Tag Archives: GOP convention

Mr. President, what about that ‘American carnage’?

Donald J. Trump is fond of trumpeting his own real (or imagined) skills.

The night that he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Trump proclaimed that “I, alone” can solve the nation’s problems. Then he ran a successful presidential campaign, got elected, put his hand on a Bible and took the oath of office this past January.

The brand new president then delivered a dark speech that didn’t speak to the nation’s ideals, but instead recited a grim litany of heartache and alleged failure. The only line many of us can remember from that speech goes like this: “The American carnage is going to stop … right here and right now.”

Where am I going with this?

A president who boasts that he “alone” can fix any problem needs to explain why he hasn’t stopped “the American carnage.”

Case in point: In just the past few months, we have seen nine people killed when a terrorist ran over them with a rented truck in New York City; a madman opened fire on a Las Vegas crowd, killing 59 of them; another lunatic then walked into a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church and killed 26 more people.

The American carnage that Trump said he would stop has continued.

What has been his solution to any of it? What has he proposed to protect people from gunmen or international terrorists? Has the president produced any legislative remedies? Has he articulated the need to act to stem this violence?

I know full well that presidents cannot act alone, even though the current president said he can and promised he would. And that brings me back to my point.

If Donald Trump is able to do the myriad things he has boasted he could do, then isn’t it time he delivered the goods?

The man needs to spend more time, devote more attention and deploy his self-proclaimed immense intelligence to things that really matter — and stop wasting his time tweeting about football players’ protests and whether he did enough to bail three young basketball players out of jail.

Kasich: the last principled GOP ex-candidate standing

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John Kasich and Ted Cruz took Donald J. Trump’s march to the Republican presidential nomination down to the wire.

They finally conceded this summer that the real estate mogul/reality TV celebrity would be their party’s nominee.

Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, attended the GOP convention in Cleveland and received a torrent of boos from delegates for encouraging them to “vote your conscience.” He declined at that moment to endorse Trump.

Kasich, who governs Ohio, didn’t attend the convention in his home state. He still hasn’t endorsed Trump.

Whereas Cruz’s initial refusal was based on Trump’s repeated insults against Heidi Cruz, the candidate’s wife, and his father, Rafael, Kasich has kept his distance because Trump — in Kasich’s view — simply doesn’t represent the tradition of a once-great political party.

Cruz swilled the Kool-Aid and today announced he would vote for Trump in November. Kasich hasn’t said anything of the kind.

I had hoped Sen. Cruz would remain on the sidelines. Now it’s up to Kasich to demonstrate that at least one Republican leader has the stones to stand on principle.

Gov. Kasich remains my favorite Republican presidential candidate. Indeed, had he been the nominee instead of Trump, there stood an excellent chance that I would have voted Republican for president this year — for the first time since I began voting in 1972.

I’m still wrestling with what I’m going to do this year.

Kasich should have been the nominee, given his record of success as a leader in Congress and his cooperation with President Bill Clinton in achieving a balanced federal budget.

Sadly, none of that seemed to matter to the red-meat carnivores who comprise the base of the Republican Party.

My hope remains that Gov. Kasich will remain at arm’s length from this year’s GOP nominee.

I’ve noted all along that Kasich was the rare grown-up in this year’s GOP presidential campaign. He hasn’t let me down yet.

‘Gun cops’ are nowhere to be seen

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I am hurtling toward my 70th year on this Earth and for most of that time I’ve been fairly politically attuned to the various debates of the time.

One debate that seems to have outlasted many of the others has been about guns.

Gun violence breaks out and we hear the squeals of gloom and doom from the gun lobby that politicians are going to call on the cops to break down our doors and confiscate all our weapons. Those nasty pols simply hate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and they’re going to do away with it. They’re going to steal our civil liberties and deny us the right to “keep and bear arms.”

Such nonsense came flying out of the mouth last night of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. The Democrats’ nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, wants to do away with the Second Amendment, he said, and by gosh-and-by-darn, he won’t let that happen.

The pro-gun-rights lobby has been saying the same thing about President Obama. They said it about the first President Clinton, and about President Carter, President Johnson and President Kennedy.

