Et, tu … National Review?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

William F. Buckley, the late, great iconic conservative thinker, surely would be proud of the publication he founded.

It has called on Donald Trump, the nation’s lame-duck president, to cease his “petulant refusal” to accept Joe Biden’s election as president. The magazine wants Trump to exit the White House quietly and leave the task of governing to the man who thumped him in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The National Review — which Buckley founded in 1955 — published an editorial calling on Trump to throw in the towel.

“There are legitimate issues to consider after the 2020 vote about the security of mail-in ballots and the process of counting votes (some jurisdictions, bizarrely, take weeks to complete their initial count), but make no mistake: The chief driver of the post-election contention of the past several weeks is the petulant refusal of one man to accept the verdict of the American people,” the editorial said. “The Trump team (and much of the GOP) is working backwards, desperately trying to find something, anything to support the president’s aggrieved feelings, rather than objectively considering the evidence and reacting as warranted.”

There you have it. A legitimate, conservative publication founded on legitimate conservative principles has called on a phony conservative — the 45th president of the United States — to pack it in.

William Buckley would be a happy man.

Trump making Biden’s task even more difficult

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been extolling the virtues of President-elect Biden’s mission to bring the nation together, to restore our “national soul.”

There was a time when I thought Joe Biden was up to the task, no matter its difficulty. I am now having second thoughts.

Why? Because the man he defeated on Nov. 3 is sowing some incredibly deeply planted seeds of mistrust in the democratic system that defeated him for re-election.

If Donald Trump had any sense of shame within his overfed body, he might heed the calls to dial it all back. He doesn’t. Instead, he continues to sow those seeds that are being scarfed up by the moronic base of supporters who actually  believe the lies he tells.

What’s more, we now hear from one of Trump’s lawyers saying that a man whom Trump fired should be “drawn and quartered and shot” because he declared the presidential election was the most secure in history.

The lawyer is Joseph DiGenova. The individual he wants executed is Christopher Krebs, whom Trump hired to protect the nation’s electoral system against corruption. Krebs did his job, except that his declaration flies in the face of Trump’s narrative, which is that the election is “rigged,” and that the presidency was “stolen” by millions of illegal voters.

This is a sample of the headwinds that confront President-elect Biden as he prepares to assume the nation’s highest office.

And this is an example of how the nation’s soul is in serious disrepair. I won’t say that Trump has destroyed our national soul. He clearly has inflicted grievous damage on it. He is doing so even as the clock ticks away the final weeks of his disastrous term as president.

President-elect Biden faced a difficult job even under better circumstances. I pray his pledge to unify the nation isn’t crossing the threshold of impossibility.

Trump never learned how to be ‘presidential’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s pending exit from the presidency really shouldn’t contain too many surprises to go along with the outrage many of us are experiencing.

He once vowed to be “presidential” once he took the oath of office.

It never happened. Even when he spoke to us with restraint, many of us thought: You know, he seems so stilted, so stiff, so … not himself.

I’ll be clear. I disliked intensely the “real” Donald Trump that would present itself when he would fly off on one of those rants. And yet when he would read prepared remarks, he did so with a discomfort level that I could feel in my living room watching on my TV set.

Donald Trump proved to be a bad liar and a president who, when handed opportunities to say the right thing, would do so under seeming duress. He didn’t like the role he was forced to play when he took that oath of office.

What are we getting in place of this? We’re getting a president, Joe Biden, who at some level has been practicing for the role during his entire and lengthy public service career. President-elect Biden chaired Senate committees, presiding over sometimes controversial hearings. He behaved like a distinguished gentleman most of the time.

So I don’t expect a lot of on-the-job training for the new president when he steps into the Oval Office. At least, though, we likely won’t have to endure the sight and sound of a president who never learned how to act and sound like someone elected to the most exalted office in the land.

Vaccine, yes; anti-COVID measures, also yes!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel as though I am lecturing a child who likely knows what he or she is about to hear. Here goes nonetheless.

Vaccines that could eradicate the COVID-19 virus that has killed 270,000 Americans and sickened millions more are on the horizon. Does that mean we should relax? Do we now just forget about all the warnings we’ve been hearing and hopefully heeding for the past nine or 10 months?

Not just no, but hell no!

Pfizer and Moderna, two “big pharma” firms that are developing vaccines, are seeking Food and Drug Administration fast-track approval to begin distributing the vaccines; AstraZenena, a third firm that is developing a vaccine, likely is set to make the same request of the FDA.

I am hopeful and optimistic about the vaccines. Just so you know, I intend to be vaccinated as soon as it is available to me. I also know that I — along with my wife — likely will have to wait while others who need it more urgently get vaccinated.

We have been diligent in our house to protect ourselves against the virus. We mask up when we venture outside our house.  We maintain our distance from others. We use generous amounts of hand sanitizer. We wash our hands frequently … in our own home!

I intend fully to continue doing all of that even after I receive my vaccine.

