Tag Archives: GOP

Dissent in GOP ranks? Not likely

Some in the media are reporting the seeming presence of “dissent” among Republican U.S. senators who are getting ready to join their Democratic colleagues in putting Donald J. Trump on trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The source of the chatter? Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s statement about being “disturbed” at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s assertion of taking his marching orders for the trial from Trump’s legal team.

Disturbed? Yeah, it’s disturbing, all right. It’s actually much more than that. How about, oh, reprehensible; or repugnant; or disgraceful. I could go on, but I won’t.

Murkowski is disturbed. I keep wondering if her disturbance will allow her to vote to introduce witnesses into the trial or, even more dramatically, allow her to vote to convict the president if the evidence she hears is enough to push her to the Democrats’ side.

I guess this is my way of suggesting that any thought of widespread “dissent” among GOP Senate ranks is far too premature to assess.

I know I sit out here in the middle of Trump Country, so I’m away from the action, as it were. Given what has transpired to date, the Republican power structure in D.C. is too loyal to the man and not to the U.S. Constitution which, in my view, he has failed to honor and uphold.

His abuse of power in bargaining for a political favor from a foreign government and his obstruction of Congress by denying aides from answering congressional subpoenas are enough to persuade me that Trump needs to go.

But … that’s just me. You know?

Does he really want to know what I think?

My congressman, Republican Van Taylor of Plano, wants to know what I think of the job Donald Trump is doing as president of the United States.

Hmm. Let me think about this one. My first reaction was to ignore the poll. I am having second thoughts.

I live in the Third Congressional District, which includes much of Collin County. It’s reliably Republican. Collin County voted for Trump in 2016, even though it borders Dallas County, which voted for Hillary Clinton.

Someone at Taylor’s office in Plano knows already how I feel about the president. It’s not good. He or she knows that. Yet the first-year congressman sent me this poll advisory via social media.

I’ll just have to stipulate once again up front: I want Trump defeated at the next election; moreover, I want him convicted in the Senate trial that will convene eventually to determine whether he committed impeachable offenses by abusing is presidential power and by obstructing Congress. I believe he did both things.

I am now thinking about answering the poll survey. I hope it gives me room to offer some commentary on whether I believe Donald Trump is unfit to serve as our head of state and commander in chief.

I believe he is. Unfit, that is.

McConnell seeks to become ‘most hated Republican’

I saw a quotation attributed to Sen. Mitch  McConnell in which he declares himself the nation’s “second most-hated Republican.” I presume he means Republican politician.

It appears to me that the U.S. Senate majority leader is angling to replace the nation’s most “hated” Republican by refusing to do the right thing when the Senate convenes its trial on that most hated GOP politician, Donald Trump. He might not allow any witnesses to be interrogated or any evidence to be introduced when the impeached president stands trial.

What is so astounding to me is that McConnell is engaging in such bald-faced, overt and obvious duplicity.

Twenty years ago the House impeached President Bill Clinton after Clinton lied to a grand jury about an affair he was having with a young White House intern. McConnell was then just another senator, but he was insisting on witnesses, insisting that the Senate hear evidence. Now it’s different. The president is of the same party as McConnell, so the majority leader wants to slam-bang the trial through without the benefit of hearing what witnesses might have to say.

Why, they might provide actual new information for senators to ponder. They might even testify in Trump’s favor. Or … they might testify against him.

That doesn’t matter to McConnell. He says he won’t be “impartial.” He is going to work to clear Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Indeed, that second charge is so remarkable in that the House has accused the president of usurping Congress’s legislative authority by shielding witnesses from testifying before House committees. You’d think that senators would be angry as the dickens at that notion, except that they aren’t.

Will the Senate majority leader overtake Trump as the nation’s most hated Republican? He might, even though Trump seems to have lapped the field … so far.

Hey, we still have a ways to go before this matter gets decided.

