Posts Tagged ‘unfit’

Just Another Day in America

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

By Bob Gaydos

78BD258A-80FB-4BFD-BC7B-E0E8E239379D    A quick snapshot of a recent day in America:

    A former president of the United States was on trial in a New York City courtroom in a story that could’ve been written by the National Enquirer. Well, actually, it was supposed to be, but then the Enquirer killed the story and that’s all part of what the trial is about.

    Donald Trump, the defendant, brooded, slept, glared, argued with his lawyers and pretty much showed he didn’t want to be where he was, sitting at the accused’s table in court. The judge kept warning him not to misbehave, but somehow still resisted locking Trump’s butt up for being a constant threat to the community with his comments on social media and elsewhere, an action that would prove to the rest of us that the law is truly applied equally to everyone. No matter. That day has to come.

   And despite Trump’s call to arms that “all hell will break loose” on Monday when his trial started, the only menacing site outside the courthouse was a group of college Young Republicans trying to figure out what the heck they were doing there. Not very menacing.

    Anyway, the trial is all about hush money paid to porn stars to keep them from going public with their stories, and hurting Trump’s chances of being elected president in 2016. Mostly, a lot of lying about what money was used for what purpose and one of the key witnesses against Trump is his old lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a term in the federal prison just down the road from me for lying about all that money a few years ago.

   Anyway, it’s sleazy and salacious and I’m embarrassed as an American that this man once sat in the Oval Office and apparently a lot of Americans still think he should be given another shot at the job he totally botched. They keep showing up in these polls that are supposedly fair and scientific, but for which I have never been contacted in my entire life.

    Oh yeah, he’s the first American president ever to face criminal charges after leaving office. Well, that’s something he can lay claim to without having to lie about it.

     On the same day, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned some player I never heard of from ever playing in the league for committing “a cardinal sin” of betting on the league’s games and sharing information on his own play, removing himself from games pretending to be injured, and controlling betting on his own play. The player actually played in Toronto, which is not in America, but the rest of the league is.

    Sports betting may yet be the downfall of the major sports leagues, but there seems to be no limit to it. The Los Angeles Dodgers only recently escaped major disaster as star Shohei Ohtani‘s former translator took the fall for stealing money from the ball player to cover millions of dollars in gambling losses. No baseball. The FBI says Ohtani didn’t know about it. Well, OK. Perhaps he’s taking English lessons now.

    On this particular day, I looked to see what the great grey lady, the New York Times, had to say about the Trump trial. Its editorial went into great detail, carefully explaining all the nuances of the justice system and why everything was being done the way it was being done, etc. It was not until the end of what the paper itself described as “a seven -minute read,” that the editorial referred to Trump’s “disregard for the rule of law and his willingness to demean American justice when it suits his interests.”

   It continued, “Those actions render him manifestly unfit for office and would pose unique dangers to the United States during a second term. The greatest of those dangers, and the one that Americans should be most attuned to, is the damage that a second Trump presidency would inflict on the rule of law.”

      Well, no you-know-what Sherlock. Did no one at the Times ever explain to the editorial writer that “don’t bury the lead“ applies to editorials as well as news stories. Seven minutes to tell people don’t ever put this lunatic in office again? He’s too dangerous?! “Manifestly unfit!”

    Give me a break! Tell them at the top, tell them why and tell them again at the bottom. Tell them every damn day while you’ve still got a press! Geez, people, this is no time to be gentle.

      A friend of mine recently asked how I felt about the direction this country was heading. Well, the first four presidents of my lifetime were Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.

    Maybe it was a trick question.

