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COMMENTARY

Yes, Democrats Had Huge Wins at the Polls – Here Are 11 Reasons to Celebrate That You May Not Even Know About

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It’s a Blue Wave and a Rainbow Wave and a Women’s Wave and More

There seem to be a lot of Democrats feeling glum, defeated, angry, upset, and betrayed after Tuesday night’s elections. I certainly was.

But there are a huge number of big wins that Democrats have every right and reason– and frankly, obligation –  to celebrate right now. It’s hard to see them when the national media is rarely focused on anything but Washington D.C., so let me share with you some huge accomplishments that we need to shout to the rooftops and build upon as we fight to place America back on course towards the union we believe in our hearts it should be.

Yes, there is a white nationalist (and probably a white supremacist) in the Oval Office. Yes, Florida (and probably Georgia) GOP voters once again proved just how racist they can be. And yes, Ted Cruz beat Beto O’Rourke.

But let’s start with that.

Beto O’Rourke is the first Democratic Senate candidate in Texas who almost won. He raised enough money to mount a presidential campaign. He embarrassed the heck out of Ted Cruz. And most importantly, he proved that Democrats in “red” states who stick to true Democratic principles, rather than being moderates, have a true chance at winning.

Now, more wins:

    • A record number of women, more than 100 – mostly Democrats – were elected to Congress Tuesday night. (94 Democrats and 16 Republicans total elected Tuesday to serve in the House and Senate.)
    • Over 100 LGBTQ candidates won federal, state, and local races, according to GLAAD, which is calling it a “rainbow wave.” The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which supports both Democratic and Republican candidates, currently lists LGBTQ candidates winning 8 federal, 86 state, and 34 local races.
    • Transgender rights were on the ballot and won in Massachusetts.
    • The first Native American women were elected to Congress. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, both Democrats, will serve in the House. Davids is a lesbian, making her the first openly-lesbian Congresswoman from Kansas.
    • The first Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were also elected to Congress. Again, both are Democrats.
    • New Hampshire elects its first openly-gay member of Congress. Democrat Chris Pappas will become Congressman Chris Pappas.
    • Minnesota elects its first openly-LGBTQ member of Congress: Democrat Angie Craig, a lesbian.
    • The first openly-gay man was elected governor. Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis will become Governor Jared Polis.
    • Texas, which is 40% Hispanic, finally elects its first Hispanic women to Congress. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, both Democrats, are headed to D.C.
    • Both legislative chambers plus governorships in six states flipped from Republican to Democratic (Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York.)
    • Democrats beat Republican Senators and Governors in the three states that gave Trump his electoral college win: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

These are certainly not the only wins Democrats should be celebrating – what others should we include? Post them in the comments below!

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COMMENTARY

Trump Mocked for Melting Down Over Gen. Colin Powell Endorsing Biden: ‘Cadet Bone Spurs Says What?’

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As might be expected, Donald Trump did not care for the comments made by former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell on CNN Sunday morning — including his endorsement of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, so the president lashed out on Twitter.

With Powell calling out the president for his treatment of Gold Star families and accusing the president of being a “liar,” Trump tweeted back, ”Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden. Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!

That received quite a bit of pushback from commenters with one bluntly stating, “You couldn’t shine Powell’s shoes.

You can see some other responses below:

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COMMENTARY

Trump Blames Obama for Iran Attack Then Takes Credit for Obama’s Accomplishments in Off-the-Rails Address to the Nation

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After three years there were likely few Americans hoping for some form of comfort from President Donald Trump’s address to the nation Wednesday in the wake of Tuesday night’s attack by Iran on air bases in Iraq that host thousands of U.S. Military troops. And President Trump, true to form, did not offer any.

The President descended as if from heaven (photo above) onto a stage filled with his military generals and advisors,

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. A clear attempt to show strength which the administration apparently felt the Commander-in-Chief could not summon if he appeared on camera alone. A sad statement.

“As long as I’m president of the United States Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump, out of breath, declared as he walked up to the podium, flanked by his men in uniform. He then said: “Good morning.”

President Trump was expected to give Americans hope and comfort, and a clear indication that they are safe from attack.

Instead, he tried to show strength through military might – with no suggestion diplomacy might be a better route.

And he lied.

A lot.

“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump claimed, blaming President Barack Obama in a speech watched around the world.

“Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013,” Trump claimed. (It was actually 2015.)

He added, “they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash.  Instead of saying ‘thank you’ to the United States, they chanted ‘death to America.’  In fact, they chanted ‘death to America’ the day the agreement was signed.”

