Tag Archives: GOP

DUMP TREASONOUS TRUMP!

My wife and I were privileged to join the march in San Diego a few weeks ago in protest of Donald Trump’s heinous policy of separating immigrant families at the border.

We were proud to be among the thousands of marchers of all ages, races and economic classes who turned out in defiance of the Trump regime’s institutional inhumanity.

But now, less than a month after we hit the streets to protest the sad, un-American fact that asylum seekers and those hoping for a better life in the U.S. were having their children torn from their grasp and sent to parts unknown, that awful policy is practically old news.

90Because during the past week, Trump managed to make our horrible national nightmare even worse than it’s been. And now the rest of the western world hates the Mango Mussolini as much as we do.

Trump’s shambling, shameful trip to Europe – from his awful, insulting performance at the NATO meeting, to his bone-headed, bumbling meet and greet with the Queen, his obtuse abuse of the British Prime Minister, and his treasonous prostration before his man-crush, Vladimir Putin – have pushed all the other Trump scandals to the back pages.

IMG_7056But we must not let Trump scandal fatigue wear us down.

We must get back in the streets — again and again.

And we must keep our eyes on the prize: the mid-term elections.

Trump’s solid wall of GOP support cracked a bit after the shock of Helsinki.

But the Republicans won’t truly abandon Trump until we prove he’s a loser at the ballot box.

Write. Talk. Protest. Blog. March. Demonstrate.

IMG_7059But – above all – vote.

Register people to vote.

Remind them to vote.

Drive them to vote.

Drive the GOP out of their Congressional majorities – and put the brakes on the treasonous Trump train.

Bruised and battered as it is — America is worth saving.

And there are a LOT of good, progressive patriots standing with us!

 

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An Exclusive Interview with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller III.

As President Trump pumps out Tweet after shameless, petty Tweet and his TV lawyer Ruby Giuliani lies outrageously on any show that will give him a microphone – the American body politic is left to wonder, “What would Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller say?”

In recent weeks, Trump and his mob have launched a campaign to discredit Mueller and his investigation – but standing placidly amid the faux outrage and bombast, the man fixed in the dead center of Trump’s target has remained silent. Owing to his sense of duty, propriety and professionalism – the veteran U.S. Marine officer and former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has kept quiet.

Until now.

Unknown-6I was stunned when my iPhone buzzed this morning at 7:00 AM ET. I was expecting a call from my pool maintenance guy to say what time he was coming over to fix the light bulb in my hot tub – so imagine my surprise when it was the Special Prosecutor himself!

Mr. Mueller explained that he enjoyed my recent blog post on a hike my wife and I made in Yellowstone National Park  – and that he needed to let off some steam without winding up on the front page of The New York Times. I wasn’t entirely sure it was a compliment when he told me that he was certain nothing I wrote on my blog was going to make headlines anywhere.

Unknown-3Mueller didn’t have much time to chat. He, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray had to leave shortly for a breakfast meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Of course, Mueller told me, they can’t really talk about anything with Sessions because (A) he’s recused himself from the Trump investigation, (B) he’s likely to leak info to Trump and (C) they suspect he’s angry because he’s lost his magic powers and can’t remember where he buried his pot of gold. You can’t trust a bitter ex-leprechaun.

Unknown-4In the short time we talked, Mueller got a number of things off his chest.

He said I could ask him anything I wanted.

What follows is a transcript of our phone call.

ME: You’re getting a lot of pressure to wrap up your investigation…

MUELLER: Hold on, what do you mean by pressure?

ME: You know. Giuliani and the President are waging a campaign to discredit you…

MUELLER: (Laughs) Oh, that? You call that pressure? I’ll tell you what pressure is – and Donny Bone Spurs has no clue – but pressure is trying to keep a squad of young soldiers alive when you’re waist deep in a muddy rice paddy taking incoming fire from an enemy you can’t see. That’s pressure. This is no deadly jungle firefight. I can see Trump and his impotent bullies coming a mile away. Nothing they say affects me.

ME: But it does seem to affect public opinion.