What do all these pols have in common? They’re all Democrats, the gun-hating, squishy liberal political party that wants to disarm Americans and leave us vulnerable to a government takeover of all our rights.

If any of that were true, wouldn’t any one of those aforementioned individuals have done so already?

Of course not!

They can’t. Congress won’t allow it. The gun lobby — which has sunk its teeth deeply into lawmakers’ necks — won’t allow it. The Constitution won’t allow it.

Yet the fear-mongering continues — as it did from the podium on the final night Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

I do believe there are ways to regulate firearms a bit more tightly while remaining faithful to the Second Amendment. The merchants of fear, though — now led by Donald Trump — won’t allow it.

Cruz gets pounded … by Texas delegates!

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So help me, I think I need an intervention.

I’m about to stand up for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cruz spoke last night to the Republican National Convention. The so-called “smart money” had been put down by those who were certain he would endorse GOP nominee Donald J. Trump.

Cruz didn’t go there. He didn’t go anywhere near there. He stood before the convention crowd and encouraged them to “vote your conscience.”

A lot of delegates took that to mean “vote for anyone other than our nominee.” They started booing. Loudly.

This morning, Sen. Cruz stood before the Texas convention delegation and defended himself against his fellow Texans.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/07/21/cruzs-failure-to-endorse-trump-upsets-voters-video/

I totally support Cruz’s decision to decline to endorse Trump.

Sen. Cruz has good reason. The nominee “defamed” Cruz’s father by implying that Daddy Cruz might have been complicit in the assassination of President Kennedy. Rafael Cruz supposedly had spoken to Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was shot to death. Therefore, the innuendo was planted.

Trump also released a tweet showing Heidi Cruz, the former GOP candidate’s wife, in an unflattering picture.

Cruz said this morning that Trump had defamed his father and maligned his wife.

How in the world does a candidate toss all that aside and then endorse a candidate for the presidency of the United States?

I am not privy to Cruz’s ulterior motive. There’s been much chatter today about how is now planning to run for president again in 2020, presuming that Trump loses the election this fall.

In the context of the current convention climate and the current nominee, I believe Ted Cruz did what he felt he had to do.

Sure, he’s going to take plenty of flak from other Republicans.

He’s not, though, the “sore loser” others have called him. I prefer to think of him as a loving husband and son.

Oh, yes, and then there’s the Golden Rule

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“Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

Ah, yes. You’ve that said before, yes?

The New Testament of the Bible attributes that admonition to none other than Jesus of Nazareth.

I am extremely nervous melding Scripture with contemporary American politics. But the Golden Rule seems somehow appropriate to mention in this context.

Ted Cruz last night stood before the Republican National Convention and delivered a stem winder of a speech that said almost everything he was expected to say … except for this: “I hereby endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States.”

He didn’t go there. And why do you suppose he declined to take that step?

Because of what he described as the “slander” and “defamation” of this wife and father. Trump tweeted that unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz during the primary campaign. Then he implied that Sen. Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s assassination. Sen. Cruz told the Texas convention delegates this morning that he couldn’t endorse someone who had treated two of his loved ones with such cruelty.

“I am not in the habit of supporting those who attack and slander my wife and my father,” he said.

It’s fair to ask: How do you suppose Donald Trump would react if someone had said anything like that about his father and his wife?

The Golden Rule can be found in many religious contexts, be it Judaism, Hinduism and Islam … in addition to Christianity.

Trump has said he is a “religious person.” Well, someone who knows and follows the teachings provided in the Holy Bible might be aware of what Matthew’s Gospel tells us about how to treat others.

The Golden Rule seems always to take a beating during the heat of a fierce political battle. Politicians say things about their opponents that they never would tolerate from others and none of this is unique to the current campaign.

Trump’s way of tossing out insults and innuendo as weapons against his foes — and against their family members — puts the Golden Rule into sharper-than-usual focus during this election cycle.

I know that critics of this blog will respond with rejoinders about how politicians dating back to the beginning of the Republic have said far worse than what Trump has uttered.

Fine. Bring it on.

However, at this very moment my particular focus is on a major political party’s nominee for the presidency of the United States of America. This man has failed to abide by the Golden Rule.

‘I did not say a negative word about Donald Trump’

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Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald J. Trump when he spoke to the Republican National Convention delegates.

