Tag Archives: GOP

This impeachment thing appears to be growing more tentacles

As I seek to follow the ongoing impeachment crisis threatening the presidency of Donald Trump, I am getting a sense that the story is getting bigger than many Americans would prefer.

Just three weeks ago we learned about a phone call that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodormyr Zellenskiy in which he sought a favor from Ukraine in exchange for releasing money to help Ukrainians fight Russian aggressors.

The phone call prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch an impeachment inquiry. The thought as I understood at the time was that the House would move rapidly toward an impeachment vote by Thanksgiving. It would be a narrowly focused matter: whether the president violated his oath by seeking foreign government help in his re-election and seeking foreign help in digging up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential foe in the 2020 presidential election.

Now it seems as if this story is getting many more tentacles.

Trump appeared to suggest that the vice president, Mike Pence, had conversations with Ukrainians as well; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at first denied knowledge of the Trump-Zellenskiy phone conversation, then acknowledged he was “on the call”; questions have now arisen about Turkey and whether the president’s decision to abandon our allies in Kurdistan in the fight against ISIS is somehow related to a Trump Towers deal in Istanbul.

My head is spinning, man.

Does all of this come together quickly? Can there be an impeachment vote by Thanksgiving? Can the Senate commence a trial and make a decision by, say, spring 2020? Is all of this getting so muddy that we won’t have a resolution until after the 2020 presidential election?

As if it needed to get more complicated. The juxtaposition of a re-election fight and an impeachment muddies matters beyond anything the nation has experienced. President Clinton was a lame-duck second-term president when the House impeached him in 1998; President Nixon was in the same boat when the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment in 1974. Neither man faced re-election.

This whole scenario is vastly different. Moreover, it keeps growing in its complexity as more Cabinet officials get sucked into the debate over what they knew and when they knew it.

I need something to settle my nerves.

I also want this saga to end — either through impeachment and Senate conviction, or at the ballot box — with Donald Trump vacating the Oval Office for a final time.

Where is the GOP outrage over this fundamental betrayal?

Republicans in Congress continue to astonish and astound me.

We see a growing mountain of evidence that the president of the United States, Donald John Trump, has betrayed the oath he took when he became president. He vowed to defend the Constitution, then he — by his own admission — solicits foreign government help in getting re-elected, something that the Constitution expressly forbids.

Almost all of Trump’s GOP allies in Congress remain silent. They express no outrage over this blatant, purposeful flouting of the Constitution … which they all vow to defend and protect!

OK, a few of them have spoken out. Sen. Mitt Romney is one. So is Sen. Ron Johnson. And Sen. Ben Sasse. The rest of ’em? Silence, man!

Think back just a few years ago when President Barack Obama showed up in the White House press room wearing a tan suit. Do you remember the GOP response then? I do. They worked themselves into a virtual frenzy over the alleged “disrespect” the president showed by wearing something other than a dark suit while speaking to the nation on matters of state.

Indeed, Republicans also got mighty worked up in 1998 when another president, Bill Clinton, lied to a grand jury about an affair he was having with a young White House intern. Why, we can’t have a president who acts as if he is “above the law,” they said then. The House of Representatives impeached him, then put him on trial in the Senate, which then acquitted the lame-duck president of the charges brought against him.

Where in the name of constitutional protection is the righteous outrage now?

Have these individuals been taken hostage by the cult of personality that Donald Trump has developed and nurtured while serving as president of the United States?

The president put his hand on a Bible and swore to God Almighty he would protect and defend the nation’s governing document. He has failed to keep that pledge.

Where is the outrage?

What does it take for GOP to grasp what Trump is doing?

I live in the middle of Trump Country. My congressman is a young Republican from Plano, Van Taylor; he’s in his first term on the job. My two GOP U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, have been on duty in Washington for some time now.

All three of these gentlemen have been silent on what we now have heard from the president of the United States himself, that he has asked at least two nations — China and Ukraine — to launch investigations into the business dealings of a potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden.

Donald Trump today has confirmed in full view of the entire world what has been alleged for years, that he has sought and accepted re-election help from foreign governments.

