Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

These are insane times

The craziness of the current political climate is manifesting itself daily. Everywhere I look I see evidence of families being torn apart. Of friendships being lost. Of professional relationships being severed.

Why? Because of politics.

We have the politics of the pandemic. The politics of war and peace. The politics of abortion. The politics of voting rights.

I see evidence of all this playing out near and far from our home in North Texas. I hear about extended family members gnashing their teeth over whether to get vaccinated against the virus that is killing Americans to this very day. I hear about other family members not speaking to each other. Again, it has to do with vaccines.

What the hell … ?

I had more than a glimmer of hope that we could return to some semblance of normal disagreement when the 45th POTUS departed the White House for the final time this past January. Silly me. It ain’t happening … at least not yet.

I heard someone say the other day that even though the 45th POTUS is gone, the political cult he inspires remains in play. I believe POTUS 45 will stay gone. I also fear the cult that bears his name will continue to be a force in driving the political dialogue long after he has, um … flown away. 

It will show itself in damaged relationships. Whether it’s about vaccines, voting rights, abortion or any combination of hot-button issues, we are seeing a decay in the political climate.

It is stinky rotten and it is nowhere near the kind of world I want to leave for my sons or their families.

A former Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, said near the end of the 2012 campaign that “there’s more to life than politics.” Indeed. He was right. If only we could rediscover the big, beautiful world on which we should be building our relationships.


GOP has gone to hell

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There’s no nice way to say it, so I’ll just fire away.

The Republican Party has gone head first into the shi**er. It’s gone to hell. It no longer represents anything other than fealty to a hate- and fear-monger, an ignorant buffoon who had no business being elected POTUS.

Donald Trump’s vise grip on the once-great political party is shameful in the extreme.

The party has devolved into an organization that now stands and cheers for an alleged sex trafficker in Rep. Matt Gaetz, embraces the lunacy of QAnon queen and conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene … and then boos and jeers actual Republicans such as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

The House Republican leadership is set to boot Cheney out of her GOP caucus chairmanship. The party rank-and-file has turned its back on the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, Romney. What do these two politicians have in common? They voted to impeach and convict Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.

And so the party now slobbers all over Donald Trump’s shoes and demands that other politicians do the same.

What in the name of governance happened to this group of individuals? They have been taken hostage by an imbecile.

Wow! I … am … stunned.

GOP needs to retool itself

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

After every presidential election cycle, the party that loses the contest — particularly if they lose it in a landslide — announces plans to engage in self-examination.

The Republican Party made that declaration after Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama in 2012, seeking ways to expand its appeal to include more racial minorities. What happened then? Donald Trump became the party nominee in 2016 and he went on to win the White House.

Eek! Then he lost his re-election effort to President Joe Biden. Admittedly, it wasn’t by a landslide. Now, though, the party is having to face its own mortality, given the stranglehold that the Trump cult has placed around the GOP neck.

If ever a political party needed a retooling, it’s the Republican Party of 2021, which now contains two disparate elements: the establishment wing and the Trump wing.

I’ll be brutally honest on this point. I don’t really give a crap-ola which way the GOP tilts. I don’t find either wing of the party to be all that enticing. Of the two wings, I much prefer to deal directly with the establishmentarians among Republicans. The Trumpkins? No way in hell, man!

The GOP, though, faces a struggle the likes of which it hasn’t seen. It reminds me a bit of the internal struggle the Democratic Party went through after its 1972 crushing under President Nixon’s landslide victory. The party sought to remake its image. It produced a maverick nominee four years later, Jimmy Carter, who managed to win the White House. He served for a term then got his headed handed to him by another maverick, GOP nominee Ronald Reagan, who then remade the Republican Party into what it became before Trump hijacked it in 2016.

This much is clear to me: The Republican Party needs to cleanse itself of the toxic formula brewed by Trump and his acolytes if it is going to be taken seriously as a legitimate forced with which Democrats must reckon.

Sen. Romney earns salute

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Someone with whom I am casually acquainted over social media objected this weekend to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum granting its annual Profile in Courage award to Sen. Mitt Romney.

Romney, a Utah Republican got the award for voting in early 2020 to convict Donald J. Trump of abuse of power during Trump’s first impeachment trial in the Senate. I applaud the honor that Romney will receive later this year.

This acquaintance disagrees. He wrote: This is just plain sad. No doubt the foundation decided this was a worthy act as a way to encourage those of faint heart and limp spine to stand up to political bullies. But really, what did Romney risk? There’s not much evidence that he might lose his seat over it, but even if he did, he’s still a very wealthy man near the end of his career. The fact that so many of his colleagues lacked the willingness to do the obvious for the good of the nation they swore to defend doesn’t make Romney’s vote particularly courageous. It makes the others abject cowards.

I responded with this: I will disagree. Romney’s vote has exposed him to ridicule and shaming from many within the GOP. I agree that they aren’t “legitimate” Rs who stand on policy or principle, but rather are beholden to the carnival barker who sold ’em the snake oil. I applaud the JFK Library for recognizing the courage Romney exhibited by being the first senator to vote to convict a president of his own party. Yep … well earned.

I just felt the need to share this with you here.

Sen. Romney will receive the award this summer. I believe JFK would be proud.

Trump to be revealed as fraud?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It occurs to me that the U.S. Supreme Court decision that clears the way for prosecutors to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns is going to make the ex-POTUS an extremely nervous individual.

Why? Because I believe we are going to learn that Trump is every bit the phony and fraud that Sen. Mitt Romney said he was during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Yep, if I were Donald John Trump, I would be extremely nervous … maybe even frightened.

He bragged about being an uber-rich guy. I’ll bet we’re going to learn he isn’t nearly as rich as he has claimed to be. That’s just for starters.