No. The junior U.S. senator from Texas spoke about conservative principles, the Constitution and faithfulness to principle.

But he didn’t “say a negative word about Donald Trump.”

Thus, Cruz said this morning in remarks to the Texas convention delegation, he is comfortable with the theme of his speech.

I am scratching my head this morning. I’m trying to shake the cobwebs loose.

I watched most of Sen. Cruz’s speech Wednesday night. I waited for the “Therefore, I intend to endorse …” moment. It didn’t come.

And when Cruz finished his speech, the hoots and jeers from the convention floor drowned out whatever cheers were coming from the floor.

My question this morning centers on this issue: If you’re a presidential nominee and you are in charge of the convention agenda, don’t you want to be sure that if your chief challenger is going to speak to the convention — during prime TV time — that the challenger endorses your candidacy?

So, this morning the punditry across the country isn’t talking about vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence’s remarks at the end of the evening. We’re talking instead about what Ted Cruz didn’t say.

I get that this isn’t the first example of challengers failing to endorse their party’s nominee at the convention. Ronald Reagan’s speech at the1976 GOP convention didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement of President Ford; Nelson Rockefeller was booed during his entire speech by Barry Goldwater delegates at the 1964 GOP gathering; Ted Kennedy finished his 1980 speech at the Democratic convention without endorsing President Carter and then was chased around the stage as Carter sought to raise his hand in that symbolic pose.

Trump has campaigned on his take-charge, can-do approach to everything.

He hasn’t taken charge of the political convention that has nominated him to run for president of the United States.

Cruz endorsement might not arrive

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The question of the night for political junkies from coast to coast … to coast.

Will U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz endorse Donald J. Trump when he stands in front of the Republican National Convention crowd?

If I could predict anything, I’d say ain’t no way, no how, no never mind.

Cruz has called Trump everything but the Devil Himself.

Pathologist liar; narcissist “the likes of which I’ve never seen”; a whole plethora of nasty names.

He challenged Trump’s courage after the GOP frontrunner put a tweet out there that poked malicious fun at Heidi Cruz, for crying out loud.

Having declared that by any reasonable measure, Cruz wouldn’t ever endorse Donald Trump, we have the following:

Rick Perry endorsed Trump after calling him a “cancer on conservatism; Chris Christie endorsed Trump after saying he is “unfit” to become president; Marco Rubio has all but endorsed Trump after calling him a “con man.”

Cruz’s speech tonight is ginning up a bunch of speculation. Some sources say there might be an endorsement forthcoming; others say there won’t be an endorsement, but that he’ll express “support” for the nominee and for the party.

Still others have suggested that given Cruz’s fervent support among many of the convention delegates that he might deliver a “Dream Shall Never Die” sort of message, a la the kind of speech Ted Kennedy gave during the 1980 Democratic convention after losing that fight to President Carter.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/rnc-2016-ted-cruz-donald-trump-endorsement-225850

Some conservatives want Cruz to endorse Trump.

I’ll tune in later tonight to see if Cruz prefers to stand by a nominee he cannot stand or will stand by the “conservative principles” that mean nothing to the guy who’s going to lead the party into the election campaign.

Despite it all, GOP nominates Trump

Donald Trump gestures while speaking surrounded by people whose families were victims of illegal immigrants on July 10, 2015 while meeting with the press at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where some shared their stories of the loss of a loved one. The US business magnate Trump, who is running for president in the 2016 presidential elections, angered members of the Latino community with recent comments but says he will win the Latino vote. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman with whom I am acquainted has had a lot of fun in recent months sticking the proverbial needle into my backside.

She is an ardent Donald J. Trump supporter.

I … am not!

She has chided me for being “wrong about Trump.” I concede the point: Yes, I have been as wrong as one can be wrong. So have many other political junkies been wrong about this guy.

He now is the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States of America.

The Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Trump. It’s almost more than I can handle. It’s also more than many actual Republicans can handle, and by “actual Republicans” I refer to those who have fought the good fight on behalf of their party for longer than they care to admit.

Trump’s fight for Republican principles? It began about a year ago when the escalator at Trump Tower carried him down to the spot where he announced his presidential candidacy.

