Would he dare drop out?

It won’t happen.

I wish it would. I wish we could be done with this clown now, not later, certainly not beyond next January.

Donald Trump wants to be re-elected president of the United States. He is digging up every bit of dirt he can find on Joe Biden; he is concocting “rigged election” conspiracies; he is playing to his base, hoping to fire ’em up.

Yet John Harris writes an essay in Politico that suggests Trump might drop out of the race. Harris reminds us that in March 1968, President Lyndon Johnson went on the air to tell us of a halt in the bombing of North Vietnam … but then saved the surprise for the end of his remarks. He said he wouldn’t seek or wouldn’t accept his party’s nomination for “another term as your president.”

Is such an announcement in the cards if the evidence keeps mounting that Trump will face a potentially resounding defeat in November?

Harris thinks it’s possible. He might be the only journalist who is willing to make the suggestion. As he writes: The Trump-drops-out scenario hinges on the assumption that Trump is less concerned with wielding the levers of government than he is preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade. The latter might be much easier to maintain if he avoids being tattooed as loser in Novemberā€”especially if the margin is larger than could be attributed, even by his most conspiracy-minded supporters, to media bias or vote-counting manipulation by Democrats.

I find it a fascinating and tantalizing idea. It gives me hope that the end of the Trump Era might be coming sooner rather than later.

Sowing fear of democracy

Donald J. Trump’s fear campaign is kicking into high gear.

It is despicable, deplorable and disgraceful. All at once. There are many more angry adjectives to attach to it.

He wants us to believe that mail-in voting is inherently corrupt. He floated the bizarre and unlawful idea that he would seek to delay the Nov. 3 election, claiming he wants to ensure a corruption-free balloting process. He can’t do anything of the sort and congressional leaders pushed back … hard! Trump has backed off that idiocy.

However, he has sown the seeds of doubt in the minds of many Americans. This is a preposterous and dangerous affront to an electoral system that works well in the states that employ it. Voter fraud? It’s infinitesimal! Indeed, it can be argued that mail-in voting is more secure than the conventional method.

That won’t stop Trump from seeking to block efforts to encourage voting in this Pandemic Era. He doesn’t give a rat’s a** about anything other than assuring his re-election.

He is denigrating the work that state and local officials do to protect against voter fraud. Why in the name of electoral integrity can’t we solicit the advice and counsel of state election officials on how they conduct all-mail voting? Of course we can! Donald Trump, though, will continue to hammer home the idea that this method of voting is somehow corrupt.

It … isn’t!

The Demagogue in Chief must cease his disgraceful campaign of fear. Sadly, he won’t.

Trump’s absence: the ‘new normal’?

As I have sought to process the day’s big event, the funeral of civil rights hero/icon/legend John Lewis, I pondered the absence of one individual who one could have presumed should have been there.

Donald J. Trump was not in Atlanta today to pay tribute to John Lewis, the former congressman and human rights activist who died at age 80 of pancreatic cancer. Oh, no. Trump was in Washington, tweeting messages seeking to undermine the voting rights gains for which Lewis fought, and bled.

It’s becoming something of a “new normal” in this Age of Trump as president of the United States. He was disinvited to the funeral of U.S. Sen. John McCain. Trump attended the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, but we didn’t hear a word from him. Now, the Lewis funeral. Trump declared he had no intention of honoring Lewis while he lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

I thought about past funerals of high-profile political figures. I recalled the presence of President Lyndon Johnson at the funeral of a man he hated beyond measure, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. I remembered the funeral of President Richard Nixon and recalled one of the tributes paid to him by President Bill Clinton, who told us that we must not judge his predecessor’s public life by just one episode, but by its entire history. I remember, too, when former Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower patched up their bitter differences while attending the funeral of their successor, President John F. Kennedy. The two old war horses realized in that moment that life was too short and too precious for them to continue hating each other.

Donald Trump clearly would not have been welcomed at John Lewis’s funeral. He once chided Lewis for supposedly being “all talk and no action.” Trump ignored the beatings that Lewis endured while seeking to guarantee the rights of black Americans to vote in free and fair elections.

So it fell to three of Trump’s predecessors — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — to speak of their friend and a man who will be remembered as a legend in his own time … and beyond.Ā 

Donald Trump? He was left to sulk in the background.

Texas GOP to Trump: You can’t do that

Donald J. “Ignoramus in Chief” Trump has demanded a delay in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Just one problem with that order. Donald Trump doesn’t have the authority to issue it. He cannot delay the election. The U.S. Constitution grants that authority to a second co-equal branch of government, Congress.