MUELLER: That’s not my concern. I’m not hosting a popularity contest – I’m running a criminal investigation. Facts matter to me. I don’t give a rat’s ass for anyone’s opinion. And certainly not a flack like Sean Hannity or a soulless, Mephistophelean mouthpiece like Kellyanne Conway. Funny. Her husband actually sounds like an intelligent guy. That’s a real odd couple there.

ME: But what do you say to those who complain that your investigation has gone on too long and has spent too many taxpayer dollars?

MUELLER: You mean what do I say to my fellow Republicans who say that?

ME: Oh, that’s right, you are a Republican.

MUELLER: Have been all my life. So are Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray. We’re rock-ribbed members of the Grand Old Party. Accent on “Old”.

ME: So, are your fellow Republicans correct? Is it time to wrap this thing up?

MUELLER: First of all, not every Republican wants to end this investigation. There are still quite a few in Congress who want to see it play out and justice be done.

And between you and me — many of my fellow Republicans won’t say it publically, but they’d love to have me indict Trump and his whole White House mafia so I’ll rid them of the disaster they helped to create.

Secondly, let’s dispense with this bullshit about how long my investigation is taking. Does anyone remember Whitewater? That took more than 5 years. Never heard any GOP flacks complain about that. Benghazi? Please. That shit show ran longer than the Watergate probe. And those idiots in the House Freedom Caucus still want to investigate Benghazi some more! And how about “Uranium One?” It’s madness! Those ginned-up, penny-ante cases are nothing compared to my investigation. We’re trying to get to the bottom of how a hostile foreign power managed to meddle in an American Presidential election.

ME: I see, but…

MUELLER: I mean, Putin and agents of the Russian government fucked with our most scared democratic process! They even tried to hack into our voting systems. That should set my fellow Republicans’ hair on fire. And when I get done, they’ll want to set Trump’s hair on fire, too. What a blaze that’ll be! Not since I saw napalm in Vietnam…

ME: But Trump and Giuliani are certain you haven’t found any evidence of collusion.

MUELLER: Collusion? I don’t give a fig about collusion. I’m running down a conspiracy: a criminal conspiracy. And it’s a big case.

It’s like a vast all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s so much perjury, malfeasance, chicanery, money laundering, petty grifting, influence peddling, and conspiracy to defraud the American electorate that you simply can’t pile it all on your plate. You can’t digest it all in one meal. If I tried to ingest this immense, illegal feast all at once – I’d explode like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

ME: What about Trump and his allies calling for an investigation of the origin of your investigation?

MUELLER: I could care less. This probe started long before I took charge of it. It began because our brilliant and patriotic intelligence community learned that folks working on the Trump campaign had all sorts of sordid contacts with Russian oligarchs, the Russian government, Wikileaks and, possibly, Putin himself.

ME: Putin?

MUELLER: Trump’s mysterious man crush.

ME: Okay. Trump’s relationship to Putin is notably homoerotic – but let’s stay on point…

MUELLER: And your point is…?

ME: Are you going to indict President Trump for conspiracy with the Russians to manipulate the vote in the 2016 elections?

MUELLER: Certainly. Eventually. And a whole lot of other things, including that crazy sale of his Florida mansion to some Russian for a half-million more than it was worth.

ME: Well, when?

MUELLER: Look. Here’s the thing. Because of what Comey did during the last Presidential election, I have to be careful. I can’t make any kind of public statement that might affect the mid-term elections.

ME: You can’t?

MUELLER: No. Think about it. If before this year’s critical midterms, I laid out the litany of crimes that I intended to charge Trump and his mendacious mob with — there wouldn’t be a Republican elected dogcatcher outside of Wyoming and the Dakotas.

ME: Would that be so bad?

MUELLER: That’s not my call. I’m not about politics. I’m not about public opinion. I’m all about the law.

ME: Is there any way you can tell us more about what you already know? Must we rely on Michael Avenatti to keep us informed?

MUELLER: I love Avenatti! I wish I could be like Mike!

ME: Really?

MUELLER: Of course! Mike’s a bull in the china shop. I can’t behave that way. But without giving away the whole game, I’m sure he and I will end up in the same place.

ME: Are you saying that President Trump and his minions are guilty?

MUELLER: Guilty of what?

