Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • GOPe • Post • Republicans

T’was a Nice Republic, While It Lasted

On or around 9 a.m. EST, on July 24, 2019, as a gentle breeze wafted over the gingerly groomed Kentucky bluegrass grounds of the National Mall, the great God-Emperor of American Justice himself—Robert Swan Mueller III—descended, like Moses from Mount Sinai or Zeus from Mount Olympus. Downward he came from his lofty perch in the heavenlies, whence the right judgments of his all-knowing, unbiased and perfectly objective mind emanate like piercing UV rays of legal wisdom from the sun itself.

Why were we blessed with this spectacular, once in a lifetime visitation, which only a few million eyes have seen?

As the media mavens breathlessly informed us, over and over again, Lord Mueller was summoned to appear in deceptively frail human form to converse with his humble servants (i.e., congressional House Democrats) about his most recent, and apparently final, infallible encyclical on the serious matter of Russia’s successful attempt to install Donald J. Trump as president and personal sock-puppet to Vladimir Putin—thereby denying the Oval Office the graces of its rightful heir and pre-ordained occupant, Madam Secretary Hillary! Rodham Clinton.

Lord Mueller assured everyone that CrowdStrike was correct: Putin achieved this dastardly feat of WikiLeaks hacking and stole the American presidential election by: a) running a couple thousand dollars worth of ads on Facebook; b) somehow guessing that John Podesta’s email password was “password”; and c) somehow getting into the former secretary of state’s basement where she kept her private unsecured email server—no matter what Ellen Ratner says Julian Assange told her directly, and despite not ever having had either servers in the FBI’s chain of custody.

To lend Mueller’s definitive analysis even more credibility, the very Democrat attorney who represented Clinton’s former IT guy (who at Clinton’s direction allegedly wiped her server clean of any evidence) was sworn in with Mueller. This same attorney, the Democrats were relieved to hear, also ran the special counsel’s day-to-day affairs while Lord Mueller apparently was napping most of the time. But for Lord Mueller’s assurances, there were absolutely no conflicts of interest in any of this, this fact might otherwise have been mildly concerning, even to CNN legal analysts, who were busy organizing impeachment parties before the hearing started.

In any event, the assembled patron saints of congressional districts from sea to shining sea had been entrusted, by virtue of this divine commission, the great task of explaining to the boobery in red-state flyover country why—despite the apparent lack of any actual evidence of collusion, conspiracy, or whatever—and a terribly confusing explanation from Lord Mueller himself as to why he was (uncharacteristically) unwilling to make a prosecutorial decision at all about obstruction of justice—it is nonetheless their somber and sublime duty to impeach the duly elected president, Donald J. Trump. And, as a bonus, they must hang him high for treason (something to do with building hotels before he became president), too.

After all, Lord Mueller pronounced Trump “not exonerated,” and as everyone knows, the presumption in America has always been that Republican presidents must prove their innocence beyond any reasonable or unreasonable doubt whatsoever, and be subjected to endless accusation and systematic investigation until they resign, or are impeached, or at least are not re-elected.

Various sundry hoi polloi and their rabble-rousers (i.e., congressional House Republicans) also attended, to maintain the illusion that what was going on was somehow vaguely connected to the Constitution; but Mueller rightly paid them no mind. Instead, he cleverly Jedi mind-tricked them into repeating their questions several times over the course of nearly half their allotted time, and otherwise encouraged them to use the rest of their allotted minutes talking to his trembling right hand. Apparently, his hand had nothing to say, either.

He was, in short, having none of their impertinent inquiries into his staff deliberations, reasons for declining to prosecute implicated Democrats, decisions to arrest and torture others he wished to see punished, why he only looked into one side of his remit and studiously ignored the other, and other such off-topic desiderata that might actually have boosted the spectacle’s ratings.

To be sure, there was no way the majority was going to insist he lower himself and be subjected to mere mortal standards of under-oath testimony—which is to say, Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) were not going to allow much less compel him to be seriously cross-examined, or even frisked. No. That they will reserve for the likes of the fiendish (not to mention suspiciously hot) Hope Hicks.

All in all, Mueller’s testimony amounted to a dreadfully dull affair in which any discerning patriot would realize that all these endless XYZ-gates and their interminable special investigations have achieved is to flip every principle we say we stand for upside-down in the bloodlust for partisan electoral advantage.

T’was a nice republic, while it lasted. Requiescat In Pace.

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2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Conservatives • Donald Trump • Featured Article • GOPe • Great America • Republicans

Confessions of a Recovering Neoconservative

The realignment of the political Right has prompted a public confessional of sorts, a raw acknowledgement that millions of us were led astray by Republiican leaders we trusted, we voted for, and we defended during times of war. We only have ourselves to blame, of course, because we did it with our eyes wide open. But the Trump era is forcing many Republicans to reexamine what we once believed and reassess what actually is true.

In a fiery speech earlier this month at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C., Fox News host Tucker Carlson talked about purging his “mental attic” to dust off the ideas that he had accepted as legitimate over past few decades.

“The Trump election was so shocking . . . that it did cause some significant percentage of people to say ‘wait a second, if that can happen, what else is true?’” Carlson said. “Just look around . . . who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? A lot of the people we’ve been told are good guys are not. Some of them are the worst guys. I’ll let you figure out who.”

Carlson didn’t need to name names because the conservatives in the room, I assume, envisioned pretty much the same collection of bad guys—and they aren’t on the Left.

For the most part, the list would include Republican villains such as Bill Kristol, Carlson’s former boss at the now-defunct Weekly Standard, and a number of other conservative commentators still clinging to the mantras that afford them their sinecures; Bush family members and certain administration officials; former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and the late John McCain; former Republican congressional leaders such as ex-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; and an assortment of well-heeled donors.

They populate most of the Beltway clique of once-influential thought and political leaders who controlled the Republican Party for more than two decades and whose collective incompetence, arrogance, and intellectual torpor resulted in their ouster in the form of Donald Trump’s election on November 8, 2016.

In fact, Carlson’s Trump-inspired epiphany echoed my own internal thoughts during much of the conference—thoughts I’ve had consistently over the past three years—but in my head have been far more harsh than Carlson’s public musings. Others shared similar reflections about both the people and the policies they once were loyal to. As I’ve purged my own mental attic of alleged truisms and political heroes since November 2016, here is what I often think:

You idiot. How dumb could you be? How could you have been duped by these frauds for so long?

Like millions of Republicans, especially those of us who once considered ourselves to be neoconservatives before watching the public meltdown of our one-time heroes into a molten pool of pathetic and sniveling NeverTrump Republicans, the presidency of Donald Trump has forced me to reckon with my own political stupidity and gullibility. Not only was my faith placed in the hands of self-serving and fundamentally dishonest people, I now realize that in trusting them, I unwittingly defended misguided policies that have wreaked havoc on large swaths of the country.

When I first started out in politics in the early 1990s, a few years after I graduated from college, Kristol and his fellow neoconservative headmasters were my political idols. I was “squishy,” as Kristol once put it, on immigration and nodded my head in agreement with those who argued non-Americans would do the work that Americans wouldn’t. After all, who else would happily staff our restaurants and stock our grocery stores and fertilize our lawns while keeping the costs cheap? It’s a win-win for everyone!