Democrats are outraged. Republicans are, um … silent.

What in the world is it going to take for these men and women in Congress to understand the gravity of what the president of the United States has done?

Watergate unfolded more than 40 years ago. A Republican president, Richard Nixon, fought the impeachment battle against Democrats. Then members of his own party began abandoning him. A GOP delegation trooped to the White House to inform President Nixon that he had no support in the Senate to stave off conviction in a trial once the House impeached him. The president then resigned.

We see no evidence of such courage from the current Republican caucus. They are silent. They dismiss not just what a whistleblower has said, but now — with their silence — are turning a deaf ear to what the president himself has acknowledged.

What the hell … ?

As if Sen. Cornyn needs to bend more to the right

I hear that Pat Fallon wants to run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn next year.

Who is this guy Fallon? He’s a rookie Texas state senator from down the road in Prosper. He got elected to the Senate in 2018 by upsetting longtime Republican incumbent Craig Estes; Fallon is no political novice, though, having served in the Texas House of Representatives before moving to the other chamber at the other end of the State Capitol.

Fallon seems to think Sen. Cornyn isn’t conservative enough. He wants to steer public policy even farther to the right than Cornyn is willing to take it.

Hold on here! Cornyn, to my way of thinking, is pretty damn conservative. What in the world is young Sen. Fallon intending to do that Cornyn hasn’t already done?

Cornyn fought against the creation of the Affordable Care Act, along with everything else that President Barack Obama pitched during his two terms in the White House; he has resisted efforts to strengthen laws controlling firearms purchases; he is avidly anti-abortion rights; he stands pretty damn firmly in Donald Trump’s corner as the impeachment forces start gathering steam.

That isn’t good enough for Fallon … or so it might appear.

Fallon is a darling of what used to be called the TEA Party in Texas. The term “TEA Party” has fallen out of favor. It now operates under the name of the True Texas Project, apparently believing that only the most fervent right-wingers represent the “True Texas.” I happen to believe that is just so much horse manure.

As for Cornyn, he needs a strong challenger from the left, not the right. Cornyn has demonstrated, the way I see it, that he is as conservative in his thinking as almost any member of the U.S. Senate Republican caucus.

Fallon, for his part, sounds more like a stooge for Empower Texans, that ultra-right wing outfit led by Michael Quinn Sullivan, who’s waging a fight of his own with fellow conservative Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Good grief! Texas doesn’t need another GOP primary challenge to yank the state’s senior U.S. senator farther to the right. He’s already on the fringe!

In defense of a congressman’s non-commitment

Mac Thornberry is now officially a lame-duck member of Congress, given his announcement today that he won’t seek re-election in 2020 to another term representing the 13th Congressional District of Texas.

I have plenty of issues with Thornberry and his tenure as a member of Congress. However, I feel compelled to defend him on a point for which he was pilloried and pounded over many years since taking office.

Mac Thornberry did not, despite claims to the contrary, ever make a personal pledge to limit the number of terms he would serve in the House of Representatives.

He ran in 1994 for the House under the Contract With America banner waved at the front of the Republican ranks by future Speaker Newt Gingrich. The CWA contained among other items a provision to limit House members to three terms. The idea was to serve six years and then bow out, turning the seat over to new faces, with new ideas.

The term limits provision needs a constitutional amendment. The House has not referred an amendment to the states for their ratification. Thornberry, though, has voted in favor of every proposed amendment whenever it has come to a vote of the full of House.

Thornberry never made a personal pledge. Indeed, he has been elected and re-elected 13 times to the 13th District seat. He ascended to Republican leadership over the course of his tenure, being awarded the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee.

I just feel the need to defend Thornberry against false accusations that he reneged on his pledge to limit the amount of time he would serve in Congress. Thornberry knew better than to make a pledge he well might be unable or unwilling to keep, such as former Rep. George Nethercutt of Washington state, who defeated the late Tom Foley in that landmark 1994 CWA election. Nethercutt pledged to limit his terms, then changed his mind … and eventually faced the wrath of his constituents for reneging on his promise.