ME: Of criminal conspiracy and everything else!

imagesMUELLER: I can’t reveal that information. It’s classified. Let’s just say that Trump and his lying legions will ultimately be connected to a Russian conspiracy to screw with the 2016 Presidential election.

ME: Wow!

MUELLER: And to make money and effect policy during – and after — the campaign.

ME: That should be revolutionary!

MUELLER: It should be. But it may not be.

ME: Why not?

images-2MUELLER: Because the end of this legal drama is up to the American people. I may or may not be able to indict Trump (there’s this whole Presidential thing) – but even if the Supreme Court says I can’t indict Trump – the Congress can impeach him. This government is yours. You can let your representative know that Trump should be impeached,

Donald Trump is a cheap criminal. And I’ve got the goods on him — in spades. I can’t wait to bring the hammer down on this un-Presidential prick.

ME: You don’t sound very objective…

MUELLER: I’m completely objective.

ME: So, do we American lovers of democracy have anything to fear in the near future?

MUELLER: A low turnout in the midterms.

ME: Why so?

MUELLER: Because, you liberal morons, if you don’t elect a Democratic majority in the House, they’ll never impeach Trump — let alone convict him in the Senate.

ME: Oh….

MUELLER: Sorry, I’ve gotta go. Jeff wants to push our breakfast meeting by a half hour (he’s texting Trump) – and move it from Denny’s Diner to the nearest Waffle House.

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Time To Step Down, Mike Pence.

A vendor flies the confederate flag prior to a Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump rally in Pittsburgh, June 11, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - RTX2FOT5

trump-warns-election-may-be-rigged

It’s actually long past time for beleaguered GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence to repudiate his great orange running mate’s toxic campaign.

trump-pence-03But now that Donald Trump sees the writing on the wall (and the polls), his destructive attack on the integrity of the American election process itself leaves his Veep pick with no other way to save his dignity, credibility and reputation than to jettison the flame-throwing narcissistic demagogue at the top of the ticket.

For the good of our democracy, Pence must dump Trump.

Now.

donald-trump-victim__optMike Pence says he’s a follower of Jesus Christ. What is there in the four Gospels that give any indication that the Prince of Peace would approve of Donald J. Trump? Not a thing. Re-read the Sermon on the Mount – especially the Beatitudes. Nowhere does Jesus say, “Blessed are the whining sore losers, for theirs is the right to torch the landscape in their wake.”

nov-9-lat-concedes-if-300In 1960, when Richard Nixon lost by the thinnest of whiskers to John F. Kennedy, even the man who would become infamous for campaign “dirty tricks” and Watergate respected the vote of the American people, despite unproven claims of election fraud in Illinois and West Virginia.

In 2000, when Al Gore lost by a few hanging Florida chads (and one dubious Supreme Court decision) to George W. Bush, Gore went before the cameras after the Florida recount was halted to put the nation first and acknowledge the legitimacy of his defeat.

maxresdefaultAnd now comes Donald Trump. He’s not even waiting for his eventual (and much deserved) defeat to cast doubt on the fairness of our American democracy.

Trump incites his angry followers to show up at the polls to watch out for the mass voter fraud he assures them will take place. Especially in those “inner cities” filled with, well, you know, those people…

And then there’s all those illegal immigrants Trump claims are pouring across our border to vote for Hillary. Because, of course, tens of thousands of desperate Central Americans are surely lining up to risk their lives and fortunes on a dangerous and expensive U.S. border crossing so they can put Hillary in the White House. (If you believe that, I have a bankrupt casino I’d like to sell you.)

16-trump-rally-w710-h473-2xTrump indicts the dishonest media for its part in rigging the election against him. Really? Is that what FOX, CNN and MSNBC were doing for a solid year when they covered just about every one of his rallies from start to finish? When they would put Hillary or Bernie Sanders in a little box in the corner of the frame while The Donald held court full screen? The truth is that the cable news networks were major enablers of Trump’s candidacy.

Yet even though all of Trump’s talk of a rigged election is absolute crap – millions of his followers believe him.

ct-trump-pence-huppke-20160715And that’s why Mike Pence – who surely knows better – must take a stand by standing down.

