Category Archives: State Politics

The Face Of Jim Crow 2.0? Republican Lawmakers

“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.” (President John F. Kennedy)

Almost all Republican lawmakers – from the very top at the federal government level all the way down to the state and local levels, are supporting the bill that was recently made law in Georgia making it harder for citizens of the state of Georgia to vote.  Many of these lawmakers are openly supporting this law while others are tacitly supporting it.  But make no mistake, all of them are supporting it; as regards those who are providing tacit support, their silence is deafening!

And all of these Republicans are openly attacking democracy in an effort to silence American voters of color to try to assure that white Americans will always rule no matter the will of the American people as a whole.  What they do not seem to realize is that they are taking away the voices of white Americans as well: Or maybe they do realize this but simply do not care as long as they, those that are currently in power, will remain in power.  Mr. Donald J. Trump – previously the occupier of the Oval Office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Matt Gaetz are among a number of Republican congressmen who have said that Republicans will never win another election if congress makes it easier to vote.

Donald J. Trump, the immediate past The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, has emboldened Republicans and no matter how brazen their acts, they are doing exactly what they want to do no matter what their constituents are telling them that they want them to do: They are showing their true colors and like gangbangers they are flashing the gang signs of the gang that they belong to, the Donald J. Trump Republican Party (DJTRP).

They want everyone to know that they are proud to be a part of the DJT-led Republican Party.  And like with any gang, those who flash the signs of that gang who are not totally committed to the gang or who are fake gang members – if caught – will pay a terrible price.  They will be challenged in a primary election (primaried) so that they will never reach the general election.  In some extreme cases their political careers will be ruined, chasing them completely out of politics.

These Republican politicians who come under attack by Mr. Trump and the DJTRP gang, depending on how ambitious they are and their individual political calculus, react in different ways.  Some of them suddenly decide that it is time for them to retire.  Some, like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who refused to be bullied by Mr. Trump into cooperating with him to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in Georgia, have buyers’ remorse and try to kowtow their way back into Mr. Trump’s good favor.

Still others, like Senator Mitt Romney, go completely silent and slowly fade to black as if they are some sort of minor supporting actor in a theatrical play.  No matter how they react, they are abdicating their responsibility and sworn duty as America’s elected leaders by voluntarily placing the decision of whether or not American democracy will survive into the hands of the DJTRP: And they are doing this while aware that American democracy is under full frontal attack, that the reason for this attack is founded on lies and myths and that those supporting the DJTRP are supporting Mr. Trump and his gang based on these lies and myths; especially Mr. Trumps “big lie” which claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him!  These Republican lawmakers are completely aware that there is an existential threat to the American Republic!  Who are these people that “We the People” placed all of our confidence in to protect America against all enemies foreign and domestic; are they at all recognizable?!

Although it is easy to point out Republicans because it is their party that is leading the charge to support Mr. Trump’s “Big Lie” and punish those who refuse to support it, there are a few Democrats who must be held to account for what smacks of placing their political ambitions ahead of country.  Chief among those few Democrats is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.  Although according to a national poll released by Data for Progress and Equal Citizens – 67% of Americans support H.R.1 (For the People Act) which when broken down by party affiliation equals 56% Republican, 68% Independent and 77% Democrat – Senator Manchin still feels that he knows what is best for all of America and since the For the People Act does not meet his criteria as the proper solution to this particular problem, he says that he cannot support the bill.

Because the senate is controlled by Democrats by an extremely slim margin (Democrats and Republicans each hold 50 seats) and Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote is needed to break any tie votes, Senator Manchin’s vote is crucial.  Senator Manchin knows this and so therefore knows that he wields great power.  This power appears to be presenting him with a challenge that he is finding hard to deal with; or not.  Whether or not this is due to his political ambitions is hard to determine but he is unabashedly basking in the large amount of press attention that he is suddenly receiving.

This feeling of “I know what is best for America and only I can fix the situation” is not something that is without precedent with Senator Manchin.  Senator Manchin and Republican senator Pat Toomey worked together in 2013 on a senate compromise version of a gun bill passed by the House that they were confident would be passed in the senate. But it failed because it could not garner the 60 votes that it needed to overcome the filibuster.  And still, here we are in 2021 having the same old discussions about gun control even after all of the people that have died between 2013 and 2021 – and before that, and lawmakers are likely to do the same thing that they have always done: Nothing!

This time – as mentioned previously in this article, we are not only confronted with violent gun deaths that have been perpetrated by individuals using assault rifles, but we are faced with an obvious frontal attack on our democracy.  And even under these circumstances Senator Manchin seems determined to exercise his “I know what is best for America and only I can fix the situation” power: He seems to be eager to be the first to let the press know that he does not support the House gun control bill or the For the People Act and that he is against eliminating the filibuster or in any way altering it.

What is Senator Manchin’s angle and how hard and how far is he willing to push to achieve his goal, whatever that might be?!  Has he fallen victim to his own political ambition?  Maybe…maybe not.  But whatever it is that is driving Senator Manchin, when the reckoning actually arrives, one can only hope that he will come down firmly on the side of democracy.

