Category Archives: Donald Trump

Polling data: What does it say?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Public opinion polling has been vilified over the course of recent election cycles, frankly for reasons that astound me.

Major public opinion polls actually had the 2016 presidential election called correctly when they had Hillary Clinton edging Donald Trump; they didn’t foresee the so-called “inside straight” that propelled Trump into the presidency on the basis of his narrow Electoral College victory.

They also called the 2020 presidential election correctly, giving Joe Biden a victory in both the ballot count and the Electoral College.

Still, the critics keep lambasting those polls.

Here we are today. President Biden pitched a massive COVID-19 relief bill that had significant public support. He got it enacted over the objection of every single Republican member of Congress … in both chambers!

Biden is back at it. He now has an even larger package on the table, a $2.25 trillion infrastructure reform package. The public response? Even greater than it was with the COVID relief package. The congressional Republican reaction? Precisely the same as the GOP resistance to lending a hand to those suffering from the economic wreckage brought by the pandemic.

Who, again, is on the right side?

It is looking to me as though the Republican congressional leadership and rank-and-file are not listening to the individuals they represent. They are ignoring the wishes of those who put them into office. The public favors rebuilding our roads, highways, bridges, ports (sea and air) and in buttressing our Internet broadband capability.

What’s going on here? Is the GOP political class listening exclusively to a narrow portion of its constituency? I am left to wonder if congressional Republicans will pay a political price when the midterm election rolls around next year.

They damn near should pay it!

Public opinion polling isn’t a perfect barometer of the national mood. However, it is far more accurate than its critics are wiling to admit. The GOP needs to pay attention.

GOP fighting among its members

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This isn’t a scoop, but it is clear that today’s Republican Party is locked in an internecine battle over the path it should take toward its future.

Yes, it causes me plenty of grief. Not because I am a card-carrying Republican — although I have voted in plenty of GOP primary elections over the years — but because it forces me to align with my  Republican friends who I consider to be on the “good side” of that intraparty battle.

I lived and worked in the heart and soul of the Texas Republican Party for nearly 23 years, nearly 18 of them as editorial page editor of the I know many fine elected officials all of whom are Republica Amarillo Globe-News. I resigned from that post nearly nine years ago, but I have retained many personal friendships with those individuals.

They are being whipsawed by competing factors: the beliefs of those who they represent in public office and their own view of what constitutes a “real Republican.” OK, you know that I am talking about the cult of personality that has evolved since the emergence of Donald John Trump on the political landscape. He ran for president of the United States as a Republican while campaigning as a so-called “populist” who by definition abhors concentrating power in the hands of the “elite.” Is that how he governed? Hah!

He’s out of office — thank Almighty God in Heaven! Trump’s legacy lives on in the minds of those who continue to believe in the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. The Big Lie taints everything about Trump and the party he purportedly represented while campaigning for the presidency and then serving as president for the past four years.

Meanwhile, we see actual GOP officeholders and contenders for public office trying to sell their ideas to a constituency that has swilled the snake oil sold to them by the presidential imposter known as Donald Trump.

How do these actual Rs compete with that? Thus, we see how this conflict is playing out.

I pity those friends I consider to be actual Republicans. They are caught in a struggle exacerbated by the lies — led by the Big Lie — told by the individual who grabbed their party by the throat. He is throttling the life out of it.

C’mon back, Donald!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump’s expected return to Republican Party political involvement just might be a good tonic for the nation, if not the GOP.

Why? Because the ex-president will be able to expose himself even more to the kind of self-centered narcissism that became one of the hallmarks of his time as president.

Trump reportedly is planning to get more involved in GOP primary activities, siding with candidates who oppose incumbents who weren’t sufficiently loyal to him.

As The Hill reports, though, many mainstream Republicans are none too happy to see The Donald step back into the arena after being beaten soundly by President Biden. They blame Trump for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats flipping from Republican to Democrat in the January runoff election. They are angry that Trump keeps repeating The Big Lie about the 2020 election being stolen from him.

Trump ramps up activities, asserts power within GOP | TheHill

As an ardent critic of Donald Trump, I am going to stop worrying about whether he plans to launch a return to political life. I see many hideous storm clouds on the horizon awaiting Trump. Prosecutors in New York and Georgia are looking for potential criminal culpability involving Trump. His once-fabled business “empire” is looking shakier all the time. Trump is facing hundreds of millions of dollars in debt that are coming due. All of that will become fodder for whoever wants to challenge The Donald.

