Category Archives: political news

Election was for the ages


Midterm Election Day 2022 is now in the books and I am still trying to wrap my arms around what in the name of political punditry occurred.

Republicans were supposed to capture complete control of Congress, flipping perhaps dozens of seats in the House and pilfering perhaps a six to eight Senate seats.

It didn’t happen. Democrats well might retain control of the Senate; indeed, if the Georgia runoff goes to my satisfaction and a Democratic incumbent wins re-election in Arizona, then Democrats might pick up on seat in their majority.

Oh, and the House? That remains an open question. The GOP is poised to take control, but with a fraction of the seats they expected to gain. Maybe by three or four? Several contests remain too close to call, so they could go either way.

I am left two days after Election Day to scratch my head and wonder: What the heck is going on?

I am trying to parse some of the reasons for this unexpected result. Donald Trump might have been poison to many of the MAGA adherents who fell short. President Biden’s message that “democracy is on the ballot” might have stuck more tightly than anyone imagined. Women might have turned out to protest the assault on their right to decide how to manage their own body.

Not every pundit saw a Red Wave swamping the political landscape. They were laughed or jeered out of every room where they offered a contrary view.

I guess they were smarter than many of us cared to admit.

Whatever. Midterm Election Day 2022 has provided yet another example of how topsy-turvy conventional wisdom has become. What you think will happen almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for something else occurring.

In this case, I welcome the surprise.

Democratic process is alive and thriving

We cast our ballots this morning for all the contests facing us in this midterm election, but I want to offer a brief immediate takeaway from what we noticed when we drove to our polling place.

We approached the Princeton (Texas) Community Center and noticed (a) a parking lot full of vehicles, (b) lots of signs extolling the virtues of candidates and issues and (c) a line at the polling station that was stretching out the door.

My thought? The democratic process is alive and well in our Collin County community.

I don’t know how many of our city of more than 20,000 residents voted early. I just was struck by the active Election Day participation we noticed this morning.

It gives me hope that our process will survive the onslaught it is enduring at the moment from those who seek to undermine it.

I am acutely aware that a momentary glimpse of a polling station doesn’t precisely qualify as a mountain of empirical evidence of what I have concluded.

I will accept it, though, as sufficient reason to have hope that our electoral process is working.

Now … we wait for the votes

OK, here’s where we stand on the eve of the most consequential midterm election I can remember … and at the age of almost 73, I can remember a lot of ’em.

Depending on who you ask or who is doing the talking, Democrats are either (a) going to get a serious, back-alley thumping at the polls or (b) might pull off the surprise of the century and hold onto the Senate and cut their expected losses in the House of Representatives.

I will not venture a prediction on what will occur. I don’t have a clue. I live out here in the middle of the country. All the political action is either back east or in the Deep South or out west in places like Arizona and Nevada.

My bride and I just returned from the western region of the nation; we spent a few nights listening to the news out of Arizona and Nevada. We heard the extreme negativity coming from both sides of the great divide. I didn’t ask anyone what they thought of the tone and tenor of the campaign being waged.

We’re home now. We are going to vote on Tuesday. No early voting for me … for reasons I have explained already.

What will the result be at the end of it all? Beats me, man. You know what I want to happen: I would prefer the Senate and House remain in Democratic hands, given Republicans’ refusal to offer any solutions other than to obstruct what President Biden wants to accomplish.

If the House flips to GOP control, then I fear a vengeance-filled period for the next two years and likely beyond. The best hope, I suppose, lies in the Senate, where Democrats appear to have a puncher’s chance of holding on to the committee gavels.

Is our democracy at stake? You’re damn right it is!

Democracy, indeed, is on the ballot

Make no mistake: Democrats across the nation have pegged the stakes in this election correctly.

Democracy itself is on the ballot in all 50 of our states. It falls, then, on voters to ensure that our democratic process survives the onslaught it is facing from the array of election deniers, MAGA adherents and political perverts who believe that violence is the way to settle political differences.

Many of them are threatening to take power in states where believers of The Big Lie are making noises about overturning election results; one of the big liars, Wisconsin Republican nominee for governor, Tim Michels, has said that Republicans never will lose another election in his state if he is elected governor.

