EU • Europe • Political Parties • Post

Reflections on the Revolution in London

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Perhaps my political palette has sophisticated of late. Like that of the helpless addict, more and stronger product is needed to attain that first cotton-wrapped high.

After the election of Boris Johnson as prime minister of Great Britain this week, it seems nobody, except a few tiresome Londoners, has noticed.

Absent is the exquisite progressive meltdown that greeted President Trump’s ascent to the Oval Office. Boris, for all the lazy often soporific comparisons to Trump, hasn’t inspired such an entertaining tantrum.

Indeed, there was just a glimmer. Greenpeace activists, exercising their remarkably generous working hours, tried to block Boris’s motorcade en route to his new home at 10 Downing Street. That was before a police officer skittled three of them from the road.

Of course, the professional fabulists of news media had their customary whinge. Protestors wailed something about “white supremacy.” But such missionary whining is small-beer to a quenchless wino.

Perhaps American resisters are made of sterner stuff. They’ve been exercising a Pripyat-level meltdown since Trump took office. You, dear reader, are swimming in a political junkie’s dreamscape. The supply of vivifying grief ceaseless.

Although, my tolerance for political narcotics might succumb to a giddy overdose in fewer than 100 days. I might just catch that dragon I’m busily chasing.

Because on October 31, “no ifs, no buts,” according to our new prime minister, we leave the European Union. Which, unless you’ve enjoyed a three-year coma, is all this country thinks, cares, or talks about.

That date, one hopes, will induce a speedball of progressive meltdown, one that tingles dreamily through each ventricle. That might sound unhinged. Because it is.

Brexit was not just a vote, but a steel toe-cap into the bollocks of those whom, by and large, ruined almost everything.

Tony Blair, the erstwhile Labour prime minister who whittles his days away demanding we press rewind back to 2015, is the grand architect of Brexit. He may not want to raise the child, but he’s on the hook for the bill.

But Blair isn’t prime minister now. Boris Johnson is. And Prime Minister Johnson (how refreshing to type) set quickly to fumigate government of Remainer holdouts who’ve wasted the last three years lashing us against our will to the sinking European Union.

His Cabinet, remarkably described as “alt-right” by one of our more intellectually hilarious lawmakers, hosts a Muslim chancellor. It is the most “diverse” ever. As a friend of greater melanin-density than me decreed while rolling his eyes: white people.

These cosmetic indulgences are all well and good. But the work starts here.

After all, Boris nurses a majority of just three. After Theresa May’s impressively awful premiership, in which she squandered a majority and sanctified the man-child Jeremy Corbyn as a viable prime minister, the Conservative Party shuffles around shoeless like a chemically coshed psychiatric patient.

And within the ranks lies a significant cabal of Remainer Conservatives—the deep state—ready to kamikaze efforts to leave the EU.

What should have induced a Reactor 4-level meltdown is the appointment of Dominic Cummings. Cummings masterminded Vote Leave—the campaign to leave the European Union.

At once brilliant and belligerent, Cummings’ inclusion is a warning shot to the EU. We are ready to leave without a deal.

A notion, it was revealed, never once threatened by Theresa May, despite her rhetoric.

Of course, to leave without a deal is the desire of few. But to threaten such is our leverage.

Theresa May, effectively, walked on to the forecourt and said: “I have $100,000. I must, legally, leave with a car, today.” The car dealer, as is human nature, offered a 2003 Toyota Prius with three good wheels, for the full sum.

But, like Trump, Boris won’t enjoy a honeymoon. He’ll have to call an election sooner or later.

Given the Tories’ hemorrhaging of votes to the Brexit Party, any election before Brexit would be folly. Current polls show a four-way dance, with the likely winner changing daily.

Which Boris surely knows. But that all changes after October 31. If we leave, of course. To box off Brexit would dissolve the Brexit Party and rewild Boris Johnson’s party with their 20 percent share of the vote.

Meanwhile, the once-serious Labour Party, helmed by an anti-Semitic resentment-monger with an IQ similar to that of a walnut, seems determined to destroy itself. A recent poll placed Labour dead last.

An election post-Brexit, I’d hazard, would see Boris return to Number 10 with a majority unheard of in my lifetime. And, along the way, it would neuter the social-justice rabble which calls itself “progressive.”

But what excites most is Boris’s championship of conservative means, witnessed in intellectual brutality, here.

Because Boris is right. And the Left, including America’s “squad” and our Corbynistas, are wrong. And always will be. Socialism doesn’t work. It never has. Never will.

Perhaps it is too early to say: conservatives who are willing to fight are conservatives who win. Finally, like Trump, we have a leader eager to brawl with the loud-but-lame Left.

Boris’ first appearance at the despatch box was just a taste. “We are the party of the people,” he said, in a line which perhaps heralded a new national conservatism, “They are the party of the few.”

He’s not wrong.

Photo Credit: Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Political Parties • Post • Republicans

Focus on the White House, Not the House, in 2020

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Although we have many reasons to be optimistic about the 2020 election, there is one particular battle in which we would be wise instead to accept defeat upfront—even if said defeat is still a year-and-a-half away.

We are right to continue focusing on the fight to hold—and perhaps even increase—the Republican majority in the Senate and to keep President Trump in the White House for another four years. But as nice as it would be to take the majority again in the House, we must be prepared to acknowledge that this will not happen.

Notwithstanding President Trump’s genius plan to pigeonhole the entire Democratic Party as racist, socialist, and un-American—courtesy of the four vile congresswomen known as “the squad”—the fact remains that the U.S. House of Representatives is most likely too far gone, for multiple reasons.

The “Best-Case” Scenario
As the president continues to use the four radical congresswomen to frame the whole party as shifting too far to the left for most Americans, our focus has to be on the so-called moderate Democrats who were key in the party’s retaking of the lower chamber in the 2018 midterms. Some of them have even complained (anonymously) of the threat that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) presents to their re-election chances next year.

And it’s true. While the Democrats did benefit greatly from flipping 18 districts previously held by Republicans yet voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats never would have taken the majority without an additional 23 seats that also voted for Trump.

Those 23 districts, for reference, are as follows (with 2016 percentages included):

  • Georgia 6th: 48-47
  • Illinois 14th: 49-45
  • Iowa 1st: 49-45
  • Iowa 3rd: 48-45
  • Maine 2nd: 51-41
  • Michigan 8th: 51-44
  • Michigan 11th: 50-45
  • Minnesota 2nd: 46-45
  • Nevada 3rd: 48-47
  • New Hampshire 1st: 48-47
  • New Jersey 3rd: 51-45
  • New Jersey 11th: 54-44
  • New Mexico 2nd: 50-40
  • New York 11th: 54-44
  • New York 19th: 51-44
  • New York 22nd: 55-39
  • North Carolina 9th: 54-42
  • Oklahoma 5th: 53-40
  • Pennsylvania 17th: 54-43 (prior to the forced redrawing of the state’s congressional map in 2018)
  • South Carolina 1st: 54-40
  • Utah 4th: 39-32
  • Virginia 2nd: 48-45
  • Virginia 7th: 50-44

This is the primary reason why far more Democratic-held seats are ranked as “tossups” for 2020 than Republican-held seats; the majority party is always on defense, and this cycle is no different. As it stands now, there are far more Democrats in Trump districts (31) than there are Republicans in Clinton districts (just three). Out of those 31, eight are decidedly safer than the remaining 23, as they were elected either during or before the 2016 election. Unlike the Republicans who survived 2016 in districts that were carried by Clinton but went on to lose in 2018, the Democrats in Trump districts proved to be much more resilient. Barring some retirements, this likely will not change in 2020.

While it does make sense for the GOP to target these 23 seats, it’s safe to say that at least a handful more seats out of the 199 that they currently hold may very well be in danger of flipping blue in 2020, such as Georgia’s 7th congressional district (incumbent Rod Woodall is retiring), Texas’s 23rd (incumbent Will Hurd only barely won re-election last time, with 49 percent of the vote), and Michigan’s 3rd (where incumbent Justin Amash abandoned the Republican Party to become an independent, setting up for a three-way race next year).

But let’s just assume, for a moment, the hypothetical “best-case” scenario: Republicans manage to hold every single seat they currently have and flip all 23 seats in question.

The result would be a majority of 222. That’s just four seats above the minimum threshold of 218.

No Meaningful Majority
If there’s one thing that has been proven about the modern Republican Party, it’s that they never have a majority, even when they do have a majority.

Just look back at the track record of the 115th Congress, with both houses under Republican control. They failed multiple times to pass Obamacare repeal, could never agree on a solution to the immigration crisis, and only barely passed tax cuts by the skin of their teeth.

Most of these failures rested not on the House, where the Republicans had a 23-seat majority, but in the Senate, where the Republicans initially held only a two-seat majority, then reduced to a one-seat majority after the Alabama special election. It was in that chamber where Obamacare repeal died, and where Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by one of the narrowest margins in history.

Now the Republican Senate enjoys a healthier majority of 53 seats out of 100, especially with the departures of such traitorous “Republicans” as Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and John McCain. But imagine, if you will, a post-2020 scenario where the Republicans hold a majority in the House that’s every bit as razor-thin as their Senate majority was during the 115th Congress.

The horror. The horror.

A four-seat majority in the House would truly be more of a plurality than a real majority, especially when you consider the much larger proportion of anti-Trump Republicans.

As it stands now, there are at least 20 Republicans who have proven to be completely unreliable in regards to many key items of the president’s agenda. This is evident by the tallies of Republicans who have, either intermittently or repeatedly, voted against the president’s national emergency declaration, voted against funding the border wall, voted for several Democrat-backed proposals of amnesty for illegal aliens, voted against the tax cut bill, or most recently, voted to condemn the president as “racist.”

Taking these various votes into account, the top 20 most egregious offenders are:

  • Dan Bacon (Nebraska 2nd)
  • Susan Brooks (Indiana 5th)
  • Ken Buck (Colorado 4th)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida 25th)
  • Will Hurd (Texas 23rd)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania 1st)
  • Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin 8th)
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington 3rd)
  • Dusty Johnson (South Dakota)
  • John Katko (New York 24th)
  • Pete King (New York 2nd)
  • Thomas Massie (Kentucky 4th)
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington 5th)
  • Dan Newhouse (Washington 4th)
  • Francis Rooney (Florida 19th)
  • Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin 5th)
  • Chris Smith (New Jersey 4th)
  • Elise Stefanik (New York 21st)
  • Fred Upton (Michigan 6th)
  • Greg Walden (Oregon 2nd)

All it would take, after a hypothetical best-case scenario in the 2020 elections, is just four out of any of these 20 going turncoat and denying the new, much smaller Republican majority any substantive victories. Seems like a slim reed of hope to invest much effort in grasping.

Just as the 2018 elections ended up being about rooting out as many anti-Trump Republicans as possible, so, too, may 2020 serve the same purpose. The only way to alleviate any fear of such McCain-style backstabbing in the lower chamber is if primary challengers topple as many of the anti-Trumpers as possible so that no would-be Brutus remains within the 117th Congress.

If the Republicans, by some miracle, manage to retake the House, then all the more power to them. But if they don’t (the more likely outcome), then 2020 could still prove an ideological victory if not an electoral one, in the strengthening and unifying of the minority party, so that it may be better prepared for the day when it does finally reclaim the majority.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

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Administrative State • Big Media • Deep State • Donald Trump • Political Parties • Post • The Media

The ‘Marlene Effect’: Why Our Reasonable Neighbors Are Blind to the Deep State

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In an essay that I published recently at The American Mind, I argue that we need a conservative revolution to reclaim our constitutional republic. Exposing the deep state is a necessary condition for this revolution. By deep state, I mean a species of corruption exercised by a largely hidden elite almost completely insulated from the oversight of the sovereign people. This elite act in direct violation of the principles of limited and balanced government as well as democratic participation.

While the evidence for this corruption is overwhelming, the soft power of both the deep state and the institutions supporting it is so great that public opinion remains largely immune to evidence, even as those Americans who are “woke” to it, strive to resist. It is here where the most insidious consequences of the deep state begin to come into view.

How do people with reasonable and moderate political views and who possess the typical American generosity of soul refuse to believe something so obvious to so many others? I’ll call this the Marlene effect, after one concrete example of my acquaintance. Marlene has a general faith in the American government and in the public discourse about politics and issues found in legacy media outlets. 

So far as she is concerned, the news she gets every day is fair if not entirely unbiased. Her exposure to Donald Trump through the media, long before the election, sparked in her an aesthetic disgust with him.  He is not (or is not portrayed) as the sort of man she could admire. Because she shared this revulsion with those in her social circle, her views became hardened and, to her, altogether obvious. Every story amplifies her feelings. 

When Donald Trump was elected, this patriot of some 80 years could only be baffled by the results. By logical necessity, she had to assume that her proper disgust at the misogynist president ought to be extended to a great many citizens who have now become alien to her—the “other” who she thinks threatens the values that she associates with the America of her experience and the America of her dreams. 

Marlene has become, unexpectedly and suddenly, aware of a hidden America, a dangerous America, and now she is able to see in all manner of symbols (words, cars, hats, and so many more that suddenly fit her new social and moral map of America) the deplorables who are all around her: driving down the road, standing next to her in the grocery store, or fixing her plumbing. 

Fortunately, the most powerful institutions in America offered Marlene hope. Her most trusted news sources promised Marlene that this stain on America’s reputation, this global embarrassment of a president, would be brought down. The most respected people in her world—the FBI, Justice Department, and perhaps seasoned, wise public servants at other federal agencies—were taking their constitutional and moral duties seriously to remove the president for cause. Marlene sought information daily on the gossip and developments of the Mueller investigation and other efforts, but she did so through the news sources that she trusted. Insofar as she heard about any alternatives to these sources or was subjected to alternative interpretations, she was regularly reassured that they were conspiracy theorists and cranks who are not to be trusted—they were part of the problem, the philistines to be vanquished. 

