Rob Portman

17 Republicans Join 50 Democrats In First Senate Vote On Physical Infrastructure Legislation

In a surprising development, 17 Republican Senators joined the 50 Democratic Senators to vote for a version of the Physical Infrastructure legislation, a promising sign of bipartisanship.

The 17 Republicans who voted in favor include:

Roy Blunt Missouri
Richard Burr North Carolina
Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia
Bill Cassidy Louisiana
Susan Collins Maine
Kevin Cramer North Dakota
Mike Crapo Idaho
Lindsey Graham South Carolina
Chuck Grassley Iowa
John Hoeven North Dakota
Mitch McConnell Kentucky
Lisa Murkowski Alaska
Rob Portman Ohio
James Risch Idaho
Mitt Romney Utah
Thom Tillis North Carolina
Todd Young Indiana

This list includes moderates Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney, but also leading figures in the party, including Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and Rob Portman. It also includes both Republican Senators from North Carolina, North Dakota, and Idaho, an unlikely scenario!

And yet, Donald Trump has condemned this move in the Senate, and particularly attacked Mitt Romney, terming him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and it is all jealousy that he was unable to accomplish any infrastructure legislation during his Presidency, despite saying it was an important goal!

It is good to see that Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump on this matter, and hopefully, the party will wrest its freedom from the danger that Donald Trump represents!

The Lunacy Reigning In The Republican Party In Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Alaska

The Republican Party in many states is going total lunacy, as they work at praising Donald Trump and continuing to promote the “Big Lie” about the Presidential Election of 2020.

In Texas, the move is on to create the greatest restrictions on voting rights, which might force legislative Democrats to leave the state in order to prevent action.

Also, total whacko Allen West, the former head of the Texas Republican Party, after earlier being a nightmare in Florida politics, including one term in Congress a decade ago, is now challenging right wing governor Greg Abbott for the gubernatorial nomination in 2022, as if Abbott is not far enough to the Right!

Additionally, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held a gathering this weekend, including Donald Trump ranting and raving about the election being stolen.

In Oklahoma, Senator James Lankford, a solid conservative but not extreme in rhetoric, has been condemned by the state Republican party chair, and is now facing a primary to kick him out, totally off the wall!

And in Ohio, with Senator Rob Portman, a mainstream conservative retiring next year, the battle is on between extremist right winger Josh Mandel, who swears total loyalty to Donald Trump, and now the entry into the race of author and activist JD Vance, who had been very critical of Trump in 2016, but now swears loyalty to Trump, and says all Republicans must “suck up” to Trump, demonstrating that he is a total coward and phony with no basic principles except to advance his desire to be a United States senator!

Finally, in Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski was rejected by a vote of the state Republican Party, who endorsed her challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, but Murkowski overcame a similar situation in 2010, and ran as a write in, overcoming a Tea Party candidate, so do not count Murkowkski out.

Possible Infrastructure Deal With Enough Republican Senators, But Will It Be Acceptable To Democrats?

A possible compromise infrastructure deal is in the works, as eleven Republican Senators seem to be on board.

This includes the following Senators:

Richard Burr of North Carolina
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Jerry Moran of Kansas
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Rob Portman of Ohio
Mitt Romney of Utah
Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
Todd Young of Indiana

Some of this group also seem willing to work on a voting rights bill, along with Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Dan Sullivan of Alasks.

While this is encouraging, the question is whether all Democrats will be willing to work on compromise legislation on both bills, and that seems a quandary without easy solution.

The Destruction Of The Republican Party Future

One thing is clear: All those Republicans backing a challenge to the Electoral College results on Wednesday are doomed, and their careers in national politics are over! This includes Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, but also many others.

The Republican Party will be known as the Treason Party, the Sedition Party, and only those who stand up against this outrage have a long term political future.

While this blogger and author is not a fan of many Republicans, one has to say that Senators, including Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Tim Scott of South Carolina are part of the future of a party that moves back toward the moderate center.

Also, while not admiring of former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, third ranking House Republican Liz Cheney, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, and many others, they realize the insanity of backing Donald Trump at this point.

Tomorrow will be an historic day for certain!

The Republican Party Potential Field (25) Seeking Presidential Nomination In 2024!

When one looks ahead to the next round of Presidential contenders in the Republican Party for 2024, one sees clearly that it is a “Group Of Horrors” that awaits the nation, if the party does not reform itself and reject the extreme right wing extremists who are planning to seek the Presidency in 2024.

There is a long list of potential contenders, and it will be a question of how one separates responsible conservatives from the monsters that wish to make even Donald Trump look less extreme by comparison! Imagine that!

The most extreme Right potential nominees as now perceived include the eight following in no special order:

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Rick Scott of Florida
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida
Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota

Those less far Right but still unacceptable to any rational person include the five following in no special order:

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Senator Mike Lee Of Utah
Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana
Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

And then there are those who are conservatives in the more traditional mold, including the nine following in no special order:

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah
Former Ohio Governor John Kasich
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China and Russia Jon Huntsman
Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
Former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois

And finally, there are the true long shot whackos, including:

Donald Trump, Jr.
Tucker Carlson of Fox News Channel

And of course, Donald Trump could end up running, and putting the Republican Party in total disarray!

Hope That At Least Four Republican Senators Will Delay A Vote To Replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This is a very depressing time, and Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are adding to it by the outrageous rapid move to promote a Supreme Court nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg so quickly.

