Tag Archives: RINO

Trump talks to CPAC

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well now … that was no surprise. Or was it? Nah. Not even close.

Donald Trump strode to the stage in front of the Conservative Political Action Conference and tore into President Biden and his critics within the Republican Party.

As The Hill reported: “We all knew that the Biden administration was going to be bad, but none of us even imagined just how bad they would be and how far left they would go,” Trump told a crowd of enthusiastic supporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla.

Sigh …

Trump tears into Biden, GOP critics in first post-presidency speech | TheHill

The ex-president also let it be known that he won’t form a third political party and that he plans to remain active in Republican Party matters well into the future.

I think I’ll just sigh again.

The twice-impeached, the defendant in multiple lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct and the target of potential criminal indictments vows to be a GOP player.

What is undoubtedly most astonishing to me and others is that the GOP faithful appear to be lining up behind this clown. Good luck with that.

My favorite line from Trump’s speech? “If Republicans do not stick together, the RINOs that we’re surrounded with will destroy the Republican Party,” he added. Yep, he called his critics RINOs, Republicans In Name Only.

Wow, man!

I won’t predict it, but I have difficulty understanding how someone so deeply flawed at every level possible can be a factor on the American political stage. It surely must speak to the nature of the modern Republican Party, which is that it is totally without any moral compass.

That fits Donald Trump to the letter. Don’t you think?

GOP is in serious trouble

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What remains of a once-great political party is in serious danger.

It remains loyal to an individual who lost re-election in 2020 and on whose watch the party lost control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

And yet, Donald John Trump is going to be the featured speaker this weekend at the annual Conservative Action Political Conference in Florida.

I am flabbergasted beyond belief at what has happened to a party that now embraces the alleged “philosophy” of the one-time reality TV show host, a  real estate developer and someone who cannot tell the truth if his life depended on it.

I have noted before but it bears repeating: Donald Trump is not even an actual Republican. He is the classic Republican In Name Only, but the RINOs who follow him toss that label at real Republicans simply because they have the temerity to oppose Trump.

The CPAC conference will not hear from real Republicans, folks such as Sen. Mitt Romney, or Rep. Liz Cheney, or former President George W. Bush or any actual GOP leader who has stood on matters of principle rather than slobbering on the shoes of the ex-president.

What is even more astounding is that CPAC’s activists seem to mirror the view of rank-and-file Republicans who continue to tell pollsters that Donald Trump should be the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

A twice-impeached president who well might be indicted for various campaign finance allegations, someone who barters on invective and insults is the standard bearer of a party that once stood under the shadow of Abraham Lincoln.

We truly have entered the political Twilight Zone.

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.

Can Biden resist the extremists?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump demonstrated during his term as president an inability to resist the demands of those on the far right wing of the Republican Party.

As an aside, I’ll resist referring to the GOP as “his” party because I consider Trump to be a Republican In Name Only.

No such qualifier is required of President-elect Joe Biden, a center-left Democrat with years of credentials to illustrate the point.

So, the question of the day is this: Will the new president be able or is he willing to resist the tug from those on the far left wing of his own party? 

I am just a single voter, but I’ll offer this: I hope he can and does. I voted for a “good government” presidential candidate, which is what I see in President-elect Biden. By “good government,” I favor a federal government that is prepared to step up and help when needed, but is not willing to capture all the duties and responsibilities assigned to state and local governments, or the private sector.

I sense the president-elect is of the same ilk as yours truly. If that proves out to be the case, then I will be happy.

Meanwhile, the president-elect will have to steel himself for the onslaught of pressure he no doubt will feel from the “democratic socialist” wing of the Democratic Party. To be candid, I still am not sure what a democratic socialist is, other than perhaps being someone who doesn’t want the government to assume control of every aspect of our lives.

Still, I sense in Joe Biden a reluctance to avoid the socialist label, despite what Donald Trump and the GOP sought to attach to him. Trump accused Biden of being “anti-God,” of wanting to take guns away from Americans — while destroying the Second Amendment to the Constitution, of disarming the military, of taxing us into oblivion.

I have looked at Biden’s record and to be honest I don’t see evidence of any of that during his 44 years as a U.S. senator and vice president.

