Tag Archives: Oval Office

In love with the high office

High Plains Blogger critics ask me on occasion: Why do you disrespect the presidency with your constant criticism of our president?

The question comes in many forms, but that’s the crux of it. Those critics think I hate the office as much as I hate the man who sits in that big chair in the Oval Office.

I will set the record straight, clear the air and set the table for future discussion.

I do not hate Donald John Trump. I despise, detest and loathe the background he brought to the only public office he ever sought, let alone held. He is a huckster, a con man, a fraud, philanderer, sexual assailant, a phony and a pathological liar.

He just happens to occupy the most exalted office in the land. It is arguably the most important office on Earth.

I happen to revere the presidency. I adore the pomp and pageantry associated with the office. I love inaugural celebrations and the trappings of those events that surround them.

Accordingly, I want the individual who sits in that exalted office to treat it with the dignity it deserves and which it has earned over the 240 years of the world’s greatest republic. I subscribe to the notion put forth by the late Robert F. Kennedy, who said that politics “should be a noble profession.” Donald Trump does not treat the presidency or politics with the nobility that RFK said they deserve.

My criticism of Trump isn’t based on intense animosity for the man. I based instead on the intense love I have for the office he occupies. I want it restored. I want the individual who sits in that big chair behind the Resolute Desk to behave in a manner befitting the high office. Donald Trump is failing in that part of his job performance … not to mention damn near everything else he is doing.

I want Donald Trump removed from an office I believe he is unfit to hold. The office of the presidency is far bigger and more important than any individual who goes to work in the Oval Office. I simply want that individual to measure up to the majesty of that high office.

Should he speak to us from the Oval Office?

There is word out of the West Wing that Donald John Trump might speak soon to the nation about race relations, police conduct and unity among Americans.

He’ll go on national TV, or so the reports suggest, to quell the unrest that has roiled in cities from coast to coast to coast since Minneapolis cops killed George Floyd while arresting him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

The question one must ask is this: What good would a Donald Trump speech do?

Many of us out here do not believe Trump is sincerely concerned about the incidents of police conduct that have brought people into the street in protest. He seems much more concerned about the damage done by the rioters who have erupted. I understand that concern; that conduct troubles me, too … so on that score, POTUS and I are on the same page.

However, the issue goes way beyond that aspect and Trump hasn’t talked openly and sincerely about the concerns that have prompted the protests.

If we hear from Teleprompter Trump during an Oval Office speech, I doubt seriously whether he would move anyone to believe he finally gets it. That version of Donald Trump simply is not believable. He reads prepared text as if he’s being held hostage.

The other Trump, the one in which he is merely himself, well … that version of this con man is incapable of speaking to us about matters of the heart.

I have next to zero hope that Donald Trump is wired in a way that can deliver a heartfelt speech about race relations in this country. I mean, this clown is the Godfather of the Birther Movement, who sought to disparage the candidacy of the man who became the first African-American ever elected president of the United States.

Love, not hate, fuels anti-Trump rhetoric

I am an old-fashioned fellow in many respects.

I love pageantry. I love singing the National Anthem. I enjoy military parades. I take pleasure in shaking the hands of World War II and Korean War veterans. I revere political tradition and decorum.

Thus, when I criticize Donald J. Trump, it is not out of hate — as some critics of this blog seem to believe — but out of love. Not for the president, mind you. But for the office he occupies and my love of the tradition he has managed to trash almost since the moment he pulled his hand off the Bible at his inauguration.

Critics of this blog purport to read my mind and delve into my heart when they accuse me of spewing hate-filled rhetoric. The thing is, they don’t know me. Some of ’em, though, do like referring to me by my first name, as if to suggest some form of faux familiarity with me. They don’t understand why I say what I do about the president.

One does not go to war for a country he hates. He does so out of love for the country. I got the call to go to war for my country in 1969. I didn’t do so gladly, but out of a sense of duty to the nation that ordered me to go far away and participate in a war that was raging when I arrived and was still raging when I left.

It’s my love of country that fuels my anger today at what I see happening to our political institutions, to our national mood, to the tribalism that has consumed so much of the dialogue between and among various segments of our vast and diverse population.

Who’s responsible for that? It has to stem from our national leadership. It comes from the very top of the political food chain. It starts in the White House, where Donald Trump now resides. It festers in the policies coming from the Oval Office, where the president makes command decisions.

Do I love what I see and hear coming from the White House these days? No! Of course not!

Hatred, though, is not the spark that ignites the rhetoric coming from this blog. It is a deeply held love of country. I want a return to the tradition that I grew up admiring and revering. It cannot happen until we get a change in the leadership at the top of the political chain of command.

I don’t expect to change the minds of critics who’ll continue to ascribe hatred to the rhetoric they will read here. However, it is how I feel. Take it or leave it.

Yep, it’s personal through and through

I want to acknowledge what I am sure is patently obvious to readers of this blog.

