16 Six Twenty-Two: Sneak Peek Short Takes (SPST)

Correction and update:  The word ‘peak’ was inadvertently used instead of the word ‘peek’ in this inaugural SPST article and the article was posted twice.  Those errors have been corrected.  In addition, after giving it further thought, this inaugural SPST will also be the final one.  So, hello and goodbye SPST.

Because the news media cannot place all of the major news stories on the front page, or even the first 10 to 15 pages, they are forced to make a choice as to what news they deem to be most important.  As a result, some very important stories might get buried on pages that are much less likely to be read or not mentioned at all.  That is why most politicians who do not want information that might be damaging to them revealed will dump it on the media as late as possible on a Friday.

And that is why I have decided to commence a new addition to my blog called ‘Sneak Peek Short Takes’ (SPST).  The SPSTs will be a reminder to readers that there is more to the stories in the media like those that regularly imply that Senator Chuck Schumer is an automatic to be the next Senate Minority Leader.  And that “more” might provide a perspective that will cause readers of this blog and those who could have a direct impact on the situation to take pause to assess things more closely before they make their decision.

The SPSTs will not be full-blown blog articles at the time they are posted but, if warranted, will be in the future.  An example of the SPST, which is also the inaugural SPST article, follows.

1)      Senator Chuck Schumer is talked about on a regular basis as the heir apparent to Senator Harry Reid.  Not so fast; should he really be the Senate Minority Leader with the very real possibility that he could become the Majority Leader after the 2016 election?  I am ambivalent.

I suggest that before he is placed in such an important position that his colleagues in the senate take a real close look at him; especially in light of the current political situation.  After all, he is the one who sided with the Republicans against President Obama on the Iran nuclear deal and lobbied other congressional Democrats to vote against it as well.

More to come after this SPST as Senator Reid gets closer to retirement?

2)      Perhaps Secretary Hillary Clinton should take a real close look at Governor John Hickenlooper as her VP running mate.  All things and all potential candidates considered, he could bring an awful lot to the Veepstakes; especially since Senator Sanders has not yet endorsed Secretary Clinton and many of his supporters are threatening to not vote for her and some are even saying that they will vote for Donald Trump.

The stakes are extremely high since even the slightest possibility that Donald Trump could become president is a frightening thought for many Americans.  Under these circumstances Secretary Clinton needs to be sure that she picks a running mate that will optimally compliment her weaknesses.  That candidate is definitely not Senator Corey Booker because she can carry African American votes on her own.  And it is likely not U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro because although she is slightly weaker with regard to the Latino vote, she can also carry that group on her own.

Further, she could possibly alienate as many white voters as she would gain Latino voters with a woman and Latino heading the ticket.  This same effect would probably occur with two women heading the ticket; especially if she selects Senator Elizabeth Warren as her running mate because she would likely be considered to be too far to the left as well as too aggressive.

However, even if Senator Warren is not on the ticket she could still be of strong support in helping to assure that the Bernie Sanders supporters would move their support to Secretary Clinton.  She could also provide major help in discouraging disaffected Sanders supporters from voting for Donald Trump.

If Secretary Clinton selected Governor Hickenlooper as her running mate Senator Warren’s efforts combined with Governor Hickenlooper’s ability to attract disaffected Republican voters could become a two-pronged attack.  This two-pronged attack would prevent disaffected Democrats from voting for Mr. Trump while at the same time convincing disaffected Republicans to vote for Secretary Clinton.  More to come after this SPST as we get closer to the general election?

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Hickenlooper For Vice President?

It is floating around out there somewhere that Governor John Hickenlooper is on a list (short list?) to be Secretary Hillary Clinton’s  running mate; but so is Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Should he be her running mate or should Senator Warren (or someone else) fill that slot?  What are the things that suggest that Governor Hickenlooper should be that person and what are those that suggest otherwise?  For now, let’s ignore the ‘someone else’ scenario and focus on Governor Hickenlooper and Senator Warren.