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

Politics, SCOTUS And The Republican Party

At this point in our American democracy it can be reasonably argued that decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States are at best, highly questionable and at worst just short of a political joke.  And since the appointment of three (3) Justices by the former The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, somewhere in between that “at best” and “at worst” assessment, it is hard to label these SCOTUS decisions as anything other than Party tainted: That is, whether decisions are made in favor of the interest of the Republican Party or against it, Party is definitely taken into consideration when making rulings.  To make matters worse, Mr. Trump has constantly added fuel to that fire of questionability by referring to SCOTUS Justices that were confirmed and seated during his tenure as occupier of the Oval Office as “my judges” or “my Justices.”  And whenever those Justices have supported rulings that he disagreed with, he has openly railed against the Supreme Court and lamented the incompetence and lack of courage of its Republican Justices.

To say that these decisions are highly questionable is not meant to suggest that these SCOTUS Justices are not decent people or that their aim in making decisions is to intentionally undermine democracy or the will of the majority of the American people in order to help the minority and hurt the majority, or to help the political party that they are affiliated with.  The unfortunate thing is, however, that since the Mr. Donald J. Trump era – and his appointment of three (3) Justices to the Supreme Court, there is now so much more room to question SCOTUS decisions because of doubt that Mr. Trump brought about during his time in office due to his myriad lies and unorthodox so called leadership.  I remember the high level of confidence that I had in the unbiased decisions that I believed that the SCOTUS would make even if I disagreed with those decisions.  Can you recall the time when you felt that way too?

I said that what I stated in the first paragraph of this piece is not meant to suggest that these SCOTUS Justices are not decent people.  And I mean that.  But I do mean to suggest that since Mr. Trump was elected The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, politics has suddenly taken a major leap in the effect that it has on how the Court functions overall.  Are these Supreme Court Justices now Justices in name only and in reality simply Senators and Representatives in black robes?  SCOTUS Justices are granted their “for life” positions in order to assure that they will make their decisions based on their interpretation of the law and not out of loyalty to their party or fear of any kind of political retribution.

As far as how one might define a decent person, are virtually all of the Republicans in the House and Senate not decent people because of the way that they are conducting themselves out of political ambition right now?  What about former Vice President Mike Pence as regards the op-ed that he just wrote referencing the 2020 election and its widespread voter fraud and what appears to be his proclivity to ignore the January 6, 2021 failed coup by Donald J. Trump supporters that could have cost him his life?  And what about all of the false statements that he has made about the 2021 HR-1 bill, the For The People Act; does this make him not a decent person?

It seems reasonable that any person, regardless of whether they are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, can see that these Republican politicians in Washington and around the country are ignoring democracy and the Constitution and blindly pursuing their political ambitions full throttle.  The 33 or more Republican controlled state legislatures around the country that are striving to pass laws that will disenfranchise voters attests to this.  For example, what kind of sense does it make for Georgia’s state legislature to put forward a bill that would make it a crime to provide food and or water to voters waiting in line to vote?!  The only purpose of this is to make it more likely that those waiting in line will become so hungry or thirsty that they will give up waiting to vote and go home! It seems that the main concern of these politicians is to stay in power regardless of what the majority of Americans – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – want.

It is unlikely that Republican voters around the country are not able to decipher what is happening and why it is happening.  But since these Washington Republican politicians and other Republican politicians throughout America are operating using fear tactics and appealing to their constituents based on those constituents’ deepest and darkest fears, they have been extremely successful in convincing their more reasonable constituents who are not a part of the cult-like Trump base to tolerate their political antics.  With their confidence buoyed by this success, they are living in the moment: they have power now and, to them, that is what counts.  It appears that Donald J. Trump, the former The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, has taught them well.

Finally, President Joe Biden emphasized before he was elected and has continued to emphasize since his election that he wants to use bipartisan legislation accomplishments in the congressional legislative process in Washington to unify Democrats and Republicans there and thereby unify all of the American people.  He has insisted on reaching across the aisle to Republican lawmakers in an effort to create this unity.  He has also often talked about compromise and the necessity of working with Republicans to legislate and move America forward together.

But is unity even possible with the Republican Party as it exists today?  In order to have unity in a two party system it is inevitable that compromise must be involved.  This raises the question of how does anyone compromise with those who refuse to recognize and accept obvious facts and the truth?  Since Republicans continue to push Mr. Donald J. Trump’s “big lie” by overtly or tacitly saying that President Joe Biden is not a legitimate president and that Mr. Trump is still the president and refuse to acknowledge that the January 6, 2021 insurrection was carried out by Trump supporters, how can that not be a non-starter?!

Given the circumstances, perhaps President Biden and the Democrats should just go it alone to equitably conduct the business of the American people.  Perhaps Democrats should increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court?  Perhaps they should get rid of the filibuster?  Perhaps those centrist Democrats, like Senator Joe Manchin, who are so willing to side with Republicans to gum up legislation that will address the dire needs of Americans due to the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, should revisit their rationale and maybe that will cause them to rethink their political calculus.  Perhaps Democrats should do all of these things; after all, so far Republicans are sticking together no matter how ridiculous their positions on the issues are.

