GOP channels Democrats

Yep, it’s true. What passes today for a once-great political party is channeling the backbiting, backstabbing, in-your-face accusations of another great political party.

The Republican Party today is mirroring, more or less, the shenanigans of Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a big difference, though, in the context of these struggles.

In the 1960s, Democrats were at war with themselves over the conduct of an actual war, in Vietnam. Today’s Republicans are at war over something far less grim, but equally significant. They are feuding over how to govern this great country.

You had Hawks vs. Doves in the 1960s. The Hawks in Congress supported our involvement in the Vietnam War; the Doves wanted us to get out of there sooner rather than later. It was policy, man, that drove that internecine fight.

The policy this time is driving by those on the far right, the MAGA crowd, is throwing obstacles in front of mainstream Republicans who cling to the notion that they need to work with Democrats to enact meaningful public policy. The MAGA crowd — led by The Former Guy — obstruct efforts at, say, immigration and border security reform. They tie border security to funding the Ukraine war against the Russian invaders. They also tie the border to our continuing aid to Israel, which has declared war on Hamas over the terrorists’ hideous attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023.

What’s TFG doing about it? He’s cheering on the MAGA followers, encouraging them to stop our government from doing its job.

Just as Republicans were virtually unified in their efforts in the ’60s and ’70s to wage war in Vietnam, Democrats today lock arms and don’t lift a finger to stop the battle that’s underway across the great political divide.

Wow! I think I’ll continue to hold on with both hands.

Former Guy swims against tide

As I examine the political history of The Former Guy, I am left with trying to parse through a serious quandary.

Consider these known facts about TFG’s limited foray into public service.

He declared his POTUS candidacy in 2015 and immediately launched into an attack on immigrants … the type of people on which this nation was founded.

He was elected in 2016 basically on a technicality. He lost the popular vote by roughly 3 million ballots but won because he garnered more Electoral College votes than Hillary Clinton.

TFG served a single term as POTUS, embarrassing himself and the people he represented.

Joe Biden ran against him in 2020 and defeated him, winning 7 million more votes than TFG and defeating him in the electoral vote by the same margin TFG garnered in 2016.

TFG had squandered the nation’s response to the COVID crisis; he went through senior White House staffers and Cabinet secretaries like Happy Meals.

The voters said “hell no!” to his request for a second term, but then he didn’t accept the voters’ decree. TFG fomented The Big Lie about alleged 2020 election theft. He provoked the 1/6 attack on the government, he took classified documents from the White House and pressured state election officials to “find” 2020 votes that didn’t exist.

Oh, and he was impeached twice by the U.S. House of Representatives during his term in office.

Now, dude wants his old job back.

What simply doesn’t compute with me is how The Former Guy continues to scarf up the loyalists among American voters. The economy is No. 1 in the world. Do we have problems? Sure. Name me a president who has been problem-free in his first term in office.

Is TFG the man to “fix” what he alleges is wrong with the nation? Hah! Don’t force me to upchuck.


You know already that I have offered a bit of a mea culpa for some harsh terms I applied to the MAGA cultists who follow the preachings of the former POTUS who’s running to get his office back.

I also have declared my intention to never mention the MAGA Daddy’s name in this blog.

I have settled on an alternate name for the ex-POTUS. It’s pretty tame, but it does have a nice ring off the old tongue. Thus, I simply will refer to him as The Former Guy, or TFG.

So, those who cheer, whoop, holler and snort at the idiocy that comes from TFG’s pie hole, will thenceforth be called TFG’s followers.

I have received some negative response to my decision to take a relatively high road regarding the TFG cult. Michelle Obama once said, “When they go low, we go high.” I get it, Mme. Former First Lady.

It doesn’t really matter whether this little ol’ North Texas blogger takes the high road or goes into the gutter. I am just going to offer my comments without denigrating the intelligence of those who endorse and embrace the rants of TFG.

I offer all of this understanding what we all know to be true. It is that TFG never has — and likely never will — apologize for the defamatory epithets he has hurled at his foes since the moment he became a politician.

Therefore, I believe I am entitled to say I am a better man than TFG.

Heeding the critics

Taking heed of what passes for constructive criticism is a good thing, so I am going to listen to what some of my critics have said about the stern language I have been using to describe the ardent followers of the 45th POTUS.