Free trade opened up new markets for American goods around the world, there could be no downside. American companies owed us nothing, and if they decided to move jobs and resources and tax dollars to a more hospitable country, welp, that’s laissez-faire economics, folks! If you got hooked on drugs or stuck in a low-wage job or trapped in a decaying industrial town, that was your own damn fault. You should have been more ambitious, anyway.

Nation-building in the Middle East at the expense of American soldiers from the Midwest was the only way to defend our sovereignty and secure our future. Of course U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators in any country. Of course the war would end quickly. No, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney would never mislead us about weapons of mass destruction.

That, and more, was my political mindset for more than two decades. I defended broad policies bolstered by platitudes and endorsed by my “Conservative Betters” without taking a moment to consider the long-term consequences or measure their outcomes. Why quibble about the details when you have all of “The Smart People” on your side? I mean, Bill Kristol was on TV!

In the end, being a neoconservative meant having no skin in the game. You could push for war in other countries because it wasn’t your child who would be deployed. You could argue in favor of “free trade” because your company wasn’t relocating overseas. You could support unfettered immigration because foreigners weren’t taking your job and probably wouldn’t compete with your children when the time came. You could ignore the influx of illegal drugs or the shuttering of manufacturing plants or rising white illegitimacy rates because none of it was happening in your suburb or the tony enclave of your city.

It didn’t matter if none of it really worked in practice as long as it worked in theory.

Meanwhile, those policies that sounded so good in theory from my comfortable environs were hammering Middle America. Simmering rage about the consequences of illegal immigration went unnoticed. Drug abuse soared as illicit narcotics and prescription painkillers, unrestrained by government action or political attention, flooded blighted communities. Unfair trade agreements robbed farmers and steelworkers and small business owners of profit. Still, neoconservatives clung to their vaunted yet vague “principles” as they sneered and looked the other way.

And that’s how we got Trump, as they say.

Now, thanks to Trump’s ascendance, we know why neoconservatives ignored the plight of their less fortunate countrymen: They hold them in contempt. Neocon NeverTrumpers have ridiculed Trump supporters as unsophisticated, racist rubes incapable of independent thought who blindly following the lead of their Bad Orange Master. Kristol said in 2017 that white, working-class Americans were “decadent, lazy, [and] spoiled.” He even accused Carlson, his one-time protégé, of being a white nationalist.

As they pivot away from positions they once claimed to hold, vanquished neoconservatives offer nothing in the way of “conservative” alternatives to Trumpism, just the same stale mantras about free trade and virtuous illegal immigration and the “free market.” Those leaders who once insisted America wage any number of wars securing borders in foreign lands and sold to us as protecting the “national interest” now rage about the sinister roots of Trump-afflicted “nationalism” and complain about those who insist we secure our own borders.

I’m not the only recovering neoconservative with regrets. Norman Podhoretz, one of the original architects of neoconservatism, also has second thoughts about the last couple decades. He has reconsidered his previous adherence to once defining tropes about conservatism, particularly those about trade and immigration.

“The idea that we’re living in a free trade paradise was itself wrong . . . there was no reason to latch onto it as a sacred dogma,” Podhoretz admitted in an April 2019 interview, “And that was true of immigration. I was always pro-immigration because I’m the child of immigrants. So I was very reluctant to join in Trump’s skepticism about the virtues of immigration. What has changed my mind about immigration now—even legal immigration—is that our culture has weakened to the point where it’s no longer attractive enough for people to want to assimilate to, and we don’t insist that they do assimilate.”

That is one reason why the current transformation of the Republican Party will outlive Donald Trump. Yes, the figureheads have changed, but so too have the policy priorities and the views of many rank-and-file Republicans. As we look around at the smoldering debris left behind by a “conservatve” political class that has been inattentive—even hostile—to the basic well-being of so much of the American middle class which is and must be the heart and soul of American society and culture, we know that there is no turning back to the era of selective ignorance and deference to rarified political pedigree.

And the “bad guys” should never be allowed to regain a position of influence again.

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Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Intelligence Community • Post • Republicans • Russia • The Media

Democrats’ Attack Machine Revs Up Against Ratcliffe

Twenty minutes before President Trump announced Sunday afternoon on Twitter that Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) would be his choice to replace Dan Coats as the director of national intelligence, the Democrats’ attack machine already was in action.

“John Ratcliffe, by one measure the second most conservative member of Congress, appears to believe that the Russia investigation was cooked up by Democrats who ‘committed crimes.’ Now Trump reportedly is considering placing atop the US intelligence community,” tweeted NBC News analyst Ken Dilanian, pejoratively known as “Fusion Ken” for his ties to the infamous opposition research shop, Fusion GPS.

(Take note of Dilanian’s scare quotes around “committed crimes” as if the whole thing was legit and not under criminal investigation by a U.S. attorney or a separate probe by the Justice Department inspector general.)

Trump then confirmed the pick on Twitter, saying Ratcliffe will “lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves.”

Ratcliffe, a member of both the House Intelligence and House Judiciary committees, earned plaudits last week during the disastrous Robert Mueller hearings for his verbal vivisection of Mueller’s claims about not exonerating Donald Trump on alleged obstruction of justice offenses.

“The special counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence,” Ratcliffe told the bewildered prosecutor. “It’s not in any of the documents, it’s not in your appointment order, it’s not in the special counsel regulations, it’s not in the OLC opinions, it’s not in Department of Justice manual.”

Pointing out that the president, like any other American, is entitled to a presumption of innocence immediately caused the Left to brand Ratcliffe a Trump shill, lackey and suck-up.

Now Trump foes are using Ratcliffe’s performance against him while lauding the work of Coats, who publicly made it clear in May that he intended to stonewall Trump’s directive to declassify all documents related to the corrupt origins of the Obama Administration’s investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign. Coats succeeded James Clapper, a known anti-Trump partisan, who was a key player in concocting the bogus Russian collusion hoax in 2016. Attorney General Bill Barr is investigating the entire scandal, which includes any involvement by Clapper or his surrogates.

The media and top Democrats, including Clapper’s partner-in-collusion, former CIA Director John Brennan, immediately started bashing Ratcliffe on Twitter while commending Coats as a courageous straight shooter.

“Dan Coats served ably & with deep integrity,” Brennan tweeted early Monday morning. “Ratcliffe showed abject subservience to Trump in Mueller hearings. The women & men in the Intelligence Community deserve a leader like Coats who puts nation first; not a servile Trump loyalist like Ratcliffe.”

Coats “has had the independence and strength to speak truth to power,” tweeted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that will preside over Ratcliffe’s confirmation hearing, tweeted that the “mission of the intelligence community is to speak truth to power. As DNI, Dan Coats stayed true to that mission.”

CNN contributor Garrett Graff mocked Ratcliffe while lauding his CNN colleague: “Before becoming DNI, Jim Clapper had worked in U.S. intelligence for nearly fifty years and personally headed two of the nation’s 17 intel agencies. By comparison, John Ratcliffe was the mayor of Heath, Texas, pop., 8000.”

The increasingly unstable Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” offered some public relations advice to those seeking to tank Ratcliffe’s nomination.

“Just start calling Ratcliffe a fascist,” Scarborough suggested on Monday morning’s show. “And call him a fascist throughout this entire process. Call him a fascist for the rest of his career until this fascist apologizes to capitalists who are Democrats who he has mislabeled.”

Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman insisted that the “ultra-conservative” Ratcliffe would make Russian interference in the next election “more likely.” Waldman’s perpetually hysterical colleague, NeverTrumper Max Boot, claimed that “Ratcliffe has no qualifications in the intelligence field, but he does have a history of slavish loyalty to Trump—as he demonstrated by berating and maligning special counsel Robert S. Mueller III during the House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.”

