Tag Archives: Elizabeth Warren

NY Times double endorsement: a head-scratcher

The fuddy-duddy in me is making me scratch my noggin over the New York Times’s decision to split its endorsement in the Democratic Party presidential primary, offering its nod to two of the challengers remaining in the still-large field.

The Times, admitting it was “breaking with convention,” went with U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the party’s nomination. Warren is a champion of the party’s liberal/progressive wing, while Klobuchar bears the standard for the party’s more moderate wing. Therefore, the Times figured, why choose just one of ’em? They went with both.

Here’s where this endorsement strategy breaks down for me. Only one of them can emerge as the party nominee this summer. One candidate will get the nomination and will face Donald John Trump, the current president who is seeking re-election.

I am going to presume — and this is no giant leap into the unknown — that the Times likely will endorse whoever is running against Trump. Why won’t the Times take the leap that Democratic voters all across the land in primary states are going to take? They can’t choose two candidates. Voters’ choice is limited to just one.

A few years before resigning from my final job as a daily print journalist I enacted a policy that did away with endorsing in party primaries when there was a contest in the other party. The Amarillo Globe-News decided to make endorsements only in those primary races where there was no candidate waiting for the nominee in the fall. In the Texas Panhandle, that almost always meant that Republicans would have contested primaries while Democratic primaries had no candidates on the ballot.

My thought then was that primary contests generally are the work of political parties. A one-party primary, though, was tantamount to election. Thus, we would weigh in on a primary.

In all the years I interviewed political candidates and wrote editorials offering a newspaper recommendation on who voters ought to choose, I never wrote a two-fer.  My thought always has been that if we’re going to ask voters to make a choice, then the newspaper ought to show the same level of courage … and make a single choice.

Here is the Times editorial: You make the call.

I won’t argue the merits of the candidates’ points of view. I merely question a great newspaper’s decision to hedge on a critically important decision.

ICE can be mended

Joe Biden is having trouble finding his footing lately as he campaigns for president, but I want to fully endorse an idea he has put forth about the nation’s immigration enforcement policy.

The former vice president says it is wrong to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It can be repaired. Indeed, the best remedy, according to Biden, is to elect a new president in 2020.

I have been troubled, along with progressives, by the ham-handed approach ICE has used to detain immigrants who have entered the United States illegally. However, the principle behind ICE’s formation remains sound. Yes, we need better enforcement along our borders — both north and south, I hasten to add — as well as along our expansive Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts. ICE’s mission is to enact enforcement policies that seek to stem illegal immigration into the country.

ICE critics have taken the argument against the agency’s policy too far, though, by calling for its abolition.

Democratic presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, say the human rights abuses are a direct result of ICE policy. She’s only half-right. The direct responsibility for that policy flows from the White House, where Donald Trump is currently residing.

I agree with Joe Biden: The best cure for what ails ICE is to replace the president with someone with a semblance of empathy and compassion for those who are seeking to enter this country while fleeing oppression and crime in other nations.

There is no compelling need to abolish ICE. The agency simply needs to be repaired. Let’s start with removing the guy at the top of the chain of command.

Far from persuaded that Medicare for All is worthy, practical

I will need some additional persuasion, perhaps a lot of it, to be sold on the idea of Medicare for All, the pet project of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the newly anointed “front runner” for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

She now says it’ll cost “trillions of dollars” over the next decade, but she won’t raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for it.

I must stipulate that I am an elderly American. I am nearly 70 years of age. I am enrolled in Medicare, but also am enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care program. My VA membership trumps Medicare, given that if I need acute medical care, I am going to rely on the VA to take care of my needs.

So this Medicare for All notion is out of my wheelhouse. Or my wife’s wheelhouse. My sons, though, would be eligible for this program that Sen. Warren is pitching, along with our 6-year-old granddaughter.

I don’t want them to go broke looking for medical care or trying to find insurance that would pay for it.

I am just trying to wrap my noggin around how our federal government — which already is gazillions of dollars in debt — would be able to foot the bill on a government-financed medical plan that by definition would cover “all” Americans.

Warren says, if she’s elected president, she wouldn’t push for a middle-class tax on all Americans to pay for this package?

I need to figure this one out.

Impeachment is all about politics

Elizabeth Warren actually has said with a straight face and in an earnest-sounding voice that impeaching Donald J. Trump is not about politics, but is about “the Constitution.”

Baloney!