To be sure, my sincerest hope of all is for Trump to vanish. I want him gone. His 15 minutes of political fame are up. He had his time on center stage … and blew it all apart.

I will watch with somewhat muted interest in this individual’s attempt at trying to cling to the power he possesses over a political party he grabbed by the throat and turned it into a cult of personality.

What? Trump does the right thing?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, did hell just freeze over or what?

Donald J. Trump, the one-time pandemic denier in chief, has issued a statement that urges Americans to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. I know what some of you are thinking. This can’t be true. Can it? I thought the same thing when I first heard it.

However, the ex-president has gone on the record in a Fox News interview that the vaccines out there are safe and are effective against the pandemic. Trump and his wife got vaccinated in the final days of the Trump presidency, only they didn’t tell anyone about it.

Trump’s suggestion for Americans to get vaccinated comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci — who needs no introduction — urged him to do what he did. “I think it would make all the difference in the world,” Fauci said on Fox News Sunday. “He’s a very widely popular person among Republicans. If he came out and said, ‘Go and get vaccinated; it’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country,’ it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him.”

Well, the former president did it.

Trump encourages Americans to get the Covid vaccine (msn.com)

It remains to be seen if his followers, many of whom remain skeptical about the vaccine and its efficacy, will follow suit. If they don’t and get sick, well … you know.

I am going to do something I didn’t think I would do, which is to thank Donald Trump for doing what, admittedly, he should have done a long time ago.

When will GOP wake up?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What in the name of all that is holy is it going to take to get the Republican members of Congress to realize that they took an oath to defend the nation, not to defend the reputation of a disgraced former GOP president?

Some of the GOP congressional honchos traipse down to Mar-a-Lago to tee it up with Donald Trump. Meanwhile, back at their place of employment — Washington, D.C. — the man who succeeded Trump, President Joe Biden, is trying to craft a legislative agenda that works for the nation he was elected to govern.

Biden took office wanting to unify the country gripped in the throes of a killer pandemic. Drug companies have developed vaccines and now are flooding pharmacies and government mega-vaccination centers with tens of millions of doses of vaccine to inoculate Americans.

Democrats are on board with President Biden. Republicans aren’t. They continue to spew the crap that comes from Donald Trump’s pie hole, speaking for the disgraced ex-president as if whatever he says is actually relevant. It isn’t. He isn’t relevant.

It frustrates me to no end to watch the president cobble together alliances within his own party but falling short in his efforts to bridge the still-gaping divide between the Democratic and Republican parties. All the while there is that chatter about Trump wanting to retain some position of power and influence within the Republican Party.

Let me be among those who hold a contrary view of Donald Trump’s future. He is toast. I am getting that nagging feeling in my gut that there might be an indictment or three in Donald Trump’s future. The men and women who continue to march to No. 45’s cadence will have to look elsewhere for actual political leadership.

They won’t have to look far. It resides in the White House.

No. 45 is popping off

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There he goes.

Donald Trump is trying to hog the glory of the success that has occurred since he left the office he once occupied.

Here’s what I “remember” about Trump’s time as president.

I remember him downplaying the severity of the pandemic. I recall how he said we could inject cleaning solution into our bodies and that the virus would “disappear.” I can remember how he called it a “Democrat hoax.” Oh, I also recall how he blew off the mounting deaths by declaring “It is what it is.”

The former Imbecile in Chief needs to go back on the golf course and keep his trap shut. He should stand by, though, and wait for the possible arrest warrants to be delivered.

New POTUS = new style

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s single term as president of the United States seemed as we were living through it like the longest four years of our lives.

Even now, looking back, I cannot get over the prolonged misery of enduring his constant Twitter tirades, his nonsensical encounters with reporters, his endless string of epithets and innuendo.

He’s been away from the White House for 40-something days. It still seems like an eternity, yes?

Which brings me to my point, which is that President Biden’s style remains a refreshing change from the idiocy that Donald Trump brought to the presidency.

Biden lays low. He lets the experts do the talking, such as those with whom he surrounds himself to discuss COVID-related matters. He doesn’t contradict them or, as in one infamous instance, call an expert epidemiologist such as Dr. Anthony Fauci an “idiot” because he said something Donald Trump didn’t want to hear.

It remains a marvel to my eyes and ears to have placed the presidency in the hands of someone who knows the rules of the game and does not seek to shake things and people simply because he can.