The man is a mainstream Democrat. I want him to govern that way. I am going to hold out hope that he will do as I wish. If not, then he will hear from me. Hey, if he does govern the way I want him to govern, he might still hear from me.

Republicans face a reckoning

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Republicans should ask themselves a serious question as they prepare to vote for president of the United States.

Is the guy at the top of our ballot, Donald J. Trump, really one of us?

I submit that Trump isn’t a real Republican. He isn’t a real anything, other than a real a**hole who has co-opted a party he has grabbed by the throat.

A party that once used to vilify Democrats because of budget deficits cannot use that cudgel any longer thanks to Donald Trump. This guy vowed to eliminate the national debt; on his watch, the debt has tripled. The deficit? It’s on track to ratchet up to $3.1 trillion, nearly double the previous annual record.

Fiscal responsibility? The party that once touted itself as the party that would protect our money has spent it recklessly. That ain’t very Republican, if you know what I mean.

The party of Lincoln once sought to embrace civil rights legislation. It fought hard for African-Americans’ desire for the full rights of citizenship. Democratic President Lyndon Johnson needed help from his GOP friends in the Senate to enact the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the mid-1960s. Can you imagine Donald Trump doing the same thing?

The GOP used to stand toe-to-toe with our international adversaries. Such as, oh, Russia. What in the world has the current GOP president done? He has sided with Russia and chided U.S. intelligence analysts over the issue of Russian interference in our national election. Russia denied doing it; Trump said he believes ’em. Amazing, man.

The GOP used to be a party that insisted that our political leaders have squeaky clean family reputations. Hmm. Does that fit Donald Trump in any fashion?

I don’t expect any Republicans who might happen to read this blog to change their mind just because I am calling Trump a Republican In Name Only. I do hope they ask themselves that critical question about Donald Trump: Is he really one of us?

Trump: classic RINO

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we tool through the heart of Trump Country, I am struck by the sight of so many flags flying from businesses, lined up along private property lines and from passing motor vehicles.

I am aware of what the pundits say about places such as West Texas: It’s a heavily Republican region; the folks here just cannot vote for a Democrat.

Except that the argument breaks down immediately. Why and how? Well, I have maintained all along that Donald J. Trump isn’t a Republican. He’s a classic Republican In Name Only.  A RINO if there ever was one.

Why do I suggest such a thing. Let’s see …

The Office of Management and Budget announced this week that the annual federal budget deficit is going to top $3.1 trillion, the largest by far in American history. Real Republicans used to rail against deficit spending. They ran against President Carter in 1980 by vilifying Carter for presiding over a deficit of $43 billion. Trump is silent. Now, you expect silence from Democrats, because they traditionally haven’t worried as much outwardly about deficit spending. Trump never says a word about the deficit.

Then there’s Russia, the country once known as the Soviet Union, aka the Evil Empire. There once was a time when the GOP would look for reasons to condemn the Russians. No more, man. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is Trump’s boy. Indeed, dictators were among the most hated men on Earth if you listen to Rs talk about them. These days we hear from the leading GOP pol, Trump, that he admires the “leadership” exhibited by Putin, by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and other despots.

The GOP believed in free trade … once upon a time. Trump now believes in launching trade wars.

Republicans once were the party of “family values.” Trump is the anti-family values Republican. He admits to philandering, which cost him two marriages. His behavior is boorish, snotty, disgraceful.

He ran for president as a Republican because he figured it was the path of least resistance to the White House. It turned out to be a brilliant strategic decision. The GOP swilled the snake oil he was peddling.

Here we are. He’s running for re-election. The GOP has lined up behind its Pied Piper.

He is a classic RINO.

Time to put country ahead of party

This is no great flash, but I want to share with you a conversation I had recently with a prominent West Texas politician.

I won’t divulge his name because he doesn’t know I am going public with this exchange. So, bear with me.

My friend is a Republican through and through. He also happens to believe that Donald J. “Republican In Name Only in Chief” Trump needs to lose the November presidential election.

Trump is a disaster, according to my friend. He has led the country since the very beginning of his time as president down the wrong path. I didn’t ask my friend this, but I should have asked him whether he considers Trump to be a real Republican or just someone who wears a partisan political label for reasons only he knows.