When disconcerting evidence emerged and the facts lined up against the narrative that she had internalized, her trusted sources supplied her with odd and strained explanations and asserted a bit more loudly that whatever you think you see is not actually there. Only the narrative is true—trust the narrative, not the facts. The guardians of public opinion promise to make the crooked line of evidence straight for you. Marlene is reminded of the self-evident truth beneath the evidence: Trump is bad, the Democrats in Congress and their allies in the trusted government agencies are trying to protect American principles, and the media is there to supply you with a comforting and useful narrative. 

The deepest problem is that Marlene is not capable of challenging this narrative. To do so would be to risk both social alienation and her own sense of place in the world. 

The Marlene effect is particularly strong among educated (especially professional) people over age 50 who have long thought of themselves as moderate, practical, and deeply informed. They care about cultural, social, and aesthetic trends and plug into the most socially acceptable forms of information that keep them connected to the cosmopolitan trends appropriate to their actual or aspirational station. The more geographically distant from the center of cultural and social power, the more powerful the Marlene effect on those needing reliable sources to provide them with the right opinions, tastes, and styles.

The distance between Marlene and the evidence, coupled with the need to have the correct opinion on matters she is incapable of assessing directly, puts her completely at the mercy of the sources of authoritative information and assessment that she has chosen. More than perhaps any other segment of the population, those afflicted by the Marlene effect are most controlled by a public opinion generated by elite institutions rather than by their own experiences (indeed, as we noted before, their experiences are shaped by the opinions with which they are supplied). Like all provincials who aspire to be known for their cosmopolitanism, Marlene cannot question the authority of her sources without exposing her complete dependence on the work of others for her most cherished opinions and values. 

The Marlene effect makes people immune to evidence and dependent on a constructed narrative. The Marlene effect reveals that the most important battle is about who gets to define reality for the citizens of a self-ruling nation.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

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Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Israel • Political Parties • Post • Republicans • The Left

Are Jews Ready to Pass Over the Democrats?

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Yeah, OK, bad pun. But a bit of shtick to open this column seemed appropriate.

The allegiance of so many Jews to the Democrats is a matter of long established faith. There I go again, start over…

As far as modern records show a plurality of Jews have not voted Republican since 1920 and that year it was only because a socialist split the Jewish vote. There have been times over the last century when they have hedged their bets as in Reagan 1980 with 39 percent, Ike in 1956 with 40 percent, and Hughes in 1916 with 45 percent. The GOP has never cracked the 50 percent mark with Jews. Is there anything that could affect that ongoing loyalty in the future?

Truth in advertising: I grew up Jewish, although I converted to Roman Catholicism in my mid-30s. I am still proud of my Jewish heritage, however, and I still retain many of the intellectual and cultural habits I picked up in several years of Hebrew School before my Bar Mitzvah and in the decades that followed before I converted.

That being said . . .

Yes, possibly. Three things could nudge Jews away from the Democrats.

First, the Trump Administration’s strong pro-Israel policy. That’s good for several polling points and several more points of covert support. Second, as Trump is so clearly pro-Israel, the Democrats go institutionally anti-Israel and possibly even anti-Semitic.

And third, demographics. The growing numbers of intermarriages of Jews outside of the faith and Jews who are religiously indifferent also mixes up the political cocktail. This makes many of the next generation possibly not as tied to Jewish political habits and tradition. Against that is the simultaneous rise in numbers of Orthodox Jews who are usually more politically conservative than their Reform and Conservative brethren.

Donald Trump’s presidency has been philosemitic and solidly pro-Israel. Not even Reagan or Bush the Younger, both pro-Israel presidents, can match his record. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem, strong ties with Netanyahu and Likud, and an overt hostility to the Palestinian Authority and regional foes of the Jewish state ranks him as the friendliest U.S. president in Israeli history. Inside the Trump White House the story is no different.

Daughter Ivanka and her husband are Orthodox Jews. Both are close advisors to Trump. Jews fill cabinet slots and other vital posts. You would think that on these facts alone, and the Israeli relationship, Jews would be flocking over to the GOP and Trump in droves. Yet they are not. Oh, he’s gaining points, to be sure, but nowhere near a majority, as prior conditioning takes precedence.

“Since the Jewish people came to Ellis Island, the party they have identified with most often is the Democrats,” says Alexandra Levine, national treasurer for #Jexit, a group trying to lead Jews out of Democrat bondage and into the GOP promised land. “The problem is the party has changed from the party of Truman and JFK. That party is possibly gone forever.”

The lady has a point. Which brings us to the Democrats.

One does not have to be a Talmudic scholar to understand the consequences of the words of influential Democrats such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Their casual anti-Semitism is not only tolerated but also encouraged by modern Democrats. This was heralded several decades earlier by the conversion of the entire global Left to a virulent strain of anti-Semitism as evidenced by their rabid policies and bigoted statements over Israel. One look at the British Labour Party’s very recent controversy on this question shines a light on that contention.

Though some Democrat bigfoots have remained publicly pro-Israel (Elizabeth Warren is an exception) neither do they slap down loons like Omar and Tlaib when their anti-Semitism emerges. Jews are rightly concerned about this, as sensible modern Jewish thinking has it that there are only two places left in the world Jews can feel safe: the United States and Israel. If the leftist wingnut crowd in the Democratic Party gains power, by sheer seniority and aging if nothing else, then that very short list of nations is reduced by one.

An ironic fact of the matter, however, is that there are leaders of the anti-Israel U.S. and global Left who have been and are ethnic Jews, prompting all sorts of tinfoil helmet theories regarding the so-called “Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy,” Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the lean brisket at Herschel’s in Philly.

I mean, it’s really lean.

I digress.

In the United States the J Street crowd of Vichy Jews showcases an appeasement attitude towards evil and the enemies of Israel not limited to Jews. In their case it goes past mere cowardice and, if one truly regards them as concerned about Israel, it borders on suicidal. You’d think history has shown Jews that acquiescence to threats and violence against them only leads to mass murder. J Street disregards such common sense and remind me of the Jews who entered the showers of Treblinka clutching their World War I Iron Crosses.

A question arises here. When does legitimate criticism of Israel in a purely political sense (which is possible as the Israeli state, as any other state, is far from perfect) cross into anti-Semitism and an irrational hatred of Jews? I would contend there is a line, perhaps thinish, between the two. I’m not saying that every utterance not in keeping with the Likud party line is written by Goebbels. What I am saying is that if one accepts that Israel is a Jewish state comprised mainly of Jews and is the incarnation of millennia of Jewish hopes and aspirations then an overheated animosity towards it may bespeak something other than a simple political bone to pick.

This is certainly true of the Left, which sees Israel as something akin to a Western colonial outpost in a sea of blameless Arab victims of Israeli brutality. The historical record means nothing to them. To use Israel as a hammer to beat the West is their strategic motivation.

Will these factors draw Jews away from the Democrats? Yes, to a point. The following factors may do much more in a relative sense, as they highlight the definition of who is a Jew, who remains a Jew, and who is not a Jew.

According to #Jexit’s Levine, only 41 percent of U.S. Jews, in a 2012 Gallup poll say religion is important to them in their daily life (I think the numbers have increased since then); 34 percent attend religious services monthly; 22 percent say they have no religion. Only 38 percent say their Jewish identity has anything to do with Judaism.

That last one is nonsensical.

This group of stats is a double-edged sword. Those who fall away from the faith by various means, most of them emanating from the cultural Left, will likely decrease the number of liberal Jews, as they will no longer be counted, strictly speaking, as Jews. Combine that with the burgeoning birth rates, tactical political conservatism, and cultural hard conservatism of Orthodox Jews (and low birth rates among secular Jews who still cling to Jewish identity) and the Orthodox share of the Jewish vote could increase exponentially in the years to come.

Trump, by my guess, will take over 30 percent of the Jewish vote in 2020. That would be up from 24 percent in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. If this trend continues (and there is no foreseeable demographic barrier to it), then with the Orthodox relatively soon making up a majority of the Jewish electorate, Jewish majorities for the GOP could be a reality in two to three decades.

That is, if we define Judaism by religious practice and not ethnic heritage.

That road, bringing secular Jews into the political land of milk and honey, will be a much longer journey.

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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Big Media • Conservatives • Donald Trump • Free Speech • Identity Politics • Political Parties • Post • The Left

Of Tweets and Hysterics

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Last weekend’s demented political theatrics have me enraged. I am livid this time not because leftists are calling for open borders or disarming law-abiding citizens. No, as has often happened over the past four years, I am furious more because of statements made by people who claim to be on my side. 

Sunday morning President Trump tweeted. He basically reworded the legendary 1960s-era bumper sticker: “America, Love it or Leave it.” Then a whole lot of people who claim to love America lost their teeny tiny minds. 

I am not speaking of The Bulwark “conservatives”—the people “conserving conservatism” by endorsing socialists. No, this hysteria enveloped even normally sane commentators and politicians. Conservatives who claim to support President Trump joined The Bulwark gang on their fainting couches and borrowed their pearls for clutching. “Well, I never!”

 All this drama was inspired because of statements that strike us normal Republicans not succumbing to the poisonous odors Beltway emanating from the atmosphere—you know, those of us out here in voter land—as simple, common sense. Not only was there nothing wrong with President Trump’s tweets, they were a brilliant tactical attack.

With a series of tweets that named no names, President Trump forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to own her radical wing. In very few words on a Sunday morning, Trump made an anti-Semite the face of the Democratic Party. Pelosi had two choices. She could stand up for the outright anti-American, anti-Semitic, spiteful squad, or she would be seen as agreeing with the dreaded Donald J. Trump. 

President Trump sprang a trap on Pelosi and was rewarded by the weaklings on his own side wailing like babies with wet diapers.

It astounds me that suddenly Nancy Pelosi is being portrayed as the moderate, and voice of reason in the Democratic party. Pelosi rose to power representing the radical San Francisco Left, hence the nickname “San Fran Nan.” Her election to House Minority Leader was seen as the Democrats moving as far left as possible. Once in power, she made it her life’s work to rid the party of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats. She sacrificed the party’s moderates to ram Obamacare through Congress. Yes for a time that cost her the Speaker’s gavel. But Pelosi plays the long game and plays it well.

Just last year, Democrats running for Congress ran ads insisting they would be nothing like Pelosi. The American people for no earthly reason bought their pretense of moderation. Once the Democrats had their majority back, that pretense went out the window 

Then, completely out of the blue, Pelosi found herself in conflict with freshmen members of Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her testy trio moved the Overton Window so far to the left that “San Fran Nan” is now supposedly a moderate. This, too, is only more of Pelosi’s long game. 

In reality, Pelosi has done nothing as the party’s radical base has grown ever more vocal. Ocasio-Cortez’s cry of racism suddenly makes Pelosi, who is as conniving as any Borgia, look like a poor old lady being called names by a mean girl Millennial. It’s been a brilliant plan. Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar make the rest of the Democrats look evenhanded. Meanwhile, the rest of the Democrats pay no price for their own party’s growing anti-Americanism.

President Trump saw through the Democrat’s kabuki theater. The president brilliantly figured out a way to tie Ocasio-Cortez and Omar to Pelosi’s tail. No more standing above the fray and pretending to be in control as the Democrats controlled us. Pelosi would have to condemn President Trump and therefore embrace the commie quad. President Trump has turned on the kitchen light and the America-hating cockroaches are scurrying. But so are those with weak stomachs who are supposed to be on America’s side.

No, the president was not wrong to tell Omar (without mentioning her by name) to go back to where she came from. He is only wrong for not deporting her for her violations of immigration law. Neither is it wrong to tell Rashida Tilab and Ocasio-Cortez to return to their parent’s points of origin if the United States is so very much to their disliking. No, the president is most certainly not wrong to tell people to love this country or get out. 

This is where a lot of conventional conservative commentators lose the thread. People often say that President Trump is playing 3D chess while everyone else is playing checkers. It is far more vicious than that. For decades, the Democrats have been playing the “Hunger Games”—no rules, no mercy. They have hit below the belt and gouged out eyes. Democrats have done whatever it takes to win. Meanwhile, Republicans and the conservative movement have kindly and gently requested if maybe just this one time perhaps the Democrats could obey the law. 

So now we are $22 trillion in debt, and states are bankrupting florists and bakers because they won’t involuntarily offer their moral support to notions they can’t in good conscience abide. That’s where the party of Emily Post has gotten us.

Here, at last, we have a president who is willing to fight the Democrats at their own game, eye gouge to eye gouge, face kick to face kick. It’s not pretty. But it is far better than letting the ignorant Ocasio-Cortez turn Pelosi Borgia into the voice of moderation.

And to all the alleged conservatives still hysterical about President Trump’s successful strategy: if you won’t fight for this country, at least get the hell out of the way of the man who does. 

Photo credit: TKTKT

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Economy • Elections • Political Parties • Post • Republicans

Party, Personality, a Big Name, and a Primary in Western Michigan

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Peter Meijer’s decision to run for Congress in Western Michigan was a surprise to no one who knows the 31-year-old Grand Rapids native.

He is the great-grandson of Hendrik Meijer, who opened a tiny thrift store attached to his barbershop during the Great Depression, which has since grown into a chain of groceries, department stores, and gas stations across the Midwest. But Peter has always had his own idea of where his life is headed.

Instead of choosing a safe path within the family business, Meijer (rhymes with “dryer”) pursued and earned an appointment to West Point, only to leave after his first year and enlist in the Army Reserves.

“I like to say that going there was the best decision I ever made and leaving was the hardest,” he said of his resolution. “I loved the Army. I loved the military. But I really wanted to have the experience of being enlisted. But feeling like everything that I have I’m truly earning it . . . that nothing is given to me because of my rank or because of any other factors but that at every step of the way, I could look back and know that what I am is because of what I’ve done and only that.”

