Elections

Robert Gates Makes a Damning Case Against Joe Biden as Commander-in-Chief

Before anyone considers electing Biden to the presidency on grounds of the Delaware Democrat’s purported moderation, the electorate should examine all the reasons why the former defense secretary says Biden has “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”

Robert Gates is the epitome of a moderate political thinker, public servant, and lifelong specialist in international security. After a lengthy career appointment as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, he served as deputy director of the CIA under President Ronald Reagan, deputy national security adviser and, later, director of the CIA under President George H.W. Bush. Gates served for two years as President George W. Bush’s secretary of defense and two-and-a-half more years in the same office under President Barack Obama.

Here is a man with no appetite for bombast. Here is a judicious national security establishment figure firmly aligned with the Bushes, Jim Baker, and Brent Scowcroft. Here is someone who is hard to imagine wearing a MAGA hat but is surely a patriot committed, in his own manner, to American greatness.

Gates is a Republican and is certainly no liberal, but his reputation for moderation, pragmatism, and managerial talent was such that Barack Obama wanted to retain him for a long stint as secretary of defense. It wasn’t the easiest of tenures, but for two and a half years, Gates worked diligently and as smoothly as he could with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the Obama-Biden national security team.

It is therefore a matter of grave alarm—at least a DEFCON 2 and possibly DEFCON 1, the ultimate state of alert—when Gates, that most centered of centrists, asserts that Biden has “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”

The entire syllabus of Biden’s foreign policy and national security errors is a target-rich environment for the many American Greatness writers with expertise on particular issues. Anyone who makes the case for Biden’s election to the presidency should be made to defend the extremism and demonstrated failure of Biden’s national security record.

Let’s consider Biden’s fatal flaw when it comes to defending the United States, our allies, and friends, against ballistic missiles.

During the Reagan and first Bush administrations, a signature issue for the ambitious senator from Delaware was ballistic missile defense. Biden mocked Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, insisting that a program for research and development of effective defenses against ICBMs was a dangerous delusion.

Following the lead of his mentor, the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Biden said that the research and development of missile defenses was a waste of money because it was a foregone conclusion that effective defenses would be impossible.

With less than acute logic, Biden also said that R&D for missile defense was “destabilizing.” Why? Well, Biden said, because the program moved in the direction of undoing the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the cornerstone of the Strangelovian “mutual assured destruction” doctrine that encouraged the ever-growing lethality of offensive nuclear weapons on both the Soviet and American sides.

Think about that for a moment. If R&D for missile defense really had been as useless as an alchemist’s labors at turning base metals into gold, why should that have changed the strategic offensive balance between America and the Soviets?

Consider, too: Soviet diplomatic pronouncements and propaganda agitated vehemently against American R&D for missile defense. If the Soviets really had believed that Reagan was wasting American defense dollars in pursuit of a delusion, why didn’t they encourage Reagan to keep doing it? Why did they denounce the program so stridently?

Biden, who has never been regarded as much of a thinker, somehow missed that point.

When Reagan pursued the R&D anyway and the honest scientific community came around more and more to recognize the feasibility of effective ballistic missile defense, Biden and Kennedy remained steadfast in their deep denial.

As a senator, Biden slowed the development and deployment of ballistic missile defenses. Americans, our allies, and our friends should never forget that Biden struggled mightily to prevent them from having the defenses they now enjoy.

Today, the United States has a robust ballistic missile defense program that keeps getting stronger and more capable.

Israel is famous for its effective missile defenses. After first gaining missile defense systems from the United States, Israel’s own homegrown missile defense technology is so substantial that it has become a product for export.

Saudi Arabia has destroyed numerous incoming ballistic missiles over the past several years, including missiles targeted at Riyadh only last week. Without the U.S.-made Patriot missile defense systems that Biden fought to prevent, Saudi Arabia would have sustained crippling damage and casualties from Iranian missiles launched by Tehran’s clients in Yemen.

Countries circling the globe now have ballistic missile defenses because of Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

All of the NATO countries are in Reagan’s debt for the anti-missile shield that now protects them.

Japan, Korea, Kuwait, and Bahrain are among the nations with U.S. Patriot defenses.

The United Arab Emirates has the most advanced missile defense assets in the Gulf region. It was the first country outside the United States to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.

It pleases Biden’s campaign and the Big Media to describe Biden as some sort of moderate as he prepares to face President Trump in the November election. But the reality is that Biden is on the far-left on all issues, only a tiny bit less extreme in substance and style than Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and “the squad.”

When it comes to missile defense, in fact, there is no meaningful difference between Biden and Sanders.

An authentic moderate is hard to find. Robert Gates comes as close as anyone to meeting the definition.

Before anyone considers electing Biden to the presidency on grounds of the Delaware Democrat’s purported moderation, voters should examine all the reasons why Gates says Biden has “been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.”

Elections

Our Crooked Congress

While we all hope we can get back to normal sometime soon, there’s almost zero reason to believe Congress will start acting in a responsible way and this is exactly the kind of “normal” we should hope to avoid.

While the American people should always be watching what is taking place in Washington, D.C., this is ever more true in our current crisis. In case you weren’t watching, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have made it very clear where their priorities lie. Hint: They are not with Americans or their well being.

Democrats decided that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was a great time to try and backdoor their long laundry list of Leftie goals. While Americans are fearing for their lives and livelihoods, Pelosi and her crew were treating the crisis as though it were a political gift—a genie in a bottle who could make all their wishes come true.

Green New Deal, open borders, funding sanctuary cities, forcing unions on mid-sized companies (500-10,000 employees) if they take government funds, ballot harvesting, and a cool $350 million for migrants and refugees, among other items.

But even more insulting is that the Democrats decided it was time to take advantage of a crisis to hand out goodies for their friends: $75 million for the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio, $50 million for the Office of Museum and Library services that already got funded for the year, $8 billion for tribal governments, $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, $25 million for the Kennedy Center (because nothing says helping the American people like giving the Kennedy Center a facelift even though it’s sitting on a $140 million endowment), and—wait for it kids—a $25 million pay raise for the House of Representatives as well as $20 million for the FBI to cover “salaries and expenses.”

But don’t worry: just be good little people and you’ll get your $1,200 check as well as $500 per kid, unless of course the geniuses in Congress have deemed you to make too much money. Then you get squadoosh. Think of all this as a bowl of porridge for Americans in exchange for your inheritance kinda deal.

At a time when we should be focused on the most expedient way to save lives and save jobs, Democrats were peddling for all the legislation they’d hoped to pass during President Trump’s first term and failed.

The good news is that the Senate version stripped out most of the nonsense, however, quite conveniently, left most of the pork intact. But imagine for one minute that Democrats controlled the Senate or, worse yet, the White House. You’d be looking at a brave new world right now.

The behavior on display is somewhere between deeply immoral and evil, but also feels like par for the course. Throw on top such things as, say, the insider trading elected representatives of both parties and staff now stand accused of, and you might think the swamp is more a steamy sewer of absolute corruption funded by the hard work of American taxpayers. The people in Congress were granted privileged, classified information regarding the state of our markets in closed-door briefings. With that knowledge, instead of protecting the American people, they protected the security of their own pockets.

As a reminder, the Commodity Exchange Act, better known as the Stock Act, became law in April 2012. It prohibited this very thing—though let’s be honest, the fact that such an obvious breach of ethics had to be codified in order for us to recognize it as unlawful is semi-shocking. But don’t worry, though: the Stock Act was gutted in 2013 and now its penalties serve as a mere slap on the wrist.

Not only that, but let’s not forget the other time Congress repurposed your taxpayer dollars to benefit themselves: remember the $25 million they used to hush up sexual harassment suits? That would be tens of millions more to bail out the American people and small business owners, but sorry, gotta keep that immoral congressional behavior on the sly to help re-elections so they can sell us out again.

The overarching trouble with Congress today is that most of them view you as their ATM to fund their priorities. But let’s face it: They also view laws as a series of suggestions for themselves rather than as the rules that govern our nation and ensure it runs smoothly.

While we all hope we can get back to normal sometime soon, there’s almost zero reason to believe Congress will start acting in a responsible way and this is exactly the kind of “normal” we should hope to avoid. Perhaps the electorate can look forward to the fall elections and hold accountable those who exacerbated an already unbelievable situation.

Elections

Cuomo Deserves No Plaudits for His Handling of Crisis

The facts prove that Cuomo put his state, and yes, the country as a whole, in danger with his last-minute disaster planning and fealty to open borders. That should spark outrage, not admiration.

It was a stunning confession.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted that closing schools and colleges in his state was a spur-of-the-moment decision based on a health crisis for which he was not prepared. “What we said at a moment of crisis is ‘isolate everyone,’” Cuomo told reporters while seated in front of boxes of medical supplies. “Close the schools, close the colleges, send everyone home, isolate everyone in their home. [It] wasn’t even smart, frankly, to isolate younger people with older people.”

Cuomo conceded that the reason he ordered public schools and colleges shut down was that he “didn’t have the knowledge [and] we needed to act.” The governor’s comments were made on March 24, more than two months after the first reported case of coronavirus was detected in Washington state.

New York, particularly the city, is the nation’s current hotbed of coronavirus activity. According to one tracking site, nearly 31,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 3,800 hospitalizations and 285 deaths. On Wednesday, three army hospitals were deployed to New York and Washington to provide medical support and additional beds if needed.

The third-term Democratic governor, unsurprisingly, is earning media praise for his handling of the crisis.

“Andrew Cuomo shows how to lead during the coronavirus crisis,” swooned the Washington Post’s editorial board this week. Cuomo, according to his hometown newspaper, is the “politician of the moment” whose daily press briefings are must-watch events praised both by Democrats and Republicans like former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Even Billy Joel is impressed with the tough-talking political progeny. A recent poll places Cuomo towards the top on the list of officials Americans most trust to handle the Wuhan virus debacle.

Cuomo, his new admirers insist, is the antidote to President Trump—a leader who rose to the challenge, spoke the truth, and made the tough choices while the White House ducked and dithered.

“If social media is a reflection of how people are feeling, Cuomo’s image during the coronavirus outbreak is one of authority, yet hope—a role people value enough to begin visualizing his presidency,” one smitten CBS News reporter cooed.

But neither Cuomo nor New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio deserve attaboys. A toxic combination of Big Apple hubris, devotion to open borders regardless of the imminent threat, and Trump-hating obstinacy fueled a stubborn strategy that left their citizens vulnerable for months.

Further, New York’s political leaders have acknowledged that the world’s financial capital—a city home to nearly 9 million people, the most densely populated city in the country—has no comprehensive plan to deal with a pandemic or any viral public health threat. Cuomo and DeBlasio have cobbled together a last-minute, slapdash strategy as COVID-19 spread across the globe and closed in on New York City.

By January 31, the day President Trump suspended flights from China, “outbreaks were already growing in over 30 cities across 26 countries, most seeded by travelers from Wuhan,” according to one model by the New York Times.

But even by late February, Cuomo boasted about his state’s accessibility to foreign travelers—his state, the governor said on February 26, is the “front door” for visitors from around the world—while only instituting voluntary quarantines for suspected coronavirus carriers.

“Our operating paradigm has always been, prepare for the worst but hope for the best,” Cuomo said.

That paradigm, apparently, did not include prohibiting hundreds of thousands of potentially infected travelers from entering his state since January. Tourists and business travelers continued to pour into the Big Apple during the first several days of March without any comprehensive screening or restrictions.

Cuomo this week again bragged about his state’s open arms, which resulted in New York’s current crisis. The reason New York now has so many more cases of coronavirus, even more than California, is “because we welcome people from across the globe,” he said on March 25. “We have people coming here, we have people who came here from China, who came here from Italy, who came here from all across the globe.”

No one, of course, should be surprised that a leading Democratic politician prioritized open borders diversity politics over public health.

Cuomo hasn’t been alone in downplaying the early threat of COVID-19. Bill DeBlasio, who had suspended his presidential campaign a few months earlier, seemed to mock the menace, directing New Yorkers to proceed as normal. “Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions,” he tweeted on March 2. He then offered a movie recommendation. His health commissioner encouraged residents to attend the city’s annual Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown. “I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about #coronavirus,” Oxiris Barbot tweeted February 9.

Social media is flooded with dire stories about the situation in New York City hospitals. (Oddly, this is supposed to reflect poorly on the president and not on the city whose leaders and residents remind you on an hourly basis that they are best at everything.) A wrenching article in the Times described the conditions at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens: More than two-thirds of the residents who live in the surrounding neighborhood were born outside of the United States. The reporters told of long waits in the emergency room and beds filling up. Thirteen people died at Elmhurst in one day, although the article does not confirm all of the victims succumbed to COVID-19.

But medical personnel told the Times that an influx of people complaining of flu-like systems began in the first week of March. So, why didn’t the mayor or the governor act then to ensure city hospitals, particularly those situated in low-income areas where residents have  limited access to high-quality care, were better prepared?

This problem isn’t a new one prompted by a surge in coronavirus victims, however. A public policy researcher in 2015 detailed long waits in New York City emergency rooms. The head of the emergency department for the Mount Sinai hospital system quit in 2018 after less than a year on the job.

“I had to follow my moral compass and leave and decide this is not an organization that cares for patients,” Dr. Eric Barton told the New York Post.

Last year, city nurses threatened to strike due to overcrowding at three major hospital systems. “Nurse Anthony Ciampa said he had to choose recently between feeding an elderly patient at New York Presbyterian and treating several acutely ill patients because there weren’t enough other nurses on duty,” according to a March 2019 report in the Daily News.

And the outcry about ventilators? State officials were informed several years ago that the stockpile of ventilators was woefully inadequate to handle a severe pandemic. But instead of preparing for a looming crisis and buying 16,000 ventilators, the state’s health commissioner formed a task force to develop a system to ration the life-saving equipment. The task force “came up with rules that will be imposed when ventilators run short,” the New York Post reported last week. “­Patients assigned a red code will have highest access, and other ­patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst), ­depending on a ‘triage officer’s’ decision.”

Now that Cuomo’s rationing plan is backfiring and his lack of preparation is exposed, he’s blaming Washington for his state’s self-induced emergency.

Cuomo is demanding that the federal government find the 15,000 extra ventilators his state will need in the next two weeks. During a press briefing this week, Cuomo admitted his state normally has 4,000 ventilators; they recently purchased another 7,000. (The federal government has sent 4,000.) But why did Cuomo wait so long to obtain these machines and why is it somehow Trump’s responsibility, and not Cuomo’s, to find them?

Such questions, like so many related to the coronavirus scare, are not allowed. The media is in full gaga mode over Andrew Cuomo’s daily monologues and cutesy interviews with his brother on CNN. But the facts prove that Cuomo put his state, and yes, the country as a whole, in danger with his last-minute disaster planning and fealty to open borders. That should spark outrage, not admiration.

Elections

‘Dr. Win-the-War’ vs. the Mouse

Democratic Party bosses are sending an infirm and elderly mouse to bell a big, tawny, roaring cat. Anyone can see how it will end.

President Trump has met and passed his supreme test. This has left his Democratic opponents  desperately espousing gloom and demanding that the economic shut-down continue, according to frequent semi-high-brow Democratic ideologue and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, for up to seven months.

Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers took to the Washington Post to preach epidemiological defeatism. While the choristers of fear and despair are clinging to a prolonged economic melt-down like drowning men clutching a raft, their presumptive presidential candidate is disintegrating in the midst of friendly interviews and struggling to get a little attention while the man he wishes to unseat takes one to two hours of prime-time television every day announcing the success of his plan of action to deal with the country’s greatest public health crisis in a century.

When Trump realized that his breezy assurances that everything was under control and that the spring weather would vanquish the problem weren’t cutting it, and that he was wide open to blistering criticism from his opponents, he imperturbably executed a 180-degree turn and became, in FDR’s phrase, apt for a public health crisis, “Dr. Win-the-War.”

The Democratic Party spokespeople for a few days were feeling very sufficient, settling into a long siege with the entire economy of the country descending into desperate straits, and then carrying their recently resurrected nominee, the ill-assured and quavering Joe Biden across the finish-line against the new Herbert Hoover.

Democrats had been incredulous at Trump’s appearance as a candidate, judged him unelectable, were so astonished by his victory they convinced themselves and corrupted the Justice Department and the intelligence agencies with the monstrous falsehood that he had won by enlisting the support of the Kremlin. And when that enormous canard came down in flames—like the Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937—out of terror-induced distraction, they impeached him for unimpeachable offenses and with no believable evidence that he had committed them anyway.

The unelectable Trump had given way to the impeachable Trump, who was replaced by the distinctly beatable Trump, a vision it was increasingly hard to believe in as the economy disobediently boomed and the president’s poll numbers rose. Then, like the Seventh Cavalry guided by a beatific apparition, the coronavirus pandemic descended. It wasn’t quite the Trump exit his enemies had wished, but it would do and it was providential. Trump would shut everything down after being pilloried for overconfidence and ineffectiveness, the economy would wither, the pandemic would do to him politically what the Iran hostages did to Jimmy Carter, and the Democrats could claim in the autumn that if he had just acted more quickly, all would be well, and the disease-driven poverty of America was Trump’s doing.

The president had the grace of conversion. He shut down all the bunk about his philistine animosity to science by recruiting a blue-ribbon scientific and public health administrative team. He stopped most of the Democratic officeholders by cooperating closely with all the governors, including some he had quarreled with publicly and acidulously. People in the front lines, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom, were fighting for the lives of the people in their states, as well as for their own political futures, and all those who were trying to cope with the pandemic, rather than exploiting its political consequences, had the same interest.

The eminent scientists and other specialists on the president’s task force appeared with him at his press briefings and spoke in solidarity with him. Trump more or less shouldered the vice president aside and took the podium every day with the whole country watching. He brought in the private-sector leaders and a collaboration somewhat reminiscent of the brilliant cooperation between government and industry in World War II instantly came into being as many corporations threw their energies into producing and distributing vital equipment for combating the scourge.

Medical supplies were moved quickly and with almost no red tape. The astounding incapacity to test in serious numbers and promptly was replaced in two weeks with mass testing that almost anyone could perform with results coming in 40 minutes. This week there have been 65,000 tests a day and by next week there will be 150,000 tests a day.

Trump was solid, not rattled, by the questions and entirely believable as he handled the press every day, and fully corroborated by his experts. The anticipated fatality rate between 5 and 10 percent of those afflicted, and a majority of those apparently with coronavirus symptoms, narrowed out after about 10 days and it emerged that only about 15 percent of those who seemed to have the symptoms tested positive, and of those, fatalities were about 1.5 percent of infected people.

If the immuno-compromised portion of the population could be segregated and protected, the fatality rate came down to about half of 1 percent of the 15 percent of the tested and symptomatic people who actually had contracted the coronavirus. And there are large regions of the country where the penetration of the virus has been minimal, and this condition was generally conserved by drastically reduced travel.

The independent medical and epidemiological experts confirmed that the president’s actions in closing down flights from China in January and from Western Europe on March 11 had undoubtedly saved many American lives and that without these measures, the United States could have had fatality rates like Italy’s distressing 10.5 percent of infected cases—scores or even hundreds of thousands of dead if replicated in the United States. At the time of the move on flights from China, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer fired the usual Democratic charges of “racism” and “xenophobia” at the president—the charges didn’t wear well.

The president championed the malarial remedy Hydroxychloroquine, and when one unfortunate tried to self-medicate but with the phosphate version (an aquarium tank-cleaner) he died so CNN billed it a virtual manslaughter by the president. Laughable. And the actual remedy does appear to be promising. As this new and less terrifying picture emerged, a rising focus among commentators was on the economic damage of a prolonged shut-down of the country.

Although this was essentially what the Democrats were counting on, they had to concur in the president’s relief package, an awe-inspiring two trillion dollar direct relief bill supplemented by a four trillion dollar liquidity facility. The Democrats squandered their ability to take much credit for it by trying to pack in nonsense about solar panels, windmills, abortions, carbon emissions of grounded airliners, and back-handers for trade unions. Too late. They realized that Trump and the treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, had layered in tax benefits that would outlast the public health crisis and its consequences and would be of tangible pleasure to the voters as they went to their election places.

And so the Democrats arrive at their last line of defense: Bill de Blasio, the failed, lame-duck mayor of New York, pathetically wailing for the deployment of the armed forces (for no evident purpose and as if they were immune to the virus) and predicting that the pandemic would rage everywhere in the country at the highest New York City rate, for six months. Reich and Summers and the others charged out of the firehall one more time demanding a long shutdown, but it won’t fly. They’ve run out of dirty tricks they’re finished.

The Democrats have a presumptive candidate who can hardly utter a coherent sentence in response to a friendly questioner, live-streaming from a little podium in his living room, an absurd, and objectively sad spectacle. The Democratic bosses are sending an infirm and elderly mouse to bell a big, tawny, roaring cat. Anyone can see how it will end.

Elections

Joe Biden: I Have A Plan To Fight the Ebola Virus!

Here, exclusively to American Greatness yet again, is the transcript of Joe Biden’s speech from his house in Wilmington, Delaware on March 23, 2020, addressing voters about the current pandemic.

Joe Biden: Folks, I want to begin this by discussing the coron . . . corona . . . coro . . . the response to the coro . . . to the virus. These are confusing times for all of us . . . er . . . for most of us . . . I don’t mean to say that I am confused. No, absolutely not! Some people might be confused, but not me! I remember how we overcame the Hispanic Flu of 1918, the Great Depression, World War I, World War II—and I was there, with you, for all of them, helping America overcome these challenges.

And I will be with you for this crisis as well, on Instantgram, on Twinter, on FacialBook, on Tinder, Grindr, OKCupid, Match.com, Yumi, AdultFriendFinder, Hinge, TransDate.com, and every other platform. Oh, and on Google, also. And some Chinese ones as well! We just need to get the lighting situation resolved, and you’ll see more of me. Proper lighting is vital, if you are going to be addressing a crisis.

It goes without saying that I disagree with President Trump’s approach to this crisis. Our response needs to be international in nature. We need to not just deal with the coron . . . co . . . corona . . . the virus here, in this country, but globally. Trump should have sent our scientists to China back in January, to study the situation—whether the Chinese want them, or not. That’s what being President of the United States is all about—sending scientists to every country out there. What I am saying is, we need a global response to this problem. And not all countries are on board.

For example, look at Brazil. Brazil’s rainforest is being cut down, and the land is converted to farmland. So we should pay Brazil $20 billion, and just ask them to stop cutting down trees. We’ll just tell them, we’ll pay you $20 billion, and please don’t cut the trees. Trees are very important. I love trees. And that’s an example of how we are going to fight the coro . . . coron . . . the corona . . . the epidemic, the Ebola epidemic, using a global international response. No joke!

I Never Got a Penny From China Myself

One thing that I will do differently is that I will not call this virus the Chinese virus. We need to work with the Chinese, not get confrontational with the virus. Confrontation is counterproductive. Nothing ever gets done if we get confrontational—we need more cooperation, that is what we need.

And I will never get confrontational with the Chinese—it’s just not in my nature to be confrontational with people who gave me a billion dollars. Er . . . What I mean is, gave my son a billion dollars . . . er . . . right. It wasn’t a gift, to be precise, it was an investment, a long-term no-interest no-questions-asked investment.

Let me just set the record straight on that, it’s perfectly normal in the investment world to make investments like that. I never got a penny from China myself, it was just a deal that my son did, and it wasn’t even all that much money for the Chinese, so you can see why I have a lot of experience in these things.

As Barack’s vice president, I also have a lot of personal experience fighting epidemics. We need to move, and we need to move fast. We had the swine flu epidemic, where we did nothing, and were very successful at doing nothing. We had the SARS epidemic, where we did nothing, and things worked out just fine. We had the Ebola epidemic, where all we had to do was make a statement, and that was literally all anybody ever expected of us. And there were other epidemics, where the O’Biden-Bama administration did absolutely nothing, and nobody ever expected us to do anything. I am being serious!

So folks, I have a plan. This is a plan to fight this African virus, this corona . . . er . . . the coro . . . co . . . er . . . the virus, the plan is . . . we’re working on a plan, on a good plan. I can tell you, our plan is now in the planning stage. Once the planning stage for our plan is complete, and we figure out what we want to do, the plan will move from the planning stage to the publication stage.

And then, during the plan’s publication stage, we will publish our plan. Once we publish it, everyone will see that we know what we’re doing. Folks, I am here to tell you: our plan puts fiction over science! Our plan puts hope over truth! Er . . . I mean, the other way around! Wait . . . I think it’s the other way around . . . Or is it? Our plan puts science over . . . over . . . er . . . I don’t mean over, I mean, under . . . er . . . Our plan puts truth over facts! This N1H1 virus shall not pass! No pasaran!

That is why, folks, our plan to fight this virus is proactive. What does proactive mean, by the way? Does anyone know? Oh. OK, so like I said, it is definitely proactive, which I am here to tell you, is the opposite of reactive. That is why I warned everyone in January of 2008 about the coron . . . corona . . . the threat that we face.

First, We Need Masks . . . Third, We Need Masks

My plan is also progressive, because it literally progresses from A to B to C. Our plan is forward-looking, not backward-looking. Everywhere the African swine flu strikes, we’ll be there with our plan to address this crisis. I believe that all Americans deserve to be SARS-free, and that is why I will, someday soon, have a plan to deal with this . . . this . . . deal with . . . the pandemic that we have right now. Our plan is also . . . will be . . . it is . . . our plan is multilateral, which means it literally has multiple laterals in it. So that’s another reason why our plan is better than Trump’s plan. No joke!

I have given this a lot of thought, and the answer is simple: we need masks—masks are the absolute key to defeating this epidemic. I would turn every factory in the country to making masks. Whether you are now making cars, or airplanes, or air conditioners, or computers—every factory in the country should be converted to making masks. This is how we will win this fight against the Ebola virus.

And, in addition to that, we need to . . . In addition, we need to also . . . We need . . . There is another thing that we need to do, and that is, we have to do that other thing, not the first thing, the second thing, which we’ll do after doing the first thing. And the second thing that we need to do is . . . Er . . . Let me just go to the third thing. The third thing is . . . the third thing . . . here is what the president must do: he must deal with this emergency right now.

Trump’s inaction is simply unacceptable! Trump is behind the curve on this! If I were president, I would invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the production of necessities! I would prioritize and immediately increase domestic production of any critical medical equipment required to respond to this crisis—especially the production of masks and associated training to operate the masks! I would delegate the authority to do this to HHS and FEMA! We need it now! Right now! I am being serious!

What did you say? He did already? Are you sure? He announced all of it? When did he do it? Oh . . . And the masks, too? Oh . . . I didn’t know that . . . Are you sure about the masks? Because maybe he forgot about masks . . . ? Oh.

I’m Still Relevant!

Well, isn’t that just like Trump—take all my best ideas, before I even had them! Folks, don’t believe Trump for a second! He didn’t think of any of these things! I did! I thought of them, I just didn’t think there was any point in talking about them at the time! Let me tell you something: I am evolving on this issue.

What I mean is, the virus is evolving, and I am evolving with it, and the best is yet to come as we struggle for the soul of our country, and that’s the God’s honest truth! And all of us must evolve, together. But I am already evolving even as I speak, and I hope you’ll join me!

Folks, this Ebola epidemic is the reason why I need to remind people that I am still relevant. And that is why, for the foreseeable future, I intend to do daily press briefings about my response to the Ebola virus. I will form a crisis task force, consisting of myself, my wife, Dr. Jill Biden, my son, Hunter Biden, my granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, and my campaign spokeswoman, Symone Sanders. This task force will be in charge of the Biden campaign’s response to the crisis.

What I mean is, I don’t intend to have an actual response, since I am not the president, I just want to be president, but I am not president yet. But if I were the president, I would definitely have a response, and that’s why I am forming this crisis task force. No joke!

So Trump needs to give us the unvarnished truth. Un-varnished. That means, it’s not varnished, because nobody wants varnish on their truth . . . Truth is never really varnished . . . or can it even be varnished? This is about truth . . . yes . . . right. We want the truth! Truth . . . I am all for truth . . .

Can somebody move this damn teleprompter along, for crying out loud! How the hell do you expect me to make sense when the words on the goddamn teleprompter aren’t moving? What are you people, morons, or something?

Looking Presidential Is the Key

Folks, here is the deal: I would do all the things that Trump is doing, but do them differently. Or I wouldn’t do them at all, because I am not Trump. Or I would do the exact things that Trump is doing, but call them something else, because if Trump calls them one thing, I have to criticize them, and I can’t very well criticize them if I am proposing the same things, can I?

The point of my crisis task force and my Ebola press briefings is to draw a contrast between me and Trump, which is very important, otherwise, people will forget that I exist, and we can’t have that. I am being serious!

The best part of these Ebola press briefings that I will be doing on a regular basis . . . er . . . I mean, not Ebola . . . it’s the other one . . . I mean, I got them mixed up for a second, it’s not Ebola, it’s that African virus, the coron . . . coronav . . . cor . . . the virus. I’m talking about the other virus, not Ebola. Right.

So the point I am trying to make here is that during my press briefings, people can see me, and I don’t even need to go anywhere, because we just discovered this new thing called teleconferencing. With teleconferencing, I can satisfy my desperate need . . . er . . . I mean, the people’s desperate need to see me alive, without me leaving the comfort of the TV studio. Or the comfort of my own home, which is even better.

So I can dress up, get the teleprompter going, read a sentence or two, and look very presidential. It is critical for people to see me in a presidential light—people don’t like voting for someone if he doesn’t look presidential. And I have looked presidential since at least 1988, and you have my word as a Biden on that. Looking presidential is the absolute key to being presidential.

And that is why it is very very important that everyone go to the polls to vote for me in the primaries. All citizens should show up at the polls, especially the older ones, because they tend to vote for me a lot more than for Bertie. I mean, Bernie. Folks, don’t worry about that national emergency that Trump declared——voting is more important. After you vote for me, then you can take the national emergency more seriously. But definitely not before.

Voting for me may be the last thing you’ll ever do, and if you die because of it, you’ll know that you died for a good cause, after proudly casting your vote as an American, and that it was all worth it. So folks, wait for my antivirus plan to come out, and don’t listen to the CDC when they tell you to stay home. I am being serious!

Folks, here’s the deal: this African pandemic is an example of what happens when we don’t take care of the environment. When I am vice president, I will . . . er . . . I mean, when I am president, I will . . . I will . . . I . . . We will . . . Everyone will . . . What I am getting at is, as your Senator, I promise you that I will vote for the virus . . . Er . . . I mean, I’ll vote against the Ebola virus. No joke!

Folks, as your candidate for the United States Senate, I intend to pick a woman running mate. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: . . . ah . . . er . . . ummm . . . I’ll say it again and again, if I have to . . . er . . . as I’ve said before, I intend to . . . pick a woman. It is definitely time for a woman to be the number two on a ticket. I will be the first presidential candidate who will pick a woman as his running mate. Nobody else has ever done this, so I will be the very first presidential candidate to make history, by having a woman as my running mate! And this, folks, is how we will not only win the presidency, but we will win the House as well! I am being serious!

What? Sarah who? Sarah Palin? Who is that? Ok . . . What about her? And Geraldine Ferraro? Who the hell is that? She was? Really? They both were? Oh . . . Never mind, then. The point I want all of you to take away from seeing me on TV like this is that I am competent, knowledgeable, totally on the ball, and qualified to become president.

Thank you, folks!

Elections

A Real Crisis Yields Real Politics

No one envies President Trump’s enormous burden right now. And that’s why most of his critics have either been muted or ineffectual. This is a time of real politics. Even Trump’s critics know they have very little to say about that.

So much of the news cycle and the telegraphed concerns of our commentariat are completely fake. Fake crises like “climate change,” a phone call with the leader of Ukraine, or whether someone used the wrong pronouns tend to dominate the news cycle.

The recent Democratic presidential primary is a good example. At one point, the various candidates were tripping over themselves to be more “woke,” affirming reproductive “justice” for transgendered individuals and giving away our limited and expensive healthcare to anyone who sneaks past the Border Patrol. Similarly, during the summer before 9/11, one of the big media ginned up hysterias was over “shark attacks.” These manufactured crises immediately leave the stage when a real one emerges.

Recent events show us the difference between real politics and fake politics.

The coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic impact of the various measures employed to arrest it, are a serious and multidimensional crisis that combines the basic feel of the 9/11 attack, the 2008 economic crisis, and the Cold War. Like 9/11, it is a sudden and terrifying paradigm shift. As in 2008, years of prosperity are revealed as vulnerable to shocks and paper wealth has disappeared in the blink of an eye. And, as during the Cold War, the threat of annihilation and a potentially years-long commitment to defense may be required.

At the moment, most of the worries about Trump’s legitimacy, court-meddling in executive power, and attempts to second guess his executive powers are giving way to a more primitive and instinctual collective submission. Trump is in charge, and even his longtime critics, such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), have grown up a bit in the face of the real crisis and given him credit where it is due.

Suffering Into Wisdom

Some of the old mentality has not been fully tamed, however. Examples include the obsession with political correctness, including objecting to Trump’s completely accurate description of this ailment as the “Chinese Virus,” and the various celebrities engaging in self-pity about being confined to their multimillion-dollar mansions. These just serve to show that learning comes slowly to some. As the Greeks taught, we suffer into wisdom.

Trump has been faulted for his alleged slow response. We obviously do not know exactly what he heard from his advisors in the preceding months. We do know he had good reasons to be skeptical of the intelligence community, which has been either wrong or hostile to him since his 2016 campaign. But it seems entirely impossible and fantastic that he could have had the necessary political support to order the extreme lockdown measures that have since transpired any earlier than he did, just as George W. Bush could not in a million years have ordered a military incursion into Afghanistan in the months preceding the 9/11 attacks based on the intelligence reports he received.

He may have been slow to learn, but he has learned, and has approached the problem aggressively for at least two weeks. Now he must make extremely consequential and costly decisions under conditions of uncertainty. To his credit, President Trump in January largely halted travel from China, based not on an expert recommendation but common sense.

While Trump may have been somewhat slow to accept the reality of the crisis, what have the hedonistic young people crowding nightclubs and spring break destinations learned? Or for that matter, the sclerotic CDC and NIOSH agencies, which have proceeded with “business as usual” on approving medical gear and drug therapies?

Clarity Over Ideology

One reason Trump has adapted quickly is that he is not very ideological.

For many years, a de rigeur list of “conservative positions” have inhibited serious appraisal of a changing world. Free-trade orthodoxy, for example, forbade reconsideration of massive amounts of manufacturing capacity being lost and sourced exclusively from a hostile Communist China.

Similarly, libertarian economics and concerns for moral hazard—concerns that did little to stop bank bailouts in 2008—have led many to question the absolutely necessary emergency payments to suddenly unemployed waiters, bartenders, flight attendants, desk clerks, and other hospitality industry workers.

The Left is bound up in a similar ideological straightjacket. In a world where the virus originated in a particular place, they tell us viruses “do not know borders.” Actually, they do. Coronavirus can only be spread through “person to person” transmission. Stop the people from the source nations, and you stop the spread.

Rigid ideology is an obstacle to thinking creatively. When circumstances are normal, stable, and repetitive, some kind of ideological shorthand is useful. As Edmund Burke said, “Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved.”

On the other hand, sometimes things change radically.

In the age of modern medicine, true pandemics have largely disappeared. Life expectancy has increased. Just a month or two ago the economy was booming, and smooth waters appeared to be ahead. Then the change was radical and sudden. Dizzying. Politics and policy had to change too. As the saying goes, “a young man knows the rules, but an old man knows the exceptions.”

Post-Epidemic Policy Prescriptions

One reason the partisan sniping has either died down or been ineffective is that almost no one really appreciated the scale and danger of this virus until only a few weeks ago. No one was sounding the alarm. And no one in either party had a ready-made series of recommendations or calls for actions in the preceding weeks. Most importantly, no one wants to take responsibility for the consequences of these difficult decisions.

Instead, in December and January, impeachment was afoot. Its basis—a phone call about military aid to Ukraine—appears picayune compared to the coronavirus and the related damage to our economy. It was like the “shark attacks” of August 2001.

Trump’s key themes should provide useful policy prescriptions longer term. Outsourcing is dangerous. Globalism and weak borders have costs. And a nation that has as much unity as an international airport lounge is unlikely to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice needed to weather a storm.

Certainly, a lot of improvisation is needed in the short-term. There are high costs to action and inaction, and we simply lack sufficient data to know what is the right call. Getting money into the hands of people is probably necessary; there is no way people without even $500 in emergency funds—63 percent of Americans—can realistically do without work or money for very long.

No one envies President Trump’s enormous burden right now. And that’s why most of his critics have either been muted or ineffectual. This is a time of real politics. Even Trump’s critics know they have very little to say about that.

Elections

Trump’s Coronavirus Response Is Foiling His Enemies

The president is already unlimbering the economic guns and starting to spike the dreams of those who hope that the economic consequences of the anti-coronavirus measures will lose the administration its reelection.

The political aspect of the coronavirus crisis is developing in a familiar way. The president’s enemies in the media have led the propagation of panic in the country, and have been given enough encouragement to do that from the scientific community, some of whose members are enjoying their 15 minutes of world fame a little more than is seemly.

Trump’s opponents are thus able to swaddle themselves in the legitimacy of science as they hurl their brickbats at the president. As is his custom, the president has given his opponents plenty of ammunition by speaking constantly, leaving a rich trove of contradictory, and in some cases, it turns out after a few days, absurd reflections on the medical and related problems as they unfold.

As is also the well-established custom, his enemies cannot resist embellishing and fabricating. The claim he had disbanded the pandemic response section of the National Security Council is false, as are suggestions that he has ignored or overruled scientific opinion.

The assault on the president’s credibility as an enunciator of facts has had some success, partly because there is some reason to question his attention to facts and partly because he is routinely smeared by his media enemies.

Meantime, the dishonesty of the media is reaffirmed almost daily. The president has made an effort to avoid partisanship and has worked well with Democratic governors, even those with whom he enjoys a relationship of intense reciprocal dislike, including Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Jay Inslee of Washington. He has also made a reasonable effort to conduct daily press briefings with civility; those efforts are not always requited, and some of the journalists routinely withhold the respect due the office.

There is a slightly theatrical quality to these daily press briefings; the president set up the committee including senior scientists, doctors, and public health officials, and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge, but has now taken to handling the press briefings himself. And all the figures in the administration who address the press seem to be pre-programmed to begin every third sentence with “The president has very wisely decided . . . ” or “Because the president so presciently foresaw . . . ” or some such testimony to the indefectible judgment and decisiveness of the president whom they serve.

They may be motivated, in part, by the knowledge that, as an executive and as a television star in his former life, this president has greater ease in dismissing cabinet and other senior officials than any preceding U.S. president, and has no sense of a high official turnover being indecorous. There is doubtless some truth in their compliments, but the effect of such a parody of totalitarian public information methods is the reverse of what is intended. And to some extent, the media are just legitimately covering an immense news story, and not trying to sow panic in order to frighten people unnecessarily, stampede opinion under the president, or disturb what even a month ago looked like a pretty smooth glide-path to reelection.

This is all of a familiar pattern: the antagonistic press, the egocentric president—but also, and this is emerging, the successful and competent president.

An Improving Situation

Try as he does, unintentionally, to disguise the progress he is achieving by making exaggerated claims and injudicious utterances and then denying he made them and reformulating them, President Trump is clearly all over this problem like a cheap suit. He was right to assemble the committee he did, right to work with all jurisdictions and set partisanship aside, right to enlist the private sector from which he came and whose methods he well knows. And he was right to engage in a program of full and prompt public information.

The results are that where a month ago, coronavirus testing could only be done by appointment in hospitals and the results determined by physically sending tests for evaluation to Atlanta, Georgia—even from Hawaii—simply administered mass testing devices will be manufactured and delivered in great and increasing numbers starting next week, with anyone able to do the test, results known in 40 minutes, and all tests free of cost to the individual tested.

Though the effectiveness of a malarial remedy in combating the coronavirus is based on a single experiment in France, it is a known medicine ready to go and is being used starting this week on an enlarged number of people in New York. Trump has ramped this up very quickly with his declaration of a national emergency and utilization of the Defense Production Act. He rightly leaves it to states and cities to determine the extent of closings and restraint of public activity.

The administration is moving well ahead of most of the media in anticipating the economic consequences of such an assault on commerce as is implicit in the draconian remedies the scientific community is espousing. The more ingenious of Trump’s media enemies probably assume, since his enemies have always assumed that his complete self-annihilation was always about to happen at each “turning point,” and “bombshell” caused by the “walls closing in,” that he can be stampeded into such a medically motivated strangulation of the economy and he will surrender the election into the cupped hands of a thoroughly unfeasible Joe Biden. But it is increasingly clear each day that he is not going to run through these 15-day cycles indefinitely.

As testing increases, the numbers improve. Only about 10 percent of people tested have the virus, and of those only 1.2 percent of people have died from it, the lowest percentage of all serious and reliable reporting countries except Germany and Canada. If the cases connected to the unfortunate home for the elderly in Seattle are excluded, the number would be under 1 percent. Obviously, as mass testing goes forward the incidence will decline, and as measures to protect the immune-challenged are implemented and strengthened, the percentage of fatalities among those who do contract the virus will also decline.

A $6 Trillion Relief Package

The president is already unlimbering the economic guns and starting to spike the dreams of those who hope that the economic consequences of the anti-coronavirus measures will lose Trump the November election.

A package of $6 trillion of direct and indirect assistance and assured liquidity has been proposed. The Democrats, after the customary waffling about Trump’s self-prostration to his fellow billionaires and indifference to the workers of America, will have to get on board.

What Trump and his officials propose is aimed directly at those who need it most. He has made it clear that he will make the jump from the coronavirus being the principal enemy to the enforced sluggishness of the economy being the principal problem, and he expects to return to the voters as the president who vanquished an unprecedented public health challenge (in this he is allied to the media’s magnification of the crisis) and the president who created a miraculous economy and then retrieved it from the jaws of (foreign-originated) disease.

The polls of presidential job approval have softened slightly, but the polls of approval of Trump’s handling of the crisis have flipped in his favor. They will continue to rise and pull general approval with it. The president would do better if he could resist the urge to insert himself always and excessively into every public aspect of government, and he is, in managing his quest for attention, making what our elementary school teachers called “steady progress.”

The credibility of the media declines as they invent pettifogging reasons to harass a president who increasingly is seen as managing a very challenging situation very well. Joe Biden, about to hold alternative press briefings on the coronavirus, is almost the answer to a trivia question now and will only emerge from that status in the unlikely event that Trump mismanages the public health or economic elements of this crisis, as opposed to just somewhat mischoreographing it.

Elections

Don’t You Wish Trump Said This?

Thank God, in this country, the people have the last word.

President Trump on Monday told the nation that the cure for the coronavirus epidemic will not be worse than the disease and that ours is not a country that was built to be shut down. This is a step in the right direction, but the president could go so much further. Here is what he might have said—and should say—to the American people…

My fellow Americans:

Today I want to share with you my thoughts on how we are going to get ourselves out of the mess that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on us all.

So far, we as a people have done pretty much all that has been right and proper to do. We have closed our borders from traffic from countries where the virus rages. We have adopted stricter habits of personal and business hygiene. We have self-quarantined ourselves at the first signs of illness, quarantined persons who were already ill, and protected the elderly and infirm who are most vulnerable. There is nothing remarkable about such measures. They are what wise people have done to protect themselves from epidemics for hundreds of years. And we have done it so thoroughly that we basically have shut down our country at great cost to all of us.

Obviously, this can’t go on very long.

We elect presidents to provide leadership in difficult times. Today, I want to tell you how I intend to carry out my responsibility to get this country on its feet again, soon.

During the past two months, we have learned a lot about this virus. The more we learn, the more we realize that this is nothing like the Plague. Here in America, as we test more and more people for the virus, the percentage of those who die of it continues to drop. It is now near the 1 percent mark, and we can be confident that this figure will drop, approaching those of other similar viruses. The reason why we can be confident is that we have been testing mostly people who show symptoms. But a high percentage of those infected never do show any symptoms.

What does this mean? It means that the COVID-19 virus is a special danger only to the elderly and otherwise infirm. Younger, healthier people may manage its risk as we manage the risk from other respiratory ailments. That, in turn, means that the most effective way of fighting this virus’s effects is to focus on protecting the most vulnerable among us as the rest of us get back to normal lives.

We have also learned that we are not without medicines against this virus. It just so happens that a drug that has been in use for a generation in this country as well as abroad to treat malaria also happens to block the COVID virus from penetrating human cells. And, when it is used in combination with a common antibiotic, it has had a significant benefit for those affected. Good!

The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is not a silver bullet. But its availability means that those who are affected by the virus don’t just have to bear it. It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration could move fast enough to put these drugs through their operational validation tests. But the more time the virus rages without medicines to treat it, the more people will die. This being a free country, doctors don’t need my permission or anyone else’s to use all available means to treat their patients as seems best. I am going to make sure that they have the means to do so.

In short, this virus is no plague, and we are not without medicines against it.

Unfortunately, during the past few weeks, we have also begun to learn how awful are the effects of shutting down the country. Although most people have behaved in the wise, generous, patriotic manner that has always made Americans the envy of the globe, some have dishonored themselves. By panicking they have made themselves ridiculous. I even saw an article in a major newspaper titled “Don’t panic is rotten advice.” Panic mongering must stop.

Worse, we have seen the real specter of a deep recession, maybe even of depression. Fact is, shutting down an economy is all too easy. Just look around. But once people are laid off, supply chains are interrupted or broken; once people get used to government payments to make up for work or enterprise, nobody really knows how to get it all going again. And anybody who tells you that they know how is lying.

One thing I do know, from long experience in business, confirmed by my short experience in government: Government money is the most narcotic of drugs, the most habit-forming of drugs. We, the American people, know that in our bones.

That is why, over the next week, I will concentrate on a plan for winding down the shutdown as fast as possible. During that week, I will keep an eye on the figures about infection and mortality, on the availability of equipment and medicines, and on how people are faring under the restrictions. My staff and I will speak with businesses large and small—primarily the latter, and get advice on the best ways of undoing the restrictions that we have imposed. For a long time to come, we are going to maintain health monitoring of everyone entering the country. But the emphasis will be on the future, and on bringing it about, fast.

I have been told, and I’m sure I will be told again, that I should just let the experts make the decisions. But no. When we elect presidents, or anybody else, we don’t do it so these elected officials can sit back and watch the government run on autopilot. We elect leaders to take responsibility. I am responsible. Like you when you are facing hard choices, I talk with as many experts as I can. But, like you, I make the decisions that are mine to make, and I take responsibility.

Ours is a federal system of government. The governors of the several states are elected, just as I am, to fulfill their responsibilities as they think best within the law. Many of the restrictions that have been imposed have been by the authority of the several governors. I hope that all will follow my lead. But I know that each will make his or her own judgment and that they will be responsible to the voters, just as I am. Their voters will judge them as they will judge me.

Thank God, in this country, the people have the last word.

My administration has worked out a package of measures to help individuals and businesses affected by the shutdown. We have done so in cooperation with leaders of the Democratic Party in the House and Senate. For the sake of enacting this package fast, in a bipartisan manner, we had accepted a number of items that we believe are not so wise. But, on Sunday, the Democratic Party decided to hold this relief measure hostage to its familiar political agenda. By now you all know their litany by heart.

Again, as they have done now for four years, they are calling me bad names. You know them by heart, too. That’s what they do.

I am not going to call anybody names. Nor am I going to waste time negotiating. This matter is serious and urgent. It demands to be resolved in a serious manner. That means roll-call votes that hold every elected official responsible. What a novelty!

The relief package is going to be brought up for a vote in the Senate. A substantive vote, yea or nay. No hiding behind procedures or negotiations. Everybody, Democrat and Republican will be on record. The same should happen in the House, if the Democrats even let the members vote. These days they have not. The voters will judge them, as they will judge me

My fellow Americans: over the coming week, you and I will focus on plans for ending this mess.

May God clear our minds and hearts and may God bless America.

Elections

Giddy Democrats Planning to Exploit the Economic Crisis to Hurt Trump

It’s sickening to watch the Democrats exploit a public health crisis in an effort to score political points against President Trump, but they’ve made perfectly clear in the past that they’re not willing to “let a good crisis go to waste.”

President Trump’s policies have brought this country historic levels of prosperity, but Democrats have been predicting an imminent economic crisis from virtually the moment he was elected. Now, as the novel coronavirus sows panic in the markets, the president’s opponents are hoping they’ve finally found a way to hamstring the strong and growing American economy.

The Democratic presidential candidates, for instance, quickly began stoking fears of a possible recession caused by the coronavirus, preemptively asserting that it would be the president’s fault.

President Trump’s incredible record of success in bringing the U.S. economy back to life after the pathetic Obama-era “recovery” has been a consistent thorn in the side of his critics, who have had no luck persuading the American people with their pessimistic assessments at a time when unemployment was at a half-century low, wages were rising for workers at all income levels, and formerly forgotten citizens were being uplifted by policies that benefit all Americans.

Now that the coronavirus outbreak has created the first plausible threat to America’s economic boom we’ve encountered at any point in the past three years, the Democrats are gleefully seizing on the opportunity to cheer for a downturn.

In the midst of any public health crisis, it is imperative that we avoid emotionally driven overreactions, even as we take every prudent action at our disposal to mitigate the threat. That is exactly what President Trump has been doing, directing a vigorous effort by state and federal authorities to combat COVID-19 on the health front while showing a calm and collected front in his public statements in order to reassure the citizenry that there is no need for panic.

The president’s critics are actively undermining those efforts by relentlessly criticizing his strategy. When he implemented travel restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, they claimed he was overreacting and stoking racism against Asians. When he urges Americans to remain calm and follow the advice of public health experts, they claim he’s not being vigilant enough.

The Democrats’ agenda became patently obvious when the party’s top two leaders in Congress flatly rejected the Trump Administration’s proposals for measures that would protect American workers and businesses from potential economic fallout related to coronavirus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) arrogantly complained that the president didn’t check with them before proposing an economic stimulus to Americans, smugly promising to unveil their own stimulus package while roundly dismissing the possibility of cooperating with Republicans to pass a relief package in a more timely fashion.

It’s sickening to watch the Democrats exploit a public health crisis in an effort to score political points against President Trump, but they’ve made perfectly clear in the past that they’re not willing to “let a good crisis go to waste.”

Elections

Government Disgrace in Marquee Russian ‘Election Interference’ Case

The Department of Justice forced a foreign company to spend millions to defend itself for the non-crime of running a few thousand dollars worth of ads on Facebook. Now instead of apologizing, it issues a shameless dismissal in which it simultaneously maintains there is secret evidence of the company’s guilt.

After nearly nine months of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team rushing around with subpoenas and search warrants, people were beginning to ask questions. Where were the indictments?

The answer came at last on February 16, 2018, when a gleeful Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave a dramatic press conference proudly announcing the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies, including Concord Management, Concord Consulting, and the Internet Research Agency, for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. When people counted the notches on Mueller’s belt, they always mentioned the Concord case.

The case did not go smoothly. The press conference was supposed to be the end of it. The government deliberately indicted Russian defendants who were not within reach of the U.S. criminal justice system. None of the accusations from the press conference or the indictment were ready to be tested in court.

Then a few months later, disaster struck. One of the Russian defendants hired an American lawyer to contest the charges.

Last year, shortly after the release of the Mueller report, the government barely escaped a contempt citation for publicly accusing Concord of working on behalf of the Russian government. That’s essentially been the theory of the case from the outset. When somebody accuses “the Russians” of interfering in the 2016 election, they mean the Russian government or somebody acting under Moscow’s direction. But in a stunning courtroom admission, our government admitted it had no evidence that certain internet ads were posted on behalf of the Russian government.

Now the case has fallen to earth. The Justice Department on March 16 moved to dismiss the case against Concord Management and Concord Consulting. Rather than surrendering to the presumption of guilt, the Department of Justice instead attempted to tar Concord with the stench of guilt based upon secret evidence it wasn’t willing to submit to the court.

“In light of recent events and a change in the balance of the government’s proof due to a classification determination, as well as other facts described in more detail in a classified addendum to this motion, the government has concluded that further proceedings as to Concord, a Russian company with no presence in the United States and no exposure to meaningful punishment in the event of a conviction, promotes neither the interests of justice nor the nation’s security,” the government declared in its filing.

Did you get that? The Justice Department strongly implies that it has plenty of evidence of Concord’s guilt. But it’s classified. Guilt and innocence are binary. Either Concord is guilty and the government proves it in court, or it’s innocent.

Rule 3.8 of the D.C. bar rules of professional conduct provides: “Except for statements which are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and which serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, [a prosecutor shall not] make extrajudicial comments which serve to heighten condemnation of the accused.”

There was no need to comment on the evidence against Concord to justify moving to dismiss the case. It’s just something the prosecutors are doing to make Concord look guilty without having to prove anything in court.

The case is a disgrace. It’s a stain on the American justice system. At it’s very inception, the Department of Justice attempted to make it a crime for foreigners to buy ads expressing opinions about politics. That’s speech. And if you’re not willing to protect the speech of dastardly Russians, then don’t expect your speech to get protected when you offend the Department of Justice.

The chief problem with the Concord case was that it sought to criminalize political speech. According to the theory of the government’s case, Concord committed a crime by not first asking permission from the Department of Justice before posting “divisive” ads. Think about that. The government doesn’t want speech that “divides” Americans? That’s tantamount to making debate of any kind illegal.

Concord, or its “co-conspirators,” were also accused of using “fake social media persona” to intercede in political discourse. You know who else uses a “fake” persona to intercede in politics? I do! And so did Mark Twain. So did the American Founders. Alexander Hamilton wrote under the pen name of “Phocion” and later “Publius.” Patrick Henry, who famously exclaimed, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” nevertheless promoted his safety by writing under the name “Senex.” Many other “fictitious personas” remain secret to this day. Pseudonymous speech is essential to freedom.

The Department of Justice forced a foreign company to spend millions to defend itself for the non-crime of running a few thousand dollars worth of ads on Facebook. Now instead of apologizing, it issues a shameless dismissal in which it simultaneously maintains there is secret evidence of Concord’s guilt while refusing Concord the opportunity to challenge that evidence.

Secret evidence is unconstitutional. The Sixth Amendment requires a speedy and public trial. “Public” means that the process should be transparent to ensure fairness. It requires the government to produce witnesses against a defendant. Under the same principles, the government is not supposed to paint somebody as guilty of a crime based on evidence it’s unwilling to produce.

There are millions of loudmouths on the internet trying to disrupt American politics. Pretty much all speech on politics is “divisive.” So the Justice Department wants to end divisive speech by outlawing it? Have you heard of Twitter?

When the federal government uses its awesome power to prosecute the ones who offend its own politics, it places in jeopardy everyone’s right to speak freely. We can be thankful that the government finally has dropped this censorship attempt. It’s unfortunate that the prosecutors found it necessary to use it as an opportunity to make one final dig against its political target.

Elections

What Would Happen If Joe or Bernie Could Ban Fracking in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvanians concerned about the long-term economic health of their commonwealth, their communities, and their families might think twice before casting a vote for either man.

At last Sunday night’s Democratic debate, where a septuagenarian in the early stages of dementia verbally sparred with a septuagenarian with a serious heart condition to see who would be the one to take on a septuagenarian with obesity issues for the U.S. presidency, a significant amount of time was spent discussing hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as “fracking.”

More specifically, a significant amount of time was spent by former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders disparaging a process that has helped save American families and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade.

Sanders called it “insane” that America continues to have fracking and declared he would stop it “as soon as we possibly can.”

Biden, trying to appear more moderate, said he would oppose “new” fracking wells, and then clarified afterward through a campaign minion that he was talking about just the fracking that takes place on federal land. Previously, however, he has talked about how he will “end fossil fuels.”

Granted, as president, neither of the two would have any constitutional authority whatsoever to ban fracking on private- and state-owned land. Unilaterally banning fracking entirely across the United States is nothing more than one of Bernie’s fever dreams, like Medicare for All and the liquidation of the kulaks as a class.

Yet the open hostility of both candidates to oil and natural gas development leads us to wonder what would happen if a hypothetical ban on fracking occurred. What, exactly, would that mean for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to take just one example?

Quite simply, it would mean economic devastation that would make this pending coronavirus recession look like our halcyon days. The streets will flow with the blood of the nonbelievers and the air will be filled by the cries of the tormented and the lamentations of the anguished. There will be the rending of garments and the gnashing of teeth, and the living will envy the dead.

Well, it wouldn’t be quite that bad—but it would still be really, really bad.

According to a November 2019 report from the Global Energy Institute, Pennsylvania would experience the cumulative loss of 609,000 jobs by 2025 thanks to higher residential and business energy costs and upstream production losses, as well as $261 billion in lost GDP, and a $23.4 billion loss in state and local tax revenues. (Keep in mind, this tax revenue goes to pay for education, infrastructure spending, healthcare, public safety, and so on.)

Over that same period, Pennsylvania households would experience a $114 billion loss of income and Pennsylvanians would suffer a per capita cost-of-living increase of $4,654. These losses would begin taking effect immediately. In 2021 alone, the study estimates 125,000 job losses, $19 billion in lost GDP, $1.6 billion in lost state and local tax revenue, and an $8 billion loss in household income.

The study’s job loss numbers are reinforced by a February report modeled out by the consulting firm OnLocation on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute, which found the Keystone State would experience more than 550,000 job losses in 2022 alone.

The development of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania has turned the commonwealth into the second-largest producer of natural gas in the United States. Moreover, this massive increase in domestic shale development, led by fracking, has caused natural gas prices to plummet in the Keystone State, saving Pennsylvania residents and businesses more than $30.5 billion from 2006 to 2016, according to one estimate, or $43 billion from 2008 to 2018, according to another.

Fracking activity also delivers $1,300 to $1,900 in annual benefits to local households, according to researchers at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and MIT. Get rid of fracking and these consumer benefits would vanish into thin air practically overnight.

When the Democratic presidential candidates talk about taking action to “end fossil fuels” they are talking about nothing else but the bringing forth of economic destruction the likes of which most people have never even fathomed could be possible.

With the knowledge that intermittent, expensive, land-intensive “renewable” sources such as wind and solar will most likely never be able to step into the breach and replace oil and natural gas, and with the knowledge that the fracking process itself is a safe one, this kind of talk is an order of magnitudes beyond irresponsible.

Pennsylvanians concerned about the long-term economic health of their commonwealth, their communities, and their families should think twice before casting a vote for either man.

Elections

Securing the Peace in Israel

The third Israeli general election in a year has produced a clearer advantage for the principal party, but has been ambiguous in the more important issue of which party will lead the government.

The ostensible leader of the opposition, General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, head of the Blue and White Party—an amalgam of centrist and moderate left parties and groups, roughly continuing in the path of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Ehud Barak of the old Mapai (Labor) Party—has aligned the support of a majority of the Knesset (parliament). But that support is dependent on the adherence of the Arab Joint List, the third-largest party, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismisses in incendiary terms as a terrorist front.

Israel is a complete slate system: the parties nominate up to 120 people (the total number of members of the Knesset) in their order of seniority or merit within each party. There are no constituencies or districts. In theory, every member of the Knesset could live in the same neighborhood or even the same large building. Votes are cast for the party of choice.

Netanyahu’s Likud (formerly led by Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and with a schism, Ariel Sharon) had just under 30 percent of the vote and so 36 MKs; Gantz and his followers 27 percent and 33 MKs, and the Arab Joint List (three parties combined), got 12.7 percent of the votes and 15 MKs, the orthodox religious Shas received 8 percent of the votes and nine MKs; the remaining four parties to make the threshold of 5 percent required to sit in the Knesset all received between 5 and 6 percent and have six or seven MKs. These include two smaller parties, led by the notable faction-heads Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett.

The Jews’ history of being persecuted required that when they finally regained their homeland, it be governed in a way that made it almost impossible to ignore even small blocs of Jewish opinion. The status of the Arabs, naturally, has been more complicated.

Israel has been much criticized for the unequal treatment of its Arabs, but given that most of them don’t believe in the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, that is not entirely surprising. Moreover, the condition of Israeli Arabs is generally freer and more prosperous than that of neighboring Arab populations, apart from—in straight terms of per capita wealth—the petro-states.

Netanyahu is currently under indictment for corrupt dealings with media owners—not an unusual circumstance in Israel where a prime minister (Ehud Olmert) and a president (Moshe Katsav) were convicted of crimes. He claims the prosecution is political, something for which there is also some precedent in Israel. The Old Testament attribution to God of the opinion expressed to Moses that the Jews are a “stiff-necked people” (also translated as “argumentative” and “obstinate”) is largely vindicated in Israel’s politics. As there is no territorial aspect to parliamentary representation, parties are constantly fusing and splintering and coalitions of four or five parties are required over a constantly-shifting range of ever-evolving policy opinions and perceptions.

The composition of the Israeli population: an in-gathering of Jews from all over Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Ethiopia makes it an unusually polyglot patchwork of groups and interests, and the nature of the system as much as that of the Jewish people assures a constantly seething political culture. Gantz apparently is able to form a government because he is less objectionable to the Arab population than the more intransigent Netanyahu. But Gantz promised in the late campaign that he would not sit in a government with Netanyahu and would not govern by relying on Arab support.

Inevitably, a government of Israel propped up by Arabs would severely divide the country.

It is obvious that Israel’s political system is excessively complex, but it has been one of the most successful countries in the world and has grown from its status at independence in 1948 of a string of scrabble-hard kibbutzniks surrounded by Arab enemies in a poor and unremitting country to its present prosperity—an (off-shore) oil-producing, highly educated state with a European standard of living (93 percent of the per capita income of Canada, a vast treasure house).

In all the world, the only equivalent development story has been South Korea, with China in a special category as the first Great Power to cease to be a Great Power and then regenerate itself to that status after centuries of decline and economic stagnation. Israel’s strategic condition has also benefited from the disintegration of two of its most virulent enemies, Syria and Iraq, immense humanitarian tragedies though there have been in those countries; and from the encroachments of the Arabs’ ancient foes the Iranians and Turks. This last development has caused the principal Arab powers to discard most of their official hostility to Israel—which is a natural ally in any rebuff to Iran, the chief supplier of the anti-Israeli terrorist activities of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Gantz is popular as a distinguished, apparently disinterested retired general, and Netanyahu, having surpassed David Ben Gurion as the longest-serving Israeli prime minister (now 15 years) carries a good deal of baggage. Normally, the voters would conclude that it was, indeed time for a change. Ben Gurion was the chief founder of the country and the undisputed head of the then Ashkenazi majority of Israelis and was the natural leader to elect and retain.

Netanyahu has at times been far down the well in opposition and has achieved and maintained his position preeminently by a mastery of the free enterprise right and as the chief opponent of the previous land-for-peace formula, engaged in even by the fierce Begin, and certainly Rabin, Peres, Barak, and Sharon. In practice, it consisted of Israel ceding land it had won in wars the Arabs had initiated and lost, in exchange for a ceasefire which the Palestine Liberation Organization did not observe for more than a few weeks before it started all over again.

The Palestinians (the PLO and Hamas) overplayed their hand. They did not realize that the sponsorship of the Arab powers would evaporate when the Arab world was challenged by a real adversary (Iran and to some degree Turkey). The Palestinian leaders never wanted peace, because if it was achieved, they would only be the leaders of a tiny, poor, dusty little state carved out of the old Palestine Mandate following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The PLO leader would cease to be the world figure the egregious Yasser Arafat was for 35 years and would have no more prominence than the president of Lebanon or Tunisia.

The Palestinians have fumbled their main chance, and in the next few years, they will have to accept something fairly close to the Trump peace plan. Both Netanyahu and Gantz support that plan and at this critical point, Israel cannot have a government that depends for retention of office on Arab legislators who oppose the entire concept of the Jewish state.

A fourth election in a year is not the answer to the impasse; a grand coalition of Likud and Blue and White is; if Gantz doesn’t feel he can break his promise not to serve with Netanyahu, he should refrain from government but remain as his party’s leader, with Netanyahu as prime minister for one or two more years, then Netanyahu can retire and Gantz can replace him.

Israel needs a strong government to try to bring the pursuit of some sort of substantial and durable peace to a satisfactory conclusion. Alternatively, he could declare that conditions have changed and he can serve with Netanyahu after all, as associate prime minister. In coalition governments, pre-electoral promises are always subject to post-electoral review.

President Trump has effectively discarded the requirement of Israeli-Palestinian agreement and partially replaced it with an element of an imposed peace, as Richard Nixon contemplated prior to the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel must be as united as possible to prepare and implement a peace that generally resolves the problem created when the British with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 sold the same real estate to two different parties. For more than a century, a partition between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs was the only solution, and Israel has grown strong enough, and the Arabs divided enough, that the time to secure the Jewish homeland is almost at hand.

This is no time for sadistic attachment to outworn tactical election promises and factional dogma. History will not wait.

Elections

Me-Too Republicans for Biden, the Boneless Wonder

Apparently the Sanders revolution within the Democratic Party has petered out, at least for the time being.

Sanders has not withdrawn but the most recent round of voting in the Democratic primaries appears to have doomed him and dashed the hopes of his many supporters. That is a godsend for the army of Republican NeverTrumpers who have sworn to vote for any Democrat because of their disdain for Donald Trump. At least they won’t have to vote for an avowed socialist—indeed a long-time champion of Communist dictatorships from the Soviet Union to Cuba and socialist authoritarian states such as Venezuela.

I have many NeverTrumper friends. Most of them are foreign policy and defense experts who reject Trump because of his character flaws and the threat he seems to pose to the business-as-usual foreign policies that these folks prefer.

As Sanders surged, I could sense panic among my NeverTrump Republican friends because voting for anyone but Trump might mean voting for Sanders. So concerned were they that many began to offer advice to the Democrats, a practice that was mocked by liberal commentators far and wide.

So there has been a collective sigh of relief on their part as Joe Biden seems to have beaten back the Sanders threat. He is what they are: a liberal internationalist. But their sense of relief may be premature. On the one hand, the distance between Biden and Sanders is not nearly as great as the NeverTrump Republicans would have us believe. On the other, a Biden candidacy might very well contribute to low Democratic turnout in the general election.

First, Biden’s credentials as a “moderate” Democrat are belied by his actions over the course of the Democratic primaries. When he first entered the Senate in 1973, he appeared to be a John Kennedy style Democrat. Indeed, many of the policy positions he took as a Senator have come back to haunt him. Accordingly, he has moved to the left along with the rest of the Democratic Party. Evidently, only a NeverTrumpr Republican would fall for his faux “moderation.” Winston Churchill’s description of Ramsay MacDonald in 1931 fits Biden to a tee: the “Boneless Wonder.”

Byron York catalogs a few of Biden’s course changes over the past few weeks.

So Biden’s positions on three big issues—immigration, college education and bankruptcy—changed virtually overnight to fit the political requirements of the late stages of the 2020 Democratic primary. And all involved a move to the left. For months, Biden dominated the so-called “centrist” or “moderate” lane of the Democratic race. But now there is no longer a Democratic race. Even as commentators touted his centrism, Biden strategically moved left to consolidate the support he needed for the nomination.

So this is what my Republican NeverTrump friends have signed up for.

Of course, Biden is “moderate” only in the context of today’s Democratic Party. My Republican NeverTrump friends seem to forget how radical many of Obama’s policies were or how radical those of Hillary Clinton would have been. Consider just two examples: Trump has reformed the federal judiciary. Think of what it would look like if Clinton were president. Trump has also made inroads against the administrative state, the unconstitutional fourth branch of the government that violates the principle of the separation of powers.

Perhaps much of the Republican NeverTrump resistance to the president is due to the fact that although they claim to be conservatives, they themselves are denizens of the administrative state. Indeed, a group of former national security “experts” calling themselves the Steady State (as opposed to the “Deep State.” Get it?) has issued a letter endorsing Biden.

Back in 2008, the late Tony Blankley coined the term “Me-too Republicans,” a species that had emerged during the New Deal (and having nothing to do with the current iteration of #MeToo), continued until the election of Ronald Reagan, and has re-emerged recently in the form of the laughably named Lincoln Project. The irony in all of this is that as the Republican NeverTrumpers forge ahead in support of Biden, they may very well contribute to his defeat in a general election.

The fact is that Sanders supporters loathe Biden nearly as much as they despise Trump. They may very well sit out the 2020 election. One wonders if a handful of smug, self-righteous Me-too Republicans can offset the loss of Sanders supporters in a contest against Trump.

Elections

Running In Front, Running Clueless

The exclusives to American Greatness keep coming. Here is the transcript of Joe Biden’s speech in Dayton, Ohio, March 12, 2020.

Joe Biden: Folks, it is great to be here with you! I wish I could tell you what state we are in right now, as in, “it is great to be here with you in the great state of Iowa,” or some such, but I have to be honest with you: I have absolutely no idea where I am or what city this is. In fact, I stopped recognizing the states where I was holding my campaign events weeks ago. But don’t worry about it. I am certainly not worried, so you shouldn’t be either. No joke!

Folks, I am now the front-runner in this race for . . . for . . . ummm . . .  er . . . to become the . . . er . . . for the top job. That means, I am out in front, as opposed to being behind. Being behind really sucked. People were saying all sorts of nasty things about me, that I am clueless, that I am senile, that I am a doddering, shambling, bumbling, mumbling fool, that I lost a step or two . . .  Well, we sure proved them all wrong, didn’t we?

Well, OK, maybe we didn’t prove them wrong about those particular comments, because I can see how some people might misinterpret that vacant look I have in my eyes most of the time, but the important thing is, I’ve got more delegates now. It doesn’t matter if I can finish a paragraph or not, when I give a speech, I now have . . . I can finish the paragraph every time I start . . .  finish . . . I can . . . every paragraph that I start deserves to be . . . paragraph . . . finishing a deserving paragraph . . . er . . .

Let me tell you about delegates. I don’t know how many more of them I’ve got, I have got people keeping track of these things, so I don’t have to bother with small details like that, but you can’t argue with success! What I am trying to say is that more is more. That’s all that matters. I am being serious!

The other guy, Barney Sanders, he is way behind in delegates. And let me tell you about him and his brothers and his other relatives. Those Barney Brothers and Barney Sisters, it’s just a terrible thing, what those Barney siblings are doing. Barney . . . I mean, Bernie, has all those Bernie brothers and sisters doing all those . . . things, all those . . . bad things, and I simply won’t stand for it!

Folks, this is the most important presidential election of our lives! I should know—I’ve been through dozens of them, so I know what I’m talking about. As an O’Biden-Bama Democrat, I will bring my razor-sharp intellect to the White House. No joke!

Am I Running  for Election or Re-Election?

Let’s face it, folks—Trump knows nothing about our traditions of dignity and civility. And that is why we cannot possibly win this election! We cannot get re-elected, and we know it. We can only re-elect Donald Trump! We will engage in a circular firing squad, because we don’t know how to run a positive campaign! Yes! Er . . .  No . . . That’s not what I mean . . . We need to do more negative attacks on Trump! Ahh . . . Wait . . . We need to do positive attacks, not negative attacks, because it is up to all of us to re-elect Donald Trump!

Er . . . I mean . . .  What..? What am I saying? We need to re-elect me! No, no, wait . . . Am I running for election or re-election? We don’t need to re-elect Trump at all! Or do we? No, no, absolutely not!

What I am trying to say, folks, is this: we in the Democratic Party know all about firing squads. And all those Bernie Brothers should face one, and the sooner, the better! Er . . .  I don’t mean, like, a literal firing squad, I mean, they should be shot, but not using real bullets. Er . . . Although . . . What would be the point of shooting them, then? That doesn’t make any sense . . . Why shoot the Bernie Brothers, if you are not gonna use real bullets? I am being serious!

Here’s the deal, folks: if the firing squad uses real bullets, they shouldn’t use high-capacity magazines. And no AR-14s, either. I strongly oppose AR-14s! I also oppose AR-13s, and AR-12s! I oppose all assault weapons, because they can be used to assault people—and I have always opposed all forms of sexual assault.

For the record, everything I’ve ever done with women has always been 100 percent consensual. In fact, as a senator, I passed legislation against . . . legislation that . . . as committee chairman, I strongly supported legislation that . . . made it a crime to assault . . . use an assault weapon to assault . . . weapons with magazines . . . big magazines . . .

Look, folks, I don’t care what they say, if you say you want to have an AR-14 for self-defense, you are full of shit! I can tell some of you in the audience might have one at home—well, I am here to tell you, you don’t need an AR-14. It’s a machine gun, for chrissakes! So hell yes, we’re gonna come for you, and we’re gonna take those damn AR-14’s of yours! No joke!

You over there! Yeah, you! The fat guy. You have one? You do, huh? Well, don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go out and slap you in the face! What, you think I can’t? I can give you an ass-whooping right now! Who’s gonna stop me? You? Hah! You can’t stop me! So don’t be a horse’s ass! What, you think I work for you? Come on, man! I don’t work for you! You really think I work for you? Hah! You are full of shit, aren’t you? You are so full of it, you can’t tell shit from shinola!

A Heartbeat Away from the Presidency

These people . . . I can’t believe them . . .  Why am I even talking to these fat low-class losers? Where the hell is my staff? Why did they put me in this event, with all these working-class idiots?

What? Jill? Would you stop whispering in my ear! What? Can’t you see I’m doing something here! Oh . . . Hold on a sec, folks, gimme a moment while I . . .

Whew . . . that caffeine I had this morning really packs a punch, doesn’t it? I feel more awake now than I’ve felt in years . . . I really should drink more coffee . . .

Folks, I feel the need to remind you that I was vice president to President . . .  I was the vice president when President . . . when . . . he . . . when my boss was president, I was the number two man. I was the numero uno. Er . . .  Just wait a second . . . “Uno” means “one” in some non-English language, right? So I couldn’t have been the numero uno, because President . . . the president, who was president at the time, he was numero uno . . . I must have been the numero duno.

And just like other vice presidents, I was a heartbeat away from the presidency. For example, President O’Clinton had a vice president, whose name I can’t recall. President O’Carter also had one, even though I can’t remember his name either. President O’Roosevelt, I am pretty sure, had a vice president. At least, I think he had one . . .  Yeah, he did, didn’t he? So, folks, what I am trying to tell you is that it is not unusual for a president to have a vice president, although none of them were as smart or as accomplished as I am.

Folks, there is an issue that I will address as soon as I am re-elected to the presidency. I will appoint the first African-American Woman Senator to the Senate. I will also appoint the second African-American Woman Senator to the Senate. In fact, I am not gonna stop there. On day one, I will appoint all 100 Senators, and every single one of them will be an African-American woman, and you can take that promise to the bank! It is about time the Senate got a little diversity going, is what I’m saying.

Discriminating Against Foreign Viruses Is Un-American

And folks, let me tell you another thing: that Trump’s peace plan for Afghanistan is a disaster. I was the O’Biden Administration’s point man on Afghanistan, because President O’Biden, before he was elected, promised to win the war in Afghanistan. And let me tell you, under my leadership . . . er . . . under President O’Biden’s leadership, we came pretty darn close. I argued for an additional 200,000 troops, and if the generals had given me those 200,000 troops in Afghanistan, I would have won the war.

Now, this Afghan peace deal that Trump made—I have no idea what’s in it, but I don’t like it. I haven’t actually read it, but it doesn’t sound like a victory to me, and Trump never even asked for my opinion, if you can believe that! Here’s the deal: I don’t need to read it in order to be dead set against it—and let me assure you, when I am president, there won’t be any more peace deals with the Germans. Er . . . I mean, with the . . . with the people who . . . with those people . . . those bad people.

What America needs is a victory—and that is why when I was president, we did . . . er . . . I mean, when I was vice president, we were . . . they were . . . we had a plan to win the war, and . . . it was a good plan, a verifiable plan . . . it was . . . I mean, it was a certifiable plan . . . we definitely had a plan . . . we needed just eight more years to win that war. It was just like Vietnam, only better! Er . . .

Folks, there is one issue that I know all of you care about, and that’s the coronavirus. I know all of you have confidence that I would do a much better job than Trump, in dealing with the coronav . . . corona . . . coron . . .  the virus. Trump doesn’t know what he is doing. Why does he call it a Chinese virus? Viruses have no nationality. That coronav . . . coro . . . corona . . . that virus is as American as apple pie. Just because it came from China is no reason to call it a foreign virus—it’s here now, just like many other viruses, trying to make a decent living for its family. In fact, some of my best friends came from China. I am serious!

That coron . . . coronav . . . that virus should not be discriminated against, just because it is of foreign origin—it is completely un-American to discriminate on the basis of origin. In fact, I know China, my family has done a lot of business there while I was vice president, and there is absolutely no reason to remind people that the coronav . . . coron . . . the virus is from China.

We need better border controls, and that’s why I’ve always supported open borders. We need more testing, and that’s why I have no idea how much testing we have done for the corona . . . coronav . . . coro . . .  er . . . the virus. But I know we need to do more. We should stop all incoming flights from affected countries—and that’s why I’ve opposed Trump’s actions to stop the flights from China and Europe from day one. In other words, my plan is the opposite of Trump’s plan. So you can see that I have a totally comprehensive plan to use the coron . . . coronav . . . cor . . . the virus to attack Trump.

Now, folks, Republicans are still trying to attack me and my son because he took that job with a Ukrainian oil and gas company. Let me tell you something: Shame. On. Them!

Nobody has ever proved that there is anything wrong with taking a job with a Ukrainian oil and gas company. Most Americans, if offered a job like that, would surely take it, especially since it paid very well and required Hunter to do absolutely nothing.

Besides, my baby boy had a drug and alcohol addiction at the time, so you can see why he needed the money. All that coke and expensive liquor doesn’t come cheap, you know. And those stripper friends of his don’t dance for free either. Why, I remember, when I was a senator, and me and Teddy Kennedy used to go to . . .  Er . . . Umm . . . Never mind.

Look, folks, a job’s a job, is what I always say. Hunter is a very bright guy, and I am not surprised at all those Ukrainians wanted to hire him. Besides, nobody has proven yet that there was anything illegal about this, at all. Nothing illegal. Nothing. Not a thing.

And this only illustrates the point I always try to make: every child in America deserves to be provided with a quality edu . . . ed . . . educa . . . educ . . .  a thing. Yes. I mean it! A quality environment. An environment where everyone can learn to code.

Thank you, folks!

Elections

Jeepers Veepers!

As Joe Biden emerges the Democrats’ likely nominee, the focus inevitably will shift to who will be his running mate and heir apparent. But why on earth should it be Kamala Harris?

Prior to gaining national notoriety as California’s junior U.S. senator, Kamala Harris was widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. She spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 as her state’s attorney general, entering to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’”

Just as Barack Obama had been eight years earlier, Harris was being groomed for bigger things beyond her state’s borders. She was featured by McClatchy in a profile of the new Gen Xer politicians along with Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

It was thought that the spotlight would do for her what it did for Obama, transforming her from a local prospect into a major league slugger for the party. In September 2017, only eight months after taking office as a freshman senator, Newsweek asked if she was the favorite to take on Donald Trump in 2020. CNN’s Chris Cillizza dubbed her the frontrunner immediately after the 2018 midterm elections.

At a certain point, however, reality kicked in. Kamala Harris—try as she might—does not have the charismatic cadence Obama had, nor does she have his smooth mannerisms.

Unlike Obama in his 2008 campaign, Harris has never made any overtures toward middle America on any issue. Last May, she declared she would require states and municipalities to obtain federal approval before enacting laws that restrict abortion. She also proposed far-reaching executive orders that would impose mandatory background checks and allow for prosecution of gun manufacturers. These are two areas where Harris, apparently, is claiming as president she would reprise the role that she currently plays as a legislator—something that Obama ended up doing but never bragged about before his election.

Harris also distinguished herself during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings as a sensational grandstander, outdone perhaps only by “I Am Spartacus” Booker.  For example, she grilled the judge over whether he’d had any conversations with a partner at the Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The implication was that Harris had a “reliable source” that such a conversation had occurred. What was unstated, however, is that judges do not typically ask nor need to know with which law firm any given lawyer is affiliated when arguing a case, much less when they have a casual conversation. Kavanaugh would have had to risk perjuring himself if he’d said he hadn’t had the conversation and it later turned out that he had unknowingly.

The upshot? A month after the original exchange went viral on #Resistance Twitter, Kavanaugh answered the question saying he had not spoken with any such person. Almost no one called out Harris for bluffing except for a brief summary in her hometown San Francisco Chronicle.

From Sure Thing to Abandon Ship!

It was only three months after that on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2019 that the Kamala Harris presidential campaign was announced. Despite months of fawning press coverage and cooing interviews with such luminaries as Jimmy Kimmel, her campaign was rocked by problems from the beginning.

Whereas in 2008 Obama distinguished himself as the suave alternative to Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, Harris simply was outshined by her rivals—whether it was Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders and his fanatics, former Vice President Joe Biden with his instant Obama credibility, or Mayor Pete Buttigieg who was accused of outright ripping off Obama’s speaking style.

She was caught lying in an interview with one “Charlamagne tha God” about being a Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur fan in college—years before they were even active. Her big moment came with the first Democratic debate in June when she shamed Biden for his past opposition to federally mandated busing in the 1970s that integrated northern and western urban school districts. In retrospect, no matter how hard it is for his opponents to admit it, then-Senator Biden and many others opposed the policy because forced busing tore neighborhoods and communities apart and led to traumatic violence for children driven across town to schools that were often hostile to their presence.

No matter. In late June and early July after that debate, Harris’s national polling aggregate jumped from 7.5 to 15 percent at the expense of Biden who tumbled from 32 to just over 25 percent.

It seemed like Kamala had the tailwinds in her favor, so why is it that by December she was forced to drop out?

For one thing, a big wave named Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) swept over her decks. Gabbard, who was also profiled in the same 2016 McClatchy story, was aware Kamala Harris had a weak point in her armor: the real Kamala Harris.

Given a brief moment in the July debate, Gabbard slayed her by bringing attention to her record as a prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence for a death row inmate, imprisoning drug offenders contrary to her own admission to smoking marijuana and other failings. By doing so Gabbard gained very little herself, but torpedoed Harris in the polls near to where she had been.

Even those who disagreed with Gabbard’s critiques of Harris’s performance could not help but notice that she could not respond to any of the Hawaiian congresswoman’s points. Try as she might, Kamala and her swarm of Twitiots known as #KHive could not get back in the saddle. When Michael Bloomberg entered the race in December, she threw her hands up and quit. She blamed money in politics, racists, and sexists for her flame-out. It was a typically tone-deaf tantrum from an awful candidate who had ignored all signs of her own shortcomings.

Put Me In Coach!

Despite her abysmal performance, Kamala Harris is leading the field according to oddsmakers trying to predict who Biden’s running mate will be.

Newsweek has proposed her as a “woman of color” option along with failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams and freshman Representative Val Demings (D-Fla.). She is now ahead of fellow former presidential candidates Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is the only man on the list.

Harris endorsed Biden, the man she once charged with racial insensitivity, on March 8. Biden has already set aside crucial roles in a future administration for fellow primary dropouts Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke. But why would the nominee (or the DNC) give the nod to one of his most bitter detractors during the campaign, after such a bold and charged attack?

The key word to remember for vice presidential candidates is reliability. This is why Mike Pence was chosen over other GOP former candidates in 2016 as Trump’s running mate. It is also why at the time the youthful rival John Edwards was picked in 2004 for John Kerry, and Paul Ryan for Mitt Romney in 2012.

The major difference this year would be that the vice-presidential nominee would be seen as a much more immediate potential successor should Biden win the presidency, and therefore must be reasonably younger. In this respect, Elizabeth Warren is at a disadvantage at age 70. But beyond her youth, Harris has the distinction of having been the product and instrument of the northern California political machine headed by her mentor and former lover Willie Brown.

As San Francisco mayor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rakish Brown appointed his mistress to key roles within the city’s various boards and departments. In 2003 he backed her in the city’s district attorney election against rival Terence Hallinan.

As the city’s top prosecutor, Harris allowed pedophile priests to escape justice and became notorious for putting the Brown machine’s friends ahead of the law. This is coming from a woman who reamed former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta for his light prosecution of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein that happened during her tenure as D.A.

Much of this information is available from Bay Area media, but it has been copiously compiled by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer in his new book Profiles in Corruption. As California attorney general, Harris angered progressives by declining to prosecute former OneWest Bank executive Steven Mnuchin, now the treasury secretary under Trump, for foreclosure violations in 2013.

Time after time, Kamala Harris has come through for the right people when it mattered for her career. Other rival candidates may have shot themselves out of the cannon too fast, like former Obama housing secretary Julián Castro when he boldly accused Biden of having memory issues during a debate in September. A month earlier Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) did the same thing over a supposedly sexist op-ed that Biden had written in 1981. Booker questioned Biden’s mental acuity around the same time as Castro.

If he has any sense in him, however (which is an open question these days), Joe Biden will steer clear of Kamala Harris.

In September it was reported that she was polling at only 8 percent in the Bay Area against fellow Democratic presidential candidates. By November 2019 her national favorability was at -12 percent, far below Mike Pence who is at -7.6 percent. Beyond the polling, such a selection would be a blatant middle finger both to his party’s progressive wing and to any potential swing and undecided voters, as well as an embrace of wanton corruption. She is almost worse than having no running mate at all.

Elections

Deep Pocket Democrats Intend to Buy Congress

It’s important for Americans to realize that the Democratic Party is the party of the rich and the party of the deep state—from the federal bureaucracy down to every union-controlled local agency across every state and city.

Michael Bloomberg made a stunning admission last month during his second appearance in a Democratic presidential primary debate. Speaking in defense of his new identity as a member of the Democratic Party, he said, “All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I b . . . bought . . . I got them.”

Indeed he did. He bought them.

Bloomberg bought congressional seats in 2018, spending an estimated $110 million to help Democrats win. This included $28 million through his super PAC Independence USA, which backed 22 Democratic congressional candidates, 19 of whom won. These efforts promise to be minor compared to what is happening now.

And the scale of his spending in the 2020 political season, especially when matched with the ongoing torrents of cash coming from other Democratic megadonors, dwarfs anything we’ve ever seen in American politics. With an estimated net worth of nearly $60 billion, Bloomberg may be out of the presidential race but he still has money to burn.

Starting in early 2019, in fact, Bloomberg began building what The Atlantic described as “the most powerful political organization in America,” which will

collect data about voters on an unprecedented scale, match those data with consumer data, and then hire a team of engineers to do high-level analyses, looking for new ways to identify potential voters, and new ways to appeal to them. They want to match voter data to consumer information and social-media profiles, and look for new ways to break through. Then they want to build a new “tech stack,” or system for processing and applying the data. The goal, they say internally, is to fundamentally change the core Democratic infrastructure.

This “political machine” is up and running. And regardless of Bloomberg’s personal political fate, it will be used in 2020 to support every Democratic candidate in every contested congressional race in America.

Democratic Megadonors Outnumber GOP Megadonors

When it comes to deep pockets for the Democrats, Bloomberg’s hardly alone. Onstage with Bloomberg was fellow oligarch and failed presidential contender Tom Steyer, who has already spent over $100 million to elect Democrats all over the nation, and he’s likely to spend another $100 million before he’s through.

And then there’s Donald Sussman, James and Deborah Simons, George Soros, Fred Eychaner, Karla Jurvetson, George Marcus, Reid Hoffman, Dustin Moskovitz, and Joshua Bekenstein, who collectively have contributed additional hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats over the past few years. Expect that to continue.

While the Republicans do have donors with deep pockets, they are consistently outspent by the Democratic megadonors. Worse, many Republican megadonors are willing to destroy Republican congressmen and senators who don’t agree with their globalist agenda. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

This reality, that big donors largely control the political destiny of congressmen and senators in America, exposes the wishful absurdity of a recent article published by Fox News. The story, headlined “Republican Party war chest dwarfs Democrats’ going into 2020 high season,” sounds encouraging until you read the numbers: “According to the latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) data released Thursday, covering Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, the Republican National Committee has $76 million cash-on-hand compared with the Democratic National Committee’s $9.9 million.”

This GOP advantage of $66 million sounds great. It’s a lot of money. Until you realize that Steyer is likely to spend at least that much between now and November 3, and Bloomberg could easily spend that much every month between now and November 3. And they’re not the only Democratic super donors.

And then there are the unions.

Saturation Spending Works

To get an idea of how effective political spending can be when you have virtually no constraints on how much you can spend, Bloomberg’s candidacy was instructive.

In states where he competed on Super Tuesday, you couldn’t turn on a television or radio for longer than 10 minutes without seeing or hearing a Bloomberg ad. If his microtargeting machine deemed you worth prospecting online, his ads blanketed your screens. And they’re good ads, tailored to the region, the audience, and wherever possible, the individual.

Expect similar expertly crafted saturation level ads to be run this year by the Democrats in support of every Democratic congressional and senate candidate in every battleground district and state. But they won’t be run by the Democratic party. They’ll be run by independent expenditure campaigns controlled by Bloomberg, Steyer, and public-sector unions.

California, which has been run almost exclusively by public-sector unions for at least 20 years, provides abundant examples of how Democratic candidates are vetted and chosen by these unions, then elected via independent expenditure campaigns over which the candidates have no control.

As a matter of campaign finance law, these candidates cannot even try to influence the campaigns waged on their behalf, or they’ll face disqualification, punitive fines, and possible jail sentences. That’s awfully convenient for the public-sector unions, which control the Democratic Party in California.

From the perspective of national political outcomes, it might be tempting to think that whichever party controls California’s 10,000 local elected positions doesn’t matter that much. If so, that would be a dangerous misconception. California and other deep-blue states, all of them largely controlled by public-sector unions, endure the consequences of Democratic policies across the entire continuum of political jurisdictions. And these consequences are contagious.

Local and state policies are the reason Californians can’t build homes without paying public bureaucracies literally $100,000 or more in permit fees, per home, and encounter years of delays in approval.

Local and state policies are the reason Californians can barely run small businesses, or attend decent public schools, or drive on well-maintained and adequate roads, or afford the necessities of life unless they’re wealthy.

More to the point, this critical mass of political power at the state and local level allows Democrats to consolidate their power, sweep up congressional districts, create a standing army of seasoned professional political operatives, and train the politician farm team from which spring the national politicians that threaten to “fundamentally transform America.” Adam Schiff was once a California state senator. Maxine Waters was a California assemblywoman. And so on.

The Preposterous Overkill of Saturation Political Spending

To observe the local campaign tactics of public sector unions in California, where they collect and spend more than $800 million per year, is an exercise in surrealism.

For just one of the 80 seats in the state assembly, a constituent may expect to receive at least a dozen flyers in the mail. Not the two or three undersized postcards that a Republican candidate might hope to mail. No, from union-endorsed candidates, expect glossy full-sized booklets, or 8 x 10 flyers, or 10 x 12 flyers, and yes, even 11 x 14 flyers—thick, ink drenched and varnished, full-color extravaganzas. How do they even stuff these in the mailbox? How much must each one of them cost?

It doesn’t matter. Public sector unions are the other deep state, with pockets just as deep as the oligarchs, and they’re fighting on the same side.

For Democrats. It doesn’t even matter if the race is for a safe seat. They’ll make certain to saturate the mail and the air with constant messages, making certain their candidate has name recognition. If their Democratic candidate is competing in one of California’s pathetically few remaining battleground districts, they’ll run a campaign so dirty you’ll feel the filth blasting into you with a mere glance at the favored candidate’s latest flyer.

As for the candidates themselves—they have no say in how these independent expenditure campaigns are run. And afterward, they’ll be owned.

It’s important for Americans to realize that the Democratic party is the party with the deep pockets, and the party of the deep state—from the federal bureaucracy down to every union-controlled local agency across every state and city. Naturally, there are RINOs who are also part of this establishment. But by far, the locus of corporate socialism lies with the Democrats, supported by an ironclad alliance between leftist oligarchs and public-sector unions.

Elections

The Coming American Autumn?

After years of tolerating insurgent radicals and promoting them in their ranks, the Democrats have pumped the brakes hard on the left-wing of their party by uniting to stop Bernie Sanders. It won’t be enough to avoid the violent reaction of his most radical supporters.

Much to my chagrin, a relative of mine in 2017 took her young children to her local Women’s March and proudly proclaimed “This is what democracy looks like!” as legions of feminists and others protested the inauguration of Donald Trump.

After three years of similar protests, special counsel investigations, government shutdowns and impeachment she hasn’t budged from her belief that Trump represents everything wrong with America. This primary season she supported the candidate that she thought best matched up against the president. Unfortunately, that candidate turned out to be former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out the weekend before her state’s primary.

The consolidation of the Democratic field after the South Carolina primary and the resulting Super Tuesday wave for Joe Biden were rapidly, if reluctantly, accepted as the necessary move by establishment media spooked by the possibility of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders being their candidate. It also has revealed again that the party that claims to be the heir of Thomas Jefferson doesn’t particularly resemble what “democracy looks like.”

Much of the momentum that Biden received in the Palmetto State came by virtue of the late endorsement of Representative James Clyburn, a machine politician with reliable pull among black residents as shown with his efforts in 2016. The carnage of that week, which appears to have wrecked Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination, has led to comical outbursts of anger from his supporters.

The division between the progressive and corporate wings of the Democratic Party cannot be bridged, and the deceptive primary process is likely to lead to a backlash that will not be limited to wearing pussy hats and vagina costumes on the National Mall.

America could see a reboot of an often forgotten era of urban radicalism buried in the 1970s. Time will tell whether it will be as violent. It will depend on whether the believers in armed resistance are willing to make the choice actively to pursue it, but it would not be unprecedented and the social climate is ripe for an encore.

Revolution After Clearing the Rubble

The 1950s are remembered by many as an era of economic prosperity, conservative social mores, and the zenith of the nuclear family as the “baby boom” spiked birth rates after World War II and more children than ever attended U.S. public schools. Eventually, this led to an increase in college enrollments, which had already grown after the war thanks to the G.I. Bill. In 1960, only 45 percent of high school graduates attended college or university. By 1969 that number had risen to 53 percent. For women, the number had grown from 37 percent to 47 percent.

But the world that these youths encountered in academia often clashed with the one in which they grew up  as far left academics had already infiltrated their ranks. Timothy Leary, famous as the pioneer of acid culture, was a psychology professor at Harvard University. Howard Zinn, author of The People’s History of the United States that is the spiritual antecedent of the 1619 Project, started teaching at Boston University in 1964 after he had been fired from all-black Spelman College in Atlanta.

As American troops deployed to Vietnam in 1965, radical politics and counterculture gained steam, especially among those seeking to avoid the rice paddies and river deltas by having a college study exemption. Since the 1960s, the ideological monolith has grown.

A 2018 study by the National Association of Scholars found fields such as communications and anthropology possessing virtually no right-leaning “conservative” viewpoints across the country. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a socialist countercultural political organizing group headed by young leaders like Tom Hayden spread across college campuses even prior to the war as supporters of the Civil Rights Movement and as reformers of the Democratic Party.

But the Democrats were too big and too “diverse” to reform, as they included segregationist Dixiecrats like Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, privileged eastern elites like the Kennedy clan, union organizers such as Walter Reuther, and corrupt political bosses like Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daly.

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson, a man who had built his career on balancing these competing interests, stood down after performing poorly in the New Hampshire primary against Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.). The resultant chaotic primary has been cited as a possible antecedent to what we’re seeing in 2020. While Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York represented the progressive wing of the party, the centrists supported Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Following Kennedy’s assassination, Humphrey was selected during the chaotic convention in Chicago while antiwar protesters clashed with police both inside and outside of the International Amphitheatre.

Can You Dig It?

In the wake of ’68 convention disaster, the SDS began to splinter as student activists disagreed on how best to support their goals and indeed on which goals should be promoted. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in April also triggered massive riots across American urban areas and radicalism seeped into black communities through organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers. These different spheres of angst would coalesce and fragment as Humphrey lost to Richard Nixon in the general election. Like Donald Trump today, Nixon was always an easy person for the Left to hate as a symbol of their parents’ stodgier cultural norms.

Traditionally, this era of youth activism is remembered for the trendy symbolism of Woodstock. While different in message, this is comparable to the faux radical “craptivism” of modern pop stars like Taylor Swift and Beyonce Knowles, masking the turmoil of the time behind a benign layer of love beads and lava lamps.

SDS splintered into multiple movements, one of which was the Revolutionary Youth Movement. In October 1969, only two months after Woodstock, the RYM convened in Chicago for the Days of Rage, seeking to “bring the war home” and cause a genuine violent uprising against participation in Vietnam. But after only 800 fellow radicals showed up, the chaotic riot devolved into smashing store windows and parked cars. The Days of Rage caused a rupture with the Chicago-area Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who would later be murdered by the police.

The failed uprising created another division in RYM leading to the formation of the revolutionary Weather Underground. Led by bitter SDS organizers like Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, this faction began a string of bombings, robberies and other violent actions that stretched through the 1970s using a network of former classmates, sympathizer lawyers, and even contacts in Cuba and North Vietnam. During its December 1969 “war council,” Dohrn hailed the gory Tate-LaBianca murders committed by acolytes of Charles Manson, saying: “Dig it! First they killed those pigs. Then they ate dinner in the same room with them. Then they even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!”

At the same time, West Germany was contending with the Marxist-Leninist Red Army Faction. In 1977, their operatives perpetrated several acts of terror, including the murder of industrialist Hans Martin Schleyer and the hijacking of a Lufthansa flight to Somalia later rescued by German commandos. It would come to be known as the German Autumn thanks to a documentary produced about it by independent filmmakers.

The Weather Underground’s bombing campaign would continue through most of the 1970s. They were joined by other radical terror groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army. Eventually, the Left’s dreams of revolution unraveled due to the decentralized and amoeba-like structure of its leaders. Ayers and Dohrn both left the Weather Underground by 1980. Neither spent a single day in prison due to the disqualification of unconstitutional FBI wiretap evidence.

From #Demexit to Demolition?

While mainstream culture champions their values, the far-Left is frustrated by their lack of actual power in comparison to the affluent liberal establishment that controls corporations like Comcast and Disney. Many of them are graduates of the Occupy Wall Street movement that sought to shut down the system and end an economy that they see as being dedicated to the greed of the few.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders offered an attractive antidote: “democratic socialism.” But what is the difference between this and other types of socialism and what does that mean now that Bernie is basically toast?

As with previous generations of radicals—think of Eugene V. Debs and Vice President Henry Wallace—Sanders’ tendency is to see electoral politics as a way to equalize society without a violent revolution. Similarly, “democratic socialists” have taken power in other countries, such as Salvador Allende in Chile (1971) and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela (1998).

But the theme of democratic socialism remains the same as all of the other types; rather than emphasize the goal of the struggle against wealth and inequality, the struggle comes to supersede its own goals.

While most remember the Russian Revolution of 1917, often unmentioned is the February Revolution of that year that ousted Czar Nikolai II and installed the republican government of Aleksandr Kerensky. This government of the Socialist Revolutionary movement had the cooperation of the Mensheviks, the larger faction of the Social Democratic and Labor Party. Kerensky’s government could not turn around Russia’s fortunes in World War I, leading to the other more famous Bolshevik faction of the SDLP overthrowing him in October 1917. Consequently, almost no one remembers that the Russian Revolution was originally led by “democratic socialists,” and then replaced by the more ruthless Marxist-Leninists or socialists with teeth.

Those despairing of the Democratic nomination process in 2020 delivering a progressive alternative may react as mildly as forming a new third party or coalition to challenge the two-party system.

In 2016, former Sanders staffer Nick Brana did so by creating the Movement for a People’s Party. Perhaps if Sanders himself and his voters had heeded Brana’s advice they wouldn’t be in for so much grief now. As Project Veritas revealed in January, however, some of Bernie’s supporters would be fully willing to trade the ballot box for the Armalite, as the IRA used to say.

When asked what would happen at the Milwaukee convention if the DNC tried to block Sanders yet again, Iowa staffer Kyle Jurek exclaimed, “f–king cities burn!” Jurek expressed to an undercover Project Veritas operative his sympathy for the oppressive gulags of the Soviet Union and admitted to participating in the violent activities of Antifa. He also intimated that the campaign was likely staffed by many other Antifa activists like him.

Still, it is unlikely that the majority of Sanders’s voters will take the route to violent revolution as the Weather Underground did after 1968 and as Jurek predicts today. Many more are likely to try Brana’s peaceful #Demexit strategy. But as with any terror campaign, it would not take a large group of people to cause disruptive and lamentable bloodshed.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through a window in the Oval Office as he addresses the nation on the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, on March 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Elections

Coronavirus Crisis and Opportunity

President Trump has turned a public health challenge into an invitation for more temperate political discourse that his opponents will continue to scorn at their peril. 

After rattling the country with his implausible bravura and rather embarrassing statements at his press conference last week, where he astounded the scientific community with the depth of his epidemiological knowledge, President Trump is now turning the corner on the coronavirus crisis.

His original performance was a bit like President Obama’s in 2014 when—after having tacitly encouraged the rise of ISIS with his petulant withdrawal from Iraq and having announced that he would intensify targeted bombing and increase training and advisory services to the defeated Iraquis—he declared, “This is American statesmanship at its finest.” It wasn’t. American presidents ought to leave those judgments to historians, in any event.

We need only imagine what the effect would have been if Franklin Roosevelt had concluded his “Great Arsenal of Democracy” Speech (1940), or John F. Kennedy his Cuba Missile Crisis address (1962), or Ronald Reagan his “Evil Empire” (1983) or “Tear Down This Wall” (1987) addresses with such a vigorous self-administered pat on the back. President Trump was addressing a nation naturally worried about a viral epidemic that had already started to penetrate our borders—worry that was being spiked by the hyena-cries of Democratic doomsayers, led as always in such reflections, by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

What was called for was a plan of action, not placatory assurances apparently based on the president’s doubtless sincere belief in his scientific intuition. 

Over the next few days, the White House pulled itself together and the president gave a purposeful address from the Oval Office on Wednesday, only the second of his term. It was clear from watching opposition television coverage and listening to Democratic spokespeople that they are trying to worry the issue to death, frighten the country out of its wits, escalate partisanship, blame it on Trump, and incidentally spare Joe Biden the danger of going more than seven minutes unscripted opposite Bernie Sanders. 

CNN and MSNBC commentators mocked the president’s delivery, but the country will wish to follow him. The Democrats will claim Trump is blaming China and Europe, but almost 80 percent of the reported coronavirus cases in the world are in China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy.

Trump, as he has done before, is turning a vulnerability into a strength and his opponents, who in their febrile animus have no capacity to judge the appropriate level of acerbity in their opposition, have taken the bait and pre-emptively are accusing him of “towering incompetence” in the words of Schumer, (who,  by his endless and mindless carping, has made himself one of the most tedious people in modern American history). 

All the president really has to do is be the head of an administration doing a competent job of dealing with a difficult problem, and the administration has already crossed that threshold. The group assembled under the chairmanship of the vice president is unquestionably qualified and articulate. It is clear that the president was prescient in restricting entry from people coming from China while Schumer and Pelosi and their lackeys were simpering and puling about Trump’s “racism and xenophobia.”    

With the illness ramping up in the world—200 new fatalities in Italy in one day, a revived upward spike in South Korea where it had seemed to be in decline, and is largely associated with one evangelical church, and the health minister of the United Kingdom becoming infected—the president and his administration appear to be managing effectively.

Despite the nasty relations the president has with the Democratic governors of California (Gavin Newsom), New York (Andrew Cuomo), and Washington (Jay Inslee), all three have spoken warmly about Trump’s efforts and their inter-governmental cooperation. 

While the United States has been late getting testing facilities up to the mark, 4 million kits are being added this week and the country will soon have the ability to mass-test if that’s what is required. As of a couple of days ago, there were 116,000 identified cases in the world, 64,000 full recoveries, a little over 4,100 deaths and about 48,000 still convalescing. The proportions of the outbreak and spread justify high public concern and urgent action, but not panic or defeatism.

In the United States, if the one key home for the elderly near Seattle (16 deaths) is excluded, the fatality percentage on a little over 1,100 cases is slightly over 1 percent and the average age of the deceased from this cause is 80. That makes it a little easier to target and protect the most vulnerable people. The ban on air travel from continental Europe that the president announced on Wednesday night is prudent, and a sufficiently radical measure to be indicative of the president’s seriousness.

