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Tag: mike dewine

Trump Savages Senate Republicans Who Enabled Him For Years

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The loser of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump, is now pushing for primary challenges to those who are acknowledging his defeat. This even includes those who have enabled him for four years.

On Tuesday, Trump trained his ire on Senate Republican Whip John Thune, who publicly accepted Joe Biden as the president-elect last week and made comments on Monday pouring cold water on a schemeto overturn the results through a congressional challenge to the Electoral College results.

"Republicans in the Senate so quickly forget. Right now they would be down 8 seats without my backing them in the last Election. RINO John Thune, 'Mitch's boy', should just let it play out," he tweeted. "South Dakota doesn't like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!"

The "Mitch's Boy" slur refers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also recently acknowledged Biden's win — much to Trump's dismay. Trump blasted McConnell in an email on Monday as the "first one off the ship."

This is not first time Trump has pushed for primary challenges to Republicans who he believes have wronged him.

In June, he vowed to travel to Alaska in 2022 to help defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski after she demurred on whether she'd back his reelection.

"Few people know where they'll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski. She voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else," he wrote. "Unrelated, I gave Alaska ANWR, major highways, and more. Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don't care, I'm endorsing. If you have a pulse, I'm with you!"

In October, he urged Nebraska Republicans to "find a new and more viable candidate" to replace Sen. Ben Sasse, who had criticized Trump at a telephone town hall for cozying up to dictators and flirting with white supremacists. (Sasse won reelection by a landslide the following month.)

Last month, he effectively called for a primary challenge for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine days after he stated, "Joe Biden is the president-elect."

"Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio?" Trump asked on Twitter. "Will be hotly contested!"

And earlier this month, Trump urged outgoing Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a prominent backer, to run against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022. "Doug, you want to run for governor in two years?" Trump asked, after excoriating Kemp for not doing enough to overturn his defeat in what was once a solidly red state.

But while Trump is mad that these Republicans were not 100% loyal to him — even in the face of his overwhelming 2020 loss — he owes a strong debt of gratitude to each.

As the number two Republican in the Senate, Thune helped pushed through much of Trump's legislation and hundreds of his right-wing judicial appointees. According to FiveThirtyEight, he voted with Trump more than 93% of the time over the past four years. This included votes for Trump's tax cuts that mostly benefited corporations and the very wealthy, his failed Obamacare repeal proposal, his impeachment acquittal, and his Supreme Court appointees.

Sasse also backed Trump on each of those votes, supporting Trump's positions more than 86% of the time.

Even Murkowski, who opposed the Obamacare legislation and one of Trump's three Supreme Court picks, voted with Trump more than 74% of the time.

And both DeWine and Kemp vocally supported Trump's reelection campaign.

"I'm very happy to be voting for Donald Trump," DeWine proclaimed in October.

That same month, Kemp lauded Trump as "a President who believes that our country is exceptional, that life should be protected, and that our men and women in uniform should be RESPECTED!" and "an unapologetic leader who will do whatever it takes to Keep America Great."

Despite Trump's bluster, it is hard to predict how much impact Trump's opinion will have in two years.

This year, he backed Republican Reps. Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Scott Tipton of Colorado in their primary races — only to see both fail. He also urged the defeat of Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, who was easily reelected.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Erupt In Civil War Over Election — Against Each Other

In recent days, Ohio's Gov. Mike DeWine and other prominent GOP figures have come under fire by fellow Republicans for refusing to participate in Donald Trump's attempted coup.

Last week, Fox News aired clips from a CNN interview in which DeWine told host Jake Tapper that Biden had won fair and square.

"We need to consider the former Vice President as the president-elect," DeWine told the outlet. "Joe Biden is the president-elect."

Trump, outraged, took to Twitter.

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Ohio Rightist Plots ‘Citizen’s Arrest’ Of GOP Gov. DeWine

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Citizen's arrests are all the rage among right-wing extremists these days, it seems. Barely two weeks after 14 Michigan militiamen were arrested as part of a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer under the rubric of a "constitutionalist" fantasy, a similar plot to make a "citizen's arrest" of Ohio's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine—accused similarly of "tyranny" by imposing coronavirus-related health measures—bubbled to the surface this week.

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Far-Right Trumpsters In Ohio Seek To Impeach GOP Gov. DeWine Over Virus Response

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is among the Republican governors who has been applauded by medical experts for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and implementing social distancing measures in his state. But some Republicans in Ohio's state legislature believe that DeWine committed an unforgivable sin by trying to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in his state and are calling for his impeachment.

Leading the anti-DeWine effort in the Ohio House of Representatives is Rep. John Becker, who has drawn up ten articles of impeachment against DeWine and created a website called "Impeach Mike DeWine" — which offers updates on efforts to impeach the conservative Republican governor. The articles, announced on August 24, slam DeWine for, among other things, issuing a stay-at-home order earlier this year and encouraging Ohio residents to wear protective face masks.

