Economic Crisis


CPAC 2021 attendee bowing to the Trump statue

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from MEDIUM – March 3, 2021

Dear Matt:

Congratulations, CPAC 2021 was a huge success. The gathering is now history, but here are a few thoughts for you to ponder.

On Sunday, before introducing the 45th President to the uber-enthusiastic MAGA-hat-wearing crowd, you said, “the world was watching.” Yet, as millions of global and domestic eyeballs watched, they laughed at and were appalled by aspects of your three-day idol-worshipping spectacle.

You are likely to dismiss that observation as the rant of some angry Democrat, but I am a former loyal Republican who regularly attended CPAC starting in the mid-1990s. In recent years, we greeted each other and exchanged pleasantries. Last year after I complimented CPAC’s “America vs. Socialism” theme as sharp, “us vs. them,” war-like branding that crystalized Trump’s reelection year message, you thanked me saying, the theme was your idea.

But this year, I was nauseated at the thought of attending and stayed home.

That queasy feeling began at CPAC 2019 when the theme and Trump’s “Keep America Great” reelection slogan officially merged, and unofficially CPAC became “T-PAC.” When writing about the event, I quoted a GOP strategist who said, “ ‘CPAC might as well be the 2020 RNC convention.’ ” And Matt, with all your family and business ties to Trump in 2019that was no coincidence.

Then at CPAC 2020, the hero worship began, literally. Amidst truckloads of merchandise bearing his likeness was a funny-looking, eight-foot-tall Trump “superman” statue constructed from nails.

Author at CPAC 2020 with Trump statue made of nails

However, this year’s statue was not funny.

Wheeled down the corridor of the Orlando Hyatt Hotel — where management is now wrestling with CPAC fallout — was a gold-headed Trump statue. Naturally, it grabbed the media’s attention since it symbolized CPAC’s worship of the living golden-haired idol who you had invited to speak. Politico Playbook reported that Tommy Zegan, the sculptor, “managed to cart it through the conference” with “no CPAC credential.”

Matt, since you are a man of great faith, when did you first learn that this graven image was going viral with the “golden calf” Biblical reference? Were you proud that the statue visually confirmed CPAC as a Trump-cult gathering? That is the same reason I recently abandoned the Republican Party after having been a loyal member since 1975 — albeit not to join the Democrats. Instead, I will float in the political ether until I recognize the party I first joined.

And then there is the irony swirling around your 2021 theme, “America UnCanceled.” Was that your idea too? If so, an unfortunate choice considering the list of elected Republican leaders, topics, branches of government, election results, honesty, Democracy itself — and any GOP future that does not involve Trump — were all “canceled” by the speakers, especially the golden-haired one.

Surely you remember the big “Republican tent” of diverse ideas and candidates? This year you presided over a CPAC gathering of singular thought representing the party which toppled its tent and drenched it with gasoline while Trump held the blow torch.

I ask you, where do Republicans like me fit in? Millions of “formers” who put love of country before party and believe Trump hi-jacked the GOP. We still believe in conservative culture, rule of law, separation of powers, truth, justice, and American ideals. Instead, my former party enabled Trump to create his own version of the truth while defining justice as anything he can get away with. Then on Jan. 6, he showed us his “American ideals” by inciting an insurrection during the constitutionally mandated Electoral College certification by Congress.

Matt, all anyone needs to know about the man you worship is the report that Trump refused to address CPAC if his former vice president attended. You were painfully aware that if Pence had spoken, he would have been embarrassingly booed in the ballroom. Why? Because the leader you proudly introduced with the “world watching” is an angry narcissist forever furious that his ever-loyal vice president resisted his demands to “overturn” the presidential election and name Donald J. Trump as the winner. Of course, Pence was powerless to do so, but such action was demanded by the man depicted in the golden statue, holding a magic wand.

What the world saw displayed on Jan. 6 was Trump’s version of loyalty — gallows constructed for Mike Pence on Capitol Hill by MAGA militias.

Let’s get real. Trump is a disgraced twice-impeached one-term president who, in two elections, failed to win the popular vote. Today he clings to power as king and kingmaker of the Republican Party because people like you give him a platform. Thank God that golden wand was powerless against American patriots like Mike Pence and other leaders who defended the Constitution after their lives were threatened.

Matt, looking forward to CPAC 2022, here are my recommendations: Show the crowd hours of Capitol Attack video from Jan. 6, 2021. Afterward, and unlike this year, you and other GOP officials should give honest speeches about what happened that day and name the man responsible for the carnage. That is how you can bring people like me back to CPAC, and my former party can have a brighter future.

Although one more action is needed. Chronicled in the Bible’s book of Exodus, Aaron (ironically, your middle name) led the Israelites to build and worship the golden calf statue. Mirroring Moses (Aaron’s brother) you too must destroy CPAC’s statue. Here are the Biblical instructions per Moses: “And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.”

There are no coincidences with names and statues in the Bible or politics.

Respectfully,

Myra Kahn Adams


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics Feb. 26, 2021

Politically speaking, this is the best and worst of times to be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Let’s start with best: Midway through his first term, the Sunshine State governor’s local and national trajectory aligns with a SpaceX rocket launched from Florida’s Space Coast — with enough energy to reach 2024 apogee without a crash and burn.  

Hailing from the nation’s third most populous state – one expected to increase its Electoral College votes from 29 to 31 after redistricting — DeSantis is currently among America’s most high-profile governors. And he’s popular too. According to a recent statewide poll of likely voters, DeSantis has a healthy 64% job approval rating and 24% disapproval. Unusual for a Republican, DeSantis garners high marks from 62% of Hispanics and 40% of African American voters while being applauded by 68% of whites in an ethnically diverse state — one that reflects a national electorate that was 33% non-white in 2020.

Florida Republicans are especially bullish on DeSantis, giving him an 85% job approval rating. He also earns an eye-popping 60% among independents and a respectful 46% from Democrats. In today’s highly polarized climate, swing-state approval ratings don’t get any better.

With his no-nonsense attitude and “Don’t Mess With Florida” leadership style, DeSantis appears to have weathered Hurricane COVID. This week it was reported that the seven-day average for new cases has been steadily declining there since Jan. 8. Although Democrats and the mainstream media have singled him out for constant criticism and vilification throughout the pandemic and other issues, his long-haul success has injected him into the national conversation about higher office — and a place in the 2024 betting odds.

Check out PredictIt, the popular betting site with “trading” on who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. At this writing, DeSantis ranks second with 12-cents. But he lags well behind the 33-cent position held by the former/possibly future president. That potential and formidable candidate – golf-loving, orange-tanned, angry, and with scores to settle – happens to be a recent full-time Palm Beach resident to whom the governor is indebted for his own current title. Which brings us to the “worst time” to be young Ron DeSantis.