The Dallas Morning News editorialized about all of this the other day, calling on us to refuse to let our guard down. We must not relax even with vaccines on the horizon.

We all know what’s happening out there. Infection, hospitalizations and deaths are up. Too many of us are ignoring the warnings. I heard Dr. Anthony Fauci, the premier infectious disease guru in the nation if not the world say that he has no problem with people accusing him of “overreacting” to the pandemic.

Indeed, it is far better to “overreact” and stay clear of the killer virus than to do the opposite.

I, too, plan to overreact.

Do as he says, not as he does

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Not good, Mr. Mayor.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock made an impassioned plea to his constituents: Stay home over the Thanksgiving holiday to avoid spreading the COVID virus that’s still killing Americans.

Good advice? Sure it is.

What, then, did Hizzoner do? He boarded an airplane to fly to Mississippi to visit with family members.

Ouch, Mr. Mayor. C’mon, man. If you’re going to tell your constituents to do something that could save their lives, you need to set the example for others to follow.

He apologized to Denver’s residents. Hey, I am not one of them, but I accept his apology. Just do better from now on … OK?

 

OMB pick draws fire

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Neera Tanden wants to become the next head of the Office of Management and Budget in the Joe Biden administration.

But wait a minute. She’s running into some serious headwinds from Senate Republicans. Why? Well, it seems that she has been highly critical of GOP policymakers and policies, and of course of Donald Trump, the guy Biden defeated to become the nation’s next president.

I’ll be candid. Biden’s decision to select Tanden does puzzle me. She has been a sharp-tongued pundit. I really don’t know about her budgetary experience. Not only that, the president-elect’s pledge to “unify” the country seems at odds with the selection of a sharp partisan, such as Neera Tanden.

She runs a progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress. Tanden could be seen and heard throughout the Biden-Trump campaign blasting Donald Trump to smithereens. To be blunt, I have no problem with what she said about Trump.

I do have a problem with an appointment such as hers and whether it is faithful to President-elect Biden’s pledge to heal the wounds that have divided us.

Trump’s petulance persists

Donald Trump is taking post-election petulance to levels never seen before.

He keeps insisting he won an election he lost. Trump continues to challenge the legitimacy of a legitimate election that chose President-elect Joe Biden over the incumbent president. He said he’ll leave the White House “if” the Electoral College certifies Biden’s victory … knowing full well the Electoral College is going to do precisely that.

Now comes the best part of all: He might announce a 2024 presidential candidacy as Biden becomes President Biden on Inauguration Day.

Good grief. The guy cannot stop making a spectacle and an ass of himself.

But the good news is that Jan. 20 marks the end of the Trump Era and the beginning of the Biden Era. Let the healing begin.

Imagine this happening … now!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The picture you see here was taken in late 2008.

President-elect Barack Obama came to the Oval Office to meet with the man he would succeed, President George W. Bush, and three other fellows with intimate knowledge of the office: Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

President Bush 43 offered his support and good wishes to the new president. All of these men had lunch together that day and the former presidents shared with the new guy some of the wisdom they acquired while making difficult decisions.

I won’t belabor the point, but just try to imagine …

Donald Trump inviting the man who would succeed him, President-elect Joe Biden, to the Oval Office along with the four living former presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

I know. It’s way beyond anything you could ever see happening.

Hoping to eradicate an ‘e-word’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I suppose you could surmise that there is a virtually endless array of things I anticipate with the inauguration of Joe Biden as our next president of the United States.

One of those things is the elimination of certain epithets we hear far too often from the man he will succeed, Donald J. Trump.

I want to discuss one of them briefly here. That would be the term “enemy.”

Joe Biden is wired entirely differently than Donald Trump.

Biden has said categorically and without equivocation that political foes are not enemies. He has worked through many decades in public service seeking compromise with politicians from the other party. He works well with Republicans while being what he calls himself as being a “proud Democrat.”

The president-elect understands that effective legislation quite often is the result of compromise. He doesn’t see the GOP as comprising enemies. They merely are opponents. Donald Trump exhibited an all-too-often and annoying tendency to cast his foes as enemies.

Indeed, he infamously referred to the media as the “enemy of the American people.” My goodness, it is no such thing. Previous presidents have been made uncomfortable by harsh questions posed by the media. None of them to my knowledge ever referred to reporters as anyone’s “enemy.”

I expect to see President Biden restore the sense of respect we all can have for those with whom we disagree. I also expect to see him eradicate the careless and reckless use of the word “enemy” within the White House.

Trump goes 0-for-forever in his losing fight

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump got his litigation head handed to him once again.

This time it was a Pennsylvania court that said to the president: No can do on your effort to overturn an election result.

Good grief. Trump is in the middle of a monstrous losing streak.

I think he’s zero for 35 … or something like that. Still, The Donald ain’t giving up, at least not publicly. I keep hearing that privately every one of his top aides, Cabinet hands, family members are talking among themselves. They are saying it’s over.

Someone needs to get to the man who keeps yapping about an election he lost bigly.