Elections

The Winning Platform in 2020 Is Still ‘America First’

A new poll shows that 75 percent of the U.S. electorate support bringing manufacturing home to American shores.

My colleagues and I at American Majority work day in and day out to equip candidates with the tools they need to campaign effectively. We train would-be candidates on everything from “get-out-the-vote” efforts to fundraising and messaging. Above all, we train candidates to reach voters’ hearts, not just their minds, and to pay attention to how they formulate their platform and express it.

It’s not just about winning arguments in the abstract. It’s about winning people over. So we train candidates to find a message that is not only true to their values, but one that will resonate and address voters’ concerns. 

Sometimes crafting the right message and narrative—the Message, as we call it—takes time. And then other times, albeit rarely, the Message is delivered to you on a silver platter and all one must do is accept the gift. 

A recent poll demonstrated that one certain issue gathers support from voters across the country regardless of party allegiance and demographics. And, as this poll illustrates, it’s not just a little across-the-board support, but a “Take this to the bank, only an idiot wouldn’t take advantage of this” kind of support. This is across party lines, across demographics, and across the gender divide. 

In that poll, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they support self-sufficiency in manufacturing essential goods such as food, medicine, and energy. This debate, brought to light by the coronavirus outbreak, has reinvigorated the movement to bring production home to the United States. It is absolutely time to stop our unrelenting dependence on China and other foreign nations for our production of essentials—a topic I’ve been talking about for quite a while now, both on TV and in my writing.

This specific poll shows that 75 percent of the American electorate (88 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Independents, and 64 percent of Democrats) support bringing this manufacturing home to American shores. Even more fascinating, by several points, the issue polls better among women than men. If, as a candidate, you find a 75 percent support issue handed to you, neatly packaged, make sure that you know what to do with it, and don’t let the opportunity pass.

With polling data such as this, it’s clear that President Trump and Republicans are in an excellent position going into this fall election, or should be. If only they will seize the moment and run with it. 

Growing jobs and trade has always been a major tenant of the Trump Administration and it has trickled down into the platforms of conservatives at all levels of government. With a self-sufficiency platform that brings production of pharmaceuticals and other products that are truly national security issues home, a candidate would have the support of over 7 in 10 Americans. 

Bringing production home is a fusion issue that crosses party lines and should make it clear to all of our elected officials that while there is still party tribalism in American politics, there is a deep hunger for leaders who will stand up and promote Americanism—that is, advance American interests across the board. If you don’t believe me, see the millions of registered Democrats in the Rust Belt who voted for Obama at least once who then voted for Trump in 2016.

So to Republicans running this fall, please, I beg you, for once: do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just accept the gift, repeat the message ad nauseum, and be rewarded in the fall. Lay out a clear plan for how to work toward this goal of bringing jobs and industries back to the United States and then talk about that plan at every opportunity.

Globalism has always been the enemy of Americanism. While no one seeks isolationism for America, the time has come for our message on manufacturing, immigration, national security, and a whole host of other issues to be “America first and last in all things.”

Elections

Donald Trump in Twitter’s Lilliput

Only the president can lose his election, and thereby ensure socialism for his supporters in the fall. And he can lose only by descending into the Twitter swamp and playing a gullible Gulliver to be tied down and lacerated by clever but six-inch tall Lilliputians.

“However, in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk on my body.” 

 —Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

Donald Trump has slumped badly in the polls over the last weeks. There are the usual suspects for his periodic dips: his cul de sac Twitter wars over Joe Biden, obsessing over the utter dreariness of Joe Scarborough’s past irrelevant life, the constant effects of a 93 percent negative media that blames him for everything from the economic collapse to the rioting in Minneapolis, and public frustration of nearly three months of enervating COVID-19 quarantines.

Yet despite the terrible news, the odd thing is that when Trump relaxes and allows even a bleak news cycle to play out, then his policies weather well and usually help him—regardless of the 24/7 negative media editorialization.  

Given the doom and gloom, few appreciate that beneath the bleak media veneer, there are some signs of growing optimism. The stock market is recovering on hunches that a vaccine is on the horizon and antiviral drugs may soon be appearing. Viral deaths are falling due to the synergy of warmer weather, a likely constantly mutating and attenuating virus, some growing herd immunities, more outdoor activity, and better hygiene and medical protocols.

Democrat and Expert Pessimists Fall Short

Expert pessimists who warned of millions of dead, of never-ending infection, of no vaccine in sight, of 3-4 per 100 of the infected dying of the virus were not just wrong, but wrong to the degree that the entire national quarantine may itself have been a tragic overreaction.

The restart states so far have not experienced the predicted viral disasters, and are slowly showing the way back to recovery. Large blue states like New York, California, and Illinois are increasingly in untenable positions. One cannot critique restart states as near treasonous when they alone are creating real wealth that can be redistributed to subsidize the blue-states’ own fetal-position edicts. 

Governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo, California’s Gavin Newsom, and Illinois’ J.B. Pritzker sound panicked, shrill, and incoherent. The tabs for their pre-viral, suicidal spending have come due. They increasingly are exposed as politically cynical in hoping to slow down the economic recovery to abort the Trump reelection, on the rationale that the United States will never fully recover, with over 20 percent of its national GDP rendered all but inert in these three states. The governors’ “never let a pandemic go to waste” logic is that prior to COVID-19 they lavished their population with big pensions, big welfare payments, and big entitlements, and now demand the federal government take money away from rebooted states to pay for their profligacy—or else. 

Joe Biden is, well, Joe Biden. He can neither speak extemporaneously nor on the teleprompter without embarrassment. In an age of #MeToo, he should not be left unattended in a room with women of any age, but particularly should be forced to socially distance at least six feet from teens and preadolescents. Biden may be dappled, pale, and hoarse, but otherwise, his remarkably agile septuagenarian fingers can morph on autopilot into opportunistic tentacles. 

Biden’s sole strategy is to stay put and chalk up one more day that he did not completely implode. He hopes to emulate the style of silent movies—mute gesturing while filmed without speaking, as music and subtitles provide the messaging.  

Biden counts on Trump daily tweeting out enough soundbites to supply fodder for the network evening news, the Drudge sensationalist headlines, and the Washington Post/New York Times/NPR/PBS echo chamber. So far, Trump is accommodating him. 

But otherwise, Biden’s tragic decline is undeniable, and the autumn pathway for a Biden campaign is to outsource campaigning to future appointees, stay incommunicado, and plead that the emergency conditions of the virus preclude debates, conventions, press conferences, barnstorming, and rallies. Biden’s strategy is a candidacy of suspended animation while siccing the media on Trump’s latest weird tweet.

Biden in the wake of rioting, the past disclosures about Senator Amy Klobuchar’s checkered career as a county attorney, and pressure from his base to honor his race and gender nomination promises, will likely select a more left-wing activist to join him on the ticket. Biden will hint the nominee will soon be president—even as she may frighten voters with agendas, which could not win in primary elections but could through selection in November.

Why Doesn’t Trump Let Them Eat Themselves?

Add all this up and it is odd that Trump does not allow rapidly converging events to neuter Biden’s campaign. 

The president understandably tweets, given that it is one of his only ways to reach the public without selective media censorship and editing. He understandably has good cause to be enraged given he has been a victim of a failed administrative state coup, a disgraceful partisan impeachment, the shameful witch hunt of Robert Mueller, and assorted melodramas ranging from pathetic efforts to invoke the 25th Amendment and the Emoluments Clause to being the target of various Hollywood celebrities’ sick assassination fantasies. 

So there is ample cause to wage a war against all on Twitter—except Trump’s own self-interest. And getting reelected hinges on not gratuitously distracting attention from the gifts that his opponents and the natural cycle of the news bestow. Both are attempting to deliver the election to him. 

Trump’s instincts have often proved prescient throughout the crisis. He sensed a travel ban was critical even in an election year’s politically correct climate. He assumed the real fatality rate from the virus was less 1 percent, not the 2-3 percent with which the bureaucracy terrified the population—and thus would be more analogous to a bad flu year, And indeed the virus increasingly seems to be emulating 1957-58 or 1967-68.

Trump sensed that he could stop the virus with a lockdown until early May and then had only a tiny window of opportunity in late May to reboot the country and save the economy. His mobilization of private enterprise to mass-produce protective, medical equipment, ventilators, and test kits is already paying off. When blue-state governors panicked and demanded instant tent hospitals, ventilators, and federal hospital ships, Trump tried to give them all that and more. He allowed Dr. Anthony Fauci—Mr. “Yes Yesterday, Maybe Today, Absolutely No Tomorrow”—have his spring in the sun, even when he went on left-wing media to sigh, to hint, and to grimace his displeasure with his boss. 

In other words, Trump performed well during the crisis. He knows how to jumpstart the economy, and will do more campaigning in a day than will Biden in a month. 

Despite the media focus on volatile polls, even the massaged and weaponized news cycle ahead will favor him in lots of ways. Blue states with tails between their legs will follow restarted states—the more so big-city rioting seems to be given an exemption, but going to church or out to eat is still taboo. Looting with near impunity and the impotence of authorities have utterly ended the logic and the authority of big-city mass quarantining: if the state is not going to arrest hundreds of arsonists and thieves without masks, it certainly cannot detain and fine a barber or florist at work with them. In a civilized society under medical quarantine, destroyers without medical masks cannot outweigh creators with masks. 

The Stubborn Facts Will Out if He Lets Them

Pent up demand, cheap energy and gas, nonexistent interest rates, and decoupling from China will spur the economy by November. The pettiness and incoherent dictates of all these blue-state local Nurse Ratcheds will weary the public. 

When the rioting cools, the four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd will be headed to trial for murder and manslaughter or accessories of some sort. Recriminations will also surface over who allowed rioters to torch small businesses in the style ofwe also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”  

Rioting for the most part took place in blue cities, in blue states, with blue police chiefs, mayors, governors, and state attorneys general. But, then again, those who are usually unlawfully killed by the police die mostly in blue cities as well. The reason is not to be found with Trump, but perhaps with the ancient liberal paradox that those who are loudest promoting destructive progressive agendas and protocols are usually those best insulated from the consequences of their own often destructive ideologies. Translated: mayors, governors, academics, and journalists are of an income and educated class that usually does not live in riot-prone neighborhoods and its livelihood rarely rest with opening small downtown businesses each morning—and so what such elites profess as penance, they rarely do or suffer.

The media is in its full mendacious mode—and is reminding Americans why they cannot trust it. The effort to fob blame for the rioting on “white supremacist” bogeymen is  ridiculous, given none of such accusations were supported by an iota of evidence, and millions of Americans have already watched live who looted, burned, and destroyed. Journalists’ further “Baghdad Bob”-type assertions that protests “were largely peaceful” were sometimes belied by the flames, sirens, and shattered glass in the backgrounds interrupting their very broadcasts. As a general rule, most of what was reported either was distorted or was so full of factual errors as to be rendered worthless news.

John Durham has a rendezvous in late summer with a number of felonious “wise men” who have broken the law with impunity and had dreamed up a coup fit for a South American caudillo. As more unredacted new transcripts appear daily—even hourly—Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, and Strzok grow quieter. Progressives have lost the Russian “collusion” narrative, as Russia has boomeranged to the hiring by Hillary Clinton and the FBI of a foreign national who colluded with Russian sources to warp an election and destroy a transition. 

Even the old saw that the “Russians” stole the DNC was known to be unproven years ago, even as no one ever explained why CrowdStrike conveniently and rather than the FBI ran the investigation of the hack. As a rule of thumb, when one side doctors court evidence, deletes thousands of subpoenaed emails, wipes clean hard drives, alters FBI interview reports, leaks classified documents, unmasks and leaks redacted names, and the other does not, then “the thing speaks for itself.”

So Trump’s task is to tweet judiciously about elements of the economy’s rebound and his own initiatives, calls for calm, promises to restore law and order, assurances of a complete federal investigation of any police who broke the law and were responsible for the death of George Floyd, the need for national unity and to cite periodic breakthroughs against the virus, while allowing the subterranean Joe Biden to calcify as Joe Biden—and let fake news and failed people stew among themselves. Trump’s motto should be “Do no harm” to a news cycle that, even in its most biased and ideologically warped delivery, reflects the frightening wages of progressivism.

Only Trump can lose his election, and thereby ensure socialism for his supporters in the fall. And he can lose only by descending into the Twitter swamp and playing a gullible Gulliver to be tied down and lacerated by clever but six-inch tall Lilliputians. 

Elections

Trump’s Snub of Jeff Sessions Sends a Bad Message

We could be living through the final months of the Trump presidency.

What kind of message does it send when the president, five months before his reelection contest, throws the first senator ever to endorse his presidency under the bus?

For supporters of Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s decision to snub his former attorney general and endorse a goofy RINO football coach instead is more evidence that the America First agenda that won him the White House, and that Sessions pioneered, has become an afterthought for his administration.

The president rages at Sessions for his recusal from the Russia probe. But here’s a thought experiment: what are the odds that Tommy Tuberville would have distinguished himself as some maverick against the Russia hoax had he been in the Senate? Any takers?

To ask the question is to answer it. It’s because the Republican Party is so unprincipled and unimpressive that Sessions (and Trump) stood out in the first place. Sessions is a decent man, and his patriotic convictions carried him, with justice, to a place of prominence in American history.

Trump, a man of instinct, interprets Sessions’ recusal as a sign of weakness, ignoring his loyalty to the president before, during, and after his White House tenure and his vigorous efforts to pursue the president’s America First agenda as attorney general.

Still America First?

The president, if it wasn’t obvious by now, is not some Leninist ideologue who was planning to methodically deport millions of illegal immigrants. This comes as a disappointment to some of his most ideologically driven supporters as well as to his most delusional detractors.

Sure, the president doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) adhere rigidly to doctrine, but Trump’s personal feud with Sessions is disappointing and counterproductive. While not by itself dispositive, it is part of a familiar pattern of setbacks for some of the strongest advocates of the “America First” message, who have started to weary of his inconsistent attention to the Greatness Agenda.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has been granted a public mandate by a clear majority of Americans to effectively shut down all immigration into the United States. Outside the predictable partisan noises from liberal media and activist groups, it would be a hugely popular decision. Of course, voters have wanted to reduce immigration for many years. They would reward Trump for it without a doubt.