I have heard a number of commentators on the cable news shows that I watch talk time-and-time again about how, even in the midst of success, that Democrats fret and wonder about what will happen if they should make a mistake in the midst of this success; a mistake that would cause them to lose this success and force them to return to operating as they had been before that successful situation came about.  And with this in mind, they become frozen by their fear and become much less effective in passing much needed legislation that will help the majority of the American people; Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  This is exactly what the Republicans want when they are the minority party and not in power.  Democrats play right into their hands and Republicans rule whether they are the minority or majority party.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed, you are living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”  It certainly appears that Democrats fall into the anxious category of Lao Tzu’s words of wisdom.  Having said that, someone needs to come up with something to help us Democrats out so that when we are in power we will focus on living in the present; that way, we will be at peace and can boldly move forward with or without Republicans and conduct the business of the American people.  This is especially true in the wake of the grave damage that has been done to the American democracy by the former The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and virtually the entire Republican Party that has knelt, kissed his ring and pledged allegiance to him.   It is understandable that President Biden wants unity and bipartisan legislation as he leads America forward.   But if that unity is not possible, we must move forward anyway: And we must do that now!

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

Trump, Democracy’s Ultimate Big Bad Wolf

The ultimate big bad alpha wolf – Donald J. Trump – and his pack of loyal, marauding fellow wolves tried their best to destroy the American democracy and almost succeeded: but they failed to utterly destroy it.  This pack of loyal marauders consisted of almost all of the Republican members in the United States House and Senate, including House Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Many of the Republican controlled states around the country, whose Representatives and Senators voted to impeach Mr. Trump, censured those Representatives and Senators at the state level.  Really: After Mr. Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, these states actually censured these Representatives and Senators for upholding their oath to defend America against all enemies foreign and domestic and, instead, kissed Mr. Trump’s ring.

The failed insurrection occurred because Mr. Trump lied repeatedly to the American people after he lost the 2020 presidential election.  He repeatedly claimed that the election, which was fair and one of the most secure in the history of our country was rife with fraud and rigged against him.  He lost by a landslide, based on his own definition, but claimed that he had won by a landslide.  He openly pressed states to change their electoral vote counts, encouraged his followers to “Stop The Steal”, and even asked Vice President Mike Pence to use his power – power that he did not actually have, during the vote count certification to nullify electoral votes that would certify President Joe Biden as the newly elected President of the United States.

Although Mr. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote, the Senate acquitted him by a vote of 57 to 43.  In order to convict Mr. Trump, two thirds (2/3) of the senators would have had to vote to convict him.  Since only 57 senators voted to convict, they did not meet the two thirds (2/3) threshold.  Among those who voted to acquit Mr. Trump was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Immediately after Senator McConnell voted to acquit Mr. Trump, he took to the senate floor and gave a scathing speech excoriating Mr. Trump.  Senator McConnell said, he did it.  He is fully responsible for the insurrection that occurred on January 6, 2021, he said.  Anyone listening to Senator McConnell’s speech, had they not known that he had just voted to acquit Mr. Trump, would have sworn that he had voted to convict him.  Of course this did not go unnoticed by Mr. Trump.  Shortly after the senate trial and despite that Senator McConnell was among those who voted to acquit him and despite all of the loyalty that Senator McConnell had heaped upon him over the four years that he was in office, Mr. Trump savagely attacked him…and his wife.

Although after his acquittal by the senate Mr. Trump is faced with potential criminal charges for his alleged involvement in inciting and possibly helping to plan the January 6 insurrection and that he is faced with myriad other legal and civil charges, he cannot help but to be Donald J. Trump; the Donald J. Trump that he has always been, is now, and always will be.  So, he is continuing to move forward to stay in power and ply his trade; whatever that might be.  And just like the scorpion in the story of the scorpion and the frog, Mr. Trump cannot resist stinging even if his sting could likely cause his own proverbial death.

He will continue to sting because it is in his nature to do so.  He will continue to sting because he still wants to be king: and if he cannot be king – which in his mind means only that he cannot be king at the time, then he will be the king maker and manipulate those whom he makes king.  And if there ever comes a time when he can be king again, he will sting to death anyone that he has made king in order to make room for himself.  And he will do it without remorse.  Again, he will do it because it is in his nature…and to be frank, it appears to be the one thing that he truly enjoys.

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

The Last Twelve Days Of The Donald J. Trump Of The United States Of America

Following are the highlights of the last twelve days of The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America followed by my thoughts on the path forward:

Day 12: Trump refuses to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden/Kamala Harris

Day 11: Trump says he regrets making Peaceful transfer of power video

Day 10: Under pressure from Democrats and Republicans, Trump finally lowers White House flag to half-staff for the death of those killed, including a Capitol police officer, in the January 6, 2021 insurrection

Day 9: House Democrats introduce Article of Impeachment; Republicans Object

Day 8: Vice President Mike Pence refused to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America from office

Day 7: DONALD J. TRUMP IS IMPEACHED…FOR THE SECOND TIME: TEN (10) REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR IMPEACHMENT

Day 6: Without Twitter, Trump goes silent

Day 5: Trump meets with the My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell to discuss…who knows what

Day 4: Democrats in congress grow more afraid that their Republican colleagues in congress will kill them

Day 3: Angry and isolated, Trump remains silent as aides that remain try to control him

Day 2: The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and First Lady Melania Trump snub the President-Elect and soon-to-be First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, as they prepare to leave the White House

Day 1: Trump issues 143 pardons or commutations

Day ½: THE RECKONING: After refusing to participate in the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris inauguration, Trump flees Washington DC aboard Air force One before the swearing in ceremony.  And at high noon, he is no longer the Donald J. Trump of the United States of America: He slithers back into infamous anonymity in the opaque world of Donald J. Trump the con man while vowing to remain a powerful political force and kingmaker.  Only time will reveal if this is true or not but either way, the high noon of his term in office will likely be a record in history which states that he incited an insurrection, was impeached for a second time…and, possibly, convicted for a first time