Those billions belonged to Iran, and reportedly were less than the numbers Trump quoted. They were Iranian funds frozen which had been paid to the U.S. for arms never delivered. It is a frequent trump lie he tells at rallies over and over.

“Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq,” Trump claimed  in his address to the nation – and to the world. “The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.  The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.”

“The very defective JCPOA [the “Iran deal”] expires shortly anyway,” Trump said. That’s just false – another lie Trump often tells. Various parts expire between 2025 and 2030.

He claimed the JCPOA “gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout,” which again is false.

After falsely blaming Obama for Iran’s attack he went on to take credit for Obama paving to road to energy independence.

“Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence.  These historic accomplishments changed our strategic priorities.  These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible.”

Again, false.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin with graphs showing just how false Trump’s energy independence remarks were:

 

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COMMENTARY

Legal Expert Makes the Case for Trump to Resign — but Why Have So Few Others Demanded He Step Down?

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In a new op-ed for CNN, constitutional law professor F. Michael Higginbotham argued Friday that President Donald Trump should resign from office.

Higginbotham argued in the op-ed that President Richard Nixon’s resignation in the face of his own impeachment could be seen to represent, despite his grave abuses, “an act of patriotism.”

Nixon “protected not only his own historical legacy but also the country he had taken an oath to serve,” Higginbotham wrote. “Donald Trump should follow suit.”

He continued:

Trump should resign so the country can begin the process of healing. The divisions in the country today are even more corrosive than they were in 1974. That’s why it’s even more important that Trump emulate the best of Richard Nixon, who, in a rare moment of grace, understood he could only weaken the nation he led by focusing solely on himself, and chose the better path.

In President Trump’s acceptance speech of the Republican nomination at the Republican National Convention in 2016, he told the nation, “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” While many mocked the hubris behind that claim, at this moment of national danger it is undoubtedly true: Trump alone can spare the nation the painful ordeal of an impeachment trial in the Senate.

While Trump is written about extensively every single day, such calls are relatively few. For all the tumult, investigation, and fierce partisanship Trump’s presidency has produced, it’s produced surprisingly sparse demands for his resignation. Even as Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives, and top newspapershave called for the president’s removal, the other option — the only way a president has actually been ousted from office via the impeachment process — remains woefully under-discussed. And though Democrats have occasionally called for the resignation of administration officials such as Attorney General Bill Barr and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, they seem hesitant to take the same step for the president himself. Instead, they often call on him to stop creating division and “lead” the country.

But “leading the country” is exactly what Trump has repeatedly proven himself incapable of doing.

What’s odd about the relative dearth of calls for is that Trump’s conduct clearly merits it. I’ve argued that calling for Trump’s resignation was the Democrats’ best move since they took the House of Representatives. And if, as many do, you think it’s appropriate for Trump to be impeached or removed, you should probably also think that it would be best if he just stepped down without all the conflict. In fact, it would be reasonable to argue that Trump should resign, but that an ultimately doomed impeachment process is too disruptive for the country. So in theory, there should be more support for Trump’s resignation than there is for his removal.

So why aren’t we deluged with calls for Trump’s resignation? CNN host Chris Cuomo’s response to the Higginbotham piece probably sums up the explanation:

Everyone assumes — almost certainly correctly — that Trump will never agree to resign the presidency. He hates admitting failure, he loves the adulation the office provides, and he fears the potential legal consequences of no longer being protected from prosecution. Nixon was a monster with a devoted base of support, but he realized eventually that it was time to throw in the towel. It’s nearly impossible to imagine a plausible scenario in which Trump does the same — and not just because the Republican Party seems even more devoted to the current president than it was to Nixon. He won’t even admit that his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was far from “perfect,” even though this admission could have helped him.

But the fact that Trump would almost never agree to resign doesn’t mean we should ignore the obvious fact that he should. Ignoring this option lets Trump off the hook for his own responsibilities, and it lowers the bar for the presidential standard of behavior.

Many Republicans have spoken out against impeachment by citing the fact that it will be divisive for the country and create more animosity or tension. By calling for resignation as a potential alternative to impeachment, Trump’s critics could point out that any resulting division from impeachment proceedings is at least as much the fault of the president. Democrats could argue that Trump’s behavior forced them to pursue impeachment, but if he were gracious and cared about the country, he could bring it to a peaceful end.

This reframes the discourse around Trump’s impeachment in a useful way, especially when pressed against Republicans who can’t bring themselves to defend the president’s conduct on the merits. And it exposes and dispenses with the implicit idea that Democrats are the only actors responsible for preserving constitutional government; that obligation falls just as heavily on the shoulders of Trump and the Republicans.

 

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