Tag Archives: Democrats

Why isn’t there more bipartisan outrage and fear?

I usually am not inclined to ascribe partisan motives to varying responses to monumental tragedies, such as what we’re experiencing at this moment with the coronavirus pandemic.

But then there is this unmistakable trend we keep witnessing: Republican governors appear to be less inclined to invoke statewide measures to cope with the pandemic than their Democratic colleagues; a GOP congressman, Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, has said that people dying would be preferable to allowing the U.S. economy to tank from the pandemic; Texas GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently said old folks should sacrifice their lives if it means the economy would survive this crisis.

GOP-leaning talking heads on conservative media keep suggesting the fear is the product of the “mainstream media” overhyping the danger brought by the COVID-19 virus. Donald Trump reserves his criticism of governors to the Democrats among them; he remains silent on his fellow Republicans.

Is there a trend here? Well, it looks like it to me.

The nation’s top Republicans spent a good deal of time and effort when the pandemic first exploded downplaying its severity. His fellow Republicans appear to be following his lead. Only by mid-March did Donald Trump finally acknowledge the onset of a grim outcome caused by the pandemic.

Democratic state governors, meanwhile, are teaming up. The governors of three West Coast states — California, Oregon and Washington — have formed a coalition among them to coordinate their responses to the pandemic. The same thing is occurring in the Northeast, with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island governors — all Democrats — forming a similar partnership; to be fair, a GOP governor in Massachusetts has joined them … so it’s not all bleak if you’re a Republican officeholder.

What’s going on here. Has the GOP machinery become clogged up by Donald Trump’s ignorance, fecklessness and imbecilic feuds with the media and Democrats?

This is way bigger than partisan differences, folks. How about everyone pulling together? As near as I can tell, Democrats are on the right side of this fight by taking a more proactive approach to fighting this “invisible enemy.” Republican governors need to get into the game … right now!

Facing an electoral quandary

I have been “chatting” via social media with a longtime friend who has told me of her intention to vote in the Republican Party primary next month. She lives in the Golden Triangle of Texas and tells me she must vote in the GOP primary because of the plethora of local races that mean much to her.

I get that. I also have told her that I intend to vote in the Democratic primary because I have not yet built the familiarity my friend has with her community.

She’s lived in Orange County for decades. I have lived in Collin County for a little more than a year. I am not proud to acknowledge that my familiarity with local contests isn’t yet up to speed. However, I must go where my instincts lead me.

They are leading me to cast my ballot for races involving national and statewide contests.

We’re going to cast our votes for president on March 3. Super Tuesday’s lineup of primary states includes Texas and its big prize of delegates to both parties’ nominating conventions.

I am not going to restate the obvious, which involves my vote for president, or simply that I will never cast a ballot for the current POTUS. My chore now is to examine the Democratic field for the candidate of my choice.

My inclination is to support Joseph R. Biden Jr. However, it is not clear at this writing whether he’ll be a viable candidate when the Texas primary rolls around. He must win in South Carolina. The former VP is losing African-American support that he says is his “firewall” to protect his candidacy from total collapse.

Then we have the U.S. Senate race and the U.S. House contest. Yes, the impeachment battle plays a factor in my vote. GOP Sen. John Cornyn, whom I actually like personally, has been a profound disappointment to me with his vote to acquit Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. What’s more, my first-term congressman, Republican Van Taylor, also disappointed me when he voted against impeaching Trump of those high crimes and misdemeanors.

My attention is focused, therefore, on the bigger stage.

I will need to live through another election cycle to familiarize myself with local issues and candidates sufficiently to cast my vote with any semblance of intelligence. Hey, given that I live in a county that’s even more Republican-leaning than my friend’s home county in the Golden Triangle, I understand the need to get up to speed.

I will do so in due course.

Looking for a centrist alternative to the current POTUS

I reckon the time has arrived to declare a preference for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I have kinda/sorta danced around the topic, declining to make that declaration — until right now.

My preference is for a centrist Democrat to succeed the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump. I have spoken already about my admiration for Joseph R. Biden Jr. I long have admired his Senate work and I believe he served ably as vice president during the Obama administration.

Of all the Democrats running for president, my belief at this moment is that Biden is the best candidate to take on Trump. He is, as a pundit once described it, my “Goldilocks candidate.” He is not too liberal, not too conservative. He seems to fit the bill of a man who is equipped at virtually every level to become the next head of state.

Joe Biden could restore some dignity to the presidency, which Donald Trump has sought systematically to destroy through his idiotic behavior.

Trump has declared war against damn near everything that Barack Obama and Joe Biden sought to do during their two terms as president and vice president. Biden doesn’t appear inclined to do anything of the sort were he to win the presidency later this year.