‘Not written in the stars’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I kinda think U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has missed a key point in the fight over whether Donald Trump should proceed quickly with nominating someone to the U.S. Supreme Court in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

Romney said he would support moving forward quickly, endorsing the idea of a rapid-fire confirmation process, despite assurances from many key GOP senators in 2016 that they would oppose such a thing, even with a Republican president awaiting the chance to nominate someone in a presidential election year.

Sen. Romney declared Tuesday that there nothing “in the stars” that requires the SCOTUS to be a “liberal” court. That was his public declaration in stating his support for moving ahead. I am scratching my head over that one, Mitt.

We all get that elections have consequences. Trump promised to select conservative judges. He is delivering on the pledge. It’s the timing of it, the idea that an election now no longer stands as an impediment to the president being able to select someone. The GOP sang an entirely different tune in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died and President Obama sought to name Merrick Garland to the high court. GOP Senate leaders — namely Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — slammed the brakes on that, declaring that the “people deserve a voice” in determining who sits on the Supreme Court.

Well, they deserve as much of a voice today as they did then.

That’s the beef. It has little to do with whether a president can select who he wants.

I was hoping Mitt Romney would put principle above party — just as he did when he was the lone GOP senator to vote to convict Trump of abuse of power in his Senate impeachment trial.

Silly me. Mitt let us all down.

Where are the GOP ‘heroes’?

What you see here is a Twitter message fired off by U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, the freshman Utah Republican who, during Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, cast the only GOP vote to convict Trump on an abuse of power allegation brought by the House of Representatives.

Now, Trump has commuted the 40-month federal prison sentence of Roger Stone, POTUS’s longtime political ally and personal friend.

Romney so far has emerged as the only Republican in either congressional chamber with a semblance of a spine. His tweet condemning the commutation speaks volumes about why Trump’s decision is so terribly self-serving and dangerous.

I am thinking now of something the great journalist Carl Bernstein, who covered the Watergate scandal in the 1970s for the Washington Post, recently said about how that scandal unfolded, leading eventually to President Nixon’s resignation.

Bernstein talked about the Republican “heroes” who emerged to challenge the president directly. They stood on the principle that no one is above the law and that they, in good conscience, could not support the GOP president who had covered up his campaign’s participation in the burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices.

Those heroes, Bernstein said, are what brought an end to what became known as “our long national nightmare.”

Where in the name of political heroism are the rest of the GOP congressional caucus when it concerns this president?

Sen. Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, is standing alone against the cult of personality that Donald Trump has created?

Way to go, Mitt

I am developing a sort of vicarious relationship with a man I opposed when he ran for president of the United States, but whose conduct as a U.S. senator is making me quite proud of his courage.

That’s you, Mitt Romney, a Republican senator from Utah.

I voted proudly for President Obama in 2012 when he ran for re-election against Mitt Romney. I would do so again were the two men to seek that office against each other.

However, Sen. Romney is exhibiting the sort of spine that has been undiscovered among almost all of his Republican Senate colleagues. He is challenging Donald Trump openly and with vigor.

I will not forget that memorable speech Sen. Romney delivered on the Senate floor when he declared his intention to vote to convict Donald Trump on abuse of power during the president’s impeachment trial. He was the lone GOP senator to break ranks from the cult that has developed on Capitol Hill that seeks to protect Trump against those who seek political justice to be delivered to a man who is unfit to serve as president.

He has been excoriated for his vote. Trump has threatened him via Twitter. Mitt has stood his ground.

And now he is marching with “Black Lives Matter” protesters who are demonstrating against the kind of police brutality that killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. He is standing with those who are shocked and dismayed at Floyd’s death. He is one of distressingly few GOP public officials willing to stand on the right side of history.

Trump’s reaction to Mitt Romney has been to skewer him for acting on his own conscience and for doing what he believes is right.

I will stand proudly with Mitt Romney. If only others within his party would exhibit the level of courage that Sen. Romney continues to put on display.

Hell freezes over: Trump tells the truth!

I never thought this day would come, but it did … yesterday, during a White House campaign rally-style riff by the president of the United States who supposedly was briefing the nation about the health outbreak that has gripped the world.

A reporter asked Donald Trump whether he declined to appoint U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to join a task force to reopen the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic out of anger at Romney’s criticism of him.

Trump said he is “not a fan of Mitt Romney. I don’t want his advice.”

So, the answer is “yes,” Trump is still angry at Romney because the Republican senator voted to convict the president of abuse of power during the Senate impeachment trial.

See what I mean? Trump actually told the truth that he does hold a grudge against Romney!

This fit of truth-telling isn’t worth any sort of praise, given the smallness and pettiness it represents about what passes for Trump’s thought pattern.

Trump continues to seethe at Mitt

Donald Trump asked members of the U.S. Senate to join a task force to help craft a plan to restart the nation’s economy that has been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked almost the entire Republican caucus in the Senate to join. Trump left one GOP senator off the list: Mitt Romney of Utah.

Gosh, why is that? Oh yeah! Romney was the lone GOP senator to vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial; he voted “yes” on the abuse of power article brought to the Senate by the House of Representatives. He made history with that vote, becoming the first senator to vote to convict a president of his own party.

Trump is steamed. It’s not that he and Romney were longtime pals. Mitt spoke in 2016 about how he believes Trump is a “phony” and a “fraud.” He didn’t want him to be the party’s presidential nominee.

Romney has been periodically critical of Trump over the past three years. The Senate trial vote was the last straw.

Trump’s congressional team comprises a lot of smart folks from both parties. Mitt Romney could have added considerable expertise and perspective to the discussion. Donald Trump, though, won’t sweep aside a grudge … even when the nation’s economic health hangs in the balance.