Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Yep, Trump has turned our politics on its ear

To my mind, the most glaring example of just how much our political world has been turned upside down occurred in the wake of a noted Republican U.S. senator’s vote to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power.

Think of it more a moment.

Mitt Romney, a Republican’s Republican — the party’s presidential nominee in 2012 — was the lone GOP senator to break ranks with the party by deciding to convict Trump of an impeachable offense during the Senate impeachment trial.

The reaction to Romney’s courageous stand? It was to vilify him by Republicans who are standing foursquare behind the man I consider to be the Republican In Name Only in chief. Yes, Donald Trump is the RINO in chief. He’s a man with no history of backing GOP policies prior to running for president as a Republican in 2016.

The president who never sought a public office prior to seeking the presidency four years ago has clamped a stranglehold on the party. Meanwhile, an actual Republican — such as Mitt Romney — is being pounded, pummeled and pilloried because he was voting his conscience.

The head of the Conservative Political Action Conference told Romney to stay away. Others on the right wing said Romney could place himself in physical danger were he to attend the CPAC event.

Trump, who embodies the phony Republican, has become the real thing in the eyes of those who are beholden to him. Yes, the man with no ideological or moral grounding except to policies that benefit him personally has become the epitome of a political party with which he has no history.

Bizarre.

Standing with a courageous GOP senator

I want to stand with an embattled Republican U.S. senator who chose to honor his sacred oath rather than following a path toward blind partisan fealty.

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, voted to convict Donald John Trump on an allegation of abuse of power when the Senate cast its vote to acquit the current president.

That has brought a barrage of scorn and recrimination from Trump’s loyalists. One of them is Fox News talker Jeanine Pirro, a former judge from New York who said this, according to The Guardian: “get the hell out of the United States Senate,” while claiming that “your dream of endearing yourself to the Trump-hating left is a joke.”

Sigh …

Pirro doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Sen. Romney, a freshman from Utah, is more of a Republican than Pirro or her Fox pals ever have been or ever hope to be. He is a man of deep religious faith. He takes the oath he took to deliver “impartial justice” as seriously as he could take any oath he’s ever taken.

So he voted to convict Trump on a single charge brought to the Senate from the House of Representatives impeachment. Trump was still acquitted. Romney’s vote didn’t matter, a point he made while declaring his intention to cast a “guilty” vote in a speech on the Senate floor.

I am reminded a bit by a former Republican House member I got to know well while I worked as editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News.

Larry Combest represented the 19th Congressional District, which for a time included the southern portion of Amarillo. In the mid-1990s, Combest resisted a GOP-led farm policy overhaul. It was called “Freedom to Farm.” Combest stuck it in then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s eye when he opposed the Freedom to Farm legislation.

Gingrich demanded loyalty to the party platform. Combest was unwilling to grant it. Why? Because the farmers and ranchers in West Texas — for whom Combest worked — opposed the legislation. Combest was more loyal to them than to the House party leadership.

Accordingly, Mitt Romney was more loyal to the oath he took than to the president of the United States. Mitt Romney didn’t get my vote for POTUS in 2012. He gets my undying respect now.

Don Jr. ignites angry response to a real Republican’s outrage

I practically choked on whatever it was I might have been munching on the moment I read what Don Trump Jr. had said about Sen. Mitt Romney’s history-making vote in the Senate impeachment trial of Don’s dad, the current president of the United States.

Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote against a president of his own party; the Utah Republican voted “guilty” on the charge that Daddy Donald abused the power of his office by soliciting a foreign government for personal political assistance.

Don Jr. said Sen. Romney, for voting his conscience and trusting in God to assure fidelity to the oath he took as a Senate juror, should be “expelled” from the Republican Party.

Yep, the No. 1 presidential grifter said that Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, should be kicked out of the party because he dared to honor the oath he took to be an impartial juror and to render justice according to what he understood to be his solemn responsibility.

I hasten to note that Mitt Romney has contributed more to the Republican Party — through his term as governor of Massachusetts and as an ongoing advocate for mainstream GOP policies — than Don Jr. or his father, for that matter, ever will contribute.

