Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Keep it civil, Hillary

I have been on a mission quest for more political civility. It won’t end any time soon. I now want to issue some advice to a woman who should have won the 2016 presidential election, but who got the surprise of her political life.

Hillary Rodham Clinton needs an attitude check.

Clinton has told interviewers the time for civil public debate will occur when and if Democrats win control of Congress after next month’s midterm election. Until then? All bets are off, she says.

Republicans only understand “strength,” she said. She said Democrats cannot deal with a political party that won’t adhere to a code of civil discourse and debate.

The only option, according to the World of Hillary, is to take the fight straight to the GOP. Hit them as hard as they hit you, she said.

C’mon, Mme. Secretary/former senator/former first lady! 

That kind of attitude only begets more anger. It is unbecoming of someone who had my vote in 2016. Just for the record, I don’t regret for one second — or an instant! — casting my presidential vote for Hillary Clinton.

My hope is that we can return sooner rather than later to a time when Democrats and Republicans can work together, rather than at cross purposes. I want a return to an era when Republican lawmakers, such as the late Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois, locked arms with Democratic presidents, such as the late Lyndon Johnson. Or when Democratic lawmakers, such as the late Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, did the same with Republican presidents, such as George W. Bush.

Dirksen and Johnson helped forge the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts; Kennedy and Bush helped formulate sweeping education reform.

These days, the two sides lob grenades at each other from a distance. That is not in the interest of good government.

I remain a bit of an idealist on this, but I believe one of the political parties can set the example for the other one to follow. If Hillary is right, that the GOP only understands “strength,” the remedy could be to show the other side an ability and willingness to bridge the great divide.

Don’t run, Joe; leave the 2020 race to the young’ns.

Readers of this blog know it already, but I’ll restate it: I am a big fan of former Vice President Joe Biden.

There. I’ve got that out of the way. Now I want to declare that I do not want the former VPOTUS to run for president in 2020. It’s not that he can’t do the job. It’s not that he is incapable.

It is that I want new blood, new ideas, new faces, new voices to be seen and heard.

This will sound as though I’m an ageist. Believe me, I know what ageism looks like. I believe I’ve been victimized by it in recent years, so I say this next piece with a good bit of caution.

Biden’s age is going to work against him. He will be 77 years of age in 2020. He would be the oldest man ever elected to the nation’s highest office were that to occur. That would mean he would be 81 in 2024. Would he seek a second term, which would put him into his mid-80s were he to win?

Or … would a President Biden declare himself to be a one-termer, thus making him a lame duck the moment he takes his hand off the Bible at his inauguration in January 2021?

Biden is ruminating yet again about whether to run for president.

His pondering is the subject of an article in Atlantic. Read it here.

My hope for the country is that Donald Trump is defeated in 2020. I didn’t want him elected in 2016 and was shocked along with most political observers when he squeaked out that Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton.

He remains more unfit for the high office than any man who has ever held it. I want him gone. Defeated either in the GOP primary or in the general election.

Joe Biden isn’t the man to do it. I want him to remain active in the political discourse. He can lend plenty to the discussion of the issues of the day.

However, he needs to let the next generation of Democratic politicians have their time. Let them seek to take hold of the levers of power.

The former veep has had his day. It was a great run through 36 years as a U.S. senator and then as the second-in-command of the greatest nation on Earth.

Let it go, Mr. Vice President.

Hey, hasn’t the GOP formed a ‘mob’?

Donald John Trump and his Republican pals in both chambers of Congress have latched onto a new term to describe Democrats and assorted other political foes.

They’re called “a mob.” They refer to the so-called “mob mentality” that developed during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to the new Supreme Court justice taking his seat. They talk about progressive “mobs” seeking to outshout them.

Hold on a minute, eh?

Didn’t the Republicans form “mobs” at their 2016 presidential nominating convention when they began yelling “Lock her up!” while referring to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email controversy?

And … what about the cheering, hollering campaign crowds at Trump campaign events? Don’t they also constitute a “mob” by yelling “Build that wall!”?

What’s more, the GOP mobs are still at it and they’re being encouraged to behave in a mob-like fashion by the president of the United States of America.

Now the Republicans have gotten indignant because their political foes are formulating some organizational opposition to, um, a Supreme Court justice who’s been accused of sexually assaulting at least three women when he was younger and, uh, much friskier.

This is what happens when short-term memory loss kicks in. Even the leaders of a once-great political party need to be reminded of their not-so-distant past behavior.

Where is the outrage?

Hang on just a doggone minute … or two!

