Tag Archives: GOP

GOP earns sympathy

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It pains me to say this, but here goes anyway.

What has become of the Republican Party — a once-great political organization that has been hijacked by cultists — makes me miss the Grand Old Party we all used to know.

I say that as a card-carrying, true-blue good-government progressive who tends to favor Democratic Party policies over those proposed by the GOP. I have acknowledged on this blog that every presidential vote I have cast since 1972 has gone to Democrats … although the 1976 contest between President Ford and Jimmy Carter gave me pause to consider voting for the GOP incumbent.

What used to be normal among Republicans has become abnormal. GOP officeholders take the same oath of office as their Democratic colleagues. They swear to protect and defend the Constitution. They merely approach their defense and protection differently than Democrats. I accept those differences.

These days, that loyalty has shifted to an individual, to the former president who alleges vote fraud where it doesn’t exist. They stand with him and his idiocy. They ignore the actual oath they took to defend the Constitution. They call themselves “patriots” but their actions are far from patriotic.

The future of the Republican Party that I used to know remains clouded. I don’t know where it goes from here. Or how it rebuilds itself into a political party that can speak intelligently — as it used to do — about the differences it has with Democrats.

These days we see seasoned politicians giving way to a former president who cannot speak intelligently on the issues that matter. He blathers and bloviates. He spreads The Big Lie about vote fraud. The former POTUS cannot parse a single policy with the kind of clarity we used to hear from his fellow Republicans.

His base loves him nonetheless. They have taken the Republican Party hostage. Will the party leadership shed their bondage and escape? For the sake of sane and reasonable public discourse and debate, it must.

That’s it! Blame Pelosi!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ahh, yes. The Republican counter strategy to the congressional hearing that commenced today to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection is taking quick shape.

The GOP is seeking to turn our attention to the Democratic speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The Republican top guns are asking: What did the speaker know in advance of the terrorist riot and why didn’t she do anything to stop it?

You got that? I think it’s called “projection.”

The House select committee today heard from four Capitol and Metropolitan police officers who were among those who were injured in the melee that erupted when POTUS 45 incited the mob to march on Capitol Hill; he wanted them to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The mob broke into the Capitol Building, defecated on the floor, sought out Pelosi and chanted “Hang (Vice President) Mike Pence!”

They launched an all-out assault on our democratic process. Meanwhile, the then-Liar in Chief did not a damn thing to stop the riot.

So now the moron’s GOP allies want to project blame for the riot on Pelosi?

Give me a f***ing break!

None of us should stand still for this trash. The GOP continues to downplay the significance and the horror of that event. Indeed, it should stand directly next to other infamous dates in our history: 9/11, Dec. 7, to name just two. 

For the Republican congressional leadership to seek to divert our attention away from the cause of the insurrection is reprehensible on its face. Then again, it only goes to prove that they cannot defend the indefensible.

GOP now joins the vaccine bandwagon

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There can be no excusing or even forgiving many prominent Republican U.S. politicians’ shameful denigration of the effort to vaccinate Americans against the COVID-19 virus.

Still, it is with a qualified feeling of gratitude that I welcome their insistence now that it is time for all Americans to get vaccinated.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell arguably is the most prominent GOP pol to climb aboard the vaccine bandwagon. Others are singing from that song sheet: U.S. House whip Steve Scalise, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, even Kevin McCarthy, the embattled House GOP leader. They’re on board, too.

It wasn’t that many weeks ago in which some GOP politicians were dismissing the vaccine. Some of the nut jobs among the Republican congressional caucus — namely the QAnon and Freedom Caucus cabal — continue to actually applaud Americans’ decision to forgo vaccination.

They are the loony birds among the politically powerful elite who hold tremendous sway among too many American voters.

President Biden laments the “pandemic among the unvaccinated” that is driving up infection/hospitalization/mortality rates in the country. Biden is fighting a GOP contingent in Congress and in statehouses across the nation that are arguing an opposite message. The sad truth is that the anti-vaxxers are winning the argument … at least for the time being.

A glimmer of good news, though, is surfacing among many Republican politicians who have decided that the more of their followers who get sick and possibly die from the virus, the less strong their political power base remains.

If they can persuade enough Americans to turn the tide against the variant that is sickening so many of us, then I might be willing to forgive them for their utter irresponsibility.

Pelosi picks Kinzinger for select panel … yes!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Adam Kinzinger is going to join another courageous Republican on a select congressional committee with the aim of finding out what the heck happened on Jan. 6 when the Insurrectionist in Chief egged on a mob to storm the Capitol Building.

Kinzinger is one of a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach the ex-POTUS for that act. Another Republican House member, Liz Cheney, also is serving on the committee selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy blames Pelosi for politicizing the process. Hah! McCarthy needs to check his defiance at the door and ponder something.

