Tag Archives: Party of Lincoln

Party of Lincoln, then of Reagan, now of Trump

The Party of Lincoln morphed over time into the Party of Reagan.

Now it has become the Party of Trump.

The first men, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, both defined Republicanism to conform to the spirit of their respective times. President Lincoln sought the party to become a more inclusive body and he fought to preserve the Union. President Reagan instituted a contemporary form of conservatism, one that saw government as part of the problem that afflicted the nation.

Donald Trump? Well, he has taken it somewhere else altogether. It’s an angry political party. He calls himself a “populist,” but flaunts a garish, glitzy lifestyle every weekend he jets off to Mar-a-Lago or to Bedminster. He panders to the religious right while having to live down a past of philandering and obscene behavior.

Now he has gone against traditional Republican policy favoring free trade to something called “fair trade.” He has imposed punishing tariffs on imported goods, prompting our international trading partners to respond with tariffs of their own on goods they import from the United States.

American farmers are getting pounded.

Congressional Republicans, particularly in the Senate, are incensed with the president’s punishing policies. The GOP is at war with itself. House members are backing Trump, seemingly out of some kind of fear that he’ll strike back at them. Senators aren’t so reticent, to which I say, “Good on ya.”

Donald Trump is not your “normal” Republican. I will continue to declare that he is not a Republican at all. He stands only for himself. He demands credit he doesn’t deserve and pushes aside blame that he does deserve.

The president has redefined every parameter one can imagine. His followers say that’s a good thing. The rest of us just shake our heads.

Politico has posted a story on the GOP divide. You can read it here. It will open your eyes.

What has happened to the GOP?

The Party of Abraham Lincoln has become …

The Party of Donald J. Trump. The “Party of Child Abuse.” The Party of Demonization. The Party of Insult and Innuendo.

So it appears as longtime Republicans of stellar standing are calling it quits on their party.

Perhaps the most notable recent defection came this week as Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign adviser and GOP “strategist” renounced his party and said he intends to start voting for Democrats. He calls the Republican Party “vile” and said it no longer represents the high and noble ideals that produced its founding in the mid-19th century, which was to end slavery.

There have been other well-known Republicans. Former U.S. Rep. — and current TV talk show host — Joe Scarborough is one; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will is another.

Geraldo Rivera, whose own Republican credentials at best are a bit suspect, told his fellow Fox News colleagues that the GOP has become the “party of child abuse.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who’s leaving the Senate at the end of the year, referred to the “cult” that is developing within the GOP. Other Republican officeholders and office seekers are reluctant to cross the president for fear of being skewered by him.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina criticized Trump, who then endorsed his GOP primary opponent. What happened? The opponent won and Sanford will be out of office at the end of the year, if not sooner.

Yes, it’s fair to ask: What in the world has happened to the Grand Old Party, which once was known as a great political party?

It’s been co-opted by a guy who before he ran for president had no political experience. He had no public service experience. He still has virtually no knowledge of how government works or how it requires teamwork that involves players from both sides of the aisle.

Heaven help us.

Despite it all, GOP nominates Trump

Donald Trump gestures while speaking surrounded by people whose families were victims of illegal immigrants on July 10, 2015 while meeting with the press at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where some shared their stories of the loss of a loved one. The US business magnate Trump, who is running for president in the 2016 presidential elections, angered members of the Latino community with recent comments but says he will win the Latino vote. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman with whom I am acquainted has had a lot of fun in recent months sticking the proverbial needle into my backside.

She is an ardent Donald J. Trump supporter.

I … am not!

She has chided me for being “wrong about Trump.” I concede the point: Yes, I have been as wrong as one can be wrong. So have many other political junkies been wrong about this guy.

He now is the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States of America.

The Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Trump. It’s almost more than I can handle. It’s also more than many actual Republicans can handle, and by “actual Republicans” I refer to those who have fought the good fight on behalf of their party for longer than they care to admit.

Trump’s fight for Republican principles? It began about a year ago when the escalator at Trump Tower carried him down to the spot where he announced his presidential candidacy.

I’ll concede also that Trump has defied every conceivable expectation.

His countless insults all along the way have baffled me. He denigrates John McCain’s status as a war hero; he pokes fun at a reporter with a serious physical disability; he insults a respected news anchor who had the temerity to ask him tough questions; he calls journalists “sleazy”; he says voters in certain states are “stupid” because they voted for someone else.

Throughout all of that — and more — his ardent supporters cheer him on.

He has never run for elected office until now. His public service record does not exist. Trump has boasted about his extramarital affairs and still he wins the votes of evangelical Christians.

He plasters his foes with epithets.

Trump has tossed innuendo out like candy. He wondered out loud whether Ted Cruz’s father might have been complicit in JFK’s assassination; Trump tossed out the suggestion that Hillary and Bill Clinton had their friend Vince Foster murdered; and, of course, he has continued to suggest that Barack Obama is not a legitimate president, questioning his birth, his religious faith and just recently has implied he might be in league with the goons who shot those police officers to death in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Yes, I was wrong in my belief that this buffoon could ever be nominated by a major political party to run for the presidency of the United States.

