Category Archives: Joe Biden

Wishing to put distance between now and the immediate past

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I am sensing a serious desire among many millions of Americans who yearn to welcome a new presidential administration with an extra sense of zeal.

We’ve been through a tumultuous past four years. It started with a president declaring an end to what he called “this American carnage.” The presidential term ended with another rash of carnage spilling on the steps of our nation’s Capitol Building, inside the structure, threatening the very democratic process that makes us proud to be Americans.

We somehow got through the horrible event of the Sixth of January. The House the following week then impeached the president for inciting the riot that erupted on Capitol Hill. A week after that we welcomed President Biden and Vice President Harris to the pinnacle of power.

The former president jetted off to Florida. Vice President Pence managed to shake the hands of the new president and vice president.

I cannot possibly know what is in the hearts of all Americans. My own heart is quite full tonight after watching one of the strangest inaugurals I ever have witnessed.

There were no large crowds. No grand parade. The former president and the new president did not share a limo ride from the White House to the Capitol.

Throughout the day, my sense has been a feeling of relief that the past is behind us along with a strong desire to put it farther behind us … in rapid fashion!

Yes, many crises confront the new president and vice president. The pandemic needs focused attention from the center of our federal government. Our worldwide allies need assurance that our nation has returned to its rightful place on center stage. Our climate is changing. Our nation is torn by racial strife.

I get a sense that we now have considerable faith in President Biden and Vice President Harris are up to the task of moving us forward.

Put ’em on the record

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I suppose it’s time to face reality.

The U.S. House of Representatives is going to impeach Donald J. Trump for a second time, making him No. 1 in the annals of presidential infamy as the only POTUS ever to be impeached twice.

Trump certainly deserved to be impeached and then tossed out for soliciting dirt on Joe Biden from the head of a foreign government. That didn’t come to pass in 2019. The Senate acquitted him because only one Republican senator — Mitt Romney of Utah — had the courage to stand up against Trump and stand for the Constitution.

Now, though, comes the second impeachment on a charge of inciting an insurrection against the federal government. As Trump’s former friend/ally/confidant Chris Christie — the former New Jersey governor — said, if that isn’t an impeachable offense, “then I don’t know what is.”

The reality though is that the House impeachment won’t result in a Senate trial in time for Trump to be booted out of the White House. He’s only got 10 days to go before President Biden takes the oath along with Vice President Kamala Harris.

An impeachment, though, does have value. Once the Senate gets the articles of impeachment, House and Senate defenders of Trump will have been forced to explain why in the name of love of country they oppose impeaching and/or convicting him of the crime for which the House will contend he committed.

They all will cast their votes. Some of them might make public statements. Whatever the case, the public will know who these individuals are and will be able to hold them accountable for their statements and (in)action.

Trump’s inciting of the mob this past Wednesday is, as CNN commentator John Avlon noted, “history book stuff.” That single act will be written into our nation’s history, where it will stand forever as a testament to the ugliness of the time that we ushered with the election of Donald John Trump as president of the United States.

So, let’s have that debate, shall we? I am looking forward to laughing my a** off listening to those try to defend such despicable — and seditionist — behavior from the president of the United States.

Senate steepens Biden’s hill to climb

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As if President Biden doesn’t already have a steep hill to climb when he takes office in 10 days …

The U.S. Senate will not have confirmed a single one of his Cabinet nominees by the time he assumes the presidency. Why? Well, senators have been consumed by matters involving the hideous antics of Biden’s immediate predecessor, Donald Trump.

The president-elect has been rolling out his nominees systematically since winning the election. He has completed that task, along with naming top staff-level appointees who do not require Senate confirmation.

It would be in the nation’s best interest for senators — who return to work no later than Jan. 19 — to focus immediately on confirming the president’s national security team. That would include the secretaries of defense, state and homeland security along with the director of national intelligence and the CIA director. We also might want to toss in the treasury secretary for good measure, given that our economic strength remains a key component of our national security.

