Giving thanks for voters’ wisdom

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Allow me a brief moment to mix a bit of politics with the holiday week we’re going to celebrate.

I am giving thanks for the wisdom voters exhibited on Nov. 3 by tossing Donald John Trump out of the White House.

I remained cautiously optimistic that the outcome would turn out as it did, with Joe Biden assuming the title of president-elect. Yes, I had concern that Trump might pull a Houdini-like escape performance by repeating the stunning upset he scored in 2016 to become president.

When the votes came in and were tabulated, my concern was replaced by the satisfaction in realizing that most American voters were able to rectify the mistake that occurred four years ago.

They’re still counting ballots around the country. I look at the running totals almost daily and am heartened by the realization that more than 51 percent of Americans endorsed Joe Biden’s pledge to “restore our nation’s soul.” It needs restoration, to be sure.

I am going to place my faith in the deeds of the new president, that he will be able to bridge the chasm that divides us.

We’re going to give thanks for a lot of things this week. We shall give thanks for living in this great nation, for the liberty granted to us as Americans. We will give thanks for our families and the love that surrounds us and that we give in return.

I also am going to give thanks for the spirit of political redemption that arose on Election Day.

If this post offends you because it mixes partisan politics with the joy of a happy holiday, well … too bad. It’s what I am feeling in my heart this glorious morning.

Have a wonderful day.

Anxious for a new president

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

You know by now I have refrained from typing the word “President” directly in front of Donald Trump’s name.

Trump is too fundamentally unfit for the office for me to acknowledge that he has earned the title. So I have declined to refer to him directly with the title he acquired upon election four years ago as president of the United States.

Accordingly, I am looking forward to referring to the new president in that fashion. I am going to take a certain measure of delight in typing the words “President Biden” as he assumes the office to which he was elected.

This sounds petty, I am sure, to many of those of you who voted for Trump. You’re entitled to feel that way. As I am entitled to feel the way I do about the outgoing president.

This blog consists mainly discussion about politics and policy. I am keenly aware that many policy decisions come from the politicians who haven’t earned my support at the ballot box. They serve in state and local offices in Texas. However, none of them is as unfit for the offices they occupy as Donald Trump. Therefore, I am not at all reluctant to refer, say, to Gov. Greg Abbott, or Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, or U.S. Rep. Van Taylor … or even Vice President Mike Pence.

Donald J. Trump? He occupies a special place of derision for me. I won’t go there. Not ever.

With that I await the inauguration of our next commander in chief, President Joe Biden. 

I just am going to ask him one thing: Do not do something so egregious that I will be forced to reconsider my intent to extend you the courtesy of referring to you by the exalted title you have earned.

Biden does his due diligence

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President-elect Biden’s transition — such as it is to date — to the nation’s highest office is going to include a steady, learned search for individuals who will comprise the executive branch of the federal government.

I think it’s fair to suggest that Biden’s many years of government and public policy experience is going to serve him well as he seeks to fill the top Cabinet and staff positions. It’s also fair to compare his search with what confronted his predecessor as he began his own quest to fill those posts.

Donald Trump didn’t have any of the experience that Biden brings to the presidency. He was steeped in a checkered business career. It showed.

He selected a secretary of state who came from the fossil fuel industry. Rex Tillerson fell out of favor when he referred to Trump as a “fu**ing moron.” Trump has gone through four national security advisers. Three chiefs of staff. Trump installed his daughter as a senior adviser and his son-in-law as chief Middle East negotiator. Many of his campaign advisers and aides have been indicted for criminal activity and served time for it.

To be sure, he did hire some top-flight folks. James Mattis as defense secretary comes to mind. Mattis, though, got canned because he, um, disagreed with Trump’s ignorance about his role as commander in chief.

Trump has failed to fill many posts vacated by resignation or dismissal.

I do not expect any of this to occur in a Biden administration. The new president served eight years as vice president and 36 years as a U.S. senator. He chaired the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees. The man knows government. My goodness, he has lived and breathed government for nearly a half-century.

The United States conducted something of an experiment when it elected Donald Trump to its highest political office. The experiment, in my view, failed. Trump didn’t know how to govern. He never thought to learn anything about the complexities of running the nation’s executive government branch.

We have turned now to someone with a wealth of knowledge about that government. He is in the process of looking high low, far and wide for competent individuals who I am going to presume will put the nation’s needs ahead of their own or those of the president.