However, I continue to be baffled by the very idea that those who support him can still stand by their guy.

Big week looms for Republican Party


I’m not yet sure how much of the Republican National Convention I’m going to watch.

Keynote speech? Sure. Except I don’t know who’s giving it.

Presidential nominee acceptance speech? Absolutely, if only to see if Donald J. Trump veers too wildly off script.

This I do know: The Party of Lincoln/Reagan is going to become the Party of Trump.

God help ’em.

I’m still trying to figure out how the Republican Party establishment plans to speak glowingly of the man they’re about to nominate for the presidency of the United States. He has spent the bulk of the primary season hurling insults in every direction, including at the Republican Party brass! Political memories often become surprisingly short, but they also have this way of retaining insults for an amazingly long time.

Which leads me to believe that the establishment types are going to have little time on the podium during the four-day event in Cleveland.

It’ll be left to the assorted celebrities who’ve lined up behind Trump’s insurgent candidacy. He’s been crowing all along how he doesn’t “need” the power brokers who run the GOP. We’re about to learn whether his boasting will come true.

Just suppose, too, that absent any public service record that the Trumpkins can tout, what will be left for them to say from the convention podium.

Oh! I think I know. They’re going to unsheathe the long knives and plunge them into the Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

She will be portrayed as the daughter of Satan. They’re plan — in the words of the late GOP chairman Lee Atwater — “peel the bark” off the Democrats’ presidential candidate.

Yes, indeed. Given that the Republicans are going first in this year’s political nominating convention cycle, they’ll get to set the tone for the campaign for the White House.

Rest assured, Democrats have their own burdens to bear with Clinton. So, they’ll be loaded to the teeth when they convene their convention in Philadelphia right after the Republicans adjourn their convention in Cleveland.

Get ready, folks, for a heck of a wild ride beginning next week.

Texas Democrats already are ‘demolished’


I consider Tom Mechler to be a friend. I’ve known him for about a dozen years and we have a nice relationship — even though we disagree politically on just about, oh, every single issue.

Still, I was glad to see the dedicated Panhandle Republican re-elected chairman of the Texas Republican Party this weekend. He survived an attempted coup by a fringe wing of his party that sought to topple him because he’s supposedly too friendly with LGBT elements within his party.

I’m going to take issue with something Mechler said in a statement after his re-election as party chairman had been assured.


According to the Texas Tribune, Mechler said this in a statement: “Our Party is strongest when we are united and I look forward to working each and every day to keep the RPT the most dominant state party in the country. Today the work begins to demolish the Democrats this November.”

Demolish the Democrats?

You mean, Mr. Chairman, that you’re going to wipe them off the face of the state map?

By my way of thinking, the Texas Democratic Party already is demolished. Good grief, dude. You guys occupy every statewide office there is. Democrats can’t field a credible challenge in any of them.

Has the chairman really considered just how dominant his party is these days?

I’ve long been a supporter of a strong two-party state. Before you accuse me of wanting to see Democrats come back, I assure you that I’ve said the same thing back when Democrats stood over the landscape. I once lived and worked in a Democratic bastion — the Golden Triangle — and I witnessed plenty of political arrogance there.

Texas is a one-party state. There can be no doubt about that.

What the GOP must concern itself with, though, is what is happening at the national level. The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump. Mechler and his fellow Texans cannot control what the probable GOP presidential nominee is going to say as he stumps the nation. If anyone is capable of making Texas competitive this fall it’s Donald J. Trump.

Mechler need not worry about demolishing Texas Democrats. He needs to focus his concern about whether the party’s presidential nominee’s statements about Hispanics and women will breathe life into an opposing party that’s already been given up for dead.

Good luck with that, Mr. Chairman.


GOP fears its presidential frontrunner


So help me, I cannot remember the last time a leading major-party presidential candidate has stoked so much fear among those within the very party he wants to lead into the next election.

Donald J. Trump’s emergence from the ranks of unthinkable presidential nominee to a possible nominee has been a sight to behold — not that I have enjoyed beholding it.

Fellow Republican, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has tossed out an idea that (a) won’t go anywhere but (b) has some within the party actually considering it.

Ticket formation could come early.

Graham suggests that Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida ought to declare themselves a “ticket” to head off a Trump nomination. Graham — once a presidential candidate himself — doesn’t care which of them would head the ticket. He just wants two of the remaining five GOP presidential candidates to form an alliance to blunt the Trump charge.

There have been other “insurgencies,” to be sure.

Did the Democrats conspire against the candidacy of Sen. Eugene McCarthy and then Sen. Robert F. Kennedy when they challenged President Johnson in 1968? What about the 1976 GOP insurgency of former Gov. Ronald Reagan, who sought to wrest the nomination from President Ford?

This is different.

The very idea that the Republican Party could actually nominate someone with Trump’s background — as a reality TV celebrity, real estate mogul, and someone who’s boasted about his sexual exploits with women who were married to other men is sending the GOP “establishment” into apoplectic spasms.

As someone said only recently, the Party of Lincoln is becoming the Party of Trump.

Take a moment. Roll that around for a bit and consider what it really means to a once-great political institution.