Tag Archives: Electoral College

Hoping for this outcome

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been roaming this good Earth long enough to know that there ain’t no such thing as perfection in politics.

However, I also know when to search for preferred outcomes and to judge whether they reach a satisfactory level that could pass for virtual perfection.

The race for the U.S. presidency is heading into its stretch run. Here is what I hope happens when they count all the ballots.

Joe Biden should accrue far more than enough Electoral College votes to win election as the 46th president of the United States. He also should roll up a substantial actual vote margin of victory over Donald J. Trump.

What would constitute a suitable finish? Hmm. How about, say, 350 electoral votes for Biden, with the remaining 188 of the them going to Trump; it takes 270 electoral votes to win an election.

Trump managed to win the presidency by eking out a narrow Electoral College victory on the basis of 77,000 votes cast in three states that Barack Obama won twice before Hillary Clinton lost them in 2016. He has sought laughably to translate the 2016 squeaker into a “landslide” victory. It was nothing of the sort.

He now is threatening legal action if Biden collects more votes at the end of the ballot-counting process. I want the former vice president to have so many more ballots in his pile that there can be no doubt as to who won. Would that forestall a Trump legal challenge? Hoo boy! Hard to know.

I am not going to give up, though, on this notion: that Trump well could realize he cannot win a court challenge and that — despite his threats to the contrary — he accepts the results, makes the concession call to Joe Biden, stands before the nation and bids us adieu as he prepares to make his final exit from the Oval Office.

As I noted, there is no such thing as political perfection, but that outcome will seem like nirvana were it to occur.

Trump should alarm us all

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is no stretch at all to suggest that Donald Trump is setting up multiple alarm bells over his statements related to a “peaceful transition” from one administration to the next one if he loses the presidential election.

The election is 40 days out. Joe Biden continues to show considerable strength in most public opinion polling. He is strong in the states he needs to win the Electoral College and, thus, be elected president.

That isn’t derailing Trump’s dangerous talk about refusing to commit to a peaceful transition, or his efforts to suppress voter turnout, or his call to “throw out ballots” that he says would guarantee he would stay in office.

Indeed, this dangerous rhetoric has prompted the U.S. Senate to pass a resolution proclaiming its strong intention to ensure that a transition, were it to occur, would be done in a manner befitting our great republic: peacefully and without tumult.

Trump’s danger to the republic is on full display as the campaign heads toward the stretch run. He intends to cheat his way to a second term.

Look at what he’s done already: He has sought help from Ukraine in digging up dirt on Biden; he has continued to dismiss assertions from the FBI and other intelligence experts that Russia is interfering in our election as it did in 2016; he asserts without proof that mail-in voting is fraught with corruption that it breeds “rampant voter fraud”; he has said publicly that a Biden victory would mean the election is “rigged.”

When have we ever heard a president say these things? Hmm. How about, oh, never!

Donald Trump is a menace to the Constitution he took an oath to defend and protect. He is a danger to the very electoral system of which he took advantage to win the presidency four years ago. Trump is a danger to our system of government.

This man needs to lose this election, He needs to lose big. Trump needs to pack his bags and exit the White House.

Texas GOP to Trump: You can’t do that

Donald J. “Ignoramus in Chief” Trump has demanded a delay in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Just one problem with that order. Donald Trump doesn’t have the authority to issue it. He cannot delay the election. The U.S. Constitution grants that authority to a second co-equal branch of government, Congress.

And to be sure, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — a Democrat and a Republican, respectively — aren’t having it.

It’s one of those matters of governance that a president ought to know. Except that Donald Trump has no knowledge, understanding or interest in government, its limitations and its authority. So he issues a hollow, feckless demand.

What is remarkable, too, is that Texas Republicans have joined other politicians around the nation in telling Trump that he can’t do it, that he has no authority under the law. So, the Texas GOP is telling Trump: Knock it off!

Why the delay? It seems that Trump has this paranoid fear of losing his effort at re-election, so he wants to delay the balloting to, um, guard against a phony voter fraud scare he has cooked up.

Trump is doing all he can to muddy up the electoral system. He wants to suppress the vote, which is code for “suppress the African-American vote.” 