Meijer said he was in Iraq in 2010 and 2011 with his Army Reserve unit and then went to Afghanistan with an NGO two years later.

Since then, Meijer has been involved in a series of veteran advocacy groups including Team Rubicon and has jumped on an advisory board of a political action committee called With Honor that focuses on electing veterans.

Meijer knows well the incumbent, Justin Amash, and has supported him in the past. Amash’s behavior convinced him to run. Specifically, Meijer says he felt compelled to run once Amash turned his focus to complaining about Donald Trump and took his focus off serving the district.

“One of the things that people in West Michigan really prize is just the sense of working together,” he said. “This is not a fussy, dramatic part of the world. The community leaders spend a lot of time really supporting the community.”

Grandstanding about feelings doesn’t fit in.

He said: “I feel obligated to continue to find a way to contribute to my country. I’m not so arrogant as to think that running for Congress is a valiant exercise in self-sacrifice, but I feel like I’ve had some very formative and strong experiences, and that having more of those experiences in Congress is going to help.”

Meijer is one of five candidates running for the GOP nomination that is now open after Amash announced he would run as an independent. Three Democrats have also declared including Nick Colvin, a former Obama staffer.

Amash, who has also teased the idea of a run against Trump for president, faces a series of challenges in his own state. For years, Michigan has had straight-ticket voting: Press one button and you vote for every Republican or every Democrat or every Libertarian or whatever you want.

In 2018, Michigan didn’t have straight-ticket voting; the Republican legislature and former Republican governor had taken it off. Ballot Proposal 3, which passed overwhelmingly in the state in 2018, put straight-ticket voting back into the state constitution.

In short, the voters themselves chose to empower a two-party system. That makes winning as an independent very hard.

Meijer said bluntly: “I haven’t lost faith in the Republican Party. I think we can be the party of the future. We can represent and offer better solutions to the problems facing the United States that are founded on conservative principles of limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty.”

He added: “I think in the political process today we spend way too much time on the right dismissing problems or mocking Democrats when they offer a solution instead of offering solutions of our own. And that’s something that I really think we need to do if we’re going to especially appeal to younger generations.”

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America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Immigration • Political Parties • Post • Republicans

Who Is for Middle America?

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The late Edward Abbey, an irascible and irreverent American environmentalist, took aim at the immigration ideologues in terms still relevant for our time: “The conservatives love their cheap labor; the liberals love their cheap cause.” In other words, if the Republican Party and the Democratic Party can silently agree on one thing, it is that immigration is good, and more is often better. But the latest report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform reveals just how costly inviting the world can be.

The FAIR report reveals that “our economy is hemorrhaging much-needed cash each year as a result of money sent to other countries”—that is, remittances—“primarily by foreign-born workers in the United States,” to the tune of $150 billion. “The $150 billion a year sent out of the country each year is money that does not circulate through our own economy, support local businesses, create new jobs, or generate revenues for local, state, and federal governments.”

But that massive figure, combined with the $50.1 billion in taxpayer dollars doled out as foreign aid by the U.S. government, is just the tip of the Third World iceberg. The line between charity and masochism has been long since crossed.

In my hometown of San Diego, California, untold thousands of illegal aliens live in public housing. San Diego is home to the nation’s largest population of homeless veterans; and, while homelessness in general continues to grow, the Golden State spends $23 billion in tax dollars on services consumed by illegal aliens annually. Meanwhile, across the country, hundreds of thousands of American citizens are forced to wait months or years for a room. The loss of tax revenue in remittances could be used to pay for the public services consumed by aliens in the United States, the total cost of which FAIR estimates to be $116 billion. Oklahoma taxes remittances at 1 percent—the only state to do so—generating a revenue of $13 million. But this is chump change compared to what foreign countries are taking to the bank on the backs of Americans.

Remittances account for between 11 and 20 percent of the GDP of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—the countries sending caravans of their own to the United States. Indeed, radio advertisements in Central America encourage locals to flee to the United States illegally. Long before then, the Mexican government published pamphlets with instructions for locals on how to enter the U.S. illegally and live here without being detected.

For banana republics whose chief export is cheap labor, remittances mean never having to say you’re sorry for their dysfunctional political, social, and economic systems. “Rather than remaining at home and invigorating local economies,” FAIR notes, “these citizens put their expertise and labor to use in other countries, like the United States.” But unsavory types, too, benefit from this scheme.

Human smugglers transporting people from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras also do well for themselves, raking in between $200 million to $2.3 billion in 2017. The only people not cashing in, of course, are the American people.

Abbey’s shot at “liberals and conservatives,” of course, was not aimed at everyday Middle Americans, but at the ideologues of political parties, for whom immigration is merely a means to an end. The “American Dream” cannot come to immigrants at the expense of existing Americans and their dreams; immigration should benefit the American people first and foremost. And yet clearly not everyone agrees.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson took up the issue in his typically salient way in a recent monologue. “The overwhelming majority of Republicans want a secure border and less immigration. That’s why they voted for Donald Trump,” he said. “Two and a half years later, the border is more porous than ever. A tide of humanity is flooding in illegally. Republicans in Congress have done almost nothing to help. Why?”

The obvious culprit here might be the Democratic Party that has, to be sure, undermined every attempt to secure the border and enforce immigration laws. After all, Democrats have just introduced of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, that, if enacted, will cut border security funding, reduce detention capacity, and eliminate the procedure of detaining “family” units. Carlson, however, sets his sights on big capitalism and its Republican Party enablers who, in reality, have reached a consensus with the Democratic Party when it comes to immigration.

It was big business that provided the driving force behind Senate Bill 1747, nicknamed the “Green Light Bill,” that will require the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to issue drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. Polls repeatedly have shown that many in the Empire State oppose issuing licenses to illegal aliens, and now some clerks in upstate New York are refusing to do it, even though Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed SB 1747 into law. The Business Council, a corporate special interest group, was among the bill’s most powerful supporters.

On the other side of the aisle and on the national level, about 140 Republicans co-sponsored H.R. 1044, the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019.” H.R. 1044 is a green card giveaway for roughly 300,000 Indian contract workers; who will, of course, take those jobs from middle-class Americans. Though the bill is Democratic Party legislation and backed by Silicon Valley—not exactly a region known for smiling on Middle America—congressional Republicans don’t seem too bothered about lining up to put their names on it.

Carlson specifically called out Charles and David Koch, the GOP’s wealthiest powerbrokers. Amnesty, Carlson notes, is a top legislative priority for the Kochs, and a policy that they consistently pressure Republicans in Congress to enact—against the will of the majority of Republican voters. “America first? The Kochs find the very notion absurd, if not fascist,” says Carlson of the libertarian duo. But if congressional Republicans and Democrats have achieved a pro-immigration consensus, who, then, is for Middle America?

The economic hemorrhaging incurred by remittances, the immense cost of foreign aid, the burden of services consumed by non-citizens, and green card giveaways that hurt American workers, all these things help us put a number on the otherwise unquantifiable damage that is being done to our communities, towns, cities, and country by immigration. But these staggering figures are ultimately symptoms of a political environment in which regular Americans have lost control of their own country—this is the real cost of immigration. There is no better visual cue of this fact than the tearing down of the American flag by militants at an ICE detention facility, and the hoisting of the Mexican flag on American soil.

The reality is, as long as we place ourselves beneath the yoke of “cheap labor” and the “cheap cause” of ideologues, the immigration status quo will continue to hollow out what little already remains of our way of life.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

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America • Democrats • Elections • Political Parties • Post • Progressivism • The Left • the Presidency

A Democratic Debate Report Card

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Unfamiliar faces dotted the stage or screen. That most of these candidates are still unrecognizable to the average voter is a testament to the absolute mess that is the 2020 Democratic primary.

Rather than focus on the highlights of each debate, or summarize the biggest moments, let’s take a look at the unremarkable spectacle each candidate managed to make of him or herself during this latest round of reality TV posing as a presidential debate.

Night One:

John Delaney: Delaney is easily one of only two genuinely sensible candidates in the entire primary field (at least out of the 20 who made it to the debate stage). He spoke out against universal healthcare, criticized the elitist mindset of the Democratic establishment, gave reasonable answers on foreign policy (naming China and nuclear proliferation the top two geopolitical threats facing America), and even boldly declared that average Americans do not care about impeaching President Trump (fact-check: true). But who is Delaney and will America ever find out much more about him? No. The former congressman from Maryland is far too rational to make a splash in Democratic politics.

Bill de Blasio: When the New York mayor drew the first blood of the night by going after Beto O’Rourke on healthcare, it appeared as though he would manage to be more active than the other candidates. It soon became clear, however, that his entire strategy was blindly to lob grenades and interrupt as often as possible. It was a strategy that most viewers and probably even the moderators saw right through. The defining moment of the night for de Blasio was the time he was cut off by a commercial break. It was like a mercy killing.

Jay Inslee: The governor of Washington state has staked his entire campaign on global warming. Unfortunately, that issue has been thoroughly appropriated away from him by just about everyone else. His candidacy now seems superfluous and vain. Aside from his quip that President Trump is the “biggest national security threat,’ he had no memorable moments.

Tim Ryan: The self-described Midwestern blue-collar moderate congressman from Ohio dropped the medicine ball on his own mantle. His first few statements were wasted in virtue-signaling to the far-Left, talking about Trump being a racist, and pretending that he was imparting new information by telling us the working class includes immigrants. Only after de Blasio (of all people!) stole his line about the party needing to avoid being the party of “coastal elites” did Ryan suddenly flip a switch and begin talking more like a moderate. But by that point, it was too late. His fate was sealed when Tulsi Gabbard destroyed him on foreign policy, especially when he confused the Taliban with al-Qaeda.

Tulsi Gabbard: Other than the congresswoman from Hawaii’s  strong insistence on anti-interventionism and her occasional appeals to patriotism that always referenced her military service post-9/11, there wasn’t much else to her performance—certainly not enough to endear her to the far-Left. At the same time, her support for universal healthcare and the Green New Deal prove that she’s really not the “moderate” she claims to be and leaves her undistinguished in the crowded field.

Julian Castro: Although the former mayor and Obama Administration cabinet member produced perhaps the most absurd line of the entire two-night ordealcalling for “transgender reproductive justice”he nonetheless had a strong performance whenever immigration came up, especially when he clashed with Beto. He shamelessly appealed to his own identity as the only Latino candidate in the race (sorry, Robert Francis), and it’s possible that he could see his star rise . . . but not by much. He’s actually running for another cabinet post.

Amy Klobuchar: There was hardly anything memorable from the senior senator from Minnesota, except for her one-liner in response to Inslee’s random declaration of his love for abortion, which boiled down essentially to, “Well, I’m a woman, so there.” Standards are low at Democratic presidential debates, however, so the audience met this line with thunderous applause.

Cory Booker: Like Castro, Senator “Spartacus” had a number of loud and energetic moments. He was all too eager to bring up his own background as a black man (in case anyone missed that), and even tried to one-up Castro in the trans-appreciation and oppression Olympics by calling for recognition of the plight of “African-American trans-Americans.” Other than his atrocious Spanish, the one other notable moment was when he was the only candidate on his stage to say he would not re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, which (to be fair) was a decent answer.

Beto O’Rourke: The losing candidate for Texas senator got pummeled by Castro and de Blasio, and even got a rough shaking from the moderators, with some of their questions criticizing his lack of policy specifics. His attempts at Hispandering were just as cringeworthy as Booker’s, and nothing else is memorable from his time on-stage.

Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts senator both won and didn’t win. Although debate organizers tried their best to hand her victory on a silver platterfrom giving her the first opening and the last closing statements (as well as positioning her at the center-stage podium) to tossing her softball questionsWarren started off strong, but then disappeared about 30 to 45 minutes in as the debate seemed overly conscientious about treating every candidate equally. But because no one else emerged as a clear winner, it was still a net positive for Warren. Because she nears the top of most polls, all she had to do is show up and not fall down. She did exactly that. She lives to fight another day.

Night Two:

Eric Swalwell: One would think that a candidate with a campaign as single-issue as his would be more forgettable (see: Inslee). But he managed to stand out just enough for being one of only two candidates on-stage to attack both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, declaring that the former needed to “pass the torch” to a younger generation, and the latter wasn’t tough enough on guns. In these cases, as well as other moments when he attacked fellow candidates, like Buttigieg over the recent police shooting in South Bend, he came across as more sincere in his attacks than in anything else. He may even have surpassed the human bullhorn, de Blasio.

Michael Bennet: Easily the most forgettable candidate on the stage, and that’s saying something, the Colorado senator, like Swalwell, stood out for attacking both Biden and Bernie. The former got it for extending the Bush tax cuts, and Bernie for falsely saying that a Canadian-style healthcare system could work in America despite the massive gap in population sizes between the two countries. But his attacks weren’t delivered with as much passion or sincerity as Swalwell’s. Even his comments comparing the immigration crisis to the Holocaust were rather cliché given the current climate…and that, too, is really saying something.

Marianne Williamson: As one of the two outsiders, the writer and “activist” had a huge opportunity to set herself apart and generate some interest. She got attention, but not at all the kind she needed. From her repeated “excuse mes!” to her downright nonsensical answers ranging from a phone call to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, to a hippy-dippy pledge to “harness love for political purposes,” most people were probably left with a similar sentiment about her: Why was she on that stage?

John Hickenlooper: The former Colorado governor is the other somewhat sane candidate emerging from this clown car of a presidential field. Along with Delaney , he was unapologetic in attacking socialist ideas such as universal healthcare and the Green New Deal. He will have all the same problems outlined above for Delaney but he got even less attention during the debate.

Kirsten Gillibrand: The senator from New York was to the second night what de Blasio was to the firstonly even more obnoxious. Her constant attempts to interrupt others were made even worse by her shrill voice and the fact that at least de Blasio occasionally had something new or interesting to say. Gillibrand comes across like that one substitute teacher who expects the class to take her seriously for absolutely no reason other than that she expects it. She offered nothing more than warmed over female identity politics of the most basic variety and peppered it with progressive talking points, also of common origin. You’ve heard it all before and heard it said better. 

