Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

It hurts to say what I am about to say, but here goes.

As much as I like and admire Joseph R. Biden Jr., I am concluding that his time has past and that he is not the right man at this time to become the next president of the United States.

The former vice president remains the frontrunner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. To be honest, I do not yet know how I will vote when the Democratic primary parade rolls into Texas in the spring. Biden’s presence on the ballot likely will complicate my choice.

I have become afflicted with a bit of “joint candidate appearance fatigue,” which means I did not watch the latest one Wednesday night. I have heard about Joe Biden’s latest gaffe, when he said he has earned the endorsement of the “only” African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate; he was referring, I presume, to former Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun … but she isn’t the only one elected. The other African-American female senator stood on the podium along with Biden; her name is Kamala Harris.

This kind of stumble-bum rhetoric is grating on me. I don’t doubt Biden’s mental acuity. I believe he remains intellectually intact. I also believe he gets too worked up, too excited, wound too tightly to offer measured and reasonable pronouncements at all times.

I believe Democrats should nominate someone on what I would describe as the center-left portion of the spectrum. That would be Biden. Except that he keeps tripping over his own tongue. I do not want that in the next president.

I once posited that Democrats need to look for a newcomer, someone who jumps out of the tall grass, someone no one had heard of before the start of the current election cycle. That someone also should stand toward the center, but lean a bit left.

The individual who seems to fit that bill is Pete Buttigieg. He is intellectually sharp; he is a political moderate; he has executive experience as the mayor of a smallish American city; he is veteran who has served in a war zone.

I don’t want a flaming lefty. I don’t want a socialist, or a “democratic socialist” or someone who is trying to make some sort of a statement to be nominated and then elected. Nor do I want yet another billionaire business mogul.

We have a long road to travel. There will be plenty of twists, turns perhaps even a crackup or two along the way.

Perhaps the former veep can pull it together. However, the seeds of doubt are beginning to sprout.

Maloney channels Jordan

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney got rough and tough today with Gordon Sondland. The New York Democrat asked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union “who would benefit” from an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Sondland was a witness at the impeachment inquiry hearing being conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. So, Maloney asked the question. He asked it repeatedly. Maloney’s voice became brusque. He bristled at Sondland’s initial semi-response.

I watched the exchange today and, to be honest, it made me uncomfortable. Then I recalled what I have witnessed from the get-go from a member of the Republican lineup on the committee, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jordan was brought onto the committee to act — as I see it — as the designated hatchet man for the GOP House minority. He has been roughing up witnesses throughout the impeachment inquiry process, not to mention tossing insults at his Democratic committee colleagues, including Chairman Adam Schiff.

So, was Maloney totally out of line today? Maybe at some level. Sondland said he had testified in good faith to the committee, but Maloney wasn’t taking that bait. He mentioned that Sondland’s initial closed-door testimony didn’t go well and that he had to issue a clarification of what he said initially.

“I appreciate your candor,” Maloney said in a near-shout at Sondland, “but look what it took to get it out of ya.”

As a spectator with an admitted bias about these proceedings, I am left to suggest only that Sean Maloney was channeling his colleague Jim Jordan. He was dishing out just a little of what Jordan has been delivering all along.

Corruption, Mr. President? That really concerns you?

Donald J. Trump’s proclaimed interest in rooting out government corruption around the world rings about as hollow as anything the president has declared since he entered the political world.

Trump has asserted that corruption in Ukraine was at the root of his concern over former Vice President Joe Biden’s business concerns and those of his son, Hunter. It was corruption that prompted the president to ask the Ukrainian president for help in investigating the Bidens before he would release money for weapons that Congress had appropriated for use by Ukraine in its struggle against Russia-backed rebel forces.

Oh … really?

Let’s take a quick look at some indisputable facts.

  • Russia is among the most corrupt nations on Earth. Strongman Vladimir Putin orders the killing of those who oppose him. He runs the nation with an iron fist. Organized crime has run rampant ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Where is Donald Trump’s outrage there? Once again, why hasn’t the president condemned the Russians for their blatant and malicious attack on our electoral system in 2016 and their effort to do the same thing, or maybe worse, in 2020?
  •  Turkey also is corrupt. It also is run by a strongman. It has slaughtered Kurds along its border with Syria and Iraq; and the Kurds have been allied with the United States in the never-ending struggle to put down the Islamic State.
  •  North Korea is the world’s pariah state. It is a chief sponsor of international terrorism. Kim Jong Un orders the murder of opponents. His government allows mass starvation of North Koreans. Has the U.S. president ever tied his “love affair” with Kim Jong Un with demands to bolster human rights?

All of this just touches the outlines of corruption in governments on every continent on Earth. Why has the president remained silent on the issue … until now?

