Geriatric Politicians Vs. Young Microwave-Mentality Critics

“I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!”  Young people have good reason to be concerned about America’s aging politicians and to question whether their mental acumen is what it used to be.  But we older folks, politicians or not, have good reason as well to be concerned about the political acumen of our young people, especially those who desire to become our future elected officials.  Why?  Because far too many of them have a microwave-mentality approach to life and all of its problems; and this includes politics and governance.

It appears that they want no part of the nitty-gritty down and dirty hard work of governance, they just want things to be right as they see life.  Nuances be damned; to young people, nuances seem to be nothing more than unnecessary huge speed bumps: “I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!”  “Why should we bother to vote”, they say.  With the way that things are going – even if we do vote, it’s probably not going to count anyway; and if it does count, it’s not going to make any difference.”

Most of the time most voting-age young people don’t even bother to vote.  Sure, when issues come to the fore that have a negative impact on “I want it all”, they tend to swing into action.  And when they do, many times, it is already too late for their “I want it all” derived initiative to have a preventative effect on the thing that they are objecting to.  It might determine how that thing is ultimately handled after it has been implemented or if it will be rescinded, but it will not have an opportunity to prevent it from occurring.  Yes, they are doing their civic duty but to me, this seems like a parttime approach to doing it.

Civic responsibility – which includes voting, is a fulltime thing; it should not be addressed on a parttime basis!  And if young people are going to complain about how poorly things are going for them politically then attribute that to the supposed fact that it is because these older politicians are not in tune with America’s young people who are America’s future, then they should do their civic duty fulltime.  They should keep abreast of what is going on in the world of governance and be proactive, not reactive, in addressing problems through their vote.

Any young voters who bitterly complain – as many are doing now, without doing these things are being, at best, unfair.  This kind of conduct brings to mind Senator Tom Cotton’s recent harsh criticism of the January 6 Committee.  During a public interview he criticized the Committee for its actions and how it is conducting its business and then in the same breath said that he had not watched any of the hearings!  If Senator Cotton’s criticism of this Committee sounds ludicrous to you under these circumstances, young people; it is because it is!

So, in light of that, how do you feel about someone who criticizes our “geriatric” political leaders and how they conduct America’s business when they themselves have not done their part to help provide these leaders with the tools that they need: tools that are vital to them to stop the Party that is trying to “Make America Great Again” by moving her backwards to the “good ole days?  The “good ole days” when women and Black people did not have the right to vote.  The “good ole days” when Black people could not attend the same schools that White people attended.  The “good ole days” when there was no Roe vs. Wade and no talk about abortions and abortion rights.  The “good ole days” when Black people could not marry White people.  The “good ole days” for who?!  From where I stand, it does not appear that young people are on board with the “good ole days.”

Did this get your hackles up, young people?  If it did, that’s good!  It’s good because I have not said all of this to denigrate young people or put young people down in any way.  On the contrary, I said it because I have no doubt that many of the so-called “geriatric” political leaders – by the way, whose shoulders you stand on, are thinking these things but are reluctant to say them because they are afraid that it might cost them your vote.  And even it they did summon the courage to say these things to you, because they are politicians, they would likely say them with such a political sugarcoating that it would amount to nothing more than the arcane language of politicians’ Pig Latin.  That way they could get their frustration with you off of their chests by giving you a piece of their mind without the fear of losing your vote.  Brilliant, right?!  The only problem is that politicians are the only people who truly understand this language and even those other people who only understand it in general, are few-and-far-between; and they are usually people who closely follow political issues.  But on the other hand, maybe that is exactly as it is meant to be; one just has to view it from a politician’s perspective.

The fact of the matter is that the world of governance desperately needs to be infused with young, fresh minds.  A large percentage of our elected officials, in general and in leadership positions, are older people.  Older politicians who need to willingly pass the torch on to young people.  But they can’t pass it to just any young people, they must pass it to prepared young people who are committed to fulfilling their civic responsibility on a fulltime basis: young people who are willing to get involved in the nitty-gritty, down and dirty hard work of governance.  If these so-called “geriatric” politicians do otherwise, it will be dereliction of duty.