Mac Thornberry doesn’t adhere to my own world view of how government should work. Indeed, I happen to oppose congressional term limits, believing that elections by themselves serve the purpose of limiting the terms of congressmen and women who do a bad job. That’s not the point here.

He didn’t deserve the pounding he took from within the 13th Congressional District for allegedly taking back a campaign promise … that he never made.

It’s easy, Mr. POTUS: you get impeached for violating your oath

Mr. President, a recent tweet from you compels me to offer an answer.

You wrote this, which I want to share with readers of this blog: How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, entirely rebuilt our Military into the most powerful it has ever been, Cut Record Taxes & Regulations, fixed the VA & gotten Choice for our Vets (after 45 years), & so much more?…

I have an answer.

An impeachment has nothing to do with all the assorted duties of your office. It has, in this instance, everything to do with whether you have violated your oath.

A lot of folks in Congress — not to mention tens of millions of Americans — believe you are guilty of violating your oath.

You took an oath to defend the Constitution and to protect Americans against our enemies. Then this past summer you chatted up the Ukrainian president, who thanked you for the assistance you had given to his government’s struggle against the Russian aggressors. During that conversation, the Ukrainian head of state sought assurance that would provide arms to help Ukraine fight the Russians. You said, sure … but then you said had a favor to ask “though.” You wanted help with your re-election effort and you sought that help from a foreign government and you wanted that government to dig up dirt on a potential foe.

There’s your impeachable offense, Mr. President.

All that other stuff about the economy, the military, taxes, veterans issues, regulations have nothing to do with what we’re discussing.

Bill Clinton was impeached, too, because he lied to a grand jury about his dalliance with the intern. Meanwhile, the economy was rocking along; he worked with Congress to balance the federal budget. President Clinton was doing a good job, but Republicans impeached him anyway. Or don’t you remember that?

I don’t yet know how I feel about whether the House should proceed with impeaching you, Mr. President. I’m struggling with that one.

Here’s the deal, though: Impeachment has nothing to do with the job you are doing. Oh, I guess I should say that you are overstating your accomplishments. You forgot to mention pi**ing off our allies, failing on your promise to make Mexico pay for The Wall and the litany of insults and innuendo you have hurled at your foes.

But you did ask just how we could impeach a president who’s done all you claim to have done.

I hope I have answered it for you.

Mr. President, you have violated your sacred oath.

Whistleblower acted ‘in good faith’ and is ‘credible’?

There you have it … from the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

The acting DNI told the U.S. House Intelligence Committee today that a whistleblower acted in “good faith” and has filed a “credible” complaint against Donald J. Trump, the White House and the Justice Department.

At issue is whether the president sought foreign government assistance in bringing down a political opponent. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy had this phone chat. Zellenskiy thanked Trump for helping the Ukrainians fight the Russian aggressors, but then Trump said he needed a favor “though” in exchange for continuing the assistance.

This is mighty serious stuff, folks. Congressional Democrats are enraged enough to launch a full impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The whistleblower’s complaint has been made public. In it he or she says that Trump sought foreign government assistance in undermining Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy. Moreover, the whistleblower has alleged, the White House sought to cover it up.

This individual bases the allegation on conversations with people close to the Oval Office. The whistleblower, naturally, has been attacked. Trump calls the individual a “political hack,” even though the president does not know the identity of who has leaked these allegations.

What’s more, Joseph Maguire, a career Navy SEAL and a decades-long public servant, has said the whistleblower acted appropriately, in good faith. He told Intelligence Committee members he finds the complaint to be “credible.”

The plot is thickening before our eyes.

Speaker Pelosi hears enough to change her mind

I understand the reasons why U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has changed her mind regarding whether to launch impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

I get it. She has heard enough now to proceed. Trump has provided the impetus all by himself. He admits to talking to Ukrainians about information they might have on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 political opponent. The question now looming over all of Washington is whether he pressured the Ukrainians for information or whether he offered them something in return.

That’s bad stuff, man. It’s impeachable. It’s enough in my mind to go all the way.