Congress had the chance to select an independent bipartisan commission to examine the Jan. 6 riot. Republicans in both legislative chambers balked. They refused to appoint the commission. So this is what we get: a select panel chosen by a Democratic House speaker.

Pelosi vetoed two of five GOP House members McCarthy selected: Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. McCarthy’s response then was to yank the three who made the cut from the committee.

So … Pelosi is now moving ahead. She has a bipartisan select committee getting ready to do its work.

The insurrection of Jan. 6 was an unprecedented event. The mob of terrorists sought to overturn the results of a legal, free and fair presidential election. The committee will want to get at the root of what caused the riot and presumably seek ways to prevent a recurrence.

Reps. Kinzinger and Cheney believe in the rule of law. They are faithful to their oath to protect the Constitution, unlike most of their GOP colleagues, who proclaim their fealty to the ex-Moron in Chief.

I am looking forward to watching this committee slog through its task to reach a conclusion based on the evidence it will receive.

GOP abandons Cheney?

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Even though I know in my gut this won’t happen, I feel the need to suggest it as a possible political explosion that could upend the whole damn clown show unfolding on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is facing a potentially serious Republican primary challenge next year. Why? Because she voted to impeach a Republican president for inciting the insurrection that damaged Capitol Hill and killed five people.

The GOP fanatics who are faithful to POTUS 45 are livid with Cheney. House GOP leadership stripped her of her standing as chair of the GOP caucus.

Cheney remains a conservative lawmaker. I cannot help but wonder whether there is a limit to the insult and denigration she is willing to take from members of her own political party.

Might there be a partisan switch in Cheney’s future, on the basis that the party she joined has become a cult that adheres to the mindless rants of one man and has forsaken its responsibility to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law?

I get that it is as likely to happen as the sun rising in the west tomorrow morning. Still, the political tides have turned many politicians into members of the opposing party.

I remember when former state Rep. Warren Chisum of Pampa, Texas, switched from Democrat to Republican. He said plainly that he is the same man he was when he joined the Legislature, but that the Democratic Party had changed its identity.

As for Cheney, she could continue to serve as a conservative in Congress … even as a Democrat. Congress over its long history has welcomed many conservatives to the Democratic caucus in both legislative chambers.

It’s just that the Republican Party now seemingly belongs to the twice-impeached former POTUS who incited a bloody riot on Jan. 6 that sought to overturn the results of the November 2020 presidential election.

How in the world does someone of Cheney’s strong Republican ties remain loyal to a party that no longer is loyal to her or to her belief in the rule of law?

OK. I know I am spitting into the proverbial wind on this one.

It’s worth pondering.

GOP leader skulks away

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

That’ll teach ’em, right, Kevin McCarthy?

The U.S. House Republican leader decided today to pull all GOP members from a select committee chosen by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi objected to the presence of two men McCarthy had added to the panel, Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. They were included on a panel that aims to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

These men are big fans and supporters of the guy who lost that election and voted to deny President Biden certification that he was the winner. Pelosi would have none of that.

McCarthy decided, therefore, to yank all Republicans. The only GOP House member left on the panel is Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach the former president for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot. Cheney, though, doesn’t fit the profile of today’s Republican Party, which is to pledge total, blind and unyielding fealty to the disgraced, twice-impeached former POTUS.

Cheney’s loyalty is to the Constitution, which makes her among the more inspired choices that Pelosi made to the select committee.

Here, though, is what really makes me scratch my noggin: How does McCarthy justify abandoning this select committee selection process, leaving this Jan. 6 probe solely up to Democrats, which he contends only will produce a “partisan” finding of culpability by the ex-POTUS and his GOP pals in Congress?

He could have selected five GOP members who aren’t as fervid in their defense of the indefensible, but no-o-o-o. He turned to Jordan and Banks.

Now he has abandoned any pretext of cooperation with Democrats. McCarthy has chosen instead to level accusations of “partisanship” and “politics” at Pelosi who, I feel the need to remind everyone here, has chosen a Republican to serve on this select panel.

Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, has left the field in a fit of petulance that doesn’t advance the search for the truth into what happened when the mob stormed the Capitol Building and sought to overturn the democratic process.

It was an ‘insurrection’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

For several months now, I have been referring to the Jan. 6 riot as an “insurrection,” a term that reportedly gives congressional Republicans a case of the heebie-jeebies.

Senate Republicans didn’t like the term inserted into legislation that called for creation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the cause and effect of the insurrection; it also would have sought remedies to prevent it from happening in the future.

Well, you know what? I will continue to call it what it was: an insurrection against the government of the United States of America.

It was nothing short of that. It was a direct frontal assault on the very democratic process which on that day was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election that resulted in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris  being elected president and vice president of the United States.