For a man who’s profited materially from his father’s business interests and in recent times his political standing to call for the expulsion of an actual Republican with serious policy chops is beyond reprehensible.

I get that Junior is angry. Fine. Keep it to yourself, chump.

POTUS drags politics into National Prayer Breakfast

I have been aghast at what I heard Donald John Trump say this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The event is designed to be an ecumenical gathering of all faiths. From what I’ve seen of it in the past, it generally steers far and wide from politics. Then again, that was before the Era of Trump, who today dragged the Prayer Breakfast into uncharted territory.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” The target of that jab was U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the lone GOP senator to vote “guilty” on one of the impeachment counts leveled against Trump; indeed, Sen. Romney is the first senator in U.S. history to vote against a president of his own party in a Senate trial..

Romney is a devout Mormon, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. He spoke of his faith while announcing his findings that Trump had, in Romney’s mind, abused the power of his office. Trump was having none of it, actually challenging the sincerity of a fellow American’s religious faith.

Despicable, indeed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also drew some heavy fire from the triumphant president, who said he doesn’t like someone “who says ‘I pray for you’ when they not that is not so.”

What’s more, Pelosi was sitting on the dais just a few feet away from Trump when he made the catty remark.

I should say as well that Pelosi has been known for decades as a dedicated and devout Roman Catholic. She has said that she prays for the president, for the country, for its government leadership. I guess Trump was having none of that as well.

Sickening.

What I suppose makes this even more disgraceful is that this president has virtually no relationship with Scripture. He uses religion as a political tool, a doctrine to be bartered.

So he has decided to politicize what historically has been a non-political event that aims to cite the value and power of prayer.

God help us.

Sen. Romney makes a historic decision

Sen. Mitt Romney made history today. To be honest, I was unaware of it in the moment I was watching him make it.

He became the only U.S. senator to vote to convict a president of his own party at the end of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

No Democrat bolted when the Senate put President Clinton on trial in 1999. Neither did a Democrat vote to convict President Andrew Johnson during his Senate trial in 1868.

Mitt Romney now stands alone as the only Republican to vote today to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power. He voted immediately afterward to acquit Trump of obstruction of Congress.

The Utah Republican has demonstrated that there really is honor in politics. I was proud of him today as I listened to his speech. He stood with the sacred oath he took, with the U.S. Constitution, with his conscience.

Sen. Romney, you may count me as one American who is immensely proud of the courage you demonstrated. If only it would have been contagious when he made his momentous decision.

Trump is still a ‘phony’ and a ‘fraud’

I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 when he ran for president against Barack H. Obama. I felt at the time — and I do at this moment — that the incumbent president was better for this country than his Republican opponent.

But then Mitt had to make a speech in 2016 that spoke for many millions of his fellow Americans. Here it is …

He called the then-prospective GOP nominee a “phony” and a “fraud.” He was right then. He would be right today — were he to muster the nerve to say it about the fraudulent politician who went on to be elected president of the United States.

I just want to share this video once again to offer a glimmer of hope that now Sen. Romney, of Utah, will muster up some guts to break ranks with his Republican Senate colleagues.

Sen. Romney says he wants former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the ongoing Senate trial of Donald John Trump. Bolton heard Trump’s infamous phone call to Ukraine’s president in which he asked the foreign government for a political favor. Bolton reportedly was alarmed at what he heard.

The House has impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump’s legal team has begun its defense of the president. No one in the Senate or the House who purports to support Trump has stood up for the man’s character.

Sen. Romney damn sure isn’t.

The speech attached to this blog post speaks volumes — and it speaks them loudly — to the essence of the man who sought the presidency in 2016 and who has abused the power of his office ever since he swore an oath to defend the Constitution.

Need to do better at keeping emotions in check

Oh, I need to do a much better job of restraining myself in the Age of Trump.

There can be no doubt that something has triggered an emotional response in me that I didn’t think would do so prior to Donald Trump sashaying onto the political scene.

“There’s more to life than politics,” Mitt Romney once said while saluting the adversarial relationship he had at the time with President Barack Obama. The men were running for the presidency in 2012 and Romney took a moment to say that he and the president didn’t harbor “ill will” toward each other.

