Tag Archives: RNC

Trump might demand a GOP convention change of venue?

Donald John “Bully in Chief” Trump keeps looking for ways, it seems to me, to prove how incompetent, shallow and self-serving he can be.

Consider what he is threatening to do: He is now threatening to force a change of venue for the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. to move to another location at the last minute. His reason is a stunner.

He says North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper — who happens to be a Democrat — needs to declare its OK for GOP conventioneers to gather in the convention arena to cheer Donald Trump’s nomination for president.

Except that Gov. Cooper isn’t ready to make that declaration. He isn’t ready to say that the convention hall will be safe to stuff thousands of people under one roof while the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

I will stand with the governor on this one. No surprise there, right?

Still, Gov. Cooper is seeking to protect North Carolinians and those who are venturing to his state to take part in a presidential nominating convention.

What is troubling to me is that Trump would seek to coerce a governor who — along with his colleagues of both political parties — is trying to wrestle this killer virus into submission. Trump’s overarching concern is producing images of cheering convention attendees which, of course, he could use to boost his re-election chances.

Why not conduct a “virtual” convention, which is under serious consideration by the Democratic National Committee? The DNC is hoping to stage its convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., prior to the RNC’s event. However, as has become the norm in this fight against COVID-19, Democrats appear to err more on the side of health concern than their Republican colleagues … although I am certain GOP operatives are concerned about people’s health.

They’re just equally concerned about how to ensure Donald Trump’s re-election.

And the president is seeking to throw his weight around on an issue that well could put more Americans at risk.


No, Mr. POTUS, you can’t do that

Donald John Trump must believe that only he has the authority and the power to do anything he declares.

He stood before the Republican National Convention in 2016 and declared that “I, alone” can repair what he alleged was wrong with the country.

Well, here’s a flash for the president. He doesn’t have the power. He has far less power than he thinks he does. Then again, were he to read the U.S. Constitution, he would know that. But … silly me. He won’t ever understand the document he swore to protect and defend.

He wants to “reopen the country” that’s been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

No. He can’t do that. The power rests with governors, county officials and mayors. It’s their call. Not the president’s call.

If the Ignoramus in Chief understood a single aspect of his high office, he wouldn’t blather incessantly on matters about which he knows nothing.

Passing the buck, eh, Mr. POTUS?

Donald John “Buck Passer in Chief” Trump took a question this afternoon from a reporter who asked if the president took “responsibility” for the lack of testing kits available to help detect the coronavirus among Americans.

Trump called the reporter’s inquiry a “nasty question,” but then added that he takes “no responsibility at all,” even though the Trump administration dismantled the safeguards it inherited to deal with crises such as what we’re experiencing at the moment.

Trump said he didn’t know about the dismantling of the team that had been formed. He looked around at the folks standing with him in the White House Rose Garden for someone who could answer the question directly.

Wherever he is, President Harry Truman is seething. It was President Truman who famously displayed the sign on his White House desk that declared that “The Buck Stops Here.”

That is no longer the case. Donald Trump doesn’t accept any responsibility for any decision that reflects badly on him, the administration or the presidency itself.

Interesting, yes?

Consider, finally, something that I have noted already on High Plains Blogger: Donald Trump stood before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in the summer of 2016 and pronounced to the entire world that “I, alone” can repair what he said ails the nation.

That was a lie, too.

Talkers are now suggesting Trump won’t run in 2020 … huh?

Neil Katyal is a serious guy, a former acting U.S. solicitor general who’s argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and, yes, I’ll stipulate that he was appointed to the solicitor general’s post by President Barack Obama.

So, when Katyal says that Donald Trump is unlikely to be the 2020 Republican presidential nominee, one ought to consider this a serious prediction.

I’ll declare here that I disagree with Katyal. I believe Trump will run for re-election next year and that the Republican National Convention will nominate him for another term as president.

Katyal believes the probable impeachment by the House of Representatives will drive Trump to the sidelines. I also need to note that Katyal has wanted Trump to be impeached. He believes the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and should be kicked out of office.

If Donald Trump has taught any of us any lesson at all it ought to be to never underestimate this guy’s staying power. He should never have been elected president in the first place; but he was elected. He shouldn’t have been nominated by the GOP in the summer of 2016, given all the candidacy-destroying instances that would have taken out “normal” candidates for public office; but he was nominated.

Trump has managed somehow to survive countless deal-breaking mistakes. He denigrated a Vietnam War hero, the late Sen. John McCain; he mocked a physically handicapped reporter for the New York Times; he admitted to grabbing women by their “pu***”; he disparaged a Gold Star family at the Democratic National Convention. You want more? Well, you get the idea.

He survived all of it.

