Tag Archives: the presidency

Wanting a president who’s better than this

I consider myself a fairly liberated male.

However, I do have some old-fashioned notions about how the world ought to work. Such what we should expect from our government leaders.

Take the president of the United States … for example.

I want my president to be better than the rest of us. I want that person to lead by example. I want the president to set the example for the country — as well as the rest of the world — to follow.

Does the current POTUS, Donald Trump, fit that description? Is he your kind of president? He damn sure isn’t my kind of individual I want leading my country.

I love the United States of America as passionately as anyone. I will take a back seat to no one when it comes to honoring our flag and what it symbolizes. I like the pageantry of patriotic events. I have been known to choke up over patriotic music. I honor our military men and women; I thank the older veterans for their service.

Accordingly, I want the president to symbolize all that is good about my country. Donald Trump does not come close to filling that bill. He dishonors the country, the office he occupies, the government he heads. He does not represent the best of the great nation he was elected to lead.

He embodies some sorry traits that have carried over from his time as a real estate mogul/reality TV celebrity/beauty pageant owner-operator.

I came into this world in 1949. Harry Truman was president at the time. He was a plainspoken man of the Midwest who inherited the presidency upon the death of the great Franklin D. Roosevelt. Truman rose to greatness himself with his decision to end World War II quickly by dropping those two horrible weapons on Japan in August 1945. He won election to the office despite heavy odds that he would lose the 1948 election.

Every president since Truman — Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama — all sought to put the country above their own aggrandizement.

I surely didn’t vote for all those men, but I honor their service to this day, recalling their commitment to the public; yes, some of these men had political fatal flaws, but they knew how to behave like our head of state, our commander in chief.

Not the individual who’s in office now.

I want a president who embodies the best of our nation. I do not want someone who keeps reminding me of his crassness and coarseness.

It’s an old-fashioned view of the president and the presidency. I’m fine with it.

Always good to separate the person from the institution

Maybe I have learned how to “compartmentalize” the way Bill Clinton demonstrated he was able to do during his eight years as president of the United States, from 1993 to 2001.

President Clinton taught us how he was able to set aside his political opponents’ personal loathing for him — and work with them anyway. He was able to put his own personal loathing for individuals into, um, compartments while doing business on behalf of the public.

So it is that form of compartmentalization that I am able to look at the presidency without much regard for the individual who inhabits the office in the moment. Donald Trump is president of the United States. I recently posted a blog item that mentioned how thrilled I was to see the White House with my wife, niece and nephew a couple of years ago. It didn’t matter to me in the moment that Donald Trump is the person who has taken up residence in that magnificent residence.

Later in the day after we stood outside the White House, we happened to see Marine One, the helicopter carrying the president flying overhead. We were in Georgetown at that moment and the chopper was en route to the White House; I don’t remember where the president had been, but he was returning to “my house” where he lives with his wife and youngest son. And, yes, it was a thrill to see the helicopter, too!

My point here is to reiterate that my respect for the presidency and all the trappings of that office are not diminished by the individual who seemingly seeks to sully it. All he does is shame himself.

The office and the institution of the presidency is too damn big even for Donald J. Trump to do permanent damage.

That “compartmentalization” thing comes in handy. Don’t you think?

White House still signifies dignity, power and majesty

I have made no secret on this blog about my intense loathing of the man who lives in the big ol’ house behind us in this picture.

Two years ago, my wife and I ventured to Washington, D.C., to visit the two young folks in this picture: our niece Andrea and her husband Loren. They showed us a marvelous time in the few days we spent in the nation’s capital.

Our walking tour took us to the White House. We stood on Pennsylvania Avenue and gazed at the place along with other turistas who were gathered along the fence.

It dawned on me in the moment and it occurs to me now that despite the intense political differences one might have with the individual who sits in the Oval Office, the presidency is far bigger, far more important than the knucklehead who serves in the office.

The building is a lasting symbol of the nation and its greatness.

To be crystal clear, Donald Trump never will earn my support. I didn’t vote for him in 2016. He won’t get my vote in 2020. However, my dislike for him as an individual and what he represents does not diminish for one instant, doesn’t take away any bit of love I have for my country or the respect I continue to hold for the office of the presidency.

I suppose that is why I want my president to be better than the rest of us. I want the president to represent us with dignity, class, grace, even a bit of elegance.

I want that individual to be worthy of taking up residence in that beautiful structure. After all, it is our house. Yours and mine.

Thus, it was a thrill to lay eyes on it two years ago.

Extend your term, Mr. President? Are you f***ing nuts?

I don’t know whether to laugh, scream, pull my hair out by the roots or jump onto a fire ant mound.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump has just retweeted something that on its face is beyond the unbelievable but is something that one can totally expect from the goofball who happens to be president of the United States of America.

