Sacrificing for the Democrats: Will Rogers for VP

Have you noticed how our political parties learn from each other? The Republicans had 17 candidates for President four years ago, so the Democrats said, We can top that!

And they have. They’ve got 24 or 25 candidates, and by the time you read this it may be up around 30.

They all want to be President. No one is running for Vice President. Not even the man with 8 years’ experience as VP. A few are vehemently opposed to even being mentioned for the No. 2 slot. For them it’s No. 1, or nothing.

The women candidates hate the idea of playing second fiddle. They saw how the Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, got treated. Why, she was accused of being closer to Russia in 2008 than Trump in 2016.

So, at great personal sacrifice, I (Will Rogers) pledge my support as the running mate for the “winner” out of the 25 or 30 (or 40) candidates. Unlike Joe Biden, I have no actual experience as VP. But in 1924, almost a hundred years ago, I offered to be the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, with the nominee. I don’t recall exactly how many Democrats were in the race, but it was slightly less than this year.

With that large number running in 1924, guess how many ballots it took to pick the nominee? You’ll never get close. The convention stretched to 16 days because it took 102 ballots.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (for VP)

“In the entire three years of preparation by the Democratic Party to groom some man for this present crisis there has never been a mention of a man to run for Vice President. It’s  bad  enough  to  be  nominated  on  that  ticket  for  President,  much  less  Vice President.

Somebody has got to be sacrificed for the sake of party harmony. I hereby and hereon put myself in nomination. So I, Will Rogers, of Claremore, Oklahoma; Hollywood, California, and 42nd St. and Broadway, New York, do hereby step right out and declare myself, not only as a receptive but an anxious candidate for (Vice President).

On first hearing this it may sound like a joke, but when I relate to you some of the qualifications which I possess, why, I think any fair-minded man will give me serious consideration.

In the first place, they have got to nominate a farmer [Midwesterner] who understands the farmers’ condition.   Well, I got two farms in Oklahoma, both mortgaged, so no man knows their condition better than I do. I am just progressive enough to suit the dissatisfied. And lazy enough to be a Stand Patter. I never worked for a big corporation.

When the President can’t go anywhere, why, the Vice President has to go and speak or eat for him. Now, I could take in all the dinners, for I am a fair eater. I could say, ‘I am sorry the President can’t come, but he had pressing business.’ Of course, I wouldn’t tell the reason why he didn’t come, so I am just good enough a liar to be a good Vice President.

Of course I have no dress suit (tuxedo).  The Government would have to furnish me a dress suit.  If I went to a dinner in a rented one, they would mistake me for a Congressman.

I know I can hear a lot of you all say, ‘Yes, Will, you would make a good Vice President, but suppose something happened to the President?’ Well, I would do just like Mr. Coolidge. I would go in there and keep still and say nothing.  He is the first President to discover that what the American people want is to be let alone.

P.S.  I was born in a Log Cabin.” New York Times, June 26, 1924

Questions on Impeachment and the Constitution

Last week I asked a few questions, with possible answers thrown in for fun.

This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, let’s ask a few more. Every son and daughter knows that Mothers are persistent at asking questions until they get the honest answer.

Impeachment has been a hot topic lately. Senator Elizabeth Warren says she wants to impeach President Trump. Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a proud mother and grandmother, hesitates to start impeachment proceedings. Here is her question to Sen. Warren: “Can you get the signatures of 67 of your fellow Senators committed to vote for impeachment? If you do that, Maxine Watters and I will zip through impeachment hearings in the House by mid-June, the Senate will agree, and Trump will be out of office before he can have his fancy July 4th celebration.” Sen. Warren’s response: “Well, honestly, I’m campaigning on impeachment, but there is zero chance of getting 20 Republican Senators to agree with us Democrats on impeachment.”

Have you heard we have a Constitutional crisis? Has it affected you? Would you recognize a Constitutional crisis if you saw one? When southern states essentially declared war on the Union in 1861, yes that was a Constitutional crisis. States that refused to desegregate schools in the 1950s created a crisis. If Nixon had refused to leave the White House that would have been a crisis.  But, honestly, is an argument between the Speaker of the House and the President really a Constitutional crisis? With luck, maybe they can deescalate the crisis before any shots are fired.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:
“You see, the old founders of the Constitution made it so it didn’t matter who was in office, things would drag along about the same.”
 Oct. 29, 1927

Mr. Rogers asks questions; Mueller and Barr answer

Is there any organization as slow and lacking in common sense as Congress? I don’t mean every member in there, but as a whole. Robert Mueller finished his investigation of Russia in March and handed his report to Attorney General Barr. After Barr blacked out about five percent of it because of top secret material, he published it. Weeks later, Congress is still arguing about it.

Last week Barr was called on to explain what’s in the Mueller report to both the Senate and the House.  But after Barr answered questions from Senators, the Chairman of the Judicial Committee in the House decided they needed to bring in an expert lawyer to interrogate him, thereby admitting the members weren’t smart enough to question him alone. Next they want to question the source himself, Mr. Mueller, in late May.

Here’s my question: why drag this out over two or three months? See, right after they read the 400-page report, why didn’t a few of the top leaders in Congress have a sit down meeting with Barr and Mueller? Mr. Mueller spent two years preparing the report, so he probably has a pretty good idea what is in it.  Mr. Barr would have had a couple of weeks to get familiar with it, but couldn’t be expected to know all the background details.

I would suggest starting with these questions:
“Mr. Mueller, in how many instances did Russia try to conspire with the Trump campaign?” Answer: “13.”
“In how many of these attempts was Russia successful?”  “None.”
“So there was no collusion, no conspiracy. When did you reach that conclusion?” “About a year ago, confirmed for sure in February 2018.”
“Is that when you began Part 2 of your investigation, obstruction of justice?” “Yes.”
“If there was no conspiracy, why did you suspect obstruction of justice?” “Well, President Trump kept insisting, vehemently, there was no collusion so we felt like he was trying to hide something and obstruct us from finding it.”
“Did you find any obstruction?” “Well, (long pause) we spent another year investigating, and another ten million dollars, and my longtime acquaintance, Bill Barr, had just been named Attorney General so I wanted to give him the opportunity to make at least one decision, based on our evidence.”
“Let me switch to Mr. Barr. What is your decision on obstruction of justice?” “Since there was no conspiracy, no crime, then it’s hard to find obstruction. And keep in mind that you can talk about it, even discuss it with colleagues, but if there is no action taken to obstruct, then no judge or jury would convict you of obstruction.”

Of course, this informative meeting never took place in late March, although it could have. Do you like the questions? I can’t vouch for the answers, but they seem reasonable.

We’ll have to wait another month or two for these Congressional investigations to finish. Several folks in Congress seem to want the questions to continue for many more months, maybe even to October 2020.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“It looks like you don’t make a good witness or committee member in a Washington investigation unless you call each other a liar or insult the President of the United States.” DT #2787, July 11, 1935

“Mr. Roosevelt gets back tomorrow and his fishing trip will be followed by an investigation. The Democrats claim he caught some fish and the Republicans are equally insistent that he didn’t. It’s like all investigations. It’s going to have a big bearing on the future of this country. If there is men in this country that claim they caught fish when they didn’t catch one, it should be known by the people of this country.” DT #2400, Apr. 12, 1934