Ratcliffe, 53, is qualified to serve as DNI, a position created in 2004. (Coats, a former U.S. senator from Indiana, served for one term on the Senate Intelligence Committee.) The third-term congressman is a former U.S. attorney, federal terrorism prosecutor. and Texas mayor.

But the freakout about Ratcliffe has nothing to do with his qualifications or his appropriate excoriation of Robert Mueller last week. The Left and NeverTrump Republicans who’ve been fully invested in the now-discredited Russian collusion scam also have helped cover up the real scandal, which is how the most powerful law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the world were weaponized by the Obama administration against the Trump campaign and the incoming Trump administration. They are terrified that Ratcliffe, like Barr, will expose the abuse of power, widespread corruption and media complicity behind the hoax, just as the 2020 election gets underway.

Unlike the current deification of Coats for allegedly “speaking truth to power,” the real truth-seekers are people like Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ratcliffe, Barr, and Trump who know that Americans are entitled to know exactly what went down in 2016 and 2017. Senate Republicans would be well-advised to make sure Ratcliffe’s nomination proceeds quickly, despite the egregious attacks.

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Administrative State • Center for American Greatness • Donald Trump • Post • Republicans

Fiscal Conservatism, R.I.P.

The drama over congressional testimony from Special Counsel Robert Mueller this week obscured other important legislation before Congress—like the mammoth $2 trillion, two-year budget deal lawmakers passed on Thursday.

While this budget deal got very little attention outside or even inside the Beltway, it is a massive agreement that betrays any notion of fiscal responsibility, and significantly limits the influence lawmakers have on spending over the next two years.

President Trump has declared his intention to sign it. He was pushed in this direction by Senate Republicans, who reportedly had no interest in saving even a little money by doing a one-year straight extension of spending.

Instead of working with fiscal conservatives within the administration, Senate Republican leadership haughtily declared they would not negotiate with the president’s staff, and hid behind misleading arguments about military funding.

Though some on the Right applauded the deal for preventing Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats from inserting liberal policy provisions—colloquially referred to as “poison pills”—this mischaracterizes as victory an agreement that does little more than enshrine the status quo.

According to the text of the agreement circulated to Capitol Hill staff, “poison pills” will not be added to any spending bill “unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of the President.”

In other words, “how a bill becomes a law” is being touted as a major win, protecting pro-life priorities and a host of other issues. This is a distorted Washington way of making the obvious seem profound.

“Unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of a president” is merely a handshake agreement that can be (and may be) violated at any point. Moreover, it is only what is already required to pass a spending bill in the Senate, where achieving the necessary 60 votes to end a filibuster requires the participation of both parties, anyway.

Defense hawks and some in the White House touted the deal as a win for the military, but this is hardly the case. Funding for the troops was again cynically used to manipulate support for a deal that, in reality, only increases defense spending above Fiscal Year 2019 levels by $5 billion.

Congress as a whole gets a pass on making any tough spending choices, as this agreement suspends the debt ceiling without consequence for the next two years, and places no limit on the amount of money that can be spent in the interim. And the outline of the agreement provides deeming authority, otherwise known as the process by which the Congress sets spending levels without ever having to pass a budget.

A Grim Fiscal Scenario
To understand just how bad this deal is, one has to appreciate the fiscal context in which it takes place.

In 2011, conservatives fought—and won—an agreement based around the concept of “cut, cap, and balance.” Under the leadership of conservative senators, and supported by the 2010 electoral Tea Party wave, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act (BCA), which placed spending caps on defense spending and domestic spending (outside of entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). Congress was incentivized to hold to these caps by a sequester—automatic cuts—that would kick in if spending went too high.

Thanks to the BCA, total federal outlays (in nominal dollars) actually declined for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower’s first term in office. From 2011 to 2017, the growth in federal spending, adjusted for inflation, was zero.

But Congress, being Congress, has spent years chipping away at this fiscal discipline. This current deal obliterates any that remains, thoroughly destroying what is left of the spending caps and rebuilding the culture of excess spending in Washington.

The backdrop to this is a dire fiscal picture. The federal deficit is set to exceed $1 trillion every year starting in 2022. According to the Congressional Budget Office, spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) rises to 21 percent this year, on track to 28 percent by 2049. Only three years (the war-time years of 1944 and 1945, as well as 2000) have had higher spending-to-GDP ratios. The federal debt held by the public will increase to 92 percent of the economy in 2029, up from 78 percent this year. Interest on the debt as a share of the economy will soon surpass defense spending.

This is an unsustainable fiscal path. In a telling statistic, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 105 percent in the first quarter of 2019. According to the World Bank, debt-to-GDP ratios which exceed just 77 percent for an extended period result in slower economic expansion. Every percentage point of debt above this level costs the country around 2 percent of sustained growth. The United States has been well above this threshold for years.

Yet both parties largely remain unmoved. Led by conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee, House Republicans united to oppose the budget deal this week, which still passed with full Democrat support.

But House conservatives have been undermined at every step by Senate Republicans, who appear to have virtually no interest in restoring fiscal sanity. The majority party in the Senate dismissed the White House’s suggested $150 billion in spending offsets, opting instead to side with House Democrats in a paltry $77 billion in offsets whose application are delayed long enough to ensure they will most likely never take effect.

The attitude of Senate Republicans was probably best summed up by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who reportedly reassured President Trump in the Oval Office that “no politician has ever lost office for spending more money.”

The state of fiscal conservatism has been on the decline in the last five years, but this budget deal officially represents its funeral. The party that gave us “cut, cap, and balance” is a shadow of its former self.

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Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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.

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Donald Trump • Economy • feminists • Post • Republicans

Lara Trump Tries to Fix Her Party’s Woman Problem

Last week, one month before she was set to give birth to her second child, Lara Trump came to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to kick off the 2020 Women for Trump coalition, planting a flag, or at least an olive branch, in some of the least Trump-friendly terrain in the Keystone State: suburban Philadelphia.

Poised, witty and sharply on message, President Trump’s daughter-in-law is a natural in a position she says is far removed from her modest upbringing. “I grew up in a middle-class family in North Carolina, and I couldn’t have ever imagined that I would be a part of anything like this,” she told me.

Her job is both simple and complicated: keeping the old female voters and persuading the new ones for her father-in-law, who, to be frank, has a woman problem. The foundation of his base has been and continues to be men, explained Jeff Brauer, a political science professor at Keystone College. “Particularly married men, who voted for Trump nearly 20 points higher than Clinton in 2016,” he said. “To be accurate though, it is not just a Trump problem. Single women, who make up almost half of the women in the country, tend to be strongly Democratic. In 2016, Clinton won unmarried women by almost 30 points.”

Single men also went to Hillary Clinton but by a tiny two-point margin.

“So the real key is married women. They will decide the next presidency,” said Brauer.

Lara Trump says her biggest challenge isn’t retaining the women who voted for her father-in-law in 2016; instead, it’s winning the votes of women who didn’t vote for him but now find they like his policies while disliking his comportment.

“I think there are a lot of people, men and women alike, who feel that way out there,” she said. “The reality is that you don’t have to love everything about this president, but you sure can love the direction that he’s taking this country.” She rattled off his policies, from tax cuts to national security. She landed on the age-old question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

“You might not love everything he tweets, but you never have to wonder what this president is thinking. He’s very transparent,” she said, days after critics and supporters alike cringed at a tweet he lobbed at the “squad” of new Democratic congresswomen.

