John Spezia: Scolding unwarranted

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Mr. Copeland I believe your letter last week got it wrong. Yes, the voting is over, and yes, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, and yes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million people, but what the majority of the voters are concerned about is the questionable character and integrity of Trump.

I used to be an independent and supported moderates such as Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, but in the past decade, I have been forced to one side. I voted for Barack Obama, but if Sen. John McCain or Mitt Romney had been elected, even though I may have disagreed with many of their views, they still had personal integrity and concern for America.

The scolding you directed at the citizens who do not approve of Trump's character, integrity and flagrant biases is not warranted. These citizens have the right to express their voices at the shameful and dishonest behavior that has been exhibited by Trump. The president is supposed to reflect the best in America.

Secondly, I hear, “give him a chance.” It is always interesting to hear what people say when the shoe is on the other foot — when positions are reversed.

Did Trump's party ever give President Obama a chance? The first thing Sen. Mitch McConnell said publicly when President Obama was elected in 2008 was, “Our main goal is to make him a one-term president.” Say “no” to everything he proposes so he would look like an ineffective president.

For McConnell, it was his party first not America first. Say "no" to reining in Wall Street and big banks, "no" to investing in America, "no" to jobs, "no" to rebuilding our infrastructure, "no" to a bipartisan immigration bill, "no" to a health care program for all Americans, "no" to minority voting rights and "yes" to shutting down the government.

No wonder there was gridlock in Washington D.C. for eight years.

Lastly, the Electoral College is not based on one vote, one citizen. It originated to keep the South in the Union by allowing the South to count a portion of their slaves (who couldn't vote) as citizens to give the South more power than one vote, one citizen. It also gave less-populated areas more influence than one vote, one citizen gave to them.

There are states with 80 times the population of another state, and the more populated state has 18 times fewer Electoral College votes. This is not going to change any time soon, but you can see that one vote, one citizen equality does not hold true for presidential elections, as it does for every other election in our country.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Ken Mauldin 1 week, 2 days ago

The claim that the Electoral College was in response to the US Civil war is a shockingly ignorant statement.

The Electoral College was originally defined in Article II, Section I, Clause 3 when the US Constitution was adapted in 1789. The Electoral College requires a democratic process among the States to elect the President. The ratification of the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution in 1804 modified the Electoral College to only allow one vote per-elector for President and Vice-President, as well as provide a structure for resolving elections when no candidate receives the required votes to win and also determined the vote of the sitting Vice-President to break a tie for the election of the Vice-President in the Senate.

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Scott Wedel 1 week, 2 days ago

The letter never said the Electoral College was in response to the Civil War. The Electoral College was a compromise needed to have southern states sign the Constitution by giving their states electoral power based upon their number of slaves. Southern states were part of the "Union" as they had signed the Articles of Confederation, the first attempt at a federal government.

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Carl Steidtmann 1 week, 2 days ago

John

Republicans gave President Obama a lot more slack in 2008 than Democrats have given President Trump.

The McConnell quote you make is taken out of context, which is regularly done by those who are trying to find some equivalency between the traditional actions of the opposition party and the dangerous and as we have frequently seen violent attempts by the left to discredit the Trump administration before it even does anything.

The McConnell quote came from an interview with Major Garret that appeared in National Journal on October 29, 2010. That was nearly two years into President Obama's first term, not the day after he was elected. McConnell was trying to energize his base in anticipation of what would be a blowout win for the Republicans in the 2010 election.

McConnell went on to say in that interview that he hoped after the 2010 election that President Obama would respond to the loss as President Clinton had done after the Democrats' defeat in the 1994 Congressional election by moving more to the center and trying to work with Republicans which would make President Obama's presidency the kind of success that President Clinton had had.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, President Obama did not follow the Clinton strategy and the result was a loss of over 1000 state and local elections, the US Senate and now the Presidency over the course of the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections.