A myriad of Donald Trump-related obstacles await this smart, ambitious up-and-comer, a Florida native who envisions breathing the rarefied Oval Office air by 2025 at age 46. (And then there’s the potential challenge posed by his equally ambitious fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio.) But first, let’s establish why DeSantis has the bandwidth to attempt to conquer MAGA World and topple its king. How about a resume that checks every box for a traditional presidential candidate?

Take a look: DeSantis is a Yale and Harvard Law School graduate. A U.S. Navy officer who served on active duty in Iraq as a legal adviser to the SEALs. He earned a Bronze Star and a few other medals and currently holds the rank of lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve.

DeSantis has never lost an election, including a Republican congressional primary (2012), three congressional races (2012-2016), one gubernatorial primary, and one gubernatorial campaign.

At the same time, DeSantis is not a warm and fuzzy kind of guy who feels your pain. Some say he is detached and does not connect well with voters on the trail. If not for Trump’s zealous endorsements and DeSantis’ seemingly continuous Fox News presence, the outcome in his poorly managed and messaged 2018 races would likely have been different. As it was, DeSantis barely defeated Andrew Gillum, his Democratic gubernatorial opponent, by less than a hair’s breadth, 49.59% to 49.19%.  

All you need to know about how much DeSantis owes his 2018 victories to Donald Trump is to watch this over-the-top Trump-love TV spot. The ad is guaranteed to haunt DeSantis should he make his national break from Trump and, after that, perhaps for the rest of his career. The truth is that DeSantis and Trump used each other in 2018 because Trump desperately wanted an uber-loyal Republican governor to deliver the state’s electoral votes for his 2020 reelection. Mission accomplished on both fronts since Trump won Florida by 3.3 percentage points, up from 1.2 points in 2016. 

That said, DeSantis will be up for reelection in what promises to be an expensive, ruthless and nasty 2022 campaign, which will resemble a national race because the outcome is of national consequence.

Democrats want to crush and eliminate DeSantis as a 2024 contender, but as yet they have no major player to deploy against him. Perhaps Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner and highest elected Democratic officeholder, can succeed in raising her profile. Otherwise, DeSantis looks like he will easily win reelection. (Then, again, this is the state where anything can — and often does — happen.)

But how much does the former/future president really want to support DeSantis knowing that a decisive 2022 victory sets up the governor to be his leading 2024 primary challenger? More reason why the DeSantis/Trump power play/dance will be enthralling to watch. If DeSantis wins reelection without Trump in the presidential running, he catapults into the 2024 primaries as a young, two-term governor from a large, influential state that has never had a native son in the White House. DeSantis would be MAGA World-ready to carry the conservative battle flag against those “socialist” Democrats. And with proper campaign management, he has the chops to be successful. Never forget that Trump won 74 million votes, and a large percentage would transfer to DeSantis, the Trump acolyte. (Watch that 2018 TV spot!)

However, that means Trump must step aside, but only losers do that. DeSantis’ worst nightmare could be seeking the nomination after the former president sets himself up as the presumptive nominee over the next three years.

The governor would argue that he is a more viable national candidate. In his (assumed)  2022 reelection, he could point to how he won independents, suburban women, and voters of color — especially Hispanics, who would be about 15% of the national electorate in 2024. (They were 13% in 2020.)  

Like it or not, Trump and DeSantis are tied together for 2022 and 2024. Unofficially, the kickoff for the Republicans to take back Washington begins Friday at CPAC – in Florida, of course! DeSantis is the first speaker, and Trump closes the gathering (more like a Trump rally) on Sunday. Is there some “first and last” symbolism there?

All we know for sure is that Trump is a fighter, and DeSantis is an intellectual Ivy League warrior who served as the legal adviser to SEAL Team One in Fallujah, Iraq. Expect an epic battle, starting now.

Myra Adams is a media producer and writer with numerous national credits. She served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. She can be reached at MyraAdams01@gmail.com or @MyraKAdams on Twitter. Related Topics: FloridaElection 2024CPACRon DeSantisPolitics


Photo Credit: © Greg Nash

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – Feb.16, 2021

The logo accompanying the Jan. 25 statement announcing “The Office of the Former President” illustrates both visually and figuratively how Donald Trump’s post-presidency  deviates from norms set by his predecessors. This was painfully obvious on Saturday when the Senate acquitted Trump for the second time. Immediately thereafter, “Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States” – under the logo doubling as his battle emblem – issued a defiant statement, including, “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.” This rallying cry proves that the (still) angry man behind the faux presidential seal logo is further emboldened to exercise power and seek revenge.  

It is no graphic design coincidence that Trump’s newly-minted logo resembles the authentic Presidential Seal — albeit with enough subtle differences to fend off legal action. Displayed in curved words, “THE OFFICE OF” tops the circular, slightly altered presidential seal, with “DONALD J. TRUMP” at the bottom in larger, straight type. The overall effect conveys power and action in real-time, without a hint of “former.”

The authoritative-looking logo symbolizes Trump’s post-presidential mission — an unquenchable desire to continue wielding power over the Republican Party, either real or imagined.

Currently, it’s real — with 75 percent of Republicans wanting to see “Trump play a prominent role in their party,” according to a newly released Quinnipiac University poll. Trump supporters are the Republican Party and the reason why all except seven Senate Republicans acquitted him on the charge of inciting an insurrection.

Trump’s intention to remain politically active is precisely what graphically distinguishes his logo from those of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Let’s compare the designs.

On Obama’s website homepage, his small unobtrusive post-presidential office logo tops the left column and also appears on the bottom of the page. The logo is set on a black background with no outline shape. The white type reads, “THE OFFICE OF BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA” under a white presidential-looking eagle. Obama’s logo conveys dignified, non-aggressive power with no design fanfare.

Notably absent is the need to mimic the round presidential seal that screams, “clinging to presidential power” — subconsciously broadcasted by Trump’s seal. Also telling is how Obama’s logo officially and graciously shares power with his “better half.”

The logo atop George W. Bush’s website is equally dignified. The iconic gold presidential eagle floats on a white background and underneath, in blue type, reads: “Office of George W. Bush.” Absent again is any hint of the circular presidential seal. Is there is an unwritten rule that former presidents should avoid using the round seal shape? After all, the seal is revered, respected and only associated with the current White House occupant, until recently hijacked and remodeled by Trump. But at least the twice-impeached former president is consistent — choosing to ignore the seal-logo “rule” after breaking or ignoring dozens of traditional rules while in office.

On Bill Clinton’s and Jimmy Carter’s websites, no presidential logos are displayed. After being out of power for decades, a presidential logo might have looked dated. Instead, Clinton’s and Carter’s sites focus on their domestic and global philanthropy efforts.

