Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Girding already for … the grind

Make no mistake about this undeniable fact: The next presidential election is likely to drive me to the loony bin.

The Republican Party’s presidential primary field is winnowing down already. Tim Scott is out. So is Mike Pence. Others ought to take a powder as well. Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley got into a beef the other evening when Ramaswamy mentioned Haley’s daughter as a TikTok user, prompting Haley to call the loudmouth pretender “just scum.”

Meanwhile, President Biden is taking hits from within his Democratic Party over whether he ought to seek a second term. He is 80 years of age; the oldest man to occupy the presidency. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has abandoned the Democratic Party and is running for POTUS as an independent. Another guy has decided to run for the presidency too as a Democrat.

If I could manipulate the system, I would much rather see someone other than Donald Trump nominated by the GOP to run against the president. If it’s not meant to be, then we can kiss the Republican Party we’ve all known goodbye.

Trump doesn’t have a single policy principle he can tout as his own. He is pledging a scorched-Earth campaign to “eliminate” everyone who’s ever opposed him.

And … how in this ever-lovin’ world will Biden and Trump fare if we are forced to listen to them debate each other on the world stage? Do you remember the 2020 campaign, when Biden told the blathering Trump to “just shut up, man”?

I am going to offer a prayer to myself that I am able to keep my sanity as this campaign unfolds. While I’m at it, I’ll pray for anyone who’s having the same feelings of anxiety about the future of this great country. So much of that future is going to depend on whether Americans can reject the nonsense touted by the former POTUS.

Here’s hoping for the best.

Keeping record intact

My presidential voting record would look to the casual observer as a study in partisanship.

It dates back to 1972, the year I cast my first vote for president. I had been home from the Vietnam War for just a brief period. I was newly married and my first son was about to arrive in January of the following year.

I cast my first ballot for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern. I was one of the “few and the proud” to do so, as McGovern got trampled by President Nixon that year, losing 49 states to the man who himself would resign from office in disgrace.

That all said, I want to stipulate two key points: I have voted Democratic every four years since; I intend to do so in 2024. But I do not judge candidates solely on the basis of their party affiliation. I consider myself a policy guy.

I have held my breath a time or two while casting votes for POTUS. I did so in 1976, considering whether to return President Ford to office for a full term after Nixon quit; I opted instead for that upstart former Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter. I admit to breathing deeply in 1992 before voting for Bill Clinton. I truly admired President George H.W. Bush, as I consider him to be the most qualified man ever to hold the office.

However, it is true that even though the policies espoused by Democrats are more in line with my own “good government progressive” view of the world, I remain an American patriot with an open mind. Indeed, the older I get the more open my mind becomes.

The qualities of the current crop of Republicans seeking their party’s nomination this time, though, all but eliminate damn near all of them. There are too many conspiracy theorists among them. I hate conspiracies and despise those who foment them. The state of the nation, moreover, is far better than the GOP would have us believe.

Who’s been in charge of our national well-being? The Democratic incumbent, Joe Biden.

It’s about policy, man. Therefore, barring some cataclysm between now and Election Day, President Biden is my man.

Are we clear? Good!


Biden remains my first choice

I declared more than once prior to the start of the 2020 presidential campaign that Joe Biden was not my first pick to be nominated by the Democratic Party to run against Donald Trump.

My preference then was that Democrats should go with a new voice, a fresh face, some new approaches to good government. It didn’t work out that way.

The former vice president ended up as the man for Democrats around whom they would rally. I joined that crowd when it became clear that Biden would win the nomination.

That all stipulated, the president remains my first choice for the next presidential election. He should be re-elected and my hope is that he would win a second term by an even more handsome margin than he won the first time.

I have long admired the man’s tenacity. Yes, he is ambitious. He ran for president the first time in 1988, only to pull out after he got caught plagiarizing speeches delivered by a British Labor Party pol. He went after the Democratic nomination 20 years later, only to get steamrolled by a young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who then selected Biden to serve as VPOTUS; they won the 2008 election.

Biden has scored enough legislative victories to signal a successful term as president. Gun legislation, infrastructure rebuilding, climate change investments, tax cuts, deficit reduction, alliances are strengthened … and lastly, his steadfast support of the Ukrainians in their struggle against the Russian invaders.

Indeed, President Biden’s stance against the Russian goons who attacked Ukraine has helped strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO has held together more tightly than ever before.

Joe Biden appears to be getting ready for an announcement that is coming not long into the new year that looms just ahead.

The man is hitting his stride as president. Joe Biden needs to stay on the job.