“I think because he is unconventional, he’s been incredibly effective,” she said. “You don’t have to follow all of the old rules in Washington, D.C. He’s beholden only to the American people, not to lobbyists, not to special interest groups.”

The campaign’s decision to kick off Women for Trump in Montgomery County, a suburban Philly county that supported Clinton in 2016, was no accident. It plans to make inroads with married suburban women, because it has to win reelection in 2020.

For two decades, married women have gravitated toward Republican presidential candidates.

In fact, Republican candidates have won the married women vote since 1996, said Brauer: “In 2012, Romney beat Obama with this demographic 53 percent to 46 percent. However, this trend changed in 2016. Clinton was able to edge out Trump with married women 49 percent to 47 percent—still a decent showing for Trump running against the first woman major candidate.”

Brauer said evidence of Trump’s suburban-women voter problem emerged in the results of last year’s midterm elections and in part comes from his uncensored use of Twitter. “Some of this erosion is due to his brash comments about and to prominent women and racial minorities, and some is due to his policy stances, such as his efforts to repeal health care reforms and the treatment of migrant families on the border,” he said.

Given all that, it is a smart and critical initiative for the Trump team to begin specifically courting women’s votes, especially in places like suburban Philadelphia. And Lara Trump’s visit was the beginning of the initiative, said Brauer.

“These suburbs have a strong demographic of married women who tend to vote Republican but are willing to vote Democratic for the right candidates. So their votes must be earned,” said Brauer.

The strongest message for married women is probably an economic one: This demographic knows firsthand the struggles of maintaining a career and raising a family, especially to give their children more opportunities than they had.

“The message should be all about the booming economy, especially low unemployment/high job opportunities, increasing wages/salaries, tax cuts and the ability to retire with the growth of 401(k)s,” said Brauer. “They need to be convinced their families and children will have a better economic life with a second Trump term.”

If the Trump team can successfully make that argument, then perhaps these women will overlook the president’s foibles and their disparities with him, said Brauer. “It is an effort worth undertaking.”


Photo credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Post • Republicans

Republicans, Don’t Screw Up the Mueller Hearing

Republicans will have a chance to redeem themselves this week after the farce they helped create: The special counsel investigation into alleged “collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee in a public hearing for a total of five hours on Wednesday—not nearly enough time to plumb the depths of his 448-page report or to grill Mueller about his tactics and partisan team of investigators. Republicans will need to make the most of the limited time they have.

So, this seems like an appropriate time to remind Republicans that they are as much to blame as Democrats for foisting this costly, useless and destructive travesty on the American people.

With few exceptions, Republicans capitulated to every single Democratic demand and the ongoing media-manufactured hysteria about the urgency required to investigate so-called “election collusion.”

“Some of us very early on saw enormous conflicts [with Mueller], even conflicted as being a witness. We knew there was something wrong,” U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), one of the few Republicans skeptical of the Mueller probe from the beginning, told me on Monday. “But once the inspector general report came out and revealed the bias and corruption at the top of DOJ and FBI, we started getting help.”

But Republicans should have been wary before Michael Horowitz released his report in June 2018. By the time Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017, Republicans on Capitol Hill knew that the collusion accusation had been concocted by Obama loyalists in the government and Democratic political operatives.

Republicans knew that former FBI Director James Comey had been investigating the Trump campaign since July 2016 and tried to hide it from congressional leaders in violation of normal protocol.

Republicans knew that the so-called “dossier” authored by Christopher Steele was loaded with unsubstantiated allegations and that Steele was working on opposition research paid for by anti-Trump partisans. Republicans knew that law enforcement and intelligence officials were illegally leaking classified information to the media to bolster the collusion storyline.

Republicans also knew that Obama holdovers had attempted to criminalize phone calls between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador with ludicrous accusations about Logan Act violations to animate the collusion fantasy.

Yet despite the backdrop of malfeasance, most Republicans caved to pleas for a special counsel and defended the appointment of a clearly-conflicted Robert Mueller. (Mueller and Comey have been friends for nearly two decades.) Top GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate, including former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), slobbered over Mueller, greenlighting what would turn out to be a sham inquiry that essentially robbed Trump of the first two years of his presidency.

When Mueller’s lengthy report was finished in March, it confirmed what a handful of independent observers—and the president—knew: There was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. But to divert from their failed mission and fuel the Democrats’ impeachment crusade, Mueller’s report outlined several instances of alleged obstruction of justice by the president

House Democrats will hammer Mueller on the obstruction of justice section of the report, hoping for digestible soundbites to leverage in 2020. House Republicans need to follow their own script and resist playing into the Democrats’ hands. There are plenty of questions that Republicans could ask Mueller to expose the roots of the fruitless inquiry and numerous flaws in the report.

Republican members, however, would be wise to focus on two key controversies: The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and Trump’s alleged efforts to shut down the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The media and the special counsel continue to mischaracterize those storylines, omitting crucial details and conflating separate circumstances to present an inaccurate depiction of both.

The Trump Tower Meeting
The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting is the most scrutinized campaign briefing in the history of American politics. Yet it appears the whole thing was a set-up perpetrated by the very same folks who produced the so-called Steele dossier. And since Team Mueller investigated the meeting, including whether it violated campaign finance laws, it’s fair game.

Further, recent comments by developer Felix Sater, a subject of the investigation, suggest that Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, committed perjury when he claimed that Sater was the reason his firm began looking into Trump’s ties to the Kremlin.

“It actually was the fact he was working for [Natalia] Veselnitskaya, I don’t know if anybody knows that, but he’d been working with her for quite some time,” Sater told reporters on July 14.

If the name “Veselnitskaya” sounds familiar, it’s because she is the infamous Russian lawyer who attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. and other top campaign officials. (This is a good time to note that the Mueller report does not mention Simpson or Fusion GPS anywhere in those hundreds of pages.) In the Mueller report, Veselnitskaya is described as a “Russian attorney who advocated for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act and was the principal speaker at the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.”

Mueller intentionally omitted the fact that Veselnitskaya was working with Simpson to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of Prevezon, a Russian holding company accused of violating the Magnitsky Act. Mueller omitted mentioning that Simpson had dinner with Veselnitskaya on June 8 in New York City and on June 10 in Washington, D.C. Mueller also omitted mentioning that Simpson was in court with Veselnitskaya in New York City just hours before the dastardly Trump Tower meeting.

This sham could be exposed with two questions: “Mr. Mueller, did you investigate collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Russians since Mr. Simpson was working for both the Clinton campaign and a Russian company? Do you suspect that the meeting between Trump campaign officials and lobbyists working with Glenn Simpson was a set-up to advance the Russian collusion narrative that Simpson was concocting before the election to impact its outcome?”

The Flynn Matter
One of the most egregious sleights-of-hand in the Mueller report is the distorted portrayal of the Michael Flynn matter in order to concoct the most credible case of Trump attempting to obstruct justice.

Mueller repeatedly referred to the “Russia investigation” as it related to Flynn, an intentionally vague description intended to conflate three separate inquiries: The general investigation into Russia election meddling, the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, and the FBI’s investigation into whether Flynn violated the Logan Act in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak (another shady character I have covered at American Greatness.)

