The Secret Service Opts To Save The GOP From Itself: Thanks President Obama

It’s time to Break It Down!

I recently observed, from afar, the origination, development, evolution, and ultimately the apparent elimination of a quintessential conundrum. Last week I saw what I considered an interesting proposal crafted in the form of a petition. Eugene Scott, a friend of mine, penned an article that appeared at CNN’s website this past Sunday, discussing this petition, which promotes allowing guns at this summer’s Republican National Convention. Needless to say, Fox, ABC, and a host of other media outlets also covered this story.

Now in the interest of full disclosure it is incumbent upon me, at this juncture, to convey the fact I am not a Republican, not leaning Republican, and not likely to vote for any of the three candidates to which the GOP-T Party’s Presidential campaign has finally and painfully winnowed. In that regard, of course I do not speak for the Grand Old Party, and naturally, I will not be in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena for the Convention.

With the proverbial electronic small print is out of the way, let’s return to the issue at hand. The GOP and its gun-promoting affiliate, AKA the NRA, have taken virtually every opportunity to fervently lambast and otherwise assail President Obama, most Democrats, and any other politician and/or public official who dares not render absolute fealty to the notion of never ever under any circumstances propose, construct, or enact any form of legislation that would regulate the sale, purchase, use, or carrying of firearms.

On its face, I must admit it seems to me this is an idea whose time has come. Think of the overwhelming symmetry of logic that stands in the balance permeating this potential scenario. On one hand, on July 18-21, 2016, thousands of America’s finest citizens, emblazoned in all manner of GOP paraphernalia, will assemble at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. If polls, the NRA, and the vast majority of GOP Congressmen (and Congresswomen) are correct, most of those visiting the Arena as Delegates, or as convention functionaries, will be gun owners and/or proponents of the previously referenced GOP stance on firearms. On the other hand, all those Congressmen and Congresswomen who walk in lockstep with the NRA will also be moving in, around, and about the facility during the entirety of the event. Sounds like Nirvana to me.

Given that these two dynamic forces that co-own a shared perspective on gun policy, along with mutual strident opposition to any new gun laws will be coalescing in one building for four days, what better way to underscore their support of what they burnish as a key principle than to urge, no make that insist upon, supporting this petition. In fact, I am simply shocked and amazed that there has been no indication, of which I am aware, of all three of the remaining GOP candidates promoting, endorsing, and in every viable way, calling for the tenets of this petition to be enacted.

The author of the petition has opted to mask his or her identity, listing “N A”/and Hyperationalist as nom de plumes. The author did seek the support of Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz, and Governor Kasich in lobbying the Republican National Committee (RNC) to support changing the Arena’s policy. Though Ohio is an open carry state, the Quicken Loans Arena does not permit the carry of firearms within the premises. The petition consists of five key points, including:


  1. From the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland:A suspension of their policy preventing the open carry of firearms on the premises of the arena from July 18-21, 2016 to coincide with the Republican National Convention.
  1. From the National Rifle Association:An immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the “gun-free zone” loophole to the state law.
  1. From Ohio Governor John Kasich:A concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the “gun-free zone” loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
  1. From Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee: An explanation of how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention. Further, we demand a contingency plan to relocate the convention to another location should the Quicken Loans Arena refuse to honor the constitutional rights of the RNC guests to open carry firearms during the convention.
  1. From all Republican candidates for President: You have been brave in raising awareness about the immense dangers posed by “gun-free zones.” In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena’s unconstitutional “gun-free zone” loophole. Every American is endowed with a God-given Constitutional right to carry a gun wherever and whenever they please.

By yesterday the petition had amassed over 51K signatures. Alas, that seems moot, however. On Monday the Secret Service moved to put the Kibosh on NA/Hyperationalist’s petition. They announced that no firearms would be allowed past a specified checkpoint. Their explicit language was framed thusly,

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event.”

Undoubtedly, the Secret Service studied this issue assiduously, and eventually found a provision in federal law that authorized them to block the action promoted by the petition. They used the following citation:

“Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”

In other words, if you are not an officer of the law, a member of the National Guard, a member of the military, an agent of the Secret Service, or a member of some unit authorized by one of the preceding organizations, forget the idea of bringing a firearm into Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention. I must take a personal point of privilege here and say; no one is more disappointed by that determination than I. But I digress.

Now here is the rub. Alas, at least one site, CNET, offered the opinion that the petition itself was a satirical joyride designed to get gun-loving types even more lathered up than they are typically.  At least 51K of them have signed-on as of yesterday. In framing this argument, the writer, Chris Matyszczyk, lifts several comments of the petitioner for closer examination. One in particular stood out for its levity, presuming you have a sense of humor. That statement follows below:

“It just doesn’t seem right that thousands of patriotic Republican good guys should be left totally unprotected by whatever bad guys might wish to do them harm. I mean forgodsake people; ISIS could show up to take out everybody in and around that building and they’d be sitting ducks. Sitting ducks, I tell you! There might even be a bad egg or two among the delegates.”