He keeps yapping about the phony inherent corruption with mail-in voting. It doesn’t exist any more than it exists in the current system of voting done in all but about six states. Trump is seeking to foment unfounded fear in mail-in balloting.

Trump is stoking electoral fear. He is the one who appears to be afraid of what might await him at the end of the balloting.

It is that Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden will receive more votes than Trump, that he will win election through a substantial Electoral College victory and that Trump will give up an office of which he has zero understanding.

Hideous POTUS, but legitimate nonetheless

.

I want to clear the air a bit on Donald John Trump’s tenure as president of the United States.

No one wants to see him run out of office more than I do. I am using this blog to the best of my ability to declare his unfitness for the office he won in the biggest political fluke in American history.

However, I disagree with those who contend he is an “illegitimate” president. I have many social media friends who contend he was elected illegally. That the Russians’ electoral chicanery in 2016 resulted directly in his election, that the undermined Hillary Clinton’s candidacy sufficiently to guarantee Trump’s Electoral College victory.

I just cannot buy that notion.

I haven’t seen evidence that suggests that the Russians effort to undermine Clinton’s candidacy was decisive. It might have contributed to the defeat, but so did a number of huge tactical errors down the stretch by the Clinton team contribute to Trump’s shocking victory. Clinton ignored key battleground states in the Great Lakes region that Trump managed to peel away. There also was that horrendous announcement from FBI Director James Comey that he was taking a fresh look at the email matter that had dogged Clinton for months and months.

Sure, Trump received nearly 3 million fewer votes than Clinton. He won the Electoral College, though, which is where the Constitution prescribes the way we elect presidents. It was all done legally. The guy is legit.

I say all this while gritting my teeth so hard that they are hurting. The 2016 election produced precisely the wrong outcome. The wrong candidate got elected. However, the Constitution worked in this case, just as it did in 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency after facing certain impeachment and conviction on high crimes and misdemeanors and just as it did in 2000 when the Supreme Court awarded George W. Bush the presidency by disallowing the recount of ballots in Florida.

It worked in 2016 even as Donald Trump stumbled onto the nation’s highest office and is threatening to destroy the world’s greatest nation.

It will work one more time — I hope — when Americans vote this clown out of office.

Please, please … no repeat of 2016!

All these public opinion polls showing Joe Biden trouncing Donald Trump in the November election for president of the United States are beginning to tempt me beyond my strength.

I have to keep reminding myself: The polling said Hillary Clinton would cruise to victory over Trump in 2016; she didn’t cruise to the victory circle, but ended up making the concession phone call to the celebrity TV host/real estate developer/beauty pageant operator/rich kid who got the stake from Daddy. He was the guy who won!

I look back on that fiasco and I keep having to remind myself about this, too: If Joe Biden repeats the mistakes that Clinton made in ’16, then Trump is going to thumb his nose at the country once more … and we get this Bozo for another four years!

It is my fondest political hope at this moment that Biden’s team is smarter than Hillary’s team. That it knows to put the candidate front and center in “battleground states” that Clinton ignored as the candidates headed down the home stretch four years ago. I recall watching the returns in 2016 when Trump was declared the winner in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Bill Clinton’s election guru, James Carville, telling the nation that he didn’t like what he was seeing. Neither did many others, James.

The RealClearPolitics average of the reputable polls puts Biden up by 10 points. He’s been inching up and away from Trump ever since the president blew the pandemic response to smithereens and then threatened peaceful protesters with “thousands and thousands of heavily armed troops” as they marched against police brutality. I need to mention here that the RCP poll average called Hillary Clinton’s margin over Trump accurately in 2016; it just didn’t figure the Electoral College trickery – albeit all legal and constitutional – that Trump pulled off to win the election.

Oh, how I hope we don’t see a repeat of that fiasco, disaster, fluke .. and profound mistake that the nation made when it cast its electoral votes for someone who is unfit for the only public service office he ever sought.

‘130 million to zero’? If only …

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Facebook friend — a gentleman I don’t know well, but likely will get to know better — put out a message that I found refreshing.

He wonders why the next presidential election won’t produce a vote result of “130 million to zero.” That would be with Joe Biden getting every ballot cast this coming November, with Donald Trump getting none of them. My friend estimates a nationwide turnout of 130 million votes being cast.

