By Ron Gregory, Political Columnist
It’s absolutely devastating for a true American patriot to watch the liberals and progressives try to put their most-feared political enemy in prison on … should I say “no pun intended?” …
No ordinary man could endure the punishment President Donald Trump has taken for at least seven long years.
Perhaps he’s been the constant target of left-wing lies and innuendo longer than that.
I wouldn’t argue with those who say freedom and the republic are teetering on the edge of collapse. But it’s not close to the first time.
There are numerous examples of crisis points in our history. All wasn’t peachy keen when the British returned to take back their American colonies in 1812, for example.
It wasn’t all roses and cherries when hopeless people were starving during the Great Depression. Nor when the Bay of Pigs occurred. Or when deaths were common on the “Trail of Tears.”
Mainstream Media, as much to blame for our current predicament as the zombies in the White House, keeps talking about this being the first time a United States President or former President has been criminally charged.
As long as they phrase it like that, it is technically true. But when they say “first former American President to be charged,” they’ve slipped off the script.
Approve it or not, in 1861, another “American” country was formed. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this is not about to be a defense of the Confederate States of America. It’s a simple acknowledgment that for four years, a separate nation did exist with its capital first in Montgomery, Alabama later moving to Richmond.
That government had a President, Jefferson Davis, who most certainly was held in solitary confinement beginning in 1865.
In fact, Davis was charged with treason and scheduled to begin a trial on February 15, 1869. But after he arrived at the federal District Courthouse in Richmond, prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges. Thus ended any thought of prosecuting the leader of the rebel states.
Davis was definitely an American. In fact, he had been the U.S. Secretary of War and a U.S. Senator before becoming the CSA President.
Why did the prosecution drop the charges? Many people think it was because they knew they had a weak case against Davis and all other Confederates.
When even Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who hates President Trump, says the indictments against Trump are purely political, you can bet they are pathetically weak.
And one reason the United States government dropped charges against Confederates for violating the Constitution was that their own government officials had violated it as well.
I could repeat, “Sound familiar?”
Trump critics say the classified documents he had in the secure space in Florida are the government’s best chance to “nail him.”
Have they forgotten the classified documents found on President Joe Biden’s property? Could they actually jail Trump for doing less than Biden clearly did?
The public outcry would be as it was when even Northern citizens learned that Davis was being confined, in shackles, in a tiny space at Fort Monroe.
The shackles came off almost immediately when the public learned of the punishment being administered to a sickly old man.
Davis was released from his prison but he was there for about two years.
Let’s hope the mixed-up legal system doesn’t do that to Trump.
I believe he will walk free and be President again.
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National speculation abounds that our own Democrat U.S. Senator Joe Manchin may run for President in 2024 as a third-party candidate.
No word yet on whether he’ll seek the nomination of former Delegate S Marshall Wilson’s ACT (Americans Coming Together) Party.
That is, of course, sarcasm.
Spend 10 minutes listening to Wilson spew venom and tell me he’s trying to bring anyone together.
Anyway, Manchin is almost as good as Trump at drawing media attention. By refusing to say whether he’ll run for re-election next year, he fuels the fire that says he might run instead for President. That gets headlines his campaign would have to spend millions to buy.
So the question is, “What will Manchin do?”
Take a moment and chuckle with me about how funny it would be if, after all, he decides to run for Governor again.
There’s a “Who’s Who Among Republican Governor Candidates” whose donors would be asking for their money back.
But seriously, Manchin isn’t running for Governor or President. He’s a candidate for re-election.
Mark it over and done. That decision is done unless something changes dramatically.
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A Manchin presidential run would likely bury any chance President Biden has of being re-elected. A Manchin presidential run would almost surely cut into President Trump’s margin in this state as well.
In fact, in a three-way race, Biden would probably finish third.
Manchin knows he’s not going to be elected President on a third-party ticket. He’s not a glutton for punishment – or defeat.
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One of the national publications opined that Republican Governor Jim Justice is under heavy pressure to run for Manchin’s seat. One reason it’s necessary for there to be such intense pressure, the article went on to say, is because the Justice and Manchin families are such close friends.
Maybe I misunderstood but I thought Manchin was unhappy when Justice had his then-chief of staff fire Gayle Manchin, the senator’s wife, from her state Secretary of Education and the Arts job.
That was 2018 and she landed a much better position as Federal Co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. But Justice did nothing to help her land that post.
Now, according to this national expert, the two couples even take vacations together.
