Maureen and Kevin together for Thanksgiving

Whose side am I on, for these two don’t see things in the same way. No doubt here, I’m with Maureen, although in Kevin I see many members of my own family including my father then and brother now. Kevin’s underlying argument is that Trump is protecting his, Kevin’s interests, which mostly means his bank account. On the other hand Maureen is calling Trump out on his lack of decency, his indecent treatment (Tweetment) for example of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, not to mention of the hundreds of others who have been the objects of Trump’s Tweet scorns.

In the left hand column I give you Maureen’s brother Kevin’s words. This op ed piece, takes the place of Maureen’s regular Thanksgiving column on this one day of the year. Perhaps not a fair juxtaposition because this piece is all I have of Kevin in a given year, whereas I’ve been reading for years now the twice or thrice weekly Times columns by Kevin’s sister Maureen. Kevin may do other writing but I’m not aware of it. I only see what I will call his Thanksgiving pieces probably in response to his sister’s request on this one day of the year, when families including that of Maureen and Kevin, get together for turkey, and when possible talk.

Anyway in what follows is Kevin is “talking turkey” and Maureen, whose words I’ve selected for the second column from two of her recent oped pieces in the Times, calling my collection of her words from the two, with my respect and any apologies needed, “chickens and whales.”


Kevin Talks Turkey

By Maureen (Kevin) Dowd
Nov. 28, 2019

No matter how bad your Thanksgiving is, mine will be worse, and I’ll tell you why.

My sister thinks Jim Jordan is hot. Well, she didn’t say “hot” exactly, but the words “admire,” “forceful” and “fighter” have been thrown around.

And then there’s Kevin. It has been a crazy year, even by Trump standards. So I asked my brother to tell us, in his annual Thanksgiving column, if he has any regrets.

Kevin, ROCKVILLE, Md. — Over the last three years, Maureen has frequently sent me reader emails demanding to know how I can still support Donald Trump. My short answer is always the same: Have you looked at the alternative?

Maureen’s brother Kevin, talking turkey

The liberals still sneer at religious conservatives. I wouldn’t let them come with me to the Knights of Columbus bar. In August, the D.N.C. passed a resolution saying “religiously unaffiliated Americans” are the largest “religious group” in the party and “overwhelmingly” share Democrats’ values. And certain House chairmen are waiving the words “So help me God” from swearing-ins.

God help me.

I support the president for his economy, his jobless rate and the record numbers of the stock market that his deregulation fueled. I applaud his unconditional support of the police at a time when I worry we’re returning to a ’60s-style “police are pigs” mind-set. (Michael Bloomberg should stop apologizing for reducing violent crime in New York City.)

I feel safe in my bed with the way the president is handling Iran and North Korea. Most of all, I support him for saving the Supreme Court from Hillary Clinton.

Trump came from the roughest job training in the world: the New York construction trade. His manners are sometimes missing. He can be coarse and a bully. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised that he has done exactly what he promised despite a hostile press.

The impeachment inquiry is a farce. Ukraine didn’t do the investigation and the aid was released. I think that all aid is quid pro quo. The election is in a year. If Trump is as bad as Democrats say, let the voters impeach him. Adam Schiff has pursued the president with the obsessive zeal of Inspector Javert in “Les Misérables,” but his results have looked more like Inspector Clouseau’s.

His hearings produced a long line of career bureaucrats, disturbed and upset with Trump and brimming with second and thirdhand information. I grew up in Washington with these bureaucrats. It is good to remind them occasionally that the president makes policy and the agencies should carry it out without comment. The mainstream media and Democrats have tried to valorize the bureaucrats as patriots, but if these people were that conflicted, they should have quit.

The hearings ended with a thud and, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, public opinion has even slightly shifted in the president’s favor. There will not be one Republican vote to impeach.

Schiff now finds himself in the uncomfortable position of Elizabeth Taylor’s sixth or seventh husband, who, legend has it, cried, “I know what is expected of me on the wedding night, but how can I possibly make it more interesting?”

Hopefully, the coming I.G. report will be worse than we’ve been led to believe, causing night sweats for Comey, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper and “the lovers.”