That right there is some rich prose. I just wish the Secret Service had not received it so poorly. All kidding aside, here is where I draw to a close by pivoting back to the title…”The Secret Service Opts To Save The GOP From Itself: Thanks President Obama!”

I’m done; holla back!

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Viva Cuba: President Obama Visits Havana

It’s time to Break It Down!

The United States and Cuba, just ninety miles apart, though for more than 50 years they might as well have been in two different solar systems. In fact, for all practical purpose they were a world away…until now. On Sunday President Barack Obama bridged another ideological chasm by becoming the first U.S. President in 88 years to visit the Island nation. As many observers have noted, the Cuba that the 30th President (Coolidge) visited is not the same as the one 44 visited this week.

The ninety miles that separate Cuba and Key West is equivalent to a trip from Charlotte to Greensboro (North Carolina), or from Washington, DC to Richmond, VA, (though we are are separated from Cuba by the Atlantic Ocean rather than a highway). Folks who know the history of our two countries are aware the spatial and geographic distance has not been the primary barrier between the two. Rather geo-political differences, nearly capped by a potential nuclear war between the United Soviet Socialist Republic (former official name of Russia) and the United States of America.

Fidel Castro led a movement in Cuba to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Though Batista was a strongman, he was also a U.S. ally. The Cuban Revolution, which displaced Batista (with Castro) lasted from 1952 to 1959. Castro immediately changed Cuba’s political dynamics by aligning himself and the country with Russia, which was engaged in the Cold War with the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded to this shift by allocating $13.1 million to the CIA to plan Castro’s overthrow. The organization worked with counter-revolutionary forces to plan the operation.

The (failed) operation known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion resulted. On April 17, 1961 the CIA-sponsored expedition manned by the paramilitary group Brigade 2506 confronted the Cuban Army, led by Prime Minister Fidel Castro. The invading group had been trained in Guatemala, and launched its mission from that country. The CIA had grossly underestimated the Cuban Army’s readiness for battle; the counter-revolutionaries were defeated in 3 days.

This incursion agitated Fidel Castro. He grew even fonder of his budding relationship with Nikita Khrushchev and Russia. As a result, he asked Khrushchev to intervene. Partly in response to the Bay of Pigs Invasion, but more due to the U.S. having deployed Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey with Moscow within range, The Soviet agreed to a request from Castro to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future American harassment of Cuba. After a secret agreement between Nikita and Fidel in July, construction of a number of missile launch facilities started later that summer.

This high stakes political poker game was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, which lasted 13 days, from October 16-28, 1962. The hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union took center stage for the whole world. Up until today, this exercise in brinkmanship is as close as the world has come to a full-scale nuclear war. A long period of tense negotiations ensued.

Ultimately, President John F. Kennedy, who succeeded President Eisenhower, and Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union forged an agreement to stand down. The Soviets dismantled their missiles in Cuba and returned them to Russia (Technically the U.S.S.R. was comprised of more than Russia). This weaponry downgrade was subject to U.S. inspection and verification. For its part, the U.S. agreed never to invade Cuba without direct provocation. Secretly, it also agreed to dismantle American missiles in Italy and Turkey. The high intensity of these negotiations between the two Super Powers revealed a need for a quick, clear, and direct communication line between the two nations’ leaders in Washington and Moscow. Because of this, the two countries established the Moscow–Washington hotline. Afterward, a series of agreements sharply reduced tensions between the two countries over the course of subsequent years.

The seven preceding paragraphs went deep into the weeds of American History, Cuban History, and geo-politics. Undoubtedly that includes more information about a time before many of you were born than some readers feel they would ever need to know. However, sometimes there is no substitute for context. Those paragraphs provide the bedrock for not only how, but why we needed to get to this past Sunday and President Obama’s visit in the first place. To give you a quick anecdote, I saw a meme recently that said, “The person who knows how will always have a job. The person who knows why will always be his/her boss.” The quote was attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I want you to know why President Obama needed to go to Cuba so that you can be a (knowledge) boss, not merely someone working your way through (the weeds of) this topic. And yes, it’s that important.