Yes, democracy is on the ballot. Its well-being is facing direct peril. It is up to the voters of this great land to ensure it survives.

Getting set for MAGA rep in Congress

It’s time to acknowledge the obvious, which is that the next congressman from the Third District in North Texas is going to be of the MAGA ilk.

Republican nominee Keith Self won’t get my support, but I am of a distinct minority in Collin County.

Self once served as Collin County judge. He stepped away, then returned to the political war this year when he challenged GOP U.S. Rep. Van Taylor for the seat Taylor has occupied since 2018. Taylor won the primary earlier this year, but then pulled out of the race after he acknowledged a months-long extramarital affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State political officer.

Self, who finished second in the primary, became the nominee by default after Taylor pulled out.

He is running against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivastava. The Democrat has my support … but you knew that, right?

What troubles me about Self has been the fiery rhetoric he used during the primary against Taylor. Self sought to run to the right of one of the House’s more conservative members, which to my way of thinking puts Self on the fringe of a party that already has become a haven for fringe thinkers.

Self fits right in, near as I can tell, with the loons who hold much of the power within the GOP. He talks about curing the electoral system of “widespread fraud” … which doesn’t exist! He backs the right-wing effort to criminalize abortion. He will oppose any common-sense legislation to curb gun violence.

Collin County is considered one of those solid, rock-ribbed Republican counties. Except for this little nugget: Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in Collin County by fewer than 5 percentage points in 2020, which I suppose could make the county where we live a “battleground.”

Well, that doesn’t matter in this race for Congress.

Keith Self is likely to be elected next week. He’ll take his seat in January and then will ease into the crowd of Republicans who pledge their loyalty to the party dogma, while forsaking what is best for the country.

It’s a shame.

GOP ‘fixer’ emerges as prime threat

Tim Michels has emerged as the No. 1 enemy of the nation’s democratic process. He is a dangerous man who needs to lose his effort to become Wisconsin’s next governor.

Michels is running against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. He said something this week that — no matter how you parse it — presents an existential threat to our democracy.

Michels has declared that if he wins the election next Tuesday, that Republicans will “never again lose an election” in Wisconsin.

Think for just a moment — if you can resist the urge to throw something heavy through a large window — about what Michels is suggesting. From my perch, Michels has said he would “fix” future elections to ensure that GOP candidates emerge winners. Every single time! That’s what he said.

How does he do such a thing? By rigging elections! By tossing out votes cast for candidates he opposes! This is the very thing that the Big Liar in Chief — Donald J. Trump — said (without producing a lick of evidence) occurred in the 2020 presidential election.

Tim Michels now wants to follow Trump’s lead over the cliff by pledging to ensure that Republicans never lose an election ever again in Wisconsin.

Does anyone out there see the utter irony in this kind of chicanery? I cannot remember a major-party candidate for public office ever pledging to rig elections. Until now.

I get that it involves only one of our 50 states. However, it reveals a mindset prevalent within the ranks of a once-great political party … which has been hijacked and co-opted by those who present a serious threat to the democratic process that once was immune from such attacks.

Garza is not Paxton

I couldn’t help but chuckle under my breath when I read the opening two sentences of a recent Dallas Morning News editorial.

The paper stated: There is little we can find to recommend Rochelle Garza for attorney general except that she is not Ken Paxton.

Frankly, that’s enough. 

I suppose you could say the DMN was set to damn Garza with faint praise as it recommended her for election next week as Texas attorney general.

So, it did that with its editorial that spent most of its space condemning the lunacy that has accompanied Paxton’s two terms as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

The Republican AG has been on the hot seat ever since he took the oath of office in January 2015.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 on a charge of securities fraud; he has yet to stand trial. Seven of his top deputies resigned and then blew the whistle contending that Paxton is guilty of felonious criminal conduct; the FBI is investigating the complaint. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was conducting an independent probe into the securities fraud matter; no decision has come down. Paxton has filed specious lawsuits contending that the 2020 presidential election was infected with widespread voter fraud; he has been laughed out of many courtrooms.