The Democrats have never recovered from the 2016 election when they nominated the worst candidate in political history and lost to a political novice. Their horror at Trump conjures Lady Macbeth crying in agony, “Out, damned spot.”

All of the Democratic candidates support Medicaid coverage of abortion and nominating only judges who endorse abortion rights.

As for the best and the brightest the Dems have to offer:

Warren/Sanders: If you combine the support of the two billionaire-bashing socialists, they lead the field. You might consider vacationing in Venezuela before committing to them or they could run together as the End of Days ticket.

Biden/Bloomberg: Like Bloomberg, Biden has been forced to grovel and renounce all past career accomplishments on crime prevention.

Harris/Booker: They’re having trouble lighting the spark, even with some black voters.

Klobuchar/Buttigieg: They are the two least crazy people in the field, which means they have absolutely no chance.

The Martin O’Malley Award to Beto O’Rourke for thinking a vague resemblance to the Kennedys, an Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair cover and a 214,000-vote loss to Ted Cruz could carry him to the nomination.

The mainstream media has reached a new low. It is not even pretending to be objective as it relentlessly batters the president daily (putting Trump just ahead of Harvey Weinstein and trailing only Satan). Reporters write opinion columns packed with innuendo and anonymous sources — not to mention what Anonymous is cooking up.

Newspapers that once had the most stringent editing rules on sources now appear to have no editors at all. The Washington Post reached a new journalistic low when it described the world’s No. 1 terrorist as an “austere religious scholar,” after our forces cornered him and he blew himself up.

Somewhere, Abe Rosenthal weeps.

The irony is that Trump drives news circulation. Without him, subscription rates would be cut in half.

Finally, one recent HuffPost piece turkey-shamed us all, suggesting that, for this beloved holiday, we consider curbing “the carbon footprint” of our turkeys and travel. These Democrats are a lot of fun.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Republicans, the Real Chickens of Kiev

By Maureen Dowd
Nov. 16, 2019

WASHINGTON — When he was running in 2016, Donald Trump told me that he reminded himself of another presidential candidate — someone, Trump said, who was also tremendously good-looking, a former entertainer and a Democrat-turned-Republican. that he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan.

It is true that, like Reagan, Trump has reshaped his party in his own image, fully inhabiting it. But Reagan’s great mission was to thwart the Evil Empire, taunting that he would put a Star Wars shield in the sky.

Trump’s more sinister and incomprehensible aim is to help the Russians whenever he can….

But G.O.P. pols go along publicly because they are recreants, slavishly trying to hold onto voters who are more intensely aligned with Trump than old-style Republicans.

While the Republicans may be winning the impeachment battle on Fox News but they are getting clobbered by the classy diplomats demonstrating true patriotism in the hearing room. … Nancy Pelosi never spoke truer words than when she chided Trump, “With you, all roads lead to Putin.”…

Despite Republican efforts to throw up a smokescreen, it was clear that the president was putting his own political interests — looking for dirt on Hillary and the Bidens — above national security and using shady henchmen to do it.

Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday.
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch had this to say: “Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign, corrupt interests could manipulate our government?” 

Trump told Ukrainian President Zelensky that Marie was “bad news” and added ominously that “she’s going to go through some things.”

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he tweeted, seemingly blaming her for Black Hawk Down. “She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him.”

No matter how many decent Americans come forward to expose his sordid behavior, will Trump be hauled out of the White House kicking and screaming while a celebratory Baby Trump balloon flies overhead? The answer to that: Nyet.


Trump’s White Whale

By Maureen DowdNov. 23, 2019

WASHINGTON — As Trump himself said last Friday, “A lot of things are a matter with me.” But we do know the name of one severe malady the president has: proditomania. or the feeling or belief that everyone is out to get you….

As we draw closer to Trump getting a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking, with Nancy Pelosi implacably heading toward a holiday impeachment, his proditomania is revving up.

No matter how many experts — including the gloriously bracing Fiona Hill — explain that it is Russia that interfered with our elections and that Russia has been scheming to deflect blame to Ukraine, Trump keeps rambling about something else.

Trying to justify why he had ousted and smeared the ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, Trump claimed that she was “an Obama person” who had refused to hang his picture in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

… “This was not an angel, this woman, O.K.?” Trump sneered, adding that when he complained that the dignified and well-respected former ambassador was being treated too gently,…

It was peak Trump pique.