It’s more than just a wild coincidence, it seems to me, that Donald Trump’s interest in “Ukrainian corruption” just happens to involve business dealings concerning a potential political rival; that would be Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Donald Trump is no more interested in curbing corruption than he is in apologizing for defaming his fellow Americans.

He is a disgrace.

ICE can be mended

Joe Biden is having trouble finding his footing lately as he campaigns for president, but I want to fully endorse an idea he has put forth about the nation’s immigration enforcement policy.

The former vice president says it is wrong to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It can be repaired. Indeed, the best remedy, according to Biden, is to elect a new president in 2020.

I have been troubled, along with progressives, by the ham-handed approach ICE has used to detain immigrants who have entered the United States illegally. However, the principle behind ICE’s formation remains sound. Yes, we need better enforcement along our borders — both north and south, I hasten to add — as well as along our expansive Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts. ICE’s mission is to enact enforcement policies that seek to stem illegal immigration into the country.

ICE critics have taken the argument against the agency’s policy too far, though, by calling for its abolition.

Democratic presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, say the human rights abuses are a direct result of ICE policy. She’s only half-right. The direct responsibility for that policy flows from the White House, where Donald Trump is currently residing.

I agree with Joe Biden: The best cure for what ails ICE is to replace the president with someone with a semblance of empathy and compassion for those who are seeking to enter this country while fleeing oppression and crime in other nations.

There is no compelling need to abolish ICE. The agency simply needs to be repaired. Let’s start with removing the guy at the top of the chain of command.

Beto’s presidential ‘splash’ wasn’t what he hoped to make

Beto O’Rourke hoped to make a huge impact on the 2020 presidential contest.

The former El Paso congressman had that spectacular run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, falling just a bit short of making history by becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide office in Texas since The Flood.

Then he decided to go for the bigger prize, parlaying the excitement he generated in Texas into a national craze.

It, um, the excitement didn’t translate.

Now he is known for perhaps the most spectacular presidential campaign collapse in recent memory. The one that seems to measure up to O’Rourke’s cratering occurred in 1972 when Democratic frontrunner Edmund Muskie seemingly cried in public in reaction to an unkind editorial in a New Hampshire newspaper.

O’Rourke now becomes a political footnote. He has saddened a lot of my Texas acquaintances and a few actual friends by declaring an end to his presidential bid.

O’Rourke forged a number of political alliances in the Texas Panhandle, a famously Republican-leaning region of Texas, during his Senate campaign. Many of his allies there hoped he could stampede to the front of the pack during a presidential run.

Well, he started at the front, but then faded as the rest of the large herd of candidates overtook him.

Look, to be honest I am among those who is disappointed Beto O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy failed to ignite. The field that remains is still full of considerable talent, along with a whack job or two, or maybe three.

They all have the same goal. They want to defeat Donald Trump in November 2020. So do I … want him defeated. If lightning strikes, hell freezes over and Earth spins off its axis Trump might be removed before then.

I do wish Beto O’Rourke would have been in that mix. He won’t.

Unless … the presidential nominee — who is not a white male — believes Beto O’Rourke can regain his wings as a VPOTUS nominee. It can’t happen? Here’s two words: Joe Biden.

How about some more chaos and confusion at White House?

Do you want some more chaos and confusion emanating from the Donald Trump administration? Let’s try this out.

The president asserts repeatedly that he did nothing wrong when he talked with the president of Ukraine about “corruption” in Ukraine, even when he asked for a “favor, though” regarding the shipment of military hardware for Ukrainian forces fighting Russia-backed rebels. The “favor” involved some dirt that Trump wanted on Joe Biden, who might be a 2020 opponent in the presidential election. Ukraine would get the equipment if it delivered the goods to Trump’s re-election team.

Then we hear from the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who declares that, yes, the president withheld the arms for political purposes. Then he tells the nation, while standing in the White House press room, to “Get over it.”

What? You mean the chief of staff of the White House has admitted that Donald Trump broke the law? That he violated his presidential oath? That he has committed an offense for which he can be impeached by the House of Representatives?

Reporters gave Mulvaney several chances to take it back. He didn’t. He insisted that was the essence of the phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian president, Volodormyr Zellenskiy.

Oops!

Now he has sought to walk it back. He said his remarks were “misconstrued.” Mulvaney has actually sought to take back what the entire nation heard him say. It’s as if he is saying we all need hearing aids. You didn’t really hear him say what he said.

The White House team is scrambling. They were stunned, bumfuzzled by what the chief of staff said. They couldn’t believe it either in real time, which makes Mulvaney’s effort to erase the record as ridiculous as it looks.

He said it. As it is declared on occasion: You cannot unhonk the horn.

Trump misses irony of his anti-Biden tirade

I was stunned to hear Donald John Trump deliver a blistering and crass rebuke of Joseph Biden Jr., in which he said the only way he succeeded at being vice president was that he figure out “how to kiss Barack Obama’s a**.”