Donald Trump flew on Air Force One this week with Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. They talked at length, reportedly, about this and/or that. Rosenstein at this moment is up to his eyeballs in an investigation involving the president’s 2016 campaign and whether it “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

I’ll now flash back to that election year. Former President Bill Clinton met on an airplane with then-AG Loretta Lynch. They reportedly talked about grandkids and other personal matters. The Justice Department was investigating that e-mail matter involving the ex-president’s wife, Hillary Clinton, who was running for president herself.

Republicans went ballistic. They became apoplectic, accusing the former president of trying to influence the AG. Indeed, the ex-president had no direct say in anything involving the DOJ.

GOP pols didn’t believe him and Loretta Lynch when they said they didn’t discuss anything about the e-mail matter.

Where is the outrage now, with the current president meeting at length with the current deputy AG who is involved in an on-going investigation into the president?

Hypocrisy, anyone?

‘Lies and deception’? Really, Mr. President?

I cannot believe I just heard the president of the United States utter these words.

Donald Trump today opened a White House ceremony welcoming newly minted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with an apology. He sought to apologize to the justice’s wife and daughters for what he called a campaign of “lies and deception” that led up to Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court.

I promised I wouldn’t talk about the Kavanaugh confirmation process. So, I won’t go there.

I do want to call attention to the campaign of “lies and deception” that Donald Trump himself waged against his Republican primary foes and against Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton while winning the presidency in 2016. The utter gall, the brass, the absolute absence of self-awareness from the president is simply breathtaking.

He sought to implicate Sen. Ted Cruz’s father in President Kennedy’s assassination; he denigrated the service of his GOP foes; he hung hideous “nicknames” on many of them; then he went after Hillary Clinton, leading campaign-rally chants to “lock her up!” even in the absence of any evidence of criminality.

And I haven’t mentioned, until right now, the hideous and unfounded denigration he tossed at all those who oppose him.

To hear, therefore, the president talk about “lies and deception” is laughable on its face.

Except that it’s not funny.

Kavanaugh joins high court with zero political capital

Now that we’ve established — at least in my humble view — that the U.S. Supreme Court has become the third political branch of government, it’s worth examining briefly the cache that the court’s newest member brings to his post.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has none. Zero, man!

Is that important, given that he is now charged with interpreting the constitutionality of federal law? Yep. It is. Why? Because the new justice takes office by the thinnest of political margins.

The U.S. Senate voted today 50-48 to confirm him. The previous narrowest confirmation belonged to Justice Clarence Thomas, who was approved 52-48 in 1991. Move over, Justice Thomas. There’s a new Bottom Dog in town.

I will acknowledge that at least the confirmation vote for Justice Kavanaugh wasn’t an entirely partisan affair; Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voted with the majority to confirm Kavanaugh, and no doubt all but sealed his re-election to the Senate from West Virginia, a state that Donald Trump carried by more than 41 percentage points in 2016 over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Kavanaugh has pledged to rule with impartiality and independence. He did so in an op-ed piece written for the Washington Post. It was a remarkable pledge, given his fiery — and highly partisan — rebuttal to the criticism that exploded in the wake of the sexual assault allegation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

This justice takes his lifetime appointment seat amid continuing question and a good bit of recrimination over the manner in which the Senate shoved his confirmation across the finish line.

I now am going to rely on my limitless optimism that Justice Kavanaugh will deliver on his promise to be independent and impartial as he takes on the huge challenges of constitutional interpretation.

Don’t mess up, Mr. Justice.

Judge shows his partisan streak

I now believe that if Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be disqualified from serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, he demonstrated that reason with his impassioned denial of the accusation of a sexual assault.

He came off as a partisan. Kavanaugh managed to blame the assault on his character on those who were angry that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election and “left-wing” political activists who oppose him for his judicial philosophy.

I am scratching my head and am trying to remember when I’ve ever heard a Supreme Court nominee resort to that kind of attack.

Robert Bork didn’t assert partisan angst in 1987; Clarence Thomas didn’t blame Democrats for the troubles he encountered in 1991. The Senate rejected Bork’s nomination and barely approved Thomas’s selection to the high court.

Brett Kavanaugh, though, has just revealed his deep bias against Democrats and political progressive who, in his mind, are out to destroy his nomination to the nation’s highest court.

I already have stated my belief in the accusation brought by Christine Blasey Ford who contends that Kavanaugh assaulted her sexually when they were teenagers. But when Kavanaugh sat down in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his anger was palpable, as was his deep bias against those with political views that differ from his own.

Yes, I intended to keep an open mind with regard to Brett Kavanaugh. For the longest time I was able to meet that standard.

