Blog No. 152. Contortions: Charlottesville, Trump and the Republicans

Donald Trump’s responses to the ugly events in Charlottesville demonstrated once again his glaring deficiencies in character, temperament and competence. As summarized in Lawfare: Commentators are debating whether he is revealing himself as sympathetic to the white nationalist program, fearful of alienating that constituency, or just unable to respond to criticism in any way other[…]

Blog No. 141. The Comey Firing: Why Now? and What Now?

The firing of James Comey is the latest bizarre chapter in the brief history of the Trump administration. The move stunned both Democrats and Republicans, and even many who had been quite critical of Comey found it difficult to defend the timing and manner of his dismissal. It has created a controversy that may not[…]

Welcome to RINOcracy 2.0 was founded in May, 2013 as a voice within the Republican Party, albeit a voice dissenting from party orthodoxy on some significant issues. The 2013 “Welcome to RINOcracy,” which appears below, explained the origin of the name, some of my political background and offered brief thoughts on several issues. Now, however, things have changed.[…]

Blog No. 93 Catching Up: The Primaries, Justice Scalia and Apple

Since our last blog, there have been several notable events worthy of comment: the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina and the  caucuses in Nevada, the death of Justice Scalia, and the dispute between the FBI and Apple. By way of getting caught up, we will offer brief comments on each and may return with more extended analysis in a later blog. […]

Blog No. 90. Obama’s SOTU and the Sixth Republican Debate

Coming on Tuesday and Thursday nights of last week, President Obama’s State of the Union message and the sixth Republican debate combined to make a depressing package of television viewing. For those of us in the Pacific time zone, the best that might have been said was that we did not have to stay up late to watch and that neither event interfered with regular prime time programming.  Given the extensive coverage of them, we will limit our comments to a few observations. […]

Special Bulletin. The GOP Debate and Paul Ryan’s Debut as Speaker

We found watching the Republican debate to be, on the whole, a dispiriting experience. Part of the problem lay again with the format and the approach of the “moderators.”  We have previously observed that such events are not debates in the usual sense of the word, but are more similar to a joint press conference. The moderators seem intent not so much on moderating, or exploring issues, as attempting to embarrass the candidates or provoke hostility among them.

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Blog No. 82 The New York Times, The White House and FBI Director Comey

The New York Times editorial on October 27 was particularly vituperative. The paper’s wrath was captured in the editorial’s headline, “Political Lies About Police Brutality.” After applauding video recordings that have shown excessive, or even reckless, use of force by police, the Times warmed to its point:

Yet the peeling away of secrecy on these indisputably unconstitutional practices is now being challenged by politicians who want to soft-pedal or even ignore police misconduct while attacking the people who expose it or raise their voices in protest against it.


Special Bulletin. McCarthy Withdraws: GOP Debacle or Opportunity?

Facing determined opposition from the Freedom Caucus (or, as we prefer, the Oozlum Caucus), Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the contest to replace John Boehner. Because there is no obvious candidate who could command the support of the Freedom Caucus and more mainstream Republicans, House Republicans have been left in a state of chaos. […]

Special Bulletin. John Boehner R.I.P.: A Tribute and a Call to Action.

Two weeks ago, in a mildly prescient post, we discussed the brewing revolt against John Boehner and the toxic contribution of Donald Trump. (Blog No. 77. Embattled John Boehner: The Oozlum Caucus and the Trumpian Virus.) With the announcement by John Boehner that he will retire at the end of October, the Oozlum Caucus (aka the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Caucus) have clearly achieved a victory. The extent of their triumph is yet to be determined but the prospect for responsible governance in the House of Representatives is not encouraging. […]

Blog No. 77. Embattled John Boehner: The Oozlum Caucus and the Trumpian Virus.

It has been obvious for some time that this autumn would be a contentious period in Congress. The most significant, and most immediate, issues to be resolved were approval or disapproval of the nuclear deal with Iran and the passage of a Continuing Resolution to keep the government in operation past September 30. Not much further down the road are the need to increase the debt ceiling and the issue of highway funding. All of that would have been quite challenging enough for the Republican leadership, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, dealing as they must, with not only the White House and Congressional Democrats, but the obstreperous rebels on their own right flanks. As long-time readers of will recall, our term for the latter group is the Oozlum Caucus, named for the legendary bird that flies in ever decreasing concentric circles until it flies up into itself and disappears. (See, e.g., Wikipedia.) That is, we have suggested, the kind of flight plan the Congressional Oozlums would dictate for the Republican Party. […]