But the president’s much-hyped immigration “moratorium” followed a familiar playbook: after the excitement of the news died down, it was apparent that Trump left a massive exception for hundreds of thousands of guest workers, hardly a logical decision in the middle of the worst economic crisis in decades, and unfair to college graduates entering a brutal job market.

There are now murmurs that the president will enact a second order this week to expand the ban. But Jared Kushner wants to keep immigration flowing. He has also been given a say in “overhauling” the Republican party platform, for some reason.

The Trump base has been inured to these reversals. While Kushner is often seen as the culprit, the lack of focus in the president’s governance cannot be overlooked.

It came as a shock when Trump, in a recent tweet, complained that Big Tech is controlled by the “radical Left” and that he would do something about censorship of conservatives. Just by acknowledging the problem, the president thrilled beleaguered members of his base who have been fighting to stay online, with little support, over the last four years.

The president doesn’t have much to gain by liberalizing the MAGA movement, but in the wake of Biden’s “you ain’t black” moment, the president has sought to highlight his efforts to reform the criminal justice system, something that his supporters never voted for in 2016.

Why not, instead of desperately trying to expand the coalition, focus instead on retaining the core voters who got Trump elected in the first place?

What’s Next?

We could be living through the final months of the Trump presidency. Victory is by no means assured in November, and it’s anybody’s guess what will become of the MAGA movement if Trump loses to Joe Biden. The Left will seek revenge without mercy.

Trump is a courageous man, and his ability to survive four years of daily, relentless counter-insurrection is admirable. The nationalist awakening that he inspired would never have been possible without him. He is an American original, and there is no doubt that he is the only choice for American patriots and conservatives in November.

That is what makes the president’s distractions so disappointing. Yes, it doesn’t help that Trump has had to contend with a vicious media, an obstructive permanent bureaucracy, and hoax after hoax for years on end. Neither has the weak, gelded Republican party been of much use.

But none of these excuses will make a difference in November, and they won’t matter years from now when posterity looks back on the Trump era. Will this time be remembered as an inflection point for a dying Republic, the moment America came roaring back, or a tragic disappointment?

There is now even talk that President Trump wants to end the war in Afghanistan before November—an aspiration of noble Trumpian proportions—and he appears to finally have taken serious notice of Twitter censorship (five months before the election!) It remains to be seen if these are momentary, or lasting, attentions.

The last four years have been great fun, but the president wasn’t elected to trigger the libs with memes or let criminals out of prison. He was elected to serve the American people and put America First.

The decisions Trump makes now will resonate loudly.

Elections

Trump vs. Sessions: The Rift Is Real, Coulter’s Moral Outrage Isn’t

Is President Trump supporting candidates based on their qualifications and policy positions, or is he simply selecting those who pledge to support him personally?

Upon entering the White House in 2017, President Trump largely was seen as a pariah within his own party as much of its established leadership shunned him. He feuded with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the latter’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, and danced on the grave of Senator Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) career when he decided not to run for a third term once Trump vowed to oppose him.

Anyone who has followed Trump’s career prior to his running for office should not be surprised that he is a spiteful and deeply litigious person to those he sees as his personal foes. But the difference in the Alabama race is very clear: Jeff Sessions was an early and stalwart supporter of the Trump agenda and took exceptional risk to his own standing by endorsing him in February 2016. As an immigration hawk, Sessions’ endorsement was a major gain for someone who had been seen as a barbarian savage by the likes of McConnell and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

As Trump’s nominee for attorney general in 2017, Sessions was opposed ferociously by the media and his former colleagues from across the aisle. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) testified against Sessions during his confirmation hearings, reversing his previous praise of him over civil rights. During those hearings Trump remained strongly in his corner, rebuffing any attempt to force him to withdraw the nomination which passed on a 52-47 vote with Joe Manchin of West Virginia the only Democrat voting for him.

Those happy days between Trump and Sessions are long over.

Sessions as attorney general was indeed a hardliner on immigration, promising and delivering on sanctioning sanctuary cities and states and cracking down on child predators. Sessions’ Justice Department also supported conservative student organizations in free speech litigation, a cause in which Ann Coulter personally was involved.

If anyone had cause to object to Sessions as the top lawman in the country, it was libertarians like me who saw his drug war jingoism as more of the same bullheaded policy, but this was expected of him. As far as his actual policies in the Justice Department, Sessions was the same man he always was and that Trump nominated.

Coulter Takes Aim at Kushner

In the matter of one major saga of the Trump era, Sessions destroyed his standing in the eyes of the president: The investigation of Russian collusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Coulter has slammed Donald Trump for blaming Sessions for this, and alleged in a podcast appearance for the Daily Caller that she had been approached to tone down her attacks on Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. She acknowledged calling him a retard, an addled narcissist,  big baby, and all manner of epithets typical in her most histrionic interviews. She added to it a laughable prediction: that Trump, if he sees himself losing later this summer, will withdraw in favor of Mike Pence at the Republican National Convention. And then to top it off she was asked whether she would vote for the narcissist big baby, and she said yes (although she might write in Sessions)!

It is difficult to condemn Coulter’s emotional and vitriolic language, however, given that she is responding in kind to Trump’s own. Still,  absolving Sessions of any responsibility in the Russiagate saga is also dishonest and too charitable to him.

Coulter claims that as a former campaigner for Trump, Sessions was required to recuse himself from the Russia probe as he did in March 2017, and that Trump bears the blame for the special counsel investigation because he took Kushner’s advice in firing FBI Director James Comey two months later. In the wake of that firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to be the special counsel and investigate the Trump campaign.

Coulter’s argument is that Sessions was required to recuse himself due to his activities on the campaign and that therefore it was Trump who bungled the affair. But if that were so, why couldn’t Sessions have appointed a special counsel himself? In 1999, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed a special counsel in order to investigate the Waco siege in which she had personally played a role. No one objected to that, not even Ann Coulter.

The purpose of appointing a special counsel is to delegate to someone else a task in which the person recused has a conflict of interest. Sessions was fully within his own authority to perform this job without adding the extra input of Rosenstein.

Moreover, Comey’s own behavior in using FBI investigations in order to preserve the FBI’s political standing was so egregious that his firing was demanded whether Kushner wanted it or not. Democrats blamed him for wrecking the Hillary Clinton candidacy by publicly reopening an FBI investigation the week before the 2016 election. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had said on November 2 that he had “lost confidence” in Comey.

What Coulter also ignores is that much of the momentum driving that investigation was the leaks by federal employees within Trump’s administration including the Justice Department. It was only in August 2017 that Sessions announced an investigation into those leaks, and by then Mueller had already been appointed by Rosenstein. Comey’s acting replacement, Andrew McCabe, was also implicated later by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz for leaking details of the Russia investigation to the media. The complicity of Justice Department insiders in the campaign to amplify the accusations against the Trump administration was crucial to sabotaging his first term.

Gone was the hope of resolving geopolitical conflicts with Russia. The Mueller probe would provide the tip of the spear for endless media speculation that even if the former FBI director didn’t find evidence of collusion, Trump would be dirty enough to indict for something else. Indeed, the people who were prosecuted like Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos, all were indicted on crimes that were completely unconnected to any activities concerning Russia.

According to Coulter’s logic, all of this could have been avoided if only Jared Kushner was not in any way involved in advising the president on the Comey firing. This is an example of Coulter, once again, attacking Trump’s vindictiveness in the most Trumpian vindictive way possible.

Everyone knows Coulter despises Kushner. Her criticism of Kushner’s corporate coddling on immigration, law, and taxation is well-founded. But Kushner is an immovable accomplice in this unless and until he gets divorced from Ivanka. That being said, Sessions’ dawdling at the top allowed people like Comey to run wild and leak information with impunity. The Justice Department oozed with spicy tidbits that ethically-challenged journalists happily slurped up like burrito filling after too much time in the microwave.

The Burned Bridge from Alabama

As Coulter hints in the interview, Trump’s vitriolic attacks on Sessions are a mark of his inconsistency. At the same time he dumps on his former attorney general, Trump is also withholding any endorsement in the Kansas U.S. Senate race in which his former Commission on Electoral Integrity chief, Kris Kobach, is running. The behavior of the president in this context indicates this is indeed a matter of personal resentment and political calculation and not policy differences. But those deciding on whom to vote for should be aware that there are no heroes in this conflict with Sessions.

Jeff Sessions was a senator perfectly representative of Alabama politics prior to becoming attorney general. But his major failure in the one central saga of his time at the Justice Department cannot be overlooked just because people like Coulter think that as a cabinet-level official he should be excused for the blatant wrongdoing his underlings committed on his watch.

Electorally speaking, the only other options available are Tommy Tuberville, who is basically a jock running a vanity candidacy with the support of the Club for Growth and other soft border interests, or reelecting Doug Jones. While Sessions’ supporters like Coulter and “Rising” co-host Saagar Enjeti cite his intervention in the race as evidence that Trump is betraying his populist agenda, populism is becoming an arbitrary label.

Coulter at one point floated the idea of supporting Bernie Sanders for president—another wet noodle who Enjeti and his leftist co-host Krystal Ball continue to pump up as a “populist,”—if Sanders would go back to his previous immigration stance.

“I don’t care about all of that socialist stuff, I would vote for him, I’d even work for him (Sanders),” Coulter told PBS reporter Margaret Hoover in a 2019 interview. So Bernie Sanders, who kneeled and bowed his head to the open borders DNC after knowing they cheated him, is redeemable in the eyes of Ann Coulter if he merely reverses his immigration position again, but Donald Trump isn’t? It’s clear that Trump isn’t the only one making this a personal vendetta.

Elections

House Victories Show GOP Can Win Anywhere With Trump’s Agenda

Enthusiasm and organization are a potent electoral combination—and the resounding Republican capture of a Democrat-held House seat in California shows that we have enough of both to win just about anywhere.

Enthusiasm and organization often make the difference in elections. No political party can maintain a monopoly on power when voters are determined to enact change.

For years, many Republicans considered California a lost cause. But as Democrats keep moving further toward the radical, socialist Left, Americans are rising up and taking their government back, one election at a time. 

The latest example of this took place in California’s 25th Congressional District, where Republican Mike Garcia became the first candidate to flip a House seat for the GOP in the Golden State since 1998, racking up a convincing 12-point victory in a district that voted for the Democrat candidate by a 9-point margin in 2018. That’s a 21-point swing to the GOP in less than two years.

On the very same night, Tom Tiffany won another special election to the House of Representatives in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, accumulating an even more lopsided margin of almost 15 percentage points. The seat previously was held by a Republican, so the victory isn’t a pickup for the GOP, but Wisconsin is a crucial battleground state this year, so the election was an important test of organizational prowess—a dry run for the general election, if you will.

In Wisconsin alone, Trump volunteers placed over one million phone calls in support of Tom Tiffany. That impressive feat was only possible because the Trump campaign hosted dozens of virtual Trump Victory Leadership Initiative (TVLI) trainings to provide volunteers with the guidance and structure to focus their efforts in the most productive way possible.

We hold these events constantly, all over the country—including the training event that I helped host for Californians last week with Michelle Steel and Young Kim, two outstanding Republican congressional candidates who are hoping to follow in Mike Garcia’s footsteps by ousting two more California Democrats in November.

The deck is stacked against them, and they’ll need all the help they can get, but we’ve demonstrated that Republicans can win even in a “deep-blue” state like California as long as we have an effective message and well-organized, enthusiastic supporters committed to helping President Trump put America First.

Meanwhile, the Democrats aren’t making things any easier on themselves. After spending the entire primary campaign tacking left to compete with democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, their presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, is still obsessed with winning over far-Left voters by promising extreme policies such as the “Green New Deal.” He even appointed another self-proclaimed democratic-socialist, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to co-chair his climate policy task force. Biden and Sanders now have a joint policy committee to discuss the best way to implement the $93 trillion monstrosity.

Biden was already frightening union members and other blue-collar workers with his “war on coal” agenda that would destroy a projected 10.3 million American jobs. Even the reliably pro-Democrat AFL-CIO came out strongly against the Green New Deal, calling it a “[threat] to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living.” 

These are the sorts of extremist policies that motivate ordinary, hard-working Americans to get involved and take a stand in defense of their country—and Joe Biden is just inflaming such sentiments by openly embracing the far-Left fringe of the Democratic Party.

Enthusiasm and organization are a potent electoral combination—and the resounding GOP capture of a Democrat-held House seat in California shows that we have enough of both to win just about anywhere. President Trump will lead this Republican Party to a great victory in November.

Elections

What Do Progressives Want? It Depends on Which Ones You’re Talking About

Today’s progressives diverge from the originals in their professed interest in democracy.

Progressives are a chameleon-like group, having morphed from Republicans, to Bull Mooses (or is it Meese?) to Democrats. Now is a good time to evaluate what progressives want.

Today, they are more like the cuckoo than the male of the moose species. Having taken over the Democratic Party nest, the Progs pushed out the offspring of FDR, its traditional inhabitants, the tribunes of labor and small farmers the party once nurtured.

If we examine the record, we find on some issues today’s progressives hold fast to the precepts of the original movement, while on others, not so much. 

Let’s start with the similarities.

The original progressives, essentially, were an anti-(small-d) democratic movement. They believed modern industrial society had grown too complex to be ruled by the rabble, aka representative democracy. To their thinking, science had advanced to the point that technocrats schooled in the latest management techniques could run the country more efficiently than anyone else.

Frederick Winslow Taylor, a contemporary of the original progressives, captures the central conceit of the movement. Taylor was the father of time-and-motion studies, a leader of the Efficiency Movement and the original management consultant. He would go into the industrial workplace and, with stopwatch in hand, break each job into its component tasks and measure them to the split second with the goal of finding the “one best way” to do it. Managers would employ “methods based on a scientific study” in Taylor’s world.

Taylor’s technique, dubbed scientific management, was celebrated by progressives, taught at Harvard in 1908 and embraced by a University of Chicago professor named James McKinsey, founder of McKinsey & Company consultants.

