Tag Archives: House GOP

Cheney for POTUS? Wow!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Liz Cheney soap opera is getting downright weird, man.

The congresswoman from Wyoming, who has just lost her job as House Republican caucus chair, has been asked whether she would run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. Her answer: She said she will do anything to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination.

“I’m very focused on making sure that our party becomes again a party that stands for truth and stands for fundamental principles that are conservative,” she said. “And I won’t let a former president or anybody else unravel the democracy.”

Well …

What do you think of that one?

Cheney won’t rule out running for president to stop Trump (msn.com)

Cheney lost her GOP congressional post because she voted to impeach Donald Trump after he incited the Jan. 6 insurrection. She hasn’t let up on the ex-POTUS. She calls him a threat to our democratic process.

She is correct about the danger Trump poses. The House GOP, though, is looking to populate its leadership roster with Donald Trump suck-ups. That ain’t Cheney.

Now she’s talking openly about running for POTUS?

Why, we’ll just have to stay tuned.

Cheney vs. Stefanik? Weird, man

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have done a little sniffing around about the individual who is likely to succeed U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney as the House Republican Conference chair.

Rep. Elise Stefanik is campaigning hard for the post among her GOP colleagues. She wants to be a leader among House Republicans. She has gotten the endorsement of the ex-POTUS, Donald Trump.

But … why?

Here’s what I have found out. Stefanik is not a mainstream or a Trump conservative. Her sole qualification for the job apparently is that she stuck up for Trump when he got himself in trouble over trying to seek political favors from a foreign government and then for inciting the insurrection.

A quick look at Stefanik’s still-scant congressional record reveals some interesting things.

Conservative political action groups rate her pro-Trump voting record at around 77 percent; Cheney’s is at about 92 percent. You want more? Let’s try these:

Stefanik voted against the Trump tax cut proposal in 2017; she voted in favor of the Equality Act that stood for greater rights for gay Americans; Stefanik opposed Trump’s decision to ban entry into the United States of people coming from certain Muslim countries; Stefanik was one of 14 Republicans to vote with all House Democrats to override Trump’s veto of a measure unwinding the latter’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

Do you get where I’m going with this? She opposed Trump on several key Trump-supported initiatives. She was decidedly less conservative than Rep. Cheney.

Do you think for a nano-second that Donald Trump gives a rip about such mundane matters as, um, legislation and government policy? Hell no! All he wants is blind loyalty.

He isn’t getting it from Liz Cheney. Elise Stefanik has provided the requisite brown-nosing that the ex-POTUS demands.

A cult of personality? There you have it.

GOP gone into the tank

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The congressional Republican caucus has gone straight into the tank. Consider a couple of notable examples.

One GOP House member, Matt Gaetz of Florida, has been accused of having sex with a girl and of taking part in an alleged sex trafficking ring. Where is the House GOP leadership on that matter? Silent, man. Nothing but crickets.

Another GOP House member, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, voted to impeach Donald Trump in January of this year after he incited the insurrection against the U.S. government. She has continued to criticize Trump. House leaders’ response to Cheney? They want to boot her out of the House GOP leadership.

Let’s see. Gaetz remains a loyal Trumpkin; Cheney stands for the Constitution. Gaetz gets a pass because he hangs with The Donald; Cheney faces punishment because she adheres to her sacred oath of office.

Fealty to Donald Trump, therefore, has become the Republican litmus test.

Astonishing.

GOP leader has ‘had it’ with Cheney?

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I never thought the day would come that I would be standing behind a conservative Republican member of Congress.

But here I am, telling you that Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is getting the bum’s rush from her party leaders simply because she — and not them — chose to honor the U.S. Constitution they all swore an oath to protect and defend.

Disgusting, despicable, disgraceful.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California says he has “had it” with Rep. Cheney, which means she could lose her job as the House’s No. 3 GOP leader. Why is that? Because she voted to impeach Donald Trump after the president of the United States incited the insurrection mounted by the terrorists who stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

So, because she believes that Trump committed an act against the government by inciting the rioters to do what they did.

Is she less of a Republican politician because she chose to honor the Constitution? Of course not! Yet the GOP leadership now demands fealty to a cult leader above all else.

McCarthy has done the impossible. He has turned this center-left American patriot into a fan of a right-leaning member of Congress.

I am proud of Liz Cheney for standing up for the Constitution.

GOP firewall is collapsing

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well now, the Republican firewall that held firm against attacks the president of the United States is finally starting to fall apart.