Now let’s further examine Trump’s post-presidential office announcement and seal logo debut along with his Feb. 13 statement. At this writing on the official URL, 45office.com,  the logo is the only content. That’s proof that words are non-essential when the logo is your message. (And be thankful that the logo does not read “The Real President” under his name.)

The Jan. 25 press release chronicled how Trump intends to stay in the spotlight:

The Office “will advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.” The last sentence read: “President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People.”

The Feb. 13 statement heralds more aggressive future action. Besides stating that the MAGA movement “has only just begun,” it reads “We have so much work ahead of us and soon will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant and limitless American future.”

Gone are the days when former presidents laid low, wrote their memoirs, planned their library and played golf. Instead, Trump’s edicts sound like mandates, as though he were newly inaugurated with less time for golf. And of course, topping his agenda will be punishing Republican officeholders who voted for impeachment or conviction or anyone deemed “disloyal.” It’s a grand departure from normal post-presidential activity.

Meanwhile, between his Save America PAC and Make America Great Again Committee, Trump has at least $70 million to weaponize his actions without social media.

Republicans, by acquitting Trump, ensured that he will be the most disruptive, vindictive, attention-grabbing and powerful former president in history — while flirting with a comeback to stay in the headlines.

Most important, “The Office of Donald J. Trump” has an overarching mission embodied in its logo and first commandment — “Thou Shall Not Be Ignored.”

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


© Getty Images

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – Feb. 4, 2021

Once a major party that elected two presidents, the Whigs dissolved in 1856 over the issue of slavery. From the ashes arose what became the anti-slavery Republican Party.

Today, 165 years later – plagued with deep ruptures – it’s possible the Republican Party could dissolve in a decade or two. The critical question: Is Trump adoration by the GOP base akin to the Whig’s splintering over slavery?  

Although an overused political cliché, here are five reasons the Republican Party could “go the way of the Whigs.”

Voters are abandoning the GOP for diametrically opposed reasons

Last week, after writing about why I left the “Trumplican Party,” I was deluged with two types of emails. First, long-time Republican friends and readers of The Hill applauded my “bold” and “brave” declaration of independence after doing the same.

Second were messages from (now) ex-friends leaving the party for “totally different reasons than you listed.” Their “disappointment” stems from “so-called Republicans that failed to support Trump and defend him.” One wrote that I am “part of the problem with the Republican Party,” and another stated how “no longer would we break bread.”

Rising passions resulting in double subtraction generates a political equation with GOP decline as the answer.

“Cancer for the Republican Party”

During the June 1973 Senate Watergate Committee hearings, White House Counsel John Dean testified that he had told President Nixon of a “cancer growing on the presidency.” Nixon eventually resigned but left the Republican Party severely damaged. Recovery, in the form of a political savior, came in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected president.

On Monday, the cancer analogy dramatically resurfaced. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) alluded to how Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is contaminating the entire party with “loony lies and conspiracy theories,” warning of “cancer for the Republican Party.” 

Unfortunately, whatever treatment plan McConnell and GOP House leaders put into motion, it’s too late. Greene’s “cancer” has metastasized into the Republican label, and she is the brand’s angry new face. Worse, Greene stating that Trump “supports me 100 percent” highlights her face with professional make-up. Unless eradicated, cancer is often deadly for people and political parties. Now the party is suffering in a white nationalist ICU bed with stage 4 cancer — thanks to Trump and Greene.

Republican identity crisis

Given the “cancer” diagnosis, corporate and major donors are fleeing. And why would average Americans want to identify as Republicans? Soon, they must defend a party that acquitted their president after he incited a deadly insurrection to overturn a certified election based on his “Big Lie.” The Republican identity crisis is defined by its new “membership card slogan” reading, “We stand for shredding the Constitution’s impeachment clause and nullifying lost elections.”

Leadership crisis

Here is an easily defined problem that sticks to the party like Super Glue: “Are you with Trump or against Trump?”

In a recent interview, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made a laughable assessment, saying, “.. if we don’t keep our party united and focused on 2022, we will lose.” But “united and focused” around who? Mar-a-Lago is currently the Republican headquarters. Its occupant – a twice-impeached former president who in one term led his party to lose control of the White House, Senate and House while inciting a horrific attack on the Capitol – is the undisputed party leader. Any senators or representatives who want to purge Trump by voting for impeachment and conviction will face agonizing reelections or choose to step down. Conversely, watch if Trump acolyte Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson dares to run for reelection.

While the party’s future is viewed through the Trump lens, a strong new prescription is needed to see and eradicate the “Big Lie.” Sadly, according to one poll, 76 percent of Republicans believe Trump defeated Joe Biden. But this week, a ray of hope surfaced when  Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio released a campaign autopsy showing that the former president lost “largely because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.” Moreover, his data show that Trump “lost ground among key demographic groups.”

Armed with Fabrizio’s autopsy, all GOP leaders (but especially 2024 presidential hopefuls) must undo Trump’s Big Lie about the stolen election. If they collectively fail to do so, there is no uniting, no future, and the party deserves not just to lose but to dissolve.

Demographics

Sixty-seven percent of the 2020 electorate was white, down from 70 percent in 2016. Trump won 58 percent of this shrinking majority, compared to 41 percent for Biden. But the growing non-white vote was 33 percent, which Biden won 71 percent to Trump’s 26 percent.

On the bright side, Trump increased his percentage of Hispanic voters from 28 percent to 32 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of Hispanics in the electorate rose to 13 percent, from 11 percent in 2016. Trump also won more Black voters, 12 percent compared to 8 percent in 2016. Still, the Republican Party has a lot of catching up to do with non-white voters. Are demographics destiny? Yes, when combined with the all reasons above. For if the GOP goes “the way of the Whigs,” demographics would accelerate the demise already in motion.

Ultimately, the one saving grace that could keep the GOP in business is Democratic overreach —  liberalism gone wild, political correctness run amok and tanking the economy with progressive policies. And all that will start happening in 3, 2, 1.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill on Jan. 29, 2021

Forty-six years have passed since I first joined College Republicans. Sadly, after decades of embracing (and often defending) my Republican identity, I am re-registering as an independent voter. Psychologically this action equates to a painful divorce, leaving me disheartened, discouraged and alone.

But I am not alone. There are tens of thousands, perhaps even millions, of former Republicans newly estranged from the “Trumplican” Party — aptly named for the man who highjacked what used to be a “big tent” party. That’s the Republican Party I remember joining when those with diverse opinions were still welcomed.