It is that my intense opposition to the presidency of Donald John Trump is visceral. It is rooted deep within my gut. It roils constantly as I watch the president go through each sickening day of his time in office.

I wish I could identify a specific policy or set of policies that have angered me so intensely. I cannot. The man doesn’t govern on a metric defined by policy standards, principles, a core set of values.

I am not entirely sure why I am sharing these thoughts today. Perhaps I just feel the need to get a few things off my chest.

Donald Trump’s inability to acknowledge mistakes is one thing that troubles me deeply. He told us once he never has sought forgiveness, which according to the way many of us were brought up is a fundamental tenet of Christianity; yet the evangelical movement follows this guy through the wall, over the cliff, out the window … you name it.

Trump vowed to act “presidential” once he took office. He does not do anything of the sort.

He doesn’t exhibit a scintilla of compassion, empathy, human kindness, authentic sorrow even in the face of horrific tragedy. Wildfires destroy a California town and he blames it all on Democratic politicians and their “failed” forest management policies. Mass shootings destroy the lives of innocent victims and the president doesn’t say a word about how to curb the scourge of gun violence. The Earth rumbled under the feet just recently of residents of southern California and I have yet to hear a word from the president about helping them recover from the physical damage and the emotional trauma they are suffering.

Donald Trump cannot tell the truth. His lying is incessant, relentless and pathological. He lies when he need not do so.

He uses language to define his domestic political opponents one doesn’t normally hear from presidents of the United States. He recently referred to the San Juan, Puerto Rico as a “despicable” human being. OK, so he calls a fellow American citizen despicable but still kowtows to the come-on offered by a truly despicable tyrant, Kim Jong Un. I do not get that.

Donald Trump’s presidency has been a disaster at almost every level I can conjure up. I want it to end no later than Jan. 20, 2021. I want him out of “my” house. I want him to disappear from the public stage, although I am acutely aware that is far from likely to occur no matter when he walks out of the Oval Office for the final time.

Yes, it is personal.

Trump’s boast about working hard rings hollow

Donald Trump’s brainless boast about being the hardest-working president in U.S. history rings as hollow as his many other such fits of braggadocio.

He has bragged about his wealth, how he has the “best brain,” how he knows “the best words,” how he attended the “best schools.”

Now in response to the revelations about the “executive time” he takes as president and reports of how he spends huge amounts of that time watching TV and firing off Twitter message, he has decided to brag about how hard he works at making America great again.

My life’s experience has taught me a lot about people.

I have learned that rich folks don’t brag about their wealth, geniuses don’t boast about their intellect, the well-educated don’t brag about the quality of the schools they attend.

I also have learned that heroes don’t brag about their heroic exploits and those who work hard don’t feel the need to remind us of the time put into the jobs they do.

The president of the United States appears to act like the most insecure man ever to hold that high office.

Sad.

They call it ‘executive time’?

Axios is reporting that Donald Trump spends a lot of what is being called “executive time,” meaning time off the clock, in the White House residence, doing something I presume other than reading briefing papers and intelligence reports.

This really isn’t a huge deal to me. I’ve noted already many times that I don’t even mind the president playing a lot of golf. What irks me about all that golf time is that this president promised he wouldn’t do it . . . and then he reneged on that promise!

Presidents are never off the clock. They’re only a radio message or phone call away from being summoned to respond to a national emergency; by that I mean a real emergency, not a phony one such as what Trump says is occurring on our southern border.

As for the executive time business, I  wish Trump would spend more time studying how to be president. He ought to learn about what the U.S. Constitution lays out in terms of executive power, and how the framers established Congress and the courts as co-equal branches of government. He doesn’t seem to know any of that.

Then again, maybe he is spending his executive time actually reading. Do you think? Nahhh! If he was doing it we certainly would know about it. He’d be firing off Twitter messages informing us of all the brainy work he is doing behind the scenes.

See the Axios story here.

Axios suggests he spends a lot of time each day reading newspapers and watching TV before he heads to the Oval Office, or the Cabinet Room, or the Situation Room to do the things that presidents do.

Still, the Axios story does reaffirm what many of us have noted all along, that we have elected a bizarre, unconventional and, um, “unpresidented” fellow as head of state, commander in chief and chief executive.

It’s all kinda weird.

Cliff Sims: from nowhere to center of attention

How do some people manage to emerge suddenly and dramatically from the weeds to the center of the political arena?

I refer to a young man named Cliff Sims, who’s written a book called “Team of Vipers,” in which he chronicles the chaos and confusion that has dictated the flow of events inside the Donald Trump operation at the White House.

I had never heard of Cliff Sims prior to this week. I don’t know what he did in the White House. He is making the TV talk circuit promoting his book. He has said he attended meetings with the president in the Oval Office, in his private office, in the Cabinet room. Trump, to no one’s surprise, denies that Sims had that kind of access.

Do I believe the president’s account of their relationship? Uhh, no. I don’t. I mean, the president lies constantly, even when there’s no need. Do I believe Sims’s account of their relationship? Let me think. I don’t yet know.