Donald J. Trump will be impeached by the House on Wednesday. What makes this impeachment so much more meaningful  than his first impeachment is the presence of GOP House members who are joining their Democratic colleagues.

The word is out. U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney will vote to impeach Trump; so will Rep Adam Kinzinger. Same with Rep. John Katko. They’re all Republicans. What’s more, Cheney comes from longstanding GOP stock, being the daughter of former Congressman/White House chief of staff/Defense Secretary/Vice President Dick Cheney.

Republicans begin turning on Trump – POLITICO

Oh, and there’s more. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s GOP leader, is expressing what is being called “broad support” of the impeachment movement under way in the House and is indicating a desire to vote to convict Trump once the single article finds its way to the Senate.

The House will impeach Trump on a single count of “incitement of insurrection,” which Trump clearly did when he exhorted a crowd of mobsters to march to Capitol Hill while Congress was meeting to ratify Joe Biden’s election as president. The mob, as you know, ransacked the Capitol Building, resulting in the deaths of five people — including a Capitol Police officer.

As a former Trump ally said, “If this isn’t an impeachable offense, I don’t know what is.”

This is getting pretty dramatic … ain’t it?

House GOP starting to ‘eat’ one of its own?

The late Texas state Sen. Teel Bivins of Amarillo used to lament the Legislature’s task of reapportioning legislative and congressional districts, saying it gave Republicans a “chance to eat their own.”

I’m not sure what he meant in that context. However, the comment is worth dredging up today as we hear that congressional Republicans are angry with one of their own over his efforts to block the bipartisan economic stimulus package signed into law by Donald Trump; the package is aimed at helping Americans weather the economic storm brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Thomas Massie sought to block the House voice vote. He exhibited an extreme case of contrarian impulse. The Kentucky Republican wanted a roll call vote, believing members of Congress needed to put their votes on the record. He angered Democrats and Republicans alike, not to mention the president.

Now the House GOP caucus is mad as hell at Massie. Republican members of Congress are donating money to his primary challenger. They want the guy out of their hair, out of Congress, away from Capitol Hill. They want him gone, man!

U.S. Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, donated to Massie’s opponent while tweeting to Massie he gave money to his opponent “because I believe that you don’t belong in Congress.”

Ouch! Feel the burn.

The effort by Massie would have delayed the payments that have begun arriving in Americans’ bank accounts. And for what purpose? To assuage the nebulous concerns of a House back bencher. That is not what I call “good government.”

Massie has had a reputation for years of being an obstructionist, of seeking to upset what the late U.S. Sen. John McCain used to call “regular order.” Massie’s fellow Republicans are saying that they’ve had enough of this guy’s gamesmanship.

Now they are seeking to consume him, figuratively of course.

Bon appetit.

Congressman responds … sort of

I got an answer from my congressman, to whom I posed a direct question. His response, I must stipulate, was decidedly less direct.

In a letter I had asked Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, why after complaining about so-called “secrecy” during the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door deposition of witnesses during the House inquiry into whether Donald Trump should be impeached, that he voted “no” on a measure to bring it into the open.

Taylor’s response was, shall I say, off the mark. He did thank me for “taking the time to contact me regarding efforts to impeach President Donald Trump. Our representative democracy works best with active participation from the people and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me.”

There you go. That’s the extent of any reference to the question I posed. Except that he didn’t answer it.

He offered the boiler-plate response about not seeing sufficient evidence to merit the president’s impeachment, let alone his conviction in a Senate trial.

I am disappointed, although not surprised. I won’t write him any more letters on this subject. I now know precisely where he stands on whether the president deserves to be impeached. Actually, I knew it long before his letter arrived in the mail today.

I told you I would report to you how Rep. Taylor would respond. I have done so. I was hoping for a direct response. I didn’t get one.

Disappointing in the extreme.

Still waiting to hear from my congressman

Gosh, it’s been about a month since I wrote my congressman a letter. I asked him directly for a response to a question that had been nagging at me. He hasn’t delivered his answer.

Van Taylor is a Plano Republican representing the Third Congressional District of Texas. He’s been in office only since this past January. Maybe he’s been too busy trying to find his way around the massive U.S. Capitol Building.

I asked him why he voted “no” on sending the impeachment inquiry into the public domain. He and other Republican lawmakers had yapped about so-called “secrecy” regarding the closed-door testimony the House Intelligence Committee was receiving from witnesses.

Taylor said “no” to taking it to the public. How come? I want to know.