On December 17, 2014, after secretive discussions, heavily influenced by Pope Francis, President Obama announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, and the opening of an embassy in Havana. Pope Francis helped broker a prisoner swap, which was a key element of the rapprochement of the two nations. When I initially posted on this topic, back on July 1, 2015 (”Rapprochement: The United States and Cuba Resume Diplomatic Relations!”), I framed the unexpected news this way:

“The announcement, a surprise at the time, followed the end of 18 months of secret talks that produced a prisoner swap negotiated with the help of Pope Francis, and concluded by a telephone call between Presidents Obama and Raúl Castro. The unexpected and historic deal broke a prolonged stalemate between two countries separated by just 90 miles of water, but oceans of mistrust and hostility that go back to the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill, and the nuclear brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.”

Cuba was always on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda to-do list. There were those who doubted he would get it done…and others who hoped he would not. Not surprisingly, there are a number of folks who are less than enthused now that he has moved on another key initiative that once again, flummoxed his opponents. Still, despite the naysayers, there was no lack of interest, judging by the size of the President’s travel party. Not only did a host of members of Congress make the trip, but he was also accompanied by a number of American businessmen.

A frequent question I have heard or seen in print in the wake of the President’s trip is “Will anything of substance emerge from this venture?” Tealeaf reading is not my forte. I do believe however that the President built this move on a solid foundation; recognition of the fact that five plus decades of embargoing Cuba has not substantially benefited America, or Cuba. While it may have provided Cuban Americans with an element of satisfaction over exacting punishment for their personal loss, the preponderance of economic “timeout” did not bring Cuba to its knees, nor return expatriates their possessions. The President has reasoned that moving to a win-win scenario from a lose-lose- scenario makes more sense, both in terms of economics and of humanitarianism. Not only might both countries receive a boon, but also, formerly estranged family members may leverage new opportunities to reunite. It may not be a huge step forward, but a step forward it is.

In wrapping this up, consider several examples of how President Obama pressed his own case:

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

He noted the continuation of very real differences between the two countries, including political systems and economic models. On this point he added:

“I can’t force you to agree,” then he added his belief that “every person should be equal under the law; citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear.” That line drew applause.

He also said that people should be able “to organize, to criticize their government, and to protest peacefully, and they should not be arrested for doing so.”

He recognized that not everyone agrees with him on these issues, but went on to say, “But I believe those human rights are universal. I believe they are the rights of the American people, the Cuban people and people around the world.”

President Obama also made a key observation about the Presidential races here in America. He noted:

“You had two Cuban-Americans in the Republican Party running against the legacy of a black man who was president while arguing that they’re the best person to beat the Democratic nominee who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist. Who would have believed that in 1959? That’s a measure of our progress as a country.”

Of course while the trip is steeped in diplomacy and meetings, and concluding discussions, negotiations, and agreements, there was more. President Obama took his family, including Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Robinson. They attended a scheduled baseball game between the Cuban National Team and the Tampa Bay Rays. President Obama sat between President Castro and his family. For record, and for the baseball fans among you, The Rays won, 4-1.

At least for now, I will embrace the optimistic point of view regarding that frequent query I noted above. I believe that POTUS’ visit will yield substantive results for the people of Cuba, not just for the Castro Brothers and for American businesses. It is said a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Consider the journey underway. “Viva Cuba: President Obama Visits Havana!”

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Three Pointing Back At You!

It’s time to Break It Down!

I have hesitated to make this point earlier because the bottom line is we all have the right to self-determination. The franchise of the vote is personal and sacrosanct. However, I have watched with curious interest, and written on several occasions about the runaway freight train of a phenomenon that the Trump Primary Electoral Tour has become. Clearly, this post will add to the list.

As we prepare for the last week of voting before the advent of spring, more and more Republican leaders, call them Establishment for lack of a better word, have come out and shown their hand in an effort to galvanize an anti-Trump firewall; an actual Movement, referred to in some circles as “Never Trump!” This ideological force field’s singular purpose is to prevent Donald J. Trump from securing the GOP Nomination.

Recent initiatives, including those of Mitt Romney who set out with his own one man show a week and a half ago, and Marco Rubio who last week went so far as to cede an entire state, Ohio, by urging Ohio voters to vote for a rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich in that state’s Primary, rather than himself, all in an effort to create a Tic-Tac-Toe style block to thwart the Trump machine. That move, Rubio falling on his petard, was foreshadowing in a way, for while Kasich did win Ohio yesterday, Trump pummeled Rubio in his home state’s Primary, forcing the Florida Senator to suspend his flagging Campaign.

