Tag Archives: GOP

What has happened to the GOP?

The Party of Abraham Lincoln has become …

The Party of Donald J. Trump. The “Party of Child Abuse.” The Party of Demonization. The Party of Insult and Innuendo.

So it appears as longtime Republicans of stellar standing are calling it quits on their party.

Perhaps the most notable recent defection came this week as Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign adviser and GOP “strategist” renounced his party and said he intends to start voting for Democrats. He calls the Republican Party “vile” and said it no longer represents the high and noble ideals that produced its founding in the mid-19th century, which was to end slavery.

There have been other well-known Republicans. Former U.S. Rep. — and current TV talk show host — Joe Scarborough is one; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will is another.

Geraldo Rivera, whose own Republican credentials at best are a bit suspect, told his fellow Fox News colleagues that the GOP has become the “party of child abuse.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who’s leaving the Senate at the end of the year, referred to the “cult” that is developing within the GOP. Other Republican officeholders and office seekers are reluctant to cross the president for fear of being skewered by him.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina criticized Trump, who then endorsed his GOP primary opponent. What happened? The opponent won and Sanford will be out of office at the end of the year, if not sooner.

Yes, it’s fair to ask: What in the world has happened to the Grand Old Party, which once was known as a great political party?

It’s been co-opted by a guy who before he ran for president had no political experience. He had no public service experience. He still has virtually no knowledge of how government works or how it requires teamwork that involves players from both sides of the aisle.

Heaven help us.

Trump ends family separation … now what?

Donald J. Trump today heeded the din of dissent across the nation over a policy that separated young children from their parents at the nation’s southern border.

The president’s executive order ends the policy in a 180-degree reversal. Families won’t be separated. Children won’t be delivered to camps to await some disposition of their fate while the government decides what to do about their parents’ illegal entry into the United States.

I am glad to see the president react in this manner. His rhetoric today, though, continues to sound defiant. He lays blame for this situation on his predecessors in the Oval Office.

So, the question remains: What happens now?

Republicans in Congress joined their Democratic colleagues in calling for an end to this inhumane policy. I am heartened to hear the bipartisan outrage, just as I am heartened to witness Trump backing down from his previous statements.

I am left to wonder, too, why he would say today that he “didn’t like the sight” of families being separated. When did that “sight” upset him? Did it just happen? Or was he upset all along? If it’s the latter, then why continue to implement such a policy?

Well, he acted today as he should have done before this crisis erupted. Now it’s time to find a comprehensive solution to the nation’s immigration policy.

Get busy, Mr. President and members of Congress.

GOP drumbeat is getting louder

Well, shut my mouth and call me speechless.

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Clarendon (Texas) Republican, has weighed in with a stout statement of criticism of Donald J. Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.

Here is what Thornberry said today in a statement released by his office:

“Our immigration system is in need of a major overhaul, but there is no excuse for separating children from their parents. We should begin with heightened border security and interior enforcement, not the division of families. The House is currently considering legislation to secure our borders in the most humane way possible and to address the status of DACA recipients currently in our country. We also need to reform our legal immigration system so that decisions are timely, contributing to the health and well-being of country.”

Can you believe it? Neither can I. But he said it. Welcome aboard the indignation band wagon, Rep. Thornberry.

“There is no excuse for separating children from their parents,” Thornberry said.

He is right. No excuse. None. Zero.

Yet the president of the United States keeps doubling and tripling down on this hideous policy, all the while blaming congressional Democrats for enacting a bill that they never enacted.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, has promised to introduce legislation that keeps families united. He has been joined by the state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, another Republican lawmaker. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has declared his intention to work toward ending this policy.

Will the president listen to these individuals? Will he do what he needs to do and stop this hideous treatment of children who have been caught up in the immigration sausage grinder?

He will if he has a speck of decency in his soul. Many of us, though, wonder if he does.

‘I, alone, can fix it … ‘

You might recall the bold — and reckless — declaration that Donald J. Trump made after being nominated by the Republican Party to run for president of the United States.

“I, alone, can fix it,” he said, referring to the myriad ills he said were afflicting the nation at the time.

