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Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)

(I wrote this for the Urban News, January 2021)

It was almost 11 months ago when I wrote about TDS or Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is that is the feeling that falls over you when multiple conservatives have repeatedly lied to you. It is a combination of nausea, disgust, and anger—overlaid with frustration.

Recently, the lies have been flowing like the mighty Mississippi river. If there were an Olympic category for lying, Trump would be a gold-medal decathlete. If, for some reason, you thought that he would crawl into his gold-plated Mar-a-Lago hole and disappear because he lost the general election, you were, and are sadly mistaken. His crazy, stupid, paranoid, delusional and un-American tactics to overturn the election results have been overwhelming.

I could go over the list of more than 60 lawsuits that Trump and his allies have filed in state and federal courts since the election. For the most part, Trump and the GOP have lost all their “legal” challenges. All of them. What I thought was the boldest and most un-American move was when Donald Trump invited a group of Republican members of the Michigan state legislature to the White House, where he tried to pressure them into overturning the election. In what can only be called an act of patriotism and duty, the Michigan legislators, after meeting with Trump, stated in a joint press conference that they had not seen any information that would change the outcome.

Our Democracy

Conservatives always like to point out that we don’t actually live in a democracy but a “constitutional republic.” For the most part, this difference is meaningless. Our Constitution is set up so that our government is chosen by its citizens—a democracy—and works within a system of checks and balances reflecting its different governing parts—a republic.

For example, if the president tries to overstep his authority, Congress and the Supreme Court have the power to reign in the president. Also, states have authority over certain rules and laws that the federal government cannot override—including how to run elections.

But over the past four years, those checks and balances have been stretched to the limit. Trump requires everyone to be loyal to him personally, or be fired. He believes they take an oath of office to obey him, not the Constitution or the laws of the United States. Unfortunately, our founding fathers did not have an answer for this. They did not foresee all three branches of government being taken over by one person.

In my opinion, our democracy is in trouble. The rule of law is in peril. This is not like after Watergate when Americans, overwhelmingly, rejected Nixon and the Republicans who supported him. Instead, we have a large swath of Americans who believe and support the lies of Trump.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has stated his plan to publicly object to the Electoral College being free and fair. He’s been joined by eleven other Republican senators: Cruz of Texas, Johnson (WI), Lankford (OK), Daines (MT), Kennedy (LA), Blackburn (TN) and Braun (IN), and four newly elected senators who took their seats Jan. 3—Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), Bill Hagerty (TN) and Tommy Tuberville (AL).

Their objection to Biden’s election will cause contentious votes in the Senate. More importantly, I think it causes more and more Americans to distrust our system. I have no idea how we get the trust back. I don’t think that there’s anything that Biden/Harris can do or say that would sow the seeds of trust in those who have swallowed the nonsense of the Trump administration. Without trust, our democracy will fall apart.

Coronavirus

As a nation, we continue to be in the midst of the worst pandemic in over 100 years. The Trump administration has inexplicably chosen to downplay the virus at every turn. Trump himself explained to best-selling author Bob Woodward last January that he always wanted to downplay the virus—because he didn’t want to cause a “panic.” Well, what he has caused instead is millions of infections which were completely preventable. Over three hundred thousand Americans have died, many because of mismanagement and misinformation. Trump’s refusal to wear a mask or endorse mask wearing has itself killed tens of thousands of Americans. The simple wearing of masks saves lives. This is a fact.

Now it appears that we have two effective vaccines. Yet, because Republicans hate government, it is near impossible for them to make the government work effectively. Back in August or September, the Trump administration knew that the vaccine from Pfizer and the vaccine from Moderna appeared to be on track for FDA approval. This is when “Operation Warp Speed” should have begun comprehensive planning on how to get the vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans quickly. This is a huge logistical nightmare. (more…)

By |2021-01-15T21:55:59-04:00January 15th, 2021|Congress, Elections, Healthcare|Comments Off on Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)