The quest to bring scientific management to all aspects of society spawned the urban renewal movement. It’s important to remember that Robert Moses, the man who demolished New York City in order to save it, as Robert Caro has exhaustively documented, came out of the Progressive movement and exemplifies all its prejudices and conceits.

Moses saw the human scale, organic neighborhoods of New York as filthy and backward, ripe for replacement with large “efficient” standardized apartment blocks. This Progressive instinct for centralization, consolidation and efficiency could be seen in the growth of supermarket chain stores that began displacing mom-and-pop grocers and butchers in the 1920s and 30s. The “reformers”—in league with the chain stores—argued the small shops were filthy, backwards, and inefficient.

The same way Taylor sought scientific efficiency in the workplace, Margaret Sanger, another progressive luminary, advocated a more scientific approach to procreation in order to improve the human race. Vladimir Lenin, who brought “scientific socialism” to Russia, was another fan of Taylor’s scientific management.

Labor unions loathed Taylor (the feeling was mutual), accusing him of squeezing every ounce of sweat from workers. Today’s employees have the same fear and loathing when McKinsey & Co., Taylor’s heir, shows up to axe their jobs in the name of improving efficiency.

Progressives have kept their faith in the cult of the expert—paging Dr. Fauci—and scientific management. Whatever nonsense they perpetrate, whether on public health or climate trends, they buttress it with increasingly shrill invocations of “science.” Governor Cuomo proudly announces he has McKinsey & Company advising him on the state’s pandemic management. He should be glad they failed so dramatically or progressive New Yorkers might be asking why we need an elected government at all—or even deep state bureaucrats—when we have McKinsey experts.

Now, as then, progressives aren’t particularly keen on labor unions. They pay lip service to “working people” but the left wing of the Democratic Party is fixated on illegal immigration, LGBLT and climate change—concerns of the professional and managerial, rather than the working class. 

But today’s progressives diverge from the originals in their professed interest in democracy.

The progressives default to experts on every issue of governance, even demanding a multi-pronged multi-phase expert-conceived plan for every facet of every business’ operations before allowing an opening. But they have dispensed with the experts and expert discussion when it comes to how to vote in November. They’ve already figured it out—it’s by mail.

Today’s progressives say anyone skeptical about turning the mailbox into the ballot box just wants to suppress the vote. 

And that’s the turnabout, for the original progressives were eager to suppress the vote.

In the name of “good government” reform, those progressives purged the voter rolls, tightened voting requirements and disenfranchised millions. The original progressives eliminated measures such as universal automatic registration that today’s progressives want to reinstate

The good government reformers of the early 20th century were horrified by the political machines stuffing ballot boxes with the votes of illiterate immigrants and farmers.

Virginia progressive Carter Glass (he of the Glass-Steagall Act which ended stock speculation by banks) summed up their sentiment: “Nothing can be more dangerous to our republican institutions than to see hordes of ignorant and worthless men marching to the polls and putting in their ballots against the intelligence and worth of the land.”

In the 19th century, voters either registered in person once and for life or government registrars compiled lists of eligible voters and registered them automatically. “Good government” progressives replaced that with periodic in-person registration in order to deter repeat and out-of-state voters—the very fraud today’s progressives say doesn’t happen.

Political parties used to give voters ballots with the party’s candidates—and only those candidates—for voters to cast. Progressives replaced the party ballot with the government-issued secret ballot we know today, featuring multiple candidates for different offices. They did this not to offer voters more choices, but to discourage the illiterate from voting.  

Today, the progressives say they want to expand the franchise even though their affinity toward government-by-expert renders elected offices null.

One suspects if they felt they could legalize pre-marked ballots, they would.

But for now, they will settle for mailing a ballot to every name on the poorly maintained voter rolls, recruit an army like the newly hired contact tracers, help the less-motivated, illiterate, confused, deceased or non-existent recipients fill out the ballots, then collect and return them.

If you have a problem with that plan, you’re not one of today’s progressives.

You’re one of the originals.  

Elections

Jeff Sessions Deserves Your Vote

Alabama voters should ignore Trump’s rage-tweets and vote for Jeff Sessions in November.

It’s no secret that President Trump has harbored a grudge against Jeff Sessions ever since Sessions, as the Trump Administration’s first attorney general, recused himself from the Russia collusion delusion investigation.

Like many others, I was frustrated by Sessions’ recusal and said as much in 2018. Yet, Sessions had no legal choice but to recuse himself once President Trump went on MSNBC to gloat over his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey for the grotesque Russia investigation. 

What’s more, Jeff Sessions is someone who has a solid record on immigration policy, the issue that got Trump elected. In fact, when it comes to immigration, Sessions was one of the few consistent bright lights in the Senate over the last several decades. 

Now that Sessions is running to reclaim his lost Senate seat, President Trump is wading into the Republican primary in Alabama to demand that Alabama voters support Sessions’ imbecilic opponent who supports open borders, Tommy Tuberville. Once again, the president is exhibiting poor political judgment of the sort that helped Democrats win the midterms in 2018. 

Patterns of Poor Political Judgment

The truth is that President Trump never should have offered to make Jeff Sessions attorney general without first having done his due diligence. By taking Sessions away from the Senate, Trump created a gaping hole in what was once a safe and reliable Republican seat. The president constantly rages against Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Yet, Trump is the one who should have done the proper level of vetting for all of his cabinet appointees to ensure that there were no conflicts of interest. 

Clearly, Trump did not do this. 

Besides, no one told Trump to go to the press and gloat about how he fired Comey. That is, after all, what prompted the whole imbroglio with Sessions to begin with. The president likes to blame Sessions for doing that which Sessions was legally required to do (since 2018, I’ve spoken to a retinue of attorneys who insist that Sessions had no choice but to recuse himself). 

Should Sessions instead have broken the law? 

Further highlighting Trump’s poor political judgment in this instance, the president left the selection of Sessions’ Republican replacement in the 2018 midterms to none other than the quiet “NeverTrump” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The most obvious replacement for Sessions was the solidly conservative Mo Brooks. Instead, McConnell wanted the lukewarm, pro-amnesty Luther Strange

At the time, Trump’s former adviser, Steve Bannon, supported Strange’s primary opponent, Roy Moore. Of course, Moore was much closer to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” beliefs. Nevertheless, Trump supported Luther Strange—who lost decisively to the far more Trumpian Roy Moore—out of spite for his former White House adviser. It was wrong, especially coming from a president who demands the loyalty of those working for him. It seems he rarely exhibits this quality himself (just ask General Flynn, who continues to languish under the false accusations that he was a Russian stooge).

Of course, a smear campaign was waged against Moore in the pages of the Washington Post which claimed that Moore was a sexual deviant. To compound matters, Moore’s public presentation of himself came across as weird. And it is believed that people close to McConnell were feeding these rumors about Roy Moore to the Post. Whether the claims were true or not, Roy Moore was always a terrible candidate. Yet when 2018 ended, the most decisively Republican Senate seat was lost to one of the most left-wing, pro-abortion politicians imaginable: Doug Jones. This was all because of the poor political judgment of the president: he should not have taken Sessions out of the Senate and, when he did, Trump should have pressured the GOP to place the strongest, most conservative candidate (Mo Brooks) as Sessions’ replacement. 

Now that Sessions is seeking to reclaim his old Senate seat from the infanticidal, pro-illegal immigration Democratic Senator Doug Jones, Trump is yet again supporting the wrong Republican candidate. Like Luther Strange, Tommy Tuberville will not win and instead will cede Alabama’s Senate seat to the virulently NeverTrump Doug Jones. Trump’s political judgment on this matter is so bad, in fact, that Ann Coulter may be correct when she says the president is handing the Senate over to the Democrats in November with antics like this.

There Are No Perfect Choices in Politics

American politics is about taking the bitter with the better. Rarely will a candidate for office be everything to everyone (just ask Bill Press about Barack Obama). If, however, one can find a candidate who supports the right policies and at the same time is a relatively decent human being while being loyal, as Sessions is, one should do his part to keep him in office. Especially when the alternatives are so bad.

Despite the fact that things between President Trump and Sessions ended badly, the former attorney general continues to defend the president and does his best to formulate issues in a way to help the  president heading into 2020. Sessions exhibits no vindictiveness, no bitterness. He is the consummate professional.

Which is more than I can say for Trump. 

Jeff Sessions is a man the Republican Party and Alabama need representing them in the Senate. He is civil, smart, and strong. Sessions has exercised political and policy judgments over the course of his career that are better than those of the president who doggedly (and unfairly) besmirches Sessions’ good name—and continues weakening the Republican position in Alabama. Sessions would be a consistent ally in the Senate for President Trump, if the president would just get out of his own way and let bygones be bygones. Sessions deserves to win the Senate seat in November more than Open Borders Tuberville. 

President Trump is behaving like Captain Queeg after he lost his beloved strawberries in the great Humphrey Bogart film, The Caine Mutiny. It’s embarrassing. The president apparently fails to understand the consequences of his wading into the Alabama Senate primary fight: by damaging Sessions, Trump will split the Republican vote in Alabama, and only empower the much worse Doug Jones. 

And should Tommy Tuberville somehow actually win the Senate seat, Trump will only have elevated a man who is opposed to his immigration platform—the real reason why Trump won in 2016.

Going Forward

I’ll vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in November because I prefer The Caine Mutiny to Mr. Magoo. But let’s not delude ourselves any longer about the president’s shabby political judgment. If Trump is not careful, he’ll ensure that the GOP loses the Senate to the Democrats in 2020, which will kill his agenda should the president get a second term. 

Alabama voters should ignore Trump’s rage-tweets and vote for Jeff Sessions in November. 

Elections

Democrats Are Running Out of Arguments

With a brisk economic revival and continued retrenchment of the virus, it is going to be increasingly difficult for the Democrats to prevail on the merits.

The battle lines on the issue of ending the economic shutdown are drawn more sharply each week. The terror campaign conducted by the media when the coronavirus outbreak began effectively compelled President Trump and most governors to follow the advice of the audible scientists and “flatten the curve” with a comprehensive shutdown requiring huge numbers of people to stay at home.

As the unemployment figures that resulted mounted swiftly toward 40 million, the American Left, now including almost all the official Democrats and almost all the national political media, became instantly addicted to the prospect of holding the president responsible at the election in November for creating an immense economic depression. 

When the president recognized the extent of the alarm over the virus in March, he decided he had no alternative politically (and probably none in terms of public health, either) but to shut the country down, acknowledging the authority of the governors to decide exactly how extensively in each state. He took care to announce, as he did this, that the shut-down would be reversed as soon as possible and that his objective was a V-shaped economic recovery: a return almost as vertical as the inevitable decline.

Starting in early April, the president moved more or less subtly to encourage governors to begin reopening their states. Predictably, Republican governors tended to respond positively and promptly to this proposal and their Democratic analogues were more or less sluggish. For a time, both sides moved with relative caution to preserve the fiction that this was a matter of lives, public health, national welfare and, above all things, was beyond politics. 

Of course, every observant person knew that in this presidential term nothing has been above politics, (and little has been beneath politics, either). The president cautioned the Republican governor of Georgia Brian Kemp about a general opening of almost all small businesses, but the governor seems to have been justified in taking that step and the president subsequently has applauded it. The apparent Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden—the personification of the shutdown, now lumbering determinedly through his third subterranean month in Delaware—urged caution. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was at pains to emphasize that the status of New York as a “hot spot” required him to go slowly, though the debate in New York was overtaken by allegations against the Democrat of responsibility for the deaths of thousands of elderly people by requiring COVID-19 sufferers be returned to nursing homes. 

At the outset of the coronavirus crisis there was what proved to be an exaggerated fear that the hospital system would be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. As a result of that belief, surplus capacity was quickly built in or moved to the larger cities and, instead of the homes for the elderly being protected and insulated from the start, they were in many cases allowed to become infestations of the illness swiftly transmitting the infection among residents. We now know that about one-third of the country’s fatalities from COVID-19 happened in long-term care facilities.

As President Trump has steadily encouraged relaxation of the economic shutdown, public opinion—which once appeared committed to the shutdown and responded so uniformly to the calls for sacrifice—has drifted back to approval for a reopening somewhat timidly. But the tactical trap is closing in slow motion on the Democrats. Since the president’s greatest vulnerability would be if he could not get the shutdown lifted in good time for the country to see the economy reviving before the election, the Democrats have lost the opportunity to flop back to complaints that are now becoming quite audible, that the shutdown should never have been imposed in the first place. 

This weekend the president stated that had the experts known more about the virus in March, this comprehensive shutdown would not have been imposed. The Democrats thus are stuck with the shutdown and are stuck with an argument for continuing the shutdown that rests entirely on the continued propagation of exaggerated and unseemly fear. 

So far, where the return from the lockdown has proceeded quickly—as in the Republican-governed states of Texas, Florida, and Georgia—the incidence of coronavirus has not risen. (Meanwhile, in Georgia, there has been the leitmotif of Democratic gubernatorial candidate and inveterate seeker of this year’s vice presidential nomination, Stacey Abrams, that she won the election which she lost by 55,000 votes to Kemp). 

The rabidly Democratic media who effectively are conducting the campaign for the beleaguered official Democrats, are left clinging to an indefinite shutdown that only panic can justify and that an increasing number of people, now including the president, believe should not even have been imposed.                                                

The president said that his most difficult decision would be when to lift the shut-down, and he now has his principal scientific adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, supporting a relaxation and the leading Democratic governors, Cuomo and Gavin Newsom in California, affirming the president’s cooperation and efficiency. This makes the Democratic claim, launched by former President Obama as a truism with no need for further explanation that Trump has bungled this crisis, very difficult to sustain. Neither Obama nor habitual media Trump-bashers such as A.B. Stoddard last week in RealClearPolitics, offered a word of explanation for the unqualified assertion that the administration’s performance has been a disaster. 