If Mike Pence doesn’t repudiate Trump’s claims of a rigged election in the strongest terms — and quit the Trump ticket now — he will have forfeited his credibility as a future candidate in our American democracy.

Trump is calling for torches and pitchforks, Governor Pence.

What would Jesus do?

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Too Little Too Late, Mr. Birther!

48093056-cachedtrump_tweet_birther_080612So now, just hours after Donald Trump couldn’t bring himself to admit to The Washington Post that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A. — some campaign flunky puts out a statement saying that Herr Trump actually believes that Obama is, in fact, born in America.

trump-fnc-birtherWell, let’s hear that from Donald J. Trump himself.

And then let’s hear him tell us what the hell this nonsense (or pack of shameless lies) was all about 5 years ago:


(CNN)
Possibly-serious Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is giving few details about the investigation he claims to have launched in Hawaii to get to the bottom of where President Obama was born, but the business mogul told CNN Thursday Americans will be “very surprised” by what he has found.

donald-trump-i-really-dont-know-if-obama-was-born-in-the-us“We’re looking into it very, very strongly. At a certain point in time I’ll be revealing some interesting things,” Trump said on CNN’s American Morning.Trump first claimed earlier this month he had sent investigators to Obama’s home state in an effort to find out if the president was indeed born there, as he says he was and several media organization’s independent investigations have confirmed.

trump-birther-tweet“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told NBC then.

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C’mon mass media! Don’t let Trump skate on this one. What specific “interesting things” did he find out about Obama’s citizenship five years ago?

trumpbirtherWhat did his “people that have been studying it” really find? And why could they not “believe what they’re finding.”

Trump said all this crap.

The media must get Trump to say that Obama is a citizen with his own lips – and then ask the follow-up questions.

Make Trump back all his old statements up.

Or admit it was all a lie.

r-donald-trump-obam-birth-certificate-large570The Presidency of the United States is at stake.

I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Andrea Mitchell – and maybe, just maybe, the last honest journalists on FOX News.

Hoist the Great Orange Demagogue by his own petard.

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Will TV News Get Tough With Trump?

bannerbanner-2160626134505-is-fact-checking-hopeful-or-hopeless-00014411-horizontal-galleryWhat is it about Donald Trump’s vulgar, shameless, fact-free Presidential candidacy that appears to suck the intelligence, discernment, fairness, judgment and journalistic integrity out of our callow cadre of TV news anchormen and women?

imagesIt’s as though Donald Trump is some sort of insidious political vampire with the power to mesmerize, fascinate and overpower his overpaid, under-researched and ratings-infatuated newsreader victims.

With about eight weeks to go until Election Day, it’s long past time for television news anchors, interviewers and, hopefully, the moderators of the upcoming debates to get tough with Trump.

85It was hard enough to watch the weak performance of NBC’s Matt Lauer in the recent Commander-in-Chief Forum, as he let Trump tell lie after lie with impunity — especially his whopper about opposing the Iraq War from the start. But much worse is the spectre of what we can expect from FOX’s Chris Wallace in the third Presidential Debate on October 19. Consider this exchange with Howard Kurtz.

1461001515099KURTZ: …as they go at it, let’s say Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, what do you do if they make assertions that you know to be untrue? 

WALLACE: That’s not my job. I do not believe it is my job to be a truth squad. 

maxresdefaultGetting at the truth is not Wallace’s job? What would his father, the late CBS News and “60 Minutes” stalwart, Mike Wallace, have said if he heard his son say such a thing?

And is there any doubt how Mike Wallace’s mentor, the legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow — the man who stood up to Joe McCarthy’s lies — would have answered Kurtz’s question?edward_r-_murrow_1_630_pxlw

chris-wallaceThen again, maybe I should just set FOX News aside. After all, it’s little more than the unofficial cable channel of the Republican Party. Sure, there are elements at FOX that share some in the GOP’s ambivalence about Trump’s rogue candidacy – but it’s also clear that FOX News will not seriously challenge the rise of the Great Orange Hope.