Many of us ridiculed the nominee for that statement. No president can do much of anything “alone” without help and cooperation.

Guess what. None of us saw the crisis that is developing at this moment with a Trump administration policy that allows for children to be taken from their parents at the nation’s border. It’s a hideous policy. It is the creation of an administration that has demonized illegal immigrants, portraying them as criminals intent on murdering, raping Americans, selling them drugs.

Here’s more to ponder: Donald Trump can ease this crisis “alone,” with a signature and a phone call.

The president can halt the “zero tolerance” policy all by himself. It is not a product of a “Democrat bill,” which he has contended falsely.

It turns out the 2016 GOP presidential nominee was more truthful than we imagined at the time when he said “I, alone” can repair this or that.

If only he would act.

He has created a crisis. The president needs to fix it.

IG report steers clear of ‘collusion’ probe

Donald John Trump’s fantasy land journey has taken him down yet another curious, bizarre path.

The U.S. Department of Justice inspector general issued a report this week that blasts the daylights out of former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Rodham Clinton e-mail controversy. The IG calls Comey “insubordinate” in flouting DOJ protocol in his probe of Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

The president’s response? It was weird in the extreme. He walked onto the White House driveway after the report became known and said the 500-page report absolves him of any “collusion” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Except for this little detail: The IG report didn’t say a single word about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion, obstruction of justice and whatever else might be connected in any way to that bizarre political episode.

What’s more, the Liar in Chief tossed out the “liar” epithet against Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017 over “the Russia thing.” The inspector general’s report doesn’t challenge Comey’s credibility, only his judgment and his failure to follow DOJ policy.

Will the president’s diatribe do any damage to his standing among the Republican Party “base” that continues to hang on his every lie, prevarication and misstatement of fact?

Umm. Nope.

Lame ducks find their voices

Bob Corker’s lame duck status has enabled him to find the guts to say what he ought to have said all along.

The Tennessee Republican is leaving the U.S. Senate at the end of the year. He hadn’t been overly candid about Donald J. Trump until just before he announced his decision to call it a career.

Now, though, he’s talking about what he perceives to be a “cult” developing with his political party. The cult is devoted blindly, according to Corker, to the president who has seized the party by the throat, has throttled it and has bullied intraparty foes incessantly.

Corker isn’t alone among Republicans who have discovered their courage in the waning months of their political career. He joins Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has finally — finally! — called out the president by name for the manner he has chosen to govern the nation.

I fear that Corker’s cult description is far more accurate than even he would prefer. Cult leaders traditionally imbue their “followers” with fear over political retribution if they cross the man/woman at the top of the pecking order.

That just might explain the Republican reluctance to challenge the continual stream of lies and assorted nonsense that fly out of Trump’s mouth. Indeed, the president’s lying mouth has kicked into overdrive since his summit with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean despot who gave up virtually nothing but got a ton of concessions from the president who proclaims himself to be a “great negotiator.”

Why don’t they call the president out for his effusive praise of Kim, the tyrant who murders his foes, his family members, starves his fellow Koreans and threatens the world with nuclear annihilation? He has broken previous promises and kept his people in the dark — quite literally — while he lives in relative opulence.

Is it that cult thing to which Sen. Corker has referred? If only more members of his party would speak as candidly and honestly about what is happening within the halls of power.

‘Beclowned’ becomes newest cool word

Steve Schmidt clearly is a “never Trump” Republican.

He once worked for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is a close personal friend of the stricken senator and no doubt has taken personally the insults that Donald J. Trump has tossed at Sen. McCain while the senator is battling a life-threatening illness.

Schmidt has coined perhaps the most interesting verb in recent political discourse. In a tweet, he wrote that the president has “beclowned” himself.

Beclowned? Yep. That’s the verb. Here is Schmidt’s entire tweet:

TRUMP disgraced the Presidency and the United States at the G-7 summit. From his slovenly appearance to his unpreparedness, ignorance and arrogance, he beclowned himself. The Republican majority is filled with cowards who are servile supplicants to the most unfit POTUS ever

I’ve never heard the term before. Let me know if you have.