First, let’s explore the reasons that suggest that Governor Hickenlooper should be that person.  Number one, Colorado is a purple state and, from the perspective of the Clinton supporters, it would be great if Secretary Clinton could win Colorado.  Number two, Governor Hickenlooper is well accepted in Colorado by both Democrats and Republicans.  Still, many Democrats feel that he is not as solid a Democrat as he should be so do not fully trust him.  But on the flipside of the coin, which brings me to my third and final reason, many Republicans find him acceptable as a reasonable Democrat who will at least listen to the collective voice of Republicans even if they are not completely willing to accept him into their fold as someone who they can trust as they would a fellow Republican.  A perfect fit for a purple state, right?

If Governor Hickenlooper were Secretary Clinton’s running mate he would likely attract disaffected Republicans who just cannot stomach voting for Donald Trump.  While doing this, he would still be attractive to those Democrats who do not feel that he is as solid a Democrat as he should be because, despite their limited trust of him, their first priority is to unite the Democratic Party and defeat Donald Trump.  That means that the odds would be that he would tilt the scale in this purple state in Secretary Clinton’s favor.

He would also likely draw into the Clinton camp – although they would never publicly admit to voting for her – other Republicans who closely follow politics, are well informed on political nuances and are concerned about the survival of the Republican Party who cannot stomach supporting Donald Trump.  These Republicans could also heavily influence and otherwise impact upon other Republicans who are straddling the fence and still in a decision-making mode as to whether or not they are going to vote for Mr. Trump.  Although Colorado might not have a large amount of electoral votes to offer compared to some other purple states, these electoral votes and Governor Hickenlooper’s potential ability to draw other Republican voters who might otherwise not vote for a Democrat could prove to be a tempting prize.

The negative side of Secretary Clinton choosing Governor Hickenlooper as a running mate would be that he would not attract the Bernie Sanders supporters as effectively as would Senator Warren.  The tough task comes in comparing and measuring the negatives and the positives presented by these two potential running mates, correctly sifting through them, and then arriving at the right conclusion that will help catapult Secretary Clinton to victory and seal her place in history as the first woman to occupy the White House and claim the title as the President of the United States of America.

Now, let’s talk about what Senator Elizabeth Warren has to offer.  First and foremost, Senator Warren already has high visibility nationally and she is the darling of progressives.  All of those who support Senator Bernie Sanders would likely quickly acquiesce to the will and leadership of Senator Warren.

Senator Sanders and Senator Warren were close before he became a presidential candidate and they remain that way now even though she recently endorsed Secretary Clinton.  Although Senator Sanders has not yet suspended his campaign, he has noticeably toned down his attacks on Secretary Clinton.  He has refocused his rhetoric from her to that of the economy with emphasis on addressing wealth inequity, securing a 15 dollar per hour minimum wage, taking big money out of the election process, better regulating Wall Street and placing a greater emphasis on reinvigorating Main Street and the middle class.

There is no doubt that Senator Warren would be able to help unite the Democratic base and stoke their enthusiasm, but she would likely be unable to draw disaffected Republicans to the Democratic ticket as effectively as would Governor Hickenlooper.  Many of those Republicans that might be drawn to the Democratic ticket because of Governor Hickenlooper would likely find it totally unacceptable – and therefore repulsive, if Senator Warren were Secretary Clinton’s running mate.

Other Republicans throughout the United States would likely dismiss even the thought of voting for Secretary Clinton if Senator Warren was on the ticket because they consider her to be too far to the left and, therefore, less likely to hear the voice of Republicans and – even occasionally – advocate for them even when she felt that their ideas were better than those of her fellow Democrats.  They might feel that she would not urge the president to give reasonable consideration to their input and concerns and press her to give meaningful consideration to their points of view.

Should Secretary Clinton pick Governor Hickenlooper who would likely be able to pull the base together, although not as assuredly so as would Senator Warren but would likely attract disaffected Republican voters?   Or, should she pick Senator Warren who would certainly pull the base together but would likely repulse disaffected Republican voters because those Republicans consider her to be too liberal and therefore tone-deaf to Republicans and their ideas?  For all intents and purposes – with these two candidates, these are the only two choices available to her.