So come on, young people; “don’t get mad: vote”.  These were the words of President Barack Obama.  And it is with those words that I implore all voting-age young people to rise and meet the challenge to defeat anyone who is trying to take America backwards to the “good ole days”, especially elected officials who are close in proximity to the levers of power and collectively have the ability to make the back to the “good ole days” happen: “good ole days” for who!  “Don’t get mad: Vote”!  With one of the two major political parties in America – specifically speaking, the Republican Party, pushing hard to destroy American democracy, your participation in America’s democratic process is essential.

So always remember, young person; whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all… unless you don’t use it!  Will you meet the challenge?

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

Representative Liz Cheney Got Me To Thinking

I have been closely following the January 6 Committee hearings and, as a result have become very intrigued by Republican Representative Liz Cheney.  Yes, I said “Republican” Representative Liz Cheney.  I am impressed by her pit bull mentality as regards the truth and sincerity about protecting the Constitution and serving “all” of the American people… not just Republicans.  And she is doing this even after she has already lost her once “third-in-the-line-of-power position in the Republican caucus and stands a serious chance of losing her seat as the Representative from Wyoming.  I mean, come on, this lady is a Republican who strongly supports Republican policies and voted with the former Occupier of the Oval Office – The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, 93% of the time!  But the fact of the matter is, the Honorable Liz Cheney got me to thinking.

One might think that I am rubbing it on a little thick by having made it a point to refer to her at the end of the above paragraph as the Honorable rather than simply Representative Liz Cheney; especially since everyone knows that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat… just like she is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican.  And that is exactly why she got me to thinking.  The fact that I am a staunch Democrat does not automatically make me a terrible person and her being a staunch Republican does not automatically make her a terrible person.  Terrible Might not be exactly the word that I am looking for but I’m sure you get the gist of what I am trying to say; at least all of you Democrats do.  Anyway, Representative Cheney inspired in me a renewed determination to do more research on those who think radically – again, maybe not exactly the right word – differently from what I do before I form an opinion of them.

Now before you get me wrong, I still don’t like Representative Cheney’s politics (I never liked her dad’s politics either and still don’t) but I do like the fact that she believes in truth rather than “alternative facts” and lives in the real world instead of some kind of an alternate world bubble like far too many of her Republican colleagues do right now.  This makes her a reasonable person that can be reasonably negotiated with even though her position on issues might be all but unalterable to that of those she is negotiating with.  This makes her a person whose strong disagreements on the issues with those she is negotiating with maddening at times and can drive them to the brink of insanity.  But with an honest and honorable person like her it is always reasonable to assume that common ground can be found and compromise can be achieved.

As I was writing this article I thought; Liz Cheney would totally hate it if she knew that a hardnosed Democrat like me wrote and published an article that reflected her in a good light.  But then, as I reflected on this thought while considering how she has handled herself in light of her membership on the January 6 Committee and the mess that she currently finds herself in with her own Party, I changed my mind.  Instead, I thought, Representative Liz Cheney knows exactly who she is and so an article like this would not bother her.  She would still be and still conduct herself like Liz Cheney.  As hard as it is for me to admit it, she must have developed that forthright, honest, deliberate and hardnosed character that is so Liz Cheney from her upbringing.  It must have a lot to do with her mom and dad.  I’m not sure which parent to attribute the preponderance of the forthright, honest and deliberate aspect to but I’m pretty sure about who contributed most of the hardnosed part; her dad…  I still don’t like his politics!

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

Senator Joe Manchin Is The Republicans’ Trojan Horse: Democrats Must Stop Pretending That He Isn’t.

It is far past time that Democrats face up and step up to who Senator Joe Manchin really is.  He is Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Trojan Horse: hence, he is the Republican Party’s Trojan Horse.  Senator McConnell knows it, all of the Republican senators know it, all of the House Republicans know it and Senator Joe Manchin knows it.  Senator Manchin’s feelings won’t be irreparably hurt if Democrats call him out for the Trojan Horse that he is; and if they are, so what?!  Senator Manchin knows who he is and he isn’t at all bothered by what he is doing to President Biden and Democrats for Senator McConnell and how it is impacting on their agenda.