Now that Mr. Trump is no longer the occupier of the Oval Office but a private citizen and Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is now the President of the United States of America, Republicans are already singing the same old tune that they always sing when they are not the majority party… “let’s lower the temperature and seek unity.  Unity seems to be every other word that Republicans utter now.  Unity (unity) is (unity) the (unity) thing (unity) that (unity) we (unity) need (unity) now (unity).  Let’s (unity) lower (unity) the (unity) temperature (unity) and (unity) unify (unity) our (unity) country (unity)!  Unity (unity) is (unity) what (unity) the (unity) American (unity) people (unity) want (unity)!

And yes, our new president is also calling for unity…and that is okay.  But why is it that, in the infinite wisdom of these Washington congressional Republicans, that it is only after Republicans have defied even any notion for unity while they are in power, broken all of the rules and did all of the dirt that they could possibly do each time while they are in power, that the American people want to lower the temperature and have unity only after they are voted out of power?!  Republicans are in full control when they are the majority party.  But when they are in the minority party, Republicans are in full control (smile, smile, wink, wink – aren’t they Mitch?)…if Democrats allow them to be.

Republicans have always looked upon Democrats as being weak and so have taken full advantage of this (perceived?) weakness.  President Biden is right to call for unity and to reach across the aisle to Republicans.  But he must not be naive when it comes to his ole friend, Mitch.  Anyone who has watched Senator McConnell operate knows that he is a stone cold predator where politics is concerned and that, as such, he will devour anyone in his path when it comes to his agenda.  In this respect, Senator McConnell is no different from Donald J. Trump, the recent The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America.  If he is not held to account and kept in check he has proven that – just like the recent The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, he will be emboldened.

He has not yet paid a price for what he did to President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, and for gleefully dubbing himself “The Grim Reaper” and leaving more than 400 bills sent over from the House, under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to die without ever making it to the senate floor for a vote.  Just one day after the inauguration, Senator McConnell is already busy stirring the pot by fighting with Senator Chuck Schumer and threatening to gum up the works in the senate – you know, kind of like he did with President Obama – if Senator Schumer does not agree to share power exactly the way that he wants him to share it.  So please give this some serious thought President Biden and please, please make the right decision.  Let what The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America ultimately morphed into before the American people elected you to replace him, possibly saving our democracy, serve as your guide.  Do not under any circumstances, even naively, become an enabler that will allow Senator McConnell the slightest possibility to become what Mr. Trump was while he was in office.

There is no doubt that the majority of the American people are completely exhausted as a result of all of Mr. Trump’s antics while he was in office and now that he is gone, want to forget about him and move forward.  But despite our exhaustion and the pain that we are certain to experience by continuing to reflect on him and talk about him, we also want to extinguish the buckets of flame and thoroughly clean up this mess that Mr. Trump left on America’s doorstep when he exited the White House.  In order to do this, I am confident that the American people are willing to endure this pain for a little while longer.

Among those things that need to be cleaned up (and cleaned out) are the Trump loyalists that Mr. Trump has openly attempted to burrow deep into the Biden administration and other key areas of personnel who have long been the backbone of helping to run the government and attend to its affairs.  According to credible reports, it already appears that one of these Trump loyalists placed into a high level of the government’s intelligence community was placed there with nefarious intentions in mind.  This makes the insurrection that took place at the United States Capitol allegedly at Mr. Trump’s behest an even more significant event.  Follow-up must be done on these things and all evidence collected must be thoroughly scrutinized.

Finally, no matter how long that we must view our government from a bifurcated vision perspective – enthusiastically looking toward a promising future while assuring that we are not waylaid by non-closure of nefarious past events, I proffer that it is extremely important that all of us as American patriots do this.  We must do it if we are to retain our republic and continue to work to establish a more perfect union.

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

 

The Dregs Of 45’s Term in Office

The dregs of 45’s term in office, so far, have been topped by a breach of the United States Capitol by a gang of Trump-supporting thugs.  And as icing on the cake for his loyal followers, The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America instigated it and told this seditious bunch that he would be there with them.  These domestic terrorists forced their way past the Capitol police and vandalized parts of the building including Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.  At least one person shot on Capitol grounds died and at least four more were injured.

As the demand rises in Mr. Trump’s last thirteen (13) days in office for him to resign – and if he refuses to – for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, Speaker Pelosi has publicly stated that if neither one of these things occurs then the House may impeach The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America…again.  As I watched the Capitol breached by these Trump loyalists at his behest, I could not help but to reflect on the comment that Senator Susan Collins made when she voted not to convict Mr. Trump on the January 2020 impeachment charges.  “I think that he has learned his lesson,” she said.  Well, Senator Collins, what do you think now?  Do you still think that he learned his lesson?  Or, perhaps he has learned it this time, after the breach…or maybe, if he doesn’t resign, Vice President Pence declines to invoke the 25th Amendment or he is not impeached…again, maybe the third time will be the charm: only God knows what act he might commit that time!