And to be sure, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — a Democrat and a Republican, respectively — aren’t having it.

It’s one of those matters of governance that a president ought to know. Except that Donald Trump has no knowledge, understanding or interest in government, its limitations and its authority. So he issues a hollow, feckless demand.

What is remarkable, too, is that Texas Republicans have joined other politicians around the nation in telling Trump that he can’t do it, that he has no authority under the law. So, the Texas GOP is telling Trump: Knock it off!

Why the delay? It seems that Trump has this paranoid fear of losing his effort at re-election, so he wants to delay the balloting to, um, guard against a phony voter fraud scare he has cooked up.

Trump is doing all he can to muddy up the electoral system. He wants to suppress the vote, which is code for “suppress the African-American vote.”Ā 

He keeps yapping about the phony inherent corruption with mail-in voting. It doesn’t exist any more than it exists in the current system of voting done in all but about six states. Trump is seeking to foment unfounded fear in mail-in balloting.

Trump is stoking electoral fear. He is the one who appears to be afraid of what might await him at the end of the balloting.

It is that Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden will receive more votes than Trump, that he will win election through a substantial Electoral College victory and that Trump will give up an office of which he has zero understanding.

Master of Hideous Timing

Leave it to Donald J. “Master of Hideous Timing in Chief” Trump to demonstrate once again how low he can go even in a moment of national mourning over the death of a civil rights icon.

While Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama today were eulogizing the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis for the struggle he waged to obtain equal rights and justice for all Americans, Trump took to Twitter tell us how he intends to do all he can to suppress people’s right to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

The juxtaposition of those two things — the farewell to Rep. Lewis and Trump’s Twitter tirade — is unspeakable in its hideousness.

Trump’s tirade tells me all I need to know — as if I didn’t know it already — about the how callow, callous and crass the president can get, even as the nation says farewell to a hero of the civil rights movement.

John Lewis’s friends and family bid adieu to the champion, reminding us how he sought to create “good trouble” for the cause of freedom and liberty. He fought — quite literally, I should add — for the right of all Americans to have equal voting rights. Lewis paid for that struggle with his own blood, shed in that Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

Donald Trump once chided Lewis as being a man of “all talk and no action.” That such a ridiculous criticism would come from someone who avoided military service during the Vietnam War simply illustrates the president’s utter shamelessness.

And so Donald Trump was at it again today, blasting out Twitter messages seeking to denigrate the voting rights struggle led by a man who was being laid to rest in that very moment.

As they say, timing is everything, for better … or for worse.

Quack now advising POTUS?

Where in the name of Hippocrates did Donald J. Trump find the quack who’s saying masks won’t help stop COVID infection and talks about “alien DNA”?

Her name is Stella Immanuel, and even though she has a medical degree, I won’t put the “Dr.” in front of her name.

According to the Daily Beast: She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by ā€œreptiliansā€ and other aliens.

Joe Biden calls her a “disgrace.” He is correct.

Immanuel, who resides in Houston, has become a star on right-wing media. She also has Donald Trump’s ear.

God help us.

It’s ‘phony patriotism’

If the National Football League and the National Basketball Association are able to get their seasons started, we should prepare ourselves for another round of what I call “phony patriotism.”

It will come from those who object to players “taking a knee” while they play the National Anthem. Americans will object to the demonstration of peaceful protest against police brutality. They will assert that kneeling during the Anthem disrespects the flag, the men and women who fight to defend it as well as our way of life.

Donald Trump says he will turn off football games the moment he sees players kneeling. No doubt he will wrap himself in the flag, perhaps even hugging and kissing the cloth stitched in red, white and blue. He’s going to pitch for legislation making flag-burning a violation of federal law.

Except for this bit of history: The U.S. Supreme Court has stood firmly behind what the flag represents. The court has ruled that burning the flag is a form of political protest, which the Constitution protects in the First Amendment.

I want to stipulate once again that I revere the flag. I stand proudly for it. I went to war in defense of what that flag represents. No one who ever seeks to make a political point by burning that flag should do so in front of me.

But the return of pro sports may well be upon us. Major League Baseball has begun — more or less — and yes, players have knelt during the Anthem. The NFL and the NBA seasons are scheduled to begin soon.

I will await the phony patriotism and will dismiss it for what I believe it is: a demonstration of cheap showmanship.

