Tag Archives: Frank Bruni

McCain is the anti-Trump in every possible way

I hereby endorse the thoughts expressed in a wonderful New York Times essay by columnist Frank Bruni.

They are simple and right to the point: U.S. Sen. John McCain is virtually everything that Donald J. Trump is not.

McCain is a man of honor who has sacrificed for his country in ways the rest of us only can imagine; Trump has thought only of himself.

McCain is quick to embrace his former foes; Trump holds grudges.

McCain doesn’t dwell on the immense pain and suffering he endured while being held captive during the Vietnam War; Trump demands pity for any slight, real or imagined.

Bruni’s essay is written as a tribute to a man, Sen. McCain, who is fighting for his life. Tragically, it appears to be a fight he won’t win ultimately.

I want to share the essay here. It’s worth your time.

Bruni honors McCain.

I share Bruni’s view that even though one can disagree with Sen. McCain’s politics, one can admire him greatly for the character he has shown in his public life and for the courage he is demonstrating as he wages this valiant fight.

As Bruni writes about Sen. McCain: “I don’t remember another time in my life when so many Americans considered someone’s partisan affiliation a test of whether that person was entitled to their respect,” he writes, ruefully, adding that while (Joe) Biden, Ted Kennedy and other Democratic friends of his never voted for the same candidate for president as he did, his friendships with them “made my life richer, and made me a better senator and a better person.”

Such grace is unimaginable from Trump. That’s why it’s so vital that McCain is using his waning time to model it.

These six months have dragged on and on … and on

I have to agree with Frank Bruni, the esteemed New York Times columnist.

Bruni posits that the first six months of Donald J. Trump’s time as president have seemed like the longest six months of his life.

Mine, too.

Here is Bruni’s Times column.

Bruni seems to suggest that it’s the lying that has done him in just six months into Donald Trump’s time as president. As Bruni writes: “I was just 9 when Richard Nixon resigned and a teenager during the Jimmy Carter years. I began paying close attention only with Ronald Reagan. He and every one of his successors bent the truth, to varying degrees. He and every successor had a vanity that sometimes ran contrary to the public good. But none came close to Trump in those regards.”

It won’t change. Bruni knows — as many of us do — that 71-year-old men don’t change their ways just because they assume a new job in an arena with which they have zero familiarity.

Trump appears set now, six months in, to govern precisely the way he ran for the office of president. It will be chaotic, disorganized, confusing.

And it will seemingly last many lifetimes longer than its actual length … however long it will be.

Back and forth, the political fortunes keep changing

First, it was Democrats who were smiling smugly at Republicans for nominating a TV celebrity/carnival barker/real estate mogul as their presidential nominee.

Then the Republicans had the next laugh as Donald J. Trump actually got elected over the Democrats’ presidential heiress apparent, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One party is up. The other is down. Then the roles flipped.

What in the world then happened? The “up” party — which now controls Congress and the White House — produced a health care overhaul plan that couldn’t get enough support within its own ranks, let alone from the folks on the “other side of the aisle.”

That’s right, Republicans drove their repeal of the Affordable Care Act straight over the cliff.

Who led the suicide mission? Was it the carnival barker/president? Was it the speaker of the House of Representatives, the so-called “policy wonk”? Both of them appear ready to throw the other one under the proverbial bus.

This much appears certain: The party that sought to govern has been revealed to comprise a bunch of folks who cannot hit their backside with both hands.

As Frank Bruni writes in today’s New York Times: “For the entirety of his campaign, Donald Trump crowed about his peerless ability to make deals, one of which, he assured us, was going to be a replacement for Obamacare that would cut costs without leaving any Americans in the lurch. Last week proved that there was no such swap, that he hadn’t done an iota of work to devise one and that he was spectacularly unprepared to shepherd such legislation through Congress.”

Bruni skewers Trump.

These change of fortunes are giving me a case of vertigo. I can barely remain upright while watching the new Big Men On Campus make a mess of what they promised — repeatedly and with maximum boastfulness — to do once they acquired the keys to the White House.

I won’t take much, if any, of this to the bank just yet. The fickle winds of political fate have this way of changing course in an instant.

Still, Republicans across the land drooled at the prospect of a Trump presidency to go along with GOP control of Capitol Hill. I must wonder today if they regret seeing their wish come true.

Media need an intervention for poll addiction


Frank Bruni has it right.

The New York Times columnist has declared that the American media are addicted to polls. They can’t report on them enough. The issues driving the Democratic and Republican presidential primary campaigns? Who needs ’em!

We need to write about polls.

Broadcast outlets lead with them. Print media report on them constantly.

Bruni noted that during the Christmas-to-New Year break, Iowa voters were polled 11 times about their presidential preferences. The media reported on those polls dutifully.

The most hilarious element of all this is how media types keep bemoaning the fact that the media cover these campaigns like “horse races.”

I’ll admit that I am one of those who become fixated occasionally by polls.

Some of them are quite ridiculous, actually. National polls showing voter preferences between party primary candidates present one example. I’ve noted in this blog before how meaningless those polls are, given that the candidates — say, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — won’t face each other nationally; they are running state by state.

But hey, let’s poll voters nationally anyway.

Perhaps we can lay some of the blame for this fixation on Donald J. Trump, the leading GOP candidate for president. He loves polls. They’re huuuuge, as he says often . . . especially when they place him in the lead. Polls that place him behind someone else? Meaningless. They don’t count. Who cares about ’em?

Bruni notes in his essay, though, that Trump often starts his stump speeches off with results from the latest polls.

The media then report it.

I hope to hear it from a major newspaper newsroom or a broadcast/cable TV studio: Stop us before we report on polls again!