Trumpkins may save Democrats

I will get right to the point. Senate Democratic candidates might have an easier time winning their midterm election contests than originally thought.

Their secret weapon? It well might be the quality of their Republican Party opponents.

Democrat Tim Ryan is facing off against a GOP foe endorsed by Donald Trump. J.D. Vance is digging himself into a deeper hole almost daily with his goofy pronouncements; the men are competing for an Ohio U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman.

John Fetterman is running against Mehmet Oz for the U.S. Senate seat that Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is leaving behind. Oz is another Trumpkin. Fetterman is making a whole lot of hay over the fact that Oz doesn’t live in Pennsylvania. He is making wise use of social media to whittle away at Oz.

Sen. Raphael Warnock is a Democrat seeking re-election to his office. His GOP challenger, another Trumpkin, is Herschel Walker, whom I have dubbed the No. 1 dumbass of the 2022 midterm election.

These are three notable examples. It might be — and I won’t predict it — that Democrats can perhaps gain a bit of an advantage over the GOP in the Senate races this year.

The goofballs anointed by Donald J. Trump give me reason to smile.


How bad will it get?

Karl Rove, the man once known derisively as “George W. Bush’s brain,” has laid out what he believes will occur when they count the midterm election ballots in November.

He writes in the Wall Street Journal, “Even Democratic strategists now admit the midterms will be disastrous for their party. “It’s going to be a terrible cycle for Democrats,” Doug Sosnik, one of the party’s best grand strategists, recently told the New York Times. The question is how big the calamity will be. A freeway pileup? Category 5 hurricane? Or Krakatoa with all the attendant consequences?

I do not intend to question the sincerity of Sosnik’s assertion, as reported by Rove, but it kind of begs a question that’s been rattling around my brain for the past few weeks.

It goes like this: Might it be even remotely possible that Democratic strategists are laying out a worst-case scenario with a glimmer of hope that if their losses are less than expected that they can claim a sort of moral victory?

Or, there’s this: Is it possible that the gloom-doom-despair prognosis is hiding some positive outcome, that Democrats actually could retain control of one of the congressional chambers?

I realize that politics can be a cynical game. Politicians and their hired guns — be they Democrat or Republican — look for any angle they can find to suit their agenda.

Since I am perched in the cheap seats out here in Flyover Country, I am nowhere close to the heartbeat of the nation’s political center. I am just wondering whether there could be a bit of gamesmanship being played.

These things do happen. I am just sayin’, man.


Drama isn’t pretty … and it must end

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The drama being played out at this moment in Albany, N.Y., is not pretty to watch.

However, it is real and it has been seen many times before throughout our nation’s history. It has to end and — sad to say — it likely won’t end well for the man on center stage of this drama.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cannot possibly stay on in his elected position. Eleven women have accused him — seemingly with great credibility — of sexual harassment and of actions that border on sexual assault. It is consuming the governorship.

Cuomo is facing intense pressure from the media, from politicians within his own Democratic Party — not to mention Republicans — to resign from office. The New York Times calls Cuomo “unfit” for office. The Albany Times-Union — in the city where Cuomo works each day — has implored him to resign.

Every single thing that Cuomo touches from this day forward will be tainted by the scandal. It’s big, too. The New York attorney general, fellow Democrat Letitia James, has concluded that the women’s accusations are credible.

Cuomo blames all of this on politics. Really? C’mon, governor. When politicians with whom you are supposedly close — one of whom is President Biden — call for your resignation, well … it ain’t political.

None of us should take pleasure in watching a once-shining political career crash and burn. That is what is happening. Indeed, the more that comes out about Cuomo, about how he treats his foes and the bullying tactics he has been known to employ, the less admirable a man he becomes in many of our eyes.

If he doesn’t walk away on his own, he is likely to be impeached. The way I see the wind blowing in upstate New York, a trial won’t end well, either.

It’s your call, governor.

Wanting a GOP revival … really!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me whether you choose to believe what I am about to say, but here goes anyway …

I want the Republican Party to pull its head out of its a** and rejoin the mainstream American political movement that pits its ideas squarely against the ideas offered by the Democratic Party.

What we used to know as the Grand Old Party has been desecrated, perverted and prostituted by the cult developed by the immediate past president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

I don’t know what ever became of the once-great political movement, but I am not yet willing to write it off, consign it to history’s trash heap.

I consider myself a good government progressive. I am not a flaming left-wing ideologue. I like the notion of compromise. Good governance requires a bit of give and take and for both sides to seek common ground.

