Tag Archives: GOP

Hypocrisy rules!

 

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The hypocrisy ringing throughout the halls of the nation’s Capitol Building is becoming the stuff of legend.

Four years ago, Republican U.S. senators said time and time again that no president should be allowed to fill a Supreme Court seat during an election year. They didn’t qualify the assertion. They didn’t stipulate presidents of any particular party.

They said no president, none, should move forward with selecting a justice when we have a presidential election on tap.

You will recall in early 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly. President Barack Obama wanted to name a successor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “not so fast.” He slammed the brakes on a nomination.

GOP senators stepped up and said the same thing. No president should select someone for a lifetime during an election year.

Recall that Scalia died nearly 10 months before the 2016 presidential election. Now we have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just 48 days prior to the next election.

Republican senators are ignoring their own assertion. They now want to rush a nomination forward before the Nov. 3 election.

What happened to the 2016 mantra of “giving the people a voice” in who should sit on the Supreme Court? Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida even went so far as to say he would make that demand when we have a Republican president. Hey, Marco, we have one now … bub! What say you these days about seating someone to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg? I know. It’s full steam ahead!

The people still deserve a voice before the Senate acts on Donald Trump’s expected nomination of someone to succeed the great Justice Ginsburg. If the Senate GOP thought it was true in 2016 when Barack Obama sought to fill a post vacated by Justice Scalia’s death, then it should hold to that philosophy now.

Right? Oh wait! The Party of Trump doesn’t believe in ethics, fairness, truth-telling and honor.

Due diligence anyone … anyone?

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Who needs due diligence when you have a power-hungry hypocrite in charge of a U.S. Senate confirmation process?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Due diligence is as important as it always is when considering whom to seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That ain’t stopping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from unleashing the confirmation hounds on a nominee Donald Trump intends to send to the Senate upon the death of the iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Let’s see how this goes. The presidential election is 46 days away. Trump hasn’t yet pitched a name at the Senate. He will do so quickly, or so we are led to believe. McConnell said the Senate will receive the nominee’s name, the Judiciary Committee will conduct a hearing and then the Senate will vote on the nominee … before we decide the presidency and before we decide who sits in the Senate!

How in the name of legislative due diligence is that supposed to happen?

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, say the Senate should wait until after the election. Yeah … do ya think?

A number of Republicans might lose on Election Day. Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Collins, and possibly even McConnell in Kentucky are prime targets for defeat. How does a lame-duck Senate session vote, therefore, on a Supreme Court nominee when several of the body’s members won’t be there to stand before their constituents?

Let us not forget how McConnell stonewalled President Obama’s pick to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia in early 2016, with McConnell saying that the president didn’t have the right to make an appointment during an election year. We’ve got that now, only magnified by an untold factor given the closeness of the next election!

Back to my point: How also does a Senate do the kind of due diligence required to thoroughly examine the quality of the person nominated by the president to serve as a member of nation’s highest court?

My view is that it cannot. The Senate must not steamroll a nominee to the Supreme Court in a fashion that screams political expediency.

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy is on full and inglorious display.

He sickens me.

So much at stake … R.I.P., RBG

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This blog post was supposed to be a commentary on the stakes facing us in the upcoming presidential election and the impact it will have on the federal judiciary.

Then came the sad news: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died today of cancer at the age of 87. Folks, the stakes just got exponentially greater by a factor I cannot at this moment calculate.

But I’ll go on with what I had written. There will be much more to say about the immediate future of the Supreme Court.

***

Americans aren’t just voting for president of the United States. We also are casting our ballots to determine the course of constitutional interpretation by the powerful federal judiciary.

Donald Trump wants another four years to drag the nation’s highest court so far to the right as to make it unrecognizable from where it stands at this moment. He has boasted about possibly making two more appointments, to go along with the two men he picked during his current term. Now comes the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and quite suddenly, the balance of the court becomes a gigantic factor.

Trump even has gone so far as to offer a list of 20 candidates for the Supreme Court that he would consider were he re-elected.

So help me we cannot let that happen.

Joe Biden has declared his intention to select an African-American woman to the nation’s top appellate court. He did vow to select a woman with whom he would run for office and has made good on that pledge.

Given what we know — or think we know — about Joe Biden’s own judicial temperament, I am hoping he would go for center-left selections to the Supreme Court.

Of course, all of this depends on Biden getting elected president in November.

In addition, we have this other key set of elections occurring. They involve the U.S. Senate, which at the moment has 53 Republicans — a scant majority — in control of the upper legislative chamber. Democrats have to flip four Senate seats to claim a majority.

This is big stuff, man. We already have seen how the GOP majority conducts itself with Supreme Court appointments. The miserable raw political move in stymying President Obama’s choice in 2016 of Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia told me plenty about how dirty the GOP can get.

