Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Matt Gaetz: Lock him up?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Congressional Republicans need to get their priorities in order.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of the GOP bomb throwers, is being investigated for sex trafficking charges and whether he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl.

House GOP leadership’s response? He deserves “the presumption of innocence.”

Now … how does that compare with the Republican response to Hillary Clinton’s email kerfuffle? They were chanting “Lock her up!” Due process? Presumption of innocence? Hah!

So, which is it? The Republican Party’s political leadership hypocrisy is on full display once again.

It makes me sick.

It’s no ‘waste of time’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A fellow who once served on the Amarillo City Council believes the investigation into Rep. Ronny Jackson’s past as White House physician is a “waste of time.”

We need to “quit looking back and move forward,” said Randy Burkett in a brief Facebook post.

I beg to differ. We gotta look back, if only to find out the truth behind a scathing report issued by a non-partisan watchdog outfit.

The Pentagon inspector general has issued a report that alleges that Jackson, who was elected to the 13th Congressional District of Texas, engaged in bad behavior while serving as White House physician. He drank on the job, he overprescribed medication and bullied and sexually harassed employees, the IG report said.

There needs to be a thorough investigation of what Jackson (allegedly) did and whether he should be removed from the House of Representatives.

As for “moving forward,” perhaps Randy Burkett would like to explain why Republicans haven’t yet been able to move forward from investigating matters involving, oh, Hillary Rodham Clinton or the 2020 presidential election’s phony allegations of vote fraud.

It is no “waste of time” to ensure that the people elected to the legislative branch of government, the folks who make laws we all must obey are trustworthy and are of high moral standing.

That kind of investigation is especially relevant when it involves someone such as Rep./Dr. Jackson, who keeps popping off about his political foes, suggesting — among many other things — that President Biden was elected this past year on the basis of electoral theft.

Waste of time? We should move on? Get real. Let’s find out what happened when Ronny Jackson was working as the Doctor in Our House.

Elections have consequences!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If I hear it one more time my head is likely to explode.

It is that Donald Trump’s supporters’ mantra that their guy pulled in 74.2 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, which means — by God — that they won’t be silenced.

OK. I got it. Here is another truth about that election: President Biden garnered 81.2 million votes, 7 million more than Trump; moreover, he won the Electoral College with 306 votes, needing 270 to win the presidency.

Biden won. Trump lost. Elections, as the saying goes, have consequences!

A democratic society requires that losing candidates accept defeat, congratulate the winner, pledge to work together … and yes, also keep pushing for whatever agenda he or she sought during a losing campaign. Donald Trump didn’t do that. He hasn’t done that yet. He apparently will never do any of it.

Instead, he is leading his minions on some sort of call of defiance, ginning up their enthusiasm for a campaign that did not resonate with most Americans who voted in record numbers.

I know what some of you might be thinking. What about the 2016 election when supporters of Hillary Clinton yapped about their candidate getting more votes than Trump? There is no parallel. Clinton pulled in about 3 million more votes than Trump, but lost the Electoral College by the same amount that Trump lost to Biden. There were those who said their voices needed to be heard. Why? Because their candidate collected more rank-and-file support than the actual winner. I was not one of those individuals.

Yes, I was highly critical of Donald Trump during his term as president, but I also recognized that the Constitution prescribes a certain way that candidates win presidential elections, and in 2016 Trump met that standard.

The 2020 result was clear cut. The actual vote comported with the Electoral College vote. So, when the Trumpkin Corps yaps about their guy winning 74.2 million votes, I am left to shrug and say: So fu**ing what? 

The other guy got more votes than your guy! Your guy lost. The Trumpkins have every right to express their point of view; the Constitution is clear about that. But … do not rely on the tired mantra that just because the losing candidate for president won a lot of votes that it means he can still have his way.

Donald Trump said it himself after hearing the gripes of those who supported his opponent four years ago: Elections have consequences.

The end is near

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

OK, settle down. I don’t mean The End, as in … you know.

I mean the end of a presidential campaign is coming up. It’s right around the corner. They are calling this the “election season,” given that so many Americans are voting early.

My wife and I did. So did our sons. We are among the 30 million or so Americans who have decided to cast our ballots early to ensure they get counted, given the suspicion that Donald Trump is trying to lay over the entire electoral system. Think of that for just a moment: The doubt is coming from the individual who took an oath four years to protect the system. Now he wants to fear it, to believe it’s corrupt, that it’s fake, phony.

What a moron!

But the end of the season is coming along. We’re 13 days to go when they shut down the polls from coast to coast to coast and start counting those ballots.

