Tag Archives: GOP caucus

Awaiting the SOTU

Let’s look ahead — shall we? — to President Biden’s first State of the Union speech. He’ll get to stand before a joint session of Congress and give them, and the nation, a report on the health and well-being of the nation he governs.

It is set for March 1.

These events have become sort of a handicapping exercise. Pundits will be offering views on how many members of Congress stand and applaud at the appropriate times.

Although I intend to watch the president deliver his speech, I am approaching that date with a bit of apprehension. We live in highly contentious times. Republicans seem to detest the Democratic president. Many members of the GOP congressional caucus, for instance, haven’t even accepted the fact that Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Many of the nut jobs within the Republican caucus have made speeches endorsing Donald J. Trump’s Big Lie about the vote fraud that did not exist.

How will those idiots react to anything Biden says? How many of them will even attend the SOTU? Might we hear a “You lie!” insult coming from the GOP side the way we did when President Obama delivered an SOTU years ago?

I will approach this upcoming event with bit of trepidation. I hope Congress — men and women on both sides of the great divide — will treat President Biden with all due respect. Frankly, given the madness that seems to permeate the thick skulls of many within the GOP caucus, I do have some doubt over the kind of reception the president is going to receive.

Please, GOP members, prove my concerns to be without merit.


How do they deny it?


By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hell will freeze over, Earth will spin off its axis and the sun will rise in the west long before I ever will understand how some congressional leaders can justify their resistance to investigating the events that lead to 1/6.

I want to mention a couple of them specifically: Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives and Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader of the U.S. Senate.

Why those two? Because both of them spoke eloquently in the days immediately after 1/6 about the complicity exhibited by the former president of the United States, the nitwit who incited the insurrection that sought to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

McConnell said POTUS “provoked” the riot that stormed Capitol Hill. McCarthy reportedly was on a phone call with the Numbskull in Chief, who told him that the rioters “care more about the election than you do, Kevin.” They both aimed their rhetorical fire straight at POTUS 45.

Then they turned tail and scampered into the tall grass.

They both against the impeachment and against convicting the president of inciting the insurrection. They have resisted calls to form an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the 1/6 riot. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nixed two GOP members of the select committee she formed, McCarthy pulled the rest of the Republicans he selected for the panel and then said Pelosi was playing politics with the investigation.

Neither of them will call the events of 1/6 what the rest of us know to be true: that it was an insurrection.

These two men lead the GOP caucuses in their respective legislative chambers. Sadly, too many of their minions agree with them. But not all of them, I am happy to declare. There really are Republican politicians who are able and willing to stand for the Constitution and for the rule of law. Most of them? They appear to be hopeless.

Thus, we have my lack of understanding of what has happened to a once-great political party.

I guess I’ll just wait for hell to freeze over.

GOP duplicity: simply stunning

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The duplicity and hypocrisy being shown by congressional Republicans is an astonishing sight to those of us who believe in fairness and good government.

The GOP caucus in Congress is hell bent on supporting Republican-controlled state legislatures — such as in Texas — for their effort to curb “widespread voter fraud” that doesn’t exist. The GOP caucus is resisting efforts to approve the John Lewis Voting Rights Act named after the late civil rights icon. Why? They suggest that legislatures have the answer to how to ensure free and fair elections while preventing vote fraud that — I state again — does not exist.

Meanwhile, the same GOP caucus turns its back on the impact of the Jan. 6 insurrection incited by the former Seditionist in Chief. People were killed. They were injured. A mob comprising thousands of domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol Building that day to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The GOP response? Nothing, man! They have been delivered tangible, visible, visceral proof of extreme malice among the rioters who wanted to “hang” Vice President Pence that day. Meanwhile, the former POTUS did nothing to stop the riot. He reportedly cheered them on from the safety of the White House.

And this doesn’t seem to bother most members of the GOP caucus in Congress? My goodness. I am ashamed of them all.

Let the probe begin

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s not how many of us wanted this process to move forward, but I’ll accept it as a step toward rooting out the cause of the infamous insurrection of Jan. 6.

The U.S. House of Representatives, with just two Republican members joining their Democratic colleagues, today voted to form a select committee that will take a deep dive into the insurrection.

GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both of whom voted to impeach the disgraced 45th POTUS for his role in inciting the riot on Capitol Hill — voted “yes” on the committee creation. They both also signaled a willingness to serve on that panel.