Is the president inclined to bow out of the 2020 presidential campaign because the House has impeached him? I find that hard to believe.

I wish it were plausible. I am shuddering at the notion that Trump somehow is going to parlay this impeachment into a winning political strategy. How? I suppose by energizing that base of support that holds firm at around 40 percent, based on the RealClearPolitics polling average. Yeah, he needs more than that to win, but won the presidency in 2016 despite polling nearly 3 million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent.

This clown is maddening in the extreme. He doesn’t deserve to be re-elected. I hope Neil Katyal is right. However, I fear the worst, that Trump will run for re-election … and that he just might win!

Awaiting a wonderful experience at MAGA Rally

I intend fully to enjoy myself in a few days when I venture into Dallas to attend a Donald John Trump “MAGA Rally” at the American Airlines Center.

No, I won’t cheer the con man’s lies at the Oct. 17 rally. I won’t slap others on the back for being so devoted to this pathological liar. I won’t join in any idiotic chants to lock anyone up; indeed, the only person who needs to be locked up appears to be the president of the United States … but I digress.

My good time will center on enjoying what I believe is a unique political experience.

I intend to pass out business cards as I talk to folks at the rally. I want to ask them why they (a) support the president and (b) dismiss the concerns of much of the nation that he has compromised our nation’s security in exchange for his own political future.

The answers should be, um, edifying in the extreme.

I want to report them to you on this blog. I also intend to offer my own views on what I see, hear and sense inside the building.

I’ve attended concerts at the American Airlines Center. I know roughly how many people it seats. I will be casting my gaze about the place to look for empty seats. I also want to report the size of the crowd that gathers to hear the president’s assorted rants. I keep hearing about how Trump inflates these crowd sizes. I intend to see for myself who takes time to attend this event.

Look, I am a partisan. I admit it freely and without reservation. I won’t vote for Trump’s re-election when — or if — the chance presents itself in November 2020. I still believe Hillary Rodham Clinton would have been a superior president in any way you can imagine.

However, I am not an idiot. I know how to behave myself at these events. I had the honor of reporting and commenting on two Republican Party presidential nominating conventions: in 1988 in New Orleans and 1992 in Houston. I thought the copy I filed while working for the Beaumont Enterprise was reasoned, rational and coherent.

I attended the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., but that was as a civilian. I had obtained media credentials to cover it for the Amarillo Globe-News; however, I got reorganized out of my job there, turning me into a non-journalist the moment I resigned my post as editorial page editor. My wife and I went to Charlotte anyway and I attended the DNC as a spectator and someone who supported the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket.

So … a new opportunity and challenge awaits. Donald Trump no doubt will be, oh, shall we say, entertaining. I might laugh a time or two at the president. However, I will be laughing at him, not with him.

RINO takes on a dangerous new meaning

We hear it with all too alarming frequency. Republican zealots face off against the more stalwart members of their party and hurl an epithet that no actual Republican wants to hear.

That they are Republicans In Name Only. They’re RINOs. They don’t adhere to Republican orthodoxy. They aren’t true believers. They waver too far off the political reservation.

Whatever the hell all of that is supposed to mean.

The term RINO these days seems to be hurled mostly at Republicans who are alarmed at the president of the United States who, in my mind, is the actual RINO. He’s the RINO in Chief.

And yet Donald John Trump has captured what used to be the soul of the Republican Party. I will continue to maintain that Donald Trump is not a Republican in the form that I have come to understand the term.

Republicans used to stand firm on national security. They detested and distrusted military dictators. They wouldn’t be caught dead calling murderous tyrants terms of endearment, such as “smart cookie” and “strong leader.” They used to believe implicitly in our intelligence experts’ assessment of national threats. They used to exercise strict fiscal discipline. They hated budget deficits and bemoaned the national debt. They once stood proudly as the Party of Abraham Lincoln, the president that sought to end slavery. Twentieth-century Republicans stood firmly against segregationist southern Democrats. They would never equate Nazis and Klansmen with people who oppose them.

What the hell has happened to the Republican Party, an organization populated by individuals and groups that speak ill of those in their party who criticize Donald Trump?

So, when a contemporary Republican accuses another GOP member of being a RINO, he or she merely is endorsing the idiocy trumpeted by the con man who got elected president in 2016.

If I were of the Republican Party persuasion, I would embrace the term RINO as high praise.

Trump keeps making media the ‘story’

I long have considered it a terrible journalistic sin for the media to become part of the story they are covering.

I worked in the media for nearly four decades and I managed over that span of time to steer clear of any discussion of an issue I was covering. Occasionally an organization that employed me would get entangled in the story; they would manage to wriggle themselves free.