As the United States has done substantially better than any large Western country except Canada and Germany, the claim that it has been a disaster is a false argument. Trump was clearly wise to close down direct air travel between China and the United States at the end of January, for which he was much criticized by the Democrats. His mobilization of the private sector, and particularly the swift development by Abbott Laboratories of an instant testing method, and the mass production of ventilators for which there was widely claimed to be an acute shortage, were very effective. 

The results of Trump’s calling on states to relax the shutdown in April make it hard to criticize that move. The Democratic media appear at this point to be reduced to representing the loss of nearly 100,000 American lives as a tragedy for which Trump is somehow responsible. When he took the measures that he did, the so-called experts had not yet reduced their prediction of fatalities in the United States from over 2 million to between 100,000 and 240,000. The daily fatalities continue to decline and have fallen by over 60 percent in the last five weeks.

 If this trend continues as the country reopens and there is distinct progress on bringing the unemployed back to work, it is going to be extremely difficult to run against the president on this issue. The polls reflect Trump’s difficulty in moving from the president of the shutdown to the president of the reopening while brushing off the imputation to him of putting “soon ahead of safe.” But he is moving between strengths and the polls do indicate a large lead for Trump over Biden on the issue of restoring the American economy. 

With a brisk revival and continued retrenchment of the virus, it is going to be increasingly difficult for the Democrats to win this argument.

Elections

The Disgraceful Death of #MeToo

The fact that the Left now feels brazen enough to change the narrative on something that happened only two years ago is terrifying.

You may think that the media would have its hands full touting Chinese Communist Party propaganda, but you’d be wrong. After ignoring Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden for as long as was humanly possible, the media finally has found its collective tongue and has begun to denigrate, doubt, and question Reade’s story in a way they never did with Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh two years ago.

In the past few weeks, several media outlets have tripped over themselves to discredit Reade’s story. Helen Lewis of The Atlantic wrote that she “never believed in ‘Believe Women,’” which is rich coming from a writer who once complained that Blasey Ford was “being put on trial,” and even richer considering The Atlantic published article after article after article excoriating Kavanaugh and implicitly accepting Blasey Ford’s claims. Meanwhile, the Washington Post declared that “Believe all Women” is a straw man, CNN announced that Reade’s “conflicting accounts” muddle her story, and many other outlets either are downplaying the story or continuing to ignore it altogether.

But perhaps the most hypocritical take on the issue comes from the New York Times, which has the incredible chutzpah to say that “Believe All Women is a Right-Wing Trap.” The main point of the article is that the #MeToo movement only ever said “Believe Women,” not “Believe All Women,” which is a phrase conservatives have “wielded as a whip” to denigrate sexual assault survivors, at least according to the Times

The Times’ strategy is brilliant in its simplicity. Instead of trying to defend Democrats’ hypocrisy on its face, a herculean task, the Times simply nitpicks, twists language, and plays with semantics. “A-ha! We never said believe all women! Just women who accuse Trump’s appointees without a shred of evidence!” 

Even if the Left had never used the word “all” specifically (a dubious claim), the Times misses the point entirely. Blasey Ford’s accusation was opportunistic, self-contradictory, politically motivated, and completely lacked evidence. Her own friend contradicted Blasey Ford’s story and was pressured to change her testimony. And when Kavanaugh became understandably upset and cried at being falsely accused of rape, he was further accused of showing “white male privilege” and not having the “proper temperament” to be a Supreme Court justice. 

Yet not only were we expected to accept Blasey Ford’s baseless accusations, we were supposed to idolize her.

The New York Times in 2018 was “heartbroken” at Blasey Ford’s “desire to please.” Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) wrote a glowing article praising her “courage,” and Time placed her on its cover—a cover that was then recognized as the 2018 “Cover of the Year.” Anyone who questioned Blasey Ford’s testimony was accused of being insensitive at best, and a victim-blamer at worst. Senate Republicans were excoriated for “putting Blasey Ford on trial,” even after treating her with kid gloves and launching a full FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s life to verify her claims. 

Now compare all of that with the Left’s treatment of Tara Reade. Where’s that Time cover for her, anyway? Don’t hold your breath waiting on it—Time is already busy accusing Reade’s lawyer of the heinous crime of being a Trump donor. 

We’ve already seen how the media has hypocritically covered for Blasey Ford while smearing Reade, but they’re not the only ones culpable. The same politicians who bared their fangs at Kavanaugh are now meek as lambs.

Kamala Harris not only ignored Reade’s allegations after being approached by her for help but also endorsed Biden. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who began the entire Kavanaugh debacle by airing Blasey Ford’s false claims, called Reade’s accusations “absolutely ridiculous” and asked, “where has she been all these years?” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who once stated “I believe Dr. Blasey Ford,” said there was “no contradiction” in how Democrats have handled the two cases and has also endorsed Biden. 

According to their own logic, aren’t these senators giving approval to a sexual predator and elevating him to the highest office in the land? Sure, nothing conclusive has been proven against Joe Biden(even though Reade’s accusations are more credible than Blasey Ford’s), but did that stop Democrats when it came to Kavanaugh?

And of course, who can forget the reaction of our cultural overlords in Hollywood? Alyssa Milano, who in 2018 tweeted that “You can’t pretend to be the party of the American people and then not support a woman who comes forward with her #MeToo story,” has finally found a #MeToo story she doesn’t like.

Milano defended Biden, saying there should be a “thorough vetting of accusations” and that “there is something to the idea that people are going to weaponize #metoo for political gain.” Due process apparently only applies when it defends your political allies. 

All this goes to show that the Left is in possession of no principles and is now simply using #MeToo as a weapon to beat down political opponents. And like any weapon, it can be put aside when it no longer serves one’s purposes. 

The #MeToo movement initially helped to expose many awful sex offenders and monsters, but it quickly lost credibility when it was used as a cudgel for political purposes against Kavanaugh. The fact that Biden’s accuser is so casually tossed aside by the Left is the final nail in the coffin. 

This should serve as a lesson to conservatives: Senate Republicans accepted the investigation into Kavanaugh’s life, they did everything possible to be sensitive to Blasey Ford, they played fair. But for what? Now, when it’s Democrats’ turn to do the same, they shamelessly trample their own cherished principles. Where are the David Frenches and Jonah Goldbergs on the Left screaming for an ideological policing of their side? Where is the NeverBiden movement? 

All this is not to say that conservatives should stoop down to the level of the Left. Instead, we should learn the lesson that our opponents are willing to go to any length, even engage in the most hypocritical and blatant doublethink imaginable, in order to win. We’d do well not to take their bait the next time.

It is now clearer than ever that the Left understands better than anyone George Orwell’s quote that “Who controls the past controls the future.” To the Left, the past has no objective meaning: it’s just a subjective mush that can be reinterpreted and twisted until it serves modern political goals. We’ve already seen this with things like the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which is bad enough; but the fact that the Left now feels brazen enough to change the narrative on something that happened only two years ago is terrifying indeed.

Elections

The Curious Flynn-Kislyak Call Gets Curiouser

It is likely that Kislyak, like so many other Obama-friendly foreigners, was in cahoots with the Democrats to entrap Team Trump before and after the election.

The infamous phone call between then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, like so many tales of Russian collusion, is not as it first appeared.

In light of new evidence, it’s likely there’s no truth to the running narrative about the December 29, 2016 phone call that has been the basis of Flynn’s legal nightmare for more than three years. The case against the three-star general, concocted by Barack Obama’s corrupt FBI, centers on the accusation that Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak and later lied about it to the FBI.

And now that we know Flynn’s name in the call was never masked—as the Washington Post reported last week, it was surveillance conducted by the FBI, not by national security officials—Kislyak’s involvement deserves more scrutiny. 

Let us first dispel with the notion that Barack Obama imposed “sanctions” to retaliate for the Kremlin’s alleged election interference. The word “sanctions,” in fact, never appears in Obama’s executive order, which was issued the same day as the Flynn-Kislyak call and more than seven weeks after Election Day; the (barely) three-page document is filled with irrelevant gobbledygook. It was a slap-on-the-wrist, or as one senior Obama aide called the measures, a “symbolic” gesture.

I repeatedly have suggested that Kislyak was a willing partner with the Obama White House in executing the Russian collusion hoax. Kislyak served as the Russian ambassador to the United States for the entirety of Obama’s presidency; he visited the Obama White House at least 22 times.

Press reports describe Kislyak as a longtime Beltway insider, connected to the most powerful people in Washington. “I personally have been working in the United States so long that I know almost everybody,” Kislyak boasted in 2017. 

He was especially tight with his onetime American counterpart, Michael McFaul, an Obama bestie who was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Russia in 2011 by his then-boss, Hillary Clinton; McFaul is the architect of Obama’s “reset” policy with the Kremlin.

There are several reasons to suspect Kislyak not only was in on the collusion scheme from the start but also that his call to Flynn was part of the Obama White House’s set-up of Trump’s short-lived national security advisor:

Kislyak contacted Flynn before the “sanctions” were announced: Obama issued his lame executive order on December 29, 2016—but Kislyak texted Flynn the day before asking him to call. The Mueller report confirmed that Flynn did not reply to Kislyak’s text; the Russian embassy also attempted to reach Flynn, who was out of town, on December 29.

The White House announced the measures on the afternoon of December 29 and after Flynn conferred with transition team officials, he connected with Kislyak later that day. “Flynn discussed multiple topics with Kislyak, including the sanctions, scheduling a video teleconference between President-elect Trump and Putin, an upcoming terrorism conference, and Russia’s views about the Middle East,” the Mueller report detailed. 

“With respect to the sanctions, Flynn requested that Russia not escalate the situation, not get into a ‘tit for tat,’ and only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” Kislyak called Flynn again on December 31, 2016 to confirm that “Russia had chosen not to retaliate to the sanctions in response to the request.”

Smell a rat? I do. It fits too perfectly with the pretext for the bogus Logan Act charge quickly concocted by Comey and others. The call, and the Logan Act case, was discussed during a pivotal January 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama and his key advisors. The dominoes began to fall.

It’s unlikely the government surveilled Kislyak: The gregarious and English-proficient Russian was quite the man about town. He met with top Obama advisors, including Susan Rice, at the White House twice in October 2016, oddly, at the same time Obama was accusing the Kremlin of attempting to meddle in the election. 

Kislyak was the keynote speaker at the Detroit Economic Club on October 26, 2016. And two days after the election, Kislyak spoke at Stanford University with Mike McFaul. The two gushed over each other; it was hardly an appropriate display considering Kislyak represented a country that had just “attacked” our democracy.

Most people believe the Flynn-Kislyak call was intercepted by routine wiretapping of a Russian official living in the United States. This assumption, however, has never been proven. Considering Kislyak’s public profile, his accessibility to the Obama White House, and his coziness with Obama loyalists outside the White House, it would appear to be an unnecessary step.

Kislyak repeatedly reached out to Team Trump after the election: According to testimony by Susan Rice, the Trump transition team expressed concern about Kislyak’s frequent outreach. Rice told the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 that a member of Flynn’s staff asked for “background” information on Kislyak because they knew so little about him. 

While Rice attempted to portray the contacts as bad behavior on Flynn’s part, it jives with other evidence of Kislyak’s ongoing solicitations to Team Trump. (Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor, also testified that a Trump transition official asked if they “should be worried about Kislyak.”) 

Kislyak requested a meeting with Jared Kushner after the election; the diplomat met with the president’s son-in-law and Flynn on November 30, 2016. According to the Mueller report, Kislyak pushed for more meetings: “Kushner declined several proposed meeting dates, but Kushner’s assistant indicated that Kislyak was very insistent about securing a second meeting,” the report stated. “Kushner told the [Special Counsel’s] Office that he did not want to take another meeting because he had already decided Kislyak was not the right channel for him to communicate with Russia.” Kislyak was quite the pest.

Foreign diplomats played a key role in the Russian collusion storyline. Alexander Downer, the Australian ambassador to the U.K., notified the FBI that George Papadopoulos allegedly told him the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton; that’s why, according to James Comey, his FBI opened a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. 

Papadopoulos later accused Downer of setting him up. “Some organization or entity sent him to meet me,” Papadopoulos said in 2018.

Before the presidential election, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States publicly accused Trump of coddling Russia. “Trump’s comments are only speculative…they call for appeasement of an aggressor and support the violation of a sovereign country’s territorial integrity and another’s breach of international law,” Valeriy Chaley wrote in August 2016. 

And Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) noted in a May 14 interview that “Obama ambassadors across the globe [were] unmasking” Flynn’s name in intelligence reports then “leaking out about anyone within the Trump campaign and the Trump transition that they could.”

Considering how Kislyak appears in nearly every collusion plotline, it’s hard to imagine the Obama folks weren’t pulling his strings, too.

As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reminded us last week, the purported reason why the FBI scoured for Flynn’s call transcript is that they were perplexed why the Russians didn’t push back on Obama’s puny “sanctions.” That sounds like a cover-up story.

Here’s what is more likely to be true: Kislyak, like so many other Obama-friendly foreigners, was in cahoots with the Democrats to entrap Team Trump before and after the election. They prompted Kislyak to connect with Flynn to discuss the sanctions—a call that was either monitored as part of the FBI’s investigation into Flynn or a call that Kislyak briefed someone about since it’s unclear whether a  call transcript exists—in order to create an internal and public case to oust Flynn. (The Washington Post revealed the call in a January 12, 2017 bombshell article by David Ignatius.)

People now are pushing for the release of the Flynn-Kislyak call transcript. Undoubtedly, it will expose new holes in the collusion falsity and perhaps reveal who raised the issue of sanctions in the first place. If it was Kislyak, it will add more substance to the idea he was just another collusion hoaxster doing Barack Obama’s dirty work.

Elections

Porklosi

Unmasking the House Speaker’s $3 trillion “ZEROES Act.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calls it the “HEROES Act,” but $3,000,000,000,000.00 makes it clear that “ZEROES Act” would be more appropriate. Embattled taxpayers might wonder where Pelosi is sending all that money. 

As CNBC explains, the $3 trillion package “includes funding for state and local governments, additional direct payments to Americans and billions more for health-care and testing purposes,” but that summary misses key details. As they say in car ads, there’s “too much to list,” but consider just a few of Pelosi’s heroes. 

