ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

Guilty. Guilty.

[ Posted Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 – 16:42 PDT ]

I have to admit, before we get started here, that there were several possibilities for today's title for me to consider. I could have done an homage to Watergate-era "Doonesbury," and gone with: "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!" To be really pedantic would have been to list all sixteen counts of guilty which appeared in courtrooms today, but: "Guilty. Guilty. Guilty... (etc.)... Guilty." would have been rather annoying to read -- I couldn't even manage to type it out in full in this sentence. So in the end I went with just two Guiltys -- one for Paul Manafort's eight guilty verdicts, and one for Michael Cohen's eight guilty pleas, which he voluntarily gave in consideration of a plea deal. Guilty. Guilty. Insert your own "gavel hitting the bench" sounds, if you will....

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Friday Talking Points [493] -- Colluding In Plain Sight

[ Posted Friday, July 20th, 2018 – 17:03 PDT ]

President Donald Trump is now openly colluding with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, in everyone's plain sight. That's an astonishing thing to type, but there is simply no other way to put it. Trump is now Putin's ultimate "useful idiot," to resurrect an old Cold War term. The subject of whether the president of the United States has just committed treason is now being seriously discussed. That's where we, as a nation, find ourselves at the present moment.

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Historical Presidential Strength Versus Trump's Weakness On Russia

[ Posted Thursday, July 19th, 2018 – 15:59 PDT ]

President Donald Trump, who never met a superlative he didn't love (when it describes him in glowing terms, of course), claimed after his disastrous performance in Helsinki this week that: "No president ever has been as tough as I have been on Russia." That's a pretty tall order, especially when many others are saying exactly the opposite -- that no American president has ever been as weak as Trump was this week towards Russia. John McCain even offered up his own lyrical superlative to describe what just took place: "No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant."

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The Real Double-Negative: Trump's Non-Denial Denial

[ Posted Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 – 16:21 PDT ]

Does anyone truly believe President Donald Trump's explanation of how he says he misspoke during his press conference with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin? Does anyone even believe that he knew what "double-negative" meant before his staff forced him to read his prepared statement? That second question is a stretch, but the first is just downright laughable. Trump might have convinced some Republican politicians desperate for a way to publicly give Trump the benefit of the doubt -- any doubt, at this point -- but that's for purely self-protective reasons. They can now say they believe Trump's walk-back, so they don't have to face angry pro-Trump voters this November. But anyone outside this tawdry equation of believing obvious lies for political reasons knows full well that Trump didn't mean what he said when explaining what he did and didn't mean. Perhaps that's a triple-negative? I leave it to the semanticians to decide.

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Comrade Trump!

[ Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

President Donald Trump loves to come up with sneering put-downs of his political opponents, both Democrats and Republicans alike. "Crooked Hillary" and "Lyin' Ted Cruz" immediately spring to mind, but there are literally dozens of these snide Trump taunts to choose from. Trump has singlehandedly reduced the political game to the level of schoolyard taunting, and the fact is that he's quite good at it. Once one of his labels sticks, it's hard to get rid of, in other words. But he's just handed his opponents a dandy opportunity to return the favor. Starting today, Democrats should all start speaking with one voice whenever Trump's name arises, by attaching one simple word as a defining taunt. Because the time has now come to start universally calling him "Comrade Trump."

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If I May, I'd Throw In Some Two Cents

[ Posted Monday, July 16th, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

President of the United States Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin met today in Helsinki, Finland, and after their two-hour one-on-one meeting they gave a joint press conference. Trump wanted to make some history at the summit meeting, and the press conference certainly accomplished that -- but not exactly in the way Trump had wanted. By all accounts -- even those from Fox News, mind you -- Trump gave the weakest performance next to a Russian leader of any American president, ever. It's as if he changed his campaign slogan to "Russia first!" in fact -- it was truly that bad.