Andrew Yang: The Silicon Valley baron is like a meme. He’s been around a little too long among the groups that might find him appealing. And soYang has long since lost his appeal. He spoke even less than his fellow outsider Williamson, and when he did, his points were mostly empty answers with only the vaguest hints at ways his more “moderate” rhetoric might appeal to Democrats who became Trump voters. The fact that his only actual mention of the “Freedom Dividend” in his closing statement elicited laughter from the audience says it all. He’s no more than comic relief at this point.

Kamala Harris: Like Castro on the first night, Senator Harris had a series of strong moments marked most often by loud answers and appeals to pathos, going for applause rather than specifics. But she absolutely dominated the second night by going after Biden with the toughest attack of them all: she went straight to his past support for segregationist senators. This drew the longest moment of applause for either nights. With this, Harris also did the best job by far of framing the crucial question of “old Democrats versus new Democrats.” Although both Swalwell and Buttigieg hinted at the theme, Harris was able to draw the starkest contrast on this topic by pointing out Biden’s past work with segregationists, and her own alleged experience as a student who was a victim of segregation. She will definitely rise in the polls after this.

Pete Buttigieg: For all the previous weeks of media hype, the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana faded to a near non-entity by the time the debate finally took place. He didn’t even get much of a chance to talk about how gay he is, and he only hinted at his military service. Perhaps his biggest moment was a question from the moderators about the recent police shooting in South Bend, which subsequently drew simultaneous fire from both Hickenlooper and Swalwell. His reaction left him appearing confused and helpless as he was finally attacked.

Bernie Sanders: The Senator from Vermont was one of the biggest losers in the entire debate, as he utterly personified his newfound nickname of “Bern-out.” Just like in 2016, Bernie proved how oddly unwilling he is to attack fellow candidates, even if doing so would work to his benefit. Instead, he found himself being attacked more than attacking, and facing jabs from all sides; Hickenlooper called him too radical, while Swalwell argued he was too soft on guns. Like Inslee, Bernie also suffers from his once-unique platform being ripped off by just about every other candidate on the stage, thus rendering him obsolete.

Joe Biden: Like Warren, he started off as strong as he was expected to do. But unlike Warren, the former vice president’s fellow candidates were unafraid to go after him. After a few early shots from Swalwell and Bennet, Harris went straight for the jugular and proved that the Democrats’ anointed frontrunner does, in fact, bleed. He relied just a little too much on hearkening back to the “nostalgia” of the Obama years, which proved even more hollow when he couldn’t adequately respond to any of his attackers beyond more basic talking points.

In Summary . . . 

The Winners: Harris, Warren, Castro, Booker

Could’ve Been Worse: Swalwell, de Blasio, Gabbard

Neither Here nor There: Gillibrand, Delaney, Hickenlooper

Could’ve Been Better: Yang, Williamson, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Inslee, Bennet

The Losers: Ryan, Beto, Bernie, Biden

Overall Rankings (based on these debates alone):

  1. Harris
  2. Warren
  3. Castro
  4. Booker
  5. Swalwell
  6. De Blasio
  7. Gabbard
  8. Gillibrand
  9. Delaney
  10. Hickenlooper
  11. Yang
  12. Williamson
  13. Buttigieg
  14. Klobuchar
  15. Inslee
  16. Bennet
  17. Ryan
  18. Beto
  19. Bernie
  20. Biden

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Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Immigration • Political Parties • Post

The Continuing Border Crisis

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Apparently, now it’s permissible to acknowledge we have a crisis on our southern border. That information, just a few months ago, was news to many on the Left. Their erstwhile leaders and many in the corporate leftist media said there was no crisis, that it was manufactured, phony, imaginary, but certainly not real. 

One of the first responses of rational people is simply to ask, “Were they lying then or lying now?” I know most on the Left abandoned rational thought a long time ago, but it would be nice for someone at least to ask that question. 

The situation on the border was a crisis before the Democrats recognized it and it’s an even greater crisis now. Because Democrats have refused to provide more funding for beds at detention centers, or funding for ICE and the Border Patrol, and refused to deal with fixing the asylum loopholes, the situation has deteriorated. Congress has now passed a $4.6 billion dollar emergency humanitarian spending bill to put a bandaid over the meltdown taking place on the border, but you can rest assured it will likely do nothing that actually fixes the problem.

In a world governed by common sense, which is not the one inhabited by Democrats, there would be a wall on the southern border and we would do everything possible to discourage uninvited foreigners from making the arduous journey to get there. The southern border would be sealed. People wouldn’t be coming here if they knew there was no chance of illegal entry. We wouldn’t even be having the debate about detention centers because we might not even need them if the southern border were sealed. But that would all be too rational. 

Now we find out from Bloomberg one of the reasons we’re seeing such an increase in illegal immigration: the northern triangle countries are intentionally exporting their poor, encouraging immigration north. Why, you ask? Because that’s all part of those countries’ economic plans: invest as little money as possible into social welfare programs, and encourage the poor to leave and voilà! American taxpayers will be the suckers to pick up the tab.

So we have countries systematically sending us their poor, Democrats refusing actually to craft long term solutions, and now we have Flappy Hands O’Rourke tweeting pictures of drowned illegals and blaming Trump for the crisis. Trump is precisely the last person responsible for this crisis. If anyone should be blamed it’s the wall deniers who have blood on their hands. By leaving our borders wide open and demonstrating no will to discourage illegal entry, we are begging for this to happen. We are daring people to engage in risky behavior, begging for people to be abused by the coyotes and cartels. 

The situation on the southern border is immoral, and it’s brought about by the immorality of our elected officials on Capitol Hill. 

It is the moral imperative, first and foremost, of every elected official to prioritize and protect the interests of the American people. But this seems not to be a concept most in Washington can begin to comprehend. No one in his right mind can argue that what is taking place on the border right now is to the benefit of the American people, the American taxpayer and worker, morally or otherwise. And it certainly can’t be argued that it’s a good situation for the people languishing in humane yet overcrowded and underfunded detention centers.

Yet the answer to the crisis from many running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 is not to try to curtail it. Oh, no! It’s to incentivize even more of it by changing attempts at illegally crossing to civil offenses on the level of a parking ticket. 

And consider this: we hear about all kinds of free stuff, like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, free college, a universal basic income, reparations, all of which cost somewhere around $150 trillion, give or take a few trillion. But somehow, magically, Democrats can’t find any real money for the thing they’re now admitting is a big problem. They can be shamed into a $4.6 billion emergency package, but $25 billion for a wall? More funding for ICE and the Border Patrol? Don’t be ridiculous.

Their solution for solving the crisis on the southern border has nothing to do with sealing it and protecting the interests of the American people or our national sovereignty and security. Their solution involves trying to find a way to secure open borders and defy President Trump, pure and simple. 

If anyone thought that perhaps the Democratic Party had any interest in the continuation of our constitutional republic, this should remove all doubt. They want to abandon physical enforceable borders which means there is no national sovereignty. And if there is no national sovereignty—if our elected officials cannot, will not, take measures actually to govern our borders and decide who is coming in and who is not—we will have ceased to be a self-governing people.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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America • Democrats • Elections • Identity Politics • Political Parties • Post • the Presidency

What’s Your Democratic Candidate Identity?

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National politics is always an adventure. And as every role-playing game hobbyist knows, to keep an adventure going, you’re going to need hordes of “NPCs.” 

If you’re not familiar with the world’s nerdiest hobby, a “non-player character” is anybody the gamemaster invented to further the plot, or for the entertainment of the players. The smith who makes the swords, or the gal who brings the beer at a fantasy tavern, is an NPC. Some gamemasters put a lot of thought into these minor characters. 

In other cases, however, say when there’s an epic scene and you suddenly need 300 Mongol horsemen, or all 13 members of a black magic cult, or a couple dozen Democratic candidates appearing on stage all at once—well, there’s not much point in personalizing short-term minor villains too thoroughly.

Still, the adventure is enhanced if they aren’t all identical. So for the aid of any roleplaying game aficionados who are thinking of using current politics as a campaign backdrop, here’s a quick-and-easy random generator for Democratic presidential candidate NPCs. Just roll a few dice to come up with a faux Democrat—one it is likely your characters won’t be able to tell from the real thing!

Ethnicity:             

  1. Black         
  2. Hispanic   
  3. Asian    
  4. Pseudo-Native American
  5. (and 6) Guilt Ridden

Gendericity:

  1. Female
  2. Transsexual
  3. Transmillennial
  4. Predatory
  5. Gay
  6. Metrosexual

Manner:

  1. Shrill
  2. Pompous
  3. Lugubrious
  4. Pervy
  5. Smug
  6. Frantic

Overcame:

  1. Being called names        
  2. A life of privilege and luxury     
  3. A low SAT score            
  4. The legacy of slavery        
  5. Pronouns              
  6. Fox News

Career:

  1. Mayor
  2. Governor
  3. Senator
  4. Congressperson
  5. Community Disorganizer
  6. Aspiring CNN Political Analyst

Outrage:             

  1. Babies
  2. Statues            
  3. The Second Amendment  
  4. Donald Trump 
  5. Conservative Speech 
  6. Making a Profit       

Obsession: Roll again on “Outrage” table! 

How it works: let’s say you’re planning an adventure—say, a Democratic presidential primary debate—and you need to generate some quick opponents. They won’t be part of the storyline long, and don’t actually have to have developed personalities, but they should have enough distinctions so that they can be kept straight (er, rather, so that you can distinguish them from one another).

No problem! Roll an ordinary six-sided die, for each random characteristic, and just fill in the blanks.

“You see a (ethnicity, gendericity) candidate approaching. Before you can react, your hand has been seized and the candidate fixes you with a sincere smile. ‘Hi!’ says the candidate, in a (manner) way. ‘I hope you’ll elect me to fight for you. I overcame (obstacle) to become a (career). But in a country where (outrage) is still legal, we must continue the fight! Help me ban (Obsession!).”

Or:

“You see a (guilt-ridden, transsexual) candidate approaching. Before you can react, your hand has been seized and the candidate fixes you with a sincere smile. ‘Hi’, says the candidate, in a (frantic) way. ‘I hope you’ll elect me to fight for you. I overcame (pronouns) to become a (Mayor). But in a country where (Conservative Speech) is still legal, we must continue the fight. Help me ban (Donald Trump)!”

These NPC’s can be used in a variety of game scenarios. Your players could be ordinary citizens trying to avoid politicians in a swing state, investigative reporters for Project Veritas, or ruthless debate moderators playing one NPC against another to further their own television careers. The possibilities are endless—and with this easy generator of plausible Democratic candidates, so is your supply of NPCs.

Just like the Democratic Party’s.

Photo credit:  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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Democrats • Elections • Poetry • Political Parties • Post • The Left

Biden’s Mythical Mass of Support

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In a 1933 classic “Duck Soup,” Chico Marx memorably says, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” (The actual movie quote doesn’t have the word “lying” in it—it was added later in re-telling.)

Chico Marx’s question seems apt today, given that following the news too closely can give one a case of cognitive dissonance.

Something very strange is going on with our news media, as it covers the state of the 2020 campaign. Donald Trump, according to the big news outlets (CNN, the New York Times, ABC, the Washington Post, and their brethren), is on the ropes. The polls from these same news outlets show him losing by catastrophic margins to virtually every Democratic candidate. Even Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is polling at 2 percent among Democrats, would defeat Trump in every key state.

Joe Biden—according to the polls and the pundits—would crush Trump even in the reddest of the red states. Forget the Midwest—Biden is so wildly popular, even Texas is now out of reach for the GOP. Quinnipiac says Biden will squash Trump like a bug in Florida—50 percent to 41 percent. In fact, another Quinnipiac poll reports a tsunami of Bidenophilia is sweeping the nation from coast to coast. “Joe Biden is ahead by landslide proportions,” says Quinnipiac.

The same experts who have been telling us for two-and-a-half years that “the walls are closing in,” that “Donald Trump is staring into the abyss,” that “the noose is tightening, and that Trump will be impeached real soon now, are now telling us that Trump has virtually no chance of reelection. Given his cataclysmically dire poll numbers, Trump is more likely to be the first man to land on Mars, than to remain president after 2020.

Even Fox News is getting in on the act. Its house poll has Biden ahead by 10 points. With friends like these, Trump doesn’t need enemies.

Color me deeply skeptical. Biden is the Democratic frontrunner. Yet, apart from squeezing big-money donors, he’s virtually invisible on the campaign trail.

Biden has around 30 percent of the Democratic electorate. Back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that if roughly 35-37 percent of Americans self-identify as Democrats, then there are 35 million Bidenites out there. Given that many self-declared Independents actually vote “D,” a 45 million Biden supporter count is, if anything, an underestimate. At 45 million strong, those eager Biden voters are so thick on the ground, you can’t go anywhere without tripping over them.

So where the heck are they?

Biden’s rallies are thinly attended. His kick-off rally took place in Philadelphia—the very heart of Biden country. Pennsylvania is a must-win state for Democrats—and Biden is (he says) the perfect man to do it. And yet, his campaign kick-off was a snoozer. (Biden’s campaign claimed 6,000 supporters attended, but even people who were there don’t buy those numbers.) Many other major (and not so major) candidates’ campaign kick-offs generated more buzz. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)—testing the boundaries of irrelevance now, at around 6-7 percent, and struggling to attract attention—claimed 20,000 people at her kickoff. Even Bernie Sanders had over 10,000.

Post-announcement, a typical Biden campaign event could fit into a school bus. (Twitter wags claim a Biden rally could fit into a phone booth, or into a bathroom stall, but that’s giving Biden too little credit.) Roughly 65 voters came to a big Biden Iowa rally on June 11. Trump had an Iowa rally the same day—my best estimate from this video is at least 20 times as many showed up (watch around 1:10:23 mark).

