Tag Archives: POTUS

Electoral consequences? Yep, we have ’em!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It has been said more times than I care to recall that “elections have consequences.”

That truism is playing out in real time as I write these few words.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has opened the door wide for the most unfit man ever to hold the office of president to nominate his third selection to the nation’s Supreme Court.

You want consequences? The court, if Trump’s nominee gets confirmed, will be locked in a solid 6 to 3 conservative majority possibly for a generation.

Yes, this is what we get when we elect someone with no moral compass, no ideological basis, no authentic sense of what justice really means to the nation’s highest office.

Trump says he’s going to nominate a woman to succeed Ginsburg.  I always am struck, by the way, at Trump’s use of platitudes to describe individuals. He calls Judge Amy Coney Barrett, one of the frontrunners to be nominated, as “fantastic,” that she’s a “brilliant lawyer,” that she’ll do a “great job.” What is missing in these platitudes is any sense that Trump knows anything of substance about the individuals he is considering.

How in the name of electoral power do we rectify what’s about to happen? I believe the first and perhaps last option is to ensure that Trump gets defeated, that Americans elect Joseph R. Biden as their next president. I know that electing Biden won’t undo the damage that Trump might inflict on our federal judiciary — given his penchant for heeding the advice of far-right-wing commentators and thinkers. Electing Biden does set the predicate for a longer-term repair of the damage that Trump will inflict.

Thus, the upcoming election — shall we say — has intense consequence on the future of our nation.

If you disbelieve the value of elections and the consequences they can produce, I present to you Exhibit A: Donald John Trump’s fluke victory in 2016.

POTUS makes strange SCOTUS ploy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been intrigued by Donald Trump’s decision to roll out the names of possible U.S. Supreme Court appointments should he win a second term as president of the United States.

I guess I come down to this notion: Trump is playing with fire by throwing out names while he is in the midst of a campaign that might rile the dickens out groups of voters who detest the philosophies of the prospective nominees.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has gotten the most buzz out of the list of 20 names tossed out there by Trump. You know this guy, whom I have labeled the Cruz Missile owing to his rather mercurial political trajectory.

He actually wants to be elected president one day, which to my way of thinking suggests he wouldn’t want to end up on the high court.

But back to the point. Trump’s tactic here puts his re-election effort in some jeopardy.

All of the names he has floated are, for example, likely to be avidly anti-reproductive rights advocates. They all would oppose a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. How do you suppose that’s going to play with suburban women, who already are tilting strongly away from Trump and toward the candidacy of Joseph Biden?

Yes, I know Trump has his support base that thinks the tactic is working out just fine. I just consider it a huge gamble at this juncture of a campaign that by all objective measure isn’t going well.

I suppose, therefore, I shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about any of this.

So … I won’t.

This question is vital

David Gergen has hobnobbed at the center of power for decades, going back all the way during the Ford administration.

He has served Republican and Democratic presidents. The CNN political analyst has crystallized the Big Question that Joe Biden must be able to answer as he ponders who he wants to run with him on the Democratic ticket against Donald Trump. According to CNN.com, it goes like this:

But the Biden campaign should be paying the most attention to this question: If history calls, will his vice president have the capacity and talent to become a first-class president?

There you have it. Compatibility with the presidential nominee is important; so is personal chemistry; same for whether she will be a political asset.

The threshold question must be whether the VP is ready from Day One to step into the big job.

Look, let’s be candid. Joe Biden will be 78 years of age were he to take the oath of office next January. He will be the oldest president by a good bit ever to assume the office. That does not mean that the vice presidential nominee should start preparing for the job.

Lyndon Johnson was selected by John Kennedy to run for VP in 1960. Kennedy was 43 years old, the youngest man ever elected president. Fate intervened on Nov. 22, 1963. JFK chose well, as it turned out.

Joe Biden will have to choose equally well as he selects the person to run with him in what figures to be the nastiest, filthiest campaign in modern history … maybe of all time!

The other stuff is window dressing. The first and last criterion must be presidential readiness.

Read Gergen’s essay here.

The man knows his stuff. Pay attention to the advice this guy offers, Mr. Biden.

Trump’s boorishness is beyond … boorish

I am running out of ways to express my disgust and utter astonishment over Donald Trump’s public utterances.