It’s all about politics and for Sen. Warren of Massachusetts, one of 23 Democrats running for president in 2020 to say otherwise is, shall we say, empty rhetoric.

That is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is correct in digging in on the issue of impeaching Trump.

At least until the House and Senate finish their tedious work in determining whether to proceed.

Impeaching a president is all about removing that individual from office. The House would draft articles of impeachment; its Judiciary Committee would recommend whether to impeach; if it votes “yes,” then the full House votes on whether to file the complaint.

If the House votes to impeach, then the Senate puts the president on trial. Here is where the bar gets high; senators need a two-thirds vote to convict. Senate Republicans occupy 52 seats in the 100-member body. Is there a realistic chance that a dozen or so GOP senators are going to vote to kick Donald Trump out of office?

That is the calculation that keeps Pelosi from pulling the impeachment trigger in the House.

Thus, it’s all about politics. Sen. Warren.

To be sure, I happen to agree that Trump has committed a crime. I believe he has obstructed justice. I also believe former special counsel Robert Mueller was hamstrung by Justice Department policy prohibiting an indictment of a sitting president.

Republicans continue to stand with a president who has committed the very “crime” that drove GOP lawmakers to stampede toward impeaching a Democratic president two decades ago.

Pelosi knows the steep hill she faces if the House were to proceed with an impeachment.

So, let’s quit the high-minded rhetoric about the Constitution. Impeaching a president is the epitome of political action. If the House is going to impeach the fraud masquerading as the president of the United States, it had better do it right.

Or else … the pols don’t want to consider what will happen if they get it wrong.

Still miffed that Sen. Warren has stiffed Fox News

I’m still peeved at Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts U.S. senator and Democratic Party primary candidate for president of the United States.

She got an invitation to appear on a Fox News Channel town hall event. Fox News, which is not normally friendly to progressive such as Sen. Warren, was offering her a forum, a platform from which she could offer Fox News viewers the reasons why they should endorse her for president.

She turned Fox down! She said Fox uses its outreach to preach “hate” and she would have none of it.

Sen. Warren has made a big mistake. I believe she should have accepted Fox News’s invitation. She should have shown up. She should have taken questions from the audience and from the commentators who would moderate the event.

But she chose to stiff the network.

I agree with her about Fox News, that it is a “hate for profit” organization. Still, she should make her case even in front of a media outlet she opposes.

I believe that would be more of an American course than the one Sen. Warren has taken.

Sen. Warren errs in turning down Fox News town hall invitation

Let me try to sort this out.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has turned down an invitation to participate in a presidential campaign town hall session sponsored by the Fox News Channel. She contends that Fox — Donald Trump’s favorite cable network — peddles in hate, bigotry and falsehoods. She won’t take part because Fox operates a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

So, the Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination, is turning down the chance to grab a “megaphone” and challenge the network? Is that what she is doing here?

That is a bad call, Sen. Warren. It is self-defeating. It’s also an act of political cowardice.

I happen to agree with her about the manner in which Fox presents its view of “news.” I rarely watch the network. I cannot stomach the opinions expressed by its cadre of right-wingers.

However, I am not a candidate for president of the United States. Sen. Warren, a Massachusetts lawmaker, is among the 20-plus Democrats seeking their party’s 2020 nomination.

“It’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class,” she wrote in explaining her decision to stay away from the Fox town hall.

Good grief, senator! Stand up and speak your piece. Tell the public why it should reject the Fox world view. Tell us why the president is unfit for the office he holds.

What’s more, she ought to face the tough questions that would come from a Fox-sponsored town hall audience were she to stand before it.

That’s what presidential candidates — let alone presidents of the United States — should do.

Has Beto waited too long?

Beto O’Rourke’s legion of followers might be witnessing a total eclipse of a political star.

The one-time West Texas congressman who came tantalizingly close to defeating Ted Cruz in the race for the U.S. Senate is now watching on the sidelines as three former congressional colleagues scarf up all the headlines while running for president.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have become the flavors of the moment. As Politico reports, those on the sidelines are waiting for one or more of them to mess up. Beto might be one of them waiting with bated breath.

I am not yet convinced that Beto O’Rourke is presidential material. He’s a young man. He waged an unconventional, no-consultant, no-polling campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas. He damn near won against a Republican incumbent!

He has nowhere to go but . . . down? Not really.

However, politics is often like baseball, meaning that “timing is everything.” Given the pace of politics in this Internet/social media/ digital age it appears possible that Beto O’Rourke’s window might be closing. He’s not alone, of course. A crowd of other Democrats are being caught flat-footed by the excitement generated already as the 2020 campaign starts to ignite.