In the Trumplican-era, RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), including those who worked for either of the President Bushes, Sens. John McCain and Mitt Romney, have been routinely demeaned, marginalized and branded with the most “despised” moniker — “Never Trumpers.”

Starting in mid-2016 after Trump won the presidential nomination, the old Grand Old Party whittled away, and the “big tent” was exclusively used for MAGA rallies. Rising from the passion was party leadership with cult-like allegiance to Donald J. Trump.

Organically starting at the county level, the adoration virus spread to the state parties and infected the Republican National Committee. Then came a historic political transformation: After decades of idolizing Ronald Reagan, the faithful started believing President Donald Trump was greater than Reagan. The shift was intolerant and arrogant, and it was not uncommon to hear that Trump was the “best president ever,” even better than Lincoln.

A friend from a swing state who served in Republican club leadership positions grew disgusted by the “blind” Trumplican allegiance. Yesterday in an email, she wrote, “I am saddened by the Republican Party. Donald Trump turned the values of the party upside down and pitted people against each other. He was never a true Republican but a divider who wanted to control it all.”

The notion of “pitting people against each other” eventually turned deadly, turning off some long-time GOP voters. This week, unprompted, a non-political professional told me he has left the Republican Party, as have his associates after holding Trump responsible for the Capitol attack.

Indeed it is comforting to know other former Republicans, but the question is: Where do we go? Certainly not to the Democratic Party, after reading President Biden’s initial avalanche of predictable liberal-leaning executive orders. Among them are controversial “transgender protections” that may effectively end some female sports by allowing biological males to compete on the same playing field. For a newly-minted president who championed and campaigned on unity, many of Biden’s executive orders have inflamed Republicans.

Amazingly, in his inaugural address, Biden asked the nation to “end this uncivil war” with Civil War-era levels of polarization resulting in what he called “a broken land.”  

Meanwhile, over at my broken former party, a new civil war has begun between Trump supporters and those who know the party can never win another national election with Trump as the king or kingmaker. Ironically, during the 2020 campaign, the GOP had never been so unified. Such lock-step solidarity was easily explained: Trump ruled by fear, especially with elected officials terrified they would be subject to tyrannical tweets with threats of being “primaried.”

Then came Nov. 3, followed by two months of Trump perpetuating the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen and that he had won in a landslide. On Jan. 6, the day after the GOP blamed Trump for losing the Senate, he incited a deadly insurrection to overturn the Electoral College certification. A week later, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time, and homeless Republicans thought, “now everything will change.”

But never underestimate the power of a cult of personality. This week after a preliminary vote, it became clear that an overwhelming majority of Republican senators still fear the former president and would not vote to convict. Why not erase the Constitution’s impeachment clause at the same time? God forbid if a future president uses Trump as a governing role model.

While many Republicans shamelessly cower to Trump and his loyal base, an inevitable Senate acquittal will further embolden him and his elected acolytes to inflict pain upon GOP leaders who voted for impeachment and conviction. It is ludicrous that Trump threatened to start a third party while he controls a party that chiefly exists to serve and defend him. In the foreseeable future, Trump’s iron rule will continue to squelch any rebel voices of reason.

Ultimately, Republicans can’t live with or without Trump. I can’t live with the Democrats, so for now I live in my tent, politically homeless.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.TAGS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONGOPREPUBLICAN PARTYDONALD TRUMPMITT ROMNEYJOHN MCCAINPOLITICS OF THE UNITED STATESNEVER TRUMP MOVEMENTCAPITOL ATTACKS


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics – Jan. 22, 2021

A “benefit” to being an aging baby boomer is a historical perspective on catastrophic postwar tragedies that changed everything. By “everything, I mean events that so dramatically altered the course of history in one 24-hour period that the “day after” ushered in a new era.

I would argue the following three dates/events fall into that horrific category:

Nov. 22, 1963: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Sept. 11, 2001: The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Jan. 6, 2021: The U.S. Capitol attack.

The latter is still raw and smoldering. There is much footage and evidence waiting to be reviewed. Many facts, villains, perpetrators, and collaborators are to be determined, with more arrests sure to come. Figuratively, tidal waves continue to crash on the shores of the Potomac from this political tsunami — an insurrection incited by former President Trump against a co-equal branch of government and his loyal vice president. Have we met the enemy, and he is “us,” chanting “USA, USA”?

The Capitol remains a fortress and a crime scene. Hence, it is too early for grand conclusions about precisely how Jan. 6 will alter and impact U.S. history, except to say that it will. As points of comparison, let’s revisit JFK’s death and Sept.11, 2001.

JFK Assassination

On the day John Kennedy was shot, I was a third-grader in Needham, Mass., a suburb of his Boston hometown. Seared into my memory is watching a classroom television when Walter Cronkite announced, “President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.”

Two days later, another mind-branded memory took root. Watched live by most Americans, alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was himself shot by Jack Ruby.

Years ago, veteran CBS journalist Bob Schieffer famously wrote that the JFK killing was “when America lost its innocence.” He explained, “As the entire nation watched in horror and shock as the events of that weekend unfolded on television in real-time — the FIRST time that had ever happened — our national confidence was shaken to the core.”

While JFK’s untimely death gripped the nation in unified mourning, newly sworn-in President Lyndon Johnson vowed to continue Kennedy’s visions for a better and more equal America. JFK’s passing, coupled with Johnson’s political savvy as a former Senate majority leader, resulted in numerous groundbreaking legislative achievements and social programs under the “Great Society” umbrella. The first was the landmark Civil Rights Act, signed on July 2, 1964. Now-familiar programs such as Medicare and Medicaid became law the following year.

Although Kennedy’s violent death negatively impacted Americans of all ages, few were more affected than the first wave of baby boomers, then in their teens. Less than three months later, a performance phenomenon united and infused the nation’s youth with new hope and turned the tide of their mourning. The Beatles made their U.S. debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Feb. 9, 1964. They were watched by 45.3% of households — 73 million Americans. The “Fab Four’s” music helped spark the period of cultural/social changes and political upheaval we now speak of simply as “the sixties.” But the first domino fell with the violence of Nov. 22, 1963.  

Sept. 11, 2001

On a sunny September morning 38 years later, “everything” changed again.

Four commercial airliners loaded with fuel for their east to west journeys across the U.S. were hijacked and turned into suicide missiles by 19 Islamic terrorists. The attacks targeting America’s most iconic financial, military, and government buildings took nearly 3,000 lives and launched the “Global War on Terror.”

Although Congress had not “officially” declared war, enabling legislation granted President George W. Bush all the authority and resources needed to conduct operations abroad and at home. Most notable was the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), signed on Sept. 18, 2001, and soon followed by the Patriot Act on Oct. 26. The attacks also facilitated a massive government reorganization that, for starters, birthed the Department of Homeland Security. Moreover, significant flaws in the nation’s vast web of intelligence agencies, which had led to a failure to “connect the dots” and share information, were exposed.