Biden’s rare “campaign events” often take place at small union halls, or before a captive audience of two- or three-dozen students. Given the paltry attendance numbers, the putative Democratic frontrunner struggles even to fill small venues. Biden’s entire effort seems more of an endless fundraiser than a real campaign. Biden can raise money. All that’s missing is the actual voters.

Biden himself seems to fall asleep at his own events, or blurts out mind-altering nonsense, such as promising to cure cancer or to develop “G5 technology” for cell phones. Perhaps his staffers are playing a cruel joke on an elderly, befuddled candidate. But this isn’t about Biden’s physical and mental deterioration per se. The bigger question is: given his phenomenal coast-to-coast popularity, where are those 45 million Bidenophiles?

If Biden is not feeling the voters’ love, he is not alone. Take Beto O’Rourke, for example. Beto held a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, on June 15. Columbia has a stadium that seats 85,000—but Beto modestly decided to forego the stadium. He had reason to be modest—his campaign claimed 450 people attended, but a photo from the event showed perhaps 150. That many people would be impressive at a Biden event, but it’s hardly what you would expect of an electoral phenomenon.

The same more or less holds true of other Democratic candidates. Some can scare up a couple hundred voters on rare occasions, others resort to panhandling in gay bars for $1 so they qualify for the Democratic debate (See Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from New York). The mainstream media hates publishing photos with a good overview of the crowds—one has to scour the internet for them. So where is all that anti-Trump fervor? Where is all that #Resistance? The Democratic front-runner looks and acts like a cadaver attending his own funeral, the others mostly contort themselves into progressive-pandering court jesters.

It’s not just the presidential campaign. June 15 was “Impeach Trump” day, sponsored by MoveOn.org, with 130 rallies and demonstrations across the country, virtually all of them in the deepest of the deep-blue cities. The whole thing was a bust. In New York City—where impeachment fans swarm on every street corner—only 300 impeachment aficionados roused themselves from their stupor. In other cities, 50-60 people at an “impeachment rally” counted as impressive. Some rallies had barely a handful of people showing up. Taking a very generous average of 50 people per “Impeach Trump rally,” this works out to maybe 6,000 people nationwide.

But if 40 percent of Americans support impeachment, then there are 130 million impeachment lovers out there. And yet, not even 0.5 percent of 1 percent of them bothered to show up for the big day.

The contrast is most jarring when compared to—who else?—Trump. Trump’s campaign kick-off rally was on June 18, at the packed Amway Arena in Orlando. The arena holds 20,000 and was full. (Orlando has a population of 280,000, maybe triple that if you count the surrounding area.) People were lining up at the door at 2:30 a.m. the day before, 40 hours before the event. They waited for hours in the rain, heat, and humidity. How many Biden, or Beto, or Bernie, or Warren fans waited for them for two days before they showed up? And why would they? It’s not like there is a shortage of space at their events.

In Trump’s campaign in 2015-2016, the rallies started on June 17, 2015, two days after he announced. He quickly drew thousands of people—3,000 at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire, 15,000 at the Phoenix Convention Center, anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. In the first two and a half months of campaigning in a crowded field of 17 Republican candidates, Trump had more than 40,000 people at his rallies. Most Democrats—including Biden—can’t boast even one-tenth that many voters coming to see them in their first six months. To compare, recall Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on April 27—at a packed 10,000-person arena, in a city of 100,000.

The biggest single Trump rally in the 2016 cycle was 29,000 people on March 12, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. But in this cycle, the Democrats have been running in various forms since January, and yet they struggle to fill a roadside diner. Their frontrunner can’t make up his mind about his core beliefs and many key issues. But the pundits and the pollsters confidently assure us Trump’s reelection bid is tanking.

This just doesn’t make any sense. We are looking at two separate versions of reality, and both of them can’t be true.

What are we all missing here? Are the polls asking the wrong questions? Are they oversampling Democrats? Are people simply lying to the pollsters? Are the polls meaningless? Are attendance numbers meaningless? Is Trump’s support solid, but not extending beyond the core voters? Is his roughly 44 percent job approval in RealClearPolitics average (at least as good as Obama’s at this point) also meaningless? Is it too early in the election cycle for Democrats to attend campaign events in large numbers? Is the rank-and-file exhausted from the never-ending Trump Hate Weeks? Are Democrats’ crowds so pitiful because they are split among 24 of them? But Biden has 30 percent in the polls—why are his crowds tiny enough for him to hold most of his events at a Burger King? And Trump had 16 other Republicans to contend with in 2015—most of them far more formidable contenders, at least on paper, than the Democrats’ clown bus.

In this environment, are polls really “harder” data than anecdotal evidence or attendance numbers? Or do crowds matter more? Democrats say no. They said that in 2016, too—and it didn’t end well for them. A retired musician said on Twitter (quoting from memory): “Take it from someone who did this for a living for 50 years—crowd size is EVERYTHING.” Is he right?

I don’t know the answers to all these questions—people much smarter than me need to pick these polls apart, and offer insight into why the polls are at odds with observable reality. But Chico Marx’s enduring question comes to mind.

Photo Credit: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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America • Democrats • Elections • Political Parties • Post • Progressivism • The Left • the Presidency

The Bloom is Off Joe Biden’s Rose

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Poor Sleepy Joe. He just can’t catch a break.

Recently the former vice president  abandoned his decades-long support of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions, in favor of a more fashionably pro-choice, anti-baby stance. A no-brainer, right? Throw some red meat to the left-wing party faithful and reap the inevitable rewards…

Only it didn’t work. Once the grassroots got a taste of Biden’s red meat, they promptly bit the hand that fed them. They rejected Biden’s progressive overture as inauthentic, and they questioned why he hadn’t been 100 percent pro-abortion all along.

Biden’s problem is two-fold. First, he’s essentially a moderate, and he’s undeniably an elderly white male. The Democratic Party of 2019 doesn’t cotton to either of these descriptors.

The Democratic Party’s left-wing base castigates moderates as sellouts, as enablers of corporate greed, reactionary social policies, and possibly even Trumpism. A moderate Democrat is someone who doesn’t automatically spit in the face of Trump voters, gun owners, churchgoers, and other “deplorables”—and to fail to despise these villains with sufficient fervor is to be complicit in their (imagined) crimes.

Modern leftists demand total and unthinking submission to progressive values and to the left-wing agenda, along with the ostracism of all dissenters. With the notable exception of Bernie Sanders, whose socialist bona fides are not in question, an elderly white male would be a contemptible figure to this crowd. Failing to check every ideological box will spell Biden’s doom.

Although Biden can’t become any less old or white, he could theoretically become less male. That would be a start, in leftist eyes, but we can safely assume that Biden, at age 76, is too set in his ways to take the leap into transgenderism.

That leaves only one alternative: in lieu of changing his identity, Biden must ditch even more of his moderation. By migrating further leftward, he  theoretically could appease the Sanders-Warren wing of his party and rally more progressives to his side. But it won’t be easy.

Not only do today’s left-wingers demand total conformity with their radical views and agenda—they are also relentlessly historically minded. They consider it good sport to rifle through a person’s past statements, past relationships, or past political positions and decisions, to try to root out any deviation from current progressive standards. This is why statues are being toppled willy-nilly on college campuses and in city parks across the nation—liberals can’t abide the celebration, or even the normalization, of anyone who doesn’t toe the line politically (the whole line, mind you). Being dead for centuries is no excuse. In Biden’s case, being nearly dead elicits no sympathy either.

Simply put, liberals are out for blood, and even an act of abject submission or contrition, performed under duress or too late in the day, is likely to be rebuffed.

Mercy simply is not a virtue that left-wingers recognize. This makes it hard for the Bidens of the world to migrate leftwards, when liberals are apt to see it as mere pandering and as a sign of weakness. Their haughty, dismissive reaction to Biden’s abandonment of the Hyde Amendment proves as much. “Too little, too late” is their refrain.

So what is the lesson here for Biden? It may be that 2020 is just not his year (again). Biden was a useful source of legitimation and avuncular affection for the progressive superhero, Barack Obama, but those days are in the past. Biden’s relevance in the age of #MeToo-ism, identity politics, intersectionality, gender fluidity, and “democratic socialism” is highly questionable.

Biden’s easiest path to the Democratic nomination was always along the lines of a coronation. By simply grinning away and becoming a somewhat more pallid, skeletal version of his old, charming self, while the progressive wing of the Democratic Party formed a circular firing squad and destroyed itself, Biden might have walked into the Democratic convention relatively unscathed and as the nominee by acclamation.

The latest polls in Iowa, however, indicate that Biden’s appeal is already waning, and the hard-left is gaining on him. And this is before any of the other two dozen candidates for the Democratic nomination have even fired a broadside in Biden’s direction.

No, if Biden can’t keep his head above water even in this, the friendliest and mildest stage of the nominating contest, he won’t do well at all in the no-holds-barred phase that is sure to come.

Poor Sleepy Joe. He just can’t catch a break. He missed the presidential boat in 1988 and in 2008, and he seems destined to miss it again, and for the last time, in 2020.

Photo credit:  Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Economy • Elections • Elizabeth Warren • Identity Politics • Political Parties • Post • The Left

2020 Has Echoes of 1996 for the Opposition Party

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The Democrats have assembled a field of candidates for 2020 as large as it is unimpressive. From the slick Robert “Beto” O’Rourke and the media creation Kamala Harris to the Woodie Guthrie wannabe Bernie Sanders, to the fake folksy chameleon Joe Biden, it’s amazing such a large group of candidates is collectively so devoid of charisma, intellect, or interesting ideas.

I’ve loathed the Democratic Party since junior high school, but even I could recognize the common touch of Bill Clinton and the cool, disciplined demeanor of Barack Obama. Hell, even Hillary Clinton was obviously bright, though so haughty and mechanical that she lost an election she was supposed to win.

It is telling that the best the Democrats of 2020 can come up with is the slippery retread Biden, whose 1987 run for the presidency ended in disgrace when news broke of his plagiarism. He and the rest of the bunch are not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, even with the demographic tail winds that spell disaster for the Republican Party and the republic before long.

The Electorate Is Similar to Past Elections
In spite of the changes to the country’s population, the electorate is a lagging indicator. While the country has been rearranged with a mass influx of foreigners, their ability to vote takes some time, as mere presence and even legal residence does not equate to citizenship.

Indeed, misunderstanding the persistence and importance of legacy America had much to do with the Democrats’ failures in 2016. They thought the coalition of the ascendant would take them over the finish line. They learned instead that lots of Americans were sick of being force-fed nonsense about transgenderism and being bullied about “white privilege,” as they struggled to maintain a middle-class existence.

Most elections since 1988 or so have the same basic feel. The South is mostly solidly Republican. California, Illinois, and the Northeast are solidly Democratic. The Midwest is what typically swings between elections, along with the mercurial bellwether of Florida, whose people are an amalgamation of the rest of the country.

Clinton won in 1992 by being a popular, moderate Southern governor. The addition of Ross Perot and a modest recession combined to keep the prize from the incumbent, George H.W. Bush. The elder Bush also had the demerit of being seen as a fair weather friend to “movement conservatives,” who dominated the Republican Party after Reagan. Even so, Republicans were angry at this turn of events, which seemed irrationally to repudiate the Reagan economic miracle and Bush’s Cold War victory.

Clinton, Like Trump, Was Hated for His Style
From 1992 to 1996, the white hot passion with which Republicans loathed Clinton cannot be overstated. His style, his support for abortion and gun control, his uneasy approach to the military, and his push for national health care made him very unpopular with ideological conservatives and Republicans.

With the demise of the Soviet threat—a common enemy for conservatives of all stripes—Clinton became the substitute bogeyman. He was cast as an extreme liberal, which appears exaggerated in retrospect. He was merely a moderate, hated as much for who he was and his style as for any of his policies.

The Republican Party of the 1990s, like the Democrats of today, had a problem. Although the party was united in opposition to Clinton, it was divided internally between the “establishment” and its own far Right, exemplified by Pat Buchanan.

George H.W. Bush was no Ronald Reagan, and Buchanan challenged Bush in the 1992 Republican primary and pioneered a nationalist vision for the post-Cold-War GOP. Buchanan was critical of Israel, free trade, mass immigration, interventionism, and addressed other issues that make up the “national question.” He was, however, ahead of his time. Most of the effects of mass immigration and globalization would only be felt more fully in the future, and small government, pro-business, and low-tax views remained the consensus view among Republican voters.

In 1996, Buchanan at first represented a formidable force. He won the New Hampshire primary and, in doing so, scared the hell out of the Republican establishment. The establishment had several possible candidates to choose from, including Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes, and Richard Lugar. But Bob Dole, a longtime U.S. senator from Kansas and previous presidential contender in 1988, had everything the establishment wanted: experience, predictability, and, it was thought, electability.

Dole was not a fire-breathing conservative, but a mainstream Republican with a distinguished war record, a long career in the Senate, and many friends and allies. He eventually became the nominee and lost miserably to Bill Clinton.

Clinton won for a variety of reasons. The main reason, despite histrionic Republican condemnation, is that he did not do such a bad job his first term. After 1992, the economy emerged from the recession and shifted into high gear during the “dot-com” boom. Clinton ended the pointless Somalia intervention and dragged his feet on getting involved in the Bosnian quagmire. While the military shrunk with the reduction of our Cold War commitments, the modest tax hikes of Clinton’s first term led to balanced budgets and eventually a government surplus. Employment went up, and many of the concerns of the era—tax rates, Monica Lewinsky, and welfare reform—seem picayune compared to today’s threats of Islamic terrorism, the hollowing out of American industry, or the illegal immigrant hordes pouring over our Mexican border.