However, does Pelosi really want to risk obtaining articles of impeachment in the House only to watch a Republican-led U.S. Senate acquit the president of wrongdoing because they are loyal to the man and not the Constitution or the nation they all took an oath to defend?

This is where I retain my reluctance over whether to actually impeach the president.

Do I want him out of office? Yes, with emphasis and all due prejudice I want him gone, away from the Oval Office. However, impeachment might be too steep a hill to climb if Senate Republicans — who hold 53 of 100 seats — continue to cling to their fealty to this charlatan masquerading as president.

Pelosi has said she needs national buy-in. I am not sure she has obtained it.

Trump continues to cast this weird spell over Republicans in Congress. He isn’t a real Republican. He brought zero GOP credentials into the 2016 presidential campaign, other than to say he would run as a Republican. So, he did and he won.

Pelosi expresses “sadness” over the course she is taking. She said she doesn’t see impeachment as a political process, but rather as a constitutional duty that the House must pursue.

I get that, too. Except that the political element looms over whether the House Judiciary Committee passes impeachment articles out and sends them to the House floor for a vote.

Yes, I get why Pelosi changed her mind on impeachment. I am with her in principle. However, I am dubious about whether impeachment will achieve the goal many millions of Americans want, which is to get Donald Trump out of the Oval Office as quickly as possible.

I believe we now should all hold on with both hands. It’s going to get rough out there.

Get ready for an ugly and sad political spectacle

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has seen and heard enough.

Nancy Pelosi, who had dug in hard against impeaching Donald J. Trump, has changed course. She has announced a formal “impeachment inquiry” based on allegations that Trump has pressured the president of Ukraine to find dirt that would damage a potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

So … there you have it.

Pelosi has contended that if the allegations are true the president of the United States has enlisted the help of a foreign government to bring down the candidacy of someone who might run against him next year.

This where it gets ugly in the extreme, ladies and gentlemen.

Congressional Democrats are talking about their “sadness” as they proceed toward formal impeachment. Are they crying crocodile tears? I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The allegations against Trump now have been brought into the sharpest focus yet. Trump has acknowledged talking to the Ukrainian president about Biden and his son, Hunter, whose business dealings in Ukraine have become part of the story. He says he will release the transcript of a single phone call he had with the Ukrainians.

Is that enough? Hardly.

We need to hear from the whistleblower who revealed all this alleged behavior in the first place. This person reportedly witnessed a sequence of events that could blow Trump’s presidency straight out of the water. The word today is that the whistleblower will reveal himself or herself perhaps as early as this week.

That individual needs to tell the nation what he or she saw or heard from ringside.

Nearly three-fourths of the House Democratic caucus have endorsed the impeachment of Donald Trump. What we do not yet know is whether any Republicans will join them. Has the GOP House minority had enough as well?

No matter how all this ends up, with an impeachment or the House choking at the climactic moment, it will not end well no matter who is able to declare some semblance of victory.

We are moving — perhaps hurtling — toward an ugly chapter in a sad political story.

GOP ‘canceling’ elections in effort to ‘rig’ POTUS’s re-election?

I am sure you remember when Republican Party presidential nominee Donald J. Trump accused Democrats of trying to “rig” the 2016 party nomination process to favor of Hillary Clinton.

He never really offered any scenario on how that would be done, but he kept yammering and yapping about it.

Well, the GOP now has a strategy to “rig” its nominating process to favor Trump’s effort to be nominated by his party in 2020. They’re planning to cancel primary elections in various states in an effort to protect a weakened incumbent.

Trump faces possibly three party challengers, former U.S. Reps. Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh and former Gov. William Weld. States party organizations are seeking ways to cancel the primary elections because they fear a possible Trump loss in any upcoming GOP primary.

Is it “rigged”?

I know this isn’t exactly unprecedented. Democrats have done the same thing in recent election cycles, such as what happened in South Carolina in 2012 when President Obama sought re-election; the South Carolina Democratic Party canceled that state’s primary eight years ago. One thing, though: No Democrats rose to challenge the president.

This one seems a bit different, given the expressed interest among three Republican politicians in challenging an incumbent GOP president.

Yep. It looks like they’re “rigging” the outcome.