In a race that has become nearly as entertaining as Indiana Jones’ pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant, a number of key Republicans are pulling out all the stops. Here is how you know things have reached a critical mass. Early in the election season, most of the candidates systematically and in virtual lockstep routinely blamed President Obama for every ill in this country, past, present, and future. Without regard for the facts this was simply the strategy. For example, say someone’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s son’s classmate’s father was unemployed. President Obama’s alleged “horrendous job policies” were to blame. Forget that we are in the midst 72 consecutive months of adding jobs to the U.S. economy, the longest such period of job increases to the economy since records have been kept. That kind of illogic, in fact untruth, is emblematic of the kind of fact-free madness that rules the day in Republican campaign circles.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, that was true even for some of the ridiculous antics surrounding Trump rallies. For months, there have been reports of Trump supporters verbally and physically attacking protesters at his rallies. Never mind why voters who support other candidates would attend Trump rallies in the first place, be that as it may. They do have a right to free assembly…but it takes a special kind of person to submit needlessly to such abuse…when there have been so many examples of what one can reasonably expect. Nevertheless, several of Mr. Trump’s competitors attributed Trump supporters’ actions to the President.

That was then. Fast forward to here and now. This past weekend the intensity of crowds, protesters, and raw rhetoric all combined to reach a predictable boiling point. In fact, the environment became so rough and unstable in Chicago that authorities cancelled the planned event.

So how does all this dovetail? Well, now, Mr. Trump’s three remaining competitors (two after last night) for the GOP Nomination have all concluded that he actually has contributed to the atmosphere that has led to these extracurricular activities at his events. Surprise, surprise; if one were a cynic, one might think this newfound visionary insight by these men is a product of routinely getting their pants beat off them by the Donald.

That brings me to my existential point. All the finger pointing about the cause of Trump’s success; all of it, whether thrust at President Obama, or even Trump himself, for that matter, is misguided. No matter how much Republicans regret or resent it, Mr. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. Still, his considerable powers, stemming from his high office, do not enable him to coerce one single Republican voter to cast a ballot for Donald Trump. In a similar vein, given all the Donald’s bluster, wealth, and considerable influence, he has not cast a single ballot in any of the GOP Primaries or Caucuses held to date. To frame it in terms of a familiar axiom, “When you point fingers at someone, three are pointing back at you.”

This past Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” journalist Carl Bernstein characterized Trump as a ”neo-fascist who is appealing to nativism, racism, and bigotry.” From many if not most people’s vantage point, he has been all that and more. Yet, vote for himself, is not something he has done.

Now, take a step back, and breath deeply while you are at it. Don’t believe the hype, and don’t be deceived by all the talking heads or political genuflection. The compelling question is, who is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump?

First, let me tell you who/what is not responsible. It’s not:

  • Barack Obama
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Mexicans
  • Muslims
  • Black Lives Matter (BLM)
  • The Iran Nuclear Deal
  • The Economy
  • The Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare)
  • Entitlements

Having been perfectly clear about what has not been responsible for producing Trump Madness, no sleight intended to March Madness, the culprit in this mystery is far too evident for all the handwringing and intrigue machinations offered by a variety of theoreticians. Simply put, first let’s discount the notions of blame, or credit, depending upon one’s perspective, for the unexpected success of Donald Trump. Instead I suggest we shift the paradigm, and think and speak in terms of accountability.

That being said, there is but one element that logically can be held accountable for that which DJ Trump has become, and that group is, drumroll please…Republican Primary/Caucus voters…period, full stop, exclamation point for emphasis.

Anyone who opts to cite one of the 10 factors delineated above, from President Obama to Entitlements, or any other(s) in lieu of the individual living, breathing, sentient, beings who actually pulled a lever, or checked a box with Trump’s name affixed thereto, is dissembling, obfuscating, excuse-making, or dare I say more pointedly, just plain lying through their collective Centrals, Laterals, Cuspids, Bicuspids. Molars, and Wisdom Teeth.

The most ardent explainers and excuse makers insisted the problem was simply one of proportionality. They reasoned that having 17 candidates in the field ensured that the votes were splintered into too many disparate parts for the will of the people to shine through. They also said as the number of prospective candidates winnowed down, the votes would go to other candidates and Trump would fall off and eventually drop by the wayside. That was 13 (now 14) former candidates ago, and with just 4 (3 as of today) candidates remaining, including The Donald, Mr. Trump is not only still in the thick of it, he often pulls from 40 to 50 percent of the votes in primaries and caucuses. So how’s that been working for them?

Ergo, if you are Republican and Donald Trump prevails, in the off chance you didn’t vote for him, odds are…you have a boatload of friends and associates who did. Feel free to send them a card that reflects your gratitude, or lack thereof. In case you’re having difficulty coming up with an appropriate sentiment, “Thanks for nothing” comes to mind.

Conversely, if Trump becomes the nominee and you rep the GOP, and perchance, you did vote for him, give yourself an enthusiastic pat on the back, not unlike Mr. Trump does to himself at the slightest provocation. What can I say? If that was really your choice, extra long pause…then undoubtedly, you got the candidate you deserve!