Secretary Clinton can take the input from all of those in her campaign under advisement.  But in the end, the choice as to which option she will choose is hers, and hers alone, to make.  The stakes are extremely high because the choice that she makes will ultimately impact on not only her but on all of us as Americans.  Let’s hope that she makes the right choice.  Of course, the ‘right choice’ depends on which side of the ledger you stand on.  I am absolutely sure about which side I stand on; how about you?  Stay informed and always vote.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

The Republican Party, The Voting Rights Act, and Donald Trump

The Republican Party appears to be going all in to obstruct or completely block American citizens that they have targeted from voting. Kansas is one of the states with Republican held legislatures that is among the identifiable reconnaissance states that are taking the point position in absorbing any primary challenges to this unwarranted voter ID legislation and providing intelligence to other Republican held states that are sure to follow after they tweak their own legislation based on this intelligence.

Kris Kobach, the current Secretary of State of Kansas is leading this drive to unfairly disenfranchise legitimate American voters. When voters go to the polls to vote, if they do not have the required ID they are placed on a suspense list and are later purged from the registered voters list if they do not provide the requisite ID within a given period of time.  According to a recent Reuters’ analysis of this suspense list, those who are having the hardest time registering to vote are young voters, unaffiliated voters and other voters who normally vote for Democrats.

Although, as determined in most of the cases where enhanced voter ID requirements have been put into place there was little to no evidence of voter fraud to begin with, Mr. Kobach forged ahead anyway.  And, just like as published in many other cases where these laws have been enacted, since this law was implemented; only a few (single digit) individuals who are alleged to have committed voter fraud have actually been prosecuted and/or found guilty.

Still, Republicans defend their actions and say that they are putting these laws into place to defend against rampant voter fraud and protect the American people. This kind of obstruction and blocking of legitimate voters’ right to vote has been going on ever since the John Roberts led Supreme Court struck down Section 4 (b) of the Voting Rights Acts.  Despite what might have been the good intentions of the court, the decision has thrown the country into chaos, in some cases, causing each state to come up with its own laws as to what will be required of citizens in their state in order for them to be able to vote.

On top of this situation, Republicans have been publicly expressing their concern about the possibility of the Supreme Court becoming more liberal if a Democrat is elected president. They think that that would be a terrible thing.  If Republicans believe that taking away voters right to vote in order to get a Republican elected president so that they can assure that the Supreme Court remains a conservative leaning court, then perhaps America needs what Republicans think would be a ‘terrible thing.’

To make the situation even worse, Republicans – with the blessings of the Republican elites and Republican congressional leaders in Washington, are slowly but surely lining up in support of Donald Trump. As for the ones who are not openly supporting him, their silence is deafening.  One can only imagine what will happen under Mr. Trump’s leadership.  It is not just a question of the direction that the Supreme Court will take; the larger question is which direction will the country take?

I am well aware that I am at risk of completely exhausting the subject of how concerned I am and how concerned America should be about Donald Trump’s flaws that make him unsuited to hold the most powerful office in the world. But there is so much at stake that I want to be sure that I do everything that I can to get voters to go beyond Mr. Trump’s superficial rhetoric, dig deep beneath the shinny facade that he is presenting to the public and explore those things that are close to his core.  Find out what he is all about, how knowledgeable he is about domestic and world affairs, how willing he is to learn about those things that he does not understand and how willing and capable a student he will be.  It is obvious who he is as a CEO; but who is he, really: and is he capable of subordinating his ego to those who perchance could help him to become presidential and suitable to hold the esteemed office of President of the United States of America?

A normal, reasonable Republican politician would be (gulp) fine. But Mr. Trump is not a normal and reasonable Republican politician and he must not be allowed to normalize himself by wrapping himself in a veil of normalcy just long enough to possibly win a general election.  All of those Republican politicians who support him and those who have so far chosen to remain silent know this but they are allowing loyalty to their Party to ‘trump’ (pun intended) their duty to put country ahead of politics.

I will try not to revisit this, what I am sure that many of you consider, worn-out subject any time soon so that you will have some time to recover from it. But I am not making any promises.  If duty demands it, I will be right back at it; sounding the alarm bell and hoping that although you might not want to, you will take a deep breath, swallow and read it anyway.  With so much at stake, I can’t help myself.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Sanders’ Supporters Would Vote For Donald Trump Not Hillary?

