The Brand is Dead

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Photo by Sergi Ferrete on Unsplash

The pending defeat of Trump, accompanied by the blue wave of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, evidences the Republican party’s death. While parties have suffered severe losses in the past, this time it’s real. The party doesn’t stand for anything good anymore. There is nothing left to rebuild. Those nostalgic for the old GOP will find the current one is different. It is rotten, racist, short-sighted, and shrinking.

Why the GOP Won’t Come Back

Last summer’s remarkable Black Lives Matters protests prove that civil rights are not just for African Americans and other minorities. Large contingents of whites, people previously mostly absent from such movements, joined in, with passion. A national consensus that racism is systemic and destructive to our future emerged. …

He’s Sliding His Way Out the White House Door

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Photo by C Drying on Unsplash

With bungled mismanagement of a response to the pandemic to answer for, Donald Trump needs something big to win re-election this year. His surprise 2016 win is a model, where Trump did not so much win the Presidency as snatch it from a well-credentialed woman, Hillary Clinton. The not-so-secret ingredient is slime. Vilify your opponents to repel voters from them. Make your opponents radioactive.

Trump is failing, but the election isn’t over yet. Trump may have one last card in his hand. Let’s hope not.

What Trump Wanted

As the 2020 election got underway, Trump knew two things: His base was solid as granite. Give them a solid diet of race-hate. Entertain them with funny names and bizarre tweets, and a viable economy. Those who opposed him were largely unreachable through appeals to policy or performance. They were embarrassed by Trump, hated his policies, and were scared about the possibility of his doing something idiotic, like starting a war. …

Exciting Times are Ahead If Biden Wins

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It’s been a long two years since the 2020 election got underway. Now the light is at the end of the tunnel. Absent truly unforeseen events, Joe Biden will be President-elect a week from now.

It’s not a good idea to assume a Biden win, but major polls suggest the blue wave some of us have been hoping for and others dreading is about to crest.

Pollsters tell us that nearly everyone who will vote has either already voted or chosen a candidate, in some cases months ago. I am in both categories. I am so over Trump that if Biden shot someone on Fifth Avenue, I might still vote for him. Call it Trump Denial Syndrome (TDS) if you like, but I don’t owe Trump another chance to be a President that I can respect. …

Two Presidents Will be Elected on November 3 if Biden Wins

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Photo from

What is at stake in next month’s Presidential election? A lot, including the chance to select two Presidents at once. He has described himself as a “transition candidate.” In May, he did that referring to a promising future for Pete Buttigieg, but the comment could equally apply to his ultimate choice of a running mate.

Without his explicitly saying it, Biden is offering voters a two-for-one deal. Vote for him, and you get two Presidents, Biden and President-in-waiting Kamala Harris.

The Reality of Nominating a 77-Year-Old Nominee

Democrats have nominated a 77-year-old for President. That justifies taking a good look at Kamala Harris. If Biden wins the election, as polls continue to indicate, there is a high probability that Harris will be President, hopefully, later, but possibly sooner. …

Is This the Chant Trump Wants to be Leading?

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Some say Donald Trump’s vilification of Hillary Clinton in 2016 helped him win the Presidency. Could vilification work again? The President seems to think so. In recent weeks, crowds at his rally have called for the incarceration of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, President Obama, and, of course, Joe Biden. Trump encourages them.

Why is a man accused of tax and insurance fraud, violations of the Federal False Claims Act, and other crimes encouraging the concept of jailing politicians? Enquiring minds want to know.

Whitmer’s alleged crime is shutting down her state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Obama, Trump says, spied on his 2016 campaign. Biden is a member of an “organized crime family” along with his son Hunter. …

All Respect for the Orange Menace Has Left the Building

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Today anchor Savannah Guthrie repeatedly pounded President Trump during the hour-long NBC Town Hall Meeting on October 15. Among many zingers, she reminded the President that he was not somebody’s crazy uncle. She also called him a liar, responding to Trump’s claim that he did not know QAnon with “yes, you do.” When Trump said he couldn’t release his tax returns because he was under audit, Guthrie responded, “you’re not.”

Did Guthrie ambush Trump? Hardly. Today’s standard is for the media and the rest of us to dismiss Trump as a clown, buffoon, sociopath, liar, and narcissist. Even people that voted for him in 2016 distance themselves from him. “I voted for the policies,” one friend recently told me, embarrassed for what she had done. …

Strong nominees for key posts are a prerequisite for restoring America’s leadership world in the world

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By US State Department —, Public Domain,

President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of major foreign policy appointees this week is a cause for celebration. The list is headed by Antony Blinken, a former Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Advisor. Also included is the appointment of former Secretary of State John Kerry, who will serve as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and a member of the National Security Council. Other appointments include career diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the UN and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor. All are great appointments.

The most important of the appointees is that of Secretary of State. Mr. Blinken’s appointment will restore morale at a Department that has suffered under Secretaries Tillerson and Pompeo. So bad were the Trump years at State that some have speculated permanent damage was done to the Department and its vitally important Foreign Service. …

People could die, the economy could collapse, and a war could start.

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Court losses, embarrassment, not-so-subtle pleas from fellow Republican partisans, and suggestions that his actions might cost his party both Georgia senate seats have not dissuaded Donald J. Trump from continuing to claim he won the 2020 election. Many expected this, but seeing it play out is different and more terrifying than considering the possibility. Could Trump still be seated on his throne in the White House on January 20, refusing to leave?

The possibility of a reality-denying Trump continuing his lawsuits, tweeting, and arm-twisting is worth talking about, but is it time to start thinking about what it will take for him to surrender? Could things get worse? He’s not participating in a peaceful transition of power. …

We won’t have these characters to kick around for long

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The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Notwithstanding the engagement of Rudy Giuliani to spearhead President Trump’s legal team working to overturn the 2020 election, we won’t have the Orange Menace or his team around much longer. Two months from now, Trump and his associates will have the word “former” before their White House titles.

We won’t miss their handiwork, but it is indisputable that we won’t see as colorful a group at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon. With that in mind, let’s do a bit of word association. …

Denying reality, Trump golfs and wastes the nation’s time by not conceding

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首相官邸ホームページ, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday night, I tuned in the news hoping to hear details of President-Elect Biden’s economic recovery plan. Given the announcement of Moderna’s apparently effective virus vaccine, Monday was a day to celebrate. With Pfizer’s earlier announcement, it now appears there will be at least vaccines ready for distribution as early as next month.

Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With a sound economic recovery plan, this country might have a solid recovery next year.

But will we? Instead of details on the Biden plan, on Monday night, I got more election news. Despite the election being over for 99.99 percent of us that are not hopeless followers of Donald J. Trump, the President refuses to acknowledge his defeat and is succeeding in persuading millions of us to join him in his self-delusion. If overcoming the virus requires a national effort, it seems a lot of us are not yet ready to join the fight. …


John Dean

Washington policy wonk, writer, blogger, and lover of nature, music, and Goldendoodles.

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