I did not vote for Mr Trump but I am finding more sympathy for him having listened to the same people who lectured the country on the importance of accepting the outcome of an election in October, engage in a November to February primal scream about the legitimacy of the recent election.

The Democrats are now at their lowest level of influence since the early 1920s. As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons on the re-establishment of the French monarchy in 1816: "They have learned nothing and they have forgotten nothing". Watching the race of the chair of the DNC leads me to the same sad conclusion about the Democratic Party as the leading candidates argue over intersectionality and identity politics while ignoring why the white working class has abandoned them at the polls.

If you are looking for a realistic assessment of the Democratic Party's current predicament, Rahn Emanuel's advice is a great place to start:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chicagoinc/ct-rahm-emanuel-national-democrats-advice-0207-chicago-inc-20170206-story.html

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Ken Mauldin 1 week, 2 days ago

Scott - Please don't endorse a complete misrepresentation of basic American civics.

In John's letter, he claims "It originated to keep the South in the Union..." This is a complete fabrication and either John has been terribly misinformed or he's intentionally misrepresenting the origins and function of the Electoral College.

The United States has never been a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic with democratic processes. The Electoral College prevents a minority of heavily populated States (NY and California, for example) from imposing a President on the other 48 States. It wouldn't be very democratic to allow 2 states to impose a President on the other 48 States.

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Scott Wedel 1 week, 1 day ago

Ken,

You are the one misrepresenting statements. John's usage of the word "Union" may be imprecise, but the historical context of when it was created clearly refers to the 1780s when the Constitution was written and not referring to the Civil War. The Electoral College sort of system obviously was needed if counting slaves, not allowed to vote. It wasn't the only reason the Electoral College system was created, but the issue of giving representative power due to slaves did preclude any possibility of a more equal distribution of electoral power due to votes.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week, 1 day ago

Hi Scott - The Electoral College was designed to prevent a minority of more heavily populated States from imposing a President on a majority of less populated States. While the calculation of population was a factor prior to the ratification of the 13th Amendment, the intent of the Electoral College was always about protecting the voice of minority-populated States.

Population, as related to the three-fifth's compromise, was about the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, not how the President was elected. The Electoral College was brought about because we are the United "States" of America, not the United "Citizens" of America. The States have always selected the president since our founding and less populated States wouldn't have joined the Union without some assured voice in both the process of selecting an executive and the number of votes they would hold in the US House of Representatives. The Electoral College ensures that every state has a voice in the election of the President. Just like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan didn't want South Carolina and Virginia to impose a President on them in 1840, Montana, Iowa, Nebraska and North Carolina doesn't want California and New York to impose a President on them in 2016.

The most important thing about the Electoral College John gets correct in his letter - it won't be changed anytime soon and will continue to provide a bulwark against a minority of populated States from wrecking the whole country for everyone else.

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Stan Zuber 1 week, 1 day ago

There appears to be a strange energy since this election. We have two sides pointing fingers at each other, still. The fact is Trump is our president and we all need to move forward. We all need to be vigilant of our politicians. Since we always blame or talk about the past, here is another prospective. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/normalization-lesson-munich-post/

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Ken Collins 1 week, 1 day ago

Move forward. Give him a chance. After 3 weeks it's obvious that isn't a wise idea. Flynn leaves and the Ethics Chair says "Nothing here to see. Let's move on." BS. That same joke of a Senator raked Hillary over the coals for months and spent millions of dollars and found nothing. Flynn compromised our security and who knows who else was involved, when they knew it and how long they covered it up. Including the president, small p! You Trump backers would go ballistic if it was the other way around. Trump went out of his way to pick some of the worst people to be his cabinat. And the new mouth on the scene, S Miller scares the crap out most sane Americans after his rants Sunday morning. The creep threatened the country to question the 100% right president, small p.
If you backed Trump, you backed the most unqualified candidate in our lives. You also backed a liar with no equals, a mysoginist, a 6 time bankrupter screwing 1000's of workers, a know-nothing Constitutionalist, a tax evader, and the list goes on. We are seeing the respect of the world go down the drain. We are the laughingstock of the world now. They fear us not out of power but out of our leader's ignorance. He signs Ex. Orders and doesn't even know what they say. He has white supremicists at the top of his cabal. He kisses the behinds of the oil industry.
Give him a chance? I'd like like to give him the 25th Amendment. Of course, he doesn't even know there is one.

