Tag Archives: Democrat

No such thing as ‘Democrat mayor’

I have heard enough of this continual mislabeling of politicians in my hometown of Portland, Ore. by Donald J. Trump.

I want to et the record straight on a small, but still significant point.

Trump keeps yapping about “Democrat mayor” Ted Wheeler needing to take control of the city he governs, which has seen a spike in violent protests in the wake of the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis by police in that city.

Wheeler was not elected as a Democrat in Portland. Nor were any of the city council members elected as Democrat or Republican. They run as non-partisan candidates for mayor and city council member.

Thus, for Trump to ascribe the violence in Portland and other major cities as byproducts of “Democrat” politicians’ policies is wrong. Dare I say that it is yet another lie.

Granted, Portland’s voting population is decidedly more progressive than Trump would prefer. Portland voters and those in Multnomah County voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and will do again this time for Joe Biden. They endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.

However, the folks who govern the city of 675,000 residents aren’t elected as partisans. Indeed, few municipal governing bodies are run by partisan politicians in the United States. Most of them, just like those in Portland, are elected as non-partisan. I mean, there’s no Democratic or Republican way to pay for garbage pickup, or water service, or police and fire protection.

So, my strongest possible advice for Donald Trump is this: Do your homework — for once — when talking about who runs local governments.

Newt’s legacy lives on with ‘Democrat Party’

REUTERS/Mark Avery

I laugh to myself when I see the term “Democrat” used as an adjective, or as part of the proper name of one of the nation’s two major political parties.

It’s a holdover from an earlier era when Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. You remember the landmark Contract With America election of 1994, right? Of course you do!

A then-young GOP bomb thrower, Newt Gingrich, led the insurgency that elected Republicans to the House and Senate that year. The GOP slate took down plenty of heavyweights, including House Speaker Tom Foley and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks.

Gingrich essentially coined the usage of the term “Democrat” in a way that sought to cast the other party as a sort of foreign element.

Democrats belong to the “Democratic Party.” Gingrich, who became speaker of the House in 1995, kept referring to the party as the “Democrat Party,” a term that just doesn’t roll off the way the proper term does.

Well, Gingrich left the speakership and the House after the 1998 midterm election and the failed impeachment of President Clinton. He ended up with his own personal baggage — the affair he was having with a staffer while married to his second wife — that took him out; it was one of the more ironic political downfalls in modern U.S. history, given the nature of the charges leveled against Bill Clinton.

However, Newt’s branding of Democrats and their political party lives on. Donald Trump refers to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party; so do his allies in Congress; so do critics of this blog, by gum, use that term.

It used to annoy me, given my understanding of the motive behind its use: the demonization of a great political party. I’ve gone beyond the point of annoyance. I am now mildly amused.

This election really might be one for the ages

It seems that every two years politicians declare the upcoming election — whether for president or for Congress — to be the “most important election in our lifetime.”

Barack Obama joined that chorus today. Others have said that the 2018 midterm election is the most consequential election in memory.

The more I think about it, they might be right. This midterm election might be the most important such event we’ve seen in some time.

Think of the stakes. A president seems to careening out of control. Congress stands as a possible deterrent to the president’s most dangerous impulses. The House of Representatives well might shift from Republican to Democratic control.

What happens if the House flips from GOP to Democratic? Hearings. Lots of hearings. That “Russia thing” will take an even more prominent place on center stage.

So … yes. This election seems like a real big deal.

Maybe the biggest ever?