My version of political perfection would have produced a bipartisan commission approved by the Senate. The GOP caucus slammed that door shut, leaving any look into the event up to the House. The lower chamber’s approval does not require Senate endorsement, so the House will proceed on its own, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “It’s clear that Jan. 6 was not simply an attack on the Capitol building, it was an attack on our democracy,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a speech before the vote Wednesday. “Every member here knows that Jan. 6 was an attempt to subvert our democracy,” she said. “But many across the aisle refuse to admit the truth.”

House Approves Creation of Select Committee to Probe Jan. 6 Attack (msn.com)

Indeed, the Republican resistance to examining the horrific event simply boggles my mind. The mob that stormed Capitol Hill that day launched a full assault on the entire government. It targeted Republicans as well as Democrats. It injured several law enforcement officers; two of them died in the melee. So, members of the political caucus that professes to be strong on “law and order” has resisted efforts to get to the truth of the attack.

Moreover, they have dug in to fight efforts to prevent future attacks.

So now it falls on the Democratically controlled House to select the committee. Pelosi is indicating she might appoint at least one Republican to sit on the panel.

This isn’t the perfect path toward finding some key answers to this horrifying assault on our democratic form of government. Given the stubborn refusal by Republicans to seek the truth behind it, this select committee will have to do.

Who are the slackers, Congress?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The idiotic notion that federal employees do not need more time off from a federal holiday is laughable on its face.

It comes from Republicans in Congress who contend that the Juneteenth federal holiday signed into law this week by President Biden is just another excuse for federal employees to loaf instead of working on behalf of Americans.

Really? Who are the real slackers here? Congress is about to take a whole month off from legislating, debating and hammering out laws on our behalf. They’ll be back home or perhaps vacationing in posh locations abroad. They will contend they are doing their constituents’ work while at home, that they don’t really ever take time off.

Get real, jerks!

Juneteenth commemorates the day that Union soldiers informed blacks in Galveston that President Lincoln had issued a proclamation more than two years earlier that freed them from enslavement. Juneteenth is a holiday more than worthy of national recognition and honor.

Members of Congress are among the biggest slackers of any demographic group in the United States. So for the GOP caucus to rely on a moronic notion that granting more time off for federal employees makes me want to hurl.

Now comes the fight … maybe

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This just in: U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Austin might decide he wants to lead the House Republican caucus because the presumed heiress apparent, Elise Stefanik of New York, is too liberal.

Ah, yes. Let’s have a fight, shall we?

The House GOP caucus ousted Liz Cheney of Wyoming because Cheney is appalled at the conduct of Donald Trump. She happened to have the bad form to criticize the former president for inciting the Jan 6 terrorist attack on the Capitol Building while Congress was in the midst of certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Why, those Republicans just cannot stand the notion of one of their leaders criticizing such abhorrent conduct. So they booted Cheney out of her leadership post.

OK, that’s done. Now comes the fight to find a successor.

Roy said Stefanik’s voting record is too, um, moderate to suit his taste. He wants a fire-breather in that leadership job. Hey, kinda like Liz Cheney, whose own conservative credentials are beyond dispute.

Is Roy going to sing from the same page as Stefanik, giving Trump a pass on his insurrection-incitement? That appears for all the world to be the only credential any card-carrying GOP member of Congress needs these days to assume a leadership role.

This’ll be fun to watch.

Go ahead, Rep. Roy. Let’s see what you have.

Hey, Rep. Cheney: Keep messaging!

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The U.S. House of Representatives Republican caucus has thrown in with the former Liar in Chief and decided that a truth-teller among its ranks has no place in its leadership.

Rep. Liz Cheney this morning was stripped of her title as chair of the House GOP caucus, the No. 3-ranking post among congressional Republicans.

Prediction: Liz Cheney isn’t going to skulk away quietly.

Indeed, she said today that she intends to do all she can to ensure that Donald Trump never sets foot in the Oval Office ever again.

Good for you, Rep. Cheney.

Be not confused here. I detest Cheney’s politics. I do admire her courage in standing firm against Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and her vote to impeach Trump a second time when he exhorted the terrorists to storm Capitol Hill.

Cheney told the truth about Trump. Her colleagues in the House are having none of it. They have shamed themselves and their governing institution.

