Tag Archives: John McCain

I Miss Dave

Once again, I’m guilty of overestimating the common sense of the citizens of this great country. I’m a bit perplexed by the public’s response to President Donald Trump’s firing of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James Comey. I know by now I shouldn’t be surprised about anything regarding politics, or the American people, but I really want to be an optimist. If I remember correctly (and I do) not so long ago the majority of Democrats were calling for Comey’s head because he supposedly had cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. Trump and the Republicans weren’t too thrilled with Comey either after he eventually cleared Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing just two days prior to the 2016 presidential election. Now, apparently everyone is enamored with James Comey. Oh my, how things quickly change when trying to rewrite history.

This whole sordid mess began in July of 2015, when the FBI opened a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use during her tenure as our nation’s Secretary of State. The matter had seemingly been put to rest, but Director Comey resurrected the mild scandal on October 28th, 2016, by way of a letter to Congress. He informed them that the FBI was reviewing additional emails for possible violations committed by Clinton. Many Hillary supporters blamed Comey’s ill-timed announcement for Clinton’s loss to Trump in last year’s election. However, I’d argue that Comey’s final letter to Congress on November 6th, 2016, actually did more damage to the Trump campaign than his previous letter did to the Clinton camp. Declaring Clinton’s innocence of any criminal wrongdoing (less than 48 hours before ballots were to be cast) surely worked in Hillary’s favor in regards to garnering any of the remaining undecided voters.

Regardless, if there was one thing both sides of the political arena could agree on, a short six months ago, it was their bipartisan dislike of James Comey. His unconventional actions were controversial, confusing, reckless, and quite possibly grounds for dismissal. Yet, after President Trump’s recent firing of the FBI Director, many (from both sides of the aisle) who once despised Comey are now suddenly very supportive of him and irate at Trump for letting him go. What’s there to say? Trump haters are gonna hate.

I presume that’s also the reason for all the hubbub out there concerning President Trump and Russia. Yes, I know there’s those pesky reports about the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia. Yes, the timing of James Comey’s dismissal could be construed as a tad suspect: he indeed was in the process of ramping up his investigation into Trump’s possible past association with Russia. Comey’s recent firing shouldn’t be too worrisome for Trump haters since Arizona Senator, John McCain, immediately called for another investigation into the Russia situation. (I wonder who’s paying for all of these investigations.)

Look, I couldn’t care less if the President, or those in his administration, had previous business dealings with Russia. Haven’t the majority of those vociferously opposed to Trump been preaching to the public that globalism is a great thing? What probably frustrates me the most about this country is that we are so quick to come to a conclusion before receiving all of the information. In essence, we come to the conclusions WE WANT…based on our emotions rather than the truth. If it is ever proven that President Trump is (or has been) in cahoots with Russia then I will be the first in line demanding his resignation and lobbying for treason charges to be brought against him. Believe me.

There is one thing we know for certain at this time concerning Trump’s possible ties to Russia. Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, has found President Trump guilty. There’s no mistaking where David Letterman’s predecessor stands on this issue. This is not fake news. In fact, last week Colbert went on an extended tirade about the President, and then he proudly confirmed what he had previously said the very next evening. Some on the right have demanded an apology from the liberal host, but Colbert continues to stand by what he said. After calling Trump a “pricktator,” among other things, Stephen Colbert then told President Trump, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c**k holster.” Letterman’s replacement sure has turned The Late Show from what was once a respectable, highly entertaining talk show into a biased, anger filled political program.

Many on the left think Colbert’s joke was hilarious, and they are pointing to the First Amendment in defense of his right to say what he said. I can’t argue with the latter. However, I would like to ask those who’ve sided with Colbert, and think the joke is funny, this one simple question. What if during President Obama’s presidency someone had said Obama was a “c**k holster” for Bashar al-Assad? Funny? Former President Obama did indeed draw that infamous red line in which Assad fearlessly crossed without any repercussions whatsoever. So, would that joke about Obama have been hilarious? Of course not. Just because we are allowed to publicly say something so crude and tasteless certainly does not mean that we should especially when it comes to disrespecting those elected to the Oval Office. The older I get, the less impressed I am with our country’s freedom of speech. Boy, I sure could use a dose of Letterman right about now.


It Really Isn’t A Bad Word

I was only a teenager for a good portion of the 1980s, and I wasn’t much interested in politics back then, but I find myself longing for those days when compromise wasn’t considered such a bad word amongst politicians. Republican President, Ronald Reagan, and Democrat Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, worked together for the good of the country. Although the men differed immensely on policy, Reagan and O’Neill were adamantly opposed to a polarized atmosphere and very committed to the advancement of the United States. The leaders of the competing parties embraced a style of government that first and foremost had its citizens’ best interests at heart. That brand of government demands at least some compromise which is sorely missing in today’s political spectrum.