He believes his term as president should be “extended” by two years. Why? Because, in Trump’s own words, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian attack on our election in 2016 has “stollen” two years of Trump’s presidency.

Can you believe this man would make the moronic suggestion?

Yeah, me too.

The U.S. Constitution — the document with which Trump has no familiarity — limits the president to two elected terms that shall last no longer than eight years.

So this clown wants to extend his term by two years? To a six-year term? Is this guy out of his ever-lovin’ mind? No need to answer that.

The idea comes initially from the “Rev.” Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University and an unabashed admirer of the president. I use the term “Rev.” guardedly because I do not consider Falwell to any more a man of God than his late father.

The very idea that Jerry Jr. would pitch such a ridiculous notion is preposterous on its face. It’s not so weird that Trump would latch onto it, given that I believe he is hurtling out of control.

I think I might start looking at any moment for that fire ant mound.

‘Trump-bashing’ to continue

Some readers of this blog — those who support Donald J. Trump — keep calling me out because I continue to “bash” the president.

Two answers are in order. The short answer: So what? The longer answer: There’s going to be more of it; allow me to explain.

Donald John Trump Sr. campaigned for the presidency with a campaign that was awash in insults and innuendo against his foes in the Republican Party primary, then against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and also against the media.

What he’s getting from critics, such as me, simply is a payback for the kind of campaign he waged to attain the nation’s highest office.

Never in my many years of watching politics at this level have I seen a politician employ such negativity, such anger, such outrage. Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017 by giving an abbreviated, but quite grim inaugural speech.

I didn’t hear a call to our nation’s better angels. I heard anger and rage at what he called the “American carnage.”

What does the president expect in return? He should have anticipated that the reaction from those on the other side of the vast political chasm would take the form it has taken.

O.n the very first day of his campaign, the day he announced his candidacy, Trump went for the throats of illegal immigrants, calling them “rapists, murderers and drug dealers,” while admitting “there are some fine people, I’m sure.”

That’s where it started. It is where he continued on his way to the GOP nomination and then to the election. It is the path he has chosen since he settled into the Oval Office.

Yes, I’m going to continue “bashing” the president. And, yes, I also am going to speak positively about him and his policies when circumstances merit it.

Believe it or not, I truly am tired of speaking badly of the president. I’ll let up when I feel like it.

Trump victimized by his own big mouth

Donald John “Deal Maker in Chief” Trump Sr. reportedly has acknowledged the obvious.

The president is blaming congressional Democrats for the federal government shutdown that occurred at midnight, but has told White House aides that he is going to take the heat for it.

Imagine my absolute non-surprise!

Trump said in 2013 that the president should take the fall for a government shutdown. One occurred that year. A Democrat, Barack Obama, was in office at the time. Trump said the buck stopped at the president’s desk. The president is the nation’s head of state and government. Thus, he deserves all the blame.

That was then.

While campaigning for president in 2016, Trump then declared time and again from the campaign stump that he is the “greatest deal maker” in history. He made a “yuuuge” fortune cutting “the best deals.” No longer would there be “bad deals” struck inside the Oval Office “if I’m elected president,” Trump told us.

Well, Mr. President, what in the name of deal making has happened? Why didn’t you negotiate “the best deal ever” to avert a government shutdown?

Yes, the president likely will take most of the heat for this shutdown. Trump doesn’t deserve all of it, but he has managed — through his big mouth and thoughtless commentary — to deliver it directly to himself.

Our memories are long, Mr. President.

Now that Donald Trump is in charge, it’s time for him to step up — and lead!

Trump changes presidency … not for the better!

Here’s another broken campaign promise from Donald John Trump.

He said he would change his approach if he were elected president of the United States, that he would become “more presidential.”

It hasn’t happened. The 71-year-old man who now is president isn’t going to change. He has demonstrated with graphic clarity his unwillingness to lend dignity to his comportment.

Indeed, this individual is changing the office he occupies.

Think of this for a moment. He goes to war with his foes, critics — and, yes, the media. He does so via Twitter. He has elevated a certain social medium to the level of venue for his policy pronouncements. The Trump White House acknowledges that his tweets become the official word of the president of the United States, our head of state, our commander in chief, the most powerful man on the planet.

Do you get it? He is lowering the office to his level! Rather than elevating his own standing to that of the exalted office to which he was elected, Trump is reducing the office a sort of playground, one populated by an overaged juvenile delinquent.

The president has disgraced his office. I would rue the day that he disgraces the great nation he is supposed to lead. However, the rest of us are better than the man who purports to be our leader.