Liz Cheney: My new hero

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Man, it is hard to believe that I am actually pulling for Liz Cheney to fend off this idiotic challenge to her leadership post within the House Republican leadership hierarchy.

The Wyoming lawmaker is being vilified by the Trumpkins who have seized control of the party. Her offense? For voting to impeach Donald J. Trump after the then-POTUS incited the insurrection against the government as it was certifying the results of the 2020 election that went for President Biden over their guy, Trump.

I wouldn’t vote for Rep. Cheney if I lived in Wyoming. She is too much of a right-winger to suit my taste. On this single matter, I find myself rooting for her to survive the challenge launched by the likes of Trump-loving loons Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

The House GOP caucus has been virtually silent about Gaetz, who’s being investigated for alleged sex trafficking. As for the QAnon queen Greene, I ain’t hearing much worry from the GOP on her, either.

So now we have Liz Cheney trying to fend off the GOP hyenas. I would much rather have a Republican Party that fuels its existence on the basis of policy differences rather than its fealty to a lunatic like Donald Trump.

I’m pulling for Liz Cheney. If she loses her House GOP caucus post, I hope she keeps her throat cleared and continues to tell her colleagues that they are making a terrible mistake in backing the purveyor of The Big Lie.

What if Barack Obama had done this?

I know you’ve heard political pundits ask this question: What would the Republican response be if Barack Obama had been accused of doing what Donald Trump has been accused of doing?

Well, we all know the answer to that one. Congressional Republicans would go ballistic. They would be apoplectic. They would file articles of impeachment while the echoes of the allegations were still ringing in their ears.

However, the question by itself ignores what I believe is a necessary corollary question, which I haven’t heard anyone pose: How would congressional Democrats respond if President Obama were accused of the transgressions that have been alleged against Trump?

I realize the second question results in a more problematic and unclear answer than the first one. Indeed, the whole rhetorical exercise speaks directly to a supreme hypothetical question. Politicians say they don’t like answering hypothetical questions, and I do not blame them for that reticence.

This is my take only on it, so here goes.

I believe GOP acquiescence to Trump’s misbehavior is a symptom of slavish fealty to one man, the president. It also reveals a lack of seriousness among GOP politicians to the oath they took to defend the Constitution against such abuses. This relative silence underscores the chokehold that Trump has placed on the Republican Party.

It also might reveal that Democrats did not hold Trump’s immediate Democratic presidential predecessor in the same almost-holy regard as their Republican colleagues feel toward Donald Trump.

Thus, I harbor a good bit of hope that had Barack Obama had pressured a foreign government to dig up dirt on, say, Mitt Romney or even Donald Trump that more than a token number of congressional Democrats would be as appalled as they are today at the actions of a Republican president.

The stone-cold devotion of today’s Republican congressional caucus to the president stands as a violation of the oath they all took to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Get ready for the next clown show

Ladies and gentleman, step right this way. You’re going to witness another clown show brought to you by the congressional Republican caucus that is running interference for a crooked president of the United States.

The arena this time will be the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which in the morning will begin its hearing on whether to impeach Donald Trump on at least two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The House Intelligence Committee has produced 300 pages of incontrovertible evidence that Trump sought a personal political favor from a foreign government; he conditioned military aid to that foreign government on delivering that favor; his personal lawyer was involved in conversations with federal budget officials and those within that foreign government.

And yet …

Congressional Republicans continue to insist that Trump did nothing wrong. There’s nothing to see here, they say. They don’t stand up for the president’s moral character or his standing as commander in chief. They seek to deflect attention from the allegations by criticizing the motives of Trump’s foes and suggesting that Ukraine, and not Russia, attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The Judiciary Committee will open its hearing and Chairman Jerrold Nadler will have his hands full as GOP members seek to be recognized for “points of order.” The No. 1 GOP doofus well might turn out to be a Texan, I should add. Louis Gohmert of Tyler, a former appellate judge — if you can believe it — is likely to become the Main Man leading the opposition against what looks to me like impeachable offenses committed by the president.

What absolutely astounds me is how and why Republicans continue to dig in when the evidence blares out loudly that Donald Trump violated his oath of office. 

I am scratching my head bloody over that one.

Let the clown show commence. Chairman Nadler is going to earn his congressional salary. Of that I am certain.