According to Comey’s personal memos, on February 14, 2017, Trump mentioned the possibility of “letting Flynn go.” Trump clearly was referring to the FBI’s ridiculous Logan Act probe; Comey sent two FBI agents to ambush Flynn in the White House a few days after the inauguration and interrogate him about the Kislyak calls. Justice Department officials met with Trump’s personal lawyer in late January to alert the White House that Flynn possibly violated the Logan Act, a so-called dead letter law that is on the books but never used.

So when Trump referred to the Flynn “thing,” he meant the Logan Act investigation, not the collusion investigation. Nonetheless, Mueller suggested on page 44 of Volume II that Trump’s comment could constitute obstruction “by shutting down an inquiry that could result in a grand jury investigation and a criminal charge.”

Now, your average reader or Hollywood actor would easily interpret this as an effort by Trump to shut down the collusion investigation into Flynn. The only problem is that Comey did not disclose the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, which included Flynn, until March 2017, one month after Flynn resigned and one month after Trump purportedly made his “let this go” remark. Comey withheld that explosive news from both the president and congressional leaders for months.

House Republicans need to press Mueller on this point: “Mr. Mueller, according to Comey, when Trump asked him to let the Flynn matter go, to what specifically was Trump referring?” If Mueller claims the president was referring to the collusion investigation, lawmakers need to clarify when Trump was made aware of the probe known as “Crossfire Hurricane” that targeted Flynn.

If Mueller replies that it referred to the Logan Act investigation, after a hearty laugh, House Republicans should ask Mueller for a history of grand jury investigations based on an ancient law that has never been used to prosecute anyone.

It’s impossible to gauge the price in terms of tax dollars, legal fees, professional reputations, personal well-being, political capital, and domestic strife inflicted by the Mueller investigation. But now Republicans can exact a small measure of retribution by discrediting the most controversial claims about both collusion and obstruction of justice. Democrats appear to be having second thoughts about Mueller’s public performance. Republicans should make them regret it.

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Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

Are Jews Ready to Pass Over the Democrats?

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

GOPe • Post • Republicans

Stiffening the Backbone of the Right

Many people seem surprised that CNN gave a platform to white-supremacist Richard Spencer this week. They angrily decry the outrageous hypocrisy of the Left putting Spencer on the national airwave when it routinely de-platforms those on the Right for far less than giving voice to self-avowed neo-Nazis. But why? Don’t you know the rules?

You know—the rules the Left is used to making, and the rules the “kept Right” is used to keeping. Did you actually think any of what is going on in Big Tech is really about stopping radical hate and violence? If that were true, all the folks from Antifa praising their terrorist lunatic who tried to shoot up a government facility this week would be de-platformed. Don’t hold your breath.

The Left demands that every elected Republican official publicly apologize for a some nutjob murderer in New Zealand, but do you think that means Leftists have to apologize for Antifa’s “principled” domestic terrorism against journalists and government buildings here at home? Pfft. What are you, a racist?

Spencer was deemed useful to pronounce Trump’s tweets racist. He quickly went on to complain that Trump has done nothing for white nationalists, contradicting the media narrative that Trump is somehow serving their interests, before CNN cut the interview.

But his job was done.

CNN doesn’t care about how gross it is that they gave him a platform. Spencer is now their little pet—their weapon to de-platform others, their new patsy they can trot out at will to say what they need him to say while cutting whatever’s inconvenient.

But, you object, how can avowed racists be treated as indisputable judges of what is racist and what is not? Aren’t we told daily that racist microaggressions are committed by those who think they aren’t racist?

Shut up, bigot. Learn the rules.

Yes, Democratic lawmakers can’t discipline their arrogant little children when they spout off nasty, anti-Semitic comments. And they don’t have to.

They don’t have to worry about making outright anti-Semitic remarks, or about outright racist remarks concerning “whiteness” being intrinsically evil, and hating it. You, however, better start worrying and apologizing for microaggressions of which you aren’t even aware and for distant ancestors you never knew.

They don’t have to resign from their governorship for posting KKK and blackface pictures as some kind of a sick joke when they got out of medical school. You’re a racist because you voted for President Trump in 2016. You’re a racist for even thinking about voting for him in 2020.

The mainstream media outlets don’t have to apologize for wild conspiracy theories that terrify half the nation, willingly concocted and spread in partnership with government officials against the opposing party. You have to apologize for not believing them.

They don’t have to apologize for spreading insane stories about how Justice Kavanaugh was a serial gang rapist. But you, well—you better #BelieveAllWomen.

Their professors don’t quiver in fear that fellow academics will find out their true views like conservative ones do, even though such views are shared by half the nation and billions of Christians throughout the world. No, their “serious intellectuals” gleefully publish trashy, non-scholarly articles bashing half the country as racist fascists from their cushy academic perches without thinking twice, and mock the Christian faith with impunity.

They don’t have to worry about making careful edits or quadruple checking their numbers or about facing protest and backlash if they conduct academic studies on controversial topics. They’re on the right side of history. You’re not.

They will discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, and political views as they please. You, on the other hand, better not. They don’t have to worry about their schools or businesses getting shut down. You do.

They don’t have to worry that calling a man a man or a woman a woman will get their social media accounts banned. You do. What are you, one of those bigoted, evil people who thinks men can’t get pregnant and unborn babies are human beings? You’re anti-science.

They don’t have to worry about the respectability of their publications if they associate with wild conspiracy theorists. They put batshit crazy charts worthy of the most rabid Q-anon follower in prominent places within prestigious pages.

These fundamentalist zealots have turned our public square into the show trial court of the woke inquisition, replete with the choice between public confession and the guillotine of unpersoning. But the media is not your priest, and the public square is not a court of law. Stop playing their game.

At some point, you will need to join the rest of us and wake up. That’s right. Get woke.

Study up on the systemic problem of identity politics and political correctness. Learn how it threatens America and has become its own religion. Listen and consider its bigotry, racism, and hatred of Americanism—and begin calling the Left out on it.

Proclaim what Abraham Lincoln called the central principle of American political thought: that at the fundamental level of being, all people are created equal, according to the laws of nature and nature’s God.

Proclaim, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King did, that we ought to judge others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

And let ’em beclown themselves by calling that racist.

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

Economy • Elections • Political Parties • Post • Republicans

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

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.”


Photo credit: Getty Images

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

Who Is for Middle America?

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.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Immigration • Post • Republicans

High-Skilled Immigrants Act Is a Sop to Big Tech

In a rare moment of bipartisanship last week, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to make a small, but fundamental change to our immigration system. Not to provide critically needed updates or wholesale reforms, but, rather, to toss a sop to the billionaires of Big Tech.

Thanks to furious lobbying from Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett Packard, Equifax, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, IBM, Cisco, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Eric Schmidt of Google’s group, among others, the House this week passed H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019.

The bill, which was supported by 140 Republicans and 224 Democrats, removes the per-country cap for employment-based immigration visas. In other words, it makes it easier for the tech giants and billionaires of Silicon Valley to hire cheap foreign labor over highly skilled Americans.

Current law requires that no country receive more than 7 percent of the employment-based green cards issued each year. This ensures that employment-based visas are limited to a global pool of talent in a wide variety of occupational sectors—and prevents one or two countries from dominating the distribution.

The practical effect is that individuals from countries with high demand for U.S. green cards—primarily China and India—can end up waiting years for their turn.

The wait is exacerbated by the fact that chain migration (which allows legal permanent residents to sponsor immediate and extended family members) accounts for about half of each country’s numerical limit being used each year. According to Department of Homeland Security data, in 2017 the family and employment-based country cap amounted to 25,620 slots from any single country.

H.R. 1044 seeks to address this by scrapping the caps for employment visas and raising the cap for family visas to 15 percent, without changing the total number of green cards available.

Tech companies may be celebrating that they can now more easily lay off American workers (though not before making sure they train their cheaper, foreign replacements), but there are other serious problems with this approach.

First among them is this is exactly the opposite of the goals President Trump touted during his campaign. “America First” requires a deference to domestic employment. The jobs in question are not the low-skilled labor jobs that Americans supposedly “will not do.”

Rather, these are the highly skilled tech jobs that current students are being told they can obtain, if only they take advantage of government programs promoting degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Why is one area of the government funding domestic STEM degrees with the promise of tech jobs, while the other is making it easier to undermine those positions with foreign labor?

Second, this change to our immigration system is hardly taken up on behalf of the interests of all Americans. The bill is a sop to Big Tech. Consider that Silicon Valley and their associates are those waiting for the green cards from China and India—with India getting about 25 percent of all the professional employment green cards each year.

Under the provisions of this bill, India would get more than 90 percent of the professional employment green cards, for at least the next 10 years. In other words, green cards would be unavailable to individuals from all other parts of the world, in every other occupation, for at least a decade. This is hardly fair, nor is it reflective of the American approach of welcoming immigrants from everywhere—not just one or two countries.

Finally, this entire debate is reflective of the blissful ignorance Congress chooses to live in when it comes to immigration. The entire system—how we handle both legal and illegal immigration—is in dire need of reform. But rather than focus on these major issues, Congress is content to pass tiny, rifle shot approaches that make small tweaks while doing nothing to solve the bigger issue, and in truth, they only complicate it.

This is all the more frustrating considering that the Trump administration has proposed a substantive, merit-based reform system that, if adopted, would eliminate the need for a per country cap system altogether—and, as Jessica Vaughan at the Center for Immigration Studies has put it, “would not reward the exploitative employers who thrive on the existing system.”

But all of this has not stopped the House of Representatives from stupidly patting themselves on the back for the bill’s passage, despite how wildly out of touch it makes them look.

This is the swamp President Trump promised to drain—where Big Tech can shell out dump trucks of money to make the immigration system work for them, but where the American people have no one who seems interested in making it work for us.

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America • American Conservatism • Center for American Greatness • Conservatives • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Republicans

Jilted Again! The NeverTrump-Left Alliance Crumbles

The political misfits known as NeverTrumpers are begging for allies ahead of next year’s presidential election—and, as usual, they aren’t looking to the Right.

This collection of failed magazine editors, Iraq War propagandists, washed-up columnists, Russian collusion pimps, and losing campaign consultants have dogged Donald Trump and his supporters for three years. While some anti-Trump “conservatives” who contributed to National Review’s infamous “Against Trump” issue in early 2016 have become supporters of the president, others cannot let go—but their obstinance is less about principle and more about grift: Acting as the useful conservative idiot for the Washington Post or MSNBC has breathed new life into once stale careers and burned reputations.

Despite making repeated threats and floating the names of several potential candidates, they have failed to produce a legitimate primary challenger to Trump. (Bill Kristol, the de facto head of NeverTrump Inc., last year claimed he was building a “war machine” to take on Trump in 2020, making this yet another war Kristol waged from the sidelines and lost.)

NeverTrumpers also failed to help Democrats run Trump out of the Oval Office, whether it was by promoting the egregious special counsel investigation into imaginary Russian collusion or supporting any and all empty calls for impeachment. They have not produced a detailed policy agenda to offer an alternative to Trumpism, only bromides about vague “principles.”

Now, armed with the same unjustified hubris and political fecklessness that turned once-influential conservatives into a punchline, NeverTrumpers are warning Democrats that they need to find some imaginary center so they can join forces to Dump Trump in 2020.

A slew of groveling NeverTrumpers have published columns proffering advice that no one asked for to people who don’t want it. And in the process, they’ve proved correct those of us who’ve been critical of the motives and alleged “principles” these high-minded has-beens claim to possess over deplorable Trumpkins.

Mona Charen, once a conservative stalwart, admitted in a July 9 column for Politico not only that she voted Democratic in 2018—subsequently empowering the likes of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the contemptible Ilham Omar (D-Minn.)—but that her vote is available again in 2020, with a few caveats.

After detailing the leftist impulses of nearly every Democratic presidential candidate, Charen coaches the cadre of would-be authoritarians: “Do what you think is right—propose legislation to fix Obamacare or spend more on basic research of climate change or whatever—but in the constitutional way,” Charen advised candidates who have demonstrated nothing but contempt and hostility toward the U.S. Constitution. “As a lifelong conservative, I think your policy ideas are ill-advised. But this cycle, other Trump-disgusted Republicans and I can contemplate voting Democrat.”

Claiming for the millionth time without evidence that Trump poses an “existential threat to the United States,” author Tom Nichols criticized the Democratic Party’s lurch to the Left. (Nichols voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has twice renounced his membership in the GOP.) Democrats should temper their socialist policy goals, Nichols argued in a July 1 column for USA Today, and focus only on Trump.

“But the key here is that I have just stated my only requirement for an opposition candidate: the ability to get to 270 electoral votes. This election is a referendum on Donald Trump, and nothing else should even come close as the central issue,” the allegedly “principled conservative” warned.

Nichols is really saying that voters should disregard the dangerous policies and hardline tactics of every single Democratic candidate to satisfy his vain need to oust Trump. The candidate’s leftist plans to  upend our political system and our economy don’t matter, only his or her ability to win 270 electoral votes and deny them to Donald Trump.

That, dear reader, is an actual existential threat to our country.

Over at The Bulwark, the refuge of Weekly Standard rejects and leftist billionaire shills, Sarah Longwell frets that a break-up between the Democrats and NeverTrumpers is imminent. But that didn’t stop her from writing a “can’t we try one more time?” letter to the field of Democratic presidential candidates who, like most recipients of a “can’t we try one more time?” letter, will likely pity then ignore the sad little plea from a spurned suitor.

“It seems to me that our differences are reconcilable,” Longwell suggests. “Because ultimately, NeverTrumpers and Democrats want the same thing. And like staying together for the kids, we should stay together for the country. We can fight over marginal tax rates later, after America has restored its basic political norms.”

How can this estranged pair stay together? They will, Longwell teases, if Democrats get behind an  allegedly moderate agenda of “access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, action to address climate change, permanent status for DACA recipients, a pathway to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. illegally, modest reforms on guns, and universal access to healthcare,” rather than the Democrats’ more extreme version. This from the outlet that purports to be “conserving conservatism.”

Of course, pivoting on issues that once defined the Right in order to suck up to the Left has been an animating feature of NeverTrump. Many NeverTrumpers have reversed their previous views on climate change, gun control, and illegal immigration to please their new Trump-hating allies on the Left—Kristol admitted in 2017 that the Trump era was bringing out his “inner” socialist, feminist and liberal.”

Other NeverTrumpers including Megan McArdle, Bret Stephens, and David Brooks have made similar entreaties to Democrats.

But like the fat person who gives dietary advice, these political losers are being dismissed, even mocked, by the Left.