The Age of Trump has produced an entirely different dynamic.

He labels the media the “enemy of the people.” His followers buy into it. They demonstrate in front of cable, broadcast and print reporters seeking only to do their job.

It’s getting weird to watch the news these days and hear all these references to cable networks involved so deeply in the covering of current events. For instance:

  • Fox News Channel has been banned from Democratic primary presidential debates because it has become a virtual arm of the Trump administration. Its commentators are known to be in constant communication with Donald Trump, reportedly offering policy advice to the president.
  • CNN, MSNBC are on the other end of the spectrum. Their commentators take great delight in chastising their colleagues at Fox. Meanwhile, Fox fires back at their competitors/colleagues. Oh, and the president hangs “fake news” labels on all media that report news that he finds disagreeable.

It all reminds of an athletic event where the attention turns to the referee. You want to concentrate on the athletes, not the individuals who discern whether they’re breaking the rules.

We’re concentrating increasingly on the media reporting of the issues at hand, and less so on the actual issues that are being discussed.

It’s a distressing trend that appears — to my way of thinking — to have no possible exit for the media.

‘I, alone, can fix it’

This image showed up overnight on my Facebook feed.

It speaks to the absences among many key advisory posts in Donald Trump’s administration.

I agree with the notion that he has “no clue.” However, think of this for just a moment:

He told the entire world at the Republican Party’s presidential nominating convention in the summer of 2016 that “I, alone, can fix” the problems bedeviling the United States of America.

OK, so Trump has an “acting” chief of staff; he has nominated a U.N. envoy, as he has nominated a defense chief.

Still it does seem quite possible that, before the end of his presidency, he’ll get a chance to show the world whether he “alone” can fix anything.

‘Calculated political treachery’?

“Make no mistake. This was calculated political treachery,” Jevon O.A. Williams wrote to other Republican National Committee members in the wake of an op-ed penned by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Hmm. Let me think about that one. Actually it isn’t. It isn’t treacherous for a serious politician such as Romney to speak candidly and honestly about a president who he believes lacks the essential character to be the kind of leader the nation deserves.

That’s what Romney did in his essay published on New Year’s Day by the Washington Post.

He spoke truth to power, as the saying goes.

Donald Trump wants Romney to be a “team player.” He said today in a bizarre White House press “availability” that he thought Romney would have waited a little longer before launching his attack on the president.

Whatever. The RNC member from the Virgin Islands said this in his note to the committee: “I couldn’t believe this was coming from our party’s 2012 nominee, who despite differences in politics, still professes to be a Republican. With Republicans like him who needs Democrats.”

In truth, Mitt Romney is more of an actual Republican than the president of the United States.

Jevon Williams should reconsider his view of GOP purity.

Putting politics aside, let’s honor a great life

It won’t surprise those who read this blog carefully to realize that I didn’t vote either time — in 1988 or 1992 — for the late George H.W. Bush when he ran for president of the United States.

However, despite my own partisan leanings and admitted bias, I want to devote the next bit of time to honor this man’s life.

Long before he died last night at the age of 94, I grew to appreciate the profound public service that President Bush gave to the nation he served with such nobility, grace and grit. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate that service back when he was an active politician seeking election and re-election as president. Time, though, enables all of us to view people and instances through a different prism than we do in the moment.

Bush 41’s campaign for the presidency in 1988 was not his shining moment. He brutalized his opponent, Michael Dukakis, with a campaign that called Dukakis soft on crime and soft on love of country. Four years later, the economy was faltering and I felt we needed a change in direction.

OK, that all said, I believe it is important to honor the arc of this man’s life. Good heavens, President Bush led the fullest life one could possibly imagine.

He was born into privilege. He enlisted in the Navy right after Pearl Harbor, became the youngest aviator in the Navy during World War II; he was shot down and plucked from the ocean by a submarine crew. He came home, married Barbara Pierce, the love of his life. He finished college and went into business in West Texas. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, lost two races for the Senate. Bush was appointed head of the CIA, special envoy to China, ambassador to the United Nations, he chaired the Republican National Committee, was elected vice president and finally as president.

He helped shepherd the end of communism in Europe. He watched the Berlin Wall come down in 1989. Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. He led an international coalition against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait.

Even after he left office, he remained active and on call when the need arose. He teamed with his old adversary, Bill Clinton, to lead an effort to raise money in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004, killing hundreds of thousands of people. The two men then became the best of friends.

This man’s life is worthy of honor by every American. President Bush devoted so much of his adult life to public service. That’s how I choose to remember this great — and good — man.

The other stuff that troubles us in the moment, the hideousness surrounding the current president? That can wait.

This is President George H.W. Bush’s time.