Clinton carried more Southern states than is typical for a Democrat—Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Florida—but also won the Midwestern battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa. These Midwestern states are moderate and practical, defined as much by their largely German-American population and concern for order and efficient government than the more libertarian tendencies of the Deep South and the Mountain West. These practical, middle-of-the-road folks are not especially ideological or consistent in their voting patterns. They are the quintessential swing districts.

Trump Benefits From a Strong Economy and Relative Peace in 2020
The objective facts favor Donald Trump’s reelection for many of the same reasons Clinton was a favorite in 1996. The economy is doing quite well, and his tax cuts and regulatory reforms appear to be at least part of the reason.

Of course, he has not delivered on his main campaign promises, but he appears to his supporters at least to be trying, even in the face of bipartisan resistance. His deviations from promises appear aligned with rather than opposing public opinion.

Also, Trump rather decisively defeated ISIS’s caliphate in Syria, but has so far avoided calls for getting involved in another Middle Eastern war. Even Obama could not avoid this temptation, in spite of running as the “peace candidate” in 2008.

In short, we were warned that Trump would destroy the economy, the norms of good governance, and possibly act recklessly with his “finger on the button” in the event he became president. Instead, everything feels quite normal, prosperous, and predictable.

The gap between the Democratic Party’s hatred of Trump and his results mirrors the chasm between Republican Party’s Clinton hatred and the relatively modest evils of Clinton’s first term as president. Then, as now, there is some “outrage fatigue” among ordinary Americans, who are not nearly as partisan or engaged as the political press, volunteers, and donors who follow politics like a sport in both parties.

More important, by combining this background of ideological fervor and a “ho hum” candidate, Dole failed to excite the base, even as Republican rhetoric alienated those in the middle and within the Democratic Party.

The Democrats seem to be undertaking a similar strategy, coalescing around the well-known Joe Biden. Biden, Obama’s vice president, is avuncular and superficially moderate, having slowly followed his party as it moved further leftward while maintaining a connection to the Democratic Party’s past. He comes from working-class roots and makes much of his connection to middle America.

Of course, Biden is odd and, having been around a long time, he has said things directly contradicting his views today. Today’s Democratic Party, after all, is radically different from that of yesteryear. It underwent a shift to more identity politics, reflecting both the leadership of Obama and the party’s increasingly diverse voter base. But Biden’s status as a frontrunner demonstrates a combination of realism by Democratic primary voters arising from their desire to defeat Trump at all costs, as well as his exploitation of the divisions among the others.

The alternatives have significant obstacles and each only capture a portion of the party’s primary electorate. Sanders gets the alienated anti-corporate Left, Harris presumably garners a strong swath of the diversity voters, and someone like Beto appeals to the romantic spirit of Obama’s 2008 “hope and change” campaign.

Elizabeth Warren has already been flummoxed by her “stolen valor” with regard to her Indian heritage, even though she otherwise would have been a compelling voice for economic populism. So, if Biden wins the nomination—which appears likely right now—he will do it for reasons similar to the ones that led Republicans to unify around Dole. Biden, like Dole, would be a familiar, older, predictable figure in a party unified in its hatred of the Republican president, but strongly disunified on ideology and much else.

Biden’s Hurdles
Biden in 2020, like Dole in 1996, would face an objectively similar presidential legacy. The economy is doing well, and no new wars are underway. Clinton himself won by saying, bluntly, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Everyone knows the economy matters and its fortunes are attributed to the president, as irrational as this may be.

Biden’s attack on Trump will focus chiefly on his character and demeanor, his style, and scandals familiar to partisans, just as Republicans obsessed over “Slick Willie” and his Whitewater and travel office imbroglios. Republicans deemed Clinton the apotheosis of Baby Boomer self-absorption, but his record was not bad by any objective measure.

Biden also has to fashion a positive policy message, now that the failing Iraq War or the media-generated romanticism about Obama can no longer can be the centerpiece of Democratic campaigns. This will be a problem, as the Democrats’ redistributionist message thrives on economic anxiety.

But Trump’s hybrid policies—standard Republican approaches to taxes and regulations coupled with aggressive negotiating with trading partners—appear to be working. We were told his election would tank the stock market, instead the market as well as the broader economy have continued to improve, despite Trump inheriting the mature recovery of Obama’s second term.

Criticism by Biden of Trump’s immigration and border policies would also alienate middle-of-the-road voters in both parties uneasy with mass immigration. Even Trump’s tariffs would prove a wedge issue, as they are pro-worker and were once a popular Democratic issue, particularly among the party’s working-class voters in the industrial swing states of the Midwest. Tariffs also have garnered respect among Republicans, who are increasingly aware of the national defense aspects of our trade conflict with China.

Further, no Democratic policy agenda can easily unify the various identity and economic factions of the Democrats, while simultaneously appealing to the “woke capitalism” of Silicon Valley and Wall Street, while also appealing to moderate swing voters in the swing states of Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The Democratic coalition is full of ideological die-hards who easily may opt to stay at home when too much is done to appeal to opposing factions within that coalition. In other words, there is a lot of inherent tension between urban career women, destitute welfare cases, “woke” ethnic chauvinists, and cozy government workers, and whatever unites them may prove too much for the fringes and also swing voters to bear.

Clinton touted his economic achievements and the absence of foreign policy failures in his 1996 reelection campaign. In so doing, he could appeal to objective facts. Dole and other Republicans could only invoke highly abstract ideological arguments against him or appeal to some risk of a future economic or national security disaster.

Dole, like Biden today, had the benefit of being familiar and well liked within his party. But like Dole, Biden also has the demerit of not appearing to stand for anything in particular and failing to inspire his party’s ideological fringes. Biden’s message, like Dole’s in 1996, seems to be that it’s his time and that he can win.

A safe candidate appears to make a certain amount of sense, logically speaking. But, for the same reasons, it also makes sense for voters to retain an incumbent when the country objectively is better off than ever before.

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Photo Credit: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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Democrats • Political Parties • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Democrats’ Looming Self-Destruction

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I was raised a Democrat. My parents, like most people of their generation (Depression and World War II), were Roosevelt Democrats. I, like most of their children, followed in their footsteps.

The first election in which I could vote was 1968 (the voting age was still 21) and I voted for Hubert Humphrey. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either Richard Nixon or George McGovern in 1972, but I did vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976. Carter turned me into a Republican. As Ronald Reagan said, I did not leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.

But despite my estrangement from the Democrats at the time, there was still room in the party for a Scoop Jackson, a Sam Nunn, and a Phil Gramm. It claimed the mantle of the middle and working classes. It was anti-communist and patriotic. It was committed to free speech and freedom of religion. But those days are long gone. Today’s party would have no place for John Kennedy.

It is now the party of rich bi-coastal liberals who disparage those who grow their food and make things work—the “deplorables” clinging to their guns and religion. It is the party of dueling victimization narratives (mirror, mirror, on the wall/who is the most oppressed of all?).

Read the rest in the Providence Journal.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Big Media • Political Parties • Post • Technology • The Left

How Silicon Valley Disrupts Local Politics

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Silly me. I believed Justice Louis D. Brandeis when he said more speech was the remedy for speech you don’t like. “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies,” Brandeis wrote nearly a century ago, “to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” I also believed in Abraham Lincoln’s formulation of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” What happened to shake those two rock-solid foundations of my naturalized-American sensibility? I ran for office last year in California and discovered, not only do we have a government chosen by only a majority of those who participate, but that getting an informed electorate to turn out isn’t a goal necessarily shared by all.

Let me back up. I was motivated to run as a Republican against an incumbent Democrat in a very blue state assembly district in 2018 because California is worth fighting for. Merely 13.5 percent of the voters in Studio City and its surrounding areas are registered with the Party of Lincoln. Not to worry, I thought. I’m pretty good at communicating, and if the aphorism attributed to Tip O’Neill—“all politics is local”—held true, I’d have the wind at my back. Los Angeles residents are dealing with soaring crime that isn’t defined as such (shoplifters make sure only to boost items with a retail value under $950 per day to avoid a punishment not much harsher than a ticket) and navigating the denizens of growing tent-and-tarpaulin encampments where the “persons experiencing homelessness” defecate on sidewalks. All I needed to do, I thought, was to tell my story in as many places as possible.

Well, it turns out that that’s not so easy. Social media and big tech have supplanted the networks of small newspapers and other dailies. There are really just two hometown papers in our city, and the Los Angeles Times doesn’t even live in L.A. any more. Local talk show hosts John and Ken refer to it as the “El Segundo Times” ever since the paper decamped from its former downtown headquarters. That was probably a good idea, since our downtown City Hall is home to a serious typhus outbreak. Yes, typhus. The Los Angeles Daily News is still here, but both papers only have so many people covering local politics. The bigger, sexier stories are national, with connections to the President Who Sells Papers.

So, if local news, especially political reporting, is mostly dead, where do people go to find out what’s happening in the small races that actually make a tangible difference in how they live their lives? We hear plenty of talk about whether Facebook, Twitter, et. al., are platforms or publishers, but the truth is, people turn to social media to get almost all local news these days. NextDoor.com is likely to be the best place to find the information you need about a town hall or a crime wave to watch out for. If these players exclude certain people or points of view, there are no viable alternatives. Social media also gets eyeballs for the local stories that the daily newspapers do write, so it’s important to have equal, unfettered access. Corporate censorship has very real consequences.

We often bemoan the presence of big money in politics. Elections shouldn’t be auctions, and many of us have the same lament about “special interests” and “big donors” having the ears of our elected officials. Social media was changing that—it leveled the playing field for access and information. For a mostly-normal person like me, being able to get my message out on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube was a godsend. I could put my tiny budget up against the incumbent’s hundreds of thousands and at least let voters know they had a choice. When I ran in 2018, much had already been made of the way that candidate Trump had revolutionized campaign communications, being nimble on Twitter and targeting via Facebook. Of course, candidate Obama had made huge strides with Facebook before him, but once the power was used by the other side, Silicon Valley took notice.

Before the June 2018 primary in  California (and a number of other states), Facebook instituted an onerous additional set of requirements for political advertisers who weren’t incumbent officeholders. I’d already set up a political page using using verification that I was on the ballot from California’s Secretary of State. Suddenly, Facebook required two more forms of ID, which had to be submitted by mail.  Facebook stopped all ads and said it would take them two weeks to process the information. This, of course, was just two weeks before election day. At the same time, Twitter was shadow banning accounts that some murky algorithm determined were too right leaning. Again, a large number of conservative candidates were affected, and their messages were not shown to the people they were trying to reach.

After watching conservative candidates jump through these hoops, the social media giants resorted to other means—again always against candidates with an R after their name. Here in the Central Valley, Elizabeth Heng tried to place a Facebook ad about a compelling personal story of her family fleeing Cambodia, but was turned down for “sensational content.” I also made a campaign video that was pretty awesome, and set about sharing it as widely as possible. For me, that meant that in addition to running it on cable several times, I set up an AdWords campaign with Google’s YouTube to share it with residents of my district. Imagine my surprise when my campaign was rejected over and over by AdWords. I emailed; I called; I pleaded my case to the lovely folks on the phone from the call center in the Indian subcontinent. Nothing worked. I was “unverified” even though I was on the ballot and shared that information multiple times and in multiple ways.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Google finally relented and ran my ad—starting after the November election! And we keep seeing non politicians—like James Woods!—get suspended or banned for something they said. As Mark Dice opined on (where else?) Twitter, “Imagine the phone company shutting off your service because they didn’t like what you and your friends talk about. That’s Facebook today.”

On June 4, there is a special election in the northwest corner of Los Angeles to replace departing Councilman Mitch Englander. He was the only Republican on a council that should be ashamed of what our city has become. Sixteen candidates signed up for the race, including one who once worked for the Ethics Commission which oversees the council, and in an only-in-L.A. twist was removed from the ballot for violating the rules against “revolving door” candidates.

One man on the ballot, Brandon Saario, is a friend of mine. He has a larger following on Twitter than the rest and was ready to use it effectively for his campaign. “It’s a great way to communicate, get instant feedback and for supporters to find my website and donate,” he said. Or it was, until he attempted to tweet a link to his campaign website and people who clicked on it received a message that it was unsafe. That was in February. He got no response from the platform until he invoked the prospect of lawyers. Then, a couple weeks ago, I noticed that messages I had tried to post that included his web address were stuck in drafts. Repeated attempts to post his information were blocked by Twitter, so I put out a call for help. One appeal got 49,000 impressions and engaged fellow conservatives who wanted to know what was up.

The outcry from the conservative California social media community was swift and spawned articles detailing the blocking, which led to a sudden reversal by Twitter. Combing through the other 14 candidates’ Twitter bios, I had no difficulty posting links to their sites and not a single other one was affected by this “accidental block,” not even the candidate with one tweet and one follower. The question that remains is why? Why only Brandon?

Is it true, as attorney Harmeet Dhillon says, “we will lose every election going forward” if the social media giants get their way? Perhaps. But what’s really at stake in this special election in which probably under 15,000 of the hundred of thousands of eligible voters will decide our fate?

The most pressing issue in Los Angeles today is homelessness. There’s big money in those encampments, and Brandon Saario happens to be one of the few candidates who isn’t interested in buying into the billion-dollar homeless scam. This city is run by a council so corrupt that FBI raids don’t garner much water cooler attention. Hardly anyone blinked when, in late 2018, the city council voted itself an increase in matching funds for campaigns that meet a somewhat onerous threshold for grassroots candidates. That’s taxpayer money that will now flow to the campaign consultants of some very well-connected people.

Richard Sherman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Republican Party, summed up the entire episode in an email: “We all should be strong believers in liberty and freedom of speech. It is unconscionable that here in our country a dedicated and hardworking individual, Brandon Saario, who is running for Los Angeles City Council—a nonpartisan race—is being prevented from sharing his campaign website on Twitter. If Twitter does not reverse its outrageous censorship position, then we should all refrain from using and supporting Twitter in any way.” Thankfully, the social media bluebird did reverse their block, but only as a result of negative publicity. What about those of us who aren’t able to muster this much support?