The bill makes Paycheck Protection Program funds available to 501(c)6 trade associations, which represent corporate lobbyists. The 501(c)4 trade associations, home to shady political spenders, also get paycheck protection. The HEROES Act provides $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and would repeal the cap on state and local tax deductions, a windfall for high-tax states such as California. So no surprise that Governor Gavin Newsom is a big fan. 

“The magnitude of this crisis requires a response only the Federal Government can provide, and the relief proposed in the HEROES Act answers this call,” Newsom explained in a statement. “As this bill and the ensuing debate moves to the Senate, I encourage our leaders in Washington to put partisanship aside and pass significant federal relief that will help state and local governments to sustain core services like public education, public health, and public safety.” And so on, from Nancy Pelosi’s one-time nephew by marriage.

In his March 19 press conference, when he told 40 million Californians to stay home, Newsom said, “I want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We had a very long conversation today. Talk about meeting the moment. We are so blessed to have her leadership in California.” For the governor of 40 million people, Nancy knows best.

In the midst of a pandemic, with millions of Americans unemployed, Newsom is apportioning $125 million, including $75 million from American taxpayers, for foreign nationals illegally present in the United States. Under the state’s coronavirus relief program, illegals can get $500 per person and up to $1,000 per household, and this comes in addition to the $98 million Newsom budgeted for illegals’ health care

In similar style, with more than 20 million Americans unemployed, Pelosi’s HEROES Act authorizes illegals in “essential services” to work through the crisis without fear of deportation. And as a Vox report explains, “unauthorized immigrants and their families” would now be eligible for both rounds of stimulus checks, up to $1,200 for each illegal. For their part, legal immigrants and legitimate citizens have plenty to ponder. 

If Pelosi’s HEROES Act apportioned taxpayer dollars for, say, Don Alfredo’s Tequila Works in Guanajuato, Mexico, that would require the author of the bill to register as a lobbyist with the federal government. As it stands, Pelosi and Newsom are spending U.S. taxpayer dollars on foreign nationals illegally present in the United States, with zero compensation from the governments of the foreign nationals, primarily Mexico. 

Pelosi and Newsom should be required to register as agents of the illegals’ own governments, in the same manner as lobbyists. Right now would be a good time. As they say, never let a crisis go to waste.  

Republicans proclaimed the HEROES Act “dead on arrival” in the Senate, which Pelosi knew would be the case all along. The HEROES Act is a 2020 campaign ad telling voters what is coming down the pike should the addled Joe Biden, or whoever takes his place, win the day on November 3. 

Illegal aliens have become the Democrats’ imported electorate, and the cash payments, in effect, buy their votes. That’s what big spender Nancy Pelosi is all about. 

In Congress since 1987 and now 80 years old, Pelosi makes a strong case for term limits. Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has an idea. “Let’s limit all U.S. politicians to two terms,” Coupal explains, “one in office and one in prison. Illinois already does this, and it seems to be working.” 

Elections

The Black Swan of 2020

When a majority of Americans finally realizes what was really happening in 2016 and 2017, do you really think they’ll give Joe Biden power again?

Most of us are familiar in some way with the term “black swan,” an unexpected event with major implications, and one which, in hindsight, often makes total sense. We should probably be talking more about the potential black swan of the 2020 elections, and I don’t mean the coronavirus.

I mean the reaction of the American people watching this summer as more evidence becomes public of senior Obama Administration officials conspiring and using the powerful tools of federal law enforcement and the surveillance state to spy on their successor, President Trump and members of his campaign and administration. 

It is entirely possible that some of these former Obama administration officials and FBI agents will be charged with crimes. And it is likely that through these disclosures of political dirty tricks—exceeding even Nixon’s Watergate—the electorate will realize that the Democratic nominee for president is eyeball-deep in this gross abuse of power. 

Over the last few weeks more and more evidence has been released—mostly by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—revealing Joe Biden’s involvement in these activities. Biden was involved in the West Wing meetings concerning President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, the FBI plot to get him at any cost, despite the absence of any evidence of criminal activity, and the illegal leaking of classified information about Flynn to continue a falsely predicated investigation—all of which, when confronted by the facts, Biden lied about. More information is very likely coming regarding Biden, and others, and their roles in #Obamagate.

In the next few weeks, it would not surprise me to see news reports of people being brought in front of the grand jury that U.S. Attorney John Durham has convened. Nor will I be surprised when legal counsel for those witnesses leak to the press that their clients are cooperating with Durham. The question is who is already cooperating? Take for instance FBI Agent Joseph Pientka, who apparently has falsified FBI 302s—the Bureau’s standard post-interview reports—and withheld exculpatory evidence. It’s not really a question of if he is going to jail. That’s pretty much a given. The question is: for how long? It really depends on what evidence he offers Durham regarding who was actually involved and directed him to violate the law. 

I’ve never been a big fan of speculating absent the facts, but what gives me some confidence that I’m barking up the right tree is knowing that John Durham has documents to challenge witness assertions and “refresh memories.” We can bet he has cooperating witnesses (I told One America News that FBI general counsel James Baker likely is a cooperating witness last fall). You know that the Pientkas and Bakers of the world aren’t going to take the fall all by themselves; heck, for that matter, throw in Lisa Page, who I suspect is being far more cooperative than people suggest.

That’s all to say I’m pretty sure someone higher up the food chain at the FBI is going to be in Durham’s crosshairs; it’s only a question of who and how many of them. If the evidence supports bringing charges, Durham will hammer them. Durham, unlike the majority of his federal prosecutor colleagues, has a history of holding accountable federal law enforcement agents and lawyers who break the law. He has a record of protecting the civil rights of witnesses and defendants to ensure that his prosecutions never suffer the ignominy that was just handed out to the agents and prosecutors who went after Michael Flynn. 

Remember, Durham can bring charges himself. People should operate on the assumption that Bill Barr and John Durham have to get this done by November 2020 to be safe. If things are going to be set right at the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Intelligence Community, they have an absolute but narrow window of time in which to achieve this just in case Trump is not reelected. 

That’s why I’m convinced we’ll be seeing more and more breaking news regarding Obamagate and abuse of power. If I’m right, we may even see a late June/early July press conference with Barr and Durham in which they announce the first charges against those former Obama-era officials who were involved in the coup against Donald Trump. 

On the political front, despite the mainstream media’s attempts to tamp down all of this, it’s not working. Nonpolitical people are already talking about the Flynn case in Florida and California, so it has even broken through COVID-19 coverage into the greater national discussion. Imagine this summer when even more Americans understand what the Obama Administration attempted. And then they’re going to judge Obama’s No. 2, his self-styled wingman, Joe Biden, and wonder what else the senile old man in the Delaware basement knew. 

I always tell people that a deep sense of fairness permeates Americans and is one of the hallmarks of our culture of liberty. Another hallmark of the American people is their common sense. A friend of mine always cautions those in the media and the political class never to underestimate the collective wisdom of the American people. When a majority of Americans finally realizes what was going down in 2016 and 2017, how illegal it was, and what a gross abuse of power it was, their sense of fairness, common sense and wisdom will come into play. 

After all that, do you really think they’re going to give Joe Biden power again? I don’t think so.

Elections

Only You Can Save the Limousine Liberals!

A public service announcement.

In a blockbuster first, B.S. News virtuously presents a public service announcement, because never have the stakes been greater for your betters.

During the COVID-19 pandemic governmental lockdowns, it is easy to forget the victims of another governmental fiat. But U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can never forget these victims. Thanks to the Speaker’s limitless compassion for the up-trodden, House Democrats recently passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. Using the pandemic as a pretext, House Democrats pushed for this state bailout boondoggle that lifted the federal cap on state and local tax deductions in 2020 and 2021.

It’s a great leap forward in protecting America’s latest endangered feces: Limousine Liberals. 

This category of Democratic voter has been deeply hurt by the disastrous economic boom spawned by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  That “give away to the rich” evidently left out the Limousine Liberals. The law’s $10,000 cap on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) has devastated this protected upper class—i.e., the Limousine Liberals living in gated communities to protect them from you and the consequences of their ideology. Per the Tax Policy Center:

High-income households are more likely than low- or moderate-income households to benefit from the SALT deduction . . . About 11 percent of tax filers with incomes less than $50,000 claimed the SALT deduction in 2016, compared with about 80 percent of tax filers with incomes exceeding $100,000. The latter group, which made up about 17 percent of tax filers, accounted for about 77 percent of the total dollar amount of SALT deductions reported. The average claim in this group was about $21,000.

This patent social injustice foisted upon your social superiors must end before it’s too late!

Absent low-tax states’ residents subsidizing their appetite for big government, Limousine Liberals can no longer completely rob Peter (the federal government) to pay Paul (their state governments). They must—brace yourself—actually pay more federal taxes. While you have long been told paying more taxes is something Limousine Liberals yearn to do, their true goal may well be too nuanced for you lowbrows to grasp. 

Evidently, Limousine Liberals practice the fiscal theory of “misery loves company,” whereby the progressive upper crust will only pay more in taxes if everybody else does (i.e., you). This should have been apparent from the dearth of Limousine Liberals’ voluntary contributions to the federal treasury to “pay their fair share.” But your naiveté, ignorance, and selfish lust for lower taxes and prosperity are no excuse for the horrors thrust upon these progressive peers of the realm.   

Indeed, the GOP’s 2018 perversion of the progressive income tax to make the rich pay more has spurred a diaspora of Limousine Liberals fleeing to low-tax red states, where they are forced to live amongst dirty, unwashed deplorables. True, this migration of rich progressives could prove these red states’ salvation, thanks to the Limousine Liberals importing their progressive ideology to enlighten the benighted masses. This cohabitation with their social lessers, however, may endanger the Limousine Liberals’ progressive ideological commitment by exposing them to common sense, lower taxes, and good government. 

Thus, even though the provision capping SALT deductions expires in 2025, being a Limousine Liberal herself, Pelosi knows the stakes are too great to take even this minuscule risk. She is well versed in how challenging it is to remain blissfully ignorant of leftist hypocrisy. What if—goddess Gaia forfend!—prolonged contamination from red state reactionaries caused the cognitive dissonance of Limousine Liberals to erode? Would the ideological imbecility and hypocrisy of Limousine Liberals go the way of the dodo? Could anyone put a price on the loss to our global village if Limousine Liberals failed in their self-appointed mission to fundamentally transform America?

Nancy Pelosi did. 

Ever a healer (ward or otherwise), Pelosi has fashioned an equitable remedy by courageously embracing the hypocrisy to propose the two-year federal tax cut for the economically ravaged Limousine Liberals. What happens after those two years is anyone’s guess. 

What happens before that? The massive tax hikes by big government-loving, locked-down blue states expected after the COVID-19 pandemic—hikes that are likely to come in these long-identified fiscal disaster areas even with a federal bailout. Now try to imagine the unfairness of Limousine Liberals being compelled to sacrifice for the common good of their high-tax blue states without low-tax red states footing part of the bill. It isn’t a pretty picture.

This is where you come in. 

For only a few dollars per day, Speaker Pelosi’s HEROES Act affords only you—greedy, fascist, racist, red-state reprobate, you—the responsibility to save the endangered Limousine Liberals. Only you, by rejecting your selfishness, can embrace Pelosi’s holistic hypocrisy and save the Limousine Liberals with a federal tax cut for them and a tax hike for you—all for their own common good, mind you. Only you, by rejecting your enviousness, can confirm that, when it comes to inequitable taxation, deplorables are truly “alone together.”

Your betters accept in advance your compliant contribution. Stay home, stay safe, and save the Limousine Liberals!

Or else.

© B.S. News 2020

Elections

Useless Senate Republicans No Match for the ‘Bums of Steele’

This whole fiasco lies at the feet of Senate Republicans. “Useless” might be too kind a description of them.

The letter, signed by one of the most powerful lawmakers on Capitol Hill and addressed to Fusion GPS, indicated the jig was up.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Glenn Simpson, Fusion’s co-owner, 13 questions about his involvement with the so-called Steele dossier and ties to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “When political opposition research becomes the basis for law enforcement or intelligence efforts, it raises substantial questions about the independence of law enforcement and intelligence from politics,” Grassley wrote.

The letter showed that Senate Republicans were aware Christopher Steele was a paid operative working on behalf of Trump’s Democratic enemies inside and outside the government. Further, the dossier wasn’t raw intelligence exposing collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin; Grassley acknowledged the document was anti-Trump propaganda that influenced activity at Barack Obama’s FBI and seeded damaging news articles before the 2016 election.

In other words, Republicans knew at that point the whole dossier-fueled collusion storyline was a massive scam.

The date of the letter? March 24, 2017. A few days earlier, FBI Director James Comey confirmed during a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, a stunning confession.

Think about it. As the Trump-Russia collusion scam took hold—while Americans were being warned that their new president would act as the stooge of Vladimir Putin—Republicans already knew it was Democratic stagecraft. Further, they knew Comey’s FBI had worked with Steele and relied on his unverified dirt to investigate Donald Trump.

But rather than call the Democrats’ bluff, Senate Republicans, who wield the gavels of every powerful committee, caved. A quiver of sharply worded letters, as I wrote last year, has been their only weaponry, At the same time, Senate Republicans backed a destructive special counsel probe into a crime they knew did not exist. (On the House side, only a handful of Republicans, most notably Devin Nunes of California, did the heavy lifting while paying a major personal price.)

Glenn Simpson testified before Grassley’s committee in August 2017—behind closed doors. The American people never got a glimpse of Simpson’s slipperiness or heard first-hand, at a critical time, that the dossier was opposition research funded by Clinton and the Democratic Party. We never heard Simpson explain how he and Steele—a foreigner—worked over the State Department, the Justice Department, top lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and the national news media in an attempt to influence the presidential election by portraying Trump as a Russian asset.

Imagine how an open hearing at the time would have shaped the public’s view of the collusion falsehood. President Trump, instead of being hunted by Mueller’s wolves, would have had a chance to counterpunch with Senate Republicans at his side. And more importantly, Americans could have learned the truth before it was too late. (The committee released a transcript of Simpson’s testimony in January 2018 but by then Mueller’s investigation was well underway.)