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Fred Duckels 1 week, 1 day ago

George Burns once said that the only people that really know how to run the country are busy driving cabs or cutting hair. It would be interesting if we demanded to know what expertise each of the detractors here have, if any, any volunteers?

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Ken Mauldin 1 week, 1 day ago

While liberals focus on complaining and calling people that disagree with them names, the Dow reaches regular record highs as the American and global economy responds to the new leadership in Washington D.C.

At 3:00pm ET Feb 14, 2017 the DJIA is at a record high of 20,478. It's obvious that not everyone shares the gloom and doom prognostications of the hysterical left that President Trump is going to ruin America.

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Ken Collins 1 week ago

Fred quotes a comedian and Ken M show the shallowness of greed. I doubt GB would approve of DT and the DOW means nothing to a vast majority of Americans.
But the dishonesty of so many in the T circle is breathtaking, in a bad way. Watergate, Whitewater, Lewinsky and Bengahzi all pale in comparison to the possible/probable damage Flyn and others are involved in. We now know Trump knew this for at least a couple of weeks. Say nothing about a dangerous event until it becomes public. That's quite a mission statement for a presidential administration. Hope you're proud of all these patriotic folks.
We "got over it" after 2000 when hundreds of thousands were killed and maimed from 2 unnecessary wars. Don't even think of asking millions of Americans to do it again. Think I'm mad? What right thinking person wouldn't be?

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 week ago

Ken Collins can only hate and spew. He has yet to offer any substantive suggestions for policies the Democrats could propose that would help them start to recover the voters that left the Democratic party resulting in the Democrats losing the presidency, the senate, the house, numerous governorships and state legislatures over the last 8 years. He name calls and apparently doesn't realize he acts just like those he is accusing of acting a certain way. Yep Ken, it might make you feel better but it accomplishes nada. Haters going to hate I guess. Sad in a funny kind of way. I was hoping the Dems would get to work with constructive ideas but if Ken C is an example I guess I shouldn't hold my breath. Hey Ken, if Trump gets impeached - ok by me - you going to cut Pence any slack or just refocus your ire on him.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

Hi Dan K. - I agree that impeaching Trump would be fine with me. As long as the next president, presumably VP Pence, stops illegal immigration, repeals Obamacare and nominates all Justices in the mold of Scalia to the Supreme Court, he or she would have my full support.

Which brings the real issue to the front: liberals don't hate Trump, per se, they hate Trump supporters. They hate the people that voted for Trump and allowed these conservative values the authority and influence of the presidency. Liberals hate, with a burning, searing passion, anyone that would dare disagree with liberal orthodoxy and those heretics must be shamed into silence through name-calling and insults. Unfortunately for liberals, that strategy doesn't work as well as it did in the past. Name-calling isn't an effective means of communication to voters and, as you point out, the number of elected Democrats have been decimated across the country as a result.

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Scott Wedel 1 week ago

Ken,

Democrats should be mad for allowing a party structure to become so inept. Today's press conference of House Democratic leaders was the best part of the day for the Republicans. John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee is 87 and could barely talk. Pelosi could be senile when complaining about possibility of "destroying the evidence" that had been leaked.

John McCain makes far more sense when criticizing the administration that the Senate minority leader Schumer.

The Democrats may have several strong trends going for them in the midterm elections, but a House minority leader an elderly SF liberal and Senate majority leader from NYC then the Republicans start off already having made much of their case against out of touch Democrats.