The recent partisan vote in the Senate and  the expected partisan vote in the House of Representatives on the COVID relief package pushed by President Biden illustrates and symbolizes what has gone wrong with our political process. The Trumpster Wing of the GOP has grabbed that party by its genitals and is making it scream loudly and incoherently. 

Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency as a populist. He said he wanted to stand with the little guy, only to persuade the GOP-dominated Congress to give trillions of dollars away to rich Republicans in the form of tax cuts.

Then the GOP caucus opposed the COVID relief bill because, it says, it is “too expensive.” Huh? What about  that tax cut, ladies and gentlemen? The price tag on the the tax cut exceeded the $1.9 trillion contained in the COVID relief bill. That didn’t bother them at all. Good government? That ain’t it!

Come back, Republican Party. I miss you!

Is there a surprise VP pick coming?

This is just me, so take it for what it’s worth. Don’t laugh and suggest it’s not worth a damn. Maybe so, but here it is anyhow.

I am wondering in the deepest recesses of my gut whether Joseph R. Biden Jr. is going to pull a serious surprise out of his fedora when he announces who he wants to run with him as the vice presidential nominee.

I keep hearing about the “top four” contenders in the veep sweepstakes: Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Stacy Yates of Georgia and Susan Rice of D.C. They all have something in common. They are “women of color.”

But are they the best candidates Biden could select? I don’t know. I just keep thinking that with a nation as huge and diverse as this one, does it make sense for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to go with the “conventional wisdom” candidate?

I cannot help but wonder whether there is someone lurking in the tall grass, perhaps someone few of us have heard of, let alone considered as a VP candidate.

Joe Biden has guaranteed the VP nominee will be a woman. He is getting plenty of heat to select a woman of color. 

This waiting game is getting a bit tense … don’t you think?

Big money supporting Biden? Not in this household!

The more I hear Bernie Sanders suggest that Joe Biden has become the candidate of big money, well-heeled special interests, the privileged few who run everything in America, the more offense I am taking.

I want to lecture Sen. Sanders about something. It’s the truth and I won’t back away from it.

I am not wealthy. I don’t get involved in establishment political activity. I watch the news constantly. I study the issues. I try to understand them.

I am drawn to former Vice President Biden not because he represents big money. I am drawn to him because I believe in his message and the promise he presents to return some decency, dignity and decorum to the office of the presidency.

Furthermore, I also suspect I am not alone in that view, given the surge that the former vice president saw on Super Tuesday. Evan Smith, editor in chief and founder of the Texas Tribune, noted during the election coverage Tuesday night that “same-day voters” had broken significantly for Joe Biden, wiping out pro-Sanders advantages run up by the votes cast by those who voted early.

Many thousands of Texans, along with those in other Super Tuesday states, were moved by the stunning victory Biden scored in South Carolina. I had been leaning toward Biden already, so my vote Tuesday wasn’t spurred by some last-minute conversion from one candidate to another.

I mention this only because Sen. Sanders is drawing what I believe is an inappropriate picture of the kind of support that is lining up behind Joe Biden. The so-called big money had written off Biden after his dismal election performance in New Hampshire.

Then suddenly, he awoke from the near (political) dead. Rank-and-file voters administered the smelling salts and he roared back on his own.

None of this will matter to Sanders. He wants to be nominated for president. Sanders will say what he believes he needs to say to revive the “revolution” he purports to lead. That’s his right.

I just happen to believe he is manufacturing a conspiracy where none exists. It offends me.

Actually, Mr. VPOTUS, you need to win … by a lot!

Joe Biden thinks he has the crucial South Carolina Democratic presidential primary in the bag.

Um, truth be told, he doesn’t. Even if he wins, it’s not tucked away. He’s got to win by a lot. You see, the one-time Democratic Party presidential frontrunner had the Palmetto State primary locked up. He was lapping the field. Then Vermont’s independent Sen. Bernie Sanders started winning the early primaries.

Now it’s neck-and-neck between the two of ’em for South Carolina’s primary vote.

Biden said that a single percentage point victory over the field is enough, although he said he expects to win by a comfortable margin. OK, but expectations and reality don’t always mesh.

The former vice president of the United States needs to win by at least double digits. It would be better for him to smoke the field, to trample the rest of the remaining contenders — and that includes Sanders — into the ground.

Anything short of a decisive win spells doom.

It saddens me to say this, as I have staked my own preference on Joe Biden. I want his candidacy to succeed. I fear it’s teetering on the brink of failure.