What we witnessed over the past three years is the greatest abdication of power in recent history. Senate Republicans, perhaps intentionally, gave cover to bad actors including James Comey, John Brennan, Andrew McCabe and Robert Mueller. (The now-deceased Arizona Republican, Senator John McCain, played a key role in fueling the collusion narrative, as I detailed last year, as a way to exact revenge against Trump.)

Senate Republicans aided and abetted the unjustified sabotage of Trump’s first term. Trump’s family was targeted; his cabinet members hamstrung; and his aides, present and former, ruthlessly pursued by prosecutors and the news media.

Unlike House Democrats, who have subpoenaed everyone in Trump World except the White House chef, Senate Republicans have issued only one subpoena related to the collusion hoax: The Senate intelligence committee subpoenaed Donald Trump, Jr. last year.

In a spot-on tirade, Tucker Carlson called out Senate and House Republicans for their failures on what the president has fairly labeled #Obamagate. “The vast majority of the Russian collusion investigation…occurred during the first two years of this administration,” Carlson noted on his May 9 show. “Who ran the government then? At the time, Republicans held both houses of Congress and every single committee by definition. They had the power to expose this hoax and to shut it down, but they did not.”

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and others, Carlson fumed, are “useless Senate Republicans” who failed to “stop the derailment of America while it was in progress.”

McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has been completely missing-in-action on the scandal, barely making mention of it. He allowed the Senate Intelligence Committee to remain under Burr’s control; the retiring Republican senator from North Carolina worked in lockstep with Virginia Democrat Mark Warner to use the committee as an extension of the Mueller investigation.

Burr, amid his own scandal, has been replaced with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who also has been silent about Obamagate except to deny the fact the FBI spied on the Trump campaign and defend its illegally obtained surveillance of Carter Page. “I don’t think they did anything wrong,” Rubio said in 2018 of Jim Comey’s FBI after the release of the redacted FISA application on Page. “There was [sic] a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier why they wanted to look at Carter Page.”

Rubio also insisted the intelligence assessment by former CIA Director John Brennan on Russian election hacking was “100 percent accurate.” It’s hard to imagine Rubio will conduct the committee any better than the useless Burr.

But of course no one has done a better paper tiger act than Lindsey Graham. For years, the South Carolina Republican has promised to “get to the bottom” of this treachery but hasn’t held a single hearing related to Obamagate with the exception of last December’s testimony by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz’s delayed report on FISA abuse often was cited as the excuse for why Senate Republicans wouldn’t hold public hearings with collusion perpetrators. Before that, Graham was waiting for the Mueller report. Now he claims he’s waiting for the Justice Department investigation led by John Durham to conclude.

But everyone—including the president—is out of patience with Graham.

After much prodding, Graham finally released a long list of characters he will ask Judiciary Committee members to subpoena in June. “I’m going to try to explain to the country, have a public accounting of Crossfire Hurricane . . . one of the most unethical, sloppy, ill-conceived, and dangerous operations in the history of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Graham said on Fox News this week. The senator said the hearings would be held “probably in the summer” because he needs to “do his homework first.”

What homework could Graham possibly need to finish? Or is he just waiting until he can use the dog-ate-my-homework excuse after Democrats win control of the Senate in November?

Even if all 57 subpoenas on Graham’s list are executed in June, it will take several weeks to schedule hearings. According to the calendar, the Senate will be in session only 57 days between Graham’s June 4 meeting and Election Day. That virtually guarantees few if any public interrogations of Obamagate conspirators will take place in the Senate this year.

“Time is running out,” the president tweeted on May 16. “Get tough and move quickly, or it will be too late. The Dems are vicious, but got caught. They MUST pay a big price for what they have done to our Country. Don’t let them get away with this!” He tagged Graham in the tweet.

Unfortunately, in many respects, it’s already too late. The bogus collusion narrative undoubtedly influenced the 2018 midterm elections, handing control of the House to the Democrats. Reputations that have been ruined cannot be restored—Trump can’t get back the first two years of his term. Mueller’s team walks away unscathed while his lead prosecutor raises money for Joe Biden.

This whole fiasco lies at the feet of Senate Republicans. “Useless” might be too kind a description of them.

Elections

The Flynn Saga Seems Too Complex? Read This

The proponents of Michael Flynn’s persecution aren’t fighting for justice. They’re fighting to keep their weapon.

Author Robert Fulghum once wrote, “All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.”

In the exceedingly complex tale of the Michael Flynn prosecution, it’s easy to drown in the details. But it helps to remember that many of the principles of due process and fairness enshrined in our Constitution actually spring from our common experience in the court of kindergarten.

Many of us can recall with bitterness a time we were blamed for something we didn’t do, or being judged by a teacher with obvious bias, or having your words twisted in order to make the “crime” fit a predetermined punishment.

Let us then convene the court of kindergarten to make relatable some of the many injustices committed by the government in the Flynn case.

It’s not fair to interrogate somebody over something that’s not prohibited.

While many repeat the talking point, “Flynn lied to the FBI,” few have gone back to review what it is he’s accused of having lied about. Flynn is accused of lying about asking other countries how they planned to vote on an Egyptian-sponsored proposed U.N. resolution condemning certain Israeli settlements. Why was the FBI asking about that? He’s also accused of lying about asking Russia not to escalate the situation in response to sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia.

Again, why is the FBI trying to criminalize that?

The FBI should not have been asking him about these phone calls. The elected incoming president had every right to authorize Flynn to begin reaching out to other leaders. It was part of the peaceful transfer of power from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. The FBI’s interrogation of Flynn was just part of a greater effort to disrupt this constitutional process.

In kindergarten, this would be the equivalent of getting questioned by a teacher over associating with or talking to a student the teacher didn’t like. Even a kindergartener would realize the unfairness of a teacher using her authority to interrogate him over a perfectly appropriate conversation with another child.

The Justice Department finally admitted that the January 24, 2017 Flynn/FBI interview “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn . . . and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”

It’s not fair to force somebody to admit to lying without showing him the evidence.

Taking the analogy another step, even a kindergartener would realize the unfairness of demanding a student admit to “lying” without sharing the information that confirms the falsity of the supposed lie. If the student was accused of cheating on a test or falsifying a note from a parent, most people would expect that the student would have access to the information the teacher believes proves the student lied. In the case of Flynn, however, the government has taken the bizarre position that the original recording of Flynn’s conversations are not relevant to whether he lied. The government has refused to share the audio recording of the Flynn/Kislyak conversation.

It’s not fair to punish somebody for “lying” when his words have been twisted and distorted.

Even a kindergartner understands that one shouldn’t be punished for saying something he didn’t say. For some reason, the FBI agents did not record the interview with Flynn. This allowed the “official” account of the FBI’s interview with Flynn to be edited repeatedly by a group of people who, in many cases, were not even involved in the original interview. As Mark Hemingway points out,

Former FBI agents and federal prosecutors tell RealClearInvestigations that the documents show suspiciously irregular handling and editing of Flynn’s FD-302 form, the official document used to record what happens in FBI interviews . . . In one text, dated February 10, Strzok tells Page he is heavily editing Pientka’s 302 form to the point he’s “trying not to completely re-write” it. Other messages reveal that Page, who did not attend the interview, reviewed the 302 form and made editing suggestions. On February 14, Page texts Strzok, “Is Andy good with the 302?”—presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The next day, February 15, the Flynn 302 was officially submitted and filed with the FBI. FBI supervisors like Strzok, however, are not supposed to rewrite other agents’ 302 forms. Nor are 302 forms supposed to be edited by FBI personnel who were not present at the interview, and both of these things happened in the Flynn case.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, retired FBI agent Thomas J. Baker recently added this point: “Worse still, the FD-302 that was eventually provided to the court wasn’t that of the agents’ interview of Mr. Flynn. It was instead a FD-302 of an interview of Mr. Strzok, conducted months later, about his recollections of the original interview. Truly bizarre.”

There were so many edits that the FBI lost track of who recorded which version.

The edits were sufficiently substantial that the government ultimately admitted that it could not prove Flynn even made the “relevant false statements.”

It’s not fair to criminalize somebody for mis-remembering facts.

According to the 302, Flynn told the FBI that, “prior to the Presidential inauguration, Flynn spoke to representatives in each of approximately thirty countries’ governments . . . . Flynn did not know if Putin and Trump will get along, but it is Flynn’s job to figure out paths to work with Russia to fight terrorism.”

The agent asked Flynn, “if he recalled any conversation with Kislyak in which . . . Flynn might have encouraged Kislyak not to escalate the situation.” Flynn responded, “not really. I don’t remember.”

In response to another question about whether he recalled a detail from his call with Kislyak, Flynn responded, “Not really. I don’t remember.”

In another response, Flynn reportedly told agents, “It’s possible that he talked with Kislyak on the issue, but if he did, he did not remember doing it . . . Flynn remembered making four to five calls that day about this issue.”

The government ultimately admitted,

[T]he statements in question were not by their nature easily falsifiable. In his interview, Mr. Flynn offered either equivocal (“I don’t know”) or indirect responses, or claimed to not remember the matter in question. See United States v. Ring [citition omitted] (holding that “faulty memory” is not enough to establish “willful” lie absent proof the defendant indeed remembered the matter in question). Combining the vague substance of the answers, the FBI’s own preliminary estimation of Mr. Flynn’s truthfulness, the inconsistent FBI records as to the actual questions and statements made, and Director Comey’s own sentiment that the case was a “close one,” [citation omitted] the evidentiary problems that have emerged create reasonable doubt as to whether Mr. Flynn knowingly and willingly lied to investigators during the interview.

The list is actually much longer than what I’ve highlighted above. But these themes drive home the point: the FBI abused its awesome power in order to railroad Flynn. Of greater concern, however, is the Left’s energetic defense of the patently unfair technique of using an ambush interview to turn a political target into a criminal defendant.

The Flynn prosecution should already be over. The Department of Justice tried to dismiss the Flynn prosecution for these and other reasons.

But it isn’t over because an op-ed author for the Washington Post published a piece that convinced the judge to keep the case alive. The presiding judge, Emmet Sullivan, entered an order blocking the dismissal until he decides whether to grant the motion to dismiss and, separately, whether to hold Flynn in contempt for pleading guilty to a crime he didn’t commit.

Flynn’s attorney on Tuesday filed an emergency petition with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Thursday, the appeals court unanimously ordered Sullivan to respond by June 1 to Flynn’s emergency petition.

The debate has really moved past Flynn to one about the character of federal law enforcement. In the “lawfare”/get-Trump era, the law is a weapon to be used against political opponents. If you really hate somebody but can’t find a crime with which to charge him, this technique allows you to bury your opponent in a multi-year felony prosecution.

We wouldn’t want our children attending kindergartens that practiced similar techniques. Nor should we tolerate these dirty tactics in a constitutional republic. But the proponents of the Flynn persecution don’t care. They aren’t fighting for justice. They’re fighting to keep their weapon.

Elections

Don’t Laugh at Stacey Abrams

A day may yet come when Americans will all live under the Pax Abramsiana. Her politics are the future.

All great people have a sense that they are destined for great things. Stacey Abrams predicts that she will be president of the United States by 2040.

Come what may of her White House aspirations this year, Abrams speaks like someone who believes she is bound for immortality—indeed, that she’s entitled to it. Her infatuated fans share this sense of historically assured victory.

The Washington Post recently published a work of widely lampooned hagiography on Abrams, depicting her as a polymath—a Prometheus of diversity handing down the fire of progress to man. It reads like the kind of flattery that despots used to make court scribes put together under threat of execution.

“Abrams is the author of eight romance novels under a pseudonym, started two small businesses, is a New York Times best-selling author under her own name and is a superfan of ‘Star Trek’ and southern hip-hop, including one of her favorite rappers, Ludacris,” records court historian Kevin Powell. “She is scholarly, but she can also wax poetic on football. She is a policy wonk, but she can effortlessly pivot to sending goofy memes to the children of good buddies.”

Can you sense it? Can you feel the ground shifting beneath you? Are you prepared for the Pax Abramsiana?

To Abrams and her sycophants, her loss to Brian Kemp in 2018 was just a hiccup on the cosmic road of justice that is wending, inexorably, toward 1,000 years of social justice utopia.

You laugh? The entitlement to power that Abrams radiates is comical to many people, but it hardly seems unjustified. One of the most powerful newspapers in the nation is publishing degrading fan fiction about her. Why should she not feel that history is on her side?

The Triumph of Diversity

What the Left finds appealing in Abrams is what she represents, not who she is. She is the devotee and beneficiary of America’s new creed, the religion of diversity.

Diversity turns on its head much common sense about what makes for a just and strong society.

No sensible nation would put a weak person, knowingly, in charge of government. Leaders need virtues like strength, courage, daring, and wisdom. But the triumph of diversity has replaced these virtues with their opposites. It is weakness, not strength, differences, not commonalities, that we celebrate. Rather than having to demonstrate a character fit to govern, a person is thought to be deserving of power if, and only if, they have a claim to victimhood.

The professional Left sees Abrams as the herald of a new America, one in which the weakest rule and ancient debts have finally been paid. In this historical sweep, an unimpressive person can take on grandiose proportions. It’s how you end up with passages like this in the pages of a once semi-respectable newspaper: 

Pandemonium ensues as she walks to the far left of the stage, like a runway supermodel, stops on a dime, poses, tilts her head slightly and smiles. Camera flashes explode. She next pivots and walks slowly to the center of the stage, freezes there and repeats the pose. Again, the flashes explode. Abrams is summoning her inner actress, and she is both enjoying the moment and getting through it to get to the conversation. She then pivots and walks to the far right of the stage, same.

There is no reason to allege insincerity here. Diversity is the lodestar of the professional Left: to them, Abrams is the mythic embodiment of the promise of Progress.

There is a whiff of the soft bigotry of low expectations at play here, too. The Post is mindful of the fact that Abrams likes reading, and also, music:

“When I was in 10th grade I was having a conversation with a friend, and I said, ‘I hate country music.’ And she said, ‘Why?’ And I didn’t have an answer. So I made myself listen to every radio station on the radio for two weeks each. But then when I engaged people . . . I could use that complexity of my musical likes to talk,” Abrams recalls.

