Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Why I AM a Democrat

by D.J. McGuire

In reading Bruce Bartlett’s compressed autobiography-turned-advice column, I couldn’t help but feel the old supply-side economist had, for the most part, been just a few steps ahead of me. My dissolution with President Bush the Younger came a few years after his 2005 broadside against same (although I dimly recall even then considering his critique having merit), and of course, I left the Republican Party in the last year of the Obama Administration, rather than its beginning. I’ve even felt the liberation of sloughing off the political orthodoxy that comes with partisan tribalism.

Yet somehow, I was taken up short by how Bartlett chose to…well come up short of switching to the Democrats. Despite his clear antipathy to the Republican Party, he cannot bring himself to go to its opposition. He states his reasons in the Huffington Post (well after Bill Moyers).

I’ve grown to hate my former party. You’d think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I’m not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me. I am not insulted by this, only surprised. And my efforts to suggest ideas to Democrats have been uniformly rebuffed. Like the Republicans, Democrats are wary of apostates and are only receptive to those born into their church, it seems.

Of much more importance in terms of my reluctance to join the Democratic Party is that the party doesn’t really seem to stand for anything other than opposition to the GOP. Admittedly, just about everything the Republicans are doing deserves to be opposed. But the Democrats also need a positive agenda of their own.

Anyway, for the time being, I will remain an independent who is waiting for a tough, muscular Democrat with the courage of their convictions and no fear of Republicans to arise, as French President Emmanuel Macron did. He showed that being a moderate does not mean being weak, and that fear of the right is the right’s greatest strength, but one that is easily punctured.

I share Bartlett’s wishes for a “tough, muscular Democrat” who knows “that being a moderate does not mean being weak,” and lead the party to present “a positive agenda of their own.” Yet having trailed Bartlett for much of this journey, I have now passed him, and declared myself a Democrat. While Bartlett has his reasons for remaining an independent, I feel compelled to present mine for fully crossing party lines.

My decision after last year’s election, when I felt the Democrats needed some changes (particularly on economic policies). I concluded, on the morning of November 9, that Democrats would be more willing to hear advice from one of their own. While Bartlett can certainly opine from the outside, my experience with the Republican Party showed me that outsiders don’t get the attention that members do.

Unlike Bartlett, who began as an economist who got pulled into politics, I began as a political activist when I was 15 – and only decided to pursue economics as a discipline a few years later. My time in the Republican Party spanned 25 years, and included actually being a candidate for office. As such, I’m guessing I’ve been to far more party meetings and election night watch parties than Bartlett. We had a bond, my fellow Republican activists and I, one that allowed for discussions about what the party was doing and should be doing…discussions that were always discounted when an outsider was involved.

I presumed it would be the same with the Democrats. So, I made sure there was enough not to make being a Democrat too incongruous – LGBTQIA rights, immigration policy, and Syria were more than enough – and set about helping them become a party that, in my opinion, can not only defeat Trump in 2020, but govern after him.

Thus, on the first Tuesday in December, did I attend the local Democratic committee meeting for the first time in my life. Contrary to Bartlett’s observations, those “born to the church” welcomed the newcomer with open arms, and my “efforts to suggest ideas” led to a request that I join the platform committee.

Granted, being a conservative Democrat is not exactly easy (well, except when attention goes to the Republicans’ efforts to pass a health care bill) but I found that, having taken the first step, my new(-ish) party is a better fit than I’d hoped, and its longer serving members are more receptive to suggestions than Bartlett’s experiences have told him…

…which is why, unlike he, I am a Democrat.

Father’s Day

Episode 104 of The More Perfect Union podcast looks at Father’s Day in Trumpland, as the gang reviews a week of unspeakable violence, unexplainable verdicts, chasms in the Democratic party, and potential names for the Beyoncé twins.

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And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Helena, Molly, and lots of other smart, fun people.