OK, I’ve been a little busy the past couple of weeks. I still intend to phone his office. I have a couple of business cards from key staffers. I plan to call his Plano district office, the one closest to his constituents. I happen to one of them.

Van Taylor, who I have described as — and still believe him to be — an earnest young man. He’s a Marine Corps veteran who saw duty during the Iraq War. I certainly salute his veteran status.

I do not salute his recalcitrance over this issue of taking the Trump impeachment inquiry into the public. I need to know why he voted against bringing it into the open.

I’m his boss. He answers to me, not to Donald Trump.

Trying to understand why it’s different now … with Trump

I don’t understand many things. They fly over my head and I am left just to scratch it and say, “Huh?”

One of those items concerns the pending impeachment of Donald Trump. Congressional Republicans are digging in against the impeachment; congressional Democrats are just as fervent in their belief that Trump has committed an impeachable act … or three.

I keep circling back to the most recent presidential impeachment, which occurred in 1998. Bill Clinton got impeached by the House of Representatives, which then was led by the GOP. Republicans had been looking for a reason to file articles of impeachment against the Democratic president almost from the moment he took office in 1993.

Then they found that reason: He lied to a grand jury about an affair he was having with a White House intern. The president took an oath to tell the truth; he violated that oath; the GOP said “aha!” … there’s your impeachable offense.

So the House impeached him. Why? Because he was too embarrassed to admit to messing around with a much-younger woman.

It had not a thing to do with his governance. It affected not a single policy decision. There were no matters of state or statecraft involved. He allowed a young woman to, um, pleasure him and then lied about it before a duly constituted grand jury.

One of the House impeachment “managers,” a young congressman named Lindsey Graham, bellowed righteously that an impeachment was necessary to restore the dignity of the office, which the president had besmirched with his conduct.

That congressman is now a senator and will be one of 100 jurors who will decide the fate of a fellow Republican, Donald Trump. His attitude now? He’s not interested in seeing any of the classified testimony from the witnesses who talked to the House Intelligence Committee. He’s made up his mind. The impeachment inquiry is a “joke,” he said.

Case closed. He don’t need to hear no stinking evidence. 

Therein rests the source of my confusion. Republicans who wanted to pry into the nitty gritty of a president’s personal life now sound as if they are disinterested in knowing the details into how another president might have compromised national security over a political favor he sought from a foreign government.

Which is the worse allegation? I would place my money on the possibility that my president offered a bribe to a foreign leader, which the U.S. Constitution spells out — by name — as a crime against the state.

I just don’t get it.

Set to make impeachment history once again

Here we are, on the cusp of another politically historic event awaiting the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House Intelligence Committee is going to hand off to the Judiciary Committee, which then will decide whether to file articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump.

This shouldn’t be a close call. However, it’s likely to become a partisan vote, with Democrats voting to impeach the president and Republicans saying “no.”

I’m out here in the Peanut Gallery. What I have seen from the middle of Trump Country tells me that the president deserves to be impeached; he also deserves to be convicted in a U.S. Senate trial. The allegations leveled against him are far worse than anything that befell President Clinton in 1998 and rise at least to the level of what President Nixon faced in 1974 when he resigned.

House Republicans impeached Clinton for lying about an inappropriate relationship he had with a White House intern. Nixon quit before the House could impeach him for obstructing justice in the search for the truth behind the Watergate burglary in June 1972.

What does Donald Trump face? He is facing an accusation — which he more or less has admitted to doing — of soliciting a foreign government for a political favor. In exchange for the favor, which included digging up dirt on a potential political foe, the president would release weapons to Ukraine, which is fighting rebels backed by Russia.

The U.S. Constitution expressly forbids such activity. It cites “bribery” along with “treason” specifically as crimes for which a president can be removed from office. It isn’t treason, but it sure looks for all the world to me like bribery.

I fully expect to get some dipsh** responses from High Plains Blogger critics who think I’m whistlin’ Dixie with regard to the crimes I believe the president has committed. That’s fine. Let ’em gripe.

I stand by my assertion that Donald Trump has committed crimes that rise to the level of impeachment. They certainly are far more egregious than what ended up on President Clinton’s record.

The record as I’ve seen it pile up during the impeachment inquiry is replete with evidence of wrongdoing. The House and Senate Republican caucus, however, is equally replete with political cowardice among House members and senators who choose to stand with the president and refuse to stand for what they piously proclaim to be “the rule of law.”

And so, history is about to be made once again as one House panel passes the torch to another one. Let this lawful, constitutional and appropriate impeachment effort proceed.