Mike Lee

Would Any Republican Senators Vote For Conviction Of Donald Trump In Impeachment Trial? It Is Possible Up To 23 Would Do So, Three More Than Needed To Remove Trump From Oval Office!

As the likelihood of the impeachment of Donald Trump increases daily, the question arises whether any of the 53 Republican Senators would actually vote for his conviction and removal from the Presidency.

It has been reported that privately up to 30 Republican Senators would wish to do so, but are unwilling to risk their Senate seats to vote in public, where they need to be listed as to their vote on the matter.

Looking at the list of Republicans, it seems to this author and blogger that the following 23 might decide to convict Trump:

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Marco Rubio of Florida

Johnny Isakson of Georgia

Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Joni Ernst of Iowa

Pat Roberts of Kansas

Rand Paul of Kentucky

John Kennedy of Louisiana

Susan Collins of Maine

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Deb Fischer of Nebraska

Richard Burr of North Carolina

Rob Portman of Ohio

James Lankford of Oklahoma

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Tim Scott of South Carolina

John Thune of South Dakota

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Mike Lee of Utah

Mitt Romney of Utah

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

All of these Senators, except four, do not face election until 2022, or 2024 in the case of Fischer and Romney, while Roberts, Enzi and Alexander are retiring in 2020, and Isakson is retiring early at the end of 2019 due to poor health . Only Collins, Ernst, Sasse and Capito face election in 2020, but possibly could be considered “yes” votes for conviction.

If all of these 23 GOP Senators voted to convict, added to 47 Democrats and Independents, it would mean the vote to convict would be 70-30, enough by three, allowing, in theory, three of the Senators facing election in 2020 to decide NOT to remove Trump.

Utah Senator Mike Lee Seems To Have An Edge For Supreme Court Nomination

On June 28, this blogger suggested that Utah Senator Mike Lee was a likely potential possibility for the Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

He would be a rarity, a sitting United States Senator, chosen for the Supreme Court.

There is no requirement that a sitting Federal Court judge must be chosen, although that has become the tradition since Governor Earl Warren of California was chosen to be Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, with only Sandra Day O’Connor, who served in the Arizona State Senate, and chosen by Ronald Reagan in 1981, having any elective experience since then.

As stated on June 28, we had Senators earlier, including most impressively, Hugo Black, who had done good deeds on the Supreme Court.

So the belief that Mike Lee has the advantage comes to the forefront again. It was announced that Lee had been interviewed for the position, so he is on the short list.

Lee is 47, which from the viewpoint of Donald Trump and conservatives, is ideal, meaning a 35 year term on the Supreme Court under normal circumstances.

Lee is a sometimes critic of Trump, who did not back him, which makes him seem independent of any influence by Trump if Lee was on the Court.

Lee is pro life, which would make it hard for Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to support him, but neither is needed as long as some Red State Democrats—Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp—all who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—support him. And both Collins and Murkowski ended up voting for Gorsuch, so their protestations seem weak.

It would be difficult for either Collins or Murkowski to vote against their own party and Senate colleague in the end, as after all, both voted for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and Collins even gave a strong endorsement presentation before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his nomination to the Justice Department, despite his outrageous racism.

So I suggest that Lee might be the choice of Trump, and more likely to sail through confirmation, and with a likely 53-46 vote (without John McCain voting), and possibly more Red State Democrats justifying the vote for their “Senate colleague”!

Party loyalty and Senatorial “courtesy” give Mike Lee the advantage, at least in theory, but we shall see!

What If Utah Senator Mike Lee Is Nominated For Supreme Court?

Early speculation on who Donald Trump might select to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court centers on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, an original Tea Party member, having served in the Senate, and promoting libertarian ideas since 2011.

Not always a supporter of Trump, and not backing him in 2016 due to the Access Hollywood tape, Lee would still be a prime choice for Trump.

Lee is only 47 and could be expected to serve on the Court until 2050 and beyond.

He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has to consider the Supreme Court nomination, and there are 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats on that committee.

To believe that any of his GOP colleagues on the committee, or even in the Senate, would vote against their party member, is hard to conceive.

And if all 50 Republicans stay united (minus John McCain, who is not likely to return to Washington DC anytime soon), at the worst, Vice President Mike Pence can vote if need be, but a 50-49 vote is a majority, and likely, a few Democrats, in red states facing election, would cross the aisle and vote for Lee, as they did for Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

Having a Senator on the Supreme Court is not unheard of, as it has happened 15 times in American history.

Most famously, there was Alabama Democratic Senator Hugo Black, who served on the Court for 34 years from 1937 to 1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. And President Harry Truman appointed two Senators—Sherman Minton of Indiana, who served from 1949-1956; and Harold Burton of Ohio who served from 1945-1958.

Also, there have been 17 Congressmen who served on the Supreme Court, including Warren G. Harding appointee George Sutherland of Utah who served from 1922-1938; and Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Kentucky, who served from 1946-1953, appointed by President Truman.

