Donald Trump: frontrunner

Donald J. Trump is demonstrating yet another trait I find loathsome … imagine that, if you can.

He is a frontrunner, a guy who latches onto candidates he perceives as winners. He’ll endorse ’em, but then is likely to abandon ’em if they prove to be — to borrow a term — losers.

Trump once stood foursquare behind former U.S. Sen. David Perdue of Georgia. He endorsed Perdue’s bid for Georgia governor. Then it became clear that the incumbent Republican, Brian Kemp, is going to wipe Perdue out in the Republican primary set for next Tuesday.

Now the ex-POTUS has tossed Perdue aside, just as he did in neighboring Alabama. You see, decided to back Rep. Mo Brooks in the race for the Senate seat being vacated by Richard Shelby.

Trump had all kinds of glowing platitudes to throw at Brooks. Then the congressman’s political fortunes faltered. What did Trump do then? He tossed Brooks into the crapper.

All this just goes to show the fickleness of a Donald Trump endorsement for public office … which is another way of saying it ain’t worth a damn!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

GOP could doom itself

Were I to rub a crystal ball and seek to predict the outcome of the 2022 midterm election, I might come up with …

The notion that the Republican Party is going to nominate enough certifiable fruitcakes to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Take the leading GOP candidate for Arizona governor, Kari Lake, as one example.

The nimrod whom GOP voters might nominate has declared that she won’t recognize President Biden as being legitimately elected in 2020. She will work to overturn her state’s electoral result and hand the victory in Arizona to the loon Biden defeated for the presidency.

Therein might lie Democrats’ best chance to keep control of government. That is if Republicans manage to nominate similarly demented candidates for the U.S. House and Senate this year.

Hey, it can happen.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

How bad will it get?

Karl Rove, the man once known derisively as “George W. Bush’s brain,” has laid out what he believes will occur when they count the midterm election ballots in November.

He writes in the Wall Street Journal, “Even Democratic strategists now admit the midterms will be disastrous for their party. “It’s going to be a terrible cycle for Democrats,” Doug Sosnik, one of the party’s best grand strategists, recently told the New York Times. The question is how big the calamity will be. A freeway pileup? Category 5 hurricane? Or Krakatoa with all the attendant consequences?

I do not intend to question the sincerity of Sosnik’s assertion, as reported by Rove, but it kind of begs a question that’s been rattling around my brain for the past few weeks.

It goes like this: Might it be even remotely possible that Democratic strategists are laying out a worst-case scenario with a glimmer of hope that if their losses are less than expected that they can claim a sort of moral victory?

Or, there’s this: Is it possible that the gloom-doom-despair prognosis is hiding some positive outcome, that Democrats actually could retain control of one of the congressional chambers?

I realize that politics can be a cynical game. Politicians and their hired guns — be they Democrat or Republican — look for any angle they can find to suit their agenda.

Since I am perched in the cheap seats out here in Flyover Country, I am nowhere close to the heartbeat of the nation’s political center. I am just wondering whether there could be a bit of gamesmanship being played.

These things do happen. I am just sayin’, man.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Herschel Walker: dumbass

Gosh, I hate speaking badly about a guy I used to admire when all he did was pack a football and run with it for thousands of yards during his career.

However, that ex-gridiron star, former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker of Georgia, is now running for the U.S. Senate and all I can say about him is that he might be the biggest dumbass running for high office in this election cycle.

Walker is running as a Republican. He wants to succeed Sen. Rafael Warnock, one of two Democrats elected to the Senate in 2020 from Georgia.

I have heard some of the nonsense that comes from Walker’s pie hole. One utterance, caught my attention. He recently said while disparaging evolutionary science that “If man came from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?”

Isn’t that just a real knee-slapper? Actually, that isn’t even an original quip. I heard the late comic George Carlin say it many years ago. So, Walker not only is a dumbass, but he’s a dumbass who cannot offer many original thoughts.

Sen. Warnock has done a creditable job in the Senate. He has become a leading voice of the Senate’s progressive caucus. He also has plenty of what one could call “cred” among African Americans, given that he is African American. What’s more, when he is not writing federal law, he preaches at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the Holy Word to his parishioners.

It occurs to me that this contest could offer voters in one state a chance to stop the dumbing-down of Congress by returning a man with considerable intellect — Sen. Warnock — and rejecting a man with next to zero understanding of how government works … and who cannot even produce an original quip.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

RNC concocts phony excuse

The Republican National Committee has voted unanimously to no longer take part in televised debates featuring the party’s presidential nominee, saying that past debates have been biased against the GOP.