It is bad enough that Senator Manchin is doing what he is doing but it is made worse because he is couching it in a supposed concern for the American people and what we are struggling with as a result of high inflation.  His couching tactic is made even worse because Democrats naïvely continue to believe that he is negotiating in good faith when he is actually working to run out the clock.  One would think that after what happened with Representative Pramila Jayapal when the House was negotiating with Senator Manchin that Democrats would be wise to his method of operation (MO) by now but they are not.  If I am wrong and they are aware of how he operates, they really have an odd way of showing it!

Sure, Democrats have an obligation to continue to try to work with Senator Manchin but they do not have to continue to treat him with kid gloves and try to convince him that everything is hunky-dory.  As previously stated, he knows who he is.  Based on what transpired in his negotiations with Representative Jayapal, he is not a man of his word and, as such, is untrustworthy.  If Democrats want to attribute this to the notion that it is just because he is a politician and this is what politicians do or any other reason that they want to conjure up, so be it.  But please, Democrats, stop with the fake comity and just get real!  If you can reach some kind of reasonable agreement with him – which will likely only be reached by offering something that appeals to his personal political ambition, then you should go for it.  If what you offer fits in with that politically ambitious agenda then he will accept it regardless of whether or not it is couched in comity.  So, Democrats, know that you can express all of the disdain for him that you might have; If the offer is right, he will take it.

Some Democrats out there might think that I am being overly critical of Senator Manchin simply because he is not blindly going along with President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) agenda and is voting his conscience in order to help his West Virginia constituents and the rest of America to better deal with the high inflation rate.  Those Democrats may think that I am just a hardnosed far-left Democrat who needs to pump his brakes and accept the honest efforts of a centrist Democrat who, despite the current political situation where our country is completely divided and polarized, is desperately trying to help pull America back together again.  After all, one benefactor has recently said great things about him.  According to an article in RollingStone, this benefactor said “Joe is the most important guy in D.C.  Maybe the most important guy in America today.  I call him every week and say ‘Joe, you’re doing great.  Stay tough, buddy.’  He’s phenomenal.”  And, [he is] “keeping our elected officials somewhere in the middle” and not “pushing us to the extremes…where it’s uncomfortable.”  And some of Senator Manchin’s donors see him – with just as much enthusiasm, as ‘someone who could switch parties and beat Biden in 2024.’

Since America is currently divided and polarized politically, maybe it is not so bad that some of Senator Manchin’s donors view him as someone who could switch parties and beat President Biden in 2024, right?  The problem is that this comment – made by Mr. Nelson Peltz, and these views were expressed at a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser for Senator Manchin held by Trump donor Nelson Peltz.  Mr. Peltz has also held fundraisers for Donald J. Trump, the former Occupier of the Oval Office.  Further, Senator Manchin has been the beneficiary of other Republican fundraisers such as the one he attended in Texas in July 2021 which was organized by oil and gas industry executives and hosted by GOP donors.  Senator Manchin is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee whose decisions can have a great impact on the Democrats’ infrastructure and climate agenda.

With friends like Senator Manchin, who needs enemies?  He has been so completely consumed by his ego, political ambition and all of the attention that he has been receiving that he cannot see that he is setting in stone a legacy of shame.  He seems unable to comprehend that he is denying science by cavalierly ignoring the warnings of global professionals who say that the window to address the climate change problem is fast closing.  He does not seem to understand that he is not only relegating himself to a terrible legacy that will haunt the annals of history in infamy in perpetuity, but he is likely subjecting all Americans and the world to a horrible future!  And he is doing all of this as a Mitch McConnell minion!  Senator Manchin should know by now how the Republican Party operates; he should know that as soon as he is no longer of use to them that without fanfare and in the infamous Donald Trump fashion, they will ‘hardly know the guy’ and will throw him under the bus.  Ever since the rise of The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, that is how the Republican Party handles things.  You don’t believe me?  Ask Representative Liz Cheney!

