Point of View Columns

A Fighting Chance – The 2020 Matchup

As the Democrats finish up their 2018 Midterm Election Happy Dance, it is not too early to remember that November of 2020 moves closer every day. And if the 2016 presidential election turned out to be a battle for the soul of America, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that the foreseeable future and well-being of the nation will be at stake. The question, of course, is who is the man or woman who can defeat a lying, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, studiously ignorant incumbent with historically low approval ratings?

Any student of recent American political history might answer this question with a simple response – anybody. And that would not only be a simple response, it is simplistic. Of course, there is a school of thought which holds that but for the fact that Hillary Clinton ran what might arguably be called the worst presidential campaign in modern history, she would be finishing up her second year as the 44th President and the first woman president. But common knowledge turned out to be not so common and she lost and this nation has been hijacked by a man who could not be more destructive of the people and institutions of this country if he was actually trying to do so.

The real problem with this particular line of thinking is that it leads to the conclusion that just about anybody can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election, as long as the Democratic base turns out. And while it is true that voter suppression is at an historic high in the post- Shelby v. Holder era, anyone who thinks that there will be less voter suppression in 2020 is spitting into the wind.

There is a very real possibility that by 2020 will reveal that Trump and his Teapublican enablers will see that their accumulated misdeeds, corruption, dishonesty and incompetence are so overwhelming that threats of impeachment and indictment and ensuing humiliation might be the least of his worries. And it is at this point we will see Trump wrapped up in his most vicious and nasty persona and the presidential election campaign will sink to a no-holds-barred mud and slime fight.

How will Democrats respond? There is an old saying that if you get in the mud with a pig you will certainly get dirty – and the pig is already dirty. The 35% of the American electorate that support Trump mindlessly would love to watch a mud fight featuring their hero and champion. And Trump has already proven that with the combination of the antiquated Electoral College and his ability to hoodwink and bamboozle another 15% of the American people he can win a second term and most assuredly wreak more havoc on the American people.

From the perspective of the Democrats, if the successful nominee is not going to out vicious/nasty Trump, then that man or woman will have to truly inspire the electorate. It is doubtful that an “I am not Trump” campaign theme will lead to victory. And as the current field of wannabe’s, liketobe’s and neverwillbe’s line up at the 2019 starting line, the question will be who that truly inspirational candidate is?

It was not that long ago that in 2004 the prevailing wisdom  was that there was no way that George W. Bush could be re-elected. With an unpopular war in Iraq and a very vivid aura of incompetence surrounding him, his re-election prospects resided somewhere between impossible and improbable. And you can ask President John Kerry how that turned out.

And now, John Kerry is one of the wannabe’s lining up to take on Trump. And with all due respect to John Kerry, the Democrats better focus on inspiration and not just aspiration. Otherwise we will be in for Act II of the Trump Apocalypse – and that is a thought that should make the blood run cold.

This is one time when party matters. America cannot afford the reelection of Donald Trump.

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Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – November 30, 2012

Tomorrow is the first day of the last month of the year and what a year it has been! In the “fiscal cliff” negotiations President Obama served notice to the Teapublicans that he really did win on November 6th. We also have to wonder what was on the menu for that private White House lunch featuring President Obama and Mitt Romney as the only diners. And finally the Teapublicans seem obsessed with destroying Susan Rice – and it seems that now the really dirty work has started.

President Obama Puts the Man in Mandate

Earlier this week President Obama made a move that will only serve to make the denizens of Angrywhitemenistan crazier than they already are. He sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Capitol Hill to meet with the Teapublican leadership to inform them of the Obama Administration’s “fiscal cliff proposal”

Some of the key elements – a $1.6 trillion tax increase which encompasses a rise in tax rates for every wealthy American, a five year multibillion dollar stimulus package that will focus on the infrastructure and job development and an end to the annual carnival of the Teapublican Congress tying up America by threatening not to raise the national debt ceiling.

There is a lot more in the Obama proposal and what is clear is that as an opening gambit the president is playing offense and drawing a line in the sand that is a lot closer to the hopes and aspirations of most Americans.

Needless to say John Boehner’s spray tan could not hide the sick pallor that surfaced on his face when he realized that President Obama realizes that he is the man with the mandate.

Dining with Mitt

During his victory speech on November 6th, President Obama promised to meet with the defeated Mitt Romney in the near future. Being a man of his word Mr. Romney was the only guest at a private White House luncheon with President Obama.

One can only wonder what was on the menu. A platter of sour grapes and baked filet of crow seems about right. Perhaps there was some alphabet vegetable soup so that Mr. Romney could just eat his own words and finish by swallowing his pride..

It is also possible that President Obama gave Mitt Romney a doggie bag so that his do would have something to eat while riding on the roof of the car on the way home.

The Passion of Susan Rice – cont’d

There is virtually no way that the Teapublicans can maintain their slippery grip on reality unless and until they decide that trying to destroy the career and reputation of Ambassador Susan Rice is a fool’s errand. But too date there are more fools lining up, including Maine Senator Susan Collins.

Senator Collins has now joined the Let’s Lynch Rice Mob by claiming that she could “never” support Ambassador Rice for the position of Secretary of State because she appeared on Sunday morning news shows. And, in a display of cunning and a revelation of possible motives, Senator Collins stated that she would be able to support Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State.

That slick dagger throw then opened up another spigot of stupidity as progressive commentators started to play right into the Teapublican hands by assuming that Ambassador Rice’s yet to be announced nomination for Secretary of State could be stopped by the Teapublicans. And that’s we started to hear the names of John Kerry and Al Gore as possible alternatives to succeed Hillary Clinton.

This is so shameful on so many counts – Ambassador Rice is a highly qualified and globally respected foreign policy professional who would be an immediate asset as Secretary of State. For any Democrats or progressives to kowtow to the Teapublicans and starting suggesting alternative candidates at State would only encourage right wing bloodlust.

Her most vocal Teapublican opponents supported the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State even after it was known that she had fumbled her 9/11 intelligence role, had lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and misled the American people regarding the non-existent connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Hypocritical is the mildest world to describe their position.

We can only encourage Ambassador Rice to stay strong and hope that President Obama will continue to support and defend her —- and nominate her to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Have a great weekend!

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