That said, Senate control ranks a very close second to White House control in this upcoming election. The legislative, executive and judicial branches of government are separate and have equal power under the Constitution. They are linked inextricably, though, through the power of our individual votes.

I am one American patriot who does not want to see this delicate government balance upended if we fail to act on the need for change in the White House and the Senate.

GOP at war with itself

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_9@hotmail.com

The Republican Party is at war with itself.

Its elected leadership cannot gather up the courage to stand against a president who ostensibly represents the party, but who says things about despots and tyrants that are anathema to traditional GOP values.

The “other” wing of the party comprising former elected officials and assorted public figures has formed various political action committees and organizations whose mission is to defeat Trump in this year’s presidential election.

Which side should win this fight? I am pulling for the latter wing of the GOP to come out on top.

You have former Republican campaign operatives and assorted pundits and ex-pols joining something called the Lincoln Project, which by its name tells you that they represent the party of the 16th president of the United States, the great Abraham Lincoln.

The cadre/cabal of elected GOP officials has disgraced itself — yes, with a few notable exceptions — by cowering before Donald Trump.

Trump has remained silent about reports of Russian goons paying bounties for the lives of American servicemen and women killed by the Taliban. He has reportedly called service personnel “suckers” and “losers” because they choose to don the military uniform. Trump has denigrated the service of war heroes, such as the late Sen. John McCain. Now we hear from Trump himself that he “downplayed” the coronavirus threat even after telling iconic reporter Bob Woodward that he knew all along it would kill a lot of Americans.

The silence among those in public office is deafening and shameful. Yet they persist in their tacit defense of Trump merely by declining to condemn him in the strongest terms possible.

On the other side are those with no political axe to grind, or no political constituencies to please. They stand up to a man who prior to running for president had zero public service experience and only a passing acquaintance with classic Republican orthodoxy.

How this internecine warfare plays out will depend in large part on the presidential election outcome. My hope is that the good guys — the true Republicans who cannot stomach another four years of Trump — win this fight.

Yep, the shoe fits

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more.”

Donald J. Trump

By JOHN KANELIS

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Do you believe the commander in chief’s denial that he denigrated and disparaged the men and women who serve in our nation’s military?

Yeah. Me neither. Nor does Chuck Hagel, the former Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska and former defense secretary in the Obama administration.

The source of this angst comes from The Atlantic magazine, which published a story by Jeffrey Goldberg citing four anonymous sources who reportedly heard Trump speak ill of those who were wounded in action, were killed in action or taken prisoner by enemy forces.

According to USA Today: Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran and two-term Republican senator, told ABC News “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz that if Trump’s reported comments are “real, it’s beneath the dignity of any commander in chief. Truly they’re despicable.” 

OK, Hagel is giving Trump a sliver of a benefit of the doubt on the remarks attributed to him in The Atlantic. I saw the ABC News interview and I came away from watching it that Hagel truly believes the remarks fit a pattern that Trump already has exhibited.

No, this story won’t go away any time soon. Nor should it. The reporting paints the commander in chief in the most hideous context imaginable.

I would accept Donald Trump’s denial, that he would swear on anything he could find. Except that his constant and relentless lying has destroyed all semblance of credibility.

QAnon needs to um … go!

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

I have to make an admission.

This kook fringe called “QAnon” had gotten past me forl far too long. I didn’t know much about it. Then I learned more than I ever wanted to know.

These morons are loons, freaks, conspiracy nut jobs. They allege all kinds of lunacy, such as Democrats killing and eating children, that demons are invading the United States. They adhere to the usual lunacy, such as the birther crap involving Barack Obama and now, Kamala Harris.

QAnon espouses death to all Muslims.

But get a load of this: Donald Trump won’t disavow QAnon. He makes some goofball statement about it being “out there,” and that he doesn’t know anything about it, so he won’t pass judgment. “I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it. I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me. And they also would like to see problems in these areas … go away,” Trump said.

Huh? What the f*** is the matter with this clown?

I hear QAnon has some fans on the far right fringe. They include notables such as former Ku Klux Klan grand lizard David Duke, the hater who has endorsed Donald Trump’s re-election.

I want to hand out a bouquet to one Republican lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has condemned QAnon. “QAnon is a dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics,” Cheney said in a statement on Thursday.

There you go. Some sanity does exist within the GOP. If only it did in the Oval Office.

You go, John Kasich

I’ll be brief.

John Kasich was my favorite Republican running for president in 2016. Had he won the GOP nomination, he likely would have gotten my vote over Hillary Clinton. Tonight he affirmed precisely why I admire the former Ohio governor.

He didn’t swill the Donald Trump Kool-Aid after losing to the eventual GOP nominee. He stands on the principle of good government.

He said he supports Joe Biden for president, even despite the men’s disagreements on policy. “That’s all right,” he said tonight in remarks to the Democratic National Convention. “That’s America.”

Yes it is, Gov. Kasich. Thank you for standing on principle.