I read an article in the New York Times recently that gave me pause. It was by Yamiche Alcindor and was entitled ‘Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers.’  Some of those voters who back Senator Sanders actually said that if he is not the Democratic nominee then they will vote for Donald Trump.  According to the article, one person was quoted as saying that she hoped that Hillary Clinton would be criminally indicted for how she handled her emails while she was Secretary of State.  In her mind this would open the door for Senator Sanders to claim the nomination which, rightfully, should be his anyway.

This should cause great concern for anyone, especially a Democrat, who wants to see a Democrat elected to be president in 2016. But from my perspective this concern goes far beyond the rationale that these Sanders supporters are espousing.  To me, the fact that anyone would choose Donald Trump over Secretary Clinton is mindboggling.  After witnessing how Mr. Trump has conducted himself ever since he announced that he would run for president I find it absolutely amazing that anyone, especially seasoned politicians, would elect to place such a grave responsibility as President of the United States of America in his hands.

Mr. Trump has already done unthinkable damage to this country since he declared his candidacy for president and there is still what seems like an eternity before the election in November for him to do even greater damage. I honestly cannot believe that this is really happening!  Before witnessing it, I would have bet my last dollar that something like this could never happen; let alone with the blessings of party politicians whether they were Democrats or Republicans.  I thought that neither party would ever stand for it because, although under normal circumstances politicians will be politicians, these are not normal circumstances.  And I thought that each party was filled with statesmen who have too much self-dignity and love of country to allow anything like this to happen.  Obviously most pundits felt the same way.  We were wrong.

If Republican politicians – now including Senator Marco Rubio who said that he would never help to place this country into the hands of a con man – can now line up in support of Mr. Trump and say that they would rather see the country in his hands than those of Secretary Clinton, about the only words that I can come up with are, it’s amazing! There is no reasonable rationale that I can fathom to justify their support of him.  I challenge any voter, whether they are Democrat, Republican or Independent to consider how Mr. Trump has conducted himself since he announced that he would run for president to seriously contemplate whether they want someone who has conducted themselves like he has to be in control of the nuclear codes and strongly influence whether America will go to war or remain at peace, and then present and reasonably defend their answer of ‘yes I would.’

All politicians have the tendency to obfuscate, stretch the truth or even at times lie in order to say what they know that their constituents want to hear. Everyone, although they might not like it, seem to accept this as just something that politicians do.  That notwithstanding, there was a time, though that is obviously not the case nowadays, when even politicians would draw a line in the sand when it came to love of country and doing what was in its best interest.  And because of their great love of country, even partisan politics could not prevent them from doing what was, in their best judgment, their sworn duty.

I am also amazed that even with society’s perception of politicians and our tacit willingness to accept their flaws that we hold female politicians to a higher standard than we do male politicians. I am especially amazed at how willing females are to accept and apply these unspoken rules.  You might ask where did I come up with these supposedly unspoken rules and why do I say that females are held to a higher standard as it relates to them?  Well, I came up with them by observing over many years how society talks and jokes about politicians and we all wink at their flaws; and as regards these current presidential candidates, how anyone could possibly say that America would be better off with Donald Trump as its leader than it would be with Hillary Clinton because of how dishonest that Secretary Clinton is.

Because of what I previously mentioned about all politicians having the tendency to obfuscate, stretch the truth or even at times lie in order to say what they know that their constituents want to hear, I say that females are held to a higher standard for, at least, this one reason.   I would wager that any politician, if they were put through the amount of scrutiny that Secretary Clinton has been put through, would come up wanting in the honesty department.  Although society already realizes that this is the case – again, we wink at this situation with men and yet want to crucify Secretary Clinton for it.  Why is that?  You decide.

As for me, I do not accept that Secretary Clinton’s so called dishonesty is enough to discount all that she has done in service to America and use that as an excuse to place the country in the hands of someone who is a narcissist – and in the words of many congressional Republicans – a con man who is unfit and unqualified to hold the most powerful office in the world. As voters, we have an obligation to get informed and seriously consider the message that Secretary Clinton is delivering to America and the one that Donald Trump is delivering.

We must determine which of those messages is meaningful, doable, will pull us together and make America stronger. We must decide who we are as Americans versus who we want to be as Americans and then decide which of these two candidates can best help us to make that transition and vote accordingly.  And whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, always remember, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line