President Trump Bringing Impeachment Freak Show to World Series Game 5

“Since we know the Donald gives less than half a shit about the experiences of everyday Americans, we can assume he’d like to avoid the fate of Chris Christie. At a Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers game in July 2017, the former Governor of New Jersey and onetime Trump acolyte got all he wanted from fans who jeered him as a “hypocrite” (this still gives me the LOLs).

Given the endless, howling torrents of controversy blowing through the Trump administration, including an active impeachment investigation unfolding in the House of Representatives, one might wonder why 45 finds it necessary to insert himself into the World Series at all. This report from the Associated Press makes the laudably straight-faced claim that the orange one’s appearance at Nationals Park ‘will continue a rich tradition of intertwining the American presidency with America’s pastime.’ The article also mentions that George W. Bush wore a bulletproof vest to a game at Yankee Stadium in 2001, but Trump is concerned that the protective device might make him ‘look too heavy.’ The jokes…they write themselves.

Fans with tickets to Sunday night’s game will undergo extra security measures, and face superlative demands upon their patience and attention. If the Nationals prevail tonight, the team will be just one win away from its first World Series championship. The presence of a megalomaniacal, tangerine-colored buffoon desperate for good press threatens to overrun a potentially bi-partisan celebration for a Washington D.C. that has suffered extensive brand damage since January 2017.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Even His Home State of New Jersey Believes Chris Christie Should Not Be President (April 15, 2015)

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The 2016 Presidential election news cycle has been consumed this week by Democratic juggernaut Hillary Clinton’s official entry into the contest, as well as Republican junior Senator Marco Rubio’s Monday evening announcement. The narrative, such as Rubio would have it, pits tomorrow (himself) against yesterday (Clinton). Meanwhile the former Secretary of State cools her heels waiting to find out when and if any real competition is going to show up.

Whatever Rubio’s fitness level, or lack thereof, for becoming the next Leader of the Free World, it is doubtless that he can count on a goodly amount of support from his home state, should he survive the primaries. A recent report from The Hill puts Rubio’s approval rating at 40 percent in Florida, a figure that might be higher if the Senator had stuck to his immigration reform guns. The Sunshine State’s 24 percent Latino demographic would certainly have rewarded the lawmaker’s relative gumption.

But I digress. You know who from the potential Republican field can’t depend upon love from his home turf? That would be New Jersey Governor and Bridgegate star Chris Christie. According to an April 15 release from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics:

“An increasing number of New Jersey registered voters think Christie would not make a good President, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Just 24 percent think Christie would be a good President, while 69 percent say he would not, a 10-point increase in negativity since a February poll.”

The summation is damning enough, but a further drill down of the report gleaned from interviewing 860 registered adults puts the situation more starkly. David Redlawsk, Director of Public Interest Polling at the Eagleton Center observes:

“Voters who know Governor Christie best simply do not see him as President… New Jerseyans have watched him in good times and bad. While his strengths were on display after the Sandy disaster, he was seen as just another politician after the Bridgegate scandal and the investigations it spawned, and he has never recovered.”

What is an overbearing, bullying, misogynist State chief to do? Although Capitol Hill talking heads are prone to over speculation, it seems conventional wisdom may have gotten it right in early 2014 in declaring Christie’s White House run over before it started. Last month Washington Examiner reporter T. Becket Adams wrote that the Governor “has seen his Presidential ambitions shrink to little more than a pipe dream.” Ouch.

Chris Christie is learning a humble, overdue lesson: do not mess with the people, especially the rush hour commute to their livelihoods, over petty personal politics. That said, it seems New Jersey voters are accustomed to Christie’s unique variety of hubris and fully expect him to run away – tarnished brand and lack of local support notwithstanding. The Eagleton report notes:

“Despite declining job ratings at home and his apparent status as an also-ran in national Republican polls, a majority of respondents – 58 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents, and

63 percent of Republicans – still expect Christie to run for President.”

