Tag Archives: GOP Senate

Democrats taking Trump insults personally?

A part of me wishes congressional Democrats had stuck around Washington to knuckle down in search of a solution to the government shutdown instead of scurrying for the tall grass; Donald Trump managed to forgo his Florida getaway to stay in D.C., after all.

Another part of me thinks that Trump is handling this standoff poorly while he dishes out Twitter-fueled insults to his political foes.

He needles them to come to the White House, but uses that snarky tone — along with the demagogic rhetoric about favoring “open borders” — to make whatever point he wants to make.

How can Democrats not take this constant barrage personally? How can they put all that crap aside as if the president never said anything of a smart-alecky nature?

For instance, Trump fired off this tweet: I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security. From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!

See what I mean? He has to say something about Democrats having “little time left for things like stopping crime and our military.” That’s the stuff of a demagogue.

He continues to play exclusively to his base, which cheers him on blindly. The rest of us? He couldn’t care less. This is the guy who said he’d be a “unifying” president, that he would seek to be everyone’s head of state, head of government and commander in chief. He is nothing of the sort!

The partial government shutdown now figures to hang around for a while. Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in a few days. Maybe something will change. Maybe they can persuade their GOP colleagues in the Senate to pass the word on to the president that his insistence on building The Wall is a non-starter.

If only they can get over the personal insults that emanate from the president’s Twitter account.

Senate saves Obama’s Iran deal


With “approval” — if you want to call it that¬†—¬†of the Iran nuclear deal all but sewn up, it’s good to examine briefly how President Obama will be able to declare victory.

This is not what you’d call a smashing mandate. He will have won this fight on a split decision, a legislative technicality.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., today delivered the 34th Democratic vote in favor of the deal. What does that mean? It means that if the Republican-led Senate approves a resolution opposing the deal, Democrats now have enough votes to sustain a presidential veto when it comes; the Senate needs a two-thirds vote to override a veto but Mikulski’s endorsement of the deal prevents that from occurring.

But there’s more to this drama.

Senate Democrats now are seeking¬†seven more votes to give them 41 votes in favor of the deal, which would enable them to filibuster the GOP resolution opposing it to death. It takes three-fifths of the body to stop a filibuster. If Democrats get to the magic number, then the resolution won’t get to President Obama’s Oval Office desk.

Game over.

This is a big deal for the president. It would have been far better for him to win outright approval of the deal, which — according to negotiators — “blocks all pathways” for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. That has been goal No. 1 all along. No one with a semblance of sanity want that rogue state to develop an atom bomb. The deal is designed to prevent it from happening.

Of course, Republicans oppose it. Maybe it’s just because they detest the Democratic president so much that they’ll seek to deny him any kind of diplomatic victory.

The alternative to this deal? That remains a mystery. As Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., said, there’s no better deal out there. Bennett is officially in the “undecided” category of senators.

If a Plan B includes going to war with Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuke, I’ll settle gladly for this diplomatic solution.

Don’t look for any payoff in the near future. The¬†impact of this deal will become known long after Barack Obama leaves office.

Senate saves Iran deal

Lynch for AG; let the new Senate decide

Loretta Lynch by all rights should be sworn in as the nation’s next attorney general.

President Obama made the announcement today nominating the New York U.S. attorney to the post.


Of course, there are a couple of wrinkles attached to it. One of them is worth supporting, the other is utter nonsense.

Lynch would replace Eric Holder as AG. She’s already drawn the support of one key Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who says Lynch is “qualified.” Well, of course, she’s qualified. She’s been approved overwhelmingly twice by the Senate to U.S. attorney posts and there appears to be little reason to oppose her now as the nation’s next top lawyer.

Here come the wrinkles.

Republicans are insisting the new Senate, which will be run by the GOP, needs to confirm Lynch. That’s the correct call. Lame-duck Democrats who either are retiring or who lost their seats in the mid-term election need not vote on this appointment. Let’s have the new Senate make this call and let us also hope that Republicans who run the upper chamber will give Lynch a “fair hearing,” which the new majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has vowed.

The second wrinkle amounts to a litmus test.

It comes from two tea party Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who want Lynch to declare right now whether she believes any potential presidential executive action on immigration is “legal and constitutional.” If she doesn’t tip her hand, does that mean Cruz and Lee will oppose her outright? If she believes the president¬†would be¬†acting legally and constitutionally, does that doom her appointment?

These two men appear to be seeking the “right” answer to the question, which is a litmus test by any definition.

How about examining the scope and breadth of this lawyer’s distinguished career?

By my reckoning, she’s earned her spurs and should be confirmed.

The sun still rose in the morning

Those on the left are crying the blues.

Their “friends” on the right are jumping with joy.

Lefties are mourning the loss of the U.S. Senate, which after Tuesday night’s mid-term election flipped from Democratic to Republican control come Tuesday.

Righties are utterly gleeful that Sen. Harry Reid will turn over his majority leader gavel — figuratively — to Sen. Mitch McConnell.

My take?

Well, the sun rose the next morning like it always does. President Obama said he wants to “work with” Republicans in both congressional houses. McConnell said he intends to work with the president whenever it’s possible. Obama said he’d like to enjoy a glass of Kentucky bourbon with ol’ Mitch; no word yet on whether McConnell is going to invite the president over for a belt.

We’re going to learn¬†in due course just how well the two sides will get along. I am not worried about things “getting worse” in Washington. From my standpoint, and looking at it through my own admittedly biased prism, it couldn’t get much worse than it’s been since Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

Don’t misunderstand. I continue to believe the country is in much better shape today than it was when he took over. The pasting Democrats took on Tuesday is because their foes on the right outshouted them over the course of the Obama administration. They have persuaded a large number of Americans that the economy remains in dire peril and that the federal government is doing a lousy job of protecting them against foreign enemies.

It’s all baloney.

The country will rock along. The two sides will continue to fight, squabble, bitch at each other — just as it’s always been done.

I’m trying to look at the big picture. We’ve done all right for the past two-plus centuries.

I’ll accept the election results for what they are. Then I’ll just need to get ready for the next election cycle, which has just begun.