In one of his articles of impeachment, Becker even makes the claim that face masks promote the spread of COVID-19; that article states, "WHEREAS, Healthcare professionals have stated that, for the general population, wearing face coverings, people are more likely to infect themselves with COVID-19 because they will touch their face more often to adjust the covering, and that face coverings retain moisture, bacteria, and other viruses, in addition to re-breathing carbon dioxide, making them potentially dangerous for the general public to wear."

That article also reads, "WHEREAS, Richard Michael DeWine's face covering mandate promotes fear, turns neighbors against neighbors, and contracts the economy by making people fearful to leave their homes, to the detriment of every Ohioan."

The Republican co-sponsors for Becker's ten articles of impeachment, according to the Impeach Mike DeWine website, include Rep. Candice Keller, Rep. Paul Zeltwanger and Rep. A. Nino Vitale. The website lists all of the Ohio representatives who have co-sponsored the articles, and as of August 25, the vast majority of Ohio House of Representatives members had not signed on as co-sponsors.

Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Republican, has come out against impeaching DeWine. Cupp, in an official statement, declared, "Having now had time to read and consider the draft resolution to impeach the governor announced by a couple of members, it is clear to me that it is an imprudent attempt to escalate important policy disagreements with the governor into a state constitutional crisis. Even serious policy disagreements do not rise to the level of impeachment under our constitution."

Ohio-based journalist John Conway, in an article for the conservative website The Bulwark, is vehemently critical of Becker and the Ohio House Republicans who have embraced his Impeach Mike DeWine effort — which, Conway stresses, is "likely to go nowhere." But Conway also notes that Becker's campaign "raises a sadly common question: how did Ohio get here, and what does this mean for the future of the Republican Party?"

"Any rational person operating outside of pure nihilistic self-interest can see that Gov. DeWine's actions do not warrant impeachment, but rather, praise," Conway writes. "But to be fair, these state Republicans learned it from higher-ups in their party. Many GOP elites, including Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Brian Kemp of Georgia, have continued to downplay the seriousness of COVID-19 to appeal to their constituencies. And beyond just the current pandemic, the last four years have shown that the GOP establishment — with rare exceptions like Mitt Romney — will let Donald Trump get away with anything and everything out of fear of electoral consequence."

Conway laments that even if former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, does defeat Trump in November, the GOP will still be plagued with anti-science extremists like Becker.

When Trump’s Toy Soldiers March On State Capitols, Ignore Them

Watching those rent-a-mob bands of bearded he-men swaggering around state capitols with their Confederate flags and symbolic AR-15s -- what were they going to shoot at, after all? -- reminded me of a scene in the old Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall movie Key Largo.

Bogart plays a fishing boat captain home from World War II -- a soft-spoken combat veteran visiting the family of one of his soldiers killed during the Italian campaign. Bacall plays the friend's widow, living in a small resort hotel on a remote Florida island.

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Ohio Man Protested Virus As ‘Political Ploy’ — Until It Killed Him

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In Ohio, conservative Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has been lambasted by far-right groups for issuing a stay-at-home order in his state and promoting social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. One of DeWine's critics was 60-year-old John W. McDaniel, who dismissed COVID-19 as a "political ploy" and angrily railed against the Ohio governor.

But sadly, McDaniel has since died from the very thing he didn't take seriously.

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When This Ends, We’ll Have Decisions To Make

A favorite book I try never to be without is by the late Irish poet and priest John O’Donohue. It’s on my bedside table, on my Kindle and on the Kindle app on my phone.

One needn’t be Catholic (I’m not) or Irish (I am, but I try not to brag) to appreciate O’Donohue’s calm and reassuring presence on every page of his book To Bless the Space Between Us.

The book is divided into various sections, each one beginning with an essay that leads into a series of blessings. Under the section titled “Beginnings,” there are seven blessings, including “A Morning Offering,” “In Praise of Fire” and “For a New Home.” Eleven blessings are in the section titled “Desires,” including “For Freedom,” “For Eros” and “In Praise of Air.”

His poem, For the Family and Friends of a Suicide, gave me the words I couldn’t find on my own after my brother killed himself last July. An excerpt:

As your eyes strain to sift

This sudden wall of dark

And no one can say why

In such a forsaken, secret way

This death was sent for…

May one of the lovely hours

Of memory return

Like a field of ease

Among these graveled days.

May the Angel of Wisdom

Enter this ruin of absence

And guide your minds

To receive this bitter chalice

So that you do not damage yourselves

By attending only at the hungry altar

Of regret and anger and guilt.

Because this is so often my go-to book when I am searching for reasons why, I picked it up when Ohio started shutting down in efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. I seldom agree with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, but overall, he has been the strong leader we need right now, acting early to shut campuses and schools and countless other places for public gatherings.

If you are physically vulnerable in any way, because of age or medical conditions, or you love someone who is, it is easy to fall prey to the soul-sucking churning of worry and anxiety. Even the toughest among us have our weaker moments as we watch the news get worse and worse. This will get better, but when?

