Tag Archives: US Constitution

MAGA cult makes me yearn for Contract with America class

I never thought it could happen … but it has. The MAGA cult that dominates what passes for today’s Republican Party makes me yearn for a time when another class of GOP officeholders seized power in Congress.

The famous 1994 election that brought us the Contract With America led to Republican control of both congressional chambers for the first time in 40 years.

What makes that revolution different from this one is simple: issues.

The Contract With America class ran on issues. They vowed to enact term limits for members of Congress; they wanted to make Congress live by the laws it enacts on the rest of us; they sought a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. There were others, but the point is that the CWA crowd did something that the MAGA cabal has failed to do.

The CWAers sought to enact issues. Do we hear anything coming from the MAGA crowd that speaks to issues? No. They are vowing only to punish Democrats. They want to put Dr. Anthony Fauci in the dock and question him about the COVID-19 vaccines he has championed. They want to bring charges against Hunter Biden, the president’s son. They intend to punish any Democrat who played a major part in impeaching Donald Trump twice.

The CWA crowd didn’t push issues that I particularly liked at the time. The fact that it did run — and win — on issues rather than vengeance makes me yearn for the “good old days” when we could debate policy matters rather than quarrel over punishing our foes.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

MAGA cult = political arsonists

The MAGA cult that has seized control of the Republican agenda in the U.S. House should really think long and so very hard about what it intends to do regarding the national debt.

The right-wing cabal within the GOP caucus wants to insist on spending cuts if the government seeks to increase its debt ceiling. What the right-wingers seemingly want is to cut Social Security and Medicare.

If they do not get their way and the nation defaults on its debts — for the first time in U.S. history — then all hell (and then some!) is going to break loose.

Americans’ retirement accounts well could vanish. Investors will bail out of the stock market en masse, driving stock portfolios into the dumper. The economy will collapse.

The national debt ceiling must be increased. Period, full stop and all that crap! Yet the MAGA crowd is insisting on something that’s never been considered, let alone been done … which is to cut spending as a tradeoff for doing what should be a routine matter.

Our nation’s founders enshrined our “full faith and credit” into Article IV of the Constitution, declaring that it must be honored — or else! The cultists who strong-armed concessions from Kevin McCarthy in exchange for their votes to make him speaker of the House, are ignorant of the founders’ intent. Then again, they’re ignorant about how to govern.

That is not dissuading them from making demands that are unreasonable, immoral and perhaps even unconstitutional.

They are hellbent on torching our system of government.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pollyanna? No, an idealist

One of the harshest criticisms I have received over many decades offering commentary on issues of the day came from a colleague of mine.

He called me a “Pollyanna.” I cannot remember the specific issue that prompted the dig, but it likely had something to do with the political climate of the time and my wish for a return to a kinder time. I guess my critic/friend didn’t ascribe to the same ideals as I did then … and still do today.

I might invite the Pollyanna brickbat once again by declaring that no matter how desperate the current environment appears, I am going to rely on my faith in the U.S. Constitution … yeah, the same Constitution that Donald Trump said we should suspend.

For starters, the Constitution is far stronger and more durable than the insane rants of a disgraced politician. Moreover, we have been through many crises that rival or even exceed the current tempest brewing over efforts to reject election results, or return Trump to the White House.

We endured two world wars, and in the past 75 years two other wars — in Korea and Vietnam — that tore at our fabric. We went to war in the Middle East, prompting yet another crisis of confidence.

We have endured presidential assassinations dating back to President Lincoln’s murder in 1865, presidential scandals — one of which forced a president to resign — the Great Depression and a Civil War.

What has been the common denominator, the one political structure that survived? The U.S. Constitution. It has held the nation together, albeit while showing plenty of wear and tear around the edges.

It will continue to hold us together. No matter how hard the MAGA cultists/traitors seek to undermine it, the Constitution will endure. So will our democratic republic … and so will the electoral process that is taking its share of heavy hits from those who have declared war on our founding document.