Man, that is a serious pipe dream, but as I survey the wreckage that Donald Trump has brought to the presidency, it does astound me that there could be any Trumpkin who voted for the carnival barker/con man in 2016 would stay with him this time around.

Of course they will. No one believes Joe Biden can pitch a shutout, although many of us — even those of us who live in Trump Country — certainly wish he could.

I keep seeing the polls that tell us Biden is leading Trump. Fox News has just published a survey that gives Biden a 12-percentage point lead over Trump. That lead likely won’t hold up, because the “smart money” suggests a close contest is on the horizon.

What does boggle my noodle, though, is how Trump continues to maintain the level of support he does. It stands at about 42 percent, give or take a point or two. How in the name of political incompetence can this guy continue to hold onto that support?

I wonder about all this recognizing fully — and acknowledge with all the candor I can muster — that I was terribly wrong about the outcome of the 2016 election. I was among those who believed Hillary Clinton would win. I wrote on this blog that I thought she’d win big.

What I must point out, though, is that public opinion polling that put Clinton up by 3 percent over Trump turned out to be correct. Trump, though, pulled what they call an “inside straight” by pilfering enough Electoral College votes to win the election. Therein lies the greatest threat to Joe Biden’s bid to oust the incompetent nincompoop who continues to demonstrate every single day that he presents an existential threat to the nation he governs.

130 million to zero? I wish.

Stars are aligning for a Trump election defeat, however …

As I look ahead to the upcoming presidential election, I am tempted to fill myself with hope that we well might change presidents when all the ballots are counted.

Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. He has to win a few more primary elections to corral enough convention delegates to win the nomination when the party convenes its convention, be it a virtual event or one with actual delegates meeting in Milwaukee.

Biden has garnered the endorsements of virtually all his former rivals in what once was a huge and diverse field of contenders. He also has scored the endorsement of the most popular Democrat in America, former President Barack Obama.

The economy has collapsed. Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been pathetic, feckless, confused, chaotic. He once downplayed the threat and then has been caught flat-footed as it has killed more than 20,000 Americans; the number is going up.

However, let’s remember that the stars aligned in 2016 for a Trump defeat. Then he won. He captured enough Electoral College votes to defeat a supremely more qualified candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Trump defeat shocked virtually every political observer on Earth.

That result gives me pause to suggest that former Vice President Biden is a shoo-in to defeat the former reality TV celebrity/carnival barker/con man/charlatan/conspiracy theorist/habitual liar.

My sincere hope is that Biden’s campaign brain trust learns from the fluke that produced a Trump election in 2016, studies how this travesty occurred and attacks with full force the record that Donald Trump has produced.

Trump’s team already knows what it has to do to win re-election. It has to retain its base and energize it. They’ll turn Trump loose and allow him to rail and rant in that incoherent fashion that seems to play well in front of those campaign rallies.

At this moment, the stars are lining up to defeat this fraudulent president. Oh, how I hope they remain aligned … and how I hope that Joe Biden can deliver on his pledge to “restore the nation’s soul.”

Time to ‘re-defeat’ Donald Trump?

A late friend of mine in Amarillo, William H. “Buddy” Seewald, once told me during the 2004 presidential election season that he was working to “re-defeat” President George W. Bush.

Seewald was appalled at the manner in which Bush was elected in 2000, losing the actual vote by roughly 500,000 ballots but winning the presidency in the Electoral College by a vote of 271-266; and that vote came after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to stop recounting the ballots cast in Florida, giving Bush a 537-vote margin out of more than 5 million ballots cast in that state.

Well, Bush won the 2004 election by a relatively comfortable margin.

Now comes the 2020 election and there well might be a revival of the “re-defeat” mantra, this time against Donald John Trump, the current president.

You see, Trump actually lost the vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who collected just short of 3 million more ballots than did the guy who “won” the election. Trump won the Electoral College by a 306-232 count; when the electors cast their ballots in December 2016, the final tally ended up at 304-227, with some electors voting for other candidates rather than the two major-party contestants.

What has gotten lost in all the hubbub surrounding that election is that Clinton actually finished where almost all the public opinion polls said she would. She finished with 48.02 percent of the vote, compared to Trump, who collected 45.93 percent.