I confess to moments of feeling hollowed out by the need to isolate from friends, colleagues and family members. I miss my husband, who must be in Washington, in the Senate. I miss grandchildren, their scent and their voices, and their wide-eyed wonder, but their parents have rightfully made clear that we must stay away for our own good.

Seldom has doing the right thing for our physical health felt so wrong for our well-being.

Again, I turn to the poet O’Donohue:

You are in this time of the interim

Where everything seems withheld

The path you took to get here has washed out;

The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.”

But take heart, he writes.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,

And it is difficult and slow to become new.

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become

For your arrival in the new dawn.

When this pandemic comes to an end, we will not be who we were at its beginning. This is extraordinary.

Most of us will survive, and we will have some decisions to make. Will we seek to be more connected? Will we see anew how much we needed one another all along? Will we repair some of the damage we have inflicted on others and on ourselves?

Again, John O’Donohue:

Cradle yourself like a child

Learning to trust what emerges,

So that gradually

You may come to know

That deep in the black hole

You will find the blue flower

That holds the mystical light

Which will illuminate in you

The glimmer of springtime.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two non-fiction books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. Her novel, “The Daughters of Erietown,” will be published by Random House in Spring 2020. To find out more about Connie Schultz ( and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

We Cannot Afford Cynicism Now

Our 11-year-old grandson is with us for the week, and we are having the sort of conversations that indicate the learning has just begun — for me.

He and his parents recently completed a move of more than 2,000 miles. This is quite the adjustment for all involved, including their 4-year-old dog, Rumple. I hadn’t considered how disorienting it might be for a dog born on a tropical island to find himself suddenly in the Midwest, but then I’m not Rumple’s boy.

Clayton is mindful of his pup’s moods. When I mentioned how nice it is to have his steadfast companion during this transition, he shook his head and smiled.

“It’s a transition for both of us,” he said. “Rumple and I are more like an ecosystem. We’re helping each other be strong.”

Clayton was talking about his relationship with his beloved dog. I heard a new way to look at the pitfalls of cynicism.

Our conversation occurred only two days after a gunman had killed nine people and injured more than two dozen in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, about a three-hour drive from our home in Cleveland. The gunman used a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle to shoot into a crowd at a popular nightspot at 1:05 a.m. He would have killed hundreds if not for the quick work of five Dayton police officers and a sergeant. Within 30 seconds, the gunman was dead.

Dayton became the second deadly mass shooting in America in less than a day, and the third in a week. Thirteen hours earlier, a gunman with an assault rifle killed 22 people and injured dozens at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A few days before that, another gunman with an assault-style killed two children and one adult and injured 13 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California.

Investigations are ongoing, as are theories about motives, which is a loathsome word. As if there is ever a reason for innocent people to be gunned down.

My husband, Senator Sherrod Brown, and I spent much of Sunday in Dayton, with various community leaders and residents. I will never forget listening to several members of Dayton’s police force describe for us what it’s like to be first responders at the scene of a mass shooting. It’s war zone triage. Each victim is examined, and responders make split-second decisions about which ones can be saved, sometimes against a backdrop of pleas from victims’ friends and loved ones begging for a second glance.

That evening, during a vigil of hundreds in Dayton, the crowd shouted down Republican Governor Mike DeWine with a simple, profound chant: “Do something.”

Two days later, he announced at a news conference that he would try.

“I understand that anger, for it’s impossible to make sense out of what is senseless,” DeWine said. “Some chanted ‘do something’ and they were absolutely right.”

As NPR’s Andy Chow reported, DeWine introduced a “‘safety protection order'” that would allow a judge “to confiscate firearms from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. His plan would also require background checks for all gun purchases and transfers with some exemptions, strengthen penalties on crimes involving guns, and increase access to mental health treatment.”

Another Ohio Republican, Rep. Mike Turner, who is a former mayor of Dayton, delivered his own seismic shift, announcing his support “for restricting military-style weapon sales, magazine limits, and red flag legislation.”

DeWine will likely face steep opposition from Republican majorities in the statehouse, where a current bill under consideration would eliminate permits, training and background checks for those who carry concealed guns. So far, Turner is virtually the lone Republican voice of gun reform in Congress.

Both of these Republican men are also on the receiving end of skepticism and outright anger from liberals who’ve long championed gun legislation reform. I understand the cynicism, but I’m not on board. As I’ve written many times in the past, we can’t ask people to change and not give them the chance to do so. They’re going to need us.

For years, I’ve thought of cynicism as just another word for laziness, and a blight on one’s soul. But since that conversation with my grandson about his “ecosystem” of a relationship with his dog, I see it as something far worse.

Cynicism is not just about our mood, or a way to avoid another disappointment. It’s a betrayal of the people who need us, the ones we swear we’re fighting for and the ones we love. It weakens us as a community and a country, and leaves us untethered to hope.

If we keep acting like we expect nothing, that’s exactly what we’ll get.

What a way to live.

What a way to keep dying.


Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz ( and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at