Tag Archives: DNC

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.

POTUS to block ‘fake news’ outlets? No can do

Oh, please, Mr. President. You cannot do what you are threatening to do.

Just because the Democratic National Committee chairman, Tom Perez, has decided that Fox News is too much in bed with you and your administration and has ruled that Fox cannot host any Democratic primary debates this coming year, you cannot invoke the power of your high office to retaliate.

Really, Mr. President? The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressly forbids that kind of interference from the government in the affairs of a free press. Really. It’s in there, Mr. President.

Tom Perez’s gambit falls outside the constitutional prohibition of such activity, given that the Constitution doesn’t even mention political parties.

What you are threatening to do, sir, flies directly in the face of what the founders intended when they provided specific protections for a private enterprise known as the “free press.” It’s the only such protection written into the Constitution. You would do well to read it, grasp what it means and stop this idiotic tit-for-tat game you’re playing with the media.

But I get that it plays well with your base. They love the grandstanding, the posturing, the hyperbole. They think you’re “telling it like it is.”

Actually, Mr. President, you’re telling it like you believe it is. Since your true believers agree with you, that’s all that matters to you.

Settle down, sir. Just stop that idiotic relationship with Fox News. Stop calling Sean Hannity and asking him for policy advice. He doesn’t know enough about the real world to give you any counsel that’s worth a damn as it is.

DNC slams door in Fox News’s face

This story gives me a mild case of dyspepsia.

I’ll struggle through it and suggest, though, that the Democratic National Committee is rightfully angry with the Fox News Channel. Thus, the DNC has decided that Fox News will not play host to any of the party’s presidential joint appearances scheduled for this year and next.

The other major cable and broadcast networks will be allowed to present questions to the candidates during their debates. Fox, though, is out of the game.

The DNC is angry over Fox’s amazing relationship with the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Indeed, the president himself has cozied up to the network’s prime-time and early-morning stars by showering gratuitous praise on them while denigrating and disparaging the work done by the other so-called “fake news” outlets.

Trump has become a semi-regular guest on Sean Hannity’s talk show, allowing Hannity to slobber all over himself in praise of the president. To be honest, I find it shameful that Hannity has been allowed to grovel as he does at the president’s feet. He even took the microphone at a Trump campaign-style rally a while back, interjecting himself directly into a partisan event.

“Fox & Friends,” the network’s early-morning gabfest has been shameless in its fawning over Trump. The president reciprocates to his pals, most notably Steve Doocy, one of “F&F”‘s co-hosts.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez has declared that Fox has become a de facto arm of the Trump administration. Therefore, the DNC has determined that the network cannot be a fair and impartial participant in activities relating to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process.

According to The Hill: In a statement, Fox News senior vice president and Managing Editor Bill Sammon said the network hoped the DNC would reconsider, citing the network’s journalists Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, “all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.”

“They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters,” Sammon said in an emailed statement.
I’ll acknowledge that this decision troubles me. Fox does have some first-class journalists who do good work for the network. They are being undermined and undercut by their bosses and by their colleagues at Fox who pander shamelessly at the feet of the president.

My indigestion will go away over time. If only Fox would recognize the mistake it makes when it allows its on-air personalities to act as if they are on the government payroll.

There actually was a time when we were more divided

These 50-year commemorations keep sneaking up on me.

One of them, Aug. 29, 1968, occurred in Grant Park, Chicago, during that year’s Democratic National Presidential Nominating Convention.

Democrats nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey to run against Republican nominee Richard Nixon. Humphrey lost the election narrowly to Nixon.

HHH’s political fate likely was sealed in Grant Park, when Chicago police applied brute force to put down a riot being staged by hippies, Yippies and assorted other anti-Vietnam War protesters. It was an ugly night of violence.

I was about a week into my own duty in the Army. I would head to Vietnam the following spring. But, oh, I do remember that political year. My first political hero, Sen. Robert Kennedy, was gunned down in the Los Angeles hotel kitchen after winning the California Democratic presidential primary. RFK’s death came two months and a day after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot to death at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

I want to take particular note here to remind us that no matter how divided we are today, it could actually be worse. The Grant Park riot 50 years ago today tells me just how deep and wide the chasm can get.

I do fear that we might be headed in that direction five decades later. If we get there, then we’d all better prepare for the worst.

With a ‘friend’ like this, Hillary’s in trouble

You know already that I supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. So it is with more than a bit of chagrin that I am hearing some bad news about her failed bid for the White House.

The weirdest part of it is that it is coming from a fellow Democrat who I always presumed was on her side. Silly me. That’ll teach me for presuming too much.

Donna Brazile, a long time Democratic operative who served for a time as interim chairman of the Democratic Party, has come out with some stunning news about Clinton’s campaign.

One is that Clinton’s campaign “rigged” the party nominating process in her favor. It used underhanded tactics to torpedo the campaign of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Brazile alleges that Clinton didn’t consider Sanders to be a real Democrat; he represents Vermont as an independent in the U.S. Senate.

This rigging allegation, of course, adds fuel to the fire that continues to burn that Clinton is “crooked,” “ruthless” and will do whatever it takes to win, no matter who it harms.

I will concede that I do think less of Clinton than I did a year ago, or even a week ago.

What’s worse, though, is what the revelations from Brazile reveal about her, not Clinton.

We also have learned that Brazile has written that she contemplated replacing the Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine ticket with one led by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Think of the ham-handed nature of such a decision were it to come to pass. The Democratic Party had nominated a candidate nearly every political analyst in America believed was a lock for the presidency. Then she stumbles along the way. Her campaign went into a form of intellectual vapor lock. Brazile was so upset she was going to engineer an ouster of the party’s nominee?

I surely get that Clinton’s foes are going to seize on this as proof — as they see it — that she is Satan’s daughter. I won’t go there.

Yes, these are disturbing things to hear from an ostensible ally of the woman thought to be the next president of the United States.

Are they deal breakers? Do they make me rethink my support for her in 2016? Given the choice we faced nearly one year ago … not for a single second!

Earth to POTUS: You won!

Dear Mr. President …

There you go again, trying to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been blasted yet again by her fellow Democrats for supposedly “rigging” her party’s nomination fight. She’s been exposed by so-called “ally” Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic Party operative and former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman.

It’s a party matter, Mr. President. You’re a Republican (supposedly). So, why are you tweeting your brains about calling on the Justice Department to investigate the woman you keep disparaging with that nasty nickname?

The most ridiculous assertion you make is this:  “Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems. New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary,”

Everybody is asking, Mr. President? I hate to break the news to you, but “everybody” isn’t asking. I’m not. My wife isn’t, either. I’m pretty sure that most of the 65 million Americans who voted for Hillary aren’t asking, either. It might be, too, that many of the 62 million who voted for you aren’t all that concerned, either.

But, hey, you won the election. You’ve got a pretty full plate of things to consider. Why don’t you just get past the 2016 election and get on with the business of governing the nation?

As long as we’re talking politics, Mr. President, this isn’t your fight. It should be settled by Democrats.

So, with all due respect, sir … butt out!