To be clear, despite all the efforts and initiatives undertaken by concerned Republican leaders, Donald Trump is doing just fine, thank you very much. Of course, the grand prize of the day was Florida, where he literally ran “Little Marco Rubio” (a Trump appellation) out of field. In addition to the Sunshine State, he won in North Carolina, and Illinois yesterday. Governor Kasich won Ohio (where Trump finished Second).

At midnight with 99% of the votes reported in Missouri, Donald Trump held a razor thin lead (about 2,600 votes). This is actually critical for the guy Trump calls “Lyin’ Ted,” since of the four out of yesterday’s five contests already decided, Cruz had not won any, while Trump had taken won 3, and Kasich 1.

Don’t get me wrong. There are those who dismiss the wisdom of the voters. As a rule, such people think certain voters have not thoughtfully considered their options, or they have been hoodwinked and bamboozled, or that they are simply unaware of the consequences and repercussions, or worse case, all of the above.

I simply do not believe that to be true. The GOP has in large measure been baptized by fire in the font of pure unadulterated Obama hate. Donald Trump has been fashioning what became his campaign persona all the way back to the time of the Birther controversy. He is in effect, the anti-Obama, and as such, the natural candidate of choice for countless Republicans. Therefore, it stands to reason, from my observations anyway, Mr. Trump has distinguished himself as the one guy running who is most un-Obama-like, and as a result, he has established himself as the man to beat on the way to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, July 18-21, 2016. To wit, finger point all you want to, if you want to; just remember, “Three are Pointing Back at You!” That’s ironic, as there are now also (just) three candidates left in the race.

I’m done, holla back!

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The (GOP) Empire Strikes Back, or…Developing a Systematic, if Late-to-the-Party, Strategy to Contain Donald J. Trump

It’s time to Break It Down!

Believe it or not, I really am going to go beyond what must appear to be my inexplicable fascination with the kudzu of a phenomenon that is D.J. Trump and his seemingly Svengali-like master mining and domination of Republican Party Presidential politics. Honest. But not before I take one more peek behind the curtain at the new and improved Wizard…and this is not of Oz, if you know what I mean.

Things became so bad that last week Mitt Romney delivered a planned (pre-released to the media) statement under the general heading of Trump is a fraud, annotated with a host of historical facts and implications referencing the Donald’s failed enterprises, his bait and switch initiative that appears tailor-made to hoodwink a gullible American electorate, and of course a notion that has emerged as a staple if not favorite GOP Establishment go-to chorus, Donald Trump is not a conservative.

Pause. Stop laughing. Cease rolling around on the floor. Pick my azz up and get back to my keyboard. On its face, this may not equate to Reefer Madness, but it is some of the funniest schiznit I have heard in…well, forever.

Why is that you may ask. There are too many reasons to articulate in this post alone, but I’ll share enough for you to get the general point.

Oh my, where do I begin? Let me start with the end. Consider that Willard “Mitt” Romney took to a podium in the official capacity of GOP (Establishment) Spokesman. Say what?

All things considered, that in and of itself is one heck-of-a mouthful. Considering Mitt was the architect of the GOP’s last failed attempt to wrest the White House away from those “dastardly” Democrats, doubling down, even to seek advice and counsel from him seems more than a little odd. Perhaps the only thing imaginable that would be stranger, not to add funnier, and borderline pathetic, would be for Mitt to have delivered his statement jointly with John McCain, President Obama’s other vanquished foe. But I digress.

Now back to Mitt, the emerging Elder Statesman of the Grand Old Party. The candidate of 47%, of Binders of women, of Corporations are people, of Romneycare (that was Obamacare…before Obamacare), and most notably the candidate who lost a plethora of critical voting demographics; so many that his loss to President Obama was virtually signed, sealed, and delivered. How bad was Mr. Romney’s showing? It was so bad that Team GOP conducted a post election audit, and in doing so found that the Party needed to fundamentally re-invent its approach to Presidential election politics.

As we enter the sunset of the Obama era Presidency, it is worth revisiting the areas in which President Obama bested business mogul and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