However, we should expect much more of CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and MSNBC.

kayleighmcenanyobamaisisSo, why do so many supposedly professional newsmen at these major media outlets fail to ask the most obvious follow-up questions when Trump and his clownish parade of lying, low-ball, blowhard surrogates mislead viewers by misstating the facts?

Are they simply unaware of the facts? Is it a research problem? Not enough time in their busy day to pursue the truth?

Of course, I’m not a professional journalist. I’m just another blogger. But I read the newspapers. (Seriously. One gets tossed onto my driveway every morning.) And I spend a little time every day surfing the news through the Internet tubes. I’m a lifelong history buff and a concerned citizen. So, it’s clear to me that our television news anchors are in dereliction of their journalistic duty.

clinton-trump-composite-rWhy else would they allow Trump and his cohort to perpetuate the calumny that Hillary Clinton is the dishonest, untrustworthy person in this race? Do they fail to challenge this relentless lie because they have no access to the fact checking by PolitiFact?

Here’s how PolitiFact analyzes Hillary’s relationship to the truth…

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pasted-image-0Just in case Chris Wallace is too busy to do the math – 72% of Hillary’s assertions range between true and half-true. She’s been caught tell a lie only 2% of the time.

Trump’s pants, on the other hand, are en fuego 18% of the time. And a full 71% of his statements range from mostly false to flaming pantaloons.

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pants_on_fireNo wonder Chris Wallace doesn’t want to fact-check The Donald during his debate. Wallace would have to interrupt Trump at least 71% of the time. And nobody likes to watch a football game where the referees are throwing a flag on every 7 out of 10 plays. It would be unwatchable.

Unwatchable perhaps. But it sure would be enlightening.

Going back to Matt Lauer’s pathetic Commander-in-Chief Forum performance, it should be noted that Lauer did try to challenge Trump by confronting him with a Tweet that suggested The Donald was blaming the presence of women in the military for incidents of military sexual assault.

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womenmilHowever, had Lauer done a least the ten minutes of research I just did he wouldn’t have been caught slack-jawed and flat-footed when Trump doubled down on his ignorant, erroneous notion that military sexual assault is a problem created by putting men and women together in uniform.

Lauer could have pointed out that the majority of military sexual assault victims are men.

In 2014, the Pentagon estimated that 20,300 servicemen and servicewomen were assaulted that year. Of those attacks, roughly 10,600 of the victims – more than half — were men.

Aug. 21, 2015 - Fort Benning, GA, United States of America - U.S. Army Captain Kristen Griest salutes during graduation ceremonies at the Army Ranger school August 21, 2015 in Fort Benning, Georgia. Griest and fellow soldier 1st Lt Shaye Haver became the first women to graduate from the 61-day-long Ranger course considered on of the most intense and demanding in the military. (Credit Image: � Ssgt. Steve Cortez/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)

And since investigations have found that, for instance, 1 in 5 females in the U.S. Air Force report assault — but only 1 in 15 males report having been sexually assaulted — we can assume that the number of male victims in the military is much higher than current estimates.

joy-ann-reid-clipped-wings-of-trump-surrogate-who-generally-bests-msnbc-hosts-videoYet, Trump and his surrogate minions are allowed, unchallenged, on network after network, to continue to frame this particular debate as an issue that’s all about women in the military.

That’s because TV news has become a lazy, undisciplined, unfocused and ill-informed show-biz circus.ashleigh-mcenany-trump-1

murrowThe great Edward R. Murrow is surely rolling over in his grave.

With the truth under constant attack and undefended by the wretched watchdogs of TV journalism, all I can say is, “Good night, and good luck.”

C’mon, you TV newsreaders!

It’s not too late to do a little research, grow some balls — and  make Mr. Murrow proud.

 

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It’s Been A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Year With Trump.

TrumpBannerI must admit that when I first saw Donald J. Trump riding his Trump Tower escalator on June 16, 2015, descending into the bowels of the GOP Presidential primary, I was intrigued. There was never a remote chance I’d vote for such an arrogant blowhard – especially when, fresh off his escalator, he declared that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” But I sensed that Trump was more than just another right wing political hack, playing to people’s fears and spouting Republican boilerplate.

campaign-2016-trumpHere was a spoiled, egocentric, reckless autocrat with no loyalty to anyone or anything but his own personal brand. This was going to be interesting.