Sometimes a good case can be made for predictability. But when it comes to the 1-2 combo of Governor’s Christie’s abrasive corruption mixed with delusions of grandeur, New Jersey voters encourage the nation to look elsewhere for our next POTUS.

 

Democrats in Unique Position of United Comfort as Republicans Grapple with 2016 Dread (February 25, 2014)

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Before I launch into the meat of my argument, I must take a moment to preface with a drop of journalistic reality. The 2016 Presidential elections are a LONG haul. Political fortunes will be won, lost, regained and quite possibly, lost again before the first voter casts a ballot 21 months from now. The presumed front runners of late 2013 (Democrats: Hillary Clinton, Republicans: Chris Christie) have experienced a seismic shift on the right side of the political spectrum with an alacrity that caught even the most overstimulated among us by surprise. Truly at this point, anything is possible.

That said, it’s kind of fun to be a loyal Democrat right now. There was a really dispiriting moment in late 2004, after the super dull but well-meaning John Kerry lost to a resurgent George W. Bush, when it seemed that the White House might never welcome a Blue occupant again. Because if the unraveling scandal of fictional WMD intelligence and the mismanagement of the war in Iraq wasn’t enough to get Dubya tossed; if the expensive, seemingly objectiveless Afghanistan quagmire couldn’t produce regime change; and if the unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy and a tired attempt to leverage gay marriage as a base-appealing wedge issue couldn’t galvanize a solid liberal opposition – well then it seemed nothing could upend the prospect of a permanent conservative majority.

It was with this sense of defeated resignation that many idealists observed the commencement of the 2008 Presidential races. The only upside appeared to be the lack of a Cheney candidacy. The New York Times Jonathan Martin alludes to that period and other recent transitions before it, this week in a piece entitled, Stability and Chaos, Hallmarks of Presidential Races, Swap Parties. Martin opens the article by observing, “Republican primaries usually amount to coronations, in which they nominate a candidate who has run before or is otherwise deemed next in line, while the Democratic contests are often messier affairs, prone to insurgencies and featuring uncertain favorites.”

This was true in 2008, when it seemed that Arizona Senator and erstwhile maverick John McCain might be rewarded for his patience and perseverance with the Presidential oath of office. This appeared even more likely when the “inevitable” campaign of former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton foundered under a challenge from young Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Really, were it not for the timeliness of a late-2008 economic collapse that can only be tied to eight years of Bush leadership, and the Hail Mary nomination of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate, we might be playing “Hail to the Chief” today for another in a long string of old, white men.

But it turned out that Yes, We Can sometimes ask the voting public to make a statement for change. And though the last six years of Obama leadership has been marked by dogged opposition from the GOP, the public has yet to shift its allegiance, in large part because “Just Say No,” makes a better drug abuse prevention slogan than a party platform.

Though the shenanigans related to Congressional redistricting (aka gerrymandering) has awarded the Republicans a virtual stranglehold on the House, the right has utterly failed to offer plausible alternatives to the initiatives put force by the President’s team. October’s disastrous government shutdown finally disabused Team Right Wing of the notion that obstructionism alone represents a path to Washington. Turns out that voters prefer imperfect government to no government at all.

The following quote from Martin exemplifies why Democrats are, for the moment at least, relishing the prospect of another long campaign season, “the Republicans are acting like the Democrats of yore, anticipating a free-for-all primary that highlights the competing and at times fractious constituencies in their coalition.”

Ah yes. Who can forget the freak show that was the 2012 Republican primary series of candidate debates? Good times that almost succeeded in making Rick Santorum look like a palatable, centrist alternative to the other crazies. And folks, we’re just gearing up for the fun of 2016. I’m literally performing an impatient two-step, desperately awaiting the first time (because you know it’s coming) a flustered member of the establishment upbraids Ted Cruz in front of a live audience.

Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Bush (Jeb), Walker, Christie, Jindal – this is a just a smattering of the unelectable names being thrown about in Republican circles. Possibly the least offensive member of this group, Jeb Bush, can’t even secure the endorsement of his own mother.

For the moment, the grass is looking a lot greener on the Democratic side of the fence. Martin quotes Bill Clinton’s former chief strategist, James Carville, as saying, “My party is in a little bit of a just-don’t-blow-this-thing mode…The idea that we’re now consistently winning presidential elections isn’t lost on us.”

As I noted in the first paragraph, there’s miles to go before Decision 2016 sleeps. But for the first time since 1996 really, that encroaching feeling of dread is at bay.

GOP Convention: Tuesday Night Drinking Games (August 28, 2012)

Whether anyone is ready for it or not, the Republican National Convention is in full swing. Though it is likely to be one of the dullest affairs in recent memory, hurricane warnings and the mutiny threats of Ron Paul supporters aside, conservative media outlets certainly can’t be accused of understatement. This morning’s online edition of The Washington Post did its level best to drum up the kind of hype typically reserved for community sporting events like the Super Bowl or the recently-concluded Summer Olympics. The paper’s TV section published a piece entitled, “Today in RNC TV: Where to watch the Republican National Convention.”

Can you picture it? Viewing parties at restaurants, bars and taverns across the nation! Drinking games! Take a shot every time a speaker calls President Obama a socialist! Do a keg stand for each each personality present who represents an assault on women’s rights! Can you imagine the drunkenness? Ah yes, these parties would outdo Prince Harry’s recent bout of Vegas revelry, and the naughty monarch and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan boast roughly the same percentage of body fat.

Barring any last-minute interference from Tropical Storm Isaac, The Post reports that “At least 13 networks are covering the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week. Tuesday night, primetime events include a speech from Ann Romney, and Gov. Chris Christie with the keynote address.” Tampa, land of lot lizards and strip clubs, does seem like a fitting locale for the revelry. After all the city is nearly 63 percent Caucasian, Florida at large contains a disproportionate number of senior citizens and the State boasts an absence of individual income tax liability. If only there wasn’t that pesky business to avoid about Ryan’s plan to demolish Medicare as we know it, the site of the convention would be a mutual admiration society unparalleled.

While the GOP establishment celebrates its whitewashed, wealthy male homogeny, Ron Paul loyalists did threaten to make things interesting for a moment. However a last minute bargain deprived excited liberals and centrists from an anticipated burst of schadenfreude, the still-inevitable showdown between the Tea Party crackpots who have hijacked the conservative movement and the dwindling number of rational party members fighting for survival. Instead, ABC News reported “a compromise on Republican Party rules will likely prevent a convention floor fight on Tuesday. Republican National Committeeman James Bopp…explained the impetus for the proposed change, in the first place, as fear that Ron Paul supporters bound to Mitt Romney would break party rules and instead vote for Paul.”

Some events are just too delicious a prospect to actually occur. Imagine the embarrassment. Pundits and writers have been saying for years now that Mittens is the candidate so divisive and boring that even his own party is conflicted. Conventions are supposed to be about unity, no matter how forced. Too see this illusion crumble to pieces on national television…well it was a nice idea.

Instead we’ll be treated to inspiring words from ultimate Stepford wife Ann Romney, she of the tearful tithes, and Chris Christie, the popular Governor of New Jersey, considered a rising star of the Republican party. Supposedly the poster boy for responsible fiscal austerity, which may influence the content of his remarks, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had a go at Christie’s pretension yesterday when he observed, “The Governor was willing to cancel the desperately needed project to build another rail tunnel linking the state to Manhattan, but has invested state funds in a megamall in the Meadowlands and a casino in Atlantic City.”

It may be wise to plan ahead and take the day off of work tomorrow (provided that eight years of the Bush regime left you with a job) if you plan to indulge in the Convention drinking game that I favor: a sip for every hypocritical utterance. Cheers!