This is not the feel-good wish of a Pollyanna. It is the assertion of an old man, a veteran who went to war for his country and a patriot who remains committed to the glorious idealism that our nation’s founders envisioned.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Day of reckoning for GOP?

There should be no doubt about it, that the Republican Party’s hierarchy needs to stage a “come to Jesus” meeting on an issue involving the titular head of the party … the immediate past president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump has all but declared war on the Constitution, the document he once swore to defend and protect. He now believes that it is time to “suspend” the cherished governing document so that he can be reinstalled as POTUS.

So far —and it’s still early in this game of political chicken — too many Republican honchos have remained silent on this utterly frightening call from the former POTUS. There has been hardly any direct condemnation of this kind of rhetoric. Indeed, when pressed Sunday on the “This Week” TV news show, GOP Rep. Dave Joyce said he could support Trump if he is the party’s nominee for president in 2024. ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos pressed the congressman several times to disavow and condemn the language that came from Trump; he refused. Simply astonishing!

This is an unacceptable world view. To say out loud that it is time to suspend the Constitution is so beyond the pale it defies any sort of logic or reason.

Is there a chance on this good Earth that Trump will succeed? Not a chance! This idiocy, though, does fan the embers of those who continue to believe The Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election and it keeps alive the moronic view that Trump actually won an election that he lost.

Donald Trump needs to be chopped down and tossed into the political trash heap. The only viable means to ensure he is silenced is for the Republican Party leadership to condemn him — by name! — and turn its back on the trash he continues to sputter.

One obstacle stands in the way. It is the collective cowardice of those who purport to cherish the Constitution.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

 

Trump: Constitution hater

It’s all about ‘equal protection’

Let’s set the record straight on a key constitutional point: the nation’s founders didn’t get it entirely correct when they drafted the U.S. Constitution in the late 18th century; it has needed amendments designed to provide for a “more perfect Union.”

The 14th Amendment, enacted in 1868, states, “nor shall any State … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The Equal Protection Clause contained in the first part of that amendment, therefore, means that no one shall be denied the right to marry the person they love. Period. Full stop.

That also means the U.S. Senate acted correctly this week when it cast a bipartisan vote to codify that same-sex and interracial marriage shall be part of the federal statutes.

The Supreme Court agreed with the Equal Protection Clause when it endorsed same-sex marriage in 2015. That protection, though, is in jeopardy, given the court’s recent ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion. Conservative justices have hinted they might be inclined to strike down the Equal Protection Clause, too, the benchmark for the ruling that allowed same-sex and interracial marriage.

That cannot be allowed to happen.

It’s also instructive that two of the “no” votes in the Senate came from Texas’s two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both of whom profess to be legal scholars. They, instead, are revealing their partisan stripes, appealing to the wild-eyed base within the GOP’s lunatic voters.

I could have predicted that Ted Cruz would have voted that way. Cornyn’s “no” vote is deeply disappointing. At least, though, they’re both on the record saying that they are unwilling to offer protection to all Americans, giving them the constitutional right to marry the person they love.

Next comes the House of Representatives. May that body show the wisdom demonstrated by most of their Senate colleagues and then send this legislation to President Biden’s desk for his signature that makes it the law of this great land.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Giving thanks for founders

Thanksgiving aims to fill us with gratitude for the bounty we enjoy, and I do enjoy plenty of it, as I have been blessed beyond measure with a loving family and friendships.

But I want to offer a brief expression of thanks for men who have long departed this good Earth. They are the founders of this great nation.

They created a government that would serve the nation they founded in the 18th century. It has worked well, despite its imperfections.

It is being tested today as Americans struggle over whose arguments will win the day. Do we heed those who believe in good government and in the tenets of fairness, equity and liberty or do we follow the precepts of those who purport to be patriots, but who in reality want to overturn elections and deny all Americans the same level of liberty?

I’m going to stick with the former, because that is what our founders laid out for us.