No matter how low the bottom might be for any politician, their word is important currency in the political world.  Senator Manchin’s comeuppance will likely come sooner than later because his word is no longer worth anything to congressional Democrats.  He proved this to be true while negotiating with Representative Jayapal and now he has proven it with Senate Majority Leader Schumer: President Biden no longer trust him or can place any confidence in his word.  So, what’s left for Senator Manchin?  Well, the Republicans will have to run a few tests to see if he is still a valuable toady; and if he is not, the Republicans will stick together like they are so capable of doing – give them credit, they are really good at that whether it is for good or for evil – go out and procure a big bus and…

Maybe Senator Manchin will run for office again, maybe he won’t.  Some of the folks at the above-mentioned Republican fundraiser that was held on his behalf said that he could switch parties and run against, and perhaps defeat, President Biden in 2024; maybe he will do that, maybe he won’t.  Whatever Senator Manchin decides to do, it is probably too late for him to salvage his legacy.  He might be able to dress it up a little bit and make it more palatable to anyone, including himself, that might be interested in or concerned about it.  But “salvage”?  Nah.  But since the Republican bus is fast approaching right now, that is likely demanding his full attention anyway.  If it is not, it certainly should be!

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

The Few Celebrate Their Power Over The Many: Where To From Here?

A lot has happened since the rise, and hopefully, the utter fall of Mr. Donald J. Trump as regards his tenure as the head of our young and still promising republic.  Yes, it is possible that he will make another run at becoming The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America; and that is his right.  He absolutely reserves the right to run for this highly respected office – discounting the four years from 2016-2020 when he held it – which is the ultimate goal of many ambitious politicians, unless he is prohibited from doing so by law.

Even if he is viewed by many Americans as someone whose way of thinking is strongly skewed toward that of authoritarians and he espouses authoritarian rule above that of a democracy, it is still his right to run for the highest office in the land with the aforementioned exception.  He possesses this precious right because it is guaranteed to him as an American and is backed by the Constitution.  Yet, right now – because of Mr. Trump, and with the strong aid and support of Senator Mitch McConnell – rights guaranteed by the Constitution are being stripped away from women and various minority groups.

The stripping away of these rights was made possible by the collaboration of the then Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Senator Mitch McConnell when they put three extreme right-wing Supreme Court Justices on the court during Mr. Trump’s one term in office.  They were able to do this even though his one term was riddled with scandal and he was impeached twice.  Following each impeachment, he avoided conviction by the senate due in great part to the leadership and support of him by Senator McConnell.  During the second trial in the senate, although Senator McConnell and many other high-level congressmen said publicly that Mr. Trump was “practically and morally” responsible for the January 6, 2022 insurrection and should be held to account, they still acquitted him.  After the acquittal, Senator Mitch McConnell in an effort to deflect blame from the Republican Party for dereliction of duty, offered the mealymouthed excuse that Mr. Trump could still be held to account and punished by the Department of Justice.

Following are some of the things that happened before Mr. Trump left office – especially immediately after his loss in the 2020 election through the inauguration of President Joe Biden, and that are continuing to happen as of the writing of this article.  First and foremost, Mr. Trump did not leave office as all of the presidents before him in recent history did.  He did not allow for the peaceful transfer of power.  Instead, he continued to push the Big Lie that he had promulgated before the election stating that the only way that he could lose the election would be if it were rigged: After he lost it, he said that it was stolen from him.  Then, he allegedly incited an armed riot in order to hold on to power; and he did this with the assistance of many sitting congresspersons, other government officials in his inner circle and others in his orbit.  I say that he “allegedly” incited an armed riot and that others assisted him in his attempt to hold on to power because the January 6 Committee is still investigating the incident.  However, the facts gathered by the Committee so far support the notion that he did indeed incite this riot and was assisted by others.

Mr. Trump has raised hundreds of millions of dollars while implying that this money will be used to pay for legal representation to fight against those who he says stole the 2020 election from him and to fight to restore him to office.  And in the event that the fight to restore him to office does not work in a timely fashion – prior to the 2024 election, he has implied and continues to imply that he will run for POTUS in 2024.  Mr. Trump is continuing to raise money based on these premises.  He continues to insist that the election was stolen from him.  And although evidence that implicates him in witness tampering continues to pile up, he does not appear to be at all phased by it.  Some of the evidence includes things like organizations that Mr. Trump is closely associated with and holds power over are paying legal fees for witnesses in the January 6 Committee hearings.  Members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle are communicating with witnesses and saying things like “we know that you will do the right thing” during your hearing.  “Mr. Trump reads transcripts.”  “You will remain in good standing in Trump world…” and et cetera.