They don’t like the m-word I have used to describe the MAGA adherents. It’s an alliterative term and I thought it sounded cool when I first used it.

Then I got a scolding from a longtime friend of mine in Amarillo, a fellow journalist — and a fellow I got to know after I left the newspaper in Amarillo more than a decade ago. He was disappointed that I would stoop to using such language to describe those with whom I disagreed politically. I don’t believe he is an adherent to the idiocy preached by the immediate past president, but his disappointment in me hit me where it hurts.

Then a family member chimed in later. Saying essentially the same thing. He thought it was “beneath” me to use such language. He took direct offense to my use of the descriptive word and said I also was denigrating another member of his immediate family who, I presume, also is part of the MAGA movement.

Others have chimed in, too.

I’m a grownup. I also am a decent human being … at least that’s what my friends and family members tell me.

I also am cognizant that not every follower of the former POTUS qualifies for the moronic description I ascribed to them. They’re smart and educated, but — shall we say — misguided.

Understand, too, that none of this lessens the visceral loathing I have for the MAGA Daddy. I’m just going to go a bit easier on those who follow his idiotic pronouncements.

So … there. Even bloggers can keep — more or less — an open mind.

GOP rewrites rules of conduct

Here, apparently, is where we stand with what passes for a once-great American political party.

Republicans who once impeached a president of the U.S.A. for lying to a grand jury about an affair he had with a White House intern is now giving a pass to one of their own who has been convicted of sexual assault on a female author.

The GOP used to stand behind what they called “family values,” and their definition of “character.” No more. One of their guys has actually boasted about grabbing women by their genitals, acknowledged cheating on his wives, said he has never sought forgiveness for his sins.

None of that matters to contemporary Republicans. It damn sure mattered in the late 1990s when a special prosecutor — hired to examine a real estate deal called Whitewater — stumbled upon a relationship between a Democratic president and a young White House intern.

He summoned the POTUS to testify to a grand jury and when he was asked about the affair, he lied. That did it! We cannot have a president who breaks the law, perjures himself. So, they impeached him. The POTUS was acquitted in a Senate trial.

This time? A president has admitted to being a scumbag. He has admitted to philandering. He has admitted to violating his supposedly sacred oath of marriage.

No sweat, man. It doesn’t matter, because the most recently former POTUS is a conservative, or so he says. He appoints judges who will do the right wing’s bidding.

A politician’s character no longer matters. It no longer factors into whether a pol is fit for office.

Our sense of value has been upended completely. It’s all been turned upside-down.

It’s all so very sad … and disgraceful beyond description.

Playing mind game with ex-POTUS

There might come a time when I’ll reverse course, but I hope it is no time soon.

The “course” to which I refer deals with my refusal to mention the name of the 45th president of the U.S. I am sick of him, sick of hearing his name, sick of reading his name, sick of his presence on the public stage.

For the foreseeable future you won’t see his name in print on High Plains Blogger. Hey, it’s my blog and I manage it anyway I see fit.

He was elected POTUS in 2016, at which time I declared my intention never to put the word “President” in front of his name. I recall one time doing so, but I was quoting another source to make a point about this fellow.

To be clear, I accepted his election in 2016 as being legally viable. I simply couldn’t — or wouldn’t — deliver him any measure of respect by attaching his name directly next to the term “President.” OK, it might have been small-minded of me. Some of my critics have said as much.

But you know what? I don’t give a rat’s rear end!

I am taking my visceral opposition to this guy to the next level. You won’t read his name on my blog. OK. I feel better now that I have explained myself.

GDP up, inflation in check! Who knew?

President Biden keeps getting these political gifts from the bean-counters who work for the federal government. And yet … he continues to languish in the minds of Americans who seemingly are struggling with trying to process this good news.

The salty Democratic political genius, James Carville, once coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!” in setting the tone for the 1992 presidential election. He was right then. Carville would be right today were he in the game working actively to re-elect Joe Biden.

GDP rose at an annual rate of 3.3% while inflation continues to flatten out, remaining somewhat stable, said the Commerce Department today.

Good news, yes? Of course it is. Ahh, but the doomsayers on the right and on the MAGA right say it’s nothing of the sort. They choose to ignore the findings and focus instead — and it’s good political strategy — on the issues that continue to plague the Biden administration.

