Tag Archives: US Capitol

Stay away, Donald

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Presidential inaugurals drip with pageantry, good feelings, a sense of renewal, a beginning.

Yes, even the one that’s coming up. To that end, I want to state something with utmost clarity: I do not want the outgoing president to be anywhere near the U.S. Capitol Building when they swear in President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

I want Donald Trump to be far away. He need not be there. The Constitution doesn’t require the outgoing president to be present when the new POTUS takes the oath.

There once was a time when I had hoped Trump would actually accept that he lost, that he would offer a form of an acceptance if not a concession in the normal way. Now, though, even if he does any of that, it will be tainted by the memory of what we have witnessed as Trump has sought to undermine the president-elect’s clearly defined victory.

Trump sought to persuade state lawmakers to overturn the results of an election in their state. He did so today with Michigan legislative leaders; the Michiganders didn’t take the bait. Trump now reportedly is going to seek to sway Pennsylvania Republican legislators to do what Michigan GOP officials declined to do.

So, with that I want to declare that Donald Trump will not be welcomed at President Biden’s inauguration. Imagine when the public address announcer tells us that the president has just arrived on the stage where Biden will take his oath. He is likely to be booed off the stage.

Trump wants to be loved. He won’t get any love on Jan. 20. Do you think President Biden would thank him for his service to the country? Do you believe the new president should offer a kind word to this guy after all he has said about his successor? Or his family?

So, with that, just stay he hell away … Donald. You have no need to be there. Just go away. And stay away.

Decision made: I’ll watch inaugural speech … that’s all!

I usually glom onto the pageantry associated with events such as presidential inaugurations.

This time? I’m going to pass on most of it.

You know my feelings about the president-elect. No need to belabor that point. I am going to watch Donald John Trump take the oath of office and will watch his inaugural speech.

I hear it’ll be shorter than the average inaugural address. That’s fine.

I do need grist for this blog and I suppose the new president’s remarks will provide plenty of it.

However, this is going to surprise many of you. I am going to listen specifically for praiseworthy statements. To be candid, my continual bitching about Trump is wearing me out. I’ve told you already that I want the new president to succeed. We could get an inkling of whether he’s headed for success within a few minutes after taking the oath.

Inaugural speeches usually are chock full of high-minded, noble rhetoric that seeks to appeal to our better angels. A few of them over the two-plus centuries of our republic have left indelible impressions, the phrase that lasts throughout history. “Ask not what you can do for your country …” stands out, yes? “With malice toward none and charity for all …” That one, too.

I also get that words alone don’t spell success. We’ll need to see if the president delivers on the promises expressed on the steps of the Capitol Building.

Will the 45th president deliver a signature line, a moment for the ages? We’ll see. I am not betting my next steak dinner on it.

However, as a squishy liberal/progressive, my hope does spring eternal.

With a ‘friend’ like this …


I am acutely aware that politicians toss the word “friend” far too loosely.

It’s abundantly true on Capitol Hill or perhaps in state capitols across the land, where politicians debate each other on the legislative floors, referring occasionally to their “friends on the other side of the aisle.”

Have you heard Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid refer to each other as “my friend”? C’mon, dudes. Give me a break!

Well, the “friend” reference comes up now with Sen. John McCain backtracking on a statement about his former Senate “friend,” Barack H. Obama. He said that the president was “directly responsible” for the slaughter this past weekend in Orlando, Fla. He took that initial statement back — sort of — by saying it is the president’s decision to pull combat troops out of Iraq that gave rise to the Islamic State, to which the gunman reportedly pledged allegiance before opening fire in the nightclub.

I truly had thought in my heart of hearts that McCain and Obama actually were friends before they ended up running against each other for the presidency in 2008.

Do you remember the incident at a McCain town hall forum that year when an audience member questioned whether Sen. Obama was actually an “American,” and whether he was constitutionally qualified to run for president? McCain cut her off, defending his “friend” as a “fine American” and a “patriot”?

These “friendships” — if that’s what they are — seem so tenuous and fragile in the heat of political battle, which makes me wonder why these pols use the term so loosely in the first place.

You want transparency? Most of us can see right through such declarations of friendship.