Collectively, Americans had never been more unified in their patriotism and outrage. Meanwhile, however, amid the fear of more attacks was apprehension about lost privacy and personal data collection.

All Americans were impacted by tighter security measures, especially on planes and in airports. Furthermore, thousands of young men and women were motivated to join the military and fight back. What now are called “endless wars” began first in Afghanistan, followed by Iraq.

As with JFK’s assassination, most of us will always remember where we were upon hearing the catastrophic news of Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, American life forever changed as we were all infused with an awareness of terrorist threats embodied in the popular, actionable slogan  “See something, say something.”

Jan. 6, 2021

This was the first time the Capitol had been attacked since the War of 1812.  

Though facts and fallout from Jan. 6 are still unfolding, over time that date will equate to 9/11 with its potential for long-term political consequences, policy changes, legislative action, and national vulnerability.

To best frame the discussion, what follows are questions that eventually will be answered – some within weeks, others in months. Still others will take considerably longer.  

–How will we label Jan. 6, 2021? Will it be known as the Capitol Hill Siege? Will it be “officially” remembered each year with solemnity?

–Did the attack prove that our democracy is fragile or strong? Remember, later that evening Congress reconvened and certified the Electoral College results for Joe Biden’s victory. The following Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. This Wednesday, Biden’s inauguration went smoothly, though the Capitol was turned into an armed fortress. Three consecutive Wednesdays in January that a fiction writer could never have imagined.

–When will the Capitol building and grounds get back to normal levels of security? Or will there forever be a “new normal”?

–What was the root cause of the attack? Increasing white nationalism that turned into domestic terrorism? Overzealous mobs egged on by Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was “stolen” and could be overturned on Jan. 6?

–Will there be any long-term impact on the Republican Party? What happens to the ambitious careers of two Jan. 6 “ringleaders,” Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley?

–Will Trump be convicted in the Senate for inciting an insurrection? If not, does that  “weaken” the Constitution’s impeachment clause?

–How will Jan. 6 impact Trump’s “brand” in the short term? What about his legacy?

–In the future, will the losing party be more apt to challenge presidential elections?

–How will the Jan. 6 events impact Joe Biden’s presidency in the first 100 days when a Senate trial is likely to be convened?

–How was the Capital so easily breached on Jan. 6? Did the mob have inside help?

–How many Capitol attackers will be convicted?

–Will there be fallout for Christians considering the appalling footage of Capitol attackers praying in the name of Jesus in the House chamber?

–How will Jan. 6 impact the ongoing debate about free speech and the power of tech giants to de-platform social media accounts?

–Will there be a congressionally authorized “January 6 Commission” similar to the 9/11 Commission? Will it have separate Republican and Democrat conclusions?

–Given the haste of Trump’s second impeachment, will that tool be used more frequently by the opposing party against future presidents?

So many questions, so many complicated answers (where any can be discerned).  

The passing of time will clarify the issues and concerns unleashed by the Capitol attack. That understanding will then translate into steps sure to shape our national identity and impact political discourse well into the 21st century. As with 11/22/63 and 9/11/01, 1/6/21 will echo long in our lives.

Myra Adams is a media producer and writer with numerous national credits. She served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. She can be reached at MyraAdams01@gmail.com or @MyraKAdams on Twitter. Related Topics: JFK Assassination9/11Capitol SiegeU.S. Capitol Assault


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from Medium on Jan. 15, 2021

On Wednesday, Donald Trump made history as a twice-impeached president. One could argue that Article 1, “Incitement of Insurrection,” reflects Trump firing the first shots of Civil War 2.0 with red MAGA hats and Trump 2020 banners replacing the Confederate flag.

Given the intense partisan political and cultural divide between red and blue America, such a conflict was inevitable, flammable, and waiting for a spark. Yet, nobody foresaw the opening battle would be an attempted siege of the Capitol — followed a week later by Trump’s second impeachment.

Moving into Joe Biden’s inauguration week, we will learn whether hard-core MAGA militia members are as dedicated to giving their lives and shedding blood for Trump as Confederate soldiers were for “The Cause.”

Follow Trump “to the ends of the earth”

For instance, “I say, take the hill or die trying” was a reader comment on MyMilitia.com — a site that “urged violence if senators made official the victory of President-elect Joe Biden,” as reported by ProPublica. In its piece titled “Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready,” the authors cite an extremist pro-Trump leader threatening violence after writing on Parler a week before, “If D.C. escalates…so do we.”

Such bravado, even if limited to extremist pockets, is compatible with what Eric Trump told the Associated Press on Tuesday — that “his father will leave the presidency with a powerful brand backed by millions of voters who will follow him, ‘to the ends of the Earth.’ ”

Eric’s assessment of loyalty is reminiscent of what his father famously said at an Iowa campaign stop on Jan. 23, 2016: “Polls say I have the most loyal people, did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

Not OK. And it’s why, five years later, Trump galvanized the actions of his most extreme cult-like loyalists into attacking the Capitol after two months of repeatedly hearing the president spew charges of election fraud to his 88.7 million Twitter followers.

Unfortunately, the most violence-prone of the thousands of mostly peaceful protesters who gathered for the Jan. 6 “Save America” rally were inspired to show “loyalty” by doing the president’s dirty work as Congress was certifying the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.

“Trump truth”

For those MAGA militia members, the only truth is “Trump truth” — the president “won in a landslide,” and the “election was stolen.” In Trump’s name, these patriots are “taking back their country,” so let the fight begin.

However, impeaching Trump for a second time does not solve another problem fueling Civil War 2.0. The issue at hand is the millions of Trump voters angry with Republican Party leaders who have recently turned against the president. They see Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Liz Cheney as the worst offenders, and on some days, Sen. Lindsey Graham too, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaning in that direction.

In MAGA-land, showing loyalty to Trump is always paramount. Since 2016, the grassroots of the GOP were conquered by the “Trumpican Party,” which grew in strength and zeal.

As proof of Trump’s domination, an October Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 54% of Republican voters supported Trump over the party — compared to 38% who were Republicans first.

This week the numbers have flipped. An Axios-Ipsos survey reported that “a majority of Republicans in the poll — 56% — consider themselves traditional Republicans; 36% call themselves Trump Republicans.” Still, that 36% is a powerful, influential bloc of voters who will follow Trump “to the ends of the Earth.”

Greatest president since Reagan or Lincoln

Is there hope for my former party? Having been an active and loyal Republican for over four decades, I can attest that, in the past four years, if one did not believe that Trump was the greatest president since Reagan or Lincoln, you had better find a new party. (That’s the reason I am currently politically homeless, waiting for an “under new management” sign or perhaps even a new party to be formed by disgruntled former Republicans, of which there are millions.)