2012 Presidential vote by demographic subgroup
Demographic subgroup Obama Romney Other  % of

total vote

Total vote 51 47 2 100
Liberals 86 11 3 25
Moderates 56 41 3 41
Conservatives 17 82 1 35
Democrats 92 7 1 38
Republicans 6 93 1 32
Independents 45 50 5 29
Men 45 52 3 47
Women 55 44 1 53
Gender by marital status
Married men 38 60 2 29
Married women 46 53 1 31
Non-married men 56 40 4 18
Non-married women 67 31 2 23
White 39 59 2 72
Black 93 6 1 13
Asian 73 26 1 3
Other 58 38 4 2
Hispanic 71 27 2 10
Protestant or other Christian 43 56 1 51
Catholic 50 48 2 25
Mormon 21 78 1 2
Jewish 69 30 1 2
Other 74 23 3 7
None 70 26 4 12
Religious service attendance
More than once a week 36 63 1 14
Once a week 41 58 1 28
A few times a month 55 44 1 13
A few times a year 56 42 2 27
Never 62 34 4 17
White evangelical or born-again Christian?
White evangelical or born-again Christian 21 78 1 26
Everyone else 60 37 3 74
18–24 years old 60 36 4 11
25–29 years old 60 38 2 8
30–39 years old 55 42 3 17
40–49 years old 48 50 2 20
50–64 years old 47 52 1 28
65 and older 44 56 0 16
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, or bisexual 76 22 2 5
Heterosexual 49 49 2 95
Not a high school graduate 64 35 1 3
High school graduate 51 48 1 21
Some college education 49 48 3 29
College graduate 47 51 2 29
Postgraduate education 55 42 3 18
Family income
Under $30,000 63 35 2 20
$30,000–49,999 57 42 1 21
$50,000–99,999 46 52 2 31
$100,000–199,999 44 54 2 21
$200,000–249,999 47 52 1 3
Over $250,000 42 55 3 4
Northeast 59 39 2 21
Midwest 51 47 2 24
South 44 54 2 34
West 54 43 3 21
Community size
Big cities (population over 500,000) 69 29 2 11
Mid-sized cities (population 50,000 to 500,000) 58 40 2 21
Suburbs 48 50 2 47
Towns (population 10,000 to 50,000) 42 56 2 8
Rural areas 37 61 2 14

Source: Exit polls conducted by Edison Research of Somerville, New Jersey, for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News,[139] and NBC News.[140] Total vote and results by region are based on the “Votes by state” section of this article.

Taking a look at the categories above, let’s zero in on a number of specific categories:

Total Vote – Obama 51%                                Romney – 47

Liberals – Obama 86%                                             Romney – 11

Moderates – Obama 56%                               Romney – 41

Democrats – Obama 93%                               Romney – 7%

Women – Obama 55%                                             Romney – 44%

Non-Married Men – Obama 56%                     Romney – 40%

Non-Married Women – Obama 67%               Romney – 31%

Black – Obama 93%                                       Romney – 6%

Asian – Obama 73%                                       Romney – 26%

Hispanic – Obama 71%                                   Romney – 27%

Other – Obama 58%                                       Romney – 38%

Catholic – Obama 50%                                            Romney – 48%

Jewish – Obama 69%                                     Romney – 30%

Other Religion – Obama 74%                         Romney – 23%

No Religion – Obama 70%                             Romney – 26%

Few Times/Month – Obama 55%                    Romney – 44%

Few Times/Year – Obama 56%                       Romney – 42%

Never – Obama 62%                                       Romney – 34%

Non-White Evangel. – Obama 60%                 Romney – 37%

18-24 Years Old – Obama 60%                      Romney – 36%

25-29 Years Old – Obama 60%                      Romney – 38%

30-39 Years Old – Obama 55%                      Romney – 42%

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual – Obama 76%              Romney – 22%

Heterosexual – Obama 49%                                    Romney – 49%

Non High School Grads – Obama 64%                   Romney – 35%

High School Graduate – Obama 51%             Romney – 48%

Some College Education – Obama 49%                 Romney – 48%

Postgraduate Education – Obama – 55%       Romney – 42%

Under $30,000 – Obama 63%                         Romney – 35%

30K – $49,999 – Obama 57%                          Romney – 42%

Northeast – Obama 59%                                 Romney – 39%

Midwest – Obama 51%                                   Romney – 47%

West – Obama 54%                                        Romney – 43%

Big Cities (500K+) – Obama 69%                    Romney – 29%

Mid-Sized Cities (50K to 500K) – Obama 58%         Romney – 40%

Keep in mind this (2012) was a Presidential Election in which Mr. Romney endeavored to paint the Obama economy as trenchantly slow to improve, to frame the Affordable Care Act (Romneycare before it was Obamacare) as failed and costly government intervention, to characterize American Foreign Policy as feckless and ineffective, to describe the administration’s immigration policy as both costly and pandering, to suggest the President’s Same-sex marriage initiative as a tack that would destroy the American Culture, and to propose eliminating the minimum wage (which President Obama campaigned to increase). There were other issues of note, to be sure, but those items above include a litany of items that Team Romney attempted to use as a club with which to batter the Obama Administration/Campaign on a daily basis. It didn’t work; hence the Republican National Committee’s audit and recommendations to reinvent itself ahead of the 2016 Election.