‘I thought it would be easier’

If anyone wondered whether Donald J. Trump was equipped to assume the role of president of the United States, an interview just published has removed all doubt.

The president told Reuters News Agency that he thought being the head of state and government of the world’s greatest nation would be “easier” than what he did beforehand.

Really, Mr. President? You believed that presiding over the multi-headed monster called the federal government would be easier than snapping your fingers while running a company?

The president’s 100th day in office is at hand and we’ve gotten a most revealing look at how little this person knew about the office he sought. It’s been reported — and repeated — that the presidency was the first public office to which Trump ever aspired. His whole life has been centered on one thing: self-enrichment. Public service is an entirely different critter.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

Well, Mr. President, get used to it. The work won’t get any easier.

Trump laments difficulty

One of Trump’s predecessors, John F. Kennedy, once reportedly complained about the difficulty of getting things done. JFK thought he could just pick up the phone, issue an order and then he would get the desired result immediately and without question.

President Kennedy, who entered public life in Congress also as the son of immense privilege, learned quite rapidly that government doesn’t function that way.

Donald Trump must learn that lesson, too, if he has a prayer of succeeding at the job he now occupies.

I’ve said often that 400 grand — which is the salary the president earns — isn’t enough. For the current president, that salary is walking-around money; he isn’t taking a salary and is pledging it to charity. Good for him.

That doesn’t minimize the enormous difficulty of transitioning from a life of glitz and glamor to one dedicated to serving other human beings. Yes, Mr. President, you have laid claim to the toughest job on Planet Earth.

This is something that — in a still-imperfect world — you should have understood the moment you declared your intention to seek it.

Speaking in the first person … singular

President Obama can take credit for a lot of good things that have happened while he’s been living and working in the White House.

But as the short video attached to this blog post indicates, he seems all too willing to take all the credit.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/06/01/obama_under_my_leadership_the_united_states_is_the_most_respected_country_on_earth.html

Readers of this blog know that I’ve been a strong supporter of Barack Obama’s work to fix what was ailing the country when he took office. I hope those who’ve read it over the years also will understand that I bristle when he keeps using the first person singular pronoun when he speaks of the good things that have occurred.

The president took some questions at the White House and, by gosh, he did it again. He kept using the words “I” and “me” and “my” when referencing the positive accomplishments of the presidency.

“On my watch” the United States is the most respected nation on Earth, he said. “I” fixed the auto industry, he said. “I” got the country working again, he added.

Mr. President, you are part of a team that, yes, you assembled. But you all have worked together to do these things. Isn’t that correct?

President Nixon had an equally annoying habit of referring to himself in the third person. “The president” has the power to do certain things that others don’t have, he would say. Nixon’s use of the third person became prevalent during the Watergate scandal and it chapped my hide royally every time I heard him say it.

I recall something President Reagan once said. I am paraphrasing it here, but he said something about not caring “who took the credit” for positive outcomes. On the flip side, I recall him saying that “mistakes were made” during the Iran-Contra scandal that embarrassed him and his team — as he lapsed into that maddening passive-voice verbiage so common among politicians who refuse to take full responsibility for the policies that go wrong.

It’s fine for the current president to take credit as well for the plus side of his time in office. I just wish he’d be willing to acknowledge publicly, out loud, so everyone can hear it, that it’s a team effort.

How about a little more “we,” “us,” and “our,” Mr. President?

 

Wow! Ted Cruz praises Michelle Obama!

Times like these call for special attention.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TEA Party Nation, has actually said something complimentary about the first lady of the United States of America.

Cruz wrote on his Facebook page that Michelle Obama has stood up for the rights of women around the world by declining to wear a scarf covering her head while visiting Saudi Arabia.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/28/ted-cruz-michelle-obama_n_6564768.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

You go, Ted!

He wrote: “Kudos to First Lady Michelle Obama for standing up for women worldwide and refusing to wear a Sharia-mandated head-scarf in Saudi Arabia. Nicely done.”

Cruz, who’s actually from Texas (of course) isn’t likely to say nice things — ever — about the first lady or her husband. He’s entertaining a possible — if not probable — run for the presidency in 2016. He’s no doubt storing up plenty of negative things to say about the past eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Just for grins and giggles, though, I am curious to know the reason Michelle Obama didn’t wear the scarf in a country where Islamic tradition plays such a huge role in people’s lives. My own hunch is that the Sharia mandate is for Muslim women and since Michelle Obama is not a Muslim, she and other women in the presidential party were exempt from the rule.

Still, it’s good to hear Sen. Cruz acknowledge the guts it took for the first lady to do such a thing in Saudi Arabia. Imagine what he and other critics on the right would have said had she shown up with her hair covered.