What Mr. Trump Is Doing Is Bizarre And An Embarrassment And What Congressional Republicans Are Doing Is Spineless And Shameful

Congressional Republicans have completely lost their way and the Republican Party is in a downward death spiral.  To these Republicans “statesmanship” is a 13-letter bad luck word; everybody knows that the number 13 is bad luck, right?  They don’t even use it on elevators even if the building has more than 13 floors, do they?  I guess that we just have to pray that not all of our Republican elected officials are that kind of superstitious or we won’t have any Republican statesmen left in congress.  Wait; do we still have any Republican statesmen left in congress now?  If we do, where are they?

What Mr. Trump is doing as the leader of this great country is bizarre and embarrassing and his cabinet members and advisors are conducting themselves in a way that is just as bizarre and embarrassing.  (Gulp, gulp) Alternative facts, (gulp) falsehoods, – these three words have become key words in the press’s great cache of words since Mr. Trump was elected, and lies  have found a home in the White House.  And that is the last place that they should be welcomed and allowed to abide if we are to remain a great country and leader of the world.  Where are the checks and balances that are supposed to be in place to prevent the President from abusing his power?  What congressional Republicans have been doing since Mr. Trump took office and what they are doing now is spineless and shameful!

What does Mr. Trump have to do to get these Republicans to act?  What does he have to do to get them to seek the truth, whatever it may be?  What does he have to do to get them to step up and defend our great nation?  We all know that he has done plenty already that warrants seeking the answers to all of the questions which surround him and his cabinet and advisors that deserve to be answered.  These questions need to be answered in order to remove the ominous cloud that is hanging over America; especially since its epicenter lies directly above the White House.  And they especially need to be answered since they were generated by actions taken by his campaign, members of his cabinet, advisors – and possibly even him, that amount to a direct threat to our democracy.

Mr. Trump has done far too many things, whether they were done out of ignorance, lack of experience, or intentionally that call into question his fitness to lead America.  The more important question is that if these things are allowed to continue unabated without the proper checks and balances being applied, what will the ultimate impact on our country be and will we be able to fully recover from those things?  Republicans in the House and Senate have the power to decide whether or not these checks and balances will be applied.  From the time that Mr. Trump was installed as president this decision has been theirs and it remains theirs now.  If they decide to continue to support Party rather than country then voters should not reelect them in 2018 and 2020.  So remember; whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, 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

Politicians Lie Even When The Truth Would Be Better

Why do so many politicians lie even when the truth would be better.  Why do they work so hard to make a job that already has a bad reputation maintain that reputation or make it even worse?  It’s mindboggling.  Is it just to keep in practice?  Is it because of the job’s reputation and because it is likely that they, like many of us, have watched other politicians lie on a regular basis that they might be constantly thinking; “someday I’m going to need to lie to my constituents and I don’t want to mess up when I do?  Is it that they want it to be a smooth and seamless lie so that it will be extremely unlikely that it will be found out if ever found out at all?  Has their continued exposure to politics and their close encounter with the mud in it caused them to come to believe that a lie is the same as the truth unless it is found out?

Either this manner of thinking gets worse when politicians make it to the big league in Washington (Washington politicians seem to be married to this way of thinking) or it is because political issues are more widely promulgated when Washington is involved so we are more aware of what is happening at that level than we are of the political tomfoolery at the local and state levels.  Or perhaps it is a combination of the two.  Either way, the more that one witnesses this kind of behavior the more disillusioned they become with those that they have elected to represent them and the harder they find it to believe anything that they tell them.  These elected officials have lost all credibility, that is what little bit that they had left, in the eyes of the American people and so are failing miserably at reassuring, comforting and protecting Americans under these current trying circumstances.

An excellent example of politicians lying in a situation even when the truth would be better occurred during a meeting among House Republican leaders shortly before Mr. Trump, who was then the Republican standard bearer, was elected.  According to an article in The Washington Post by Adam Entous dated 5/17/2017, the following exchange took place:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher [McCarthy’s fellow California Republican congressman] and Trump.”  House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy….  Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment.  Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.”

Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “no leaks…This is how we know we’re a real family here.”  …When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for McCarthy , said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.”

After being told that The Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor.  No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians.  What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”  Why couldn’t they just say this in the first place?!

The crux of the problem does not lie in the fact that a conversation like this took place.  It lies in the fact that these politicians chose to lie until they had virtually no other choice but to tell the truth.  And after they told the truth, even knowing what they knew about Mr. Trump, they still chose not to stand on principle and do what was in the best interest of the American people.  Instead, at that time, they chose to put party above country and pawn Mr. Trump off on the American people by supporting his election.  And now they are continuing to do it by protecting him and enabling him despite all of the red flags that have been raised regarding his bizarre behavior.  And they are doing this all in the name of the hope that he will help them in their effort to assure that their Republican agenda is implemented.

This kind of behavior by our politicians does not engender trust and confidence in them from their constituents but rather the lack of trust and suspicion.  The way that Mr. Trump has conducted himself as the leader of the most powerful country in the world and how he has governed across-the-board should by now have captured the attention of all Americans.  And his conduct should do more than simply raise eyebrows and give pause to those who are observing his actions.  We must hold him and those who are supposed to provide the checks and balances on how he wields his power accountable.

I do not believe that I am the only one who feels exhausted from Mr. Trumps antics and feels like a damp, cold blanket has been tossed over America and those things that we stand for.  That blanket seems to have dampened the spirit of the normally irrepressible feeling of pride that we normally can’t help but to exude in America and the exemplary leadership that we have persistently presented to the world.  Neither do I believe that I am the only one who feels that America’s enemies are feeling emboldened because they sense a weakening in America’s armor and that our allies are confused and have lost a great deal of confidence in us.

In the past, even when we have disagreed we have always been able to come together as Americans.  We have not acquiesced to the suggestion of dividing ourselves into impenetrable racial and religious factions even when encouraged to do so by our leaders or prodded to do so by our enemies.  And whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, we should avoid dividing ourselves now and come together as Americans because we are stronger together.  The only thing that we will do by forming impenetrable factions and pitting ourselves against each other is make America more vulnerable to her enemies.  Think about it; who gains from that?  Therefore, we should be wary of anyone who is encouraging division instead of pulling us together as Americans.  Together, we can solve any differences that we might have.  We have done it before, we can do it again, and we will always be able to do it.  Why? Because “we have far more in common than that which divides us.”

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

All Things Trump And The Need Of More Dark Corners For Republican Members Of The Republican-Led House And Senate To Hide In

As Republican members of the House and Senate continue to enable Mr. Trump and shield him and various members of his administration from public scrutiny, dark corners to hide in are becoming harder to come by.  These legislators are silently suffering and crying out for more dark corners to hide in after they transform into their Dick Dastardly character and perform their dastard deeds for Mr. Trump in the hope that he will help them in their effort to win their agenda fight with the Democrats.

The dark corners are not needed only for the transformation process but also as a hiding place from their constituents after they have transformed back into their respectable politician persona.  They desperately need these dark corners to serve as havens until the storm has passed over.   So don’t be shocked if there is a bill introduced by one of them soon that asks that significant and, at the very least, adequate funds be appropriated for more and darker corners.  They wouldn’t be asking for anything near the amount of the funds they are seeking in tax breaks for the rich so to approve their request should not be a problem.  And, of course, more is always better as long as it isn’t for the middle class or poor.

In the past when they have gone home on recess (vacation), most of these ambitious politicians have held town hall meetings to keep their constituents informed, listen to their concerns and get their input on the latest issues.  This time, however – if I recall correctly from an article that I read, only about 13 of them had actually scheduled town halls by the time they left on recess (vacation).  Whoa; what’s up with that?!  I think that it has a lot to do with the House passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senates inaugural effort to do the old Washington Two Step while they try to figure out how to handle this toxic piece of legislation instead of following in the footsteps of House members and summarily approving it.

