Tag Archives: 2016 election

Time limit on campaigns?

Does it seem like an hour or so ago that the 2020 presidential election came to a conclusion … and already we are in the midst of the next campaign for the U.S. presidency?

It does to me. It also makes me wonder whether the Europeans have the right idea on how to manage these campaigns.

It varies from country to country, but many nations — and I am looking at Europe at the moment — place a time limit on when candidates can campaign actively for high office.

I cannot recall the specifics, but I have heard anecdotally about campaigns for head of government or head of state lasting no more than six weeks or so.

Given the nature of our presidential campaigns, including the incessant and relentless fundraising that must occur to pay for them, I am willing at least to consider implementing such restrictions here.

The 2020 campaign began almost immediately at the end of the 2016 campaign and on and on it has gone through the past many presidential election cycles.

It never ends!

The news media feel compelled to report on the comings and goings of candidates in and out of, say, the early primary states. They speculate on who’s in and who’s just out for a weekend eating bad fair food and kissing children.

I lose interest in the early reporting of these campaigns. I get it back closer to the stretch drive. In the meantime, though, I have to suffer through endless news reports of what this potential candidate is saying about himself or herself and about the other candidates.

Hey, I consider myself a political junkie. Maybe I should change that to “recovering political junkie.” My recovery, though, is made more difficult by the non-stop campaigning that just won’t cease.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I told you so …

As a general rule I am not one to say “I told you so” when matters turn out as I have predicted they would. For one thing, I am so rarely correct, which kind of makes me gun-shy about making such predictions in the first place.

However, when it comes to the presidency of one Donald J. Trump, not only was I correct about what would happen to the office and to democracy, I believe he has done even more damage than I expected.

This individual’s refusal to surrender power peacefully to the man who defeated him in the 2020 election provides all the proof I need to stand on the existential danger this guy presents to the nation.

He is running for the office once again. Trump is the prohibitive favorite to be the Republican nominee in 2024. How that can be is one of the great political mysteries of this age. He was impeached twice, indicted twice for felony crimes and might be facing a prison sentence by the time of the next election.

He is running on a platform of revenge and retribution. Indeed, he has declared to his moronic cultists that “I am your retribution.” This idiot wants to strike back at those who have concluded that he might have committed crimes while taking up space in the Oval Office.

What in the world has become of the rule of law, of putting personal bias and hatred aside, of assuming office (which I pray each day never will happen) without anger?

I stated repeatedly while this guy ran for POTUS in 2016 that his entire professional life was geared toward fluffing up his own brand. He has concept of public service, what it means and how one conducts oneself in the pursuit of the public interest.

To think now that he wants back simply makes me jittery beyond measure. As bad as his term in office was, I only can conjecture that a second Trump term would be worse in ways we cannot calculate.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Indictment = rich irony

The irony that shrouds Donald J. Trump’s indictment by a special counsel over his pilfering of classified documents is rich beyond all measure.

Think about this for just a moment because that’s all it will take for you to grasp what I’m talking about.

Trump won the 2016 presidential election essentially on a single issue, which is that he was able to tar Hillary Clinton with an undeserved label of crook because of those emails that disappeared into thin air. He spoke with intimate knowledge of the gravity of keeping classified documents away from the proper authorities.

He knew of the consequences that such a transgression could bring. He stood before campaign rally crowds that chanted “Lock her up!” It became a sort of political mantra for the first-time politician.

To be clear, what Clinton did while serving as secretary of state pales in comparison to what the indictments allege that Trump did upon departing the White House in January 2021. The indictment quote Trump extensively in the narrative that special counsel Jack Smith assembled in crafting the accusation.

Now the former POTUS says he did “nothing wrong.” Former Attorney General William Barr has said just recently that in “no universe is it possible” to excuse the taking of national security secrets, which Trump did, and store them as cavalierly as he did in his Florida mansion.

Again the irony abounds. Trump knew in 2016 that such behavior was wrong, that it was illegal and that it could land a POTUS or a former POTUS in prison.

Wow! As a former U.S. solicitor general, Neil Katyal, noted this afternoon: “I’m glad I’m a Hindu, because this sure sounds like karma.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pollsters deserve a break

Political polling organizations have been taking their lumps over the past several years from those who mistakenly — I believe — contend they are wrong far more than they are right.

Pollsters need some respect and I am about to give them some.

The major incident polling critics cite is the result of the 2016 presidential election. I truly beg to differ.

Let’s remember that polling outfits tracked the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hourly right to the end. Most of them placed Hillary Clinton marginally ahead of Trump in the final results released just before Election Day.

Clinton won the popular vote in 2016. Her margin of “victory”? 2.09% That matches just about what all the pollsters said would occur. They were right!