My fear for the Democratic Party right now is that it is lurching toward nominating a far-left progressive, perhaps even a “democratic socialist,” in the form of Bernie Sanders. It is my considered opinion that the party is courting disaster were it to nominate Sanders to run against Trump.

I want a nominee with foreign policy chops. I want someone who has demonstrated an ability and a willingness to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

More than anything, I want a president who can return the presidency to a more traditional posture on our political landscape.

I acknowledge the difficulty that Joe Biden faces at this moment. His good name was pilloried during the impeachment inquiry and during the Senate trial that acquitted Trump of two serious “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He is paying a potentially grievous political price for the savagery visited on his name and reputation.

It also might be too late.

I just thought it was time to stake my claim in this most consequential fight for the presidency.

Trump likely to turn 2020 campaign into personal bloodbath

Those of us out here beyond the Beltway who want an issues-centric campaign for the presidency are likely to be disappointed greatly in what we get from the major-party nominees.

Why? Because the Republican incumbent, Donald John Trump, appears intent on personalizing the fight. He will level a heavy barrage of innuendo, laced with insults at whomever the Democrats nominate to oppose him.

Bet on it. This is the type of campaign that lines up just the way the president wants it.

As for the Democratic Party nominee, he or she had better be prepared for what is likely to come.

To be candid, I am weary of the insults that Trump hurls with abandon. I want to know what he intends to do about the serious crises facing this nation and the planet: climate change, for one. Trump says climate change is a hoax, although he did recently make a sort of endorsement about how important the environment is to him. It sounded more like a platitude than any sort of serious assessment.

I will not hold breath in anticipation of any sort of serious discussion by Trump and, by extension, by the Democratic nominee. If the Democrat talks about serious matters, the public is likely to tune him or her out.

So that produces a campaign of personal vitriol.

Yes, it will be a virtual repeat of what we got in 2016.

The Democrats nominated an eminently qualified public servant in Hillary Rodham Clinton. She blew it apart at the end by ignoring key Rust Belt states that Trump’s campaign adroitly picked off, enabling him to win a slim Electoral College majority.

Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump kept up the drumbeat of innuendo against Clinton, suggesting corruption that no one has been able to prove against her.

Take this to the bank: The president will do the same thing against whomever he faces as he seeks re-election. The Democrats’ challenge is to be ready to slug it out.

The losers in this bloodbath will be, well … you and me.

So very sad.

OK, let’s say so long to the also-rans

Andrew Yang, it’s time to call it quits. Same for you, Michael Bennet. Oh, and Tom Steyer … you, too.

That’s three Democrats who need to step aside. It’s time for them to “suspend” their campaigns, which is a nice way of saying they should throw in the towel.

The Iowa caucus ended in a state of Donald Trump-like chaos and confusion. Virtually all of the still-large Democratic field had staked a claim in this madness. One of the Democrats stayed out of the caucus battle: Michael Bloomberg is taking aim at Super Tuesday, which includes Texas, on March 3.

But the field has got to narrow itself to a more manageable gaggle of contenders.

It’s now down to five individuals. That’s all right with me. They all bring certain levels of competence and creativity to this fight.

But as one pundit noted today, the Iowa caucus mess, coupled with Donald John Trump’s assured acquittal by the U.S. Senate, has resulted in the Democrats’ worst week so far of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Dust yourselves off, Democrats. You’ve got some work to do.

Should Democratic candidates recuse themselves?

My quest for fairness compels me to wonder aloud: Given that this blog — published by me — has insisted that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unfit to sit as a “juror” in the trial of Donald John Trump, might there be a case to be made against the four Democratic senators who are running for president?

McConnell has said he won’t be an “impartial” juror, even though he took an oath to deliver impartial justice in the Senate impeachment trial of the current president of the United States.

What about the individuals who are running for their party’s nomination to oppose Trump in the November election? Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett have made up their minds on how they intend to vote when they get the order to cast their vote. They will vote to convict Trump. Period.

I can think of a few other Republicans as well who’ve said they have made up their minds, that they don’t need no witness testimony or evidentiary documents. Lindsey Graham? Ted Cruz? John Kennedy? Give me a break.

However, this pre-judging disease spreads across the aisle.

The four Democrats have staked out their views already. Sure, they insist on witnesses and documents. It remains to be seen whether they’ll get ’em. It’s beginning to look to me as though the fix is in. Republicans who comprise most of the 100 Senate seats aren’t likely to admit witnesses, even though they have plenty to offer.

The four contenders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, though, need to think long and hard whether they are any more qualified to serve with impartiality than the Senate majority leader who’s admitted he will do nothing of the sort.