Although the crown jewel in this piece of legislation is an $800 billion cut to Medicaid (they need this money to help fund the tax breaks that they intend to give to the rich), House members are telling their constituents that the AHCA will not negatively impact those who are a part of this program.  They are also telling them that the AHCA will be much better than Obamacare and that those with preexisting conditions have nothing to worry about because they will be taken care of under the Republicans new plan.  It appears that the Senate is not buying in to this spin.  If they believed that they could just toss out the AHCA legislation and never speak about it again and there would be no consequences to pay, they probably would.

One of the reasons why the Senate would probably like to just toss this legislation out and never speak of it again is because they have seen the extremely negative reaction that their constituents have exhibited toward members of the House who voted ‘yes’ on it.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put together a group of 13 guy senators to address the problem and was immediately criticized for not including any women in this group.  Of course Senator McConnell began to work his magic against such criticism by immediately playing it down.  Before all is said and done, he will likely include at least one women in the group.  And this probably is not a bad idea because, after all, women do make up more than 50% of America’s population and so also make up a large part of those who would most likely like to see America craft and espouse a meaningful healthcare policy.

Sensing that this poison-pill legislation wasn’t enough of a challenge for the Republican-led House and Senate that has been protecting and enabling him in order to prove their loyalty to him, the boss (Mr. Trump) suddenly tossed in an additional challenge for them to deal with by firing FBI Director James Comey.  Not only did he fire him but it appears that the way that Director Comey found out that he had been fired was when it flashed on the television in the back of the room while he was speaking at an event in California.  What makes this such a daunting challenge is that the FBI was doing a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether or not Mr. Trump and some of the members of his administration were involved in colluding with the Russians in meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

To make this daunting challenge even more challenging, the reason that Mr. Trump used to fire Director Comey was due to his mishandling of the Hillary Clinton emails investigation.  The odd way that the firing was handled by Mr. Trump was compounded by the fact that he did it based on a recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from all things dealing with the Clinton emails, and a recommendation from  Rod Rosenstein – the recently confirmed Deputy Attorney General who would be acting in his place regarding the Clinton emails.  And last but certainly not least, During the course of his campaign and after he was elected, Mr. Trump had praised Director Comey for those very same things that he used as his rationale to fire him.  Surely if congressional Republicans continue to protect and enable Mr. Trump through this they will have proved their loyalty to him, right?  Right…?  What the heck; perhaps, like me, you fall in the ‘who knows’ category.  Because with Mr. Trump, you are always just rolling the dice: his promises and words have too often proven to be empty.

At the writing of this article, Mr. Trump was 109 days into his presidency.  As I have said in previous articles posted to this site, “It seems like soooooo much longer.”  Only time will tell if we will get to the bottom of what actually happened during the Russians meddling in our 2016 presidential election and whether or not Mr. Trump and/or members of his administration colluded with the Russians during that time and whether or not they are still colluding with them.  If the Republicans opt to prove their loyalty to Mr. Trump by continuing to protect and enable him even through this challenge, we may never get the answers to these questions.

I strongly believe that patriotism has unadulterated and bright boundaries for all Americans.  But when patriotism and politics are mixed, depending on one’s perspective, those boundaries, when they are placed adjacent to one another, can become blurred and the boundary lines can become almost impossible to decipher.  And whenever that happens, patriotism and politics can indeed become strange bedfellows.  Mr. Trump is a tough man and a master manipulator whose narcissism is only matched by his perseverance.  He can spin myths (alternative facts?) that he may actually believe to be true and quickly make those around him who are loyal to him believe them.

That notwithstanding and despite the fact that there will likely be those congressional Republicans who opt to prove their loyalty to him even through the firing of Director Comey, we must always hold out hope that principle, good hearts, and good sense will prevail.  So to reinforce that hope I leave you with the words of the late President John F. Kennedy and the late Dr. Martin Luther King:

President Kennedy said; “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

And Dr. King said; “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Let’s hope that House and Senate Republicans will consider and heed the words of these two great men and do the right thing.  Let’s hope that they will place loyalty to country above loyalty to party.

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