After climbing up in politics by putting down Barack Obama as an illegitimate president, Trump is so terrified of being seen as an illegitimate president that he acts out in ways that cause more people to see him as an illegitimate president.

His presidency began with him obsessing on his inauguration crowd size and carrying around his 2016 electoral map.

He can’t get past it and it’s intensifying, playing out on the world stage with national security implications. It’s debilitating to his presidency, and the rest of us are hostages to his insecurities….

Trump is blustering about impeachment and wanting a Senate trial and calling Pelosi — who has his presidency in a vise grip — “totally incompetent” and “crazy as a bedbug.”

But those who know him believe that he’s genuinely unnerved and even hurt at the prospect of impeachment.

One of his tweets … “I never in my wildest dreams thought my name would in any way be associated with the ugly word, Impeachment!” he wrote….

“If he continues to focus on that white whale,” impeachment, “it’s going to bring him down.”

But, like Ahab, Trump can’t ever let go. He’s hellbent on harpooning himself, chasing that which will sink him.


Now I’d like to say a few additional things. First of all about brother Kevin. Actually my father, a dyed in the wool Republican for years and years, and if alive now would probably be on Kevin’s side. Like Kevin my father was not a thinker. He would simply latch on to the surface of things about him, in particular on ideas and opinions that were not backed up by anything all, appealing most of all to his own prejudices.

Kevin’s statements are really a scatter shot of opinions coming fast and furious with little or nothing in the way of facts or reasonable argument to back them up. Facts and positions based on facts just aren’t there in this piece. And this quality of his writing he shares with the fast and furious tweeting of his boy hero Trump.

I wouldn’t like to have been there with Maureen on Thanksgiving Day when she was probably trying to direct the conversation to the real facts and events recounted by the witnesses at the Impeachment Hearings just a week before, when the Republican representatives and probably Kevin himself, weren’t listening.

Here to show you what I mean are a few of Kevin’s unattached, really free-floating opinions from the oped:

  • Trump’s economy is doing well, the jobless rate is down, the market is up. Kevin attributes this to Trump’s just being there. There are no supporting numbers to what he says. He does say that the good economic news probably is the result of Trump’s tariffs and deregulation, (and, as I would add, perhaps the encouragement and advice Trump may receive from secret calls to his good friends, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, general secretary Xi Jinping, Erdogan and other authoritarian leaders.)
  • And he says, again without evidence, that the inner city police are doing a great job, and should be allowed to do their job without interference. He doesn’t mention why the police are even in the news. Is it the city authorities interfering with the work of the police. or the often black victims of a police shooting that is that is the source of the news item?
  • Then according to Kevin’s unfounded opinion Hillary was the worst ever presidential candidate, and the Democrats are now coming up with their own 2020 list of candidates, all of whom seem to be for Kevin, and for Trump, new worst candidates, and in Trump’s gratuitous tweets are called losers.
  • And we can thank Trump for our conservative Supreme Court (and oh how I know that!), and very likely one that will share Kevin’s own rejection of abortion rights.
  • Kevin tells us that Trump knows well the construction workers from having spent much time working in the construction industry. And what we see as vulgarity and coarseness may come from this early experience, “making him a man.” But there is little or nothing in Trump’s own experience that would support this gratuitous assertion of Kevin’s. His experience in the construction industry didn’t bring him close to the working classes, only close to his father’s hundreds of millions of dollars until almost no more was left after Trump’s almost total mismanagement of his inheritance.
  • Kevin says that Trump has done what he promised. Has he? ‘But the wall he promised is not there yet nor has Mexico any intention of paying for it.
  • Kevin’s statements are really a scatter shot of opinions with little or nothing in the way of evidence to back them up, much like the comments of David Nunes, Jim Jordan and the other Republican representatives during the hearings who had nothing to say about the real evidence being presented by highly respected State department employee after employee who were clearly there to tell the truth to power. Kevin evidently was not listening. Much like his boss he calls the impeachment inquiry a farce.

That’s Kevin. Then there is Maureen.

For the moment let’s just say that for Maureen Trump has no decency. That’s probably enough for Maureen, and enough for me, to condemn President Trump to unending exile from these United States.

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