After flushing his party’s last hope of attracting Latino voters down the Trump tube, he followed his slur on Mexican immigrants with a promise to build a border wall (that Mexico will pay for) and to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Then, when Senator John McCain expressed reservations about his unorthodox agenda, Trump attacked the former Vietnam POW, saying McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured and “I like people who weren’t captured.”

150827102252-donald-trump-july-10-2015-super-169It was plain to see The Donald was a dynamic and destructive force that the GOP would find hard to ignore, repudiate or control.

And it was also apparent that, no matter what shocking or offensive thing he blurted, Trump was attracting a base of supporters, many of whom wholly approved of the controversial things he said. And many right wing pols and pundits who didn’t approve were willing to forgive, overlook, and rationalize utterances that would have doomed a more conventional candidate – of either party.

158557565EM035_2012_Miss_UnAs Trump careened through each news cycle like a rip-snorting orange bull in a china shop, I enjoyed watching Republican politicians squirm, afraid to alienate Trump’s growing legion of angry, white, poorly educated fans.

Ah, the poorly educated.

After winning the Nevada Caucus in February, Trump joyously crowed that, “I love the poorly educated.” Small wonder. While his antics turned off college educated suburban voters, Trump’s less educated, less economically advantaged followers embraced his bombastic style, his millionaire trappings, his easy answers to tough questions and the notion that he was funding his own campaign. To them, Trump looked like a truth-teller who couldn’t be bought

GTY_donald_trump_ml_160304_16x9_992Meanwhile, Trump’s feckless primary opponents were unable to deal with such an unconventional, unapologetic and unblushing political bomb thrower — and were systematically dispatched.

Trump was a rascal, a rogue and a ratings winner.

When the dust settled, he was also the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

160503_POL_trump-president.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2At the start, those TV ratings mattered most: to the major media outlets – and to Trump’s campaign.

Trump was (and still is) given more coverage than any another candidate, as the cable news networks lingered (and still do) on empty podiums waiting for Trump to emerge and launch into another of his rambling stump speeches, which they often covered (and still do) in their entirety. We’ve never seen anything like it. No wonder Trump could fund his own primary campaign: he didn’t have to pay for TV time. He was the uncontested king of free media.

But what Trump did with all the free media exposure was most fascinating.

_88160170_trump-promoDonald Trump said things that no Republican candidate had ever said in recent memory. He was, in some ways, if we’re being completely honest, a breath of fresh air. Sometimes.

In an early primary debate, Trump told Jeb Bush to his self-satisfied face that his brother George W had not, in fact, kept America safe. Trump actually had the stones to say that the World Trade Towers came down on George W’s watch – and that the Iraq War was a disaster based on lies. It was amazing. Did Trump really say — onstage in a GOP primary — that the Iraq War was a failure predicated on lies? Watching Trump wreak havoc in those primary debates was a guilty pleasure.

635728260394906410-AP-GOP-Trump-2016And, afterwards, damned if wasn’t still leading in the polls!

Even the most die-hard liberal (like me) had to be thrilled to hear Trump toss such a devastating bomb into the orthodox Republican myth-making machinery – and come out ahead with GOP voters.

As the primary contest continued, Trump continued to toss GOP boilerplate onto the bonfire of his vanity: rejecting free trade, questioning the NATO alliance, suggesting that South Korea and Japan might arm themselves with nuclear weapons — and expressing admiration for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Donald-Trump-ChokingAll of these positions would normally disqualify a Republican candidate. But not The Donald.

Which puts the GOP in a box.

And by “box”, I mean a pine box.

Trump may be the death of the Republican Party as we’ve known it since the mid-1960s – when President Johnson and the Democrats passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, thus leaving the racist elements of their party receptive to the GOP’s cynical “Southern strategy”.

(Author’s note: BTW — can we please dispense with calling the Republicans “the party of Lincoln”? Would a true party of Lincoln be led by a Southern Senator who dedicated himself to making our first black President a one-term failure? Would the party of Lincoln pass laws in state legislatures designed to deny African-Americans the right to vote? Answer? No. Not in 1865 and not today.)

imagesBut, back to Trump.