Except that the popular vote doesn’t elect presidents. That is done through the Electoral College and Trump managed to peel off at least three states that everyone thought would fall into Clinton’s vote ledger: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Did those states’ results negate what the national polling said would occur? No. It meant only that Clinton’s team misjudged the level of support she and Trump had; they overplayed their own hand and low-balled Trump’s support.

The 2020 election also produced a result that pollsters said would occur. Joe Biden carried the day with a 4.46% popular vote margin over Trump. He also took back the three states I mentioned earlier to seal the victory.

Polling at times can be an inexact exercise. Respondents have been known to tell pollsters untruths when they are asked, “For whom will you vote for president?”

However, in the past two presidential election cycles, pollsters have gotten a bum rap. I want to stand with them.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Michael Moore: predictor in chief

Michael Moore is trying to emerge as the nation’s go-to guy on political predictions. Who’da thunk it?

Moore is a noted filmmaker whose works have chronicled key points in recent American history. He has taken on gun violence, terrorists, and political figures of all stripes with his films.

Now he has become a predictor of political trends.

Moore was one of the few public figures to say out loud that Donald Trump would win the presidency in 2016. I laughed at him. So did others.

Now he is on record — several weeks ago! — in predicting that Democrats would defy history and logic and Republicans by saying that Democrats would get the better of the GOP in the 2022 midterm election.

Pundits of all types scoffed at him.

But again … he was correct.

Wow! That’s all I have.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hillary is right about Trump

Say whatever you want about Hillary Rodham Clinton, who grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2016 presidential election … but she is correct in asserting that the man who defeated her then is a criminal.

Donald Trump, said 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, has committed an act of “seditious conspiracy” against the federal government. She is convinced of the evidence that has been gathered and she wants him prosecuted.

So do I and so do millions of other Americans.

Clinton told CBS News what many of us already know, that she was unhappy that she collected 3 million more votes than Trump but lost the Electoral College vote, which is the count that matters in electing presidents.

“Did I consider for a nanosecond” an effort to overturn the results of that election? Clinton asked. “No!” she answered with stunning emphasis.

Clinton lost the 2016 election in one of the most bizarre political flukes in U.S. history. Trump pilfered states that by all rights should have ended up in Clinton’s column. She lost them and I, for one, am not going to dispute that Trump was elected president in 2016. Thus, he benefited from a peaceful power transition that he denied the man to whom he lost four years later.

And in denying that peaceful transition to an opponent, Joe Biden, who defeated him decisively, Trump committed a criminal act of “seditious conspiracy.”

The record is now chock full of evidence presented to a select House committee. Just think: this is just one of at least three probes into criminal activity involving the twice-impeached former president of the United States of America.

The beat, as they say, just goes on.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Graham flip-flops … again!

Someone will have to explain to me why it’s such a big deal that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is now on record saying that Joe Biden was the “best man” to lead the country after the 1/6 insurrection.

Or that the South Carolina Republican had harsh things to say about Donald Trump in the wake of that hideous event.

Why am I questioning all of this? Because Graham once said Trump was “unfit” to become president, that he is a “nut case,” and that Trump is a pathological liar. Graham was correct in his initial assessment of Donald Trump. He said all of that before becoming one of Trump’s biggest suck-up sycophants in the Senate.

Audio: Graham said after Jan. 6 that Biden was ‘best person to have’ (msn.com)

Yes, he did say he was done with Trump, that he had “enough” of him after the insurrection. He has gone on to blather incessantly about how Trump is a shoo-in to be nominated by Republicans in 2024 and that he would support him if he ran — once again! — for president.

The latest revelations come from the new book by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, who’ve already revealed lots of quotes — with recordings to back them up — from The Donald himself. They make my hair stand straight up.

Sen. Graham, though, has been among the greatest disappointments for me as I have watched the Donald Trump era in D.C. unfold since the 2016 presidential election.

To be candid, I believe about as much that comes from Lindsey Graham as I believe what flies out of Trump’s pie hole … which is not a damn thing!

Thus, I am confused as to why anyone should take anything this clown seriously. To borrow a phrase from Graham, who said this about Trump after the insurrection: I’m out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

How did this guy get elected?

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

As I watch the congressional probe into 1/6 trudge along — hopefully to a constructive conclusion — and then listen to the focus of that probe, the 45th POTUS, I have come to an inescapable finding.

It is that I will go to my grave wondering how in the name of political wisdom did Donald J. Trump ever get elected president of the United States in first place. And how in the name of all that is sane and rational did this guy ever avoid getting tossed out of office on his oversized backside after the House of Reps impeached him twice?

He preaches The Big Lie about the 2020 election. His cult followers cheer him on. Trump teases them with hints about possibly running again in 2024 in an astonishing bid to get elected a second time to an office he had no business at all ever occupying even one time.