Immigration and the southern border crisis? Yep! That’s a big one. The money we’re spending to help Ukraine fight the Russian invaders? That’s important, too. But not as critical as the border. I mean, the Russians must be defeated and Ukraine needs help from its allies to accomplish that task. The ongoing Israeli pummeling of Hamas terrorist compounds in Gaza? That’s big, too, given the immense civilian casualty toll among Palestinians.

The economy, though, well might have cleared the hurdle that the naysayers said would bring it crashing down. Wages are up. Jobs are up. Production is up. Joblessness is down. Inflation is slowing dramatically.

These are economic issues that President Biden should be proud to herald as he seeks re-election.

Yet I hear conservative commentators tell their audiences that Joe Biden is “the worst president in history.” Good grief! The numbers simply say something quite different.

It truly still is the economy … stupid!

This is it, Nikki Haley!

If I were a betting man — and I am not — I would suggest that Nikki Haley is facing the breaking point in her attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination.

She once served as governor of South Carolina. She was popular, too. It’s different these days. She is running for POTUS against a fellow Republican who once held the office. He’s favored to win the upcoming GOP primary contest.

Therefore, Haley is facing her Waterloo, her Little Big Horn, her Alamo. She’s got to win on Feb. 24 … or else.

The “or else” means she’s in a futile fight. The GOP frontrunner can all but cinch the nomination if his poll numbers hold up in the Palmetto State.

It galls me to say such a thing, given how much I detest the moron who’s on track for a third straight presidential run.

However, Nikki Haley must be realistic. It’s now or never!

Not understanding this … at all!

I will go to my grave likely never coming to grips with the political phenomenon that continues to play out as the 2024 presidential campaign starts to ramp up.

We have an incumbent president, Joe Biden, sitting on one of the healthiest economies in nearly a generation. Yet he stands in danger of losing his re-election bid.

To whom? Possibly his immediate predecessor who was impeached twice by the House, who has been indicted four times by state and federal grand juries, who continues to defame his foes and who is preparing to stand trial for felony counts brought against him.

The confusion? I cannot fathom in my wildest dreams how this ex-POTUS continues to hold sway with Americans.

In an earlier era, Republican voters and political leaders never would have tolerated the behavior of an individual who they are poised to nominate for a second run as POTUS. He admits to cheating on his wives; he said he could date his daughter, who he described as being “hot.” He called John McCain a hero “only because he was captured (during the Vietnam War); I like people who aren’t captured.” He denigrated a physically challenged reporter and said he could grab women by their private parts because he’s a “celebrity.”

Nope. I’ll never understand what bounces around in the noggins of those who suggest that their guy can fix this nation.

Somewhere there must be a political sanity god who can guide this nation away from the madness that this guy represents.

Way ahead of the curve …

Rarely can I boast about being ahead of the curve on political trends, as I mostly am wrong far more than I am correct.

As it involves the 45th president and his unfitness to hold — let alone run for — public office, well, I take a back seat to no one on that matter.

I made such a declaration long before he and his wife rode down the escalator in the office tower that bears his name. I noted that the future POTUS had zero public service experience, that his entire professional life was geared only toward self-enrichment. I argued vehemently on this blog that American voters must never let him near the Oval Office.

Well, as with most things, the voters didn’t heed my warning. He got elected in an Electoral College fluke, losing the popular vote by more than 3 million ballots, but being elected by pilfering key states and being awarded their electoral votes.

I truly wanted him to succeed. It couldn’t happen, though, because of that damn lack of public service background thing.

I said “I told you so” a time or three during his term in office. But again, the MAGA followers who happen to read High Plains Blogger were dismissive. I need to get over myself, some of ’em said.

Eight years later, the former POTUS is at it again. Only this time he has lost more than a step in speaking to the critical issues of the day.

He recently confused fellow GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley with Hillary Clinton, prompting Haley to declare — for the first time and way later than I ever did — that the GOP frontrunner is “unfit for public office.”

Well, no sh** Sherlock!

These missteps are going to chip away where his previous insults, gaffes and hideous pronouncements couldn’t.

Hold your applause if you’re so inclined to congratulate me. Hey, I was just stating the obvious. If only those MAGA followers would follow suit.