House members are not listening to each other

Congressional Democrats are yapping about their desire to impeach the current president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Congressional Republicans are yammering about their opposition to their colleagues on the other side of the House floor.

They all are talking past each other. No one is listening to a word those on the other side are saying. Their minds are made up. They are making brief speeches. I suppose they are looking for a moment to shine before Americans who might be watching on TV. I happen to one of them.

I am not being persuaded by congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are preaching to the proverbial choir.

The exercise we are witnessing on the floor of the House of Representatives is a waste of time. It’s time to vote. Impeach the president and send this matter down the hall to the Senate.

What about the other side?

My friends on the left — those who, as I do, support the impeachment of Donald Trump — will not like what I am about to say. They will accuse of me invoking that “both-siderism” mantra.

Fairness dictates that I say it. So, here goes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his Republican acolytes deserve the criticism they are receiving for their unwillingness to look at all the evidence before deciding to find Trump not guilty of the transgressions that the House of Representatives will send to them.

However, those on the other side — the individuals who have decided to convict the president — are guilty of being as close-minded as those across the aisle.

I have heard countless Democratic senators say the same thing that McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham and other GOP senators have said, which is that they have seen enough already to make up their minds.

All 100 senators are going to take an oath when the Senate trial commences. The oath will pledge them to look with impartiality and without bias at all the evidence they will hear when the House managers and Trump’s legal team present their cases.

I am willing to concede that I have seen and heard enough to make up my own mind. Then again, I am not among the 100 Senate “jurors” who will take that oath. I am free to state my own bias, my own view and offer my own conclusion.

U.S. senators don’t have that luxury. For them, be they Democrat or Republican, to declare their intention before hearing a single word of testimony in a Senate trial is, shall we say, a violation of the oath they will take.

The irony is that they will sit in judgment of a president who’s been accused of doing the very same thing.

Former CIA, FBI director takes aim at Trump

Donald Trump, the “current” president of the United States, is a threat to national security and is undermining the morale of the agencies charged with protecting us.

Who said that? A flaming, squishy liberal activist? Oh, no. That thought comes from a longtime Republican and the only person ever to hold the offices of FBI and CIA director, William Webster.

Webster is concerned that the president took issue with the “current” director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, who stands behind the inspector general’s assessment that he found no political bias in the launching of an FBI investigation into allegations of Russian election interference in our 2016 presidential campaign.

He skewered Trump in an op-ed written for the New York Times. You can read it here.

Webster criticizes Trump for referring to the FBI as a “broken” agency. It isn’t broken. Indeed, the only “broken” federal office is the one operating inside the White House.

My point here is that Webster is a strong, faithful and loyal Republican who is actually standing up to the fraudulent politician who is masquerading as our nation’s president.

If only other reliable Republicans — those in public office at this moment — could summon the courage of William Webster.

How is McConnell able to serve as a Senate ‘juror’?

I am baffled. The U.S. Senate majority leader is seeking to grease a pending Senate trial in favor of the president of the United States.

And this will occur after he takes an oath administered by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to be an impartial juror.

How does that work?

Mitch McConnell is working with the White House to ensure a favorable outcome for Donald Trump, who’s about to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The Senate will get the matter and will conduct a trial to determine whether Trump should be convicted of two high crimes and misdemeanors: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

All 100 senators will serve as jurors in a trial presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts. But how in the name of impartial juris prudence can Majority Leader McConnell perform the duties he will swear he will do if he’s attempting to rig the outcome in favor of the president?

This isn’t how you’re supposed to do it.

I get that the trial isn’t strictly a judicial affair, that it’s tinged with politics through and through. However, there is supposed to be a certain level of judicial decorum involved when the jurors take an oath to judge the evidence fairly and with an open mind.

For the leader of the Senate to work against that very oath is a serious violation of the duties he is supposed to perform.