I am going to maintain my confidence in President-elect Biden’s knowledge and understanding of our complex federal government.

Moreover, I am delighted to say goodbye to the chaos and confusion we have witnessed for the past four years.

Shame on GOP enablers

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel like a pebble covered in an avalanche of boulders.

I live in Princeton, Texas, in Collin County, which is considered a Republican stronghold. I didn’t vote this month for Donald Trump. I supported the candidacy of Joe Biden and continue to support his ascendance to the presidency of the United States.

However, given that I live in this GOP ocean, I am silenced a bit by the complicity of GOP political leaders who are engaging in one of the most shameful acts of betrayal I have ever witnessed.

I want to tell my neighbors that their politicians are enabling Trump to undermine our sacred democratic process by their refusal to even recognize Biden as the nation’s next president. I don’t dare tell them what I believe.

As reprehensible as Trump’s conduct has been since President-elect Biden was declared the winner of the election, the conduct of GOP political leaders — especially those in Texas — is even worse. They are contributing, enabling Trump to continue his charade. He tells the Big Lie that the election was “rigged.” GOP leaders in Texas and elsewhere are silent. Their silence implies agreement, complicity in this monstrous demonstration of presidential petulance.

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are silent. My congressman, Van Taylor? Not a sound. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has offered a reward for anyone who can provide proof of election fraud in Texas. Bold stuff, Dan, given that no one will produce anything of the sort.

They won’t even refer to Biden as president-elect.

This is beyond ridiculous. It is dangerous. It betrays the Constitution they all swore to protect and defend. Their silence gives Trump license to sow seeds of doubt into our precious democratic process.

Previous presidents of both parties have lost re-election bids. They have accepted the results of the voters. They have done so with class and grace. This one, Donald Trump, doesn’t exhibit any of his predecessors’ decorum. Worse than that, neither do the mindless minions who continue to kowtow to this man’s idiotic notion that he won re-election “by a landslide.”

They should be shamed for the rest of their political careers.

Twitter set to make a move

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Twitter has made it official.

Effective on Jan. 20, Twitter is going to switch its @POTUS address from Donald Trump to the new president, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Does this diminish Donald Trump’s Twitter presence? Oh, probably not. The switch does signal to me that if a leading social medium recognizes Joe Biden as the next president, then it must be true!

Now, if only Donald Trump and his GOP toadies/suck ups/sycophants would follow suit.

 

C’mon, senator … Biden is ‘president-elect’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Dang, I was hoping U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn could avoid being sucked into the Republicans’ loony bin caucus when she joined that body in January 2019.

The Tennessee lawmaker, sadly, has swilled the nut job Kool-Aid by authorizing her staff to declare that her reference to Joe Biden as “president-elect” was a misspoken statement.

Good … grief, senator. The president-elect is going to take office in a couple of months. He will be the duly elected president of the United States. I daresay he will be even more “duly elected” than Donald Trump, the Sore Loser in Chief who lost to Biden. Indeed, as Trump yammers about how a “rigged election” put Biden in office, he ignores the actual rigging that occurred in 2016 when Russians conspired to assist The Donald into the White House.

As for Trump’s assertions about this year’s election, it’s crap, senator. It’s pure bullsh** that she and others of the GOP caucus have fomented by their continuing to sow doubt about the election.

There has been no evidence produced — zero! — that suggests “widespread” voter fraud. Still, the GOP lunatics keep enabling Trump to sow doubt and undermine our democratic process.

Sen. Blackburn, sadly, is one of them.

Give it up, Marsha.

This is how you concede, Mr. POTUS

George H.W. Bush 1992 Concession Speech – YouTube

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The link I have attached to this brief blog post is meant to illustrate how a president of the United States should concede to his opponent.

President George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton.

He stepped aside with class, grace, dignity and as a statesman.

Take note, Donald John Trump. Follow someone else’s lead … for once in your sorry life!

Stay away, Donald

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Presidential inaugurals drip with pageantry, good feelings, a sense of renewal, a beginning.

Yes, even the one that’s coming up. To that end, I want to state something with utmost clarity: I do not want the outgoing president to be anywhere near the U.S. Capitol Building when they swear in President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

I want Donald Trump to be far away. He need not be there. The Constitution doesn’t require the outgoing president to be present when the new POTUS takes the oath.