Fortress Washington looks like Civil War 2.0 has begun

With Trump’s abandonment of leadership, the nation’s capital has physically been transformed into a fortress. Not since the first Civil War has the “Union” military presence throughout Washington, D.C., been at today’s levels. There are over 20,000 troops deployed for Biden’s inauguration, with an IED threat making headlines. When will it be safe for these soldiers to disperse — weeks, months? Years? (Never?) Moreover, the FBI is warning of inaugural-related violence throughout the nation with state capitals also on guard. Let’s hope our global enemies don’t further complicate matters. Undoubtedly, our national turmoil makes us a soft target while the twice impeached president runs out the clock.

Another passion-stirring event that could explode Civil War 2.0 is the Senate impeachment trial. Soon-to-be Minority Leader McConnell announced that the trial is delayed until after Trump leaves office, thus placing it in Chuck Schumer’s lap. Indeed, “split-screen” optics with Trump’s trial and Biden’s new administration initiatives would send an off-kilter message to the nation and the world.

Can GOP leaders “purge” Trump?

The critical question is whether two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict, and bar Trump from holding public office again. If they do, then McConnell could theoretically “purge Trump” from the party and win back control of the chamber in 2022. But if Trump is acquitted and wants to run in 2024, McConnell should consider the findings of a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted Jan. 8–11, which showed support is strong for a Trump comeback: If the Republican primary for the 2024 presidential election were held now, Trump would win 42% of Republican voters. (The poll was taken before impeachment, which could improve those numbers.)

By comparison, the same question, asked Nov. 21–23, found that 54% chose Trump. Though the latest survey shows a decline of 12 percentage points, that still leaves a significant chunk of Trump voters not wanting to “purge” their leader, thus illustrating why Civil War 2.0 is likely to continue.

The “Big Lie” is fueling Civil War 2.0

And here is another reason. Last Friday, Biden referenced the “Big Lie” concept that originated with Joseph Goebbels. He was one of Adolf Hitler’s henchmen who infamously said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

The Big Lie this time was perpetrated by an insecure president who could not accept defeat and fears the “loser” label. Despite recounts, court rulings, and state certifications to the contrary, Trump truth prevailed among his devotees. Now, “Experts warn that Trump’s ‘big lie’ will outlast his presidency,” a CNN headline announced this week.

How big was the big lie? A December Quinnipiac poll found 77% of Republicans believed the election results were riddled with widespread fraud. Overall, “60% of registered voters polled believe that Biden’s victory was legitimate, but 34% do not.”

The big lie is a big problem for Biden, who must resolve the fraud-charge issue, with Republicans help, for the good of the nation.

Only 23% of Republicans believe Trump incited Jan. 6 violence

More Trump truth: A CBS/You Gov poll released Wednesday found that only 23% of Republicans “think Donald Trump encouraged violence at the Capitol” compared to 59% of all Americans, 90% of Democrats, and 58% of independents.

Such opinion gaps are why our nation will be fighting Civil War 2.0, alongside a pandemic of Biblical proportions and a wounded, weak economy, for some time to come. Then, there is the explosive, passionate issue of free speech. With high-tech giants de-platforming conservatives on major sites and shutting down right-wing alternatives such as Parler, a new “Battle of Gettysburg” could be in the making.

The list of catastrophic problems plaguing our homeland awaiting the new 78-year-old president is seemingly endless.

“A house divided against itself will not stand”

Biden’s stated goal is to unify, and that stance should be applauded. Moreover, unification is necessary, considering President Abraham Lincoln’s pre-Civil War warning that “a house divided against itself will not stand.” And it did not, at least not without a fight.

Even though Lincoln’s words (quoting Jesus) are an overused cliché, they remind us of the devastation unleashed 160 years ago. And since we are one nation under God, let’s pray for national unification at this critical juncture.

Let that be our new “cause” and one that must not be lost.

WRITTEN BYMyraAdams

Myra Adams is a media producer and conservative writer with numerous national credits.

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MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

By Myra Adams, reposted from Medium – Jan. 8, 2021

During Trump’s Georgia rally on Monday night in support of Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the president told the large, enthusiastic crowd, “I’m going to be here in a year and a half, and I’m going to be campaigning against your governor and your crazy secretary of state, I guarantee you.”

Such electoral bravado heralded Trump’s post-presidency visions of grandeur. Before Tuesday’s election results, he was on track to become one of the most influential former presidents in history. In November, he lost reelection but won a record 74.2 million votes with “77% of Republicans believing there was widespread fraud,” according to a December Quinnipiac poll.

What follows is an assessment of Trump’s post-presidency before Monday and after Wednesday’s “Siege of Capitol Hill” — widely reported as an insurrection and assault on democracy.

BEFORE: Trump is highly motivated to prove that he was not and is not a “loser.”

For Trump’s psyche, there is nothing worse than to be labeled a “loser.” (Refer to niece Mary Trump’s bestselling book, “Too Much and Never Enough” for all the family background.) She explains why during the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly said, “the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”

Nonetheless, give Trump credit for being transparent before, and then after the election for successfully convincing his supporters (along with many Republican officeholders) that contrary to court rulings at every level, the election was “stolen.”

AFTER: The loser label has become a tattoo.

Let the record show that Trump, as leader of the Republican Party, presided over his party losing control of the executive and legislative branches of government. After Tuesday’s election debacle, he is rightly being blamed for losing the Senate after Democrats won both Georgia seats.

BEFORE: Flirting with a 2024 presidential run.

Continually teasing his 2024 plans is a ploy for Trump to remain in the media spotlight. Most important, it is a significant fundraising boost that keeps his ardent supporters engaged.

AFTER: Dead — stick a fork in it. If Trump continues the “flirt,” it will be perceived as the ravings of a mad man. The “Trumpican Party” I wrote about in June of 2020 died on Jan. 6, 2021, after its “troops” tried and failed to “take the Hill” and overturn a presidential election. Worse for Trump, due to bi-partisan disgust, there is a slight chance he could be an ex-president before his term officially ends at noon on Jan. 20. Moreover, his access to Facebook and Instagram are denied for an undetermined length of time.

BEFORE: Trump refuses to concede the presidency.

He is besieged with a strong and unending desire to avenge (in his words) the “fraudulent,” “stolen,” “illegal,” and “rigged” election worthy of a “third-world country,” repeatedly insisting that he “won in a “landslide.”