Finally, 6 Governors have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the last and most famous being California Governor Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and serving to 1969; along with significant appointments by President Abraham Lincoln of Ohio Governor Salmon P Chase to be Chief Justice, serving from 1864-1873; former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes, first appointed to the Court by William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1916, and then returning to the Court as Chief Justice by appointment of President Herbert Hoover from 1930-1941; and Michigan Governor Frank Murphy, appointed by FDR and serving from 1940-1949.

Donald Trump Alienating His Base Among Congressional Republicans, Threatening Longevity Of His Presidency!

Donald Trump is rapidly alienating his base among Congressional Republicans, threatening the longevity of his Presidency as a result.

Having fired Paul Ryan associates Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus is an unwise move, as is the constant criticism and harassment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which has many Southern and conservative Senators and Congressmen furious at Trump, for his lack of loyalty.

Many Senators are harshly critical of Trump, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Shelley Moore Capito, Rob Portman, and others.

More House of Representatives members are also unhappy, led by the Republican Establishment wing of Paul Ryan, who is still having to deal with the right wing Freedom Caucus extremists.

Trump is rapidly “burning his bridges”, as he makes himself someone without strong party support.

The odds of eventual abandonment and impeachment are growing!

Senate Republican Health Care Bill Will NOT Reach 50 Votes, As Now Stands!

The newly veiled Senate Republican Health Care legislation, created behind closed doors in great secrecy, is finally unveiled, and it is a total disaster for the poor, disabled, and elderly, and promotes the end of Medicaid, which 20 percent of the nation relies on, including 60 percent in nursing homes, and the millions of disabled people.

It undermines health care for the opioid crisis raging across America, and anyone with pre-existing conditions will no longer be protected.

It is a certainty that tens of thousands of Americans are being given a death warrant by the Republican Party, and its hard hearted, nasty, mean spirited membership, which is more concerned about giving massive tax cuts to the top one percent who do not need it, and have not asked for it, but will, of course, accept what is offered, as after all, does one reject candy offered?

But it is also important to note that this legislation will fall, as there is no way imaginable that 50 Senators out of 52 will support it.

Dean Heller of Nevada is the most endangered Republican Senator in 2018, and has said he cannot support it, and Nevada is one of the states that has more on Medicaid than many other states.

Susan Collins of Maine is, arguably, the most moderate Republican, and has made clear she cannot vote for legislation that decimates Medicaid.

The same can be said for Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, both states having loads of poor, struggling whites and others, who depend on Medicaid.

Both Collins and Murkowksi also defend Planned Parenthood, which is due to be cut from any government aid under the legislation.

Rob Portman of Ohio is also concerned about the opioid crisis hitting his state.

Jeff Flake of Arizona is the second most endangered Republican Senator coming up for re-election in 2018, so doubtful about his support for the legislation, as well.

Then, there are others who will not support the bill, as it is not harsh enough, imagine that–including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

And one wonders whether John McCain of Arizona, who has long had a “moderate” image, can actually vote for this legislation.

Also, all major medical associations have condemned the legislation as unacceptable, having a disastrous effect on rural areas, and on the idea that health care should be available for all Americans.

So, as of now, it is highly unlikely that the Senate Health Care bill will reach 50 votes!

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

Utah, The Mormon State, Could Vote Democratic For First Time Since 1964, When They Voted Against Barry Goldwater

Utah, the Mormon state, has had an interesting history in their voting patterns on the Presidential elections.

Coming into the Union in 1896, Utah voted for Democrat William Jennings Bryan that year; for Woodrow Wilson in his second term bid in 1916; for Franklin D. Roosevelt four times in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944; for Harry Truman in 1948; and for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (over Barry Goldwater).

So if Utah goes for Hillary Clinton, which now seems likely, it will be the first time in 52 years.

With Utah politicians, including Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, and former Governor Jon Huntsman condemning Donald Trump, and with Mitt Romney, the most famous Mormon and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, being vehemently anti Trump from the beginning of the 2016 Presidential race, it is seen as a blow to Trump having any chance to keep that state loyal to the Republican Party, which is natural in the past half century. Realize that Romney won 3-1 over Barack Obama four years ago!

Right Wing Hate For Barack Obama Far Surpasses Any Criticism Of Any Earlier President!

The right wing hate, led by the Tea Party Movement, for President Barack Obama, has reached the point of no return, and has FAR surpassed any criticism of any earlier President!

Whether it is talk radio, with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and others of their ilk; or Fox News Channel spewing poison and lies consistently; or the right wing think tanks, headed by the Heritage Foundation and others who distort facts and have an agenda to promote an oligarchy; or the super wealthy, such as the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others who are trying to destroy the middle class and promote their own profits at the expense of the entire nation; or the conservative journals of opinion, such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review, which promote their extremist agenda; or the lunatic House members, such as Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Steve King and others; or the right wing extremist Senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, newly elected Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst and others; as well as the leadership of many corporations and other special interests—there is a concerted campaign to destroy Barack Obama, with many wishing for his demise, meaning his death by whatever means possible.