I should not take my frustration out on Senator Collins though, after all, she is not the only Trump enabler.  Besides, the fact that she said that she did not vote to convict him on the January 2020 impeachment charges because she thought that he had learned his lesson is likely not true anyway.  The real reason was probably due to her political ambitions.  She’s a smart lady and since any reasonable person, knowing Mr. Trump’s history, could easily determine that the odds that he had learned his lesson were slim-to-none…well, you do the math.

As the American people trudge through these last thirteen days of Mr. Trump’s term, I hope that the number “13” is not really as unlucky as all of those superstitious people say that it is.  I’m not sure that it’s the case in every building with more than twelve (12) floors but a lot of buildings that do have more don’t even have a thirteenth floor listed in the elevator…I think.  But I’m not a superstitious person so I’m not real sure that that is the case.  Whether it is or not, I just hope and pray that Mr. Trump’s last thirteen days in office – if he is there that long, will be uneventful.  However, if they are not, our elected officials and other leaders in Washington had sure better be a lot better prepared than they were for the Capitol breach if America is to avoid a potentially catastrophic situation.

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

The Donald J. Trump Of The United States Of America And His Lickspittle Enablers’ Attack On Democracy

The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America is doing everything within his power to destroy the American democracy before he leaves office on January 20, 2021.  He continues to be assisted in this effort by his collection of toadies that he already has in the House and Senate.  Yet, because of his insatiable lust for power and corruption, he is seeking still more Republican representatives and senators who will do his bidding.  He is collecting these trophy representatives and senators through bullying, intimidation and any other means that he deems necessary.  He can smell their fear and sense their lust for power and he ruthlessly uses these things to bring them to their knees: he is a stone cold predator and always conducts himself as such.

There are some among these oath-breaker devoid of principle enablers who do not require bullying or intimidation to cast democracy and the Constitution on the trash heap, they follow him simply because they are Trump loyalist who believe that he can do no wrong.  They willingly accept the fact that loyalty to him is a one way street as he views it and always will be.  They also believe and willingly accept the statement that he made when he said that “I am the president, I can do anything that I want.”  They literally believe that The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America can do anything that he wants to do.

Those who support Mr. Trump and believe that he can do anything that he wants to do does not stop with Republican members of the House and Senate, it extends to more than half of all Republicans.  This poses a grave danger to our democracy and a serious threat to the survival of this republic; the American experiment that began almost 250 years ago.  Many of those Republicans who are not members of the House or Senate may not know that what Mr. Trump and these incumbent representatives and senators are doing is wrong and goes against everything that America has stood for during those almost 250 years and still stands for today; but these representatives and senators do!  I can’t even imagine that they don’t.  And if for some unimaginable reason they don’t, then they do not belong in office!

If our elected officials want to be leaders then they must show some leadership.  They must defend America against all enemies foreign and domestic and protect and defend the Constitution.  Those of them who have chosen to succumb to Mr. Trump – for whatever reason – kiss his ring and do his bidding should never be forgotten!  Always remember their names and never trust them again!  Hold them accountable, present them as examples and let them and what they have done live in infamy throughout history.  That way, those who follow them will realize the gravity of what they did and never repeat it!

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

Here’s How I See It

I have seen a lot of news headlines lately with the articles following them stating that the Democrats expected a big blue wave but didn’t get it because they didn’t pursue Trump supporters hard enough: because they used virtual campaign techniques rather than the old fashion technique of getting out and knocking on doors and talking to people: because Republicans and Independents still remember the “basket of deplorables” statement that Secretary Hillary Clinton made in 2016 and their feelings remain badly hurt and 2020 Democrats made an equivalent mistake but without using Secretary Clinton’s exact words.  Poppycock!  Here’s how I see it…

Now I am just a regular old guy – who is, by the way, a rock-solid Democrat (I thought that you should know that), who believes that Trump supporters are going to be Trump supporters no matter what!  Some of those supporters might support him for different reasons than do others but he still has their non-wavering support.  For instance, Trump says you can grab women by their “p***y and get away with it; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump regularly denigrates women in other vile and vulgar ways through name-calling; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump calls Mexicans rapists and murders; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump readily denigrates any of his supporters no matter how loyal they have been to him and for how long they have been loyal to him, as soon as they openly disagree with him; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump rips children, including infants and toddlers, from the arms of their parents and locks them in cages without a solid plan to ever be able to reunite these children with their parents; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump cuddles up with dictators and other strongmen in secretive meetings while not allowing American note takers into the room and then refuses to tell the American people what was said during those meetings; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  Trump allowed Covid-19 to run rampant in the United States killing more than 241,000 Americans without establishing a plan to bring it under control and as of the writing of this article, still has no plan; his supporters accept this and don’t budge.  This list is by no means exhaustive.

All of his Republican enablers in the House and Senate also hear these things and witness his complete lack of respect for the office of the presidency and the long-held norms that have been observed by virtually every president before him and they accept this and don’t budge.  Those who voted for him in this 2020 election have witnessed his behavior and know exactly who he is yet they voted for him again.  They also – after all of the protests and demonstrations, after all of the fiery rhetoric about how terrible a person that he is and how unworthy he is to hold the highest office in America and how all of those who enable him should be voted out of office and replaced with elected officials who will respect their oaths of office and serve America with honor – voted those same enablers right back into office.  Why is that?!