Wouldn’t you like to have a vice president who listens to different genres of music?

As the worshipful tone of the piece suggests, Abrams is not some outsider to power: she’s a darling of the professional Left, and if there’s anything the professional Left loves more than identity, it’s phony credentials and the pseudo-insight that comes with being a card-carrying member of their class. In a case like this one, those (rather meager) credentials provide something with which to browbeat the unimpressed.

While conservatives reject the rise of Abrams as the absurd product of affirmative action on a national scale, the Left calls anyone who doesn’t find her impressive a racist. But let’s have some honesty here: it is the Left, not the Right, that is fixated on Abrams’ identity. It is the primary, no, the only reason for her prominence. For the Left, Abrams’ Yale degree is an afterthought. Racial chauvinism comes first. It is the strained denial of this fact that gives life to the strange, make-pretend feeling of her celebrity.

Really, credentials should be beside the point: a president or vice president doesn’t need a fancy degree, and having one doesn’t guarantee he or she will possess the qualities necessary to lead. But if we’re going to go by credentials, then a Yale education certainly failed to endow Abrams with any special virtue or insight as she delights in spewing Buttigiegian gobbledygook.

“Part of any job is being capable of learning all of the facets but coming with enough knowledge and curiosity and enough capacity to adapt quickly either to the challenges you face or the realities you confront,” she told the Post.

There’s nothing unusual about mediocrity in politicians—in fact, it’s almost a prerequisite. There are plenty of hacks in public office with Ivy League degrees. Abrams would be perfectly at home with them as a state lawmaker.

But ambition is a stubborn thing. We hear so often that “diversity is our strength” that only the foolhardy dare to contradict the mantra. And for ambitious people like Abrams, it’s not just a collective strength but a very personal one as well. She knows the game. So does Joe Biden, apparently.

Biden’s campaign surely understands that Abrams has secured a place within the pantheon of America’s elite religion, and that this religion—ideology, fandom, whatever you’d like to call it—commands an enthusiastic and ruthless following.

That Abrams lost to Kemp because of supposed voter suppression is not incidental, but essential, to her appeal. It bolsters her victim creds while laying the foundation of a heroic myth: the “racist” Kemp may have managed to throw up a levee against demographic fate, but victory will eventually come.

Demographic Revolution

Abrams and her allies understand her as being on the cusp of a demographic revolution that will change America forever. It’s not a secret.

Lauren Groh-Wargo, an ally of Abrams’ and executive of her group Fair Fight Action, told the Washington Post that Abrams shows “it is possible, and the best option, for Democrats to really aggressively be building this multiracial, multiethnic coalition,” adding as an afterthought that “reaching out to white voters” can help, but “we should be leading with [diversity] rather than leading with this idea that we have to start with the ‘swing voter’ concept. We lead with diverse communities of color and really let that drive strategy.”

Why waste time trying to persuade white people? Persuasion is out; demographic coercion is in.

Georgia, which Abrams narrowly lost using a conscious ‘diversity’ strategy, is on the way to becoming a majority-minority state, and Abrams has embraced demographic change as the key to victory for Democrats.

Recently a video resurfaced of a 2014 conference called “Race Will Win the Race” (that’s a real name) for the group PowerPac+, which advocates building a nonwhite majority to secure political power. It shows Abrams baldly laying out a strategy of demographic replacement.

Abrams this month complained that not giving illegal immigrants representation results in a “whiter, and therefore more Republican” voting base.

Last year, Abrams applauded Georgia’s “rapidly” shifting demographics, even tweeting out a chart that straight-forwardly presents the decline of the white population as a positive trend.

If these patterns hold, eventually it may not matter whether an ambitious person has the ability to govern a nation as large and complex as America. He or she could simply rise to power through the power of crude arithmetic. America would finish a decades-long breakdown from a republic where “fit characters” lead to a Balkanized democracy where representatives are no more than racial deputies.

A day may yet come when Americans will all live under Pax Abramsiana. Laugh at her if you wish, but don’t forget to study the phenomenon.

Elections

It Won’t Matter What Obama Knew (or When He Knew It)

If damning evidence does come to light, do you really think the former president will be held accountable?

The release of the latest documents related to the origins of the Michael Flynn case adds to the mounting evidence that the whole Russian collusion hoax was not a “national security” investigation, but instead an attempt at a soft coup.

What transpired at a January 5, 2017 White House meeting attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other key administration figures has become a critical question for understanding exactly how the Justice Department and other intelligence agencies manufactured a justification for the investigation of the Trump campaign.

Many observers are rightly curious as to the extent of Obama and Biden’s personal involvement in these matters. In anticipation of the release of the findings in John Durham’s investigation, Trump has taken to Twitter, summing up the interrelated knot of scandals and malfeasance as #OBAMAGATE.

Whatever misgivings conservatives may have about Barack Obama and his presidency, they shouldn’t be hopeful that a sitting president participated in a conspiracy that would make Nixon blush.

A generous reading of the #OBAMAGATE tweets of the president and his supporters would see it as a manifestation of their desire that the rule of law be honored. They want the architects of this plot—whomever they may be and however high up the chain of command they go—to be held accountable. That is a laudable desire, and one that is conspicuously absent among the president’s enemies, including President Obama, who apparently sees nothing wrong with the way the Russian collusion story was manufactured or how the Mueller investigation was concocted to limit the efficacy of the Trump Administration in its first few years.

But observers who do want accountability for anyone involved (especially Obama, if it turns out he was involved) are in for a big disappointment. Even if we uncovered irrefutable evidence that Obama personally hatched the conspiracy to undermine either the Trump campaign or his presidency, Obama will not be held to account. From the perspective of justice, what Obama knew and when he knew it is totally irrelevant because nothing will be done about it.

Symbolism Over Substance

The reason nothing will be done is that the elites of our society have decided how Obama must be understood. His presidency has unique importance due to his status as the first nonwhite person to attain the office. Symbolically, then, Obama is supposed to represent the decency of the American people and the moral progress that we have made since the abolition of Jim Crow.

As such, the people who construct our public history (academics, writers, journalists, commentators, politicians, and celebrities) have decided that since Obama is supposed to represent something very good about the nation, Obama himself must be a very good man and a very good president. And no amount of Obama-led malfeasance, real or imagined, can be allowed to undermine the historical role that Obama is supposed to play.

Never mind the fact that Obama presided over an anemic economy that his policies demonstrably worsened.

Never mind that the Affordable Care Act made healthcare less affordable for most Americans.

Never mind that he made use of American military firepower in more countries than any other modern president.

Never mind that for the bulk of his presidency his approval numbers hovered around (and sometimes below) the rates of approval for Trump (numbers which, in Trump’s case, are constantly cited as proof of his “deep unpopularity”).

Never mind any of it. Obama needs to be a wonderful, successful, intelligent, paragon of virtue who is one of America’s best-loved leaders. And reality won’t be allowed to get in the way of that cause.

This phenomenon evidences a disturbing trend on the Left, one that has distinctly totalitarian overtones. Traditionally, the aim of historical work is to understand the truth of what happened in the past, so that the lessons gleaned might improve our lot in the present and the future. Certainly, the narratives that any people build around historical events tend to be crafted in a way that reflects positively on their nation, culture, and citizens.

Farewell to Truth

Elites in America aren’t writing history by telling the truth slanted in this way. Rather, they have dispensed with the truth-seeking function of historical inquiry in general. From the perspective of the left-leaning opinion-makers of our country, historical truth is actually thought to inhibit the proper function of history itself which, as they understand it, is purely ideological.

The truth of the past (even the very recent past, still vivid in living memory) doesn’t matter. What does matter is the ideological work that the institutional Left needs any given historical person or event to perform. Contrary to the elites of past societies, who always wrote their histories as a way to glorify their nations, the American institutional Left doesn’t give a damn about cheerleading the virtues of American society.

This is evident in the New York Times “1619 project.” The truth that America’s founding in 1776 grew out of Enlightenment principles that would play a decisive role in ending slavery simply doesn’t matter. The truth that the American Declaration of Independence has been an inspiration in the establishment of virtually every modern nation that is committed to individual liberty simply doesn’t matter. Our elites need an irredeemable America—they need a humiliated America, an evil America.

Convincing the public to take on this view of our nation is essential for completing the fundamental transformation that so many people on the Left want to see for the United States. And so, we will simply lift up the peg that said “1776” and move it back to “1619,” relocating the “founding” of the nation in the first arrival of imported African slaves. To serve its proper ideological function, America’s Founding must be morally bankrupt. And that function trumps the truth.

Untangling the Left’s View of History

But there is a seeming paradox: why, when it comes to Obama’s legacy, his historical-ideological function seems to be to glorify the decency of the nation and its people, whereas when it comes to the Founding, its historical-ideological function seems to be to portray the nation in the darkest possible light? What gives?

This can be explained by reflecting upon how the Left perceives these two historical events (the founding and the presidency of Obama). The Founding, on the Left, is usually viewed as a kind of necessary embarrassment. It had to happen for there to be a nation. But the thought of a bunch of rich, old, white men defying properly established government authority is pretty unpalatable, so the less said about that, the better.

But the fact that many conservatives don’t view the Founding with that embarrassment (and actually posit the Founding as something for Americans to be proud of), proves to the Left that what the Founding was really about was privilege, nativist nationalism, and bigotry. This justifies the newly ideological function they imposed on the American Founding.

In contrast, Obama (as a nonwhite Democrat) safely can be used as a historical-ideological means to glorify the nation. But only because his person represents a departure from the supposedly “traditional” American norms of privilege, nativist nationalism, bigotry, and provincialism. As a cosmopolitan leftist who looks like the new America, Obama can be allowed to serve as the prototype that will redeem America from a founding in 1619 that looked to be irredeemable. And Obama and his successors can’t save us from that ugly legacy if good American kids don’t realize just how ugly it was.

And so, history itself is rewritten not as a pursuit of truth, but as a tool of ideological efficacy. Of course, rewriting our history is rewriting our future—and that’s the objective of the Left. For all these reasons, the people hyping #OBAMAGATE should temper their enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter what the truth was. The ideological function Obama needs to play in our collective imagination is far more important than that.

The whole scheme suggests an inversion of a passage from the New Testament. Matthew records the words of Jesus: “It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”

They didn’t hold James Comey accountable. They didn’t hold John Brennan accountable. They didn’t hold Andrew McCabe accountable. They didn’t hold James Clapper accountable. If damning evidence does come to light, do you really think they will hold Obama accountable? Neither do I.

Elections

When You’re Joe Biden, They Let You Do It

And there’s nothing conservatives can do about it.

The sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden aren’t stopping his campaign.

No Democrat or liberal pundit is calling for Biden to step down. In fact, the entire Democratic Party fully believes Biden’s side of the story. Many pundits are putting away their disgust to cheer on their candidate. Most journalists have decided to stop asking questions about it. Liberal celebrities who have claimed deeply to care about #MeToo are staying silent or standing up for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

It’s obvious that Joe is going to get away with this, and there’s nothing conservatives can do about it. The Left’s cultural power trumps anything the Right throws at Biden. While other Democrats have resigned in disgrace over much less, Biden is too important to discard. The Democrats have no one with whom to replace him and they want to avoid as much turmoil as possible. So they’re stuck with Joe.

Some conservatives thought the new revelations about Tara Reade would end Biden’s campaign. The allegations are fairly credible; certainly more credible than the scurrilous accusations made against Brett Kavanaugh. Reade alleges that Biden sexually fondled her when she worked as a Senate aide in 1993. She told this to friends in the mid-’90s and her ex-husband said senators harassed her in divorce papers from 1996. Her mother also reportedly called CNN’s “Larry King Live” in 1993 to complain on the air about her daughter’s treatment on Capitol Hill.

By comparison, Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s chief accuser, could only present her own shaky recollection of what happened. Her supposed corroborating witnesses disputed her story. Ford’s story was fully believed by all Democrats, liberal columnists, and celebrities. They all felt empowered to call Kavanaugh a rapist on the basis of Ford’s accusations.

As a result, Kavanaugh had his reputation forever ruined. Some Democrats even want to impeach the Supreme Court justice based solely on Ford’s story.

All Joe Biden had to suffer was one uncomfortable “Morning Joe” interview.

Biden is even backed by many feminists. Feminist author Linda Hirshman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled: “I Believe Tara Reade. I’m Voting for Joe Biden Anyway.”

Hirshman finds Reade’s accusations credible, yet she still thinks they don’t disqualify Biden from the highest office in the world. She tells her fellow feminists to “suck it up” and think of all the good Biden will do. She writes:

Mr. Biden, and the Democrats he may carry with him into government, are likely to do more good for women and the nation than his competition, the worst president in the history of the Republic. Compared with the good Mr. Biden can do, the cost of dismissing Tara Reade—and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors—is worth it. And don’t call me an amoral realist. Utilitarianism is not a moral abdication; it is a moral stance.

High-power feminist attorney Lisa Bloom tweeted the same argument to Reade. “I believe you, Tara Reade,” she tweeted. “You have people who remember you told them about this decades ago. We know he is ‘handsy.’ You’re not asking for $. You’ve obviously struggled mightily with this. I still have to fight Trump, so I will still support Joe. But I believe you. And I’m sorry.”

Bloom claimed in a subsequent tweet that Trump is a worse sexual predator, so Biden’s offense is less egregious in comparison.

Democratic leaders choose to believe Biden’s story that he’s completely innocent and that this is a settled question.

“I am proud to support Joe Biden for president,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC host Ari Melber earlier this month. “I believe him when he said it didn’t happen, but I also believe him when he said let them look into the records, and that’s what they should do.”

She concluded: “I’m not gonna answer this question again.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Biden’s denial is “sufficient” and insisted he’s a “great candidate.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is reportedly a top contender to be Biden’s running mate, claimed that the “vast majority” of sexual assault allegations are true, but Tara Reade’s isn’t—because Biden says so!