I’ll concede also that Trump has defied every conceivable expectation.

His countless insults all along the way have baffled me. He denigrates John McCain’s status as a war hero; he pokes fun at a reporter with a serious physical disability; he insults a respected news anchor who had the temerity to ask him tough questions; he calls journalists “sleazy”; he says voters in certain states are “stupid” because they voted for someone else.

Throughout all of that — and more — his ardent supporters cheer him on.

He has never run for elected office until now. His public service record does not exist. Trump has boasted about his extramarital affairs and still he wins the votes of evangelical Christians.

He plasters his foes with epithets.

Trump has tossed innuendo out like candy. He wondered out loud whether Ted Cruz’s father might have been complicit in JFK’s assassination; Trump tossed out the suggestion that Hillary and Bill Clinton had their friend Vince Foster murdered; and, of course, he has continued to suggest that Barack Obama is not a legitimate president, questioning his birth, his religious faith and just recently has implied he might be in league with the goons who shot those police officers to death in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Yes, I was wrong in my belief that this buffoon could ever be nominated by a major political party to run for the presidency of the United States.

However, I continue to be baffled by the very idea that those who support him can still stand by their guy.

Republicans are looking like … uh … Democrats!

A woman checks out a tee shirt at a merchandise booth outside Quicken Loans Arena during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The first day of the Republican Party’s presidential nominating convention has gotten off to a start no one might have seen coming.

Those stodgy, staid, stuffy Republicans are looking like Democrats.

More to the point, they’re looking like Democrats of Yesteryear, back when the Democrats used to fight among themselves, convention delegates walking off the floor.

The GOP started its Donald J. Trump nominating convention by having a knock-down floor fight initiated by the anti-Trump forces. They wanted to change the rules to allow a roll-call vote that could have allowed delegates to abandon their obligation to voting for the frontrunner.

They didn’t clear the hurdle. The convention chair declared the voice vote to have gone to the Trumpkins, and the move died at the scene.

Democrats in 1968 and again in 1972 used to fight like that. Republicans, meanwhile, conducted orderly conventions those years … and went on to win the presidential election. The 1980 Democratic convention had its share of drama, too, with Ted Kennedy’s forces fighting to change the rules, only to lose that fight to the Jimmy Carter juggernaut. That election turned out badly for Democrats, too.

This year, Democrats are going to be mild-mannered. Republicans are going to fight among themselves.

What does any of this portend for the fall election?

I am not going there. I’ve tried to predict political outcomes for too long without success.

I’ll just sit back and watch the theatrics.

Host governor takes a pass on GOP convention

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Of all the Republican Party no-shows for this week’s GOP presidential nominating convention, I want to focus on one of them.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is taking a pass.

He won’t be in the convention hall to welcome the delegates. He won’t speak on behalf of the party’s presumptive nominee. He will be absent from the proceedings.

Kasich has told the media he plans to be in Cleveland, even though his governor’s duties might require him to stay on the job down yonder in Columbus.

He’s not alone, of course. The party’s two living former presidents — George H.W. and George W. Bush — are staying away. The party’s two most recent presidential nominees — John McCain and Mitt Romney — won’t darken the convention hall door. Jeb Bush will be a goner. Several GOP members of Congress facing tough re-election fights won’t be there, either.

None of these folks can stand Donald J. Trump, the party’s nominee.

Kasich’s absence, though, is the most profound.

He was one of the 16 Republicans who ran against Trump. Although he didn’t get tagged with a label — a la “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco,” or “Low Energy Jeb” — Kasich became the target of a Trump barb as the GOP frontrunner poked fun of Kasich’s eating habits, for crying out loud!

It’s a very big deal for the governor of the state that is hosting a political nominating convention to stay away.

Kasich, who was my favorite Republican primary candidate, is a longtime GOP pol with a stellar record as a member of Congress. He had a record on which to run, such as his leadership in helping craft a federal balanced budget while he chaired the House Budget Committee. In a normal election year, that might be enough all by itself to put a presidential candidate over the top.

Oh, wait! This is anything but a normal election year.

I’m glad to see Gov. Kasich refuse to have his good name tainted by an association with a nominee who has parlayed his penchant for insults into a winning campaign formula.