“Never Trump conservatives like David Brooks are an interesting intellectual curiosity and often worth reading for their critiques of the Republican Party. But as political advisers they’ve had their day,” wrote Jeet Heer in The Nation last month. “Democrats don’t need their votes.”

For three years, NeverTrumpers have refused to criticize Democrats for anything, with the possible exception of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation debacle. They’ve played the role of the dummy to their leftist puppet masters, aiming all political fire at the president, his administration and his supporters. When NeverTrump was saying on CNN and MSNBC and in the New York Times exactly what the Left wanted to hear, Democrats were eager listeners.

Now that NeverTrump is blasting Democrats for their unwinnable agenda of open borders, free healthcare for illegal immigrants, the Green New Deal, and college debt forgiveness, the Democrats have no interest in their opinions. NeverTrump has been used by the Left and they’ll face another political No Man’s Land in 2020.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.

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America • Democrats • Elections • Post • Republicans

In North Carolina Special, National Questions Intrude on Local Issues

WADESBORO, North Carolina—By the end of the summer, towns such as this will be flooded with national reporters covering the special election for the 9th Congressional District.

In normal times, reporters would ask voters how they think Republican Dan Bishop or Democrat Dan McCready would represent their local concerns in Washington. But these are not normal times.

Instead, the questions will mostly be about Donald Trump, and about Kamala Harris or Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg.

The very existence of this race is abnormal, in fact. Voters in this district, which reaches from here to central Charlotte, have to come back for a do-over because of voter fraud in the November 2018 election.

The 2018 Republican nominee, Mark Harris, the center of the tainted votes, has dropped out of the do-over race, citing health issues. Instead Bishop, a state senator, will face McCready, the businessman who lost to Harris in that race.

Bob Orr, a former justice on the state Supreme Court, is one of those voters whose visceral distaste for Trump has incensed him so much that he abandoned his Republican roots to support McCready over Bishop, a man he admits he knows.

“I’ve always had a cordial relationship with Dan,” Orr said. “Dan Bishop’s an ideologue. He is a very, very conservative ideologue and if elected will go to Congress and just fall in line with whatever the Trump crowd tells him they need to do.”

Orr was the state chairman of John Kasich’s campaign in 2016 and a delegate to the Republican convention—until he walked out in protest of Trump.

“I’m adamantly opposed to the NRA using the Second Amendment as a fundraising tool,” he said, but he admits there is a slight hypocrisy because the Democrats do the same thing in reverse.

“A plague and pox on both houses,” he answers.

He is an example of the suburban moderate Republican who fled the Party and handed Democrats the House in 2018.

Bishop understands the risks of the race becoming too nationalized in the closing weeks this summer because of voters such as Orr who let their distaste for the president veer them away from their conservative roots.

He said: “I run into that some. Not as much as you might think. I was the only Republican to be reelected in November of 2018 in Mecklenburg County, where the wins were running in the other direction and there was some sentiment running against the President. I think that sentiment has attenuated.” Many of the suburban voters in his home base of Charlotte have overcome their reservations about the president, Bishop says, “and have come to see him as an essential fighter.”

Bishop also keenly understands that a realignment has happened in his party and he needs to adapt if he’s going to be a good representative. His focus, he says, is on affordable health care, school choice and lifting up the economics in the rural areas.

“In Charlotte, where I’m from, it had been an up-and-coming, booming urban center,” he said. “There’s tremendous economic opportunities there. It has its own challenges, but bridging that gap and extending those opportunities to the more rural areas of North Carolina are absolutely critical.”

And that begins, he says, with health care: “There are a lot of folks who have hospitals that have closed or are in danger of closing at all points. The national health care policy that we’ve seen towards a bigger government-dominated health care space, insurance that may be provided through ACA (Affordable Care Act) but with deductibles that they can’t afford to use it.”

“It is something that is not serving people’s needs,” he said. “They need a highly competitive health care space that will result in transparency, so that consumers are brought into the decision making and can over time help bring down costs, and yet make health care access better. That’s critical.”

McCready, for his part, isn’t ceding 1 inch of his chances or the issue of health care to Bishop. The former Marines captain who served in Iraq sees Obamacare as essential.

He said: “We need to stick to the ACA. I would say the problem is not coming up with common-sense reform to lower health care costs, while maintaining coverage. The problem is that we don’t have the people in Washington who will sit down and work together to do it.”

Like the lesser-known new House moderates who won in swing suburban districts across the country last year but often exist in the shadow of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, McCready would like join the bipartisan House “problem-solvers” caucus.

He says: “The thing that I found with North Carolina is that you have the vast majority of people want to put country over political party. Whether you’re a Republican or an independent, or you’re a Democrat.”

Both men are bracing for the race to go national in the final stretch and are trying to keep the focus on issues rather than personalities.

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Conservatives • Donald Trump • Post • Republicans

The Cowardice of the College Republicans

One would think that in the age of a massively successful Republican president like Donald Trump, most conservative college organizations would be rushing to hitch their wagons to his rising star. But as it turns out, the ignorance and naivety of the Republican elite is not limited to members of Congress.

For the upcoming annual gathering of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), national chairman Chandler Thornton has laid out his vision for the organization’s upcoming conference in his debut op-ed at Fox News.

What exactly is Thornton’s big plan for College Republicans as the 2020 election rapidly approaches? Working to curb mass immigration? Speaking out against blatant Big Tech censorship of the Right? Opposing the Left’s ongoing push for the legalization of infanticide? Condemning the domestic terrorism of Antifa?

No. At this year’s CRNC conference—happening July 11-14—delegates will be voting on a symbolic resolution to condemn white nationalism, which Thornton claims is contributing to a “toxic problem” within the GOP.

It’s a viewpoint that could have just as easily appeared in the pages of the Huffington Post or Vox.

Thornton claims—with scant evidence—that “white supremacists have attempted to infiltrate student-led Republican groups at the campus level.” He offers a single, isolated example in the ousting of an unnamed chapter president at Washington State University sometime in the aftermath of Charlottesville. Because the actions of any one person clearly indicate a frightening broader trend, right?

Thornton follows up with an example that, on top of having nothing to do with College Republicans, should cause many eyes to roll: Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), whom he declares to be guilty of “making remarks widely perceived as racist.”

Beyond the fact that King did absolutely nothing wrong, note Thornton’s weasel-wording: “perceived as racist.”

In Thornton’s mind, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t actually say anything racist or offensive. If the media says you did, then you’re guilty. Damn the truth, the elites will signal their virtue one way or another. Even though such spineless establishment Republicans have left King out to dry over nothingburger comments, King has continued to show nothing but grace, class, tolerance, and understanding in the midst of the ongoing fallout over New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s truly disgusting remarks about the Holocaust.

Thornton also can’t resist digging up a real fossil of a non-argument: former Klansman David Duke, and his short-lived tenure in the Louisiana legislature and his quixotic 1991 run for governor. Never mind that Duke left office in 1992, and there has not been a single white nationalist in elected office in America since.

While Thornton focuses on figures from three decades ago, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has hinted at the possibility of meeting with the black nationalist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan on the campaign trail. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has called Israel “evil” and explicitly has declared that America is “not going to be the country of white people.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2018 announced from the floor of the House of Representatives her intent to see white Americans replaced with people with “brown skin” that she believes are “the face of the future of our country.”