Now that they have voted these Representatives and Senators back into office and voted for The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America to have a second term and the race is extremely tight between him and former Vice President Joe Biden, they are pointing the finger at Blacks and Latinos and trying to steer the narrative for this tight race toward them. Well, this regular old guy believes that he knows why this 2020 election between Mr. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is so tight.  It certainly ain’t because of Blacks and Latinos!  I agree with Princeton Professor Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.  This story is about White America!  It is about things that far too many White Americans do not want to talk about.  It is about something that our country has struggled with from the day of its founding; that something is race.

The previously mentioned Trump supporters likely enjoy having Democrats chase after them and they wrap this attention around them like a fur coat and completely enjoy the warm and cozy feeling as if this metaphorical wrap were an actual fur coat on a very cold wintry day.  But they haven’t the slightest intention on voting for anyone other than Mr. Trump.  These voters may say that they detest the way that The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America conducts himself but they like his policies because they are for the greater good.

The following scenario is from a Black man’s perspective because that has been my personal experience so that is what I know best.  Take a minute, close your eyes and really think about the things that Mr. Trump has done.  As you relax and let your mind transport you back through some of the things that he has done as The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, allow yourself to feel and be a part of what is actually happening.  Imagine a young Black man walking home to enjoy candy that he has purchased at a convenience store.  He is attacked by a grown man (vigilante?) with a gun, who is a so-called neighborhood watch person on patrol, and ultimately shot and killed.  Now imagine a twelve-year-old Black child who has a plastic gun, is playing in the park and is shot and killed by a police officer who acted within a few seconds of he and his partner rushing up in their patrol car because someone reported a person in the park with a gun.  Now imagine that a Black man is standing on a corner selling loose cigarettes and the police arrive and within minutes have placed him in a chokehold and chocked him to death as he repeatedly tells them that he cannot breathe.  Now imagine a Black man that has been pulled over for a traffic stop and as he runs away is shot multiple times in the back and killed.  This is important so bear with me as I provide you with a few more examples…

Now imagine a black man who is on the pavement with a police officers’ knee on his neck for almost nine (9) minutes.  And as this Black man pleads for his life, says time-and-again that he can’t breathe and calls out for his mother; the officer, with his hands in his pockets and with his knee still on the Black man’s neck tells him to get up and get in the car…the Black man says “I can’t”…and then he dies.  Now imagine an innocent Black woman who is shot to death in her own apartment by police who are executing a no-knock warrant.  Multiple shots were fired into her home but the only charge filed was against one of the officers for endangering the dead Black woman’s neighbor because one of his bullets penetrated the wall of her apartment…and the list goes on.

But now I ask you to imagine just one more thing, imagine that all of those killed were White…and that the police officers who killed them were Black!  Would the greater good perspective that you hold still prevail?  Would you still be so tolerant of Mr. Trump?  I am not by any means saying that Trump supporters and enablers are responsible for bringing about the above mentioned deaths but I am saying that they condone them by winking at them and they tacitly tender their approval of them by refusing to speak truth to power!  One of the main means to throttle Mr. Trump and his enablers and prevent them from leading America backwards toward the days of Jim Crow and slavery is by way of our vote.  During this 2020 election, almost half of the American voters voted to give Mr. Trump four (4) more years in office.  That speaks volumes about the great divide that exists in America and is indicative of the great amount of work that all Americans have ahead of us if we are serious about creating a more perfect union.  It is neither perfect now nor will it ever be.  But if our democracy, this great American experiment that we are involved in, is to survive, we must work in perpetuity to make it perfect.

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

Republicans’ Hollow Oaths Of Office

Republican politicians first personified the meaning of the expression hollow oath of office then sold their souls to The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America.  While the majority of Americans have been traumatized by the way that Mr. Trump has conducted himself from the time that he became The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and are now stressed to their breaking point due to the pre-election and post election violence that he is inciting, Mr. Trump is in his element and is as happy as a lark.  And guess what…spoiler alert, all of the Washington Republican politicians in the House and Senate are continuing to enable him in his march to destroy our American democracy and so are all of the other Republican politicians around the country!

I am among those Americans who are traumatized and stressed almost to the limit as a result of Mr. Trump’s tenure in office.  I have followed politics and been involved in it for almost all of my adult life.  I have always been, and am struggling to remain, an optimist when it comes to politicians and the governance our country.  Up until this point, I have always believed that a politician’s oath of office held an honorable meaning to them.  I believed that at any time that a choice arose between Party and politics that even appeared to threaten our country and/or democracy – let alone present an existential threat – that would be a Rubicon that they would refuse to cross and they would therefore choose country and democracy.  Obviously, that is not the case.  Where are the voices of patriotic Republican politicians?  Are there none to be found?!

I am at a complete loss for adequate words to express the situation that we, the American people, find ourselves in under the so-called leadership of The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and his minions – the Republican Party, under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. (a.k.a. The Infamous AMM).  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) got mixed up in this leadership, or lack thereof, quagmire in 2013 when, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act and in essence rendered it powerless.  Now not only is Chief Justice Roberts right in the center of our current Trumpian controversy but thanks to the determined assistance of The Infamous AMM, Mr. Trump has appointed three (3) conservative Justices to the SCOTUS who he fully expects to be loyal to him.  And he has not been shy about what he wants from them with respect to the 2020 election.  It remains to be seen as to how these Justices will respond to his not-so-subtle suggestions but the situation certainly creates the appearance that the SCOTUS is a political sham and not at all about the law and its spirit and intent.