We haven’t returned to completely normal behavior. We’re still fighting that pandemic. One aspect of our lives has been restored to what we used to envision, which is that our president is able to behave himself in a manner befitting the high office he occupies.

Don’t use his name? Sure thing!

REUTERS/Octavio Jones

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If I were a self-respecting Republican Party politician, I would welcome this bit of news from the thoroughly disgraced ex-president of the United States.

Donald Trump doesn’t want any GOP pol using his name to promote their candidacy. Imagine that, eh?

Trump demands three Republican groups stop raising money off his name (yahoo.com)

He doesn’t want anyone else to trade on his name. He wants to keep that privilege only for himself and his businesses.

Well …

An actual Republican politician should feel fine with disassociating himself or herself from a twice-impeached, twice-tried, possibly soon-to-be indicted individual who disgraced the high office he occupied for four years.

Testimony tears at our soul

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My heart is breaking.

It breaks as I watch the video being presented by the members of Congress who are making the case to convict Donald John Trump of inciting an insurrection against the federal government.

I fear that it will shatter into a zillion pieces if Republican senators who are sitting in judgment of the ex-president decide to hang with him and vote to acquit this monstrous individual of the crimes for which the House of Representatives impeached him … for the second time!

Make no mistake about this: I have no illusion about whether the video, audio and the text that House managers have presented will sway enough of them to convict this ghastly individual of incitement.

We keep hearing throughout the day that members of the GOP Senate caucus aren’t even watching the videos that House managers present them. They reportedly are doodling on note pads, reading books, looking everywhere except at the screen. Are they not moved? Do they remain committed to the cult leader who masqueraded as a Republican president of the United States?

My goodness! The evidence today tells the world about how the riotous mob that stormed Capitol Hill intended to — and this is tough to write — assassinate Vice President Mike Pence. How in the name of all that is holy and sacred does one accept any portion of that as being normal? I fear the worst, that there will be an insufficient number of Senate Republicans who will listen to their conscience and vote to convict the ex-president of what they know he has done.

That’s in good measure why my heart is breaking while watching this Senate trial unfold.

What is left of my eternal optimism is being tested mightily by what I fear will be the result of this trial.

My broken heart might be healed partially, however, by the knowledge that more than five or six GOP senators will heed the whispers from their conscience.

And that a majority of senators will render a verdict that destroys this monster’s political future.

45’s legacy stained forever

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

All is not lost for those of us who want to see Donald Trump convicted by U.S. senators for inciting an insurrection against the government he took an oath to defend and protect.

The ex-president isn’t likely to “earn” that conviction, given the cowardice that infects so many Republicans serving as jurors in the second-ever impeachment trial that begins today.

However, let us ponder something that isn’t lost on many of us: Even though the Constitution sets a high bar for conviction, there well might be enough Republican senators who no longer fear retribution from Trump and his cult of followers if they vote their conscience.

Imagine, then, a 60-40 Senate vote to convict. The Constitution requires 67 conviction votes to seal the deal. How does Trump pitch a possible political return with the stain of a potentially significant majority of senators believing he did what the House of Representatives impeached him for doing?

A number of GOP senators have announced their intention to retire from the Senate; they won’t seek re-election in 2022. The school of thought goes that Republican “jurors” fear for their political backsides if the were to cross the Trumpkins who still command the political stage in the GOP.

Sens. Pat Toomey, Richard Shelby and Rob Portman are lame ducks. Then we have Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell and possibly Mike Enzi who could jump from the GOP ship and vote to convict Trump of inciting the riotous mob of terrorists to storm Capitol Hill on the Sixth of January.

The aim no longer is to remove Trump from office. A free and fair election took care of that already. The idea now would be to keep him from running for federal office ever again.

So … I will await a likely pre-ordained outcome. Trump will be “acquitted” — or so it appears — because most of the GOP Senate caucus will stand with him. I do not expect to hear a single senator defend the conduct of the ex-president. They’ll argue that a trial is unconstitutional; I do not believe the argument will hold up.

One final point: I want a quick end to this saga. I am weary of commenting on Donald Trump. Really! I am! I want to move on. However, I want us all to remember what occurred on the Sixth of January 2021. That memory should compel us to remember who was singularly responsible for that hideous event.

May that individual, Donald John Trump, cope with the indelible stain it will leave on what is left of his legacy.