Stoic Midwestern Protestants are not emotive. It’s hard for them to talk much about themselves in the Southern porch style. Unlike fellow Americans on the East and West Coasts, they don’t write urbane novels or make movies celebrating themselves
Her name was Margaret Chase Smith, a Mainer from small Skowhegan. Senator Smith to you and me, she was the first woman to run for president from a major political party. In 1964, the Maine senator lost the Republican Party nomination to right-wing Barry Goldwater, but not the respect she carried in Congress: eight years in the House and 24 years in the Senate.
Bill Clinton was the best president in my life, a bringer of peace and prosperity in the 1990s. Many enjoyed his sunny exuberance, his talents in the same class as Republican Theodore Roosevelt. Now I’m going there, a place that plunges me into angst: Why couldn’t Clinton run for president again and perhaps again?
“This is a time to stand up and be counted — just like supporters of the civil rights movement once chose to do,” says my newly liberal friend, cut free after an agonizing journey.
The neocon foreign policy elite vigorously embraced and enforced President George W. Bush starting three wars going into the 21st century: Afghanistan, Iraq and the global “war on terror.” Now these wise men are warning us against Donald Trump, 13 years after they swung the wrecking ball, many as W’s aides and appointees. Nice. Thanks, guys.
Along the way to the nomination, Trump alienated wide swaths of the populace, (like Muslims and Mexicans). But he just made a mistake the arrogant Arnold would not make: Trump belittled the Khans, a Gold Star family who had buried a son at war.
Few in the Democratic Convention multitude knew, but Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love is known for Sisterly Affection. I wonder if Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominee, knows the city’s Quaker name. We shall see round midnight after an exhilarating but grueling four days.
The incurable Donald Trump, party standard-bearer, can be seen as the opposite of a lighthouse. He brings out the darkness in people, leads the establishment to recklessly crash on the rocks and speaks to followers in the spirit of a mutiny. The way they talk could make a sailor blush.
The funeral of five Dallas police officers slain by a black former Army reservist was a solemn panoply of presidential unity. To comfort a country rocked by two years of police violence against black men, George W. Bush and Barack Obama led the grieving in the summer’s darkest hour.
The blue-leaning state of Wisconsin is already a major battleground in play in 2016, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump vying for very different voter bases. Clinton will court the two cities, Madison and Milwaukee, while Trump may concentrate on the rest of the state, branding and sneering at the city folk as elites and eggheads.
Ask yourself this: What is Michelle Obama’s legacy? In the beginning, her projects included her vegetable garden for healthy eating and military families. Like anybody could argue with that? Childhood obesity: Who’s for it? Her early tiptoes into policy seemed poll-tested and bland.
Something’s happening here in the People’s House. What’s going down seems exactly clear: a stage of our democracy, men and women players speaking unscripted lines that could wait no more.
Senate Democrats are showing gumption and backbone over the Orlando bloodbath, the worst mass shooting in American history. You could read their faces: No surrender until two simple gun measures are voted upon.
Hallelujah, we lived to see the day — as Hillary Clinton spoke with grace to claim her place in American history. Nothing’s over yet, but as the Democratic Party standard-bearer, Clinton is riding high. And she worked for it.
“I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people and that I have been given their trust.” The simple beauty of the words, spoken in Depression darkness, still shine bright, as they did in a fireside chat that millions of Americans heard on the radio.
Given that most don’t know Clinton personally, and that her authenticity persists as an issue, she may do what doesn’t come naturally for a Midwestern Methodist. Let down her perfect hair and her high walls with the American people.
Don’t do it, America. The Donald is like a long-lost, not-so-great nephew of the General — yes, the military man was always “the General,” even when he occupied the White House. To the restless young nation, Jackson was a bracing breeze after the cerebral, cloistered Harvard-educated John Quincy Adams.
The Republican Party lost its compass in another century when Newt Gingrich ruled the House. Now Donald Trump just crashed the party, breaking glass in a brazen takeover. He exposed how utterly empty the establishment is on the inside.
It’s high Lincoln season, bittersweet as it can be in remembrance of the slain Civil War president. Into the spring mix, noted author and journalist Sidney Blumenthal brings a breathtaking new view of Abraham Lincoln in his forthcoming book
Gone is the genteel, sedate Senate. A handful will meet with Garland as a courtesy, as the outstanding judge walks the halls. That’s all.