My point here is that when you have a serious Republican saying such things about an ostensibly Republican president, then the target of these epithets would seem to have a problem. Except that such criticism not only rolls off Trump, it doesn’t register with those who continue to support this individual’s world view … such as it is!

Schmidt isn’t the world’s perfect political operative. He had a hand, after all, in persuading Sen. McCain to select Sarah Palin as his 2008 vice-presidential running mate. To his credit, Schmidt has owned up to the mistake he made.

However, Schmidt is making no mistake in asserting Donald Trump’s profound unfitness for the job he currently occupies.

Boehner: Victory surprised Hillary … and Trump

John Boehner has been involved in national politics longer than most of us. The former speaker of the House of Representatives, therefore, has plenty of relevant thoughts to share about the state of politics today.

The Republican politician says his party has taken a powder. It no longer exists. It’s now the Trump Party.

That’s not a big surprise. A lot of us have seen the GOP surrender itself to the whims and the anger fomented by someone who had never sought a public office of any kind before running for president.

But then Boehner offered an interesting analysis concerning Trump and his 2016 election foe, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

According to Politico: Boehner cracked that Trump and his 2016 general election foe, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, were likely “the two most surprised people in the entire world” when the president clinched his victory. And he speculated that the president’s stunning defeat of Clinton likely did not sit well with first lady Melania Trump.

“I think Donald Trump promised Melania that he would not win, she didn’t have to worry about ever living in the White House,” he said. “[That’s] probably why she doesn’t look real happy every day. Well, maybe one reason.”

Really? Do you think, Mr. Speaker?

I’ll just add that the election outcome surprised a lot of us. Count me as one American who never saw it coming.

As for Donald Trump and whether he has prepared sufficiently for the challenges that continue to loom in front of him, my sense is that he is nowhere close to getting it.

Boehner said Trump is “clearly the most unusual person we’ve elected as president.”

Most unusual? Do you think?

Is Trump responsible for gas price hikes?

I believe it was around 2011. Gasoline prices were spiking.

Republicans were aghast at the fuel prices. They couldn’t understand why the president at the time, Democrat Barack Obama, wasn’t doing something about it.

I don’t know what the president can do, short of imposing some sort of price control. That’s been tried. It didn’t work in the 1970s.

So now the price of motor vehicle fuel is climbing steadily. I thought we had a “surplus” of fossil fuels, given that we were using more alternative energy sources, driving more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Oh, no. I guess that was a mirage. Right?

The national average price of a gallon of gasoline is up about 12 cents during the past two weeks.

Hey, where’s the outrage now? Why aren’t we yammering at Obama’s successor, Donald J. Trump?

The president cannot do anything now any more than any president can limit the price of a market-driving commodity.

But … the silence is rather deafening this time.

Here’s your dismal voter turnout

You want ridiculous voter turnouts? I’ve got it for you right here.

Potter County Republicans today had to decide three key judgeships in runoff contests. The runoff election attracted a “whopping” 6.8 percent of registered voters. Pam Sirmon was elected to the 320th State District Court bench, while Walt Weaver and Matt Hand were elected to the county’s two Court at Law benches.

Important? Yes! But not so much that it would attract more than a tiny sliver of the GOP voters who cast ballots this past March in the party primary.

Hey, it gets worse!

In neighboring Randall County, a grand total of 1 percent of the voters took part in the runoff election. Why only 1 percent? Well, there were no local runoffs.

But, hey, the county’s few Democrats got to vote for their party’s nominee for governor. Randall County Democrats “poured” out, with just 474 ballots cast. I addressed this issue already in an earlier blog post. I didn’t vote in the Randall County runoff because the one GOP race that interested me — the Texas Senate District 31 contest — was decided in the primary. I couldn’t vote in the Democratic runoff for governor because I didn’t vote in the Democratic primary in March.

So I understand why the turnout in Randall County was so pitiful.

Still, with just 474 votes cast in the entire county that has more than 85,000 registered voters, I am left to ask: Is this the best we can do?