Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
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The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president's thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.
Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly, and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
It is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada, and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent. This comes at a very unfortunate time. Several allies in Europe are experiencing political upheaval. Several former Soviet satellite states are rethinking their commitment to democracy. Some Asian nations, such as the Philippines, lean increasingly toward China, which advances to rival our economy and our military.The world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world — and an America — with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace.
Good discussion with the author . . .
Full disclosure: I am a constitutional conservative. I am NOT a Republican, and have not been a party member since Watergate, and even prior to that I had to hold my nose when casting the first votes of my life for Richard M. Nixon . . . twice.
Mitt Romney’s op-ed crystallizes all the reasons the old GOP establishment has been pushed aside
I see Mitt Romney leading a division in the GOP, getting enough support to end the Trump/Pence/Putin administration
He's welcome to try, but then, they don't call the GOP the Stupid Party for no reason.
After caving a bit on his opening volley at President Trump, Mitt Romney is still on his backfoot, trying to explain again that he's really a nice, reasonable guy, because apparently the day earlier's retreat on CNN, didn't quite work.
Here's his new statement, trying to explain out that nasty attack he wrote in theWashington Post the other day as just namby pamby stuff about working together on stuff he agrees with and working apart on stuff he doesn't.
Oh, give us a break.
An attack like that, targeting President Trump right down to his character, isn't a thing about agreeing and disagreeing.
Where were Romney's character criticisms against President Obama, who spied on reporters, sent the IRS to target Tea Party dissidents, and then used the FBI and a phony foreign dossier paid for by the Democrats to try to derail candidate Donald Trump? Where were Romney's character scoldings on Obama officials' unmaskings of innocent Americans caught up in spy dragnets, or Hillary Clinton's illegal private server, set up to evade Freedom of Information Act public record requirements? Where was Romney when James Comey was laying out his hypocrisies all over the place as he touted his virtue? He seems to only get excited when the target is Trump.
And that puts his credibility at zero.
He's going to need to show a lot of agreeing before anyone is going to believe him about the 'working together' claim. When is he going to understand that we are tired of all the attacks on President Trump and think he deserves better? If we wanted attacks on Trump, we'd go to the Democrats.
It makes no sense. There's reason to be concerned about this whole thing, given that Romney, in his op-ed, has obviously sought the good will of the Washington Post, a paper that attacked him relentlessly and unfairly back when he was running for president.
Cliff Kincaid, who knows a thing or two about how the swamp works, put out a theory a few days ago on Renew America about what Mitt might really be up to as he seeks to assure us he's a nice guy while hurling arrows at Trump:
The new leader of the anti-Trump resistance in the Senate, Mitt Romney, will take the oath of office January 3. The former Massachusetts governor and failed GOP presidential candidate represents what could be called the reemergent Rockefeller wing of the GOP.
You may recall that Romney delivered the most scathing anti-Trump speech by a Republican during the 2016 election cycle, calling Trump a "phony" and a "fraud." Romney wrote in his
That was the last North African white Rhino! He died!
This is something (else) I don't understand about your electoral process.
Can a Republican challenge their own incumbent President and run against them in 2020?
This cannot happen here. Yes, there are leadership spills which have resulted in... I've lost track of how many PMs we've had in the last decade... let's call it a clusterfuck.
I don't consider it democratic that 40 self-serving politicians can override the election results and change the Prime Minister.
So can Romney run? If Cruz ran, would you support him over Trump?
US President Donald Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency to get a wall built on the southern border of the US.
Mr Trump's comments came after he and Democratic leaders failed to strike a deal in sometimes combative talks to end the partial shutdown of the US Government.
Emerging after more than two hours of talks as the shutdown hit the two-week mark, Mr Trump told reporters he could use executive authority to build the border wall, but wanted to try to negotiate it with Congress.
"I can do it if I want. We can call a national emergency. I may do it."
And he confirmed he had told top Democrats he was prepared to extend the shutdown for years if needed.
"I did say that," he said.
"Absolutely I said that. I don't think it will [last for years] but I am prepared."
The two sides are fighting over Mr Trump's request for $US5 billion to fund his signature wall on the Mexican border.
Mr Trump said he had designated a team that would meet over the weekend with politicians to resolve the standoff.
About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the December 22 closure of about one-quarter of the federal Government.
Mr Trump is withholding his support for new funding until he secures the money he wants to start building the wall.
The wall was a signature campaign promise of Mr Trump's during the 2016 election campaign, when he repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for its construction.
Such a wall, he has argued, is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs over the southwestern border.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who was among those meeting with the President, said Mr Trump had threatened to keep the Government closed "for a very long period of time".
Senator Schumer said his party's leaders "told the President we needed the Government open — he resisted".
"In fact, he said he'd keep the Government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," Senator Schumer said.
The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called it a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" meeting.
"We cannot resolve this until we open up Government," she said.
Before the meeting, Mr Trump sent a letter to Congress to try to gain support for his wall, suggesting he was unlikely to budge on his funding demands.
"Walls work. That's why rich, powerful and successful people build them around their homes," Mr Trump wrote in his letter.
"All Americans deserve the same protection."
Ms Pelosi has sought to separate the issue of the wall and Government funding, and called on Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans in the Senate to reopen agencies as border talks continue.
"The wall and the Government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other," said Ms Pelosi, who has rejected any funding for what she has called an "immoral" border wall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that even though the new Congress had convened with the Democrats holding a majority in the House of Representative, "the basic steps that are needed to end this unfortunate standoff really haven't changed at all".
Earlier, Mr Trump responded to rumblings of a move by Democrats to impeach him, tweeting that he was too successful and popular to be impeached.
How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?
"How do you impeach a president who … had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history," Mr Trump tweeted.
"They only want to impeach me because they know they can't win in 2020, too much success!"
The President was responding after Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib riled up a supportive crowd by using a swear word to describe Mr Trump and predicting he would be removed from office, just hours after she took her seat in Congress.
Mr Trump launched back, saying: "You can't impeach somebody doing a great job."
He added Ms Tlaib had "dishonoured herself and dishonoured her family" with the remarks.
"I thought is was highly disrespectful to the United States of America," the President said.
House Speaker Ms Pelosi has been cautious about whether her new Democratic majority would ever impeach Mr Trump, but at least two of her members are ready to move forward.
California Representative Brad Sherman and Texas Representative Al Green introduced articles of impeachment against Mr Trump on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress.
Mr Sherman and Mr Green pushed to impeach Mr Trump in 2017 and 2018 but the House blocked those resolutions twice, with the help of Democrats who said the effort was premature.
Ms Pelosi has not ruled out impeachment but has called it a "divisive activity" that needs support from both parties.
She and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler have said they want to wait for the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Mr Trump campaign before making a judgement.