Tag Archives: Mitch McConnell

Trump goes to ‘war’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump no longer occupies the White House. He is the first-ever U.S. president to be twice impeached. He escaped conviction both times, but his reputation is scarred forever.

Does that silence the former president? Does it consign him to the back of the room where he would sit silently?

Hardly. He is now going after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in a personal, insulting and denigrating way.

I guess the two no longer are the pals they became after Trump got elected in 2016. I mean, all McConnell did for Trump was delay a Supreme Court confirmation until after Trump took office in 2017, enabling him to nominate Neil Gorsuch to the seat that should have gone to Merrick Garland. If Trump had an ounce of gratitude in his overfed body, he would realize he owes McConnell bigly for that opportunity.

Trump, in Scorching Attack on McConnell, Urges G.O.P. to Replace Him (msn.com)

No, he’s angry now because McConnell managed to tell us what he should have said long ago, which is that Trump provoked the riot that damn near could have resulted in harm to Vice President Mike Pence. McConnell did cast a not guilty vote in the Senate trial, but then kinda/sorta walked it back by saying he voted that way on a technicality.

Hey, I am not going to shed any tears for McConnell. I figure he can hold his own against the numbskull ex-president. Besides, I think he’s acted in a detestable manner, just not for the reasons that Trump cited in his lengthy statement.

Donald Trump has just shown us — as if we needed reminding — that he is going to keep flapping his yapper.

Why the GOP struggle to loosen Trump’s grip?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly is struggling to move the GOP away from the Donald Trump era into, well, something that might resemble the world that used to welcome his political party.

Put another way, McConnell might seek to shed the GOP as being the Party of Trump. Good call, if that is his aim.

I struggle to realize why it’s so hard for Republican Party honchos to separate themselves from this toxic president. Trump will be gone in two days. Trumpism, the remnants of the movement that Trump created, will continue. Whether it is as strong and vocal as it has been during Trump’s time as president remains to be seen.

Truth be told, Donald Trump is not a Republican. He is not the real thing. He ran as a Republican only because it would provide the clearer path for him to the presidency. Maybe he thought Republicans are more gullible than Democrats, that they would swallow the snake oil he peddled more readily than those of the other party. I cannot say such a thing with conviction; I only can speculate it to be the case.

Trump donned many mantles during his term in office. He was the Liar in Chief, the Demagogue in Chief, the Sore Loser in Chief, the Panderer in Chief, the Russian Appeaser in Chief … you name it, Trump fit the bill.

He did not adhere to a hard and fast philosophy on taxes. He sought to “put America first,” but then slobbered all over Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The term “fiscal responsibility” is as foreign to Trump as anything uttered in English.

Donald Trump is a classic Republican In Name Only and yet his most fervent followers hang that label on those within the GOP who disagree with Trump’s world view. Are you kidding me?

I wish McConnell and other actual Republicans luck in trying to shuck the Trump skin. Then again, they bought into Trump’s phony rhetoric, too.

Bring senators back now, Mr. Majority Leader

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We have 10 days to go before President Biden takes office.

Donald Trump will be gone from the White House. The House of Representatives might impeach the current president a second time, say, by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. House members will consider at least one impeachment article: incitement of insurrection, which to many folks’ view is as impeachable an offense as one can imagine.

If the House impeaches Trump, then the Senate — led at the moment by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — would conduct a trial. However, McConnell said the Senate won’t convene until the day before Biden takes office.

Whoa! Hold on! The Senate majority leader can summon senators back to office immediately, declaring a national emergency. He can seek to suspend the rules and then fast-track the vote of senators to determine whether Trump stays in office for the remainder of his term.

I believe it is imperative for the Senate to act quickly, just as it acted to confirm Supreme Court justice after the Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death 11 days before the presidential election.

All of this presumes that Trump won’t quit, or that the Cabinet won’t invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment and remove him from office.

It can be done. It should be done. Majority Leader McConnell must not sit idly while Donald Trump — who incited the rioters to storm Capitol Hill this past Wednesday — to walk away from the presidency on his own terms. The riot, as if McConnell and other GOP members of Congress need reminding, put their own lives in peril had the rioters been able to storm the House and Senate while our legislators were doing their constitutional duty in ratifying Biden’s victory over Trump.

Time isn’t on the side of those who want Donald Trump to be held accountable. However, the Senate has the mechanism to move rapidly … which it must do.

POTUS-elect: better man than most

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President-elect Biden is a far better man than I am.