All the News … If You Can Find It

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024


The big news of the day. RJ Photography

The big news of the day.
RJ Photography

   It’s definitely time to connect the dots. When (1.) your Sunday New York Times, which you still get delivered to home, comes with a touching note from the delivery person thanking his customers for 12 years of “kindness and generosity” and announcing that, as of March 17, home delivery of the local morning paper, The Times Herald-Record, will cease and that the delivery person learned of the contract termination in the much slimmed-down version of the paper itself {which you no longer get delivered}, well, you kind of pause and wonder what those 29 years of your life were all about, (2.) decide to write more about that in a future column and (3) go looking in still-functioning news sources for some positive news, such as (4) Mitch McConnell, the two-faced weasel from Kentucky announcing that he will step down as Republican leader in the Senate in November after 18 years in which his primary motivation was to use his power to thwart any Democratic president or program and pack the Supreme Court with rightwing stooges to do the bidding of wealthy Republican backers, McConnell’s relinquishing of power also being (5) likely to result in a Donald Trump boot-licker ascending to the Republican leadership in the Senate and, one hopes, further hastening the death of the party as a vehicle for responsible governing, something which (6) the aforementioned Great Gray Lady of New York refuses to use its reputation and power to accomplish, preferring instead (7.) to feature stories on polls declaring that American voters are worried that Joe Biden, who has more hands-on experience in how to properly govern than any previous president and has rescued the country from the ethical and economic morass that Donald Trump left behind, is too old for the job, at 81, because he confused a couple of names while running the country, handling delicate foreign policy and dealing with a Republican Party that refuses to do its job, (8.) because it’s being led by a 77-year-old man who repeatedly confuses who the actual president is, confuses Nikki Haley for Nancy Pelosi, warns about a possible World War II, encourages Vladimir Putin to attack our NATO allies, insists he is immune from prosecution for (not innocent of) any crime he committed as president, claims to be a billionaire but can’t post $500,000 bond in New York to appeal a court ruling that his business there was a massive fraud, faces 91 felony counts, incited an insurrection, raped a woman in a New York City department store, hasn’t the foggiest idea or interest in learning how government is supposed to serve the people, says he will get rid of his enemies on Day One of a new Trump term and whose former staffers say is not only unfit for the office of president, but is also deteriorating mentally, which (9.) many Americans seem to have no problem with and, The Times tells us, can’t seem to even remember what the Trump four years were really like, possibly because the newspaper is too busy trying to be all things to all readers (“The best way to clear ear wax” arrived in today’s issue) to (10.) remind us daily, like a newspaper fighting to protect its First Amendment protection from forces out to abolish it, of Trump’s lying and vindictiveness and ignorance or to explain that sitting presidents typically have low favorability ratings in polls early in a reelection year because they are actually doing the job and the poll, assuming first of all that it’s accurate, may reflect the current situation, but does not predict the future, (11.) which, the way things are going, may not include home delivery of The New York Times.

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at

Trump and GOP: A Tiring, Old Story

Friday, June 16th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Special Counsel Jack Smith meets the press.

Special Counsel Jack Smith meets the press.

   It’s not exactly writer’s block. More like writer’s fatigue. It’s what happens, to me at least, when there’s really only one story to tell and I’ve told it from every possible angle, for, oh, about seven years now.

     That would be the transformation of the Republican Party by Donald Trump from a responsible, conservative partner in the nation’s two-party system, a party once dedicated to the rule of law and respect for the traditions on which our democratic republic was founded, into a race-baiting, power-hungry, intolerant, lying, bullying collection of ignorant bigots and cowardly hypocrites. I think that covers it.

    But how many times can you say that? It’s what’s happened and is still happening and neither a federal indictment of Trump in Florida for hoarding classified government documents after he left the White House nor a conviction and $5 million fine in New York for sexually assaulting a reporter in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defaming her has changed the basic story.

     Most Republicans, even some who are competing with him for the party’s presidential nomination, still refuse to condemn his behaviors. They refuse to say he is unfit to hold any public office, much less the highest office in the land. Some actually agree with Trump’s methods. Others don’t, but they also don’t want to roil what they still think is the party’s base of cult-like followers loyal only to Trump. Fear and loathing 2023.

      It’s a self-inflicted situation for the GOP. But there, I’ve said it again.

      These are perilous times for our democracy. I fear far too many Americans still don’t grasp that. Trump and his lackeys have threatened our very foundation — a nation where all men and women are created equal and all — regardless of status — are treated equally under the law.

   Jack Smith, Chris Christie, Chris Sununu. They get it. Smith, of course, is the no-nonsense special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump’s refusal to return classified government documents and his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

     My favorite Smith moment, in fact the only Smith moment thus far, was his brusk reading of a brief explanation of the documents indictment and then walking off the stage as the media shouted questions at him. It’s all there in the indictment, folks, see you in court.

      Christie is the somewhat disgraced former New Jersey governor who has entered the primary race for the GOP presidential nomination with what appears to be the sole purpose of telling the truth about Trump every chance he gets as bluntly as he can. As a New Jersey native, I can tell you that can be pretty blunt and he will not back down.

       And Sununu is a respected Republican governor of New Hampshire who has decided not to run for president, but to also point out, in a New England way, how morally, intellectually and politically unfit Trump is for the job.

       So, good for them. And good for us.

       But the Republican Party still offers the likes of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is out to prove he can be worse than Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who saw the noose waiting for him on Jan. 6, brought by Trump’s army, but still can’t find the courage to tell the whole truth about his former boss.

      I always try to be optimistic, but there’s another presidential campaign looming and, as I said, I’ve told this story before. On October 20, 2016, with an election looming, I wrote: “Republicans, Trump is not one of you. He is Trump. Period. You created him. Your hypocrisy and cowardice have emboldened him and his ilk. He has sullied us all. And he has destroyed you.”

     Here’s to Jack Smith, Chris Christie and Chris Sununu.  It’s time for a new plot line, folks.