This guy wants another four years as attorney general, an office that requires its occupant to be squeaky clean. Paxton falls far short of that reasonable requirement.

Election denial: Issue No. 1

Whether your candidate for public office takes the correct stand on abortion or gun violence might not matter if the wrong candidates win contests that would allow them to control future elections.

I refer to election deniers and their presence on many state ballots in the 2022 midterm election.

These are the dipsh**s who need to be stopped.

In Texas, we have an election denier running for re-election as attorney general. Yes, that’s Republican Ken Paxton, the idiot who has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Some of these cretins are running for other powerful public offices. Republican nominee for the Texas’s Third Congressional District, which represents my wife and me in Congress, is one of them: I refer to former Collin County Judge Keith Self, who is as hard-core a MAGA-loving conservative as they come. Spoiler alert: He won’t get my vote.

The nation’s once-revered election system is under siege by those candidates who have swallowed the swill offered by Donald J. Trump and his cadre of cultists who insist the 2020 election was stolen. They have offered not a single shred of proof of “widespread voter fraud” that would have decided the latest presidential election.

Yet the gullible among the masses have signed on to their lying, deceit and outright treasonous assertions about vote fraud. They stand ready to cast their votes for those candidates who endorse their political perversion.

I have spoken before of my eternal optimism about the future of our country and the strength of our Constitution. I will have to rely on my belief that the founders crafted a governing document that will withstand this all-out assault on our government.

I also must extend my hope to the wisdom of voters who — I hope — recognize evil intent when they see it.

Politics delivers bruising blows

LAVEEN VILLAGE, Ariz. — I guess it was the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen who I heard say that in Texas, “politics is a contact sport.”

Yes. It is. However, a brief visit to a real-deal battleground state such as Arizona has exposed my bride and me to what has become a “contact sport” that can draw a good bit of metaphorical blood.

Arizona is where Donald Trump sought to delegitimize his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. It has carried over to the midterm election, where the ballot in Arizona is peppered with election deniers seeking to overturn the results of the election that President Biden won freely, fairly, legally and morally.

My favorite commercials happen to be those featuring Republican voters who say that GOP governor candidate Kari Lake is “too dangerous” to become the state’s next governor.

It’s been fun watching this campaign play out from our ringside seats. It’s a brief look, to be sure. We’ll get to watch the Texas campaign play out as Midterm Election Day approaches.

It’s coming on. Rapidly.

I am ready to cast my ballot and then get on with the rest of retirement living.

Hope slipping away?

Can it be that Democrats’ optimism about retaining control of at least one congressional chamber is slipping away? That’s what I am hearing as we enter the two-week home stretch prior to the 2022 midterm election.

I suppose it’s getting safer to say that Republicans are going to win a majority of the House seats, giving them the chance to lead the lower chamber. I am just going to shake my noggin at the prospect of a potential Kevin McCarthy speakership awaiting us. Ugghh!

What about the Senate? Some polling data suggest that seats that should be a cinch for Democrats are entering the too-close-to-call phase. Places like Pennsylvania, Georgia (for God’s sake!) and Nevada figure to be tossups. It’s the Georgia contest that causes me to froth at the mouth, with GOP dumbass Herschel Walker hanging tough against Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Then we have Pennsylvania, where Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman actually might lose to GOP foe Mehmet Oz, who doesn’t even live in the state he wants to represent in the Senate. What’s more, Oz is a borderline quack physician who earned his spurs as a TV pitchman.

I am going to hold out a glimmer of hope that the Senate can remain in Democratic hands. It’s important, the way I see it, for the country to advance some important legislation that cannot occur if Republicans seize control of the Senate. I want, for example, the Senate to codify the Roe v. Wade reproductive choice guarantee that the Supreme Court tossed aside after it stood as “settled law” for nearly 50 years.

Democrats got my blood pumping. Then they seemed to run out of steam. Republicans have regained the momentum, or so I am led to believe.

I don’t know. The midterm election will be a nail-biter. Given the quality of many of the MAGA-leaning Republicans on the ballot, the idea that it’s even close simply boggles my noodle.

My hope is being tested.