Powell to GOP: Get a grip and stand up to Trump

Colin Powell is a patriot’s patriot. I admire this man greatly, owing in large measure to his experience as a combat soldier in Vietnam and his military and diplomatic leadership.

Powell said the following recently in a stern message to his fellow Republicans: “They need to get a grip, and when they see things that aren’t right they need to say something about it. Because our foreign policy is a shambles right now, in my humble judgement. And I see things happening that are hard to understand.”

Yep, that policy is in a shambles, all right.

The Republican Party movers and shakers, he said, need to stand up to Donald J. Trump, the president who’s grabbed the party by the throat.

Foreign policy? It doesn’t even exist. The president issues policy pronouncements via Twitter with little or no regard to advice from national security/diplomatic experts with whom he has surrounded himself.

I get that Gen. Powell isn’t perfect. He did, after all, read that statement into the record at the United Nations in which he said Saddam Hussein undoubtedly possessed weapons of mass destruction; he made the case for going to war in March 2003 against the Iraqis. He was tragically wrong.

However, he remains a man of great standing in many circles in this country. With that, I want to endorse his call for his fellow Republicans to exhibit some backbone as they watch Trump’s feckless efforts at seeking to “make America great again.”

Texas Democrats optimistic; but let’s keep it (more or less) in check

Texas Democrats reportedly are optimistic heading into the 2020 election season. They think a Democratic presidential nominee can carry the state, handing Texas’ 38 electoral votes to the party’s nominee.

Were that to happen, the GOP president, one Donald Trump, can kiss his re-election goodbye. Indeed, I figure that if Texas is going to flip from Republican to Democrat, then the 2020 election will be a dark, foreboding time for the GOP throughout the ballot in Texas.

However, Democrats would be wise to curb their optimism in Texas.

It’s not that I don’t want Texas to help elect someone other than Donald Trump, or that I don’t want the Texas Legislature to turn from GOP to Democrat. I want to see at minimum a contested political playing field, one that features two strong political parties arguing vehemently to persuade voters to buy into whatever ideology they are trying to sell.

However, Texas’ turn from Democratic to Republican control was dramatic and total over the course of about 20 years.

I get that Democrats got all fluttery when Beto O’Rourke nearly defeated GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. O’Rourke then tried to parlay that near-miss into a presidential candidacy. He failed.

Texas Democrats have been floundering in the wilderness since the late 1990s, when they won their last statewide political campaign. Is the upcoming year going to mark the turnaround for the Texas Democratic Party. My bias tells me to hope it does.

My more realistic side tells me to wait for the ballots to be counted.

Absent an argument over the facts, then where do we stand?

Congressional Republicans have laid down their marker: They are not going to argue the facts surrounding the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

Congressional Democrats are arguing that the facts are beyond dispute. They are acknowledged as being true.

So what is left, then, for Congress to consider? I am left to conclude only that the facts as presented either are impeachable or they are not. That’s what I get from all of this.

I happen to believe that a president who invites foreign involvement in our election has committed an impeachable offense. It is an abuse of the immense power of his office. Trump allies, I am presuming, believe otherwise. If that is their belief, then why are we not hearing them argue that point?

Moreover, I also believe that obstruction of Congress also is an impeachable offense. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress all the authority it needs to conduct an investigation into executive branch behavior. When a president orders all key witnesses to ignore congressional subpoenas, I believe that constitutes an impeachable offense.

What do congressional Republicans use to justify their resistance to these two articles of impeachment that are heading inexorably to a vote in the House Judiciary Committee and then to the full House of Representatives?

I am just a voter, a patriot and someone with a deep interest in our government. I believe the president has violated his oath of office. Believe me or not, but I am waiting to hear someone on the GOP side speak to the facts at hand.

That specific defense is not forthcoming, or so it appears as we hurtle toward impeachment.

So we’re left with one side arguing that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are impeachable offenses. The other side seems to believe they are not impeachable.

What is the rationale of those who cannot defend the indefensible?