The need to raise ridiculous amounts of money to hire armies of consultants and pay for overpriced, oversized mailers and commercials would be tempered somewhat if every local election involved a series of debates or forums dealing with local issues. Until that happens, Facebook, Twitter and the like serve as virtual town halls, and their Silicon Valley masters would do well to stop putting their thumbs on the scales.

Photo Credit: Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images

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America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Identity Politics • Political Parties • Post • Progressivism • race • the Presidency

Can Biden Overcome Being an Old White Guy?

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Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign launch last week was an attempt to run to the front of the white privilege caravan. He must succeed at this, or it will run him over—and he knows it. The Democrats have hitched their wagon to grievance groups and lost control. A brave man with true leadership qualities would denounce his party’s obsession with skin color and call for a return to colorblind fairness to all. Biden is not that man.

“White privilege” is an encouragement and a fig-leaf for attacking, demeaning, and discriminating against white people. It is as morally disgusting as racism against blacks or any group. It is also sacrosanct among Democrats. Every single white Democrat presidential candidate has already groveled at this satanic altar of anti-white bigotry.

Biden understands his fellow Democrats well enough to know he has to make white racism the center of his primary campaign.

Biden sees the odds are against him winning the primary of a party hooked on identity politics. All the younger, hotter candidates have weak or nonexistent qualifications and crazy platforms, but they get to check off a key identity box: gay, female, black, or even, black and female. Biden has nothing but liabilities in this competition. Not only is he white, he’s a groper, and he’s old.

White privilege and patriarchy disqualifies Biden from running among huge voting blocks of Democrats. Biden’s tactic to avoid being destroyed by the anti-white, anti-male, and anti-heterosexual sentiment in the party is to join it. Call Charlottesville the defining moment of your decision to run, the defining moment of American identity, and position yourself as the hero fighting the white racists.

Joe Biden’s choice of the Charlottesville hoax on which to center his campaign message is a sign of desperation. It tells us Biden thinks he is in trouble in the primary for being a white man. He’s right. So his campaign launch was entirely about race-baiting and hating Trump. This well-worn Democrat path failed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and it will fail Biden today. But it’s the only path open to him. So he’s going all out, to the point of absurdity.

Not only is Biden playing the race card, he’s playing it more brazenly than President Obama ever did. Biden claims that Trump (and by implication all Republicans) are a “threat to this nation unlike any I’d seen in my lifetime.” Biden tells voters he is called to run for president, in order to fight the very face of evil, “crazed faces . . . veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism, chanting the same anti-Semitic bile heard in the 1930s.”

Biden calls Charlottesville the defining moment in his decision to run, and a defining moment for America—a moment that “stunned the world” and launched a “battle for the soul of this nation.” The unstated message is, don’t hate all of us as racists, just Trump and everyone who votes Republican. Sadly for Biden’s strategy, that subtext gets a little lost. White America Bad comes through loud and clear.

Democrats said in public they loved Biden’s Charlottesville focus. Biden was praised for coming out swinging against Trump. But the message that America is a white supremacist nation in 2019 was not aimed against Trump, and doesn’t hurt him. It’s actually so offensive to fair-minded people that it helps Trump with his base and with many independents. The focus on race was aimed to overcome Biden’s liabilities with his primary voters.

Besides, what else does Biden have? Biden’s record leaves him little to boast about, as he has few achievements to show for it. He can’t run on the Obama-Biden performance on the economy, foreign affairs or even bringing down the cost of health care, as they failed on all fronts. Trump’s successes on jobs and foreign affairs dominate.

Biden’s boasting rights that he’s the most experienced candidate among the Democrats can only take him so far. Millennials don’t seem to care about job qualifications, or they wouldn’t consider Pete Buttigieg’s work as mayor of South Bend, Indiana a stepping stone to the White House. These are youngsters raised on participation prizes and affirmative action. They’ve been taught that qualifications are racist, privileged, mean, and unfair. Starting in kindergarten, they were raised on shame about being white, and anger against heterosexual males.

Biden’s strongest suit is that normal Democrats find him not scary and generally likable. Less so, perhaps, after all the groping videos. His creepiness comes through strongly, and the videos cannot be buried.

The trouble is, no Democrat wants nice in 2020. Hence Biden’s decision to launch the campaign swinging at President Trump. Ha! Good luck with that one, Biden. You are not in the same fighting league as the president. When President Trump decimates opponents with a label, like Pocahontas, it’s devastating because it’s true. Claiming President Trump praised the KKK is such a stupid, easily debunked slander, it just makes Biden look like a desperate, lying Democrat.

Biden has made crude race-baiting remarks before, as in his well-publicized attack on presidential candidate Mitt Romney, telling a black audience in a fake black accent, “they’re going to put y’all back in chains.” Still, what makes Biden more appealing to suburban and white working-class moderates is that he is an alternative to race-obsessed identity politics.

Painting President Trump as a supporter of neo-Nazis based on lies about Charlottesville throws that advantage away. It tells us that Biden sees his own skin color as his biggest challenge to winning the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Biden is in a bind. He has to put white racism front and center, with himself as the hero fighting against it. It’s the only way to overcome his liability as an old white guy in the primary. It’s not likely to work with primary voters. And it will doom him in the general election.

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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2016 Election • America • Americanism • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Political Parties • Post

Democrats Are Just Monkeys With Bananas

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African natives use a simple method to catch monkeys: take a heavy jar with an opening just large enough for the monkey to fit in his hand. Place a banana inside the jar so the monkey can see it. The rest is easy: the monkey puts his hand into the jar—but with the banana in his hand, the monkey cannot pull the hand back out, and the jar is too heavy for him to lift. Yet the monkey refuses to let go of his prize, and thus becomes trapped. The monkey loses everything by trying to hold on to that banana.

Of relevance to our political moment is the monkey’s psychology, which is analogous to that of today’s Democratic party. To escape, all the monkey needs to do is let go of the banana. But because the monkey views the banana as its possession and is emotionally invested in it, the monkey is trapped. Any rational human being sees the foolishness of holding on to something of so little value—after all, there are other bananas. But the monkey acts on instinct. The banana is already his, while the danger of capture is too remote for its brain—even though holding on to the banana will soon have disastrous consequences for its future.

And so it is with Democratic Party. It simply can’t let go of the Russian collusion/obstruction nonsense. Democrats know they are sticking their hand into a jar. They know grasping at the collusion/obstruction canard traps them. They know people are weary of the whole thing. They sense that independents want to move on, Republicans moved on long ago, and even their own party faithful are losing heart. But, like the monkey whose instinct will not permit him to let go, the congressional Democrats’ brains are incapable of responding to their rational observations of reality. The grasping instinct is too strong.

The Democrats used Mueller and his intrepid crew of rabid partisans (and their journo allies) to torment Trump for two years with the collusion hoax. Every mention of Trump’s successes immediately turned them to respond with cries of Russian collusion. At times, it seemed as if in a nation of 330 million people, no other news existed. A visitor from Alpha Centauri would think that inhabitants of the vast continent between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had no other interests at all. Every newspaper, every TV station, every cable news channel and every radio frequency was all about collusion. I can barely remember a world when collusion was not the only topic of discussion for “journalists” and talking heads.

Sometime around 2016, I gave up on television news, including CNN, altogether. CNN became the— all-collusion-all-the-time network with its moniker “The most trusted name in news” pushing two obvious lies—it has no news, and no one trusts it. A guy selling cheap lawn furniture on the Home Shopping Network is more trusted than CNN (and has a bigger audience, too). So I got rid of CNN in my cable package.

At airports, I would try to position myself furthest from the TV monitors. Except the bastards deliberately hang the damn monitors so that it is almost impossible to avoid them. The seats where they don’t force-feed CNN to you are at a premium. If you are anywhere in an airport, except maybe the restrooms, you keep hearing the CNN talking heads prattling on and on about collusion. You feel harassed, but you can’t escape.

Whatever one thinks of Trump’s policies or his personality, I have to give it to the man—he refuses to break or bend, despite overwhelming odds. For almost four years now, the “press” has been throwing daily buckets of slime at him. Two and a half years now since the election, it’s nothing but Trump hatred from every “news” outlet, day in, day out.

Trump’s honeymoon lasted all of 15 nanoseconds. Every member of his family became the target of vicious attacks (remember the attacks on a then 10-year-old Barron? Remember all the attacks on Melania?). Every typo in a tweet became the subject of merciless scorn. Every misspoken syllable in every off-the-cuff remark would be cause for “journalists” competing with each other to express their contempt. Mueller was not far behind. Everyone Trump ever shook hands with faced potential FBI raids, arrests, depositions, or criminal charges. The sum total of all that prosecutorial activity? A gigantic nothingburger.

A lesser man would have blown his own brains out long ago. Can anyone imagine Jeb(!) surviving this? Can anyone see Kasich still standing? Marco? Rand? Each of them would have been reduced to drooling idiocy by the ferocity of the Left’s never-ending onslaught.

Trump not only survived but managed to achieve a great deal. The Left’s refusal to admit that Trump has achieved anything (remember Obama shamelessly claiming that he was responsible for 3 percent economic growth under Trump?) in no way diminishes Trump’s accomplishments.

It is not just Trump the person who drives the Left batshit crazy. It’s that he succeeds in spite of everything they throw at him. They tell themselves that he is an idiot, a halfwit, a clueless naïf—which makes it all the more enraging to them when he continues to run circles around them.

And this brings us back to the monkey and the obstruction banana. People are tired of the investigations, the preposterous collusion farce (now proven conclusively to be a hoax), the bombshells that never pan out, and the never-ending breathless predictions of Trump’s demise. With that “gold standard” of investigatorsthe Mueller crewadmitting that they couldn’t find one scintilla of collusion anywhere, after searching under every rock and tree, one would think we could all take a deep breath and go for one month without some investigation of Trump.

You would be wrong if you thought that. If you blinked, you probably missed how quickly the narrative pivoted from collusion to obstruction. Psychologically and emotionally, Democrats just can’t let go. Like the monkey, they simply cannot help themselves. If not obstruction, then it’s attempted obstruction. If not attempted obstruction, then it’s intent to obstruct. The Democrats believe that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. It didn’t work out so well in 2016. It won’t work any better now, either.

My advice to Trump? (Not that he asked for it.) Do not give the Democrats an inch. Every staffer they want to talk to—refuse to let them appear. Every single one. If a staffer ultimately has to show up—cancel at the last minute and re-schedule three months into the future. Family emergency!

If they manage to get a staffer into a deposition or interview, object to every single question. Force their lawyer to explain every question, down to “state your name for the record.” Force him to establish the foundation for every single thing in every question.

As in: “Did President Trump meet with you on February 10, 2019?”

“Objection! Lack of foundation. Counsel has not established the name of the president on that date!”

When he lays the foundation: “Objection! Counsel did not define what he means by ‘meet’!”

Object, object, object! And then object some more.

Every question is vague, argumentative, calls for a conclusion, assumes facts not in evidence, is improperly phrased, calls for an expert opinion, etc., etc. Then instruct the witness not to answer on any of a dozen grounds. Waste their time until their dental fillings start melting in helpless exasperation. What are they going to do? Complain to a judge? Let them! What’s the judge going to do? Order him to answer? Take it under advisement, and appeal! They want more deposition time? Sure thing. The witness has an opening on his schedule. In 2023.

They get somebody in front of some congressional committee somehow? No problemo! Seat a lawyer right next to him, and object! Every question ever asked by any Democrat is objectionable. Question is unclear. Or ambiguous. Or outside the scope. Or lacking foundation. Or harassing. Or calls for privileged information. Or is poorly phrased. Or vague. Or both vague and poorly phrased. That’s two separate objections right there! Time is precious—and here’s one minute wasted on objections to just one question, and you haven’t even started. Democrats say a hearing is not a deposition? Who cares! Object anyway.

Then ask Nadler, Schiff, Cummins, et. al. to rephrase every question. Then argue about the rephrasing. Then ask them to repeat the question. Then ask them to clarify the scope of the question. Then the witness can ask to clarify. By lunchtime, they’ll finally get the guy to state his name. It’ll make Nadler and company angry? Good! Might it drive them nuts? Even better! Make them piss blood in fury. Let them churn out their subpoenas and contempt citations by the hundreds. D.C. swamp denizens care, but out here, in the real world, nobody gives a damn.

They want documents? Also not a problem! Claim executive privilege over every single piece of paper and every bit, byte, and pixel in the White House. Claim executive privilege over the paper napkins in the White House cafeteria. Claim executive privilege over the toilet paper. Delay. Stall. Run out the clock on the Democrats. Every document they demand—make them fight to the death for it. Ask for extensions. Then ask for more extensions. Make them file lawsuits. If they win, appeal. Then appeal again.

Then produce documents with so many redactions, even the parentheses are redacted. Instead of documents, give them summaries. Useless ones. Make them litigate the same thing again and again. Give them a date certain, and then regretfully inform them that you need time for additional review. If you are forced to produce something—ignore the deadline, then promise to produce soon. Then tell the Democrats the copy machine broke, and the repair guy is on vacation. In Antarctica.

Claim executive privilege over every conversation that ever involved anyone in the White House—even if it took place at Yankees Stadium. These people are not dealing in good faith, so they deserve nothing. Make them feel like they are getting a root canal done—without Novocaine.

Let the Democrats scream in rage like banshees. Let them whine. Let them cry crocodile tears. Let the Washington Post and the New York Times publish scathing editorials. Mr. President, your voters don’t give a crap about the Washington Post. Constitutional crisis? I don’t see no stinkin’ constitutional crisis. I see a bunch of dishonest Democratic whiners with their hands stuck in a jar, who can’t let go of the banana.