I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. I want former two-term Vice President Joe Biden to win this election just about more than any single candidate I’ve ever wanted to win — with the possible exception of Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

My intense desire to see Sen. Obama win the 2008 contest had more to do with the historic nature of his election than his opponent, the late Sen. John McCain, for whom I had great respect given the suffering he endured during wartime in defense of this country. Eight years later the intensity ratcheted up again as Hillary Clinton sought to defeat Trump. I believed then and I do today that she is eminently qualified to serve as president.

Now it’s Joe Biden who has earned my undivided attention. I have been aware of him since he first won election to the U.S. Senate in 1972. I knew about the tragedy that befell him as he prepared to take office with the death of his wife and daughter in a motor vehicle crash.

He served in the Senate with distinction until Barack Obama tapped him to run as VP in 2008.

And yes, I am aware of his missteps, such as his failed 1988 presidential campaign when Biden got caught copying the rhetoric of a British politician.

Joe Biden is the man of the hour today. I want him to win bigly. I want Trump to be shown the door and I want Joseph Biden to be given the chance to deliver on his pledge to restore dignity to the presidency.

I want this season to end.

Deja vu? Um, yep!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joe Biden holds onto a significant national lead over Donald Trump.

Time to celebrate? Pop the bubbly corks? Toast the dawn of a new age — or the return of a more decent age in politics?

Hold on. Democrats traveled down this road before, just four years ago. Remember that “President” Hillary Rodham Clinton led Trump at this stage of the 2016 campaign. Oops. Then she lost.

Trump eked out a fluke win, losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots but slithering into office with a narrow Electoral College win.

What must the Democrats do to avoid a repeat of that monstrosity of a result? Here’s one idea from the Peanut Gallery: Keep Biden on road and do not let up one little, teeny tiny bit.

Biden’s message has been consistent. He wants to unite the nation. He can deliver on that hope. Trump has given up any pretense of unity as he struggles, scrambles and flails in his attempt to hold onto power. He campaigns as the grievance candidate and from my vantage point, it isn’t going over with the vast segment of the nation that opposes his re-election.

Hang tough, Joe. Keep the fire burning. Keep reminding us of the terrible job The Donald has done. Speak to the majority of the nation that appears to long for a return to decency, dignity and decorum in the nation’s most exalted public office.

Hoping for this outcome

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been roaming this good Earth long enough to know that there ain’t no such thing as perfection in politics.

However, I also know when to search for preferred outcomes and to judge whether they reach a satisfactory level that could pass for virtual perfection.

The race for the U.S. presidency is heading into its stretch run. Here is what I hope happens when they count all the ballots.

Joe Biden should accrue far more than enough Electoral College votes to win election as the 46th president of the United States. He also should roll up a substantial actual vote margin of victory over Donald J. Trump.

What would constitute a suitable finish? Hmm. How about, say, 350 electoral votes for Biden, with the remaining 188 of the them going to Trump; it takes 270 electoral votes to win an election.

Trump managed to win the presidency by eking out a narrow Electoral College victory on the basis of 77,000 votes cast in three states that Barack Obama won twice before Hillary Clinton lost them in 2016. He has sought laughably to translate the 2016 squeaker into a “landslide” victory. It was nothing of the sort.

He now is threatening legal action if Biden collects more votes at the end of the ballot-counting process. I want the former vice president to have so many more ballots in his pile that there can be no doubt as to who won. Would that forestall a Trump legal challenge? Hoo boy! Hard to know.

I am not going to give up, though, on this notion: that Trump well could realize he cannot win a court challenge and that — despite his threats to the contrary — he accepts the results, makes the concession call to Joe Biden, stands before the nation and bids us adieu as he prepares to make his final exit from the Oval Office.

As I noted, there is no such thing as political perfection, but that outcome will seem like nirvana were it to occur.

Oh, the irony is rich

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am trying to understand the irony of Donald Trump’s assertion that a Joe Biden victory will come only if the election in November is “rigged.” The ironic richness is beyond belief.

The Russian government interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Its aim was to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Russians intended to sow confusion and suspicion in our sacred electoral system.

Think of it! The guy the Russians wanted to win four years ago is now doing the Russians’ work for them! The president of the United States is asserting that Joe Biden can win only if the election is rigged.

Trump doesn’t provide a scintilla of proof of what he suggests would occur. Yet he is now mounting a prejudicial campaign against an electoral system he took an oath to protect and defend. Yes, think also of that … if you dare.

The presidential oath contains a clause that compels the nation’s head of state to protect the very system that puts him in office. The U.S. Constitution undergirds the entire process. Yet the president is now threatening some unspecified action to challenge the results of a free and fair election if it doesn’t produce the result he prefers.