Someone shoved a microphone in his face the other day to ask him to react to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s belated recognition that Biden, indeed, is the president-elect.

Biden’s response caught me by surprise. He said he had spoken with the Senate majority leader and thanked him for his congratulations … and then pledged to work closely with him on areas where the two men can find agreement.

What might my reaction be? It wouldn’t be nearly as magnanimous. For that matter, Donald Trump damn sure wouldn’t have been as gracious had he been the target of the well-chronicled suspicion that GOP politicians have leveled at the Democratic president-elect.

McConnell stood behind some phony excuse about letting the “process play out” before recognizing the obvious, which is that Joe Biden defeated Trump in the Nov. 3 election. After the Electoral College certified Biden’s win, only then did McConnell speak from the Senate floor to congratulate the president-elect.

Fiddlesticks, man!

Phenomenal replaces the routine

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It can be argued, which I will do here, that Donald Trump’s presidential re-election loss has produced one of the most remarkable phenomena in recent memory.

That would be how a simple acknowledgment that the winner of a presidential election is the president-elect can make such news.

So it was the other day when Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood on the floor of the Senate and declared that his former Democratic colleague, Joe Biden, was the president-elect of the United States.

McConnell’s acknowledgment of the obvious became news all day.

Who is to blame or credit of this bizarre reaction? Donald Trump! He has sown a narrative that has taken hold among faithful GOP politicians who have signed onto the phony notion that Biden “stole” the election that Trump actually won. Think about this for just a moment.

Courts have ruled repeatedly that no such thievery occurred. Politicians who under normal circumstances would honor judicial opinions now cast aspersions on them. The Senate’s top Republican, ,McConnell, was among the politicians who refused to say publicly what he no doubt knew, which is that Trump lost and that Biden beat him like a drum.

So now we get to watch GOP politicians say — now that the Electoral College has certified the outcome — that Joe Biden is the president-elect. And the media cover it as if it’s really big news. Then again, given the tenor of the times and the suspicion that Donald Trump has created … I guess it is.


Way to go, Mitch … hah!

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The temptation surfaced but it was a fleeting moment.

I was tempted to offer a “better late than never” congratulatory statement to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for finally recognizing that his former colleague, Joe Biden, is the president-elect of the United States. McConnell this morning congratulated the president-elect and said he is looking forward to working with him on his agenda.

Then the temptation floated away.

I am left now to heap more shame on the Senate majority leader simply because he did something today he could have done — he should have done — weeks ago.

McConnell knew along with the rest of us that Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert the democratic process were damaging to the republic, to the rule of law, to our very governmental foundation. Yet he remained silent … until the Electoral College cast its vote Monday to certify that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris about to ascend to the pinnacle of power.

So, McConnell hid behind the formality of the vote until it was done and then he came forward this morning to state the obvious.

Sen. McConnell has demonstrated a disgraceful display of cowardice.

But it doesn’t matter what I think. The person whose opinion matters is President-elect Biden. Since he is a better man than many of us I am relatively certain Joe Biden is able to put the hard feelings he might harbor toward his former Senate pal aside and get to work on behalf of the nation he was elected to lead.

Legislating involves compromise

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Yeah, I know … nothing about Mitch McConnell should surprise me.

Still, the message from the U.S. Senate majority leader given his longstanding relationship with President-elect Biden does raise my eyebrows.

McConnell is giving credence to the idiotic conspiracy theory being kicked out by Donald J. Trump that illegal voters carried Biden to the presidency. He is digging in his heels on whether to even offer a word of congratulations to the president-elect; McConnell had the chance today during a Senate floor speech to offer a good word to his “friend,” but he choked.

McConnell continues to behave in a manner that gives politics and politicians a bad name. As for Trump, he’s been a lost cause from the moment he rode down the escalator to announce his presidential candidacy. I am so glad he got beat.

I just wish McConnell would recognize the obvious and get behind the president-elect and declare his intention to actually work with Democrats in search of legislation upon which they all agree.

Isn’t that part of the oath he took?

McConnell: hypocrite in chief

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I will spare you the various and assorted nicknames that have been plastered onto U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

He stands before me now as the government’s premier hypocrite. The hypocrite to end all hypocrites. The man who gives hypocrisy a bad name.

I know that he’s far from alone in the hypocrite cabal. Government is full of them. And yes, both parties have their share of hypocrites.