Let Adam Schiff shove his head even deeper into his own ass. Let Jerry Nadler join him. Mr. President, trust me: nobody out here gives two craps about these stupid D.C. parlor games. Not a single one of your voters in Wisconsin or Michigan cares about “investigations,” or subpoenas, or citations. They care about their own jobs, paychecks, and 401(k)’s.

The election is 18 months away. If Trump talks about rock-solid economic growth (3.2 percent in the first quarter!), higher wages, lower taxes and record-low unemployment, while the Democrats talk about their banana/investigations/obstruction theories, I see a landslide.

Goodbye, House Democratic Majority.

Goodbye, Bernie/Biden/Kamala/Pocahontas/Pete/Beto/Cory.

Hello, Trump second term.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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America • Americanism • Democrats • Elections • Law and Order • Political Parties • Post • Satire

A Modest Proposal for Felons’ Rights

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Socialist savant Bernie Sanders has propounded, and Senator cum footwear model Kamala Harris has endorsed, the notion that felons ought to be able to vote.  

After all, to deny the vote to anyone at all is, in Sanders’ memorable phrase, “running down a slippery slope.”

Perhaps this is so.

If it is indeed true, however, the same standard needs to apply to all civil rights, not merely to the right to help direct the world’s most powerful government in its decision-making.  Prisoners ought to be secure in their persons – protected from search and seizure, for instance. They also ought to be able freely to assemble, and not restricted from one another’s company.  Prisons are full of walls which keep people apart. And we know what the Left thinks of walls.

Most importantly, if prisoners have the right to vote, surely they have the right to keep and bear arms.  

Statistically, prisons (like Democrat-run cities) are among of the most dangerous places in the United States. Denying the right to keep and bear arms to our most vulnerable citizens, merely because they are convicted felons in our penitentiaries, clearly is a travesty of justice. They ought to be allowed the arms they need to protect themselves in a dangerous environment.  Consider that an ordinary, law-abiding American in a peaceful and prosperous Midwestern town, may purchase a high-powered rifle he’ll never need—while a felon in constant fear for his life, must rely on an improvised shiv. Privilege, much?!

A few keen observers might note that a dangerous inequality might exist if only those prisoners who already had firearms, were able to keep them.  That’s true. So jJust as we must make sure that all prisoners, from marijuana possession offenders to serial murderers, should be able to vote, we must arm them all equally. A government-provided handgun with adequate ammunition should be issued each newly-admitted prisoner along with his voter registration.

This concrete affirmation of the prisoner’s rights ought, of course, to remain with him upon release.
Many ex-prisoners fall victim to violence after their period of incarceration. Don’t we owe them a head start in the struggle for survival, especially in “Trump’s America”?  Let each released felon keep his government-issued pistol.

Some old-fashioned opponents of civil rights for all, are sure to point out that a few of these firearms might be misused. After all, with a pistol, you can rob or harm someone.

Ah, but with the vote, you can rob and harm EVERYONE.  So anyone who can be trusted with either, might as well be entrusted with both.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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2016 Election • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Political Parties • Post • Republicans • The Left • The Resistance (Snicker)

After Mueller, Nobody Has Changed Their Views on Trump

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Nothing has changed.

Just about no one has moved away from where they stood on November 9, 2016, when they woke up trying to comprehend that Donald J. Trump had overcome the odds, the press, and his own shortcomings to win that presidential election.

If you voted for him, you are still thrilled and optimistic about the future. I outlined in the book I co-authored with Brad Todd, The Great Revolt, that the election was never quite about Trump. Many of his voters saw his flaws with eyes wide open and voted heavily out of concern for their community, not necessary for themselves.

Many who did not vote for Trump loathe him with the intensity of a white-hot poker prodding at their soul. Their hair is still on fire, and nothing in the world can extinguish it until he is out of the White House, preferably in handcuffs.

If you are a reporter who lives and works within the counties that surround Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, it’s been a tough go. You don’t work with anyone in your newsroom who would have voted for Trump. You don’t socialize with anyone who voted for Trump. And you likely don’t know anyone at your children’s school who voted for Trump.

Many reporters, though not all, often view these voters monolithically rather than as the complex coalition they have formed, painting them with a broad brush. They see the Trump voters as foolish or fooled at best, and as bigoted, unintelligent and backward at worst.

Reporters marvel at these voters’ unwillingness to give up on a struggling town and move to a larger city or region, never understanding that they often happily trade a higher salary or a career with bonuses in another city for staying in a community where they have deep roots.

Since the day after Trump won, reports on his win focused heavily on his loss of the popular vote. Then there were the overhyped stories about a Wisconsin recount. Then the story developed that he only won because of Russia and that he probably helped Russia “hack the election.”

This simply reinforced Trump backers’ support for the man. Haters will hate.

Which brings us back to this: Nothing has changed since Election Day 2016, because everything had changed for the C-suite influencers who control our culture, politics, entertainment, big tech, and news consumption. They chose to ignore the signs—or, in their arrogance, they just missed what had been in plain sight for decades.

The fusion of conservatives and populists who make up the Trump coalition that placed Trump in the White House will continue long after whatever date the president leaves office. And despite the efforts of the press, and despite Trump’s own actions, those in the Trump coalition are unlikely to change their mind, because the only alternative is an elite who paints them as a villainous segment of our society.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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America • American Conservatism • Democrats • Donald Trump • Political Parties • Post • The Left • the Presidency • Trump White House

How Trump Masterfully Frames the Ilhan Omar Debate

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Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to the American Right in a good long while. The second-best thing to happen to the American Right is Ilhan Omar.

If Omar had been elected to Congress under previous Republican administrations, she would stand as yet another example of how Democrats’ hypocrisy regularly flies under the radar as it is dismissed by the mainstream media and Democratic leadership without a second thought.

But in the age of President Trump, the freshman from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District has proven just how effective Republicans can be if they hold their rivals’ feet to the fire over their own bigotry—with the added bonus of forcing the media to talk about it.

Where Republicans Failed

Omar should have been cause for immediate concern the moment she won the nomination to succeed departing congressman and Democratic National Committee deputy chairman Keith Ellison. It was a monumental feat to see a girlfriend-beater, a supporter of Antifa, and a friend of Louis Farrakhan upstaged by his successor in the hate department, but Omar managed to pull it off.

The Somali-born Muslim has been as open as possible about her own anti-Semitism, dating back to a (now-deleted) tweet in 2012 in which she declared that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” and she hoped that Allah would “open the world’s eyes” to the “evil” of Israel.

And who can forget the suggestion that Omar may have married her brother in order to manipulate the American immigration system and gain citizenship; a move that would have made Caligula blush.

And yet even as Omar won her election and was sworn in on the Koran, Republicans in Congress instead chose to focus all their energy on what they do best: attacking one of their own. Rather than go after the real anti-Semite, House Republicans caved to media pressure over veteran Representative Steve King (R-Iowa). King appeared to endorse white nationalism in an interview with the New York Times.

King explained himself later on the House floor. He charged the Times with deliberately taking his words out of context, changing the punctuation to give his words a different meaning. It didn’t matter. Republican leadership could not abandon him fast enough. They worked overtime to bow down to the media and the Left, passed a meaningless resolution basically calling King the devil, and stripped him of all his committee assignments.

And while the media and the GOP engorged themselves in the feeding frenzy over King’s comments, Omar sailed right into Congress, hijab and all.

Where Trump Succeeded

But then, after another round of anti-Semitic comments accusing members of Congress of being paid off by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Omar made a grave mistake that differed from the ones she made in her previous vile comments: She dared to make such a public statement in the age of President Trump.

Trump responded swiftly, not bothering to wade into the mess of semantics and second-guessing. Instead, Trump simply declared that Omar should be removed from her committee assignments and resigned. By doing this, he skipped right over the pointless question of whether her comments were anti-Semitic and turned it into “She’s clearly anti-Semitic; the question is what should be done with her?”

And that’s exactly what happened. For the next month, the national coverage of the story was not focused on whether or not Omar was guilty; it was focused on the deep internal divides that her comments had generated, and the response from both sides in the Democratic Party’s civil war. A similarly pointless resolution was passed condemning anti-Semitism was amended many times over to remove mentions of Omar’s name. Of course, it had to include examples of other forms of bigotry and was largely seen as insincere. Some even turned to the question of whether or not Democrats should support Israel in the first place. The debate also drew clear lines between the Democratic presidential candidates, with some supporting Omar and others criticizing her. Similar divides emerged in the House Democratic caucus.

And just like that, Trump had turned the media narrative away from the oft-repeated lie that Republicans are “the party of Hitler,” and instead forced that same media to discuss the ways in which Democrats are plagued with anti-Semitism.

Exposing Evil

But even after manipulating the news cycle and the national debate surrounding Omar and the Democrats for an entire month, Trump still isn’t finished with the most vile member of Congress. As public opinion shifted further against Omar and manifested in massive protests outside her appearance at an event with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Omar proceeded happily to throw fuel on herself even as she was already burning. Discussing alleged “Islamophobia” in America, she described 9/11 in a terrifyingly casual and dismissive tone—as “some people did something.”

The backlash was swift enough on its own, but then the New York Post issued a blistering cover story, including an image depicting the second plane crash into the World Trade Center, with Omar’s quote as a caption followed by “Here’s your ‘something.’ 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”

It wasn’t long before the divides emerged again, as the helpless Omar ran for cover behind her much louder and more social media-savvy friend, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

The socialist poster child immediately responded by calling the Post’s cover “horrifying [and] hateful,” before launching into several absurd tangents in a shoddy effort to defend Omar’s comments; among them were the laughably hollow claim that Omar’s prior co-sponsoring of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (yet another largely symbolic move) somehow excused her comments, a false equivocation claiming that the GOP’s refusal to support socialized healthcare is somehow as bad as neglecting 9/11 families and survivors, and even the perpetuation of the idiotic conspiracy theory that right-wing extremism is on the rise in America (hint: it’s not).

President Trump once again seized this golden opportunity to get ahead of the media and frame the debate himself, posting a gut-wrenching video on Twitter that contrasted Omar’s comments with the horrifying images and sounds of that fateful day.

And once again the floodgates of internal Democratic division were opened, as there was no shortage of prominent Democrats—from the 2020 field to the halls of Congress—who rushed to the defense of someone who literally downplayed the severity of 9/11, just to score political points against Trump. The trap was set, and many a gullible quarry were caught.

All Politics is Local

Trump’s handling of every single stupid comment that Omar makes is twofold. On the national scene, he is shining a spotlight on her bigotry and anti-Americanism in order to keep the Democrats on defense, as they are forced time and again to answer for the vile rhetoric of their most radical member of Congress. This already is a lose-lose for them: They either condemn her and anger their growing far-left base, or they begrudgingly excuse her and lose moderate voters as they expose their true colors.

But his strategy is also effective at the local level too, primarily because of the fact that his target in this latest battle is in the House of Representatives, and thus from a small portion of a larger state. That state, of course, is Minnesota; a state that Trump only narrowly lost in 2016, coming closer to winning it than any Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

As one look at the state’s electoral map will tell you, the vast geographic majority of the state is dominated by rural counties, populated by farmers and other working-class voters, AKA Trump Country. And yet these days, Minnesota is only ever in the news not because of the conditions of the working class or the benefits that Trump’s protectionism have brought about for its population, but because of the stupidity of Ilhan Omar making the state as a whole look bad. There is arguably no greater tactic for really firing up the Trump base in this crucial Rust Belt state going into 2020, with 10 electoral votes at stake.

The importance of local politics as a result of Omar’s latest slurs may even provide the long sought-after silver bullet that could finally take down Ocasio-Cortez, who is the true political threat from the socialist wing of the Left.

Previous Republican efforts to criticize her over such trivial matters as her “three chambers of Congress” gaffe have been remarkably ineffective, and understandably so. But Ocasio-Cortez has made the very grave mistake of focusing more on her own national profile than on representing her own district. Just ask Eric Cantor (R-Va.), or even Ocasio-Cortez’s predecessor Joe Crowley (R-N.Y.), how that worked out.

It goes without saying that New Yorkers can be quite nativist when it comes to their city’s identity being attacked by outsiders; just see the response to Ted Cruz’s “New York values” comments against Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries. And there is no greater subject that can possibly tug at the heartstrings of New Yorkers more than the wounds of 9/11.

And yet here we are, for the first time ever, seeing a member of New York’s congressional delegation unapologetically agreeing with someone who said that 9/11 essentially wasn’t that bad. Ocasio-Cortez, for all her boasting about being “a poor girl from the Bronx” (not really), has proven eager to eschew her supposedly beloved identity as a New Yorker in favor of defending a member of her “squad,” morality and reality be damned. Her potential opponents in 2020, both in the primary and the general election, could not ask for a greater gift with which to really whip up voters into an anti-AOC frenzy.

Trump Takes More Pawns

It is all too clear that in the post-Mueller era of this presidency, President Trump has truly been unchained and is finally free to go entirely on offense against his political opponents, without having to worry about defending himself against a bogus investigation.

As such, we are now frequently treated to the Trump we saw on the campaign trail, uninhibited by conspiracy theories of collusion and with multiple targets around him all ripe for a sniping. The master persuader is back and ready to start framing the latest national debates on his terms, and whether or not Democrats are ready to admit it, this is a battle for which they are not prepared in the slightest.

Whether it’s the latest garbage spewed by Ilhan Omar, or the Democrats’ blindingly fast 180-degree turn on sanctuary cities, Trump is once again ready and able to prove that he will outsmart the Democrats at every political maneuver, taking out their chess pieces one by one as they scramble wildly around the board.

And as the 2020 presidential election draws closer and these battles have a clear impact on the crop of Democratic candidates vying for the nomination, their continued displays of hypocrisy, radicalism, and obnoxiously insincere self-righteousness will further drive moderate voters away from them while also firing up Trump’s base. The subsequent results will leave the Democrats even more humiliated than they were two years ago.

Photo credit:  Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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