There once was a time when I had hoped Trump would actually accept that he lost, that he would offer a form of an acceptance if not a concession in the normal way. Now, though, even if he does any of that, it will be tainted by the memory of what we have witnessed as Trump has sought to undermine the president-elect’s clearly defined victory.

Trump sought to persuade state lawmakers to overturn the results of an election in their state. He did so today with Michigan legislative leaders; the Michiganders didn’t take the bait. Trump now reportedly is going to seek to sway Pennsylvania Republican legislators to do what Michigan GOP officials declined to do.

So, with that I want to declare that Donald Trump will not be welcomed at President Biden’s inauguration. Imagine when the public address announcer tells us that the president has just arrived on the stage where Biden will take his oath. He is likely to be booed off the stage.

Trump wants to be loved. He won’t get any love on Jan. 20. Do you think President Biden would thank him for his service to the country? Do you believe the new president should offer a kind word to this guy after all he has said about his successor? Or his family?

So, with that, just stay he hell away … Donald. You have no need to be there. Just go away. And stay away.

Texas AG feels the heat

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ken Paxton is supposed to be fixated solely on the nuts and bolts of his job as Texas attorney general.

He isn’t focused on those details. Instead, he is looking over his shoulder at a reported FBI investigation into whether he broke the law by handing out favors to a political donor.

I consider these questions to be a debilitating factor that takes the AG’s eyes off the mission, which is to represent the state on myriad legal matters.

A number of Paxton’s key AG’s office legal eagles have asked the federal government to examine whether the attorney general has committed criminal acts. They have either resigned, put on leave or been fired by the attorney general.

At least one major Texas newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, has called on Paxton to resign immediately. The Morning News contends that Paxton no longer can serve effectively as the state’s top law enforcement officer, based on the federal investigation that reportedly has commenced and on the state trial on securities fraud that is still pending.

Indeed, it is impossible in my view for the attorney general to work on behalf of the state while the FBI presumably is looking high and low to determine whether there is anything to the allegations that the AG’s top aides have raised.

I get the part about the presumption of innocence. However, the cloud is darkening over Paxton and his tenure as attorney general.

At issue is whether Paxton intervened on legal matters involving Nate Paul, a major donor to Paxton’s campaigns. Paxton’s aides suggest he broke the law; their complaints involve allegations of bribery.

This isn’t going down well with many of Paxton’s fellow Republicans. Some have called the allegations “concerning.” Others have said Paxton should quit.

The drama is going to play out eventually, or one should hope.

Texas needs an AG who isn’t sullied by these types of questions.

Thus, you can count me as one who continues to believe Ken Paxton should resign.

Impeachment? Old news!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When the U.S. of Representatives impeached Donald Trump in late 2019, I was certain that we had just witnessed the rough draft of the first line of Trump’s obituary.

It would read: Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States and the third president impeached by the House …

Silly me. I didn’t envision that the draft would be rewritten by what we are witnessing now in real time, which is the undermining by the defeated president of the Constitution he took an oath to defend and protect.

It now might read: Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States who sought to challenge the validity of a free and fair election that resulted in his defeat for re-election to a second term … 

How might that hold up? Well, I don’t know. We have another 60 or so days to go before President-elect Biden takes the oath as the nation’s 46th president. There’s still more time for Biden’s predecessor to something really foolish, reckless or maybe even illegal!

I am heartened by the reality that looms just down the road, which is that Joe Biden will become President Biden at noon on Jan. 20. There is nothing Trump can do to forestall that event from occurring. President Biden will take the oath, accept the congratulations from Chief Justice John Roberts, hug and kiss his wife, children and grandchildren; they all will take part in an inaugural parade.

Then the president will enter the Oval Office and get to work.

Trump, meanwhile, will recede into the background. He won’t be silent. He won’t go quietly. Trump will have played out all his limited number of options. He’ll be gone.

That obituary remains to be written. Indeed, I wish him a long post-presidency life. Donald Trump needs to hear and see how history will chronicle the mess he left for his successor to clean up and repair.

The impeachment we all endured seems so long ago. It has become old news, thanks to the tactics Trump is using to undermine our democratic process.

I don’t think it can get any more significant than that. Then again, we are dealing with a man who is capable of damn near anything to hold onto power.

More to come … aack!

Commentary on politics, current events and life experience

%d bloggers like this: