Great Reads 6/27/17

daily roundup of great reads from around the web as selected by our editors.

—Chris Buskirk—

Are our allies in the Middle East—those governments that actually maintain formal security ties with the United States, including Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and Israel; and Gulf partners like Saudi Arabia—more secure and confident in American leadership and commitments under Trump than under Presidents Obama and Bush? That is the argument of Leon Hadar today over at Foreign Policy.

Clearly, the various steps that Trump has taken in the Middle East since entering office don’t amount to a coherent grand strategy. But his administration has abandoned the fantasies and wishful thinking masquerading as idealist principles that guided the policies of his two predecessors. So far, he is dealing with the Middle East as it is, and for that sin he is bashed by neoconservative and liberal internationalists alike—the very people who comprise the intellectual driving force behind the disastrous policies of the last 16 years.

—Julie Ponzi—

Frequent AG contributor, Mark Pulliam, has a piece over at City Journal examining the rise of one of the Democratic Party’s great non-white hopes, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). Although Democrats tout her as the up-and-coming female version of Obama, someone with whom they imagine they might have a shot at recapturing the White House for them in 2020, it is hard to see what—beyond their nostalgia for Obama’s hard left political orientation and ambiguous racial identity—makes them think Harris could be an answer to their electoral woes.

Since arriving in Washington last January, Harris has not been particularly impressive or demonstrated any ability to respond to, let alone recognize, the political moment in which we are living. (Of course, she has plenty of company in the line for those sharing that impediment; Democrats as well as Republicans.) As Pulliam puts it, “If her goal was to convince her constituents back home that she is a central part of ‘the Resistance,’ she has succeeded, albeit without distinguishing herself as a leader or compelling thinker in the process.”

While currying favor with a hard left base might be all that’s required for Harris to hang on to a comfy post as a Senator from California, it’s not going to cut it if her goal is higher office. Even Barack Obama, though probably just as far to the left as Harris, knew enough not to let the mask slip in the ways Harris has done during her short tenure in the Senate. As Pulliam shows, he contrast between the Harris hubris and the more restrained style of an old California Democratic maven, the retiring Diane Feinstein, is an interesting one. And it’s worth noting.

Ideological Democrats and Republicans as well as establishment ones continue to demonstrate that they don’t know what hit them in November. They keep thinking that their devastation came at the hands of Trump and they think, therefore, that in opposing him eventually they will “right the ship” and return to the status quo ante November 2016. It’s not going to happen. They didn’t just get hit by the Trump train, for goodness sake. They were hit by the voters who are tired both of the partisan polarization that leads to nowhere in Washington and of the game the adherents of these two poles are happy to play while the establishment dines out on the proceeds from the fight. Just as Americans are tired of fake news they’ve also had it with fake politics. Harris doesn’t realize it yet, but she’s just a sparring partner . . . and a poor one.

—Brandon J. Weichert—

Collapsing narratives. For months, the mainstream media and their allies in the Democratic Party have insisted that President Trump and several key advisers were involved in a long-running (and convoluted) “collusion” scandal with Russia. We Trumpists understandably met such claims with necessary skepticism. The media fired back without having conducted any legitimate level of journalism or investigation into the matter.

But today has proven that when real investigative journalism is undertaken, the truth about things can still be uncovered.

Now we know that Project Veritas caught a CNN producer on camera admitting that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative is mostly fiction (these critics of Trump’s crudeness actually used a cruder word for “fiction”) created by CNN and other mainstream media outlets in order to continue puffing up their ratings with Trump-driven stories. This occurred on the heels of another scandal at CNN which prompted the firing of several “investigative journalists” after they incorrectly claimed Trump campaign adviser Anthony Scaramucci had questionable ties with a Russian bank.

When it rains, it pours.

Meanwhile, the truth about Leftist claims comes out one way or another, either through simple investigative journalism, or through the inevitable, catastrophic end of a Leftist policy. In yet another case of “that which can’t continue, won’t” Seattle’s drastic minimum-wage hike has done exactly what Rightist commentators warned it would do: increase unemployment in Seattle. Rather than giving Seattle working folks a leg up, it pushed them clean out of the workforce. Now, their prospects are even worse than they were before.

Bottom line: the Left loves narratives. Those narratives rarely comport with reality and often defy the truth. Even so, the Left’s lies seem always to have circled the world before the truth cam get its pants on.


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