Biden’s denial, which Democratic leaders find so compelling, is simply him saying, “I didn’t do it.” That’s basically it. Kavanaugh provided his whole summer schedule from high school and multiple witnesses to clear his name. Democrats found none of that sufficient.

It’s not just politicians who are defining hypocrisy. Nearly 100 celebrities who attacked Kavanaugh have said nothing about Reade’s allegations. Wonder why…

Hirshman provided the most honest justification for Democratic obstinance: they have no alternative. Bernie Sanders, Biden’s last primary opponent, dropped out before the mainstream media noticed the Reade allegations. That turned out to be an unwise decision, but it’s unlikely Sanders would’ve weaponized the accusations against his opponent. He was too weak and civil to shiv any of his opponents, which is one of the reasons why he lost.

Besides, the establishment would probably be even more inclined to defend Biden if the only alternative was Bernie. Biden could admit to the sexual assault and Democratic leaders would probably still support him over Sanders.

The other reason Democrats are sticking with Biden is that they can trust the media not to cover the story aggressively. They know journalists hate Trump and want him gone. Democratic elites know that reporters can be persuaded or bullied into not asking too many questions. Pelosi felt emboldened to tell Ari Melber what he can and can’t ask. Melber, like a good MSNBC host, didn’t bother to ask her any follow up questions about the allegations.

Democrats also know that most activists will stay silent and leave Biden alone. Feminists don’t want to appear on the same side as Trump, so they likely will follow Hirshman’s advice and suck it up. They’ll reassure themselves that a President Biden will be great for women and they’ll keep quiet. Unlike with Kavanaugh, celebrities won’t protest alongside them and praise them. It’s not hip to care about Tara Reade.

This is a testament to the incredible cultural power of the Left. It can pick and choose which #MeToo scandals matter and which don’t. The Right doesn’t have that kind of power. Conservative media has done a remarkable job of reporting on the Reade allegations, but the Left can just ignore them without consequence. It’s the way of the world.

Just as Kavanaugh did, Biden deserves the presumption of innocence. Even with all the evidence, we still don’t know what Reade alleges is true and it’s not up to a court of journalists to decide. The lessons from the Kavanaugh ordeal should apply here as well.

It is clear that the standard set by the Kavanaugh hearings only applies to the Right. Biden is too valuable to the Left for them to throw him away.

One must conclude that when you’re the Democratic nominee, they let you do it.

Elections

No Joy in Democratsville

From “the squad” and the women of “The View” to all of the scolds on MSNBC and CNN—they make Bellevue seem sane.

It must be happy and fun waking up as a Democrat every day. I used to separate Democrats from the Left, but nowadays it’s clear that essentially they are one and the same. George Orwell predicted it, William Golding brought us the cast, and Frank Darabont has so eloquently written the storyline. I can’t think of a better analogy of what has happened to the Democratic Party, because the disease has spread so quickly and almost all have been bitten.

What happened to the Democrats’ moral compass when it comes to sexual assault (and much else besides)? Most of us believe in due process. We believe that anyone accused of a crime, anyone whose good name has been slandered in public, deserves his day in court—and in the court of public opinion. Obviously, the Democrats no longer share the sentiment.

Do I think or know if Joe Biden sexually assaulted a woman more than 25 years ago? Not a clue. But going by the Democrats’ evidentiary standard, which even Judge Wapner wouldn’t have allowed in his court, if you compared the claims against Biden versus the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, then by the Democrats’ own zombie logic, Biden would be branded a serial rapist.

If the worst that could be said of Biden is that he is a creep who fostered a hostile work environment, at least we have extensive photographic evidence supporting the claim. Unlike Kavanaugh, we have photo after photo of Creepy Joe sniffing hair and touching women in weirdly intimate and inappropriate ways. Biden’s escapades didn’t just make the women feel uncomfortable—anyone with common decency and eyes to see felt the same.

Is Joe Biden a sexual harasser? Not a clue. Is he a fetish freak? One hundred percent. Again, there is actual evidence of this. This isn’t hearsay, or speculation over something that happened more than 40 years ago, as in the Kavanaugh case. My favorite line from the commentary around the Kavanaugh hearings was “her truth”—as in, Christine Blasey Ford was telling “her truth” about what Kavanaugh supposedly did to her at a high school drinking party in the early ’80s, regardless of the facts. But with Biden, there is contemporaneous, documentary evidence.

Would you let Joe Biden stand behind your wife or daughter knowing they had washed their hair that morning?

Zero Moral Compass

Michigan’s nitwit governor, Gretchen Whitmer, reportedly is in talks to become Biden’s running mate. Her qualifications include exercising a heavy autocratic hand over Michigan residents, calling protesters racist, and taking the “nuanced” view that not all claims of sexual assault are created equal.

Did I miss the latest #MeToo briefing? What happened to “believe all women”? Yes, it’s maddening to look at a group of people who cannot see their own irony—and never will. It’s frightening, too. When leftists protest, they are “freedom fighters” and dissent is “the highest form of patriotism.” When anyone else protests—especially “deplorable” Trump voters—their dissent is code for racism or nascent fascism. Black-masked Antifa rioters aren’t terrorists. Citizens who are tired and fearful of being denied their rights somehow are.

Yes, the Democrats believe you can have your cake and eat it, too. And, why not? The media and social establishment, on all levels, are gatekeepers for this imbecilic logic. How do you debate or argue with a group that, in what seems like ages ago, demanded that all women be believed? A group that shames, “cancels,” and banishes all who dare dissent and question? A group that revels in those who can post more hateful memes, and wish openly and loudly that bad things will happen to those who don’t support their views?

I was going to pay for Louis C.K.’s comedy special. One of the more prominent figures to be waylaid by the #MeToo movement—what he did was disgusting, but not criminal—the gross-out comedian has been trying to mount a comeback. But after hearing that he donated to the Biden campaign, I changed my mind. It’s not that I cannot find somebody I disagree with funny. It’s that I won’t support a comedian who says, on the one hand, that he is fighting political correctness while, on the other, he gives his money and his vote to the very candidate who would abolish his freedom of speech and sideline him forever. It’s idiotic.

There is no joy in Democratsville. From “the squad” and the women of “The View” to all of the scolds on MSNBC and CNN—they make Bellevue seem sane. They claim to be “woke,” but none of them have really woken up to the world around them. There is no joy in hate and no happiness in sadness.

Sweet, dreams! Let us know when you have awoken.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: U.S. President Trump arrives for a meeting with GOP Senators in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trailing behind President Trump are senior advisor Jared Kushner and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Elections

The New Team Trump:
The Best People at the Worst Time

We may have to wait until after the election to see what the president’s new dream team of staffers and communications experts can do for this administration.

For the past few months the issue at the forefront of everybody’s mind has been the coronavirus, and for good reason. But drowned out by the boisterous ripple effects of COVID were many important stories that would have been considered newsworthy in a more traditional environment. Some stories that would have gotten more coverage during a different time include President Obama’s endorsement of Joe Biden, an update on the trial of the Pittsburgh massacre shooter, and the Pentagon’s formal recognition that UFOs exist.

Also among the recent stories not getting their due attention is the recent shakeup within President Donald Trump’s inner circle. In theory, movement within the administration shouldn’t be too surprising as this particular administration has been subject to frequent turnover. (Absent, of course, the tremendous consistency with which Kellyanne Conway and the Kushner family have been able to stay relevant in the administration.) 

But in this instance, the shakeup was worthy of discussion. The reason, quite simply, is that the new staff is the most effective unit the president has had since his inauguration, particularly in the realm of communications.

Chief of Staff Reconfiguration

Let’s start from the top. With former Representative Mark Meadows as his new chief of staff, the president has picked not only a loyalist but also a veteran from the Hill, with the requisite relationships and skills necessary to perpetuate the president’s agenda. 

In contrast, take a look at those who previously held this position since Trump took office. First was Reince Priebus who presided over chaos. Priebus’ struggles weren’t all that surprising given his lack of actual government experience. Priebus made a career of rubbing elbows with powerful Republicans but never had an inside look at a government office until landing this job. Luckily for Republicans, having a GOP-controlled Senate allowed the administration to accomplish some of its landmark goals, nonetheless.

Looking to restore order to White House, the president replaced Priebus with General John Kelly, who certainly had the ability to be effective but, because he disagreed with the president on a number of critically important issues, was not. 

Meadows’ direct predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, got off to a hot start because he had what the others lacked. With a proven track record of supporting the Trump agenda and familiarity with the legislature after having served in Congress, Mulvaney looked promising. On paper, his résumé actually looked similar to that of Meadows’. But eventually, Mulvaney fizzled in the eyes of the president, particularly because of his poor performance during the impeachment inquiry

Barring an impeachment-level mistake, then, Meadows should be poised to succeed. He, too, is “widely respected by his former colleagues in Congress,” but he also appears to have the acumen and necessary attributes his predecessors’ failures demonstrated one needs to succeed in the position. 

Worth noting is that with Meadows came his trusted and universally respected aide, Ben Williamson. The reception by media and politicos upon learning of his promotion is a testament to just how effective Williamson has been on the D.C. scene. He is clearly a valuable new asset to team Trump.

Also in the chief of staff’s office was the promotion of Dan Scavino to deputy chief of staff. Scavino has been with the administration since its inception as its “social media wizard.” He has spearheaded and developed the Trump communications shop. Giving him a bigger role in the administration should be an effective way to keep the president’s messaging at the forefront of everything it does.

Communications Makeover

At the podium, the Meadows-era brought in Kayleigh McEnany as Press Secretary. McEnany is supremely well-educated—having attended Harvard, Georgetown, and Oxford. It’s true that “unlike most of her predecessors as White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany didn’t come to the job with a background as a reporter or a career press secretary,” but the fact that “she has never had a role in government” may just be what makes her a strong asset and an effective communicator for this administration. Indeed, the president is known for his love of taking his message directly to the American people through social media. McEnany has come out of the gate effectively and consistently using her government social media account to disseminate eye-grabbing tweets in support of the president to her large following. Kayleigh was trending on Twitter last week after giving her first White House press briefing. The spectacle was praised by her predecessors, politicians, and members of the media.

We can contrast this to Sean Spicer who was literally “mocked” out of the role. Or Stephanie Grisham who was so quiet in the job that it feels as though she hardly did it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who presided over the briefing room during the more stable portions of the Mulvaney era, was also uniquely suited to serve this administration due to her willingness to tackle the media head-on. A trademark of the administration. McEnany can learn a lot from what Sanders did and how she did it. 

Acute observers are left to daydream of what he could have done with the current and more ideal cast of characters, had they been on his team since the beginning.

In filling the roles of chief of staff and press secretary, the president seems to have been slowly fine-tuning and improving his selections for these jobs, until finally culminating in this star-studded group. Not only are they stars in terms of their qualifications, but they are stars because they are the glove that fits the hand of this administration and its specific needs. Just one day after this new team was instituted, even CNN was forced to comment on the efficacy with which the president was now communicating his message.

Another addition made was Alyssa Farrah. Farrah has been in the administration since its earliest days having been the press secretary for Vice President Pence and the Pentagon. Her bona fides have been on display for keen observers to see for quite some time, and it leaves one wondering why it took so long for her to be given a communications role in the Office of the President. She, too, has held a long list of posts in politics and media and has been given an instrumental job that prior to her arrival seemingly was held by—well—nobody, actually. Maybe this was the role Anthony Scaramucci held for eleven days, but it’s impossible to know for sure.

Not only did this revamping of the communications department bring in a group of new faces, but it also brought back some familiar ones. Hope Hicks, who previously served as the president’s director of communications, has been brought back to the White House in an effort to improve public perception of the president; a necessity for the administration as America tumultuously rides toward an election. Hicks has long been lauded within the Trump circuit, and since “she’s not known to have any strong political views or pet projects,” she is singularly focused on helping the president communicate with the American people. An obviously crucial aspect toward his ultimate goal of being “the most transparent president in history.”

With the administration’s anchor, Kellyanne Conway (who also frequents the airwaves,) still in hand, this is clearly the strongest unit the President has had around him in the communications department. 

The Changing Dynamics of a Campaign in Lockdown

But while these seem to be the best people, sadly it seems as though they have been assembled at the worst time. With the Corona crisis sweeping through a beleaguered nation, it is hard to see how this unit will be able to go on offense with the president’s message. On the contrary, they will have to be on defense, constantly explaining how the president did not exacerbate the effects of the pandemic. Going on offense isn’t possible in this situation because they can’t advertise anything related to the COVID issue as a win. It is associated with hardship in the eyes of Americans and it is likely to remain so. 

Think of it this way: imagine the president, at one of his infamous campaign rallies, giving a speech where he said: “I cut taxes, I skewered regulations, and only X number of people died during the corona pandemic.” It wouldn’t work rhetorically, even if the president did mitigate the number of deaths. It’s an inherently losing issue.

At first glance, it would seem that the president would have been better served by keeping these superstars outside the administration so that they—McEnany in particular—could continue to be hard at work for his campaign. 

But like the rest of the world, the campaign world has come to a screeching halt, and has been reduced to media-buys and teleconferences. Maybe Trump’s logic is that these talents would be wasted on the campaign at this moment. Perhaps Trump brought them to the White House now, not because this is when they could be the most effective in government, but precisely because the situation has made it so they cannot be effective anywhere else. 

It’s also possible that Trump is abiding by the old sports adage that defense wins championships. I suppose it’s possible that it was with this athletic metaphor in mind that the president brought in the A-team now, when he needs people to guard the basket, not score in it. 

Still, one can’t help but feel that this core unit could have accomplished a great deal during a time that wasn’t completely dominated by a global health emergency. President Trump is running on “Promises Made Promises Kept” precisely because whether you like his policies or not he has delivered on many of his original campaign promises. He was able to do so despite the often distracting personnel in his administration. Acute observers are left to daydream of what he could have done with the current and more ideal cast of characters, had they been on his team since the beginning.

The coronavirus-news cycle likely will take us to Election Day and so if this new team ever does get the chance to go on offense, it will only be if the president wins another term. In November, America gets to decide whether or not they want to find out what this group is capable of doing during better days.