Not so strange after all

Media pundits continue to make something of a ruckus over the recent political history involving Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris, that Harris roughed up Biden in a couple of debates before she dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest.

They’re now on the same Democratic ticket. So I am left to wonder: Why the fascination? It’s hardly the first time political rivals have hooked up, buried the hatchet and locked arms in the fight against a common opponent.

In 1960, Sens. Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy fought for the Democratic nomination. They spoke harshly of each other. LBJ pulled out at the end of that primary fight. JFK was looking for someone to help strengthen him in the South. So he turned to Sen. Johnson. They won that race. Fate, though, tragically intervened when JFK died from an assassin’s bullet in November 1963.

In 1980, former Gov. Ronald Reagan and former CIA director/U.N. ambassador/former congressman/former special envoy to China George H.W. Bush butted heads for the Republican nomination. Bush chided Reagan’s fiscal policy as “voodoo economics.” Reagan survived and then selected Bush to be his VP. The two of them served together through two successful terms.

In 2008, for heaven’s sake, Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden fought for their party’s nomination. Biden didn’t last long. He took his shots at Obama, who fired back at his foe. Obama got nominated and had Biden at his side for two terms.

So now it’s Sen. Harris who’s being examined. Is she loyal enough? Does the presumptive nominee trust her to be a team player?

Biden has been through the VP vetting process. He knows what to ask, where to look.

Harris’s selection is historic. Many have made much of that fact, given her racial and ethnic background. Biden’s decision to select her, though, doesn’t look like much of a gamble. LBJ, George H.W. Bush and Biden himself already have blazed recent trails that led them all to the vice presidency.

Let’s worry less about the recent past between these two politicians and concern ourselves more with the policy positions they share and will take to the fight against Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

It’s game on, man!

Where is the GOP hiding?

What used to be known as a great American political party has gone into hiding.

They call themselves “Republicans,” but they aren’t really anything of the kind. They are “Trumpkins” beholden to some guy who ran for president in 2016 under the Republican banner. He isn’t an actual Republican. He just portrays one while sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

I ask the question about where the GOP is hiding because Donald Trump — the aforementioned POTUS masquerading as a Republican — is seeking to undermine a free and fair election. He speaks for Republicans, he says, because they would be harmed by an effort to allow voters to cast their ballots by mail this November.

Republicans should be joining their Democratic colleagues in Congress in bellowing their displeasure at what is trying to do to the U.S. Postal Service. They aren’t. They are silent. Democrats are doing all the griping. They note that efforts to inhibit the USPS violates the U.S. Constitution, which mentions the “Post Office” specifically in Article I. The “Postal Clause” was added “to facilitate interstate communication as well as to create a source of revenue for the early United States,” according to Wikipedia.

So, why aren’t congressional Republicans upset at what Donald Trump is trying to do? He is seeking to usurp the Postal Service’s duties delineated by the Constitution.

State election officials stand by their staffs’ ability to conduct elections without the “rampant fraud” that Trump — without evidence — keeps alleging.

And yet, congressional Republicans continue to stand by the phony Republican in the White House who has admitted in plain sight to anyone who cares to listen that he is trying to protect his backside at the expense of allowing voters to perform their civic responsibility.

The GOP silence is deafening in the extreme.

Still committing impeachable offenses?

I am acutely aware that Donald Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial are now part of our nation’s history, that Trump will be remembered forever as the nation’s third impeached president of the United States.

I cannot get past the cowardice demonstrated by all but one of the Senate’s 53 Republican members in giving this corrupt narcissist a pass on what he did, which was to extort the leader of another country into providing political dirt on Joe Biden, the man now in position to defeat Trump in the upcoming election.

Nor can I understand the logic behind that Senate acquittal, given that since then Trump has committed — allegedly — at least two more heinous acts.

One is that he reportedly sought to move the British Open golf tournament to a resort he owns, thus seeking actively to flout the clause in the Constitution that prohibits the president from profiting materially from his public office. It’s called the Emoluments Clause and this reported solicitation is simply the latest such example of this blatant corruption.

The other is the hideous betrayal of his oath as commander in chief to care for the troops under his command. I refer to the allegation that Russia paid Taliban terrorists bounties for every American serviceman and woman killed in Afghanistan. If there is a more “impeachable offense” than that, I am totally unaware of it.

This is the bargain that every House Republican and all but one Senate Republican delivered when they decided that the “perfect phone call” to the Ukrainian president in July 2019 wasn’t enough to toss Trump out of office.

I am enough of a realist to know that impeaching Trump again is likely out of the question. I also am enough of an idealist to hope that the election this November will take care of the corruption that has influenced damn near every political decision Trump has made while sitting in the Oval Office.

Of course, an election result doesn’t prevent criminal prosecution of Donald Trump once he quick-steps out of the White House for the final time. Oh, allow me to wish once again that the day comes after this next election.