The stock market doing well is exactly what the Democrats ran on and that wealth is too concentrated in CA and NY. Many people with healthcare coverage with ACA believe that Trump is going to get them better care at lower costs. And so on with other promises.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

Hi Scott - Thanks for your reply. I agree with your comments and would only add that because 401k's have become a staple of financial planning for the American middle class, teachers, administrative assistants, plumbers, managers, fireman and working people all over the country are improved through their 401k's when the US financial markets reflect confidence in our economy.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 week ago

The economic cycle has not been repealed. Another recession will occur, odds are some time in the next 4 years. This one could be a doozy. With interest rates still near historic lows the FED doesn't have much room to help. While past performance is no guarantee of future results it is likely the current occupant of the White House will be blamed. Kind of like the NFL, the quarterback gets too much credit when they win and too much when they lose.

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Scott Wedel 1 week ago

The economic cycle has not been repealed, but all too often the economic cycle is hastened and worsened by government stimulus finally taking effect when the economy is overheating and the government stimulus ending as the economy goes into recession. A positive effect of government deadlock is that we don't have a big stimulus program taking effect as unemployment rate is less than 5%.

Unlike many Presidents, there is no stimulus via spending or tax cutting that seems inevitable. Seems easier to not want to worsen the deficit. Seems that gridlock has created opportunities that don't cost government much such as a program letting companies bring back their overseas profits if they create good jobs in economically distressed areas. Or make H1B work visas have a $15K per year fee used to train USA citizens for those jobs.

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Scott Wedel 1 week ago

Ken,

Way too small a portion of the population have enough in a 401K for the stock market to be an important factor in their voting. The election was a rejection of the premise that low unemployment and a strong stock market meant that large swaths of the country thought that things were good. Trump promised numerous times that he was going to create good jobs in flyover country. There still hasn't been a proposal that would have any impact on that.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

Hi Scott - Can you cite the number of 401k's in the US? From what I can glean, 401k's represent about 15-20% of the total of US retirement assets of about $25T and Fidelity alone managed 13 million accounts. I don't think that's insignificant, but I also don't think that's what the election was about. People were sick of being lied to and lost trust in traditional American establishments from the media, government, and the Courts and elected someone that they trusted to do what they said they would do. It was a complete and shocking rebuke of the liberal policy preferences, like open borders and universal healthcare, that many American establishments have promoted for almost a generation.

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Scott Wedel 1 week ago

Ken,

Half of US citizens don't have a 401K and of those that have one, the average balance is only $19K. So a rise in the stock market doesn't help that many people a significant amount.

You talk as if Trump the election by millions of votes. In fact, he lost the popular vote by millions. Trump won by doing very well in what could be described as "left behind" America where manufacturing and mining jobs left and were not replaced by high tech jobs. Trump lost badly where the economy is doing well. Trump even carried the parts of Ca that are economically distressed while getting blown out in the economically thriving coastal cities.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

Hi Scott - It's a rhetorical distraction to reference millions of votes in a US Presidential election. The States elect our President, not millions of voters. As you know, there were only a total of 538 votes cast in the 2016 US Presidential election, of which, Trump won the election by a wide margin; 306-232.

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Scott Wedel 1 week ago

Why do you do that? We have a halfway decent conversation going on based upon facts, questions and opinions, but then you kill it with a change of topic.

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

I was simply responding to your reference of Trump losing the "popular vote by millions." We disagree on the impact of the stock market on those middle class voters that hold 401k accounts.

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Debbie Milstead 1 week ago

Scott-

Ken is a young man. He doesn't have time for and endless debate.

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Dan Shores 1 week ago

Thank you Ken Collins. I'm with you 100%.

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Ken Collins 1 week ago

Ken M, forget 401s for a bit. Dan K, forget policies that we can't effect. Fred, Burns is as dead as Dredd Scott. How about addressing the elephant and the 800lb gorilla. Flynn. And now how the administration has known for weeks or probably months about his dealing with Russion officials. And the FBI, CIA and the USAG warning that they have tapes of the conversations. These are possibly/probably bigger than any scandal we have ever witnessed, especially concerning national security. And now Chaffetz, the dog who could only smell Benghazi, and Sessions, who won't recuse himself from Trump investigations, and spineless Ryan and McConnel have all decided it's not worth chasing. Just curious. What have you to toss out on this bump in the road?