I look at some of the public opinion polling that puts Trump at a 42 percent — give or take — approval rating and I wonder: How in the name of sanity does anyone continue to stand with this idiot?

Trump’s passel of platitudes now includes some hideous accusations about Joe Biden being against God, against the Second Amendment, how he has forsaken African-Americans, that he is a far-left socialist.

Trump sounds like someone who thinks he is going to lose the election in November.

Then he tells reporters that he might not accept the election results, which he says will be the result of the “most corrupt election in history.” What if the Russians interfere this year as they did in 2016 and try to persuade Americans to re-elect Trump? Then it’s OK, he will say.

Trump’s hideous record, exemplified by the reprehensible initial non-response to the coronavirus pandemic, only confirms what I and other critics have said all along … which is that this guy cannot lead the nation. He has no understanding of the role he took an oath to perform.

He is left now to fabricate issues against which he will run.

Trump’s incessant lying, demagoguery, posturing, fraudulent characterizations of his record have revealed to the world that the United States made a terrible mistake in electing this clown in 2016.

My goodness, we have to correct that mistake.

Fright is setting in

I don’t want to sound alarmist.

However, I am getting filled with astonishing feelings of fright at the prospect of a second presidential term with Donald John Trump sitting in the Oval Office.

I don’t scare easily, so this isn’t some sort of Chicken Little screed. The very notion that Donald Trump could actually win a second term is filling me with dread. It’s the real thing, man. I mean it!

Trump took office without a single moment of public service experience under his belt. His entire adult life was aimed at self-enrichment, self-aggrandizement and self-promotion. He took that experience with him into the White House.

The man doesn’t possess an ounce of empathy or compassion. I mean, my goodness, he admits to preferring to trample over people than to hold them up.

Trump’s lack of public service experience has been coupled with his abject ignorance of the government over which he presides. He talks about enacting “bills” all by himself. Remember when he told the Republican convention in Cleveland that “I, alone” can solve the nation’s ills? He cannot. That hasn’t stopped him from continuing to imply such a moronic strategy.

We’re now well into the 2020 presidential campaign. I have not yet heard a single coherent statement that speaks to how he wants to govern during a second term. He continues to spend his entire re-election campaign effort at denigrating his Democratic foe, Joe Biden. Where’s the plan for governing, Donald? It ain’t there.

So are we going to expose ourselves to four more years of the kind of (non)leadership we’ve gotten during the past four years? Are we going to hand this president an invitation to do anything he thinks he can do without recrimination?

My goodness, we cannot allow this guy to send in federal “agents” to put down protests in our cities. We can’t allow him to “dominate the streets” with “heavily armed” troops. We cannot allow this individual to assault his foes using language that to my ears sounds overtly racist.

This clown snookered too many of us in 2016. A lot of us saw this disaster coming the moment he announced his candidacy at Trump Tower. I happen to one of those who now is frightened at the possibility that this guy could fool too many of us once again.

Those closest to Trump think so little of him?

One of the astonishing takeaways I am gleaning from Mary Trump’s book about Uncle Donald — the current president of the United States — has to do with how those closest to him think of his ability, his credibility, his qualifications.

They think very little of any of it, according to Mary Trump, author of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,”

She recounts, or so I understand, how his sister thought so little of him when he announced his presidential campaign in June 2015 that she thought he was joking. She presumed he was pulling off a publicity stunt to call attention to his “brand.”

Others in his family — sis, a brother and several other nieces and nephews — dismissed his boasting for what it was, empty rhetoric. He wasn’t self-made, as he claimed; he didn’t attend church, yet evangelicals flocked to his side; he is a man of zero principle.

Trump doesn’t apologize for anything. He never admits he is wrong. He tramples over everyone he meets. Trump is callous, callow and without any redeeming personal quality, or so Trump is reporting.

I happen to believe what she has written. What astounds me, though, is how those close to Donald Trump think so much less of him than those who have glommed onto his cult of personality.

Yes, I believe Mary Trump

I am trying to decide if I want to purchase Mary Trump’s bombshell book about her uncle, the current president of the United States.

She doesn’t need my money to make the fortune she already has earned by early sales of “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” I hear she’s sold nearly a million copies of her book.

But there’s another reason why I might not read the book from cover to cover. From what she has said so far in TV interviews, there’s nothing she has revealed about Uncle Donald that I don’t already believe.