Hey, fair is fair … right?

Where is the ‘impartiality’?

Oh, how I hate playing the “both sides are wrong” card. I feel I must do so in this instance.

Republican Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate’s majority leader, says he is not going to be an “impartial juror” when the Senate commences its trial over the articles impeachment filed against Donald J. Trump.

McConnell’s comments have drawn a rebuke from fellow Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she is “disturbed” by his approach to putting the president on trial.

Now comes the view of a senior Democratic senator, Dick Durbin, who criticizes his fellow Democrats for refusing to maintain their own impartiality.

Both sides are guilty? I suppose so.

All 100 senators are going to raise their right hands and take an oath to be impartial jurors when Chief Justice John Roberts administers the pledge. They will say “so help me, God” at the end of the oath, which gives the pledge an air of sanctimony.

Will they be loyal to that sacred oath? Have they made up their minds to convict or acquit Trump? Is there a truly impartial mind among the 100 senators who will sit in judgment of Donald Trump? Or have every one of them pre-determined the president’s guilt or innocence, determining whether he has committed impeachable offenses?

Those of us on the outside have the liberty to make these determinations prior to hearing evidence. We’re not elected public officials. Those folks have the power to remove the president, or to keep him in office. They must maintain their impartiality for as long as they are hearing the case being presented.

I worry now that the trial that’s about to commence — hopefully sooner rather than too much later — will be akin to a sideshow with senators on both sides of the great divide guilty of the same sin.

House members are not listening to each other

Congressional Democrats are yapping about their desire to impeach the current president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Congressional Republicans are yammering about their opposition to their colleagues on the other side of the House floor.

They all are talking past each other. No one is listening to a word those on the other side are saying. Their minds are made up. They are making brief speeches. I suppose they are looking for a moment to shine before Americans who might be watching on TV. I happen to one of them.

I am not being persuaded by congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are preaching to the proverbial choir.

The exercise we are witnessing on the floor of the House of Representatives is a waste of time. It’s time to vote. Impeach the president and send this matter down the hall to the Senate.

What about the other side?

My friends on the left — those who, as I do, support the impeachment of Donald Trump — will not like what I am about to say. They will accuse of me invoking that “both-siderism” mantra.

Fairness dictates that I say it. So, here goes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his Republican acolytes deserve the criticism they are receiving for their unwillingness to look at all the evidence before deciding to find Trump not guilty of the transgressions that the House of Representatives will send to them.

However, those on the other side — the individuals who have decided to convict the president — are guilty of being as close-minded as those across the aisle.

I have heard countless Democratic senators say the same thing that McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham and other GOP senators have said, which is that they have seen enough already to make up their minds.

All 100 senators are going to take an oath when the Senate trial commences. The oath will pledge them to look with impartiality and without bias at all the evidence they will hear when the House managers and Trump’s legal team present their cases.

I am willing to concede that I have seen and heard enough to make up my own mind. Then again, I am not among the 100 Senate “jurors” who will take that oath. I am free to state my own bias, my own view and offer my own conclusion.

U.S. senators don’t have that luxury. For them, be they Democrat or Republican, to declare their intention before hearing a single word of testimony in a Senate trial is, shall we say, a violation of the oath they will take.

The irony is that they will sit in judgment of a president who’s been accused of doing the very same thing.

Irony awaits impeachment conclusion

There’s a certain sense of irony associated with what is about to happen in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the U.S. Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed an impeachment inquiry for as long as she could, believing that impeaching Donald Trump would divide the nation more than it is already divided.

Then came that infamous phone call of this past July and the request from the president for Ukraine to help him with a personal political favor. Trump wanted to hold up some key military aid to Ukraine — which wanted it to fight the Russian-backed rebels — until Ukraine delivered on the favor; he wanted to find dirt on a potential political foe, former Vice President Joe Biden.

That did it! said Pelosi. We have to impeach the president. More to the point, she said we had to look into whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach him.

To my way of thinking — and to the thinking of millions of other Americans — the House found sufficient reason to impeach him. House members came up with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s as clear to me as the day is long.

Yet, the division remains. Democrats are virtually all in. Republican are virtually all opposed to what Democrats want to do.

So, the House will impeach Trump on two articles of impeachment. The Senate will conduct a trial. As near as anyone can tell, Democrats will have enough votes to send the matter to the Senate. Republicans, though, are in control of the upper chamber, so they’ll find Trump “not guilty.”

You see the irony? Pelosi’s fear of a divided nation is coming true — even in the face of what many of us consider to be overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump should be thrown out of office for putting his personal political fortunes ahead of the national interest.