will say this: No way, no how is Hillary going to run for anything ever again, let alone for president.

Hillary took her best shot and blew it. She was the odd-on favorite to be elected president in 2016. You remember all that, don’t you? A lot of folks — yours truly included — just knew it would be a lead-pipe cinch that she’d win. Not only that, I actually wondered out loud on this blog whether she’d win in historic fashion; I actually suggested we might be looking at a 50-state shutout.

Silly me.

Hillary had her chance. She is now officially damaged irreparably.

The Democratic Party will need to look for someone new. It should start with anyone not named Clinton. That would eliminate Hillary right off the top.

Latimer harbors this goofy notion that Hillary cannot live with the memory of squandering her best chance at making history. She’ll want to erase that memory by being nominated once more by her party. Too old? Latimer said Clinton is the same age — give or take — as the guy who beat; Trump is certain to seek re-election in 2020 … assuming he’s still in office by the end of his first term.

He might face some serious political trouble, but that’s a subject for another blog post.

My intent here is to dispel any notion that Hillary Clinton is going to run once more.

No way, man. None. It won’t happen.

Hey, it just occurs to me that I swore off political predictions. I said Hillary Clinton wouldn’t run for the Senate in 2000 after her time as first lady had expired. I was wrong then.

Oh well. I’m going to stand by this one.

There goes ‘divided government’

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Republicans in Congress used to extol the virtues of “divided government,” when they controlled Capitol Hill while a Democrat and his family were residing down the street in the White House.

Guess what. Divided government is about to be tossed into the crapper. On Jan. 20, a Republican — Donald J. Trump — will take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States; meanwhile, the GOP will retain control of Congress, although with slightly diminished majorities.

But we’re going to have one party in charge of everything.

Oh, boy!

The last time one party ran the whole show was from 2009 to 2011. Democrats were the big dog. What did they do when they ran the government? Oh, the 111th Congress — along with the president — managed to save the nation from total economic collapse, despite many Republicans’ best efforts to stop them.

Then the GOP took over both congressional chambers and began obstructing just about everything the Democratic president, Barack Obama, sought to do.

What lies in store for the new GOP president and his fellow Republicans who run Congress? That might depend on how well Democrats learned the obstructionist practices of their “friends on the other side of the aisle.”

Trump intends to do a few things that are anathema to Democrats. He wants to repeal environmental protection laws; he wants to toss aside the Affordable Care Act — although he now says he hopes to save the strongest portions of it; he intends to “build a wall” across our southern border; he hopes to ban Muslims from entering the United States of America.

I believe Trump once also said he intends to make department store owners force their employees to wish their customers a “Merry Christmas” during the holidays. Government overreach? Uh, yeah!

In each of these cases, I am all for a little obstruction. I trust Democrats have learned their lessons well from their Republican colleagues.

No president can act ‘alone’

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“I alone can fix it,” Donald J. Trump told us while he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination this past summer.

Surely you remember that pearl of wisdom.

The comment revealed a tremendous ignorance of how the presidency works and how the individual who holds the office is supposed to conduct the nation’s business.

Did it matter to American voters who this week elected a new president? Not in the least.

The very same ignorant GOP nominee won the election and today is going to meet with the man he will succeed as president. Perhaps the incumbent, Barack H. Obama, can remind the new guy of a concept that appears foreign to him: teamwork.

The president-elect is going to get a serious crash course in civics as he prepares to assume the first political office he’s ever sought.

The founders devised a system of government that requires compromise among those who run it. Over time since the founding of the republic, we developed political parties. The system is now run by people representing two major political organizations: the Democratic and Republican parties. They differ on policy and principle.

The trick, then, becomes at times dicey. Politicians on both sides of the divide need to find some common ground to fix the problems that confront them. Sometimes they succeed; sometimes they fail. As President Obama learned early in his administration, cooperation wasn’t always a given as he reached out to Republicans to find solutions to the serious problems afflicting the nation when he took office.

The Senate GOP leader, Mitch McConnell, laid down the marker early in Obama’s administration by saying his No. 1 priority would be to make Barack Obama a “one-term president.” It didn’t work out for McConnell.

Still, the new president enters this strange new world (for him, at least) with some kind of notion that “I alone” can repair what he believes is wrong with the nation.

He’s got 535 individuals on Capitol Hill — many of whom have egos that match the new president’s — who will have different views of what needs to be done.  Moreover, they wield collectively just as much power as the individual who sits in the Oval Office.

Lesson No. 1 is as clear as it gets. Effective governance requires teamwork, Mr. President-elect.