AFTER: Since Twitter froze the president’s account on Wednesday, senior adviser Dan Scavino tweeted on Jan. 7, 2021, at 3:49 AM (note the time) on Trump’s behalf:

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

Then on Thursday night, Trump made another statement in a prerecorded video that could be perceived as a concession of sorts since he acknowledged the “new administration.”

But you know the tide has turned after Trump lost the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham.

BEFORE: Trump’s Save America PAC raises at least $66 million.

Fighting the “fraudulent” election is very lucrative.

At Trump’s disposal are at least $66 million in the coffers of his Save America PAC he can use for “political activities” to support/fight any incumbent or new candidate, cause, or issue that serves his needs or agenda.

AFTER: How “political activities” will be defined by Team Trump is anyone’s guess, but millions have a good chance of being spent on legal bills. How toxic Trump’s brand becomes during his post-presidency will determine if any candidates want his financial support.

BEFORE: Holding rallies as a “kingmaker” and Republican Party leader.

At rallies that Trump inevitably planned to have to maintain and solidify his standing as a “winner” and leader of the Republican Party, one could surmise that the “stolen” election was inevitably going to be acentral theme.

AFTER: Ifrallies resume at all, they are likely to be greatly diminished. As a result of what looks to be the last rally of his presidency, Trump is blamed for inciting the violent takeover attempt of the Capitol. The timing was planned to occur while Congress was in a joint session certifying the Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden as the 46th president.

If you are unsure whether Trump deserves blame for the Capitol siege, read the 1.13-hour rally speech for more insight.

The rally and speech were meant to energize the thousands of MAGA troops proudly waving Trump banners. Keep in mind the event was planned and promoted for weeks, designed to bring his most loyal supporters to Washington for the last stand to “stop the steal.” Here is what Trump said at the end of his now infamous rally:

“And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

“We’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

Trump gave “walking” orders to the Capitol and the rest is history.

BEFORE: Trump’s narcissistic need to stay in the headlines as the center of attention.

Media attention is a proven way for him to stay “powerful” to enhance his “winning” Trump brand in politics, business, and upcoming court battles.

AFTER: He will still garner attention for as long as he lives. But most likely, his post-presidency influence will dramatically fade.

BEFORE: An aura of fear.

Fear that Trump will attack anyone who is not sufficiently loyal to him (assisted by his 88.7 million Twitter followers and “Trump media.”)

AFTER: Trump will resume tweeting in his post-presidency but perhaps somewhat defanged. He will go down in history with very mixed reviews. But ultimately, as an impeached president (remember that?) who tried to overturn his reelection defeat by inciting followers who damaged the building (literally and figurately) — the symbol of a great nation that stands for the virtues of democracy throughout the world.

BEFORE: “Best President since Reagan” or “Lincoln” — take your pick.

In January 2020, I wrote a piece with the headline quote, ‘If Trump Wasn’t Trump, He’d Be Reagan.’ Within, I requoted the Palm Beach Post reporting a Republican National Committee official who said, “‘I used to say that President Trump is our best president since Ronald Reagan. I don’t say that anymore. I say President Trump is our best president since Abraham Lincoln,’ he said to cheers.”

Need I say more? Seriously, this was the thinking of “mainstream” Trump supporters.

AFTER: Trump’s post-presidency could get weird or turn tragic. Reports about pardoning himself could drown his legacy in a sea of scorn and disdain.

On the brighter side, Trump could stage a comeback. And perhaps that effort began Thursday night in the previously mentioned “concession” video when he ended saying, “And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed. But I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”

Will his loyal supporters go along for the ride? Politico’s Thursday night headline read, “Trump’s grip on GOP grassroots holds fast” with the subhead, quoting a Florida GOP leader, “ ‘The Trump name in the Republican Party is stronger than it has ever been.’ ”

Remember, with Donald J. Trump, never count him out and always expect the unexpected.


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics: Dec. 30, 2020

We’ve all been deluged with lists of 2020 winners, losers, and reasons why everyone is saying good riddance to this challenging, tragic, chaotic, and unusual year.

This one has a different slant: Five “never before and never again” phenomena unique to 2020. (Yes, I know that one must “never say never,” but the following qualify as two-headed freaks of politics and economics.)

We Saw the First President to Be Impeached and Then Run for Reelection

Notably, Trump’s status as only the third U.S. president to be impeached was practically never mentioned during the campaign. (Obviously, both Democrats and Republicans had good reasons to conveniently forget.) But still, the notion of an impeached president running for reelection after winning the nomination of a major party, virtually uncontested, is a political abnormality befitting the plot of a Netflix series. Over time, historians will view this feat as a highly irregular chapter in presidential history, likely never to be repeated.

Both the Losing and Winning Presidential Candidates Won More Popular Votes Than Any President in U.S. History

Therein lies the factual justification for President Trump’s frequent insistence that his winning a record-breaking 74.2 million votes is why he “won” the election. The problem is President-elect Joe Biden holds the overall record with 81.2 million votes. Still, when comparing the number of presidential ballots cast over the last 20 years, Trump’s popular vote “loss” places him in the winner’s circle. Also, remember that he blew past his 2016 total of 62.9 million votes.

It is essential to recognize that never before have presidential candidates won over 70 million votes. Clinton in 2016 won 65.8 million. Obama in 2012 won 65.9 million with 69.4 million in 2008. Bush in 2004 won 62 million, and 50.4 million in 2000. 

In 2020, voter participation at 66.7% of the electorate accounts for Trump and Biden’s historical totals. How does that percentage compare to the last five presidential elections? Take a look:

2016 – 61.4%

2012 – 61.8%

2008 – 63.6%

2004 – 63.8%

2000 – 59.5%

Whether voting participation at 66.7% is a 2020 “never again” abnormality is a good question. Indeed, it was due to the extreme partisanship and dire circumstances facing the nation – which one hopes will never be repeated. But for clues, watch the 2022 midterm elections. During the 2018 midterms, there was a record participation rate of 53.4%, up from 41.9% in 2014, and 2018 heralded 2020’s record turnout.

The First President From the “Silent Generation”

At age 78, Joe Biden is the oldest president to be elected and the first from the “Silent Generation” born between 1928 and 1945.

After Dwight Eisenhower, every postwar president was born either part of the Greatest Generation (1901 to 1927) or a Baby Boomer (1946 to 1964). The switch between these two large and influential generations occurred in 1992 with no going back — until Biden broke the chain.