Since I am at a complete loss for adequate words to express the situation that we, the American people, find ourselves in under the so-called leadership of The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and his minions who enable him, I strongly recommend that you read The New York Times article by The Editorial Board.  The title of the article is “Why Are Republicans So Afraid of Voters?”  It’s like they took the words right out of my mouth only they were much, much, much, much better.  The read certainly gave me a clearer understanding of the situation that we find ourselves in and how things really should be if we want to be the democracy that we are meant to be.  I think that it will do the same for you! To read the New York Times article you can simply click on the above link or type the title of the article into your browser search box and click the search icon.

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

Double Standards Not Just In The Justice System For Black Americans

I decided that I once again needed a break from writing about The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and his outrageous antics.  As usual, he is continuing to suck up all of the air in the room so is dominating the news coverage in the United States and perhaps around the globe.  So while all of the mainstream news media is covering Mr. Trump I decided to write about the opening episode of the original series called First Ladies and the reminder that exudes from First Lady Michelle Obama that the prospect of “Hope and Change” should always remain with us…until that change comes.

Sunday night, 10/5/2020, I watched “First Ladies” on CNN featuring First Lady Michelle Obama.  When the First Lady began to speak it felt like I was immediately whisked away back to 2008 when now past president Barack Obama was elected president of the United States of America.  Once again I felt that ember of hope that still exists within me that there will be a time in politics someday when we will have a president who will bring all Americans together and lead America forward with dignity and honor; a president who will take that torch of hope that President Obama passed to them, expand on it and continue to make America an even brighter light on that hill burst into flame.  That same sense of pride and joy that welled up inside of me in 2008 when then Mr. Obama was elected president surfaced again!

However, that euphoric feeling that I experienced was accompanied by feelings of sadness and feelings of sympathy for First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama; but especially for First Lady Obama.  I also experienced feelings of anger and outrage at the way that most of the Republican senators, which included Senator Mitch McConnell, treated First Lady Obama and President Barack Obama.  I specifically call out Senator McConnell because he is the Republicans’ leader and the person who was orchestrating the Republican mess then and is still doing so now.  You see, videos that were taken during President Obama’s tenure were shown during this series opening episode and news clips during that time were also displayed.  The body language demonstrated by those Republican senators toward President Obama and First Lady Obama was palpable and the vitriol, as exemplified in those news clips, that was spewed out of the mouths of far too many white people toward the First Lady and President Obama was all but unforgivable!

When First Lady Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress she was sorely criticized.  Many of those who criticized her acted as if no First Lady had ever worn a sleeveless dress before she wore one.  Many of them implied that this was completely out of bounds for a First Lady and some didn’t bother to imply that this was outside of White House decorum; they came right out and said that it was.

Whoa!  Refocus and recalibrate!  Lest I get sidetracked and go off on a complete tangent, which would be easy to do when I focus on First Lady Obama and our current First Lady…and current Donald J. Trump of the United States of America; a rhetorical question, have they been scrutinized anywhere near as closely for their behavior and character as were First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama?  And if they have, where is the outrage and criticism from the public and palpable body language from the Republican congressmen and senators toward First Lady Melania Trump and The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America?!  Food for thought for the Obama haters.  Anyway, I didn’t write this article to rehash all of the wrong that was done to President Obama and First Lady Obama.   I wrote it because of the feelings that were rekindled in me that made me more determined than I have ever been to do everything that I can in an effort to assure that they have the opportunity to read the poem that they inspired me to write prior to President Obama being elected President of the United States of America.  That determination was reinforced and amplified after I watched the first episode of “First Ladies”.  Following is that Poem:

A POEM

History in Black and White

Who is this Barack Obama who keeps appearing on my TV          Spouting words of change and hope in this beautiful land of the free?

It really would be a change if he wins despite the dissent                    You see, Barack Obama is running for President!

Now this may not sound much like change if your knowledge of history is slack                                                                                                                         But the fact of the matter in point, is this man Obama is Black!

He is truly African-American, as pure as African-American can be   So don’t be afraid to put a shout out that he can speak for you and for me

His father is a citizen of Africa and a true native in his own right     But his mother is a citizen of the USA, not only that but the woman is White!

So put a shout out to the White people too, this man’s knowledge is vast and not slim                                                                                                            Not only can he represent us, but he can also represent them

His knowledge is not based on guessing, like guessing done by you and by me Nor like the guessing done in John McCain’s camp though they’re truly trying to see

They are trying to see common interest, and common ground for those Black and White                                                                                               But when John is matched against Obama, his candle cannot hold a light

He has not an African father; though his parents love him they are White                                                                                                                                      So he can’t truly know their concerns and ours though he tries with all of his might

There’s no doubt that McCain is a patriot and wants our country to grow despite drama                                                                                                     But the best way for him to assure that this happens is for him to vote for Obama

We have not even talked about Michelle, who is as sharp as a First Lady can be                                                                                                                      And although Mr. Obama is not yet elected, she is talked about worldwide on TV

They attack the comments she’s made, to shame Barack for the world to see                                                                                                                   They say a First Lady should be background stuff and not wise and outspoken like she

This woman is as sharp as a whip, must she pretend to be dumb and not wise                                                                                                                               But for the President and the people of the USA she can be astute with nimble compromise