All the pre-election polling pegged Clinton ahead by about the margin where she finished ahead of Trump. The difference came when Trump narrowly picked off those three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that Barack Obama had won in 2008 and2012; those stated provide Trump with the Electoral College majority he needed to win the election.

I don’t dispute that Trump was elected according to the U.S. Constitution. Nor do I dispute the notion to which I subscribe that he needs to be “re-defeated” in 2020.

Wherever he is, I am certain my friend Buddy Seewald would agree.

Rethinking how to refer to POTUS

I am giving thought to changing the manner in which I should refer to the president of the United States.

For many years prior to entering politics, Donald John Trump was known simply as The Donald. He cultivated that moniker. He thought it was cool, I reckon.

I cannot for the ever-lovin’ life of me attach the word “President” in front of his last name. Yes, he was elected under the rules of the U.S. Constitution. I do not dispute the Electoral College victory he scored over Hillary Rodham Clinton, despite his losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots.

It’s been his conduct as president that makes me shudder. It has been the hideous extemporaneous riffs into which he launches when he stands before his adoring fans. I happened to attend a Donald Trump rally in downtown Dallas this past summer. It was at the same time both fascinating and disgusting. I met some truly nice people wearing MAGA hats and t-shirts bearing “Trump 2020” lettering.

I sat through the rally for as long as I could inside the American Airlines Center. Then I left. I drove home. I can now say I attended a Donald Trump rally

However, he hasn’t earned the title of “President” before his name … at least on this blog.

I might revert to referring to him as The Donald. Hey, it worked for him when he was making all that money and living with that glitzy glam, while he was walking into beauty pageant contestants’ dressing rooms and while he was boasting how he could grab women by their pu*** because his celebrity status enabled him to act like a total boor.

Has this guy elevated his public profile while serving as president of the United States? Has he risen to the standards his high office demands? Hardly. He’s just The Donald.

Are we heading for a repeat of the great electoral fluke of 2016?

It pains me to the depths of my gut to acknowledge this, but my fear is growing that Americans are going to get Donald John Trump for another four years as president of the United States.

Yes, it looks to me at this moment that the Democratic Party is quite capable of squandering a golden opportunity to restore the presidency, to return it to a level of respectability and reverence that has been dismantled during the Trump Era.

That once-monstrous field of contenders has been culled to a more reasonable size. Who, though, is left standing? Who are the top contenders?

A zillionaire. A couple of “progressives,” including a “democratic socialist.” A former vice president who cannot stop tripping over his own tongue. A one-time mayor of a smallish Midwest city. A sitting U.S. senator who is trying to appeal to the center-left of her party. Another zillionaire who rose to prominence by funding an effort to impeach Donald Trump.

Joe Biden once was thought to be the unstoppable Democrat. At this moment his campaign is imploding. His so-called “firewall” in South Carolina is showing severe fracturing as African-American voters are now looking for an alternative to Barack Obama’s wing man.

Nominating a far-left socialist is the death knell for sure, in my view.

What is most maddening is that Donald Trump has spoon-fed the opposition all kinds of electoral grist to use against him. The House of Representatives impeached him; the Senate acquitted him, but the impeachment still stands.

Trump has angered millions of Americans with his hideous pronouncements, his foul mouth, his trashing of allies, his incoherent campaign-rally riffs, his pandering to religious groups with whom he has no actual alliance, his disparaging of the nation’s top military minds, his standing with hostile strongmen, his denigration of our intelligence analysts.

Oh, and then there’s the lying. It’s incessant. He cannot tell the truth about anything at any level. He gets caught lying and his political base blows it off.

On and on it goes.

Still, this most astonishing politician — the president — very well might win re-election because he is somehow, amazingly able to claim credit for an economic recovery that he inherited from his immediate predecessor.

This clown never should have gotten elected in the first place. He squeaked in by the narrowest of margins, losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots but winning just enough Electoral College votes to win the election. I do not dismiss that he won according to the rules spelled out by the U.S. Constitution, a document of which he has zero understanding.

The 2016 election stands in my mind as the greatest political fluke in U.S. history. If he wins again in November, then we will have committed the next greatest fluke in history.