What a crock!

The Commission on Presidential Debates has failed, according to the RNC, to enact reforms demanded by the likes of Donald Trump and other fruitcakes insisting on formats that they say would provide viewers/voters with important information about the candidates.

Again … pure horsesh**!

The RNC and its chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, are concocting phony excuses, looking for ways to manipulate the format to their party’s and their candidate’s liking.

As Reuters reported: “We are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people,” the committee’s chairperson, Ronna McDaniel, said in a statement.

Republican Party withdraws from U.S. commission on presidential debates (msn.com)

How do they define “bias”? I will wait with bated breath to see what the RNC has in mind. Perhaps the committee could provide some examples of the “bias” it says existed during previous debates that somehow infringed on its nominee’s ability to get his message delivered.

I am all ears.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Liberal’ becomes an epithet

Did you know the term “liberal” has become a four-letter word? At least among right-wingers it has become a sort of scarlet letter to hang around the necks of politicians and those who support those politicians.

I am a liberal, or a “good government” liberal. The term has been replaced in the lexicon, though, by “progressive,” which I guess among liberals is more suitable to their political agenda.

For the record, I don’t mind for an instant being labeled a liberal.

Here’s what my handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary says about the term; mind you, it contains several definitions under the term, so the first definition is generally regarded as the most acceptable or prevalent.

It states: open-minded, tolerant. The book refers to a synonym, which is broad-minded.

Wow! Is that the stuff that should bring shame to an individual? I think not. It is the kind of description one should wear proudly. So, I do. I wear that label with pride.

My pride will enable me to dismiss the snark that accompanies descriptions that come from right-wingers who seek to denigrate liberal or progressive political thought.

As a side note: I continue to hold traditional “conservatives” in high esteem. I prefer to absolve them from the antics committed by the bomb-throwers on the far-right end of the political spectrum.

I turned to my American Heritage word book. Here is what it says about “conservative.” Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Hey, nothing wrong with that, either.

The right-wingers, though, take “traditional conservatism” to a level I do not recognize.

I remember when Newt Gingrich, the godfather of the Contract With America movement in the 1990s, said his aim was to make “liberals the enemy of normal Americans.” Isn’t that sweet? Do you get what that implies? It is to say liberals are, um, “abnormal.” That we are weirdos. That we live outside those so-called “traditional values.”

Well, none of that worked out well for Newtie. He got caught cheating on wife No. 2. He married the woman with whom he was having a fling. He also resigned from Congress and became a right-wing messenger.

That was then. These days I will continue to wear my political leaning proudly. I make no apologies for anything I believe. I am open-minded and tolerant, just as the dictionary describes me.

What in this world is wrong with that? Not a damn thing!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Abbott vs. O’Rourke: gonna get nasty

Listen up, my fellow Texans. It is looking as though this year’s campaign for governor is going to get nasty. Maybe even way beyond nasty.

Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke has leveled both rhetorical barrels as his Republican foe, Greg Abbott. I do for a moment believe Gov. Abbott is going to sit by passively while O’Rourke calls Abbott a “thug.”

Get a load of what the Texas Tribune has reported:

“I just had a chance to meet with the ambassador from the EU,” O’Rourke told Evan Smith, the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, in a crowded hall at the South by Southwest festival. “We talked about the fact that you’re seeing the continued rise of authoritarians and thugs across the world. And we have our own, right here, in the state of Texas.”

Smith asked, “Greg Abbott is a thug in your mind?”

O’Rourke replied, “He’s a thug, he’s an authoritarian.

Beto O’Rourke calls Gov. Greg Abbott a “thug” and an “authoritarian” | The Texas Tribune

Oh … feel the burn, OK?

Don’t get me wrong here. I want O’Rourke to defeat Abbott, who I believe has become a disciple of the Kooky Cabal of the GOP. Abbott has shown zero inclination to pull his own punches regarding O’Rourke, accusing Beto of wanting to disarm Texans by taking their guns away, which is a lie; he accuses O’Rourke of favoring “open borders,” which is false on its face.

O’Rourke’s thug description carries some remarkable imagery, to be sure.

Still, the fight for the Texas governor’s office is on. It’s going to get loud and likely quite angry in extremely short order.

