Tag Archives: DNC

Trump might demand a GOP convention change of venue?

Donald John “Bully in Chief” Trump keeps looking for ways, it seems to me, to prove how incompetent, shallow and self-serving he can be.

Consider what he is threatening to do: He is now threatening to force a change of venue for the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. to move to another location at the last minute. His reason is a stunner.

He says North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper — who happens to be a Democrat — needs to declare its OK for GOP conventioneers to gather in the convention arena to cheer Donald Trump’s nomination for president.

Except that Gov. Cooper isn’t ready to make that declaration. He isn’t ready to say that the convention hall will be safe to stuff thousands of people under one roof while the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

I will stand with the governor on this one. No surprise there, right?

Still, Gov. Cooper is seeking to protect North Carolinians and those who are venturing to his state to take part in a presidential nominating convention.

What is troubling to me is that Trump would seek to coerce a governor who — along with his colleagues of both political parties — is trying to wrestle this killer virus into submission. Trump’s overarching concern is producing images of cheering convention attendees which, of course, he could use to boost his re-election chances.

Why not conduct a “virtual” convention, which is under serious consideration by the Democratic National Committee? The DNC is hoping to stage its convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., prior to the RNC’s event. However, as has become the norm in this fight against COVID-19, Democrats appear to err more on the side of health concern than their Republican colleagues … although I am certain GOP operatives are concerned about people’s health.

They’re just equally concerned about how to ensure Donald Trump’s re-election.

And the president is seeking to throw his weight around on an issue that well could put more Americans at risk.


DNC did not conspire to torpedo Bernie’s bid for POTUS

I do not believe in conspiracy theories.

Therefore, I do not believe the Democratic National Committee conspired to deny U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders the party’s presidential nomination for this year’s election.

What undercut Sanders’ bid to run against Donald John Trump was the quality of the ideas he was espousing. Sanders is an admirable man in many ways, but his far-left political platform was too far out of the mainstream for most Democratic primary voters to swallow.

That’s it, man! Medicare for all didn’t fly because it’s too expensive; nor did free college education; nor did his notion of vast wealth redistribution. Yes, he appealed to younger voters who became attracted to his tuition-free college education plan. They constitute a fraction of the total voting population.

Sanders had to surrender his bid for the party nomination because he lagged too far behind the guy who so far has gathered far more convention delegates, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I happen to be a firm believer in the value of the “marketplace of ideas.” Biden’s ideas, which tilt more toward the middle, are more to the liking of Democratic primary voters. He wants to enhance and expand the Affordable Care Act rather than providing Medicare for all Americans; Biden believes granting free college education to every student in the country is too expensive; and he won’t buy into the wealth redistribution notion that Sanders has sought for as long as he has served in the U.S. Senate.

Conspiracy? I don’t think so. The former vice president’s ideas play better to a broader audience that those of the “democratic socialist.”

Let’s cool it with the conspiracy nonsense. That means you, too, Donald Trump.

Now … what about Bernie’s political future?

It seems oddly petty to talk about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ next big political decision while Americans are fighting hammer and tong against the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened many thousands of us.

Still, I have to ask: Why doesn’t Sen. Sanders call it a campaign, step aside, cede the Democratic Party presidential nomination to Joseph R. Biden Jr., endorse the former vice president … and then make good on his pledge to do all he can to defeat Donald John Trump?

Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination. Biden has too many more convention delegates lined up than Sanders. It is impossible now for Sanders to catch up.

His campaign insists that Sanders is staying in, yet we hear of reports that the senator is “assessing” the status of his campaign. He can assess all he wants, but many of us already has issued our own assessment, which is that the fight is over.

Sanders fought hard. He has argued, with some justification, that he has won the argument over ideology. Biden has drifted a little to the left, but he’s nowhere near where Sanders is perched on the far-left end of the Democrats’ ideological ledge. That’s more than all right with me. I want a centrist to take on Donald Trump, not a candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and who would be smothered by a Trump slime machine.

I don’t know what Sanders hopes to accomplish by staying in the fight. I do know what he has said is his No.  goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. Where I come from, it looks like the better way to fulfill that mission is to bow out and line up alongside the candidate who can lead that fight.

Can the ‘Black Belt’ deliver for Biden in Alabama?

Take a look at this map. It is of Alabama. The blue counties depict those that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election; the counties in red show those that voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The red swath across the middle of Alabama is what is known as the “Black Belt.”

Check it out here.

I became aware of the Black Belt while visiting my dear friend and former colleague, the late Claude Duncan, in 1985. I had attended a conference in Atlanta and I stopped for a brief visit in Tuscaloosa, where Claude lived. We went to the race track one evening in Green County, the heart of the Black Belt, to bet on some greyhounds. We were among the very few white guys in the crowd.

Duncan told me how this part of Alabama is as reliably Democratic as many parts of Texas used to be before the Lone Star State converted from Democrat to Republican.