To cast Mitt Romney in the role of the long arm of the GOP law, tasked with brandishing his Light Saber and coming to the rescue in order to rid the political Galaxy of the Darth Vader that is Trump, no matter your political affiliation or ideology, that is just bordering on the jagged edges of sheer disbelief. Yet, that is the space in which the GOP Establishment finds itself, for all practical purposes, desperate for the Establishment Empire to Strike Back.

Despite the perceived strange nature of the individual selected to deliver the message, there is evidence that the effort has some degree of resonance. Of the four states up for grabs in GOP balloting this past weekend, Ted Cruz bagged Kansas and Maine, while Donald Trump claimed Louisiana and Kentucky. Both declared victory, and in fact, were winners, of sorts. Cruz was able to continue claiming he is the only candidate poised to trump Trump (as Rubio and Kasich trail badly, and Carson conceded he sees no path forward), while Trump continued to amass delegates and hold on to his overall lead.

Last night, the battle continued. Mississippi, Michigan, Idaho, and Hawaii voted yesterday. At the time this post was released, Trump had secured victories in Mississippi and Michigan; Idaho went to Ted Cruz.  Trump, Rubio, and Kasich (in that order) trailed.  Hawaii’s returns came in late due to its Time Zone.  For the Keepers of the Flame (of the ranks of the GOP Establishment), more bad news. Trump won easily!

So to summarize the theme of the day, dismiss the all the protest messaging of the GOP that suggests that everything is OK. The Party may not be in disarray; that’s true. But there is every reason to believe, based upon ample evidence, the panic button has been pressed. Any argument to the contrary is pure unadulterated wishful thinking…or worse…read that falsifying the facts. The bottom line here is the Party handlers and message makers do not want Donald Trump to represent the GOP in this fall’s general election. At this point, that is exactly what at least a plurality of those voting are making perfectly clear, more often than not. To wit, what we are witnessing is, “The (GOP) Empire Strikes Back, or…Developing a Systematic, if Late-to-the-Party, Strategy to Contain Donald J. Trump!”

I’m done; holla back!

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An Inconvenient Truth The GOP Refuses To Openly Admit

It’s time to Break It Down!

For all practical purposes, Team GOP has become the Party of Trump. If you believe the voters rather than the oft-rehearsed lines of the Party apparatus, numerous operatives, the still-in-denial Party Establishment, and the voices of the Right Wing chattering class, all of whom have much to lose by being too closely identified with the angry (his word, not mine) New York billionaire, Donald J. Trump, you believe, as I do, that Mr. Trump is towering over the remainder of the Republican field of candidates seeking to secure the Party’s nomination for President. He did so when there was a crowded field of 17 candidates, and despite the arbiters of conventional wisdom who argued enthusiastically that he and his energetic movement would dissolve like the Wicked Witch of the West when doused by water if only the field would thin out, and he does now. That was 12 suspended campaigns ago, or more than two-thirds of the candidates in the original field. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, with only 5 candidates remaining in contention for the GOP Nomination, DJ Trump is still kicking asterisks and taking names.

Yesterday was Super Tuesday, a day in which 11 states conducted Primary Elections or Caucuses. They include:

  • Alabama (Trump)
  • Georgia (Trump)
  • Massachusetts (Trump)
  • Tennessee (Trump)
  • Virginia (Trump)
  • Arkansas (Trump)
  • Vermont (Trump)
  • Alaska (Expected Trump)
  • Texas (Cruz)
  • Oklahoma (Cruz)
  • Minnesota (Rubio)

Of those states, Donald Trump was projected the winner as soon as the polls closed in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Massachusetts; Virginia was quickly added, Arkansas and Vermont were declared in his category by 11:00-11:30 p.m. Eastern. At that time Senator Ted Cruz had claimed his home state of Texas, and neighboring Oklahoma. Around the same time, Senator Marco Rubio claimed victory in Minnesota; his first win of the campaign season.  The last state to be decided, Alaska, was still counting ballots as this post went to press.

A month or two ago, Trump, full of confidence and the swagger borne of his own success opined that his mojo was so robust he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue (NYC) and shoot someone, and he would not lose votes. He repeated this forebodingly braggadocios boast again in recent weeks. Of course, no one but no one ever mistook Donald Trump for a shrinking violet. He’s been and remains the one candidate who never ducks a hot mic. He has also “almost” never been found lacking for answers, regardless of the question…or the factually verifiable nature of his replies.