I believe he is the “virulent racist” Mary Trump says he is. I believe the assertions she has made about his use of the N-word and the anti-Semitic slurs he has uttered. I also actually believe that young Donald got someone else to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test he needed to enroll at the University of Pennsylvania.

I believe Donald Trump is as vile, venal and vengeful as Mary Trump reportedly portrays.

She won’t change my mind one little bit about this individual.

So, it falls on me to decide whether I want to spend money on a book that likely won’t tell me anything I don’t already believe.

Mary Trump is no interloper. Her father, Donald Trump’s brother, died of alcohol abuse. She has no relationship with Uncle Donald. Still, she is highly educated, earning multiple degrees and carving out a career as a clinical psychologist.

She seems credible to me.

I am left to wonder whether it also will ring true to those who keep giving Uncle Donald a pass on the conduct in which he engaged for his entire adult life.

SCOTUS justices provide satisfaction

I took more than a little bit of satisfaction from this week’s stunning decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that no president is above the law.

My satisfaction came in the form of two justices’ decision to side with the 7 to 2 majority that declared that Donald Trump cannot invoke presidential immunity no matter what, that a Manhattan, N.Y., prosecutor is entitled to obtain Trump’s financial records in a probe that could result in some serious criminal indictments.

Those two justices happen to Donald Trump’s two nominees to the highest court in America: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Let’s presume Trump’s ignorance of the law and the Constitution for a moment and conclude that the president had hoped Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would stand with him. I mean, Trump does demand loyalty even from members of an independent and co-equal branch of the federal government. The justices didn’t do as Trump no doubt wanted.

This gives me hope on at least one important matter. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh likely will sit in their high offices long after Trump leaves his office. Trump said he wanted to appoint rock-ribbed, true-blue conservatives to the federal judiciary, which is another way of saying he wants judges who will vote in his favor at all costs.

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh saw the question arising from the Trump finances case differently. They interpreted the law with no regard to how it might affect Trump’s continuing refusal to release his financial records to prosecutors.

I cannot predict whether Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will continue to demonstrate their judicial independence on future cases. The Supreme Court term has ended; justices will return to the bench in October, just ahead of the November presidential election.

I am hoping the election will deliver a new president who then will take over the appointment powers from a president who doesn’t grasp that the concept of an independent judiciary is inscribed in our nation’s governing document.

I am going to hope that the men who ended up on the court because Donald Trump nominated them will continue to exhibit the independence they showed in determining that no one — not even the president of the United States — is immune from criminal prosecution.

Donald ramps up his demagoguery

Let’s call it Demagoguery by The Donald.

It was on full display this weekend as Donald Trump spoke to the nation during two Independence Day events.

He said this, among other things: “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

How about that? Makes you proud, right? Well, if it does, then you’re as sick as Donald Trump.

Trump’s full-on, all-out assault on our nation’s culture contains so many red flags, I almost don’t know where to begin.

A “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes …”

I want to visit with that statement for just a moment.

Defaming “our heroes” is nowhere to be found in this current effort. The “heroes” to whom Trump refers are actually traitors to the nation. These are the individuals who sided with the Confederacy that in 1861 seceded from the Union. Their aim was to overthrow the federal government. They went to war against the United States.

Why? Because they wanted to preserve slavery. They wanted to retain the ability to enslave human beings, to treat them as property.

These individuals might be “heroes” to those who endorsed the treason they committed, but not to the rest of us. They are traitors.

Yet these are the individuals Donald Trump wants to salute. These are the treasonous characters Trump wants to salute.

I am having trouble recalling a time in my life when I’ve heard such blatant, bald-faced demagoguery coming from the president of the United States.

There it is. Laid out there for all to see and hear.

This individual is a disgrace.

Kanye for POTUS?

Kanye West has tossed his hat into the presidential ring.

He wants to run for president in 2020. My first reaction was decidedly mixed, believe it or not.

Initially, my thought was this: What kind of gimmick is this clown pitching to us? A rapper who married into a reality TV family, a guy with nothing whatsoever to offer a nation in turmoil wants to lead the government and become commander in chief of the world’s mightiest military machine? Is he serious? We’ve got some serious issues to resolve, not to mention a serious crisis involving our collective health and, indeed, our lives!

Then it dawned on me: This United States of America had the bad sense to elect Donald John Trump in 2016.

God help us.