My formerly open mind has closed. I have heard enough, from Christine Ford and from Judge Kavanaugh. Moreover, I have seen enough from Kavanaugh to believe that he cannot interpret the U.S. Constitution dispassionately without regard to political motivations of those who might present cases before the Supreme Court.

Weird.

Hey, didn’t Hillary make ‘history’ in 2016?

I swear I thought Hillary Rodham Clinton made “history” in 2016 when she became the first female to be nominated for president of the United States by a major political party.

She ran a tough race against Donald J. Trump, but lost the Electoral College vote to the 45th president of the United States.

But wait! The Texas State Board of Education — a body of 15 elected politicians who represent separate districts around the state — wants to remove any historical reference to Clinton from public school textbooks.

It also wants to remove any mention of Helen Keller, the social activist who became the first blind and deaf woman to earn a college degree.

I’m scratching my head over this stuff.

Is this the wave of the future in Texas? Are we doing to deny teaching our students about historical figures because they, um, might be unpopular or controversial?

Hillary Clinton also served for eight years as first lady of the United States. The was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000 and re-elected in 2006. She then served as secretary of state during President Obama’s first term.

First lady, senator, secretary of state? Then she became a Democratic Party presidential nominee?

That’s unworthy of study in public school curricula?

The SBOE decision is a tentative one. It can reverse itself in November when it casts a final vote.

I hope it does and returns these women of enormous accomplishment to the curricula to be studied by our public school students.

Hey, Mr. POTUS, what about the rest of the country?

It has become an established fact that Donald John Trump Sr. loves talking exclusively to those who support him no matter what.

He speaks their language; they adhere to his message.

The latest so-called “dog whistle” was blasted out today when the president fired off a Twitter message in which — and this is really rich — he actually denied that nearly 3,000 Americans died from the wrath brought to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

He blames the death toll on Democrats who are intent on making him look bad. That’s it! The Puerto Rico territorial government’s death toll, revised way upward from a formerly official count of 64 fatalities, is a plot, a conspiracy.

He made this astonishing, idiotic and utterly baseless claim as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolina coast, threatening to bring even more havoc to the Eastern Seaboard.

Let’s talk, briefly, about his Puerto Rico remarks.

It’s easy to say that the president doesn’t know what he’s talking about. However, he knows precisely what he’s saying. He is speaking to his “base,” the 35 or so percent of voting-age Americans who are behind him to the very end. The base doesn’t care about the truth. It doesn’t care about reality. It cares only that Trump stands up to the so-called “mainstream media,” those who oppose him.

Trump himself declared during the 2016 campaign that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.” Americans were aghast in the moment when Trump said it. That boast doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous now.

So he continues to talk to the base. He continues to make assertions without a scintilla of evidence to back them up. Democrats are to blame for the deaths of all those U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico? Millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016? He watched “thousands of Muslims” cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11? Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya and was ineligible to run for president?

That’s what I call “fake news.”

How will Cruz explain his change of heart toward POTUS?

Whenever the two major candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Ted Cruz meet in a joint appearance, I am hoping whoever questions them will ask Cruz a critical question about his relationship with Donald John Trump Sr.

If it were me, I would ask him: Senator, you once called Donald Trump a pathological liar; you called him amoral; you called him gutless coward. How is it that you now welcome him to Texas to campaign for you? How do you justify this remarkable change in attitude toward a man you seemed to loathe when you both were campaigning for the GOP nomination in 2016?

If given a chance for a follow up, I might ask him to explain the president’s loathsome comments about Cruz: You took them personally, senator. Do you no longer feel the intense anger you expressed in the moment?

I also am thinking that Cruz’s opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, is likely to ask the incumbent a lot of questions along those lines himself.

OK, I know what many of you are thinking. This isn’t new. Political foes for many years have buried the hatchet. Team of rivals, anyone?

To wit:

  • Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned against each other in 2008; they said some incredibly mean things about each other. Obama got nominated, then elected and selected Clinton to be secretary of state.
  • Obama also ran hard and aggressively against Sen. Joe Biden in 2008 and then named Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
  • Sens. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson didn’t care for each other when they ran for the Democratic nomination in 1960. Then they teamed up and won the election.

That was then. The here and now presents another set of questions.

Trump disparaged Cruz’s father, suggesting he might have been complicit in JFK’s murder; he ridiculed the senator’s wife, Heidi. He called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.”

Sen. Cruz’s response to all of that was intense and seemingly visceral anger — and justifiably so.

But … the men have let bygones be bygones. Yes?

I am left to wonder what it takes for a politician to tell us what they really think. I also have to wonder if Cruz’s outrage was feigned or was it for real.

As for the president, well, I don’t believe a single thing that flies out of his mouth.