Too many Republican senators, I am saddened to point out, have swallowed the “widespread voter fraud” lie that Donald Trump fed them as he fought to cling to power. hey have taken their eye off the task at hand, which is to help ensure a smooth transition of power. One of those senators happens to be the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who now surrenders that title to Democrat Chuck Schumer when the next Congress returns to work.

I don’t have any doubt that President Biden, with his vast government experience, will be able to navigate through the initial stages of the presidency without a full complement of Cabinet officials on hand.

The onus belongs to the Senate, though, to ensure that the new president is staffed fully as soon as is humanly possible.

Because, unlike Donald Trump, the new president will actually listen to and heed the advice he receives. The national security team is foremost among the advisers on whom he will rely.

These wounds won’t heal quickly

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s start with the obvious.

The wounds on our nation inflicted by the rioters who stormed the Capitol Building this week won’t heal any time soon. They will fester at least for as long as the nation remains transfixed on the doings of the man who instigated the riot: Donald John Trump.

I want the wounds to heal a soon as possible. However, I believe we need to remain vigilant and alert to what brought the havoc to the doorstep of our democracy.

Donald Trump will be gone from the White House in 11 days. The House of Representatives appears set to impeach for a second time early next week. The Senate isn’t likely to convene a trial in time to decide whether to convict him. Still, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be in office on Jan. 20 and they can get right to work dealing with the issues that matter the most.

Like, oh, that pandemic.

Trump wants to remain a political factor. My strong hope is that if the House impeaches him and the Senate convenes a trial after he leaves office that senators can muster up some sort of nerve and approve a provision that bans Trump from seeking public office ever again. He has proved demonstrably that he is unfit for public office. I want the Senate to codify that unfitness with an outright ban.

None of that will silence the mobsters who stormed into the Capitol Building. They could surface again. Indeed, there appear to be threats that Trumpsters could demonstrate on the day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office. Our fondest hope should be that the D.C. police force is better prepared to respond to violence if it presents itself a second time.

Even as we allow time to lapse from the events of this past Wednesday we should be as alert to the rumblings from within our nation as we have continued to be to those we hear from terrorists abroad.

The rioters who stormed into the seat of our representative democracy are domestic terrorists who inflicted grievous damage on our system of government.

Donald Trump’s exit from the political stage cannot occur quickly enough. He’ll be gone, but the damage he and his followers have done will take time to heal.

What if they had taken prisoners?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I continue to watch the news and continue to be saddened damn near to tears over the images I am watching.

They are the sight and sounds of rioters storming into offices inside the Capitol Building of the United States of America.

I am 71 years old. I have lived through a presidential assassination, have served my country in a war zone, have watched another president commit high crimes and then resign from office in the midst of what we all thought at the time was the “worst constitutional crisis” in U.S. history.

None of those prior events posed quite the threat to the very fabric of our national government than what we all witnessed in real time this week.

Donald Trump, the current president of the United States, incited the rioters to do the damage they did.

It is fair to ask: What if they had taken prisoners during their riot? What if they had managed to surround, say, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Senate leaders, or even the vice president, Mike Pence? What if they had taken them captive in their madness?

They didn’t. They did considerable damage to our public property. They broke windows. They ransacked offices. Five people — including a D.C. police officer — died in the melee.

They also have inflicted potentially grievous damage on our democratic form of government.

They were fueled by the lie that Donald Trump kept telling them, that the election that Trump lost was “stolen” by Democrats who engineered a theft that propelled Joe Biden into the presidency.

It was a despicable, reprehensible display of sedition. They sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election. They and their champion, Donald Trump, demonstrated for the entire world to see just how perilous is the state of our precious form of government.

In all my years, it was one of those events I never thought I would witness. It frightens me beyond what is reasonable. The government I took an oath to defend and protect while the country was at war for a time was in danger of falling to this madness.

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech featured a single memorable line, when he declared that the “American carnage would stop right here and now.” This individual’s term as president is ending with the kind of carnage most Americans never thought would be possible in this proud land of ours.