I thought of Claude the Saturday night as I watched Joe Biden pile up that big win in South Carolina, carried over the finish line after lapping the field on the backs of the African-American vote that rallied to the former vice president’s cause.

And then I thought of how Biden might fare in Alabama, which is one of 14 states voting Tuesday in the Democratic Party presidential primary, aka Super Tuesday.

There was a lot of talk about Biden’s “firewall” of African-American support in South Carolina. I am wondering now if the ex-VP can parlay that black voter support into a big payoff in Alabama and in other states with large numbers of African-American voters.

Greene County voted 82 percent for Hillary in 2016, even though only 4,880 ballots were cast. The Black Belt, though, contains many other more populous counties, such as Montgomery County, that also voted heavily for Clinton over Trump.

If Joe Biden can parlay a 60 percent black vote in South Carolina into something similar in Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas on Super Tuesday, he might be able to withstand the onslaught of delegates Bernie Sanders is slated to win in California and New England.

Early voting seems less relevant than ever this election year

I am delighted to be true to my belief in voting on Election Day, that I won’t cast my vote early out of fear that my candidates will do something foolish or drop out of the running.

The Texas Democratic Party primary is coming up next Tuesday. Texas is one of 15 states casting ballots. Collectively they will select about one-third of all delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Milwaukee.

My guy is still in the hunt. Except that he’s got to win bigly in South Carolina, which votes on Saturday. If you want to the truth, I wish we voted on Saturday, too, but that’s another topic for another time.

I am longing to cast my ballot for a centrist Democrat, someone who knows how to govern, someone with a public service record that demonstrates an ability and a willingness to work with politicians on the other side. Yeah, that would be Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Now, if he flames out Saturday in South Carolina, he is likely to bail sometime after the Super Tuesday balloting. His name will remain on our ballot. However tempted I might be to reconsider my own vote, I likely will continue to stand behind Joe Biden regardless of the South Carolina result.

Still, waiting until Election Day gives me a touch of flexibility in the event someone else emerges from the shrinking field of Democratic presidential contenders.

I know this with absolute certainty: I will never vote for Donald John Trump. I don’t believe we need a radical change in political direction from this clown. I do believe we need someone in the Oval Office who knows what he’s doing, someone who understands the limits of his office and someone who can restore the dignity that the office once commanded.

I am not one of the ‘many, many, many’

Hillary Rodham Clinton has let it be known that, according to her, “many, many, many people” want her to run for president of the United States of America.

OK, here we go.

I would vote for her again, more than likely, were she to win the Democratic Party nomination against Donald J. Trump.

However, I do not want her to run. I do not want her to muddy up the water. Nor do I want her to offer herself up as a sort of piñata that Trump could pummel were she to seek another nomination.

Hillary Clinton had her moment in the sun. She won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016 with high hopes of cruising to her election as president. She made some terrible errors along the way. She got torpedoed by the FBI director, James Comey, who decided at the last minute to reopen an investigation into the email matter. Trump squeaked past her at the end of the long, bitter and invective-filled campaign.

The Democratic field has been set for some time. It might get another candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Does it need Hillary Clinton 2.0? No.

Stay on the sidelines, Hillary. Speak out when you think it matters. Endorse the Democratic Party presidential ticket and then campaign for the two of them.

Do not listen to those “many, many, many” fans of yours.

Awaiting a wonderful experience at MAGA Rally

I intend fully to enjoy myself in a few days when I venture into Dallas to attend a Donald John Trump “MAGA Rally” at the American Airlines Center.

No, I won’t cheer the con man’s lies at the Oct. 17 rally. I won’t slap others on the back for being so devoted to this pathological liar. I won’t join in any idiotic chants to lock anyone up; indeed, the only person who needs to be locked up appears to be the president of the United States … but I digress.

My good time will center on enjoying what I believe is a unique political experience.

I intend to pass out business cards as I talk to folks at the rally. I want to ask them why they (a) support the president and (b) dismiss the concerns of much of the nation that he has compromised our nation’s security in exchange for his own political future.

The answers should be, um, edifying in the extreme.

I want to report them to you on this blog. I also intend to offer my own views on what I see, hear and sense inside the building.

I’ve attended concerts at the American Airlines Center. I know roughly how many people it seats. I will be casting my gaze about the place to look for empty seats. I also want to report the size of the crowd that gathers to hear the president’s assorted rants. I keep hearing about how Trump inflates these crowd sizes. I intend to see for myself who takes time to attend this event.

Look, I am a partisan. I admit it freely and without reservation. I won’t vote for Trump’s re-election when — or if — the chance presents itself in November 2020. I still believe Hillary Rodham Clinton would have been a superior president in any way you can imagine.

However, I am not an idiot. I know how to behave myself at these events. I had the honor of reporting and commenting on two Republican Party presidential nominating conventions: in 1988 in New Orleans and 1992 in Houston. I thought the copy I filed while working for the Beaumont Enterprise was reasoned, rational and coherent.

I attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., but that was as a civilian. I had obtained media credentials to cover it for the Amarillo Globe-News; however, I got reorganized out of my job there, turning me into a non-journalist the moment I resigned my post as editorial page editor. My wife and I went to Charlotte anyway and I attended the DNC as a spectator and someone who supported the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket.

So … a new opportunity and challenge awaits. Donald Trump no doubt will be, oh, shall we say, entertaining. I might laugh a time or two at the president. However, I will be laughing at him, not with him.

‘No one cares’? Yes, we do care

Ed Rendell is a fierce Democratic Party partisan and an acknowledged supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign for the presidency of the United States.

He also is mistaken when he says “no one cares” about the gaffes that keep flying out of the former VP’s mouth on occasion.

Rendell, the former Democratic national chairman/Pennsylvania governor/Philadelphia mayor, has written that the only folks who give a hoot about Biden’s misstatements are the media and politicians. Hmm. I believe he needs to rethink that.

Rendell has written a column about it for The Hill. See it here.

I will agree with this assertion, however: Biden’s gaffes are not nearly in the same league as Donald John Trump’s continuing full frontal assault on the truth.

Biden does have this annoying tendency of mangling his facts, as he did when he sought to tell the story of a warrior who he said was awarded a Silver Star for valor. Military officials and witnesses to what Biden said occurred contend he got some of the details wrong, that he conflated events into something no one recognized. Biden stands by what he said.

Is this the same as Trump making preposterous declarations that he uses to glorify himself and inflate his role any event imaginable? Not even close, man!

Ed Rendell’s allegiance to VP Biden is understandable in this regard: They both have Pennsylvania roots, as Biden was born in Scranton, but moved to nearby Delaware as a young man and served the neighboring state in the U.S. Senate for 36 years before being elected as vice president in 2008.

However, Americans do care about Biden’s misstatements. The ex-veep needs to sharpen up his message and avoid these kinds of mistakes, which I believe he is capable of doing.

As for Trump, well … he’s a lost cause.

Trump tempts political fate by ordering witnesses to stay silent

I just have to ask: Is Donald Trump committing an act of potential political suicide by refusing to allow witnesses from his administration to testify before congressional committees?

Another president, Richard Nixon, sought to play the same card in 1974. It cost him bigly. President Nixon told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino he would get nothing more from the administration regarding the Watergate matter.

Rodino wouldn’t accept that. He was able to force the president to turn over pertinent material related to the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972. The rest, as they say, is history. The Judiciary panel approved articles of impeachment and then the president resigned.

Forty-five years later, Donald Trump is seeking to play the same hand. He is telling the current House Judiciary chairman, Jerrold Nadler, that he will withhold information from that panel as it seeks to uncover the truth into allegations of obstruction of justice into the Russia matter that’s been in all the papers of late.

Nadler doesn’t strike me as being any more likely to cave in to this president’s demands than Rodino was in 1974 when Richard Nixon tried to bully him.

I among those Americans who does not favor impeaching Trump. I want the House and the Senate to do their work. Special counsel Robert Mueller appears headed to Capitol Hill eventually to talk to both legislative chambers.

I want Mueller to state on the record whether he believes Trump committed a crime, whether he obstructed justice. If he won’t say it, well, we need to accept what we won’t get. Then again, if he says that president did commit a crime of obstruction, but that Mueller just couldn’t commit to issuing a criminal complaint, well . . . then we have a ballgame.

Richard Nixon’s stonewalling ended badly for his presidency in 1974. Donald Trump’s reprise of that strategy well could doom his own presidency.

Trump keeps making media the ‘story’

I long have considered it a terrible journalistic sin for the media to become part of the story they are covering.

I worked in the media for nearly four decades and I managed over that span of time to steer clear of any discussion of an issue I was covering. Occasionally an organization that employed me would get entangled in the story; they would manage to wriggle themselves free.

The Age of Trump has produced an entirely different dynamic.

He labels the media the “enemy of the people.” His followers buy into it. They demonstrate in front of cable, broadcast and print reporters seeking only to do their job.

It’s getting weird to watch the news these days and hear all these references to cable networks involved so deeply in the covering of current events. For instance:

  • Fox News Channel has been banned from Democratic primary presidential debates because it has become a virtual arm of the Trump administration. Its commentators are known to be in constant communication with Donald Trump, reportedly offering policy advice to the president.
  • CNN, MSNBC are on the other end of the spectrum. Their commentators take great delight in chastising their colleagues at Fox. Meanwhile, Fox fires back at their competitors/colleagues. Oh, and the president hangs “fake news” labels on all media that report news that he finds disagreeable.

It all reminds of an athletic event where the attention turns to the referee. You want to concentrate on the athletes, not the individuals who discern whether they’re breaking the rules.

We’re concentrating increasingly on the media reporting of the issues at hand, and less so on the actual issues that are being discussed.

It’s a distressing trend that appears — to my way of thinking — to have no possible exit for the media.