But now let’s get back to Obama who will be our next President      He will break that glass ceiling and enter that room that’s reserved for the establishment

He will surely be good for our country as we explore this new frontier                                                                                                                                                We will shed all labels but American people and conquer all doubt and all fear

Now pay attention Latinos and Native Americans and all others with the franchise true-blue                                                                                             This poem is from a Black perspective and that’s why there was no shout out to you

But Mr. Obama needs your support also to lead our country and let her noble flag wave Then he can assure we remain on task, the land of the free and the home of the brave                                                       ©Eulus Dennis 2008

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

The Notorious RBG And The Infamous AMM

Other than to make this comparison of the stark difference between these two people, it is without a doubt unfair to even mention The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Infamous Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. in the same sentence because they are political polar opposites.  While U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a.k.a. The Notorious RBG) spent her entire adult life standing on principle while fighting for justice and equal treatment under the law for all people, Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitch McConnell (a.k.a. The Infamous AMM) – as dubbed by yours truly as I began to write this article –  has spent his entire adult life lusting after as much power as he can possibly accumulate and worshiping that power while giving no regard to fairness or how the decisions that he is able to make as a result of that power impacts on others.  Unfortunately, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020.  She was 87 years old.  As for the Infamous AMM – shortly after her death, likely after prowling the corridors of power to see if there was any new power to grab before issuing a statement, publicly announced that Mr. Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ginsburg would receive a vote on the floor of the senate.

You might remember that back in 2016 The Infamous AMM denied then President Barrack Obama the right to perform his duty as president to have his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland considered for the Supreme Court by refusing to hold hearings and allow a vote on the senate floor for him to be seated on the Court.  He said that he was withholding hearings and a vote on Judge Garland because it was an election year, about 10 months before Election Day, that the American people should have a voice in this placement and that whoever was elected president should make this nomination.  He said that whoever was elected might or might not choose to submit Judge Garland’s name.  All of the Republican senators supported The Infamous AMM’s decision.  Many of those same senators said that if this same situation arose in an election year in the future they would treat the situation the same way.

This is election year 2020 and that same situation has arisen as a result of the death of Justice Ginsburg.  The only difference is that Election Day 2020 is only 41 days away.  Notwithstanding, the Republican-led senate does not want to handle the situation the same way.  As mentioned previously, The Infamous AMM has made the decision that Mr. Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the senate floor.  And now – because they want to support him again, these Republican senators who said back in 2016 when they supported The Infamous AMM’s decision to block a senate vote on Judge Garland for more than a year that if the same situation occurred again they would treat it the same way are backpedaling.  If it is at all possible they intend to vote on Mr. Trump’s nominee and so are looking for any excuse that they can find in order to spin it to provide cover for themselves and The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America.

So far the excuse that The Infamous AMM has conjured up is that this time the senate and the executive branches are controlled by the same party and that is a key difference.  His spin is that because of this, he and all of his Republican colleagues who refused to grant Judge Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote on the senate floor for more than a year back in 2016 because it was an election year, are not hypocrites.  Guess what?  All of the Republican senators have lined up in support of The Infamous AMM and are using this conjured up excuse to explain their change of mind.  All of them are a bunch of liars and flimflam men…and women.  But they are politicians without principles so lying comes natural for them so it is easy and without shame.  They look at lying as part of the profession and far too many American voters, journalist, pundits and press have been hoodwinked by them into accepting that this truly is the case.  Remember these politicians’ names and never trust them again!

Those people who have chosen to cast all else aside, things like healthcare, the rights of minorities – ethnic and otherwise, equal justice under the law, voting rights and all other rights to life outside of the womb and hold their nose and align themselves with The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America just for judges, are delusional if they believe that these judges in Trump’s America have real meaning.  They may have real meaning right now and yet for a little while.  But Mr. Trump’s actions, manner of thinking and policies align more with those of dictators and other strongmen than they do with American laws, norms and the American way.  And after that “little while” if he has his way – in Trump’s America, those judges will have neither meaning nor power unless they remain in his good graces.  Then, under those circumstances, what will it profit you if you have 100% conservative judges in the courts but lose your freedom and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Election Day 2020 will indeed be an historic Election Day.  Right now, Mr. Trump is busily traveling all around the country projecting his weaknesses and shortcomings upon his challenger, Vice President Joe Biden, and anyone else that he considers to be an adversary.  He is saying all of the right things about what he will do and how he will run our great country if he is given a second term in office.  But he is a proven liar and all Americans and the world have seen how he ran America in his first term.  He ruined America’s reputation at home and around the world.  We, the American people, can put a stop to the dismantling of our country this Election Day by way of our vote.

Yes, American voters can and should vote Mr. Trump and all of his enablers out of office on November 3rd this year.  But rest assured that every available obstacle that can be successfully placed in your path to vote will be put there.  Because Mr. Trump is such a dangerous man who obviously possesses the ability to be a modern day pied piper to his base and many other Republican voters via his flimflam chicanery, I leave you with the words of the late John F. Kennedy as food for thought to encourage you to be sure to vote in this important fight for the soul of America to ensure that Mr. Trump will not have a second term as The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America.  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.

Mr. Trump has very skillfully and successfully used the “lie and myth” method to lure trusting American people into his web since his first day in office.  Every vote counts if American voters are to be successful in putting an end to The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America’s “lie and myth” peddling.  That is one among many of the important reasons why you should always 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