Kamala Harris’s announcement was a spectacular event. Elizabeth Warren is seeking to shed the baggage she piled on herself with that DNA test to prove her native American heritage. Cory Booker is seen by some as “too establishment” to suit the base of the Democratic Party.

Does that make Sen. Harris the early frontrunner? Oh, it’s possible, I suppose.

As for Beto O’Rourke, I am thinking he’d better decide quickly whether he’s in . . . or out.

Hey, there’s always 2024!

‘Fair and balanced’? Sure thing

They call themselves the “Fox ‘News’ Channel.” It’s a conservative-leaning cable network that has purported to present the “news” in a “fair and balanced” manner.

Well, check out the caption under the TV image that flashed on the Fox “News” Channel. It parrots the epithet that Donald J. Trump has used to disparage U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has just announced the formation of an exploratory committee to help her decide to run for president in 2020.

The “Pocahontas” label, of course, is Trump’s way of ridiculing Warren’s contention that she has some Native American blood in her background. The president has decided Warren’s claim is without merit, so he has hung that label on her.

Fox has glommed onto it as well.

Is that how one might define a mainstream “news” network’s “fair and balanced” coverage of a still-developing presidential campaign?

Imagine what political conservatives might think — and say — if CNN or MSNBC broadcast an image of Donald Trump with the caption that read “Cadet Bone Spur,” or “Liar in Chief,” or, well . . . you get the idea.

The Fox “News” Channel simply demonstrates yet again that it is neither “fair” or “balanced.” It serves instead as a de facto presidential mouthpiece.

Disgraceful.

Sen. Warren joins the fight to unseat Trump

I’m still waiting for the “perfect” or “nearly perfect” candidate to emerge from the Democratic Party crowd to challenge Donald J. Trump for president of the United States.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t fit the bill.

Warren announced her plan to form an exploratory committee as a precursor to her announcement of running for POTUS.

Is she a fresh face? Is she someone everyone can trust? Is she authentic? Is she going to bring an outlook that few observers have ever seen or heard?

Warren hardly brings a fresh look to the 2020 campaign. We’ve been seeing and hearing her ever since she joined the U.S. Senate.

Her trustworthiness already has become fodder for those who detest her. I’m not one of those, but I do recognize a wounded politician when I see one.

Her authenticity also is under review, given that ridiculous controversy over whether she has Native American blood coursing through her veins. Trump uses that as a punchline at his rallies. Her decision to roll out her DNA test was a public relations SNAFU.

Her outlook mirrors the Washington climate to which she’s been exposed. She and fellow Sen. Bernie Sanders sing off the same hymnal page: They keep harping about income inequality. I want to hear her foreign policy message.

A Politico story says Warren must battle the ghost of Hillary and persuade those who disliked the 2016 Democratic nominee to fall in love with her.

This must be said as well: Would I vote for her if she wins the Democratic Party nomination and runs against Trump in the fall of 2020? More than likely, yes. Democrats can consider someone much stronger than Elizabeth Warren to challenge Trump . . . assuming The Donald is the GOP nominee, which isn’t a sure thing.

My version of political (near) perfection has yet to present himself or herself to me and the rest of Americans.

Call it a day, Sen. Sanders

I am going to admit that I ain’t feelin’ the Bern.

There’s chatter churning out there that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who aligns with the Democrats, is considering another presidential run in 2020.

Please! No! Not again!

Sanders sang a one-note aria while running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016: It centered on income inequality and how the “1 percent is holding the vast majority of wealth” in this country.

I supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy over Bernie Sanders, mainly because I felt uncomfortable with Sanders’s lack of stated understanding of the whole range of foreign and domestic issues that any president confronts.

Now he’s considering another run at it. A Politico story tells how he is setting up a showdown with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who’s also considering a presidential run in two years.

I’m not yet sure who should get the party’s nomination to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, assuming he runs for re-election.

Sen. Sanders is nowhere to be found on my list of preferred candidates. It has nothing to do with his acknowledgment of being what he calls a “democratic socialist.” I do agree in part with his view that too few people in this country control too much wealth. I do not believe his notion of providing a free public college/university education for all Americans is even possible, let alone reasonable.

He’s had his run. He came up short in 2016. I still believe the Democratic Party’s best chance at winning the White House rests with someone fresh and new.

Sen. Sanders is neither of those things.

Don’t do it, Bernie.