Brett Kavanaugh under Fire


Look, let us take a deep breath. Let us see what is happened over the last week with regards to the Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. As expected, Kavanaugh had a bruising and contentious hearing. He had stuck to a well-worn playbook in which you basically say nothing. This is the playbook that he helped develop over the last 20 to 30 years. Then, comes a story that kind of bubbles up from the background. Some lady, someone we have never heard of before, accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when he was a teenager. Does his behavior as a teenager reflect on the man that he is now? Maybe? Many of my friends that follow me on Facebook, or people that I have been friends with for over 40 years. They know that we did dumb and somewhat embarrassing stuff when we were kids. Yet, I think this is important, how you defend yourself now reflects on not who you were 30 years ago but what kind of man you are now. You are about to be appointed to the highest court in the land. This is the time when you can show us, Americans, exactly who you are. Is it possible that you are roundly accused? Of course it is. Stand up and face your accuser. Do not go on Fox News and hide behind the beautiful anchorwoman who is throwing softball questions. We all remember David Vitter who stated that he loved his wife and would never be associated with a DC Madam. We remember Larry Craig who, with his wife standing beside him, denied the allegations of propositioning a male police officer in an airport bathroom. Brett Kavanaugh had an opportunity to clear his name. He could have and would have been granted an opportunity in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All he had to do was ask Charles Grassley for a fair hearing. Not a kangaroo court but a fair hearing where witnesses from both sides could be heard. He is Brett Kavanaugh. He is not just a lawyer. He is one of the super lawyers in our country. He could have and should have presented a marvelous defense of his character. Instead, like a drunken sailor, he keeps swinging wildly at as a target. Well practiced phrases like “outrageous” and “twilight zone” roll off of his lips.

All of this should have been anticipated by the White House. We are currently living in the #MeToo movement. It was hard if not impossible not to anticipate that some female was not going to come out of Brett Kavanaugh’s past. The problem is, it appears that they have allowed the president to handle the media coordination and statements. Deny, deny and counter deny may work if you are a reality TV star. You cannot use the same media playbook if you are being nominated to the Supreme Court.

Here is the real problem, conservative Democrats now, cannot support Brett Kavanaugh in any way. Female Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have a real problem. In the past, they have spoken out in favor of women’s issues. Now, can they support Brett Kavanaugh? Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is really in trouble. The math to confirm him is really turning against him. To me, the turning point was when a woman who supported Brett Kavanaugh and then found her own name being disparaged in his yearbook and she withdrew her support. That was the turning point.

Let me be clear, I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a smart, gifted conservative lawyer. I believe that he is bad for our country. Yet, I do want him to have a fair hearing. I never, ever want to see anyone be publicly dismantled like this. It is sad. No man should be put through such scrutiny but this is the political process that we live with. This is what happens in a democracy. We now live in an environment of no holds barred democracy. This is the environment that help create Donald Trump. Changing our environment is going to be difficult. I pray for our democracy.

By |2018-09-26T21:39:36-04:00September 26th, 2018|Congress, Domestic Issues, Party Politics, Supreme court|Comments Off on Brett Kavanaugh under Fire

Gorsuch – No, Not Today

No. I am sorry. I cannot support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of the United States. It is not that he is unqualified. This guy is plenty qualified. He is the Peyton Manning of law. He has the pedigree. He has clerked for all the right people in all the right places. He went to the right schools – high school, college, law school, and postgraduate education. The point is not whether or not he is qualified. Neither is the point whether I agree with his ideology. I do not. Instead, we should be focusing on the fact that Neil Gorsuch is all about process.

President, let me underscore this, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Mister Garland is eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. Yet, empowered by purely partisan politics, the GOP-led Senate decided to make up their own criteria about whom they are going to vet and whom they are not. This is all about the Democrats’ deciding that it is time to grow a backbone. Sometimes, you need to draw a line in the sand and say, “This is about principle.”

We can go into all the ins and outs behind why the Republicans were 100% wrong about not even granting a hearing to Merrick Garland. They were wrong. They knew that, were they actually hold hearings, Merrick Garland would come off as someone who was thoughtful, intelligent; and, God forbid, Supreme Court material. So they decided to obstruct and thwart Garland in every way. Now, if we allow Neil Gorsuch to move forward, we have rewarded the Republicans for obstructionism. This cannot happen.

Every now and then, you must stand up for what you believe. Do you believe in the Constitution? Do you believe that we are a land of laws? If so, you must admit that we have no choice but to force the Republicans, and Donald Trump, to nominate Merrick Garland, even if they decide to vote him down. He must go through the process. It is the right thing to do. It is the American way.

By |2017-03-04T01:25:15-04:00February 5th, 2017|Domestic Issues, Senate, Supreme court, Trump administration|Comments Off on Gorsuch – No, Not Today
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