Obama is more threatened now than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and in many respects, more than Lincoln, since the population is ten times what it was during the Civil War 150 years ago!

The venom, disrespect, racism, hatred, and accusations against Barack Obama have not had any limits. He has been accused of being a Muslim, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, anti Semitic, a racist against whites, a person who is bisexual, a gay man, an illegal drug abuser, having a mother who was a whore, having a different father who was a black nationalist, and much more.

Obama has been called an Emperor, a King, an abuser of Presidential power, but at the same time, he is weak and wimpy.

Sensible people see Obama as a moderate Republican of twenty to thirty years ago, not at all extreme, as Bruce Bartlett who worked for Ronald Reagan has said, who also says in many ways Obama is a traditional conservative, who has not done what liberals and progressives have wanted him to do.

On issues of human rights, Obama has been more aggressive, such as labor rights, civil rights, and gay and lesbian rights. On issues of importance to the future beyond our own time, he has supported the need for an aggressive policy on environmental protection.

But Obama has pushed a health care plan that the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole backed twenty years ago, giving health care companies control over health care, not exactly radical in nature, although depicted as such.

Obama has been attacked and criticized for every sin and fault imaginable, including wearing a tan suit; going on vacation (actually less than any recent President); using a veto power that he has only used twice; using executive orders less than any recent President; being unwilling to engage us in more wars and interventions, etc.

Through all the personal and policy attacks, Obama has always acted with dignity and calm, annoying the hell out of his critics, who want him to be the “angry black man”, and the leaders of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, give him no respect at all.

And now, the idea is being suggested by the despicable editor Richard Lowry of the National Review, that John Boehner decide not to invite the President to give his State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress!

Go ahead, right wingers, do exactly that, and the President will speak instead from the Oval Office, and will win public opinion, and show once and for all what the right wing nuts represent! If he chooses to denounce, finally, his right wing critics, who have gone beyond the pale in so many ways, it will boost his public opinion rating, just as Bill Clinton’s ratings went up after the impeachment effort against him in 1998-1999!

Expect that Obama will face impeachment by this right wing crowd, but he will come out shining as a result, and will not be removed from office. All it will do is show the Republican Party and the right wing for what they are–despicable hate mongers who will stop at nothing to destroy the 44th President of the United States!

The greatest fear is not impeachment, or not being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress, but the dangers against his life that Barack Obama faces every day, encouraged on in spirit, if not in direct statements publicly, by the opposition, which, again, is more hateful and vehement than any time since at least the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln!

Quandary Over Progressives Opposing Military Action Against ISIL (ISIS)

The Senate vote last week authorizing aid to the Syrian rebels fighting ISIL (ISIS) was a strange vote, bipartisan, which is rare, but 22 Senators of both parties voting NO!

This included such progressive Democrats as Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  It also included Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

On the other hand, it included Republicans such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, all Tea Party types.

The first list of seven Progressive Democrats and one Independent is highly respected by this author and blogger, and it makes him pause in his own support of the concept of starting a war against Islamic terrorism, what he sees as the beginning of World War III!

Of course, other Progressive Democrats DID support the majority vote, and it makes one wonder who is right, and who will be judged as correct by history, and it could affect the Presidential Election of 2016 and beyond, as, for instance, Hillary Clinton backing the Iraq War can be, and has been used, against her, and could be a problem in 2016!

These are difficult times, and we face a crisis of massive proportions, and trying to figure out what is best for the nation puts one in torment daily!

Thomas Nast’s Republican Elephant And The Elephant In The Room Now!

On this day in 1874, the famous political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, first portrayed Republicans as elephants, calling them the preferred party and the “smart” party.

The party he portrayed 139 years ago no longer exists, as it has become the party of stupidity, meanness, nastiness, racism, nativism, and misogyny! It is the party that hates immigrants, minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the federal government. It is the party of preventing progress, preventing job creation, out to destroy effective government..

It offers such horrible candidates as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul,. Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, as potential Presidential candidates.

And it is the party that decides to trash New Jersey Governor Chris Christie because he is too “moderate”, and can win the Latino vote in his state, and keep a somewhat open mind on some other issues that all of them have closed minds about.

So we see all of them avoiding the celebration of the victory of Christie, as they only care about themselves, not the welfare of the American people, or any fellow Republicans!

The good thing is that all of these Tea Party types are self destructing, while Christie, with his many faults, flourishes.

One watches the GOP of 2013 in wonderment, and has to say–When, oh when, will they get the message that the American people are not willing to accept the nation of the Civil War Era, the nation of the Great Depression, the nation even of Ronald Reagan? The nation has moved beyond all that, and no narrow minded view prevalent in the South, Great Plains, and Mountain States will stop the advancement of America into the future!