I told my friend that he was “preaching to the choir” in expressing his view of Donald Trump. What I didn’t tell him — but wish I would have done so — was that he needs to take his concerns to the public. He needs to say what he told me out loud, in the proverbial public square.

My friend needs to speak from the heart, tell his West Texas constituents — who likely are going to vote one more time for the carnival barker — that they would make the gravest mistake possible. They shouldn’t endorse Trump’s re-election.

Does this individual need to serve in the office he now serves? Oh, probably not. He is a man of means who doesn’t need the publicly funded salary he draws. Thus, this is my way of saying he shouldn’t care whether he angers his constituents enough for them to vote him out of office.

My friend is far from the only Republican officeholder who carries that belief about Donald Trump. I haven’t spoken to many of them. I just know that others are out there who share my friend’s belief that we cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump.

My friend is a patriot. He loves this country. It’s time for him to demonstrate his love of country by telling the world what he told me.

Powell joins growing GOP parade lining up behind Biden

“I’m very close to Joe Biden in a social matter and on a political matter. I have worked with him for 35, 40 years … And he is now the candidate, and I will be voting for him.”

There you go. Another longtime Republican — a man of considerable standing in military and diplomatic circles — has declared that Donald John Trump will not get his vote for re-election this year.

Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell is going to back the Democratic nominee for president, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I need to stipulate that Powell — who served as national security adviser, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and secretary of state for two Republican presidents — is not a Republican In Name Only, a RINO. He’s the real deal.

Gen. Powell also is a man of high principle and honor who says that Trump is unfit to serve as commander in chief of the U.S. military. Trump has veered too far from constitutional principles, according to Powell.

I am not going to venture too far afield with this blog post and suggest that the GOP dam is breaking, that the Republican wall that has surrounded Donald Trump is caving under the stress brought by Trump’s flouting of every possible presidential or constitutional norm.

However, Gen. Colin Powell’s declaration that he’s voting once again for a Democratic opponent of Donald Trump is a big deal.

Yep, Trump has turned our politics on its ear

To my mind, the most glaring example of just how much our political world has been turned upside down occurred in the wake of a noted Republican U.S. senator’s vote to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power.

Think of it more a moment.

Mitt Romney, a Republican’s Republican — the party’s presidential nominee in 2012 — was the lone GOP senator to break ranks with the party by deciding to convict Trump of an impeachable offense during the Senate impeachment trial.

The reaction to Romney’s courageous stand? It was to vilify him by Republicans who are standing foursquare behind the man I consider to be the Republican In Name Only in chief. Yes, Donald Trump is the RINO in chief. He’s a man with no history of backing GOP policies prior to running for president as a Republican in 2016.

The president who never sought a public office prior to seeking the presidency four years ago has clamped a stranglehold on the party. Meanwhile, an actual Republican — such as Mitt Romney — is being pounded, pummeled and pilloried because he was voting his conscience.

The head of the Conservative Political Action Conference told Romney to stay away. Others on the right wing said Romney could place himself in physical danger were he to attend the CPAC event.

Trump, who embodies the phony Republican, has become the real thing in the eyes of those who are beholden to him. Yes, the man with no ideological or moral grounding except to policies that benefit him personally has become the epitome of a political party with which he has no history.

Bizarre.

What if we had a President Pence?

It makes me chuckle a bit when I consider that Republicans who are so wedded to protecting Donald John Trump are actually shunning a true-blue conservative who — in my view — would be suited much better to the agenda many GOPers are touting.

Think of this for a moment.

Suppose Donald Trump were to be convicted in the Senate trial that is about to conclude next week. He gets the boot. Enough Republican senators join their Democratic colleagues in convicting Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What then? We get Mike Pence, presuming he would escape the clutches of the scandal that at times has seemed to ensnare him as well.

If you’re a conservative Republican, wouldn’t that be actually better? I mean, Pence is deeply religious; he has a long record of supporting conservative public policies; he doesn’t even allow himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife. The guy’s as straitlaced as you can get!

Trump? Well, let’s just say he isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Pence is not my kinda guy. I don’t want him sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office … ever!

Still, the question has been rattling around in my noggin: What in the world are Republicans thinking when they stand with a Republican In Name Only like Donald John Trump when they could get the real deal in Mike Pence?