While I’ve had to admit I was intrigued by his offbeat candidacy and I’ve truly enjoyed the excruciatingly uncomfortable position in which he’s put mainstream GOP candidates and conservative punditry – I’ve grown weary of the Trump circus.

I’ve seen the crazy clowns and the elephants and the “Make America Great Again” hats and balloons – and I’d like it all to be over. There’s going to be a lot of crap to clean up after the Trump parade, so let’s get out our brooms now.

At this point, it looks like the majority of American voters are going to wipe Trump’s grime off the electoral map. If the vote were taken today –here’s what the electoral results would be, based on the current polling.8-19

It appears that sanity will prevail over vanity.

Donald Trump Makes Campaign Swing Through IowaYet, now that the party conventions are over and the Olympics are over, the media pundits tell us that the American people are just now focusing on the Presidential election and that Trump’s latest “pivot” may win back some of the college-educated, suburban and minority voters who have rejected him. Some of these talking heads suggest that the race will tighten – and some, for the sake of promoting the horse race, assert that Trump may still have a chance of becoming our 45th President.

Yeah, and he’ll build that wall.

And Mexico is going to pay for it.

trump-nopeIt’s been a mad, mad, mad, mad year with Donald Trump. It’s been entertaining. It’s been surprising. It’s been nutty as hell. But when I see the rage, paranoia, xenophobia and hysteria he fuels in his fans, it’s becoming more and more frightening.

So, for that and so many other reasons, I’m with Hillary.

I look forward to the coming year, when Donald Trump will still be on television every day – but I can avoid seeing his face because I won’t be tuning in to his brand new TV network. (Sorry, Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon.)

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With Trump As Nominee, The GOP Chickens Have Come Home to Roost.

Trump banner 1Trump banner 2Trump banner 318391145-mmmainFor more than fifty years, the Republican Party, has betrayed its distant, noble 19th century origin as ”the party of Lincoln” and has moved inexorably toward its degeneration into the party of Donald J. Trump: the rump repository of poor, ill-educated, mostly white, xenophobic anger and class resentment.

donald-trump-is-escalating-his-war-of-words-with-hillary-clinton.jpgTo those who aren’t students of political history, it may seem crazy that a vulgar, bloviating, serially insulting, spray-tanned, combed-over, shoot-from-the hip billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV personality with zero political or government experience could seize the Presidential nomination of one of our nation’s two major political parties. But, if you’ve been paying attention since 1964 (or you’ve done the least bit of research), you wouldn’t be so shocked.

donald-trump-grow-upGiven trends in the Republican party over the past half century, The Donald’s domination of the Republican nominating process should not be a surprise at all: the blitzkrieg elevation of Trump 2016 was, if not inevitable, then certainly very, very, very possible.

With Trump as their standard bearer, whether Republicans like it or not, the chickens have come home to roost for the Grand Old Party.

The phrase “the chickens have come home to roost” means that the bad things someone did in the past have come back to bite them. They must deal with the consequences of dark deeds done long ago.

Malcolmx_3_0That expression has been fraught with heavy socio-political baggage, ever since Malcolm X used it in relation to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, saying that, “President Kennedy never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon.”

When he was widely excoriated for his remark, Malcolm X explained that he meant, “the hate in white men had not stopped with the killing of defenseless black people, but that hate, allowed to spread unchecked, had finally struck down this country’s Chief Magistrate.”

Regardless of whether you consider Malcolm’s statement offensive, his citing of “hate, allowed to spread unchecked” has resonance in the context of the current state of the GOP. Indeed, the Republican Party has gotten to this woeful point by deliberately stoking the fires of racial animus, anti-government paranoia, religious intolerance and anti-intellectualism to serve its narrow electoral purposes.

lbj_vra-1024x794The cancer in the GOP that has metastasized in Trump’s primary success began its rot decades ago with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. These two landmark legislative victories for racial equality and egalitarian progress were passed by overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by a Democratic President.

c462524f2It’s been said that when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, he turned to his press secretary and stated ruefully that the Democratic Party had just “lost the South for a generation.”