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Friday Talking Points [492] -- Super Callous Fragile Ego Trump You Are Atrocious

[ Posted Friday, July 13th, 2018 – 17:57 PDT ]

We certainly can't claim authorship for that rather brilliant title. It was seen on a protest sign in the midst of the 100,000 people who marched in London in opposition to President Donald Trump's visit to Britain. Accompanying the march was a giant "Trump Baby" blimp floating in the breeze, which depicted Trump in diapers with a cell phone in his tiny, tiny hand. The wranglers of the blimp all wore outfits with "Trump Babysitter" written on them, for extra emphasis. Where is Mary Poppins, when you need her the most?

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Donald Trump's Delusional Worldview

[ Posted Thursday, July 12th, 2018 – 17:10 PDT ]

Lying about the scope of his electoral victory is rather minor, though. Having a delusional worldview while meeting with other nations' leaders is quite another. That impacts America as a whole, because it serves to undermine our standing in the world. In Trump's rather unique worldview, Europe and Canada are our enemies, while Russia and North Korea should be our friends. That would be a jaw-dropping statement to make about any U.S. president, but with Trump it is merely par for one of his many golf courses. Trump has shown, in two recent multilateral meetings between America's closest allies, that he is deeply distrustful of America's staunchest friends and is quite willing to punish them for all their perceived faults. Trump has actually instituted tariffs against our allies using an obscure clause in U.S. law that allows the president to do so unilaterally (without the consent of Congress, in other words) when "national security" is at stake. Trump has claimed (with zero proof) that Canadian steel and European cars sold in this country actually threaten our national security. Again, this is simply jaw-dropping stuff, but so far Congress has not bothered to directly challenge Trump's delusions. The Senate just passed a very weak "perhaps you shouldn't do this" state-of-the-Senate resolution against Trump's national security tariffs, but they failed to even vote on any stronger measure which would have removed Trump's ability to singlehandedly levy such tariffs. So they've dipped one very timid toe in the water, but they refuse to dive in yet.

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An Elegant Solution To The Superdelegate Problem

[ Posted Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 – 17:07 PDT ]

With all the bombs bursting in air and rockets' red glare emanating continuously from the White House, other important political news sometimes gets buried. Which is my way of apologizing for not noticing a very important change which is likely to come soon to the Democratic National Committee. On the same day Anthony Kennedy announced he would be stepping down from the Supreme Court, the D.N.C.'s Rules and Bylaws Committee held a very important vote. They voted (almost unanimously, with only one holdout) to adopt a modified version of a proposal to dramatically reduce the importance of superdelegates in selecting a presidential nominee at the party's quadrennial convention. But the way they chose to do so was actually pretty elegant, because while it does reduce their power, it will also guarantee that the superdelegates get to take part in the process, one way or another. Senator Bernie Sanders is happy with the way things worked out, which is important since he and his followers were the ones pushing to make changes in the first place. Sanders released a statement right after the committee voted, in which he said: "This decision will ensure that delegates elected by voters in primaries and caucuses will have the primary role in selecting the Democratic Party's nominee at the 2020 convention. This is a major step forward in making the Democratic Party more open and transparent, and I applaud their action."

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Democrats Need To Campaign More On Judicial Picks

[ Posted Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 – 17:21 PDT ]

Gerald R. Ford once famously pointed out that the practical definition of what constituted grounds for impeaching a president (since it is only vaguely defined in the Constitution itself) consisted of whatever a majority of the House of Representatives decided were valid grounds for impeachment (Ford, on the House floor, before he became Nixon's vice president: "The only honest answer is that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history"). Likewise, it almost appears self-evident that defining what is constitutional and what is not can be similarly reduced to whatever a majority of the Supreme Court decides is constitutional, at the present time. Dred Scott was constitutional -- right up until it wasn't -- because a Supreme Court had determined it was. It took a shift of opinion on the highest court to reverse this. Again, this should all be pretty obvious to even the most causal observer of American history. Which is why, in fact, the conservative movement has focused so intently on the judicial branch for the past three decades and more. This began at the height of the anti-abortion movement during Ronald Reagan's time in office, and it continues today on the right side of the spectrum. But for some unfathomable reason, liberals have never matched this level of political fervor about judicial appointments. But now the stakes are higher than ever.

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