While all of this is going on, Washington Republicans are virtually in hiding; they are saying little if anything about Mr. Trump’s shenanigans and the great majority of them are continuing to support him.  Many Republican congressional senators and representatives say that they will support him if he runs for president again and will vote for him if he is the nominee in 2024.  Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is among those who made this statement.  Many of these senators and representatives are the same people who said that Mr. Trump was responsible for the riot that occurred on January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, Republicans throughout the country are working hard to assure that Republican legislatures and not the electorate – whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, will determine who will win elections.  They are putting laws into place that say that legislatures in states will be the ultimate determiners of the outcome of elections.  They are also gerrymandering districts in such a way that will ensure that Republicans remain in power.  Further, they have already teed up a case, Moore v. Harper, to present to the Supreme Court which puts forth the argument, based on the Constitution, that by law, states have the right to implement laws like the one mentioned immediately above.  In light of the right-wing super majority in the SCOTUS, who knows how the court will decide?  It is reasonable to surmise that four of the Justices are already amenable to ruling in favor of Moore v. Harper.  Only one more Justice is needed to grant states this sweeping power.  If the SCOTUS grants it, it will be the death toll for free and fair elections in America.  It could even be the death toll for our democracy.

Republican Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger have been completely ostracized by Republicans for refusing to be a part of Mr. Trump’s Big Lie and then accepting appointments by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the January 6 Committee after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – calling the Committee a sham, refused to place any Republicans on it.  Representative Cheney, who was third in the line of power in the House Republican Caucus was stripped of her leadership position and it was awarded to Elise Stefanik.  In the midst of the Republican Party’s apparent decision that it is no longer interested in America remaining a democracy, Russia decided to attack Ukraine in an effort to, as Russian president Putin put it, rid Ukraine of the Nazis and save the Ukrainian people.  They asked him for his help, he said.

Great timing, right?  America, as the leader of the free world, is compelled to get involved in supporting a fledgling democracy while our own weak-kneed, politically ambitious politicians can’t decide whether they want to stand up and speak up for our own democracy or continue to hide, remain silent and avoid the press in order to further their political careers!  Whoa! The eyes of the whole world were already watching us and now they are focused on us like a laser beam!  Can you picture the puzzled expression on their faces as they ask, what is wrong with America?!  As democratic countries puzzle over the situation, our enemies are smiling.

Regardless of what the Republican Party says to America to assure us that they respect the rule of law and what the super-majority rightwing SCOTUS says to assure us that they respect and will adhere to Stare Decisis, the Republican Party and the SCOTUS are in sync and both are moving forward with the same agenda.  You can’t bring yourself to believe this?  Then consider this, Republicans have long said that they are the “rule of law” party: Look at how they are handling the Trump situation!  Next, consider that the three recently seated SCOTUS Justices said during their confirmation hearings that Roe v. Wade was established law which had been reaffirmed many times and that they believed in and would honor Stare Decisis: What did they do as soon as the opportunity presented itself?  They overturned Roe v. Wade and catapulted America into chaos!

And just like Senator McConnell spouted a mealymouthed excuse to deflect blame from the Republican Party for dereliction of duty when it failed twice to convict Mr. Trump in the senate after he had been impeached by the House, Chief Justice John Roberts is trying to deflect blame from himself and the Supreme Court for dereliction of duty.  The only difference is that Senator McConnell is a hardnosed Republican politician, emphases on Republican because shame and decency no longer seems to be a part of the Republican Party’s vocabulary, who cannot be shammed and Chief Justice Roberts prefers to fly under the radar.  He wants to continue to be seen as the good guy who does not have a political agenda, adheres to Stare Decisis and believes in fairness and honoring the oath that he swore to when he was seated on the court.  Hence, Chief Justice Roberts voted with the minority in the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But never forget, Chief Justice Roberts sided with the majority in the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that was decided immediately before the vote that brought about the demise of Roe v. Wade and that it was Chief Justice Roberts who initiated this slow judicial coup d’état when he gutted the Voting Rights Act by declaring Section 4 (b) unconstitutional.  When he did this in 2013, his mealymouthed excuse was that Section 4 (b) of this Act was no longer needed: So, you see, he and Senator McConnell are cut from the same bolt of cloth.  Wake up, America, and address this threat to the American democracy before it is too late!

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