_6be8c97b_1379a104379__8000_00000134Indeed, this was the fateful moment for both major parties. Southern Democrats — “Dixiecrats” as they were called — finally bolted their party for the GOP, fueling the Republican Party’s transition from the anti-slavery “Party of Lincoln” into the “state’s rights”, anti-Federal government repository of white resentment and racism a century after Abraham Lincoln’s martyrdom.

From the mid-1960s to the 1980s – from Nixon to Reagan to Bush, the Republicans sought power by exploiting white, working class disaffection with the advancing Civil Rights movement and other progressive social advancements, from feminism to birth control, gun control and affirmative action. Among this new GOP coalition were Nixon’s “Silent Majority” and “Reagan Democrats” — religious conservatives, including formerly Democratic working class Catholics, who rallied to Republican rhetoric against reproductive rights, LGBT rights and other progressive social causes.

wallaceTo help keep the flames of anger stirred among their new coalition, Republican politicians were not above race baiting – sometimes in subtle ways and often in overt ways. The openly racist candidacies of George Wallace and former KKK leader David Duke were obvious overtures to racial prejudice.

reagan-neshoba-wideRonald Reagan was subtle.

When candidate Reagan touted “states rights” in a speech at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi during his 1980 campaign – many heard an unmistakable race-baiting dog whistle.

fp_neshoba_poster_350_297_c1Reagan and his staff no doubt knew that in June of 1964, just a few miles from where he spoke, three young civil rights workers (called “Freedom Riders) were murdered by white racists in one of the most infamous atrocities during the Civil Rights Movement.

Reagan’s choice of speaking venue that day was a continuation of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.”

KLBJ Billboard on August 15, 2011

KLBJ Billboard on August 15, 2011

The GOP has refined its Southern Strategy over the years into a less obviously racist but no less intolerant “God, Guns and Gays” strategy.

The moneyed Republican political elites cynically exploited these hot-button social issues to garner conservative votes. Yet, once they got those votes, GOP legislators rarely delivered on their fiery rhetoric. Tax breaks for the wealthy were what the Republican Party was truly all about.

vxkpya90rrs90ydsqtyeAfter more than five decades of this bait and switch, many in the GOP’s angry extreme right wing got wise to the game. The most zealous of the largely Southern, anti-government, anti-choice (and, yes, racist) base grew impatient with “establishment” Republican political hacks who talked big about outlawing abortion, relaxing gun laws, putting prayer back in schools, ending affirmative action and deporting illegal immigrants – but did little or nothing to advance that agenda. And while GOP candidates crowed, “jobs, jobs, jobs” – once in office, they concentrated instead on tax policy that favored the wealthy and large corporations.

2010-09-22_gopteapartyThus, the Tea Party was born. GOP seats in the House of Representatives — and some in the Senate — were soon occupied by a large bloc of true believers for whom compromise was a dirty word. So, we got dozens of attempts to limit a woman’s right to choose and overturn Obamacare and annual threats of government shutdowns — and why not?

If you’ve been told for decades that government can do any good, who cares if it shuts down?

0fa222556df6b621f1d0e7972623efd2After all, it was Reagan who said in his first inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

This year, the GOP’s toxic sludge of anti-government rhetoric and subtle (and not so subtle) appeals to racism and intolerance have combined with their own constituency’s anger at the party establishment’s failure to deliver on social issues and jobs, jobs, jobs to produce the noxious nomination of political outsider Donald J. Trump.

ac.trump.morgan.borger.cnn.640x360Let’s not forget that Trump first seized national political attention in 2011 by questioning the citizenship of the first African-American President of the United States. The Donald was a champion of the “Birther” movement. It wasn’t a dog whistle to the racists in the GOP base: it was a trumpet blast.

partylincoln_500A year earlier, in an interview in The National Journal, doddering white Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky declared that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Seriously. Old cracker McConnell’s number one goal was to delegitimize the first black President.

McConnell, of course, failed in his goal.

Just as the GOP establishment failed in its goal of stopping Donald J. Trump from winning the party’s nomination.

After all, one thing leads to another.

And Republicans only have themselves to blame.heres-what-donald-trump-supporters-really-believe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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