He is not the first tell-all author to spill what he considers to be the beans on Donald Trump. He likely won’t be the final one.

However, he becomes the latest social media instant celebrity, someone who reveals himself under the glare of media scrutiny.

I’ll just add that the title of his book, “Team of Vipers,” does seem to ring true. At least it does to my eyes and ears.

Great! Another zillionaire wants to be POTUS!

This is just great, I tell ya . . . just great!

Americans have been subjected to the chaos associated with a real estate mogul turned politician who was elected president of the United States in 2016.

Now we hear that another business tycoon might decide to make a run for the nation’s highest office in 2020.

Please! No! A million times no!

The latest novice pol who wants a shot at playing the role of commander in chief and head of state is Howard Schultz, the former owner of Starbucks. He calls himself a “centrist independent” and a “lifelong Democrat.” Schultz told “60 Minutes” he would run as an independent candidate.

Let’s see. How would that work? He could siphon off votes that would go toward an actual political figure running as a Democrat opponent against Donald J. Trump. Is there a chance a Schultz candidacy could improve the president’s re-election chances? Yeah! Do ya think?

Trump campaigned for president touting (falsely it likely turned out) his past as a “self-made billionaire.” He touted his business acumen, forgetting to mention all those bankruptcies, lawsuits and failed business ventures. He had zero political or government or public service experience before deciding to run for POTUS . . . and oh brother, it shows!

Howard Schultz wants a crack at the world’s toughest job?

Give me a break.

I want someone who actually knows how government works to serve as my president. I want someone who isn’t in love with his own success and who is fully and wholly committed to public service.

Schultz is planning a national tour to pitch his notion of running for president. Good grief. Spare me the platitudes and promises.

I want someone sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office who has an understanding of what’s at stake. Trump isn’t the guy. Neither is Schultz.

Oh, and check out Trump’s response to Schultz’s possible candidacy. He wrote this on Twitter: Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!

Yep. That’s the president of the United States of America.

Isn’t he just so damn dignified?

WH chief of staff gets a dose of Trump

Donald Trump selected Mick Mulvaney to be the acting White House chief of staff to succeed John Kelly, who resigned far ahead of his announced timetable.

Mulvaney, who runs the Office of Management and Budget in his real day job, said upon his hiring that he planned to “let Trump be Trump.” He had no intention, or so he implied, of reeling in the president while trying to prevent him from some of his more impulsive behavior.

Well, it’s being reported that Mulvaney got a serious dose of the real Donald Trump during a White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders. The group met ostensibly to find a way to reopen the government, which has been shut down partially for three weeks.

Trump reportedly dressed Mulvaney down in front of those congressional leaders, telling him to “Stop, stop, just stop. What are you doing? You’re f***ing it all up, MIck.”

There you go. That’s Trump being Trump, per the White House chief of staff’s stated desire. Is this what he really intended when he took the job on an “acting” basis? I think not.

Don’t misconstrue me here. I don’t feel sorry for Mulvaney. He’s a grownup who likely knew about the loony bin into which he was entering when he agreed to run the White House staff.

Still, what I find astounding is that the president of the United States would (allegedly) treat the chief of staff in that fashion in front of a roomful of politicians and other staffers. Then again, given the president’s lack of decorum or dignity at any level, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at all!

The White House chief of staff once was considered the plum of plum jobs in D.C. No longer. Not for as long as Donald Trump is president of the United States. He’s already burned through two chiefs of staff, Kelly and before him Reince Priebus. Kelly was brought in to bring a sense of order after Priebus was canned; indeed, Priebus couldn’t control the traffic in the Oval Office, just inflaming the chaos that dictates the flow within the White House.

Now we have Mulvaney perched in the White House hot seat. I’ve thought all along that an “acting” chief of staff cannot sustain himself over any length of time. I mean, Mulvaney already has a full-time gig at OMB, which is a huge job all by itself.

So now he gets pounded and pilloried by the president while the government remains shut down.

Great work if you can get it, right, Mick?

Happy new year, in all CAPS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!

That, right there, is Donald Trump’s new year’s message to the country he was elected to govern.

A couple of things strike me about the tweet that came off the president’s cell phone.

One is the use of all capital letters, which a tweet sender usually employees to express excitement, agitation or angst. Yet he tells us to “CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE.”

Go figure.

The other thing is the apparent attempt at sounding magnanimous.

Trump offers new year’s greetings to the “HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA!”

I know he intends to aim that message at others, such as his critics and those who work for various media organizations. When I think just a little bit about it, though, I cannot get over the notion that the president himself is a “hater” and is the nation’s supreme purveyor of “fake news.”

Whatever. Happy new year to the president. I am betting that 2019 is going to ruffle a few more feathers.

As for “GREAT THINGS” happening, I must say that the greatest thing I can imagine for our great country will occur when Donald John Trump exits the Oval Office for the final time.