However, the Kentucky Republican is relishing in his hypocrisy. The man who stiffed President Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat because he didn’t want to do in an election year is ramrodding a Donald Trump pending selection to probable confirmation … in an election year!

The difference? Obama is a Democrat; Trump is a Republican.

And yet the hypocrite in chief blames Democrats for “playing politics” with the federal judiciary. Excuse me while I puke!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the bad form to die less than 50 days prior to the next presidential election. That hasn’t stopped McConnell from unleashing his partisan hounds.  He vows to get a nominee confirmed before the election.

Oh, what about that presidential election year taboo? Well, that was then. Principle doesn’t apply when there is a partisan political advantage to be explored.

Dang, I almost wish I could move to Kentucky to campaign actively against this clown’s re-election. That won’t happen. I will have to rely on this blog to vent my rage at the way this guy manipulates the levers of power to his maximum political advantage.

Maybe I should admire how this guy can do this. I would, except that his ends all work at cross purposes with my own world view. I do not want Donald Trump to nominate a third justice to the Supreme Court. He is going to select some far right-wing ideologue … while pretending to agree with whatever judicial philosophy guides her.

And this is being brought to bear by the hypocrite in chief.

This, I suggest, gives us all the reason in the world to vote Donald Trump out of office.

Due diligence anyone … anyone?

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Who needs due diligence when you have a power-hungry hypocrite in charge of a U.S. Senate confirmation process?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Due diligence is as important as it always is when considering whom to seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That ain’t stopping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from unleashing the confirmation hounds on a nominee Donald Trump intends to send to the Senate upon the death of the iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Let’s see how this goes. The presidential election is 46 days away. Trump hasn’t yet pitched a name at the Senate. He will do so quickly, or so we are led to believe. McConnell said the Senate will receive the nominee’s name, the Judiciary Committee will conduct a hearing and then the Senate will vote on the nominee … before we decide the presidency and before we decide who sits in the Senate!

How in the name of legislative due diligence is that supposed to happen?

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, say the Senate should wait until after the election. Yeah … do ya think?

A number of Republicans might lose on Election Day. Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Collins, and possibly even McConnell in Kentucky are prime targets for defeat. How does a lame-duck Senate session vote, therefore, on a Supreme Court nominee when several of the body’s members won’t be there to stand before their constituents?

Let us not forget how McConnell stonewalled President Obama’s pick to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia in early 2016, with McConnell saying that the president didn’t have the right to make an appointment during an election year. We’ve got that now, only magnified by an untold factor given the closeness of the next election!

Back to my point: How also does a Senate do the kind of due diligence required to thoroughly examine the quality of the person nominated by the president to serve as a member of nation’s highest court?

My view is that it cannot. The Senate must not steamroll a nominee to the Supreme Court in a fashion that screams political expediency.

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy is on full and inglorious display.

He sickens me.

Honor RBG’s ‘most fervent wish’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

So it was stated by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a note she dictated to her granddaughter just a few days before her death.

I am saddened beyond measure to hear of Justice Ginsburg’s death. It was not a surprise, given her lengthy bout with cancer. However, her passing now sets up a political battle the likes of which we have seen.

I am having trouble wrapping my noggin around all the ramifications. To wit:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump will be able to get a Senate vote on the person he nominates to succeed Ginsburg. But wait! He said the opposite in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died. President Obama wouldn’t get a Senate hearing on who selected in an election year. The vacancy was held for more than 400 days. We have 46 days until the next election this time.
  • Does the Senate leader have the chops to hold the GOP caucus together? One Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, has said already the process should wait. And what about the handful of GOP senators who are set to lose their re-election bids this fall? Do they vote on a nomination in a lame-duck congressional session? Is it right for them to vote, then leave office only to have the next SCOTUS justice getting a lifetime job?
  • How does McConnell justify the hypocrisy of denying one president the chance to select a justice while fast-tracking another president’s selection?

I have declared my belief in presidential prerogative. I have stated that presidents have the right to nominate their court choices. Were I to stand firmly on that principle, then Donald Trump deserves to nominate a SCOTUS justice just as much as Barack Obama did.

However, I cannot swallow the hypocrisy that Mitch McConnell exhibited in 2016 by denying Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote to succeed Antonin Scalia on the high court. McConnell squandered any moral authority on this issue.

So, I want to echo the wish expressed by Justice Ginsburg as her life slipped away from her.

Let us conduct a presidential election and then swear in the president before proceeding with a nomination battle for the Supreme Court. If the stars align properly, that president will be Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.