With only six weeks until the election, and with the normal period before the process for a Supreme Court nominee being about 75 days, what is the hurry to do this?

In 2016, the Republicans refused to consider a Supreme Court nominee for an entire year, rather than allow Barack Obama to put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court!

The argument was that in the year of a Presidential election, no replacement for the Court should be considered.

If the Court could do with eight members for a year, then they can do with only 8 members until January, when the next inauguration takes place.

No one can argue that if Donald Trump were to win a second term, of course, he could pick a replacement.

But if Joe Biden win the election, then the new President should make the choice for a lifetime appointment of about 30 years.

A hopeful sign is that two women Republican Senators—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—have stated that the elected President in November should make the appointment, and that they do not support a rapid replacement before the election or after if Joe Biden wins in November.

Collins has been very disappointing in supporting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and she is in deep trouble in her Senate reelection campaign in Maine.

Murkowski does not have to face voters until 2022, and in the past, she won reelection to her seat against both a Republican and a Democrat in 2010, so she is more to be trusted than Collins.

But there is also Mitt Romney, who one would think is principled enough based on his opposition to Donald Trump, that he could be a third vote.

Four votes are needed, however, to stop a nominee from being confirmed for now, and Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa, has said in the past he is against a replacement in an election year, so maybe he will also oppose a quick action.

There is also speculations that Cory Gardner, in a tough race in Colorado, might wish to avoid voting on a nominee before the election.

There are also those Senators seen as more moderate conservatives, but none of them can be relied upon: Rob Portman of Ohio, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Of course, Mitch McConnell himself, and Lindsey Graham, both facing election in their states, had posed the same principle in 2016, but not now, so purely, both are hypocrites. One can hope that possibly their opponents will gain more funding and possibly defeat them, although the odds are long.

Then, there is Ted Cruz, a despicable piece of trash, who also said the same thing about election year appointments, but now is on a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, although Trump has said a woman will be selected next week!

All of the other Republicans running for reelection seem unlikely to show any principle, although Ben Sasse of Nebraska is one we could hope might do so, but seems unlikely to have the courage to take a stand.

So we may end up with a 6-3 Court, setting us back to the 19th century in so many ways, and if nothing else, it should encourage more than ever before for massive contributions to Democrats for the Senate and for Joe Biden nationally, as this nightmare of Donald Trump must come to an end in November!

The Loss Of Moderate Conservative Republican Principle: Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, James Lankford

Looking at the Republican members of the US Senate, trying to find those who “might” be considered “moderate” conservatives who have some ethics and principles, is a tormenting task.

Republican Senators, with the exception of Mitt Romney, have been unwilling to speak up against the transgressions of Donald Trump, remaining silent in the midst of so much lawlessness and evil.

So when one tries to make a list of possibly “retrievable” Republican Senators, other than Lisa Murkowski of Alaska at times, and even Susan Collins at fewer times, who makes the list?

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma

These three seem reasonable occasionally in statements and actions, but one cannot be very optimistic about them despite the occasional exceptions. The first two have been seen as potential future Republican Presidential contenders, while Lankford is young enough, and at times, rational enough, that he might also be added to a potential Presidential candidate list.

This is the sad state of the Republican Party in 2020, while in the past, there were always “reasonable” Republicans to work with “across the aisle” with Democrats.

Will Four Or More Republicans Call For Witnesses In Donald Trump Impeachment Trial?

With the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial to begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 21, the first full day of the last year of this Presidential term of office, the question arises whether at least four Republican Senators will buck their leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and call for witnesses to testify.

John Bolton, former National Security Adviser, is the key witness in mind, although there are others, including Mick Mulvaney (the Acting White House Chief of Staff), Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as lesser figures.

If even John Bolton gets to testify, it will be a victory for Democrats, but the question is whether there are Republican Senators who want to know the truth, or are just interested in backing the President, no matter what abuses of power he has engaged in.

The best estimate is that we will find the following Senators supporting testimony:

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Mitt Romney of Utah

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Rob Portman of Ohio

Cory Gardner of Colorado

If only three of the above support witnesses, it would be a 50-50 tie, and the belief is that Chief Justice John Roberts could rule in such a tie situation, and would support witnesses.

But this is such an unprecedented situation, so we are guessing at what will be the ultimate decision on this matter.

Major Republican Opposition To Trump On Abandonment Of Kurds To Turkish Dictatorship Desire To Exterminate Them

Donald Trump has opened up a major revolt in the Republican Party by his decision to abandon the Kurds, who helped defeat ISIS, and allowing the Turkish dictatorship to mount an assault, with the purpose of “ethnic cleansing” of a nationality, which has long wanted its own nationhood, but is considered by the Turks to be a terrorist group. However, thousands of Kurds died fighting ISIS alongside the international coalition led by the United States.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Patrick Toomey, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Christian Broadcasting Network evangelical Pat Robertson, and innumerable others denounced Trump. They said he was undermining national security, and creating the likelihood of revived ISIS terrorism in the future.

Trump is proving how he has no concept of how to deal with foreign policy, and is most interested in pleasing dictators as with Turkey, a nation which should not be favored in assessments of the Middle East.

Whether this anger and growing split on the Kurds will cause any real opposition to Trump on other issues, and on the impending impeachment, seems highly unlikely, but Trump clearly is undermining Republican fear of antagonizing him.

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.