I keep circling back to what happened in 2016. You heard him encourage the Russians to search for Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails, right? The Russian government led by Vladimir Putin commenced its attack on our system that very day. At Trump’s invitation! Was the 2016 election rigged? Did it produce an electoral result that was, shall we say, illegitimate? 

So now we have arrived in the here and now. Donald Trump, having benefited in some fashion from foreign interference in the previous election, is threatening to undermine the results of the next presidential election. He bases his threat on allegations he cannot prove. He is sowing the same seeds of doubt that his Russian benefactors did four years ago.

The irony is rich. It’s also dangerous.

Let’s hold off on the victory dance

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel the need to douse the victory dances I am seeing around the country as we head toward the home stretch in this highly bizarre presidential election season.

Joe Biden is leading in every serious polling survey. His lead over Donald Trump varies from around 12 percent (from GOP-friendly Rasmussen) to 16 percent. The Bidenistas smell blood in the water. They watch Donald Trump continue to raise the coronavirus pandemic as a talking point, all as Trump continues to downplay the seriousness of the infection that has felled him, his wife and two dozen or so of his top White House aides.

Yes, Trump appears to be self-destructing before our eyes.

However … and it pains me to say this, Donald Trump should not be left for politically dead. This guy is quite capable of doing anything he needs to stay in power. Were it not for the relentless attacks he leveled against his 2016 opponent — with a big assist from FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen the “email scandal” — we would be talking today about President Hillary Clinton’s effort to win a second term.

I share the view that Donald Trump is crazy as a loon. He is infected with a virus that could kill him. I don’t want that to happen, I merely am acknowledging the obvious.

Trump is not without some weapons of his own. One of them sits in the Kremlin, where Russian goons are working as we sit here to ensure his re-election.

We “only” have 27 days to go, but that is a lifetime in politics, as the saying goes. Joe Biden needs to campaign as if he is behind by double digits. I will be able to breathe freely and easily once we get all the ballots counted and Joe Biden piles up significantly more votes than Donald Trump.

Who’s winning? Who’s losing?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

On a day when Donald Trump decided to quit working with Democrats in Congress over a coronavirus relief package — sending the stock market straight into the dumper — Joe Biden delivered a high-minded speech about unity and our national soul on the site of a revered Civil War battlefield.

One of these fellows is campaigning like a winner; the other is acting like an expected loser.

Hmmm. Who is whom?

It looks to me as though Joe Biden’s decision today to speak to our nation’s better angels without once mentioning Donald Trump’s name is the winner here. Trump? Well, he’s looking more desperate with each passing day.

Does this mean Biden should coast during the campaign’s final 28 days? Hardly. It means only that he took time today to forgo a partisan attack and sought instead to speak to our higher ideals.

As for Trump, he wouldn’t know a higher ideal if it bit him on his ample backside. He has no view of what’s noble or good. He deals in invective and innuendo. He campaigned that way en route to victory in 2016 and has governed that way as president.

Trump decided today that he wouldn’t negotiate with congressional Democrats to find a solution to a coronavirus relief bill; he will talk after the election, he said. To what end is this man refusing to talk to the “other party”?

I cannot or will not predict this presages a Biden victory. Trump, after all, faced grim odds before heading down the stretch four years ago against Hillary Clinton … and then he won!

Oh, but I do hope we are thrashing our way out of the darkness.

Avoiding the ‘horse race’

The coverage of the Joe Biden-Donald Trump race for president is testing my patience.

It is so heavily focused on the “horse-race” aspect of the effort. Who’s up? Who’s down? Trend lines? Statistical probabilities? Betting odds?

It’s making my head spin.

If the 2016 campaign taught us anything, it ought to have taught us to dive much more deeply into the issues driving the campaign than the horse race aspect of it. Hillary Clinton won more votes than Trump. But she lost the race. You know the drill: Trump won enough Electoral College votes to eke out a victory, only to lie relentlessly about his “landslide” victory over Hillary.

In fact, though, Hillary’s final vote total reflected almost exactly what the average of the polls showed on Election Day.

But we now have a new contest. Joe Biden is “ahead” at the moment. I just don’t want to get fixated on that part of the campaign. I want to call attention on this blog to the differences in the candidates’ stance on issues … although it is damn near impossible to determine what Donald Trump thinks about anything of substance.

I’ll just have to persevere through the rest of this campaign. I will do my level best to ignore the polls. If only the media would stop reminding me hourly of where the candidates stand in relation to each other’s standing.

I’m ready to vote. I am ready for this chapter to end. I am ready to get on with the rest of the story, wherever it leads.