Dark Cloud Of Trump Victory Had Rainbow-Colored Linings
LGBT Candidates Made History Nov. 8
There is no sugarcoating the fact that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on Nov. 8 was a disaster, both for the LGBT movement and for the country as a whole.
The potential danger of a Trump presidency is augmented by the fact that Republicans maintained control of both houses of Congress, though Democrats did cut slightly the majorities held by the GOP in each.
Yet in many ways, the election was less a â€œchange election,â€ as Trump partisans claim, than it was a status quo election. After all, the large majority of incumbents running for House and Senate were re-elected.
Trump not only did not receive a mandate to erode LGBT rights (or for any other policy position), but he also failed to receive even a plurality of the popular vote, much less a majority. When all the votes are counted, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to have received more than 2,000,000 votes than Trump.
The new Republican mantra echoed this week by Sen. Ted Cruz, among others, that Trump won â€œoverwhelminglyâ€ is a lie that must be denounced every time it is uttered.
Moreover, it is useful to remember that this election brought, in addition to heartbreaking losses, some significant successes as well.
Not only were the anti-gay North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (apparently) and the seven-term anti-gay New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett (definitely) defeated by LGBT allies, but a number of the newly elected senators, such as Kamala Harris of California, Chris van Hollen of Maryland, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire are strong allies who put LGBT rights at the very center of their campaigns.
In addition, although we did not add any new members to the openly LGBT Congressional caucus, many LGBT candidates for other offices won. The Victory Fund, an organization devoted to electing openly LGBT candidates at local, state, and federal levels, reports that 87 of the 135 candidates the organization endorsed won their races.
Victory Fund President Aisha C. Moodie-Mills expressed her disappointment with the presidential election, remarking that “The devastating results hit the LGBT community particularly hard because we are unique in spanning all the demographic groups targeted by the president-elect throughout the campaign.â€ Still, she observed, the election also provided some â€œrays of light.â€
For example, the 2016 election saw the first openly LGBT person elected governor and all six openly LGBT members of the House handily re-elected.
Kate Brown, who had previously served as Majority Leader of the Oregon State Senate and as Secretary of State, became governor of Oregon in February 2015, when she succeeded John Kitzhaber, who resigned in the midst of a corruption scandal. On Nov. 8, she was elected governor in her own right. Her victory makes her the first openly LGBT person elected governor of a U.S. state.
Rep.Â Jared PolisÂ of Colorado crushed his Republican opponent to win re-election to the seat he won in 2008, when he became the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a freshman. (When he and his partner Marlon Reis announced the birth of their son in 2011, Polis became the first openly gay father to serve in Congress.)
Amassing 64% of the vote, Rep.Â David Cicilline of Rhode Island easily won re-election to the seat he first won in 2010.
Rep.Â Mark Pocan of Wisconsin coasted to victory with almost 70 percent of the vote to retain the seat he won in 2012, when he succeeded Tammy Baldwin in the seat she vacated to run for the U.S. Senate.
Upstate New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, running in a competitive district, defeated his Republican challenger 51 percent to 41 percent to retain the seat he won in 2012.
Rep.Â Mark Takano, who became the first openly LGBT person of color to serve in Congress when he won California’s newly created 41st Congressional District in 2012, easily retained his seat.
In Arizona, bisexual Rep.Â Kyrsten Sinema, who won her seat in 2012 in a bitter, nail-biter of a race, coasted to re-election in 2016.
Among other highlights of the 2016 election include some notable triumphs by newly elected LGBT candidates.
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, a 31-year-old political newcomer, Sam Park, upset a well-funded three-term Republican state representative to become the first openly gay man elected to the state Legislature. He will join three lesbian lawmakers in the Legislature.
In Denver, Leslie Herod won her race for the Colorado House of Representatives to become Colorado’s first African-American LGBT elected official. She explained her victory as a result of having built “a coalition of folks of all races, class, gender and sexual orientation.”
“They all came together to support me,â€ she said.
In Arizona, Daniel Hernandez won a seat in the state House of Representatives. Hernandez, who serves on the Sunnyside Unified District School Board, is creditedÂ with helping save the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords during the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson. At the time he was a congressional intern accompanying Giffords at a constituent event when a gunman shot her and 18 other people. His medical training, quick thinking, and bravery on that day has earned him plaudits as an American hero.
In Florida,Â Carlos Guillermo SmithÂ was elected to the state House, becoming the state’s first openly gay Latino legislator. He will represent the district that includes the University of Central Florida and the Pulse nightclub. Smith, a former legislative aide and a lobbyist for Equality Florida, defeated his opponentÂ by a margin of 69 percent to 31 percent.
In Minnesota, activist Erin Maye Quade upset a favored Republican to win a seat in the state House of Representatives. The race turned ugly when remarks by Maye Quade’s opponent that disparaged “identity politics” were perceived as homophobic.
In Washington, Nicole Macri easily won Seattle’s “legacy seat“Â in the state House of Representatives. The seat, which includes Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, has been held by an openly LGBT person for the last 29 years.
In a surprise victory in Houston, DemocratÂ Kim Ogg decisively ousted the incumbent district attorney of Harris County.
But perhaps the most reassuring news we have received is the pledge from Sen. Charles Schumer, who will become the Senate minority leader in the new Congress.
In a letter published in The Advocate, Schumer reassured the LGBT community. “I will do all in my power to prevent any backsliding on hard-won rights and to push back against a national discourse that allows for anything less than a full measure of respect for all Americans and would-be Americans.”
He said: “I will not forget what happened at Stonewall or what happened at Pulse â€” or any of the countless physical assaults, emotional taunts, and bullying endured by homosexual fellow citizens over the generations. I will not forget North Carolinaâ€™s passage of House Bill 2 or the trickle-down of hateful rhetoric inspired by these laws that causes children to take their own lives rather than continue to face the torment of bullies at school. I will not forget the 24 transgender Americans murdered this year alone.”Â
He added: “I also wonâ€™t forget when West Point opened the doors of its historic chapel for its first same-sex wedding after President Obama repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I won’t forget Edie Windsorâ€™s boundless joy when the Supreme Court handed down its decision to make marriage equality the law of the land. And I wonâ€™t forget my family, my friends, my colleagues, or the New Yorkers who depend on me to protect their constitutional rights.”
This resolve from the leader of a united Democratic caucus will make it far more difficult for those who would like to erode LGBT rights to succeed in the first two years of the Trump presidency.
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Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert
Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.
According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.
As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.
“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.
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Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”
“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.
Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”
“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.
You can read more here.
No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?
Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.
Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.
NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.
Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.
“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.
“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”
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Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.
Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.
Let’s fill this venue with empty seats.https://t.co/3tGSfan5iw
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) March 24, 2023
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”
“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
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Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
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Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
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