The art of compromise has been drastically waning in modern times, most notably with the inception of the Tea Party, but now the negotiation process is all but dead due to the recent actions of the Republican controlled Congress. Last Friday (4/7/17) Neil Gorsuch was confirmed as the newest Supreme Court Justice, but only after Congressional Republicans were able to manipulate rules in the Senate to their advantage. The change reduces the longstanding 60-vote threshold down to a simple majority in the 100-member Senate. This dangerous change, known as the “nuclear option” because it “blows up” the traditional rules and bipartisanship that were once coveted in the Senate, means there is no longer an incentive to include the other political party in our federal government’s decision making process. How ironic considering this is the first time in our nation’s history that an elected President does not boast a political or military background, but instead he prides himself on being a top-notch negotiator.

I completely understand the Republicans’ way of thinking, and attitude, behind their shady maneuver to bypass the Democrats altogether (at least in the foreseeable future) concerning their agenda. The Democrats mirrored those sentiments not so long ago (2013) when Harry Reid successfully led the charge to change the rules, so his party could appoint lower-court judges and Cabinet members without any Republican support. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Payback is a b***h.

I said I understand the Republicans’ thought process, but I certainly do not agree with their vengeful act. The change in Senate rules takes compromise off the table and basically allows whichever party controls Congress to pass anything and everything without the checks and balances proffered and cherished by our Founding Fathers. That being said, I am the furthest thing from a constitutionalist. I think the U.S. Constitution is so frequently misinterpreted (e.g. the Second Amendment) and fairly difficult to decipher with the inclusion of the numerous Amendments added throughout the years. I truly believe it’s impossible to know for sure how our Founding Fathers would view and respond to the issues of today. However, I am positive of their desire to always hold our elected officials accountable to their constituents via checks and balances; hence, the reason for our 3 branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

All of this nonsense, over something as elementary as filling a vacated seat in the Supreme Court, simply because no one from either party was willing to compromise. A seat that had been left open since Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death over 14 months ago. Let me be perfectly clear here. I think former President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, should have been confirmed before our 44th President left the Oval Office. I think – oh boy, here we go – based on the Constitution – Obama had every right, as well as legal authority, to nominate Merrick Garland and to have the Senate hold confirmation hearings on Garland’s behalf. However, the Republicans disrespectfully refused to even consider the highly qualified man in hopes of winning the White House in November (an unlikely scenario at the time). Their bold gamble paid off…but at what expense? The Republicans won, for the time being, but the nation lost when the “nuclear option” was implemented.

Both parties had opportunities to compromise in regards to filling Justice Scalia’s seat, but both sides are more concerned about the D or the R that comes after their names than what’s best for the people. Senator John McCain from Arizona (I’m embarrassed to say) insisted, prior to the Senate rule change, that anyone who thought the revision would be beneficial was a “stupid idiot” and a “numskull,” yet McCain ultimately aligned with his party and lent his support for the ill-conceived change. Why can’t somebody in our federal government – anybody – just do the right thing? To be fair, three Senate Democrats: Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) did put pettiness and partisanship aside by giving President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, their endorsements.

I certainly thought both Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch would’ve had a much easier time receiving bipartisan support and Senate confirmation since they tend to be more moderate than extreme (like Scalia was). By the way, the late Justice Scalia was UNANIMOUSLY confirmed in 1986, and he was politically as far to the right as possible. This just goes to show how divided today’s Congress really is and how unwilling they are to compromise. I would have been fine with Garland, and I’m fine with Gorsuch. If pressed, I’d admit to having desired a more socially conservative judge, rather than a liberal one, to replace Scalia. However, the U.S. Supreme Court should be entirely about the law and not about political party affiliation.

After Donald Trump took office, I was actually hoping the President would utilize his unpredictability by nominating Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, as his choice for the Supreme Court. I recognize that course of action would have been unconventional, to say the least, but I was rooting for a miracle nonetheless. I doubt if the vast majority of the population even considered such a thing, especially those supposedly representing us in Washington, D.C., but I think a generous move like that would have gone a long way in revealing Trump’s (hidden) bipartisan nature, and it would have gone a long way in immediately uniting Congress and possibly the country. Compromise is crucial – for a successful marriage – for an effective business negotiation – and for the U.S. Government…if it genuinely cares about its people. It really isn’t a bad word.