This weekend however, the Donald, mystifyingly, broke his own protocol. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper this past Sunday, Trump “blinked.” When asked if he would disavow white supremacist David Duke, who endorsed Mr. Trump, the New Yorker lost his normal bravado and claimed not to be familiar with Duke, and said he’d have to research the question in order to provide an informed response. Aside from the fact no one ever recalls such a non-response response from Trump, he had, on several instances in the past, distanced himself from Mr. Duke. The more cynical among us deduced that the fact the question was posed just two days prior to Super Tuesday when 7 Southern States, many of which have a significant Duke following, would be voting had a lot, if not everything to do with Trump’s tightly crafted and sanitized answer. I’m not saying that’s my opinion. I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusion. I will however suggest if a smell test were applied, the odds of that reply passing would be slim.

A day later, Mr. Trump would endeavor to clarify his response, saying his earpiece was faulty, and he didn’t understand the question. Never mind that Mr. Trump has previously pulled excuses out of his repertoire when he flubbed a question. In September Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network in a foreign policy discussion with Trump asked a question about the Quds, and Trump answered about the Kurds. Trump cried foul and claimed it was a “Gotcha Question.” This of course totally dismisses the fact Mr. Hewitt was conducting an interview and posing questions on foreign policy to a man “who would be President.” Gotcha? I got your gotcha. GTFOOH!

But let’s not lose the lesson. As I suggested last week, Donald Trump is approaching political bulletproof status. One need go no further than recognizing that DJ Trump is an individual who has:

  • Characterized most Mexicans entering the United States as rapists
  • Promised to build a wall separating our two countries and “make Mexico pay for it”
  • Declared John McCain is not a war hero
  • Called Senator Lindsey Graham weak and ineffectual
  • Dubbed Jeb Bush low energy
  • Referred to Ted Cruz as the biggest liar ever
  • Said Marco Rubio was “sweating like a dog”
  • Suggested he would ban Muslims from entering the country and deport all illegal aliens
  • Insisted he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after 9/11
  • Dissed Fox News analyst Megyn Kelly and attacked Carly Fiorina’s looks

While that may not be a Top 10, it is certainly a significant sample. But then, even if it were a Top 10, at least one of those items would have to be displaced by the recent David Duke row. Last night, as he gave remarks after acknowledging his 5 Primary victories (up to that time), in response to a direct question, he firmly and repeatedly disavowed David Duke and hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), though he never referred to either Duke or the Klan by name. It took far too long, but in bulletproof fashion, better late than never.

The GOP brain trust wants greatly to diminish and/or dismiss any thoughts that Trump will prevail, and to at nearly all costs distance itself from his brand. To all my friends and associates who happen to be Republicans, you have missed your opportunity. That is not to say with 100% certainty that Donald Trump will capture the Republican Nomination. But make no mistake about it, the closest thing the GOP has to a presumptive nominee is DJ Trump. Like it or not, it is what it is.

This is where things get interesting. In the erstwhile smoke-filled rooms (very few interior spaces permit smoking these days), and back alleyways of Republicandom, operatives, bundlers, the Party apparatus, and a host of bigwigs and muckety-mucks are huddled and feverishly conferencing and negotiating on pathways to derail the Trump Express. Party officials deny it, of course, but back channel conversations always leak the obvious. This is happening even as a number of Party moguls and celebrities, reluctantly, or strategically, you decide, are lining up to endorse Trump.

To date, that list includes former GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., and NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian France (So much for that NASCAR Diversity Initiative). It does not include the aforementioned David Duke…but he has endorsed Mr. Trump. On an aside, Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Ambassador to Singapore, and the 16th Governor of Utah, has stated he would likely support Trump were he to become the Party’s nominee.

During his comments last night, Ted Cruz, who has won a total of 3 states (Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma) all but urged Marco Rubio and the other candidates to get out of the race because, he is the only one who has beaten Trump 3 times, and the only one who can beat him for the nomination. Rubio, who won Minnesota last night, for his part indicated that he is continuing to accrue delegates, and intends to continue for the foreseeable future. Translation: You get out. No, you get out. Advantage Trump.

All things considered, if anyone other than Trump had amassed the metrics he has by now, the race would be declared over. To summarize, of the fifteen contests held to date, Rubio has won once, while Cruz has prevailed three times.  That means Donald Trump has amassed eleven victories, presuming Alaska holds to projected form. Of course, Given Sarah Palin’s endorsement it would be quite the irony if Donald Trump did not win the day in “The Last Frontier.” The estimated Delegate Count per candidate after yesterday’s results is, Trump – 274, Cruz – 149, Rubio – 82, Katich – 25, and Carson – 8.  The total required to clinch the Nomination is 1,237 Delegates; happy hunting.

You can believe it, or you can do your best ostrich imitation and stick your head in the sand. Alas, to do so is quite simply to fool yourself. That’s your choice; I ain’t gonna be mad atcha. When all is said and done, what you are left with is…”An Inconvenient Truth The GOP Refuses To Openly Admit!”

I’m done; holla back!

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Find a new post each Wednesday.

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