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Ken Mauldin 1 week ago

How about when the Obama team did the exact same thing and Obama fired the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Robert Malley 10 days after his innauguration?

http://miseryindex2008.blogspot.com/2008/11/robert-malley-who-was-fired-from-obama.html

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Ken Collins 1 week ago

Ken M. Read your piece. Did not know about that. But there doesn't seem to be much comparison to me. It was done in an effort to deal with Hamas in Egypt to try and get a working relationship going. Way different than Flynn and Putin and who knows who else. And the depth of the cover-up seems to pale in comparison to what's going on now. And we've barely scratched the surface.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 6 days, 5 hours ago

Release the transcripts of Flynn's conversation with the Russians, punish those who need to be punished including whom ever is leaking the information.

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Fred Duckels 5 days, 21 hours ago

Ken, Right now you and yours should be wishing that you had never been born from a political standpoint. The cries for Impeachment began the day after election and now the feigned outrage and conspiracy theories abound, hoping to create chaos and ruin a presidency that threatens to reverse decades of nonsense. Trump owes nothing to anyone and is the only person we have had that can make that claim. Other occupants are paid for when entering office, their activities are a mere formality. You can probably weather the Gorsuch problem but what about the next vacancy? That is a huge problem that the left will do ANYTHING to avoid. Impeachment is probably the only legal path left.

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Ken Collins 5 days, 19 hours ago

Fred, Ken, Dan, Scott,et.al. Listen to DT's latest press conference. The ranting, gibberish, blaming, meandering, self-congrats, the third grade English. The way he treats people is horrible. Sec State Tillerson was not allowed his choice of undersecretary because Abramson had made bad comments of DT. The Sec of State was not told of the immigration ban or the Yemen raid. The Sec of State! There are departments that are draining from people quitting and no one is replacing them. Soon it will be Bannon and the son-in-law and the raving looney Miller only. Flynn's replacement said No. This doesn't worry any of you? DT claims the best El. College victory since RR. It was the worst. He's delusional. There is no other explanation. It's a "fine tuned" first 3 weeks? Yeah, right.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 days, 17 hours ago

Ken C, don't you wonder why the Dems have been decimated in the elections over the past 8 years. Doesn't it worry/bother you. It does me. Maybe if they had policies the voters could associate with and a better presidential candidate Trump wouldn't be president. So complain all you want but as the ex POTUS said. Elections have consequences. Based on your comment on "policies we can't effect" I am left to assume you don't think the Democrats are capable of creating policies that will bring voters back so your solution is to whine, cry and throw tantrums. Hopefully you are not representative of the Democratic Party. I hope the Dems get to work on policy and become what they once were. But then maybe I am just a voice crying in the wilderness.

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Ken Mauldin 5 days, 4 hours ago

Rasmussen Reports reflects that a majority of Americans approve of President Trump's job performance with a 55% approval rating today.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_feb17

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Ken Collins 5 days, 2 hours ago

Ken M.....PEW @ 39 and Gallup @ 41 Rest of the world? Very nervous.

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Brian Kotowski 5 days, 1 hour ago

As long as we're cherry picking from the polling orchards... Hispanics back Trump deportations, ending 'sanctuary cities'

"The numbers might even be better for Trump since more weight was given in the poll to Democrats, 36 percent to 33 percent Republican.

On cutting off federal grants to sanctuary cities, 46 percent of Hispanic voters agreed, 43 percent opposed. Overall, the margin was 59 percent support to 29 percent oppose."

Which could have more than a little bit to with Hillary's current status as a has-been, not to mention the Dems' exile to the wilderness.

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