That ain’t the case these days. It’s rubbing off on me. Dang it! I’ve got to control myself.

A member of my vast network of Facebook “friends” and actual friends posted something the other day that sought to poke a bit of fun at the rash of sexual harassers/abusers who’ve been in the news lately. Two of the examples showed photoshopped images of Obama hanging Presidential Medals of Freedom around the necks of Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner and Harvey Weinstein. The other two images were legit, with Bill Cosby and former President Clinton getting the medals.

“Why do you post this sh**?” I asked an actual Facebook friend who shared it. He fired back a tart response, telling me it was a joke and that I should “lighten up.” Touche. 

I blame Donald Trump for dragging me into this pit of emotional instability and nervousness. I still can take a joke as well as the next guy. My problem these days is that I am getting numbed by the constant barrage of hideous reports pertaining to the president, not to mention to the amazing barrage of insult-inspired Twitter messages that the president is prone to unleash.

I am nowhere close to needing therapy. At least not at the moment. If this glaring lack of joke awareness persists, however, I might need some counseling.

In the meantime, I am going to pray that the pending impeachment of Donald Trump gets traction and that, should he (likely) survive the Senate trial that will result, he gets thumped at the November 2020 election.

Hey, wasn’t the ‘national debt’ considered a deal breaker?

Check it out! Twenty-three trillion! As in dollars, man!

What does it represent? The national debt.

It crossed yet another milestone. The national debt keeps growing, despite bold — and arguably reckless — predictions that the president of the United States all by himself was going to eliminate the annual budget deficit by the end of his second term.

It, too, keeps growing, adding to the debt that those in Donald Trump’s Republican Party used to warn would bankrupt the country.

Has it bankrupted the United States of America? I don’t think it has, although the debt does pose a serious potential threat.

I guess my concern is that Donald Trump’s penchant for braggadocio persuade enough Americans to vote for him in 2016. He made that bold promise. He called himself “the king of debt,” whatever that was supposed to mean. Trump also pledged to balance the budget.

The current fiscal year deficit is growing at a breakneck pace, owing to the tax cuts enacted for the richest Americans along with still-uncontrolled federal spending.

I recall vividly the mantra repeated throughout the 2012 presidential campaign that the national debt, which totaled about $16 trillion, was the deal-breaker among Republicans. GOP nominee Mitt Romney said President Obama must not be re-elected because the national debt was just unsustainable. The message didn’t sell, as Obama was re-elected with a handsome margin — although it was diminished from the margin that Obama rolled up in 2008.

The debt has piled on another $7 trillion since 2012. It is still growing. What is Donald Trump going to promise to do about it to ensure his re-election in 2020?

I’m all ears.

Stand firm, Ellen, in your friendship with ‘W’

I hereby endorse Ellen DeGeneres in her declaration that she is friends with former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush.

The comedian is taking flak because she happened to attend a Dallas Cowboys football game at AT&T Stadium, where she sat next to the former first couple, had a few laughs and enjoyed each other’s company.

DeGeneres noted out loud the other day that it does strange for a “gay liberal” such as herself to be friends with a “conservative” such as President Bush. Which makes me respond: So what? 

Ellen is taking heat from some in the entertainment industry. Actor Mark Ruffalo commented via Twitter that Bush’s policies are anathema to the “kindness” that DeGeneres mentioned in her comments about her friendship with “W.”

Look, I get it. I am not “friends” with the former president, although I have had the pleasure of meeting him three times over the years. The first time was on an elevator at the 1988 GOP convention in New Orleans; the second time was in 1995, when I interviewed the then-new Texas governor at his office at the State Capitol; the third time was in Amarillo in 1998 when he was running for re-election as governor.

My impression of President Bush is clear: He is the kind of guy I would love to have a beer with … except that he no longer drinks alcohol. He is affable, jovial, personable, humble and all-round good guy. His politics stink, but as Mitt Romney once said during the Al Smith Memorial Dinner in 2012 when he appeared on the same dais as President Barack Obama against whom he was running, “There is more to life than politics.”

So it is with Ellen DeGeneres and President Bush.

Stand firm, Ellen.