Is there a lesson to be learned?

The news that U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Loony Bin, has tested positive for the coronavirus ought to send a clear message to the moronic conspiracy theorists out there who joined Gohmert in dismissing the value of mask wearing.

The Texas Republican had visibly and vocally eschewed wearing a mask, calling masks overrated as a preventative measure against the pandemic. Then he tests positive. Gohmert is now isolating himself in his East Texas home.

Will this clown’s infection stem the naysayers? Will it shut them up? Hardly. These idiots keep yapping about masks being part of some sort of nefarious conspiracy concocted by someone, or some organization, perhaps the Deep State designed to rule the world … or some such moronic tripe.

Gohmert is the unofficial chairman of the Wacko Caucus within the Republican congressional delegation. His initial response, I hasten to add, is that he now will wear a mask “religiously.” He says he feels fine. That’s good. Really, it is. I don’t want him to suffer.

According to CNN.com: “I will not be around anybody for the next 10 days without making sure that I have a mask,” Gohmert said. “Because that’s the real danger. Once you have it, giving it to somebody else, and that’s when a mask if most important.”

I do want his positive test result to send a chilling message to his fellow pandemic goofballs to listen to the docs, who tell us to wear masks and to stay the hell away from everyone else.

Oh, have I mentioned that we passed the 150,000 death count in this pandemic battle? There. I just did.

This is serious stuff, folks. Just ask Louie Gohmert.

Still nothing about bounties? Really?

What in the name of national security gives with Donald J. Trump?

The U.S. president gets on the phone with Russian dictator/hitman Vladimir Putin and doesn’t bring up the allegation that Russian intelligence goons put bounties on U.S. service personnel?

Then we hear that Trump wants to remove 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany, which would do nothing but tickle Putin’s fancy, given that those troops have been stationed there as part of the front line against potential Russian aggression.

The bounty allegation has legs. Of that I have no doubt. Nor do any serious watchers of U.S.-Russia relations. It is utterly amazing to many of us that Trump has yet to condemn the allegation, pledging to find out whether it’s true or seeking answers from Vladimir Putin.

Trump told Axios that he and Putin talked about “other things.” Are you kidding me? Why in the world didn’t he mention the allegation? Why doesn’t he demand Putin to demonstrate he hasn’t done what many of us believe he has allowed?

This information reportedly found its way to Trump’s desk, but Trump continues to deny knowing about it in the moment. He said the intelligence reportedly placed in his daily briefing didn’t add up. What a crock of dookey!

I believe in my gut that Trump has been derelict in his duty as commander in chief. For the president to refuse to confront Vladimir Putin directly on it confirms my belief.

As for the troop withdrawal from Germany, let’s just say that Putin must be dancing one of those Russian jigs in the Kremlin. Trump is reducing the U.S. force commitment by one-third. He chides Germany for failing to pay it’s share of defense and suggests the United States won’t be “suckered” any longer.

The drawdown will cost billions of dollars. The troops will need to be relocated. For what reason? Because the president is angry with Germany over whether it’s paying enough for its own defense? It looks to me as though there is a larger national security issue in play, which involves whether the United States — as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — is doing its part to assure the defense of Europe against possible aggression.

Who is the beneficiary? None other than Vladimir Putin.

He embodies mercurial temperament … or much worse

These three images of Donald Trump alongside other individuals of some note tells me plenty about why I consider him unfit for the office of president of the United States.

He wanted to toss former quarterback Colin Kaepernick “off the field” because he chose to protest police brutality by “taking a knee” during the National Anthem at pro football games.

Trump led rally crowds in “Lock her up!” chants when email controversy swirled around Hillary Rodham Clinton during her run for the presidency in 2016.

Donald Trump then spoke of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and confidante of the late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein and wished “her well,” even as she stands accused of providing underage girls for Epstein to rape.

I should say that Kaepernick hasn’t been charged with a crime. Nor has Hillary Clinton. Ghislaine Maxwell? She could go to prison for the rest of her life if she is convicted of doing what has been alleged.

Do you get my point? It is that Trump’s presidential temperament is, shall we say, nonexistent. He doesn’t demonstrate an ounce of nuance. A pro athlete of color becomes the target of vulgar epithets; a political opponent who testified for hours before Congress should be locked up for reasons that Trump never specifies; a woman who’s a friend of Trump who has been accused of conspiring with a despicable sexual animal gets “well wishes.”

The man needs to get the boot from our White House.