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Comey Time

This week’s More Perfect Union podcast looks at the senate testimony of James Comey, the likelihood of impeachment charges, congress’s attempt to defang Dodd-Frank, and a little gossip about Senator Dodd and Princess Leah.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Helena, Molly, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Find us on Twitter at @MPUpodcast

International Man

Episode 101 of The More Perfect Union podcast looks at President Trump’s first overseas excursion, trouble brewing for Jared at home, the Trump budget, and the infamous Saudi glowing orb.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Molly, Helena and lots of other smart, fun people.

Democrats Need to Make the Political Case Against Trump’s Russia Policy

by D.J. McGuire

“It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder.” – Joseph Fouché, Chief of Police for Napoleon (though often misattributed to Talleyrand)

For Democrats, the case against Donald Trump is so personal that we risk losing or not gaining support that would otherwise naturally be ours. There is, sadly, no other plausible explanation for the party’s overemphasis on finding legal grounds to remove him from office to the detriment of building a policy case against his affinity for Vladimir Putin.

This is not to say the legal issue stirred up by accusations of collusion between Trump for President and the Kremlin should be ignored, but I think my new-ish party can – and indeed, must – walk and chew gum at the same time. We need to ensure voters – especially Republican voters – understand the inherent danger Putin’s regime poses to American interests, to the democratic world as a whole, and to human rights. Otherwise, there is a great risk that Trump will survive, be re-elected, and do incalculable damage to the matters above. Continue reading Democrats Need to Make the Political Case Against Trump’s Russia Policy

Russia-gate Harkens Back to the Bygone Days of Benghazi-gate

by Kevin Kelton

For Americans over 19, today’s “Russia-gate” headlines harken back to a bygone era of the 2015 “Benghazi-gate” scandal and a time of hot yoga, iPhone Sixes, John Green novels, and a guy named “Jeb!” captured the hearts of dark money donors everywhere.

Hard as it is to believe, it’s been almost two years since the email scandal and “Benghazi” hearings that so closely echo the Russian election tampering news of today. But for Americans who were born then, the similarities are eery.

Continue reading Russia-gate Harkens Back to the Bygone Days of Benghazi-gate

The Fault Lies In Ourselves

by Kevin Kelton

While we watch the slow, painful destruction of our political system, we should take a moment to reflect that we did this to ourselves. Every one of us. We bought into the politics of hate. We bought into the politics of cults. We devoured negative ads and delighted in dirty, underhanded campaigns. (This goes for the liberals as well.) We believed the worst in our candidates and pilloried them for being human. We gave ratings to hate. We rewarded crassness and punished civility.

Continue reading The Fault Lies In Ourselves

On Donald Trump’s Alarming Weakness on Communist China

By D.J. McGuire

For those of us who look with a wary eye across the Pacific Ocean to the Chinese Communist regime, Donald Trump was something of a wild card in the presidential campaign of last year. His rank protectionism included harsh words against the Beijing cadres, but he also ripped the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving nearly all the democracies in Eastern Asia that would have been a geopolitical bulwark against Zhongnanhai (Beijing’s equivalent of the Kremlin). Add in his mixed bag on military and geopolitical policies (stronger defense countering his threats to withdraw from Japanese bases), and no one was really sure what we’d get.

Four months in, we have a better idea of Trump’s deviations from the standard “engagement” policy of that is a favorite of the establishment wings of both major parties. If anything, Trump is more willing to appease the “ChiComs” than any of his post-Tiananmen-massacre predecessors. Zhongnanhai is taking advantage, to the peril of the democratic world.

Continue reading On Donald Trump’s Alarming Weakness on Communist China

Political Faith

Episode 97 of “The More Perfect Union” podcast covers the prospects of TrumpCare in the senate, the president’s executive order on religious freedom and his upcoming visit to The Vatican, the Jordan Edwards shooting, the fallout from Steven Colbert’s controversial monologue, and why Mika “hearts” Morning Joe.

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And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Helena, Molly, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Death and Taxes

In this More Perfect Union podcast, the gang talks about the Trump tax cut plan, how tax cuts have worked in the past, former President Obama’s decision to give an expensive speech to a Wall Street firm, and their all-time favorite political films.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with D.J., Kevin, Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Helena, Molly, and lots of other smart, fun people.