To be sure, the founders didn’t create a perfect governing document. The U.S. Constitution contained serious flaws. It failed to grant full citizenship rights to women, who didn’t even acquire the right to vote until 1920, for crying out loud! The Constitution also was silent on slavery, as it allowed human beings to possess other human beings as property, the way they owned farm implements. The nation got around to abolishing slavery in the19th century, but we had to go to war with ourselves to win freedom for everyone who lives here.

The founders did create a document that has proved pretty damn durable. It has withstood many crises over the two-plus centuries of our republic’s existence. I will continue to cling to the belief that it will weather this storm, too, just as it saw us through presidential scandals, the Civil War, presidential assassinations and assorted assaults on the beliefs that our founders held dear to their hearts.

I am going to keep the nation’s founders in my own thoughts this week as I join my family in celebrating this uniquely American holiday. Their effort at creating this great nation is so very worthy of our thanks.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Waiting for the end

I am officially tired of the 2022 midterm election campaign.

There. Having gotten that off my chest, I now will explain what has drained me of my enthusiasm. Admittedly, it’s a partisan matter.

You see, I was filled with a bit of new enthusiasm when Democrats appeared poised to retain control of the Senate and possibly the House of Representatives. Then — pfftt! — they lost their momentum. Just like that!

All across the political landscape I keep seeing reporting that tells us of once-sure-fire Democratic victories becoming nail-biters. Republican dumbass MAGA-loving candidates actually appear to be poised to upset their foes.

It’s making me wonder: What the hell is wrong with this country?

I won’t sign any surrender documents until they count all the ballots next week. Some of these contests might not be decided until, oh, late next week … or maybe into the following week!

Whatever. My enthusiasm is waning. I fear a political bloodbath might be in store. I continue to have faith that our cherished Constitution will see the nation through.

It’s just going to be a rough, tough fight.

Now, having made all this gloomy prediction, the polls have been wrong a lot in recent years. Maybe they’re wrong now.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Election denial: Issue No. 1

Whether your candidate for public office takes the correct stand on abortion or gun violence might not matter if the wrong candidates win contests that would allow them to control future elections.

I refer to election deniers and their presence on many state ballots in the 2022 midterm election.

These are the dipsh**s who need to be stopped.

In Texas, we have an election denier running for re-election as attorney general. Yes, that’s Republican Ken Paxton, the idiot who has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Some of these cretins are running for other powerful public offices. Republican nominee for the Texas’s Third Congressional District, which represents my wife and me in Congress, is one of them: I refer to former Collin County Judge Keith Self, who is as hard-core a MAGA-loving conservative as they come. Spoiler alert: He won’t get my vote.

The nation’s once-revered election system is under siege by those candidates who have swallowed the swill offered by Donald J. Trump and his cadre of cultists who insist the 2020 election was stolen. They have offered not a single shred of proof of “widespread voter fraud” that would have decided the latest presidential election.

Yet the gullible among the masses have signed on to their lying, deceit and outright treasonous assertions about vote fraud. They stand ready to cast their votes for those candidates who endorse their political perversion.

I have spoken before of my eternal optimism about the future of our country and the strength of our Constitution. I will have to rely on my belief that the founders crafted a governing document that will withstand this all-out assault on our government.

I also must extend my hope to the wisdom of voters who — I hope — recognize evil intent when they see it.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Protecting all civil liberties

“Well, the radical left believes that the freedom of religion is the freedom from religion. But it’s nothing the American founders ever thought of or generations of Americans fought to defend.”

The comment here is attributed to former Vice President Mike Pence, as if that’s any surprise.

I want to take a brief moment to challenge the ex-VPOTUS’s assertion.

When I took my oath upon being inducted into the U.S. Army in 1968, I presumed in the moment that I was going to protect the U.S. Constitution. That means all of the civil liberties enshrined in the document. One of those liberties includes the First Amendment’s protection against the government imposing a state religion.

Pence to revisit religious freedom act – High Plains Blogger (wordpress.com)

The amendment does in fact guarantee citizens the right to avoid religion if that is their choice. It isn’t mine, but I have no right to presume that every American should follow my lead. They are free to worship whatever or not worship any religious deity.

Are we clear? Good!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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