I want to offer a few examples.

My goodness, the irony of that statement is astonishing in the extreme. You see, the only thing that the president of the United States seems to demand from those who answer to him is for the underlings to kiss his own a**.

Trump demands loyalty from, say, the director of the FBI. When James Comey doesn’t deliver it, he gets fired. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wouldn’t take part in the Russia investigation because he recognized the obvious conflict of interest, given that he worked on Trump’s campaign and couldn’t investigate himself; he recused himself and then got fired by Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got canned because he challenged the president’s authority to enact certain policies; so did former national security advisor H.R. McMaster.

The list is seemingly endless.

Donald Trump wants his sycophants to kiss his backside. He demands fealty, blind loyalty. He doesn’t appear to tolerate dissent.

So, for the president to make such a suggestion about former Vice President Joe Biden is laughable on its face.

Except that it’s not funny.

The full Donald was on display … waiting to see if appears here

Donald Trump was in full crass/disgraceful/boorish mode while standing among the faithful in Minneapolis, Minn.

He ventured to the Twin Cities ostensibly to target an audience he thinks might help him win re-election in November 2020. He lost Minnesota to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election … but not by very much. Trump believes he can parlay that close finish to victory next time.

How would he accomplish such a feat? One way, I suppose, is for him to go directly after the individual he believes poses the most direct threat to his re-election. That would be former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Trump crassness was on full display, particularly when he said Biden’s only claim to being an effective VP was that he learned how to “kiss (Barack) Obama’s a**.”

Ohhh, the crowd loved it! They screamed, they hollered, they cheered themselves hoarse. The Donald loved the reaction.

I am one who is utterly astounded that the president of the United States would say such a thing about any American citizen, let alone a former vice president of the United States and a man who likely has more friends on the Republican side of the aisle than Donald Trump.

Trump, though, behaves in a boorish fashion that I believe far exceeds the behavior we have ever witnessed in a head of state/commander in chief.

They reported that the arena in Minneapolis was full. I expect the American Airlines Center in Dallas, where Trump will stage another political rally next week, also will be full. I mean, he’s coming straight into the heart of Trump Country — even though Hillary actually collected more votes than Trump in Dallas County.

Still, Dallas is surrounded by Trump-friendly communities and the president will be able to display to a highly receptive audience how low he can go.

I’ll be in the crowd listening to this individual’s idiocy.

My fervent hope — at this moment — is that I don’t puke.

What the hell is going on with POTUS?

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Somebody please wake up Mitt Romney and tell him that my conversation with the Ukrainian President was a congenial and very appropriate one, and my statement on China pertained to corruption, not politics. If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!

What you see here is a tweet that Donald Trump fired off after Sen. Mitt Romney criticized him for admitting to asking for China to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

I am virtually speechless over this.

Think for just a moment about this.

The president is likely to be impeached by the House of Representatives over his soliciting foreign government assistance in his re-election, an act forbidden by the U.S. Constitution.

A House impeachment means the president stands trial in the Senate. Mitt Romney is a Republican member of that body and will serve as one of 100 jurors in a trial to determine whether the president is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Is this how you talk to one of those jurors? Is this a prescription for conviction, particularly if Romney is able to persuade other GOP senators that the president of the United States has lost his ever-lovin’ mind and must be removed from office?

Not smart, Mr. POTUS. Oh wait! I almost forgot. Trump says he’s the smartest man in human history.

Get ready for the filthiest campaign in history

I am trying like the dickens to wrap my noggin around an impossible prospect.

That is, I am seeking to comprehend the level of filth that will sully the next campaign for the presidency of the United States. We are getting a whiff of the stench that already is filling the air around the 2020 campaign.

Donald J. Trump’s re-election campaign is getting set to run TV ads on the Fox News Channel that seek to tie Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent, to phony allegations of corruption involving the former VP and his son, Hunter, in business dealings in Ukraine.

Think about that for a moment. When have we seen an incumbent president seek to influence a primary outcome in the other political party? I am trying to remember. The closest parallel I can find is 1972, when Republicans sought to surreptitiously undermine Democratic frontrunner Edmund Muskie of Maine while greasing the skids for Democrats to nominate George McGovern of South Dakota. The difference between then and now is that President Nixon’s re-election team did it all under the table … not out front and in plain view of the entire world! The strategy worked: Nixon won re-election in a historic landslide, then got into serious trouble with that thing called “Watergate.”

Meanwhile, the current president is facing the real prospect of being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives over his admission that he is asking for foreign government help in his re-election effort, not to mention help in digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.

My fellow Americans, welcome to the new age of American politics, where the president of the United States openly violates his oath of office and then seeks to smear a potential campaign opponent with the hope that the opposing party will nominate someone else.

I hope we all have the stomach for what we are about to witness.