I have already speculated that the political genius of consultant Larry Puccio might bring candidates Manchin and Justice together for the common good in 2024. Maybe it’s already happened.
I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.
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Republican State Senator Ben Queen of Clarksburg has been honored nationally.
Queen has been named one of the 2023 Emerging Leaders by GOPAC, the National Republican political action committee.
Queen, son of well-known GOP activist and Secretary of State spokesman Mike Queen earned the honor due to his legislative work.
Ben Queen is also the grandson of the long-time executive director of Harrison County’s annual Italian Heritage Festival, Rosalyn Queen. She’s been in charge of that highly-successful event for more than 25 years.
It’s partly the family connection that has fueled Ben Queen’s success.
“Our class of 2023 Emerging Leaders is the next installment in our mission to build a roster of state Republicans who are focused on ideas to advance Americans’ personal and economic security,” said GOPAC Chairman David Avilla.
“Whether it is leading in their state legislative chamber or running for higher office in the future, we welcome being part of their development and success,” Avilla concluded.
Nominated by the state’s legislative leadership, I’d say Ben Queen has a bright political future.
In fact, he’s pre-filed for an undisclosed office, so he may be moving up next year.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer family.
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West Virginia Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld of Brooke County is now seeking the 2024 Republican nomination to be West Virginia’s next attorney general. He joins fellow State Senator Mike Stuart of Kanawha, who announced earlier his desire to replace Patrick Morrisey. The incumbent is running for Governor.
At an April 10 press conference at Wheeling’s Independence Hall, Weld said, “Over the next 12 months, my team and I are going to make it clear that my experiences as an officer in the Air Force, as a prosecuting attorney, and as a legislative leader all make me the most qualified candidate to be this state’s next Attorney General.”
He went on, “We are running a campaign that is focused on getting the government out of people’s everyday lives, fighting the drug epidemic ravaging our communities and protecting our citizens from fraud and abuse. We are putting the freedoms of West Virginians first in this campaign.”
If nobody else gets in, the match-up between Weld and Stuart should be a classic.
A former U.S. Attorney, Stuart has a reputation as a political street brawler. Weld appears much more subdued.
* * * * * *
The AG race may get even more interesting as Charleston attorney JB Akers considers jumping into the Republican primary.
Akers was the 2018 GOP candidate for Mayor of Charleston.
His entry would have the same effect geographically that I’ve mentioned in others. His candidacy would surely help Weld and cut into Stuart’s geographic base.
* * * * * *
Meanwhile, former White Hall Mayor Guy Ward, who also served a term in the House of Delegates, is pondering a run for statewide office.
The former mayor served the town where the Fairmont Mall is located for nearly a decade. A Republican, he served in the House from 2020 to 2022.
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I admire and like former Kanawha County Delegate Dianna Graves. I endorsed and supported her election and re-election. Unfortunately, she lost re-election to a popular Nitro coach and teacher.
Still, I must comment on her role as chair of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee. First, overall she’s a great leader who works her tail off for the party.
Second, although I know she’s dealing with reality and I’m taking an idealist’s approach, I simply cannot support the policies of the KCREC’s upcoming (May 6) “Lincoln Day Dinner.”
Longtime readers will know I object to the very term “Lincoln Day Dinner.” Republicans are supposed to favor states’ rights and a less intrusive federal government yet hold a dinner in honor of the man who effectively ended states’ sovereignty in 1865. Lincoln abolished the Writ of Habeas Corpus and dozens of other things contrary to what the GOP is supposed to believe.
Graves told one candidate in an email that “all 55” counties host “Lincoln Day Dinners.” She is apparently not aware of the many counties that switched to calling their events “Reagan Dinners.” Numerous other counties have no such event at all.
But my major disagreement is with the $1,000 “speaker fee” being assessed if a candidate wants to speak to the gathering of 80 or so Republicans.
As I noted, Graves is operating in the reality of the party desperately needing funds in its coffers to remain competitive. I’m in an ideal world where all is sunshine and daisies.
I can see charging a Democrat candidate to speak but not a Republican. We can see our FREEdom slowly slipping away.
Graves defends the fee by listing all the things some local committees do for candidates. And she’s right.
But there must be another way to raise money besides stifling FREE speech by your own candidates.
Some candidates simply can’t afford $1,000 to speak to their fellow party members.
If they dropped the fee, the richer candidates would tell them to just keep the money.
That could be a win-win situation.
It’s simply a donation the committee wants anyhow.
Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185; email@example.com; or PO Box 20297, Charleston, WV 25362.