Here are the seven Greatest Generation presidents in order of serving and their birth year:

John Kennedy: 1917

Lyndon Johnson: 1908

Richard Nixon: 1913

Gerald Ford: 1913

Jimmy Carter: 1924

Ronald Reagan: 1911

George H. W. Bush: 1924

Followed by five Baby Boomer presidents:

Bill Clinton: 1946

George Bush: 1946

Barack Obama: 1961

Donald Trump: 1946

Back to Silent Generation:

Joe Biden: 1942

In modern American presidential history, once a generation comes of age and gains a White House foothold, that generation serves for decades — even fending off attempts to go backward. For example, in 1996, the Greatest Generation’s Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton. Then in 2008, the Silent Generation’s John McCain lost to Barack Obama. Whether or not the Baby Boom generation has run its presidential course remains to be seen. (VP-elect Kamala Harris was born in 1964 at the tail end.) And for now, Joe Biden’s generation is no longer “silent” in the White House, with the “going back” quirk just another abnormal political occurrence in a bizarre year.

Largest GDP Quarterly Decline Followed by Largest Quarterly Increase

Never in U.S. history has there been such a severe decline in the gross domestic product as we saw in the second quarter of 2020 with  -31.4%.

That is what happened when a robust economy was forced to shut down due to the COVID pandemic. No previously recorded quarterly decline even comes close to what occurred during April, May, and June. For comparison, during the Great Recession (2007-2009), the largest GDP decline was “only” 8.4%, recorded during the fourth quarter of 2008.  Decades earlier, in the first quarter of 1958, there was a 10% decline.

Then, in the third quarter of 2020, growth was 33.4%, a phenomenal swing.

Never before and likely never again will our nation experience such back-to-back lows to highs. Meanwhile, recovery is happening, albeit slowly. According to Kiplinger’s 2020 forecast, the estimated GDP growth rate will be -3.5%. Another organization predicts GDP will shrink by -3.6%.

By comparison, the GDP growth rate in 2019 was 2.3%, down from 2.9% in 2018.

A notable frame of reference was in 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression, when GDP shrunk by -13%.

Therefore, even though the U.S. economy experienced a “never before” swing between the second and third quarters, potentially ending 2020 with “only” about a -3.5% decline in growth is still terrible, but not catastrophic.   

Record-Breaking One Year Increase in the National Debt 

At this writing, the national debt is $27.5 trillion, up from $22.7 trillion in 2019. This one year increase of $4.8 trillion is a “never before” statistic. But “never again” is unlikely based on this number: The U.S. Debt Clock projects that in 2024, at current rates of spending, the national debt will increase to $49.1 trillion. That averages to a $5.4 trillion increase every year over the next four years.

In perspective, and for now, the current one-year debt increase is alarming. For example, in 1980, the debt was $934 billion. Ten years later, in 1990, it had jumped to $3.2 trillion. Then in 2000, it was $5.6 trillion. By 2004 it climbed to $7.5 trillion. And in 2017, the debt had crept up to $20.2 trillion. Currently, and only three years later, the national debt has increased by $7.3 trillion to $27.5 trillion and climbing fast.

Remember when Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility? Now, get ready for the “tax and spend” Democrats.

Though 2020 has been a year with numerous “never again/never before” events and occurrences, the one-year national debt increase of $4.8 trillion represents a future acceleration due to off-the-charts spending that will continue unabated — and could be our national undoing.


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics: Dec. 17, 2020

At noon on Jan. 20, 2021, Donald J. Trump’s presidential term expires. Whether he plans to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration is the subject of much speculation, even amusement, but important consequences hang in the balance. We’re left to wonder: Will the great American “smooth transition of power” exhibit rough edges?

On Sunday morning, during a “Fox & Friends” airing of an interview with President Trump conducted a day earlier, host Brian Kilmeade dared to broach the touchy subject of inaugural attendance. The president bluntly responded, “I don’t want to talk about that.” (Note: Even having to put that question to an outgoing U.S. president is far outside the norm since attendance is assumed.)

If Trump takes a pass, he would be only the fourth U.S. president to snub his successor’s swearing-in ceremony. The prior three were John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829, and Andrew Johnson in 1869. Similarly to Trump, Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate. Unlike Trump, Johnson did not win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 1868.

Thus, 151 years later, when the president says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” that likely translates as “no-show.”

Trump’s empty inaugural seat would add just another non-traditional post-election presidential action to his growing list. Others include refusing to concede, insisting that he “won big,” and encouraging numerous (many say frivolous) state and local lawsuits culminating with a clear Supreme Court rejection. Trump fired a government cyber agency official who was responsible for ensuring a “safe and secure” election. Then he called and tried to bully state officials to overturn election results.

Before the end of Trump’s term, we can expect more unpresidential actions, questionable pardons, high-level firings, and head-turning statements. Among the most glaring so far are two zingers from the Kilmeade interview: “I worry about the country having an illegitimate president.” And, even more outrageous, “What happened to this country is we were like a third world country.” (Something he ought to say while looking in the mirror?)

Still, there is a chance that Trump will be persuaded to attend the traditional Inauguration Day events, details of which are in pandemic-era flux. Typically, the president and the first lady would welcome the Bidens to the White House for tea. Donald would leave Joe an encouraging personal note in the drawer of the Resolute Desk. Together they would ride to the Capitol, and Trump would quietly watch Biden take the oath of office. Afterward, the former president would depart Washington for the adoring crowds awaiting him in the Sunshine State.

If all that happened, it would make headline news around the globe for its normalcy. Such mature, traditional, non-Trumpian behavior would demonstrate, in the end, that the 45th U.S. president is an American patriot. It would speak to his upholding of democratic ideals while loving the nation more than personal power.

Perhaps close to Jan. 20, he will recognize that his presence at the swearing-in could help change the hearts — if not necessarily the minds — of 68% of Republican voters and the 36% of all voters (according to a Fox News poll) who believe that the election was “stolen.” Moreover, it would show that Trump was a big, strong, and tough man who accepted the election outcome, but is still personally a “winner.”

Best of all, imagine this scene: During President Biden’s inaugural address, he calls out Trump and gives him credit for pushing through the COVID vaccine — by that time injected into millions of American arms. Trump stands and basks in the applause. If he attends, that could happen. It’s a scene that would be Biden’s generous and gentlemanly response to Trump’s Nov. 26 statement that “the vaccines — and, by the way, don’t let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccines … because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”

Think about it. With Trump present and Biden applauding his “medical miracle,” a powerful message could be sent to the nation and world:

Despite bumps in the road, American democracy abides. This is how we do it — we fight like hell and then move ahead. We are on the path to unity. Don’t mess with the USA! We are strong, will continue to lead the world, and in four years, do it all again!

Besides the national symbolism encompassing our vaunted “smooth transition of power,” Trump could personally benefit if he attends the ceremony. There, he will be in the company of the four living former U.S. presidents, who could welcome him into their ultra-prestigious “club.”

After all, we know how much Trump loves exclusive clubs. Then, at their gatherings, he could always brag that he is still the “greatest winner” since he received more votes than any of them.