I read this idiot’s comments, given that I prefer to read them than listen to the sound of his voice. I then wonder: What the hell is this guy saying?

The list of treachery, transgressions and outright treason are too numerous to check off here. You know what they are, what they entail, and you know of the damage they have done individually and collectively to our cherished system of representative democracy.

Trump’s election in 2016 is a case study of a politician benefiting from astonishing luck. The popular phrase du jour of that election cycle was that Trump managed to draw “an inside straight,” while winning the Electoral College and losing the actual vote by 3 million ballots to Hillary Rodham Clinton. I have read many accounts over the years since that fluke victory that Trump never believed he would win. When he did win, he was caught flat-footed, with no clue on how to form a government, let alone actually know how to govern.

Four years later, he got drummed out of office by a seasoned politician. He never accepted Joe Biden’s victory and skulked out of Washington the day before President Biden’s inaugural.

The 1/6 committee continues to gather information and sworn testimony from those who witnessed the disgraced ex-POTUS on the day of the traitorous riot on 1/6. We’re getting bits of info here and there about revelations on fake electors seeking to overturn the legitimate election results; about Trump sitting in the White House residence cheering on the rioting traitors; about the ex-POTUS considering blanket pardons for all the scoundrels who pooped on Capitol floors while shouting out their desire to find and “hang” VP Mike Pence.

There is much more to chronicle. I’ll leave it to you to piece together all that you have seen and heard from this moron.

I always have expected us to elect the best among us to public office. To think that one of the very worst among us managed to blunder and bumble his way into the White House simply defies my ability to explain it.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

GOP faces a reckoning

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There can be no denying that the Republican Party is facing a reckoning.

It has to decide if it is going to remain on the track laid out by an individual who has corrupted a once-great party. Or will it return to matters of principle and public policy?

The individual who corrupted the party — the 45th POTUS — lacks any defining principle. Unless you consider revenge, spite and chaos to be principles that define a political party.

POTUS 45 had zero Republican Party policy experience when he entered the 2016 GOP primary campaign. He won the party’s nomination that year by hammering his foes into submission. Then he won the presidency — with a bit of help from the FBI and its infamous e-mail investigation. He also won because of incompetence in the Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The presidency became POTUS’s play thing. Many of his top campaign aides found themselves indicted on criminal charges. The corruption ran throughout the highest rungs of his political ladder.

Oh, and then he got impeached twice. Once for trying to coerce a foreign government into doing his political bidding and once for inciting an insurrection that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Many of the men and women who served with him have stood behind his corruption and his venality. For what? Someone needs to explain to me the strange grip this clown has over a party with which he had no prior knowledge or familiarity.

The 2022 midterm election is coming up. POTUS 45 wants to have a big time say in who gets elected. He wants to elect those who are blindly loyal to him. Oh, boy. If the party follows that course, it will consign itself — as well as the nation — to a future shrouded in darkness and corruption.

I am a good-government progressive who wants the Republican Party to rediscover its basis for existing and to debate the Democratic Party openly and honestly without the hatred that stains the rhetoric that comes from the one-time Liar in Chief.

Is that possible? For the nation’s sake, I hope so.

Russia is not our equal

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump was fond of telling us — perhaps he still is, for that matter — that it “would be nice if we got along with Russia.”

His strategy for making nice with Russia meant sucking up to its strongman, Vladimir Putin. It meant giving Russia a pass when it interfered in our election and denying our own intelligence analysis that said the Russians did interfere. It meant never challenging Russia over reports that it paid Taliban terrorists a bounty for killing Americans on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

Trump’s strategy didn’t work. Putin didn’t take the American president seriously. He played Trump like a fiddle.

President Joe Biden has taken over. He isn’t going to play nice with what is a third-rate military power and a fourth- or maybe fifth-rate economic power.

There can be no mistaking that Russia wanted Trump elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. It hacked into our electoral system and sought to undermine the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Why? Because it would get a better deal — from their standpoint — with Donald Trump.

President Biden has made it clear that he intends to hold Russia accountable for the mischief it is making around the world.

Biden is only 102 days into the presidency. He wasn’t granted the courtesy extended usually to new presidents from those they succeed. Donald Trump did not allow his national security team to consult openly and freely with the new POTUS’s team.

I only can presume that President Biden will deal with Russia from his lofty perch as commander in chief of the world’s greatest military and as head of state of the world’s most vibrant economy.

Yes, I get that Russia still has all those nuclear weapons left over from its Soviet Union era. I also know that the doctrine of mutual assured destruction if they chose to use them has kept the rival nations from going, um … “MAD.”

Making nice with Russia? It’s a non-starter. Period.