The ticket led by the 45th POTUS incited the insurrection, for which the House of Representatives impeached him for a second time. It was a big more of a bipartisan impeachment than the first go-round, with a handful of Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in impeaching POTUS 45; what’s more, some GOP senators ended up voting to convict the disgraced ex-POTUS at trial.

My point, though, is that no one should shy away from calling the DC riot what it was: an act of insurrection against the government of the United States. For the GOP congressional caucus to dig in against the investigative commission because they dislike truth-telling language is a cheap and shallow attempt to deny the obvious.

The effort to get at the truth behind the insurrection must not end. The House has formed a select committee. It already includes one Republican House member; others should join the effort.

Let’s not be coy about what’s at stake. It is to find a way to prevent future insurrections from occurring.


GOP heroes do emerge

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I once asked — during one of the crises involving the 45th POTUS — whether there were any Republican heroes among members of the GOP congressional caucus.

Two of them have stepped up in the months since that individual left office.

One of them is U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, about whom I have written already on this blog. The other is Illinois U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Kinzinger is standing tall and firm in the effort to explore and examine the Jan. 6 insurrection that the 45th POTUS incited with his Big Lie comments on the alleged theft of the 2020 presidential election.

The young congressman wants to know why his fellow Republicans wouldn’t want to look into the cause of the riot if they believe that Antifa, or Black Lives Matter or some other left-wing outfit provoked it. Nor does he understand why they won’t look into the cause of an event that could have put every member of Congress in dire danger of being harmed … or worse.

Kinzinger does pose the question that has piqued many of Americans’ curiosity. He wonders if GOP resistance to a thorough exploration of the insurrection would expose potential Republican complicity in the event. 

Hmm. Makes you wonder, yes?

Because he and Rep. Cheney are searching for the truth behind the assault on our democracy, they are being vilified by the cult followers who refuse to accept the legitimacy of the free, fair and legal election.

The challenges they face quite possibly could tell us plenty about the Republican Party to which they both remain faithful. Except that the party now has been hijacked by the con man who masqueraded as POTUS for four years.

Political heroes who seek to defend the Constitution and the democratic process do not deserve to be treated as pariahs. They should be honored, not pilloried.

Play hardball, Democrats

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There are times when you have to go for broke if you intend to preserve what you believe are basic democratic tenets.

Texas legislative Democrats walked off the floor of the House of Representatives near the end of the Legislature’s regular session to prevent House Republicans from forcing a vote on restrictions to the state election laws.

Gov. Greg Abbott was so angry he decided to call a special legislative session that begins in a couple of days to enact those changes. The question now for Democrats is this: Do they hang tough or do they buckle? I urge them to maintain their unity in opposing these restrictions.

There needs to be a show of strength among those who say they cherish the right to grant all Americans the ability to vote. They say they favor greater, not lesser, voter participation. The 2020 presidential election produced a significant increase in voter turnout, which brought President Biden closer to carrying the state’s electoral votes than any time since the 1976 election, which Jimmy Carter carried the state en route to his presidential election victory.

GOP lawmakers want to limit early voting opportunities, they seek to ban people from delivering bottles of water to voters waiting in long lines to cast their ballots, and they want to make it easier for judges to overturn election results. And why? Because they have fallen for The Big Lie about “rampant vote fraud” where it doesn’t exist.

Texas Democrats have learned how to play the same game of hardball that Republicans have perfected over many years in Texas.

My advice to Democrats? Stay the course.

Liz Cheney produces conflicting emotions

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is no secret to those who read this blog that Liz Cheney drives me batty.

The congresswoman from Wyoming is among the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. Her Republican credentials are impeccable, as she comes from a family led by a former defense secretary, congressman and vice president of the United States.

I didn’t support her decision to run for Congress; I believed her to be a carpetbagger, as she never spent much time in the state she now represents.

But, man, she is showing some spine, guts and conviction in standing against a president who sought to subvert the U.S. Constitution, is still seeking to overturn a free and fair election and has been the voice of idiotic demagoguery from the moment he became a politician prior to his run for the presidency in 2016.

Cheney voted to impeach the ex-POTUS. She stands foursquare on the oath she took to defend the Constitution. Rep. Cheney now is the lone Republican to join a House select committee that is going to examine the consequence of the Jan. 6 insurrection that the former POTUS incited.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy threatens to strip her of committee assignments. Liz Cheney continues to stand firm. To which I say … you go, Liz!

Rep. Cheney is taking a stand against blind fealty to a cult leader. She said the integrity of our democratic process is far more important than any loyalty she might feel toward any human being.

I am proud of the stand that Liz Cheney is taking on my behalf and on behalf of the country she took an oath to serve. Her oath makes no mention of any loyalty to a disgraced ex-president.

I salute Liz Cheney.