We’d all better strap ourselves in tight and get ready for a rough ride to the political finish line.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Great divide has become a chasm

I discovered a story online that I want to share with this blog post. It tells a sad story about a man in a rural community who feels more isolated than ever in his life. Why the isolation? Because he voted in 2020 for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for POTUS and VPOTUS, while most of his neighbors voted for the ticket that lost the 2020 election.

The result has produced a daily ritual of insults, epithets and assorted verbal and emotional abuse.

The story ran in Politico. Here it is:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/04/pennsylvania-rural-democrats-trump-neighbors-00008915

I can relate somewhat to what the principals in the article are feeling. I, too, voted for President Biden and Vice President Harris. We live in a suburban community in a North Texas county that voted nominally for The Donald in 2020.

The lonely Democrat told Politico that the landscape of Dubois, Pa., is littered with profanity-laced signs cursing Biden and Harris; the signage also heaps praise on Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

According to Politico:

“We’ve never seen this before,” says Joanne Fitzpatrick, a Democrat from DuBois, running through a tally in her head of anti-Biden signs that still cover her town and surrounding communities. “I’m not a prude by any stretch, but it’s offensive. We’ve just never seen this level of vulgarity after an election — and so long after the election at that.”

“In a civilized society,” she added, “we just don’t do that.”

Well, I guess we do. Then again, I believe she was implying that her community isn’t exactly “civilized.”

I don’t recall this level of visceral anger, either. I have lived long enough to recall previous presidential campaigns that were full of venom and vitriol. We had the campaigns of 1968 and 1972 overshadowed by the Vietnam War; the 1988 campaign featured the tearing down of one candidate because he wouldn’t mandate reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools; there was 2000 and the campaign that ended being decided by the Supreme Court.

All these campaigns, though, had something in common. The loser conceded to the winner. The losing candidate did so in 2016 when she lost to Donald Trump.

The difference this year? The incumbent who lost, Trump the cult leader, hasn’t conceded. Instead, he has stoked anger among the ardent followers of his losing effort by repeating The Big Lie about the election being “stolen” via “widespread voter fraud.” There was no widespread fraud. Or electoral theft.

And therein is the cause of the deep divide that has widened into a chasm. It seems unbridgeable, as seen in the story told about the rural Pennsylvania community highlighted in the Politico article.

It is a shame. The terrible divide between neighbors never would have widened had the loser of the 2020 election done what others before him have done. If only he could have summoned the grace and class to admit he lost and extended his hand to those who defeated him.

Yes, elections have consequences. So, too, do their responses.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas turnout: a stinker

Here is how the Texas Tribune led a story about the voter turnout in this week’s midterm primary election: Around 17% of registered voters in Texas cast a ballot in the 2022 primary, according to preliminary turnout data from the secretary of state. 

The Tribune noted also that the turnout this year was greater than the six previous midterm elections. However, I now will throw a huge dose of cold water on it.

The “registered voters” barometer is a ruse. When you factor in the number of Texans who are “eligible” to vote, but who don’t even bother to register, then the turnout nosedives into the crapper.

This is a shameful exhibition of apathy that spells potential disaster for the state of governance in Texas.

Texas, tragically, is among the lowest-turnout states in the entire U.S. of A. Seventeen percent of registered voters sought fit to cast their ballots, either early or on Election Day, to choose who their party’s nominees would be for a host of important public offices.

That is fewer than one in five Texans. The percentage plunges even more when you measure the turnout of eligible voters.

So very sad.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now it’s going to get dirty

Listen up, my fellow Texas residents: We are about to be “treated” to a slugfest between two Texas attorney general candidates, one of whom suggests the incumbent is a crook, while the incumbent is trying to squash a Texas political family dynasty.

It’s going to be Republicans Ken Paxton vs. George P. Bush.

Strap yourselves in. This is going to get nasty.

Paxton is under felony indictment on an allegation of securities fraud. The FBI also is examining whether the AG committed assorted crimes while serving as the state’s top lawyer; one of the allegations brought by his former top legal assistants is bribery. Sheesh! Paxton, though, says he intends to rally “Texas conservatives” to put down the Bush family dynasty.

Bush, meanwhile, is taking aim at Paxton’s legal difficulty. Bush is the Texas land commissioner who gave up his seat to run for AG. He is the grandson and nephew of two former presidents of the United States and the son of a former Florida governor.

The runoff for the GOP nomination to be attorney general is in May.

Take this straight to the bank: Paxton and Bush are going to get nasty as they seek to tear each other to pieces. I am pulling for George P. Bush. Paxton should have resigned long ago.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com