One positive element of the crisis: The president can state clearly and mobilize opinion on the necessity of repatriating a good deal of commerce, including sophisticated medicine, from China.

The administration seems to have addressed the concern for fair treatment of affected employees, and to be providing reliable information with full daily updates. The objective must be to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible, even if, as Trump said in his thorough eleven-minute summary, it only moderates the illness. We must also insulate as many people as possible without strangling the economy as we work to reduce the mortality rate to the minimum possible. If the measures announced don’t adequately restrict the spread and protect the vulnerable, more drastic methods can be invoked.

What the administration has now produced, after a few days of not entirely elegant improvisation, should address the psychological issues, and yield results in restricting the spread of the virus. It can move in lockstep with the vice president’s blue-ribbon committee of unchallengeable experts. Instead of a reenactment of the memorable book and film Death in Venice, as a disease (cholera in that case) lays low an entire society, we should see improving techniques, effective avoidance practices, and steadily lower infection numbers and better recovery figures.    

The president’s economic proposals seem to require a bit of massaging, but he should be able to cooper something together. This gang of Democrats is none-too-brave in the best of times and they will not want to stand too rigidly in the way of tax relief while the president is trying to mitigate the effects of a public health crisis that originated overseas. Much activity can be transacted without proximity between the parties, including most of education; and work requiring large concentrations of people, such as manufacturing, can be conducted at much-reduced risk. 

The Democrats, as so often these last three years, have completely lost their minds in fanning Trumpophobic hysteria. Speaker Pelosi was only using her customary sense of irrational hyperbole this week in describing the reelection of the president as “the greatest existential crisis facing civilization.” This was the same considered and balanced form of public discourse that motivated her to describe the Trump tax-cut bill as “the greatest disaster in history,” and after the midterm elections to liken Trump to a skunk afflicted by gender uncertainties.

The president has already extracted two positive elements from this crisis: he can state clearly and mobilize opinion on the necessity of repatriating a good deal of commerce, including sophisticated medicine, from China. Those who were bleating about trade wars when he imposed tariffs on China will be silent as he incentivizes American industry to bring a good deal of strategic commerce back to the United States. And he has turned a public health challenge into an invitation for more temperate political discourse that his opponents will continue to scorn at their peril. 

It will be hard to continue to accuse the president of incompetence, especially as America’s competitive performance against the coronavirus is almost certainly going to be better than that of South Korea or the principal continental European powers. There will be nothing remotely reminiscent of George W. Bush’s fiasco over Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans in 2005, where he arrived late, made locker room towel-snapping jokes about being drunk in New Orleans as a student at Mardi Gras, and breezily congratulated his director of emergency assistance for a fine job when, in fact, a disaster of non-preparedness was piled on top of a natural calamity.

As usual, the window-rattling ululations of joy from the Democrats may swiftly lead to embarrassment. Donald Trump is not FDR, Ike, JFK, or even Nixon or Reagan as a figure of reassurance, but he pulled his response to the coronavirus together this week and should come through it in good health, politically and otherwise.          

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley visits "Fox & Friends" at Fox News Channel Studios on November 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Elections

Nikki Haley for Veep? No Way!

If the day of Vice President Haley ever arrives, the Trump base should have no illusions about the flatlining vital signs of the America First moment.

Rumor has it President Trump is considering swapping Vice President Mike Pence with former American ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “This is not a prediction,” said CNN political analyst Paul Begala, “it’s a certainty.” Haley would be a great choice—if Trump intends to utterly abandon the agenda that got him elected.

There is a reason the rabidly anti-Trump Bill Kristol floated Haley as primary challenger to Trump in 2020; warhawks of a feather flock together. 

Pitting Haley against Trump would mean certain political suicide for her, but seeding her in the White House would, in a Machiavellian twist, boost her profile and afford her countless opportunities to subvert the America First agenda. From immigration to foreign policy, Haley has been no friend to MAGA.

While speaking officially on behalf of the GOP in response to President Obama’s State of the Union in January 2016, Haley had her own “basket of deplorables” moment. She claimed Trump’s supporters had been seduced by “the siren call of the angriest voices”—that is, that they had no legitimate grievances and were merely swayed by Trump’s supposedly baseless hate-mongering because they themselves are hateful. 

Though she did not name him then, she made it clear later: “Yes, Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk.” Rush Limbaugh went further. “She also means the conservative base,” he said, “and don’t believe anything other than that.”

Limbaugh had described himself as a fan of Haley’s but said he saw her real face in that speech. “It’s the first time in my life I can remember the response to the state of the union not going after the president but rather going off on the front-runner of, in this case, her own party,” Limbaugh said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. And it is quite telling to note where in the drive-by media and in the conservative media today she’s being hailed.” 

Weak on Illegal Immigration

The Washington Post praised Haley as the “GOP’s Obama” for her “diverse” background, for posturing as a sort of bipartisan healer-figure, and for her rebuke of then-candidate Trump and his America First agenda. The Christian Science Monitor wondered if a Romney-Haley ticket wasn’t an establishment match made in heaven.  

Trump would do well to remember his own rebuke of Haley in response to her shot across the bow: “She’s very weak on illegal immigration and she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions because over the years she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions.” 

Indeed, Haley is at odds with Stephen Miller on immigration, the last man in the White House who is true to the America First immigration mandate.

When Miller brought together senior officials in 2018 to discuss a plan to reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States, Haley was deliberately excluded, presumably for her previous opposition to drastic reductions of refugee resettlement numbers. A spokesperson said Miller’s discussion was conducted “in consultation with all appropriate government agencies.” Likely as a result of her views on immigration, then, Haley was kept out of the discussion. 

To the extent that her absence makes Miller’s job easier, her presence as Vice President Haley would make it exponentially more difficult. No doubt she would steer the administration away from meaningful America First immigration policy, as she endeavored to do with foreign policy as ambassador to the U.N.

More Regime Change

Though President Trump ran on the promise that no more American blood and treasure would be spilled over the Middle East, Haley has different ideas.

On April 9, 2017, “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson whether regime change in Syria was on the table for the Trump Administration. “Our priority in Syria, John, really hasn’t changed,” said Tillerson. “I think the president has—been quite clear. First and foremost, we must defeat ISIS.” Haley took a very different view.

She told CNN host Jake Tapper that “regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.” 

CNN’s Chris Cillizza noted the divergent opinions and offered a remarkably lucid take. “It’s two factions within the foreign policy wing of the Trump White House trying to convince the president of the rightness of their positions on Syria via public channels,” he wrote. Fortunately for America, Haley’s faction lost—but our odds go way down if Trump makes her his running mate.

At a time when Trump was prudently attempting to pour the oil of conciliation over troubled waters with Russia, Haley remained antagonistic. Moscow, she said at a GOP retreat in February 2018, “is not, will not, be our friend.” That statement surely flowed as music to the ears of neoconservative warmongers, but it fell flat when Trump had a congenial meeting with Russian President Putin in Helsinki a few months later.

Capitulation on the Culture Wars

But Haley’s role in the culture war most reveals her compromised character.

Recall that she came out against a bill that would have required people to use public restrooms corresponding to their biological sex. “Then-Gov. Nikki Haley said the ban could cripple the economy,” reports The Post and Courier. Haley is functionally progressive, insofar as she offers little or no resistance and goes with grain, but is prudent enough to have platitudes about market economics on hand as an excuse—“it’s not me, it’s the economy.” Trump ran explicitly against the idea that markets come before the American people and their culture.

There are, moreover, some things you can’t put a price on, like a backbone—the lack of which Haley especially demonstrated on the Confederate flag.

After a gunman murdered nine people at a church in South Carolina, Haley somehow tied the controversy over the Confederate flag to the shooting and thus indirectly associated all of its defenders with the killer. Regardless of her assertions that this was not her intention, Haley dismissed everyone willing to defend that flag as someone on the “wrong side of history” when she virtue signaled. 

Haley had always been “woke.” She simply needed the right moment to show us just how woke. “I think the more important part is it should have never been there,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon in 2015, after the Confederate flag had been removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds.

“Haley had previously been a supporter of the flag as a symbol of Southern heritage honoring residents’ ancestors,” wrote journalist Eugene Scott. But she changed her mind. “The biggest reason I asked for that flag to come down was I couldn’t look my children in the face and justify it staying there,” she said. But Haley showed here that she is flexible. As the winds of change blew in with Trump, so her story changed with the times.

“My position on the Confederate flag has been constant,” she wrote in a 2019 op-ed for the Washington Post. “Our country’s culture has changed.” Not that “it never should have been there,” or “I couldn’t look my children in the face.” No, now that Trump has shown that fighting for unpopular causes can be a winning political formula, Haley’s story is that she only brought down the rebel standard to keep the outrage mob from getting out of hand. Notice also her constant tugging at heartstrings, invoking her children and, more often, her background as a minority and the child of immigrants.

Haley has all the hallmarks of someone who operates with political expediency as a rule. Appeals to emotion, comic displays of faux strength, radically different stances on the same issue depending on the times. But there remains a remarkable consistency and cunning through it all.

She has maneuvered herself into a good light with the president and his supporters, despite remaining ideologically opposed to the America First agenda. Haley has gone from being the GOP’s Obama—the quintessential anti-Trump Republican—to a favorite of Trump supporters and now a potential replacement for Mike Pence. If the day of Vice President Haley ever arrives, Trump’s base should have no illusions about the flatlining vital signs of the America First moment.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 12: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wipes her nose during her weekly news conference in Washington on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Elections

Instead of Bracing for Coronavirus, Democrats Focused on Impeachment

Now all of us are paying the price for the Democrats’ shortsighted and destructive campaign against the president.

On January 15, House Democrats delivered two articles of impeachment to the United States Senate. Democrats knew the Republican-controlled Senate would not have enough votes to convict President Trump. But that didn’t deter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from wasting government time, resources, and attention for months in a doomed effort to remove Donald Trump from the White House. 

Six days later, on January 21, the first known case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19, or the Wuhan virus) was reported in the United States.

While the Left and NeverTrump Right predictably gather steam to condemn Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, congressional Democrats have escaped any accountability for ignoring the early stages of the outbreak. And, with no sense of irony, the very journalists and pundits who cheered impeachment are the same folks now blasting the president for “not doing enough” to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s back up for a moment: Since before Donald Trump took the oath of office, the Left and NeverTrump Right have been on a destructive crusade to crush his presidency. It is unlike anything in recent political history—no tactic has been considered too beyond-the-pale or in violation of sacred limits. The Russian collusion farce and ensuing special counsel investigation into an imaginary crime monopolized the White House’s attention for more than two years. When that failed, House Democrats and their administrative toadies in government concocted the Ukrainegate scandal that began the month after Robert Mueller’s disastrous testimony on Capitol Hill. 

As the impeachment inquiry got underway in late 2019, the coronavirus was devastating parts of China. Even though his White House was under siege, President Trump took action: On January 29, the president announced the formation of a special task force and declared coronavirus a “public health emergency.” A few days later, on January 31, Trump halted travel from China, a move largely viewed as a pivotal step to minimize the disease’s spread here. 

Democrats, including several presidential candidates, accused the president of “fearmongering” and xenophobia. Joe Biden opposed the travel ban. “This is a virus that happened to pop up in China. But the virus doesn’t discriminate between Asian versus non-Asian,” Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) dimly told Politico. “In our response, we can’t create prejudices and harbor anxieties toward one population.”

On the same day that Trump announced the travel stop and mandatory quarantine of Americans coming back from afflicted regions, Democrats, rather than address the legitimate threat to the nation, instead pushed to extend their impeachment charade by demanding more witness testimony.

Complaints But No Solutions

Democrats remained mostly silent on the coronavirus menace throughout February. 

One sparsely-attended hearing held by the House Foreign Relations Committee on February 5–the day Trump was acquitted—offered little in the way of solutions or a plan to combat the various exigencies related to the illness. One witness was Ron Klain, a partisan Trump-hater and Obama’s so-called Ebola czar who by January 30 had already written a lengthy screed warning Americans that the president’s “war on government has decimated crucial functions” and agencies would not be prepared to fight coronavirus.

Post-impeachment, Democrats continued to pour more rage and derision on the president as the disease took hold in other countries. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ignored the risk for most of the month as she gloated about her successful impeachment effort. During her weekly presser the first week of February, Pelosi didn’t even mention coronavirus, choosing instead to explain why she tore up Donald Trump’s state of the union address on national television while snubbing American heroes. And rather than call an emergency session as the threat escalated, Pelosi’s House adjourned on February 13 and didn’t return to business until February 25.

In fact, Pelosi’s first public comment on February 24 about the Wuhan virus wasn’t until a month after the first U.S. case was reported. 

“Americans need a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe,” Pelosi said, as if she were a bystander and not one of the most powerful politicians in the country. “The president’s request for coronavirus response funding is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.” 

Her first tweet on the matter also posted that day—weeks after Trump started taking action.

But Pelosi wasn’t the only Democratic leader asleep at the switch during a critical period of global escalation. During a February 26 meeting of the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education, coronavirus came up briefly with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. (The budget hearing then veered into unaccompanied minors at the border and gun violence.)

The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing on coronavirus just last week.

Partisan Games

While Americans became more alarmed this month about a possible pandemic, Pelosi, of course, played partisan games. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused the speaker of delaying a vote on additional coronavirus funding to use it in campaign ads against Republican lawmakers. 

The House passed, and President Trump signed, a bill to provide $8.3 billion to help state and local governments defray extra costs to fight the predicted epidemic.

Even now, as the stock market crashes, sporting events are canceled, business owners panic, and college campuses empty out, perhaps for the rest of the academic year, House Democrats are dragging their feet on an emergency aid package to help Americans affected by the crisis. 

Pelosi waited until late Wednesday to announce a relief package—hastily drafted in just the past few days—laden with unrelated and divisive progressive goodies such as permanent paid sick leave and changes to Medicaid. House Republicans have voiced their objections to the plan.

But the House is again scheduled to adjourn until at least March 23. Pelosi pushed back on delaying the break to iron out any differences with the White House or her GOP counterparts. “I’m not sticking around because [House Republicans] won’t agree to language,” Pelosi told a reporter during a press briefing on Thursday morning. “Save it for another day.”

The administration, as is the case in any unexpected calamity, deserves some scrutiny for how aspects of the coronavirus threat have been managed, such as the preparation and distribution of test kits. But there is no excusing the absence of leadership by Democrats on Capitol Hill who not only ignored the unfolding debacle but stood in the way of quick action.

The Democrats’ destructive impeachment crusade must factor into any fair examination of how the government addressed the coronavirus outbreak in its nascent stages. Had lawmakers paid more attention to a legitimate national threat and had the president not been encumbered by the Democrats’ months-long impeachment distraction, the preparation and remedies might look very different right now. 

Impeachment didn’t just impact Donald Trump. Now all of us are paying the price for the Democrats’ selfish and destructive campaign against the president. He alone should not beat the burden of scrutiny—Democrats wanted power and they abused it on impeachment at the expense of the greater good.