But in true RINO fashion, Thornton pens but a single sentence about how “Democrats have had to contend with anti-Semitism in their own ranks.” And instead of actually naming names, like Omar or Ocasio-Cortez, he instead simply references Farrakhan before moving right back to the terrible scourge of “white nationalists.”

Thornton then goes so far as to not-so-subtly imply that social media isn’t doing enough to deal with “white nationalists,” claiming that “Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other sites have given them pathways to create communities of like-minded individuals.” Never mind, of course, that these tech giants and others have falsely used the “white nationalist” label to ban thousands of perfectly ordinary right-wing users; Thornton’s implication is that these tech companies are still somehow complicit in a vast white nationalist conspiracy, and need to be doing even more to silence the Right.

Once again, this is not coming from Carlos Maza. This is the national leader of the College Republicans. The fact that this distinction needs to be made at all should tell you enough.

Thornton then shares with readers the text of his precious (and meaningless) resolution. After the first two lines wax empty, feel-good rhetoric about “’Murica,” the third line takes a hard left turn:

Whereas according to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacist propaganda on college campuses is on the rise.

Yes, you read that right. A resolution before the College Republicans cites the Anti-Defamation League as an authority. The same ADL that declared a green cartoon frog to be a hate symbol. The same ADL that is right alongside that other far-left hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, in pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that right-wing and white supremacist terrorism is somehow on the rise in America.

But wait, there’s more!

Whereas according to FBI statistics, hate crimes nationwide increased over the last three years.

Once more, the details are lacking significantly here. Notice that there is no specification of what kinds of hate crimes are on the rise. (But I’m willing to bet it’s not in reference to the hundreds of hate crimes committed against Trump supporters.)

For the second time, the wording is extremely subtle, but very insidious. Note the time span given: “The last three years.” What exactly happened about three years ago? Is this resolution of the College Republicans actually peddling the ADL/SPLC lie that right-wing hate crimes spiked in the aftermath of President Trump’s victory, thereby making him somehow the catalyst for this imaginary epidemic of “far-right” hate? After all, it’s not like any other major American political event happened in 2016.

With the final line of the resolution, the cycle of utter cluelessness and surrender is complete:

Resolved, That the College Republican National Committee rejects and condemns White nationalism, White supremacy, and racism in any form, as hateful declarations of intolerance, which are inconsistent with the values of the College Republican National Committee, the Republican Party, and the founding principles of the United States.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) could not have written a more pointless resolution . . . except he already did. And just as in that case, the sheer amount of rhetorical ground that is surrendered in the making of this resolution is just plain sad.

This entire idiotic notion of a “rising” white nationalist threat in the Republican Party is more outdated than ever before. But with someone like Thornton leading the CRNC, it’s no wonder that the College Republicans have lost nearly all relevance in the Trump era. They have ceded all media focus and cultural effectiveness to more openly pro-Trump groups.

While President Trump has done a masterful job of reframing the conversation regarding racism on the Left, elitist figures in the GOP would rather turn back the clock by almost two years and continue debating on the Left’s terms. What’s next? A resolution calling to combat the “gender pay gap”? A resolution saying that the science on anthropogenic climate change is “settled”?

We all know how that famous phrase goes: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” The quickest way to combat this kind of piffle is simply to acknowledge that organizations like the CRNC—as long as they are under leadership like this—aren’t even our “friends” to begin with.

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Conservatives • Democrats • First Amendment • Free Speech • Post • Republicans • The Culture • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker)

A ‘Green Book’ for Conservatives?

Last year, an Oscar-winning movie made known to many of us what the “Green Book” was—a guidebook listing accommodations for the African American traveler during the days of Jim Crow segregation. 

Today, I fear, we may need a “Green Book” for conservatives and Republicans. 

Stephanie Wilkinson, co-owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, who last year had kicked out a White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and family simply for their political affiliation, recently defended and promoted that practice in a Washington Post op-ed. She compared it to Cracker Barrel barring Grayson Fitts, who advocates “the arrest and execution of LGBTQ people.” Citing the cases last year where other prominent Republicans, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller, and Mitch McConnell, were mobbed and driven out of restaurants, she wrote, “restaurants are now part of the soundstage for our ongoing national spectacle.” Amazingly, she complained that “the business involved inevitably comes under attack.” Those inclined to “scold owners and managers” and express dismay at the loss of a perceived “politics-free zone” should just get used to it. 

Wilkinson can deny that she approves of the next step—physical assault—by cheering the fact that there has been more support for Cracker Barrel’s actions than for those of the server who spit in the face of Eric Trump recently. Democrats like Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who criticized Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and her call for mob action—namely, forming “a crowd” and “push[ing] back” on all Trump Administration members at restaurants, gas stations, and department stores—can claim to be above the fray. In truth, however, mild statements of disapproval, are lost in the tsunami of actions against conservatives by businesses ranging from advertisers on the Tucker Carlson show, movie producers in Georgia, and censors on social media.

I take Stephanie Wilkinson’s exclusion policy personally, though. Lexington is the place of my overnight stays during my frequent drives to Atlanta.

As I decide where to have dinner, I have the uncomfortable thought: that there is a restaurant in Lexington where people with my political views are not welcome. The idea is so foreign to me. I spent several years supporting myself waiting on tables and tending bar in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Back then, it was “no shoes, no shirt, no service,” or no service only for drunkenness, fighting, or nonpayment of a check. 

It is also troubling to me, given that I fled tyranny in the arms of my parents from Communist Yugoslavia. I grew up hearing their stories about political oppression. Imagine what it feels like to see things that resemble those stories in this country.

I have faced discrimination in academia. The “American dream” is to work your way up, right? I was “outed” as a conservative when the topic of my dissertation failed to advance the Marxist gender/race/class line contemporary English departments demand. As an adjunct instructor, I was expected to join in group conversations during the 2004 Democratic presidential primary speculating about who could beat the evil George W. Bush. My silence outed me. After I wrote columns, I was told that suddenly no more classes would be available for me to teach the following semester.

But back in 2004, it would never have occurred to me that such discrimination would occur outside of academia, that I could be legally discriminated against in restaurants.

It gives me little comfort that I am not easily recognizable like Sarah Sanders. Wilkinson has broadcast to the world that my kind are not welcome in her trendy establishment, a place that dare not refuse service to someone because of race. She feels righteous, claiming her actions are as justified as refusing service to someone who openly advocates murder. 

Would I feel comfortable in Wilkinson’s restaurant? What if a server overheard me expressing my political views? If I made a reservation, would staff Google my name? I might not get the boot, but would I have my food spit in, or worse? No doubt, other restaurant owners are taking note, and I wonder: how do other Lexington restaurateurs feel? Do they also not want my business? What about the hotel where I stay?

Where this will end? Will conservatives be excluded next from grocery stores and hotels (as Maxine Waters would have it)? Will we be forced to sleep in our cars when traveling? It is hard to imagine this happening, but we now have those who feel no shame in openly advocating it. The inconceivable has happened in my lifetime—in a “free country.”

The ironic thing is that I support the concept of farm-to-table restaurants. I am a regular customer of the organic farmers who come here on the village square in Clinton, New York. I am against tax-subsidized corporate farming—something started by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. I am opposed to it because it led to the near-starvation of many black farmers and tenant farmers who were excluded from Roosevelt’s New Deal subsidies. Yet, African Americans had to pay the higher taxes and inflated prices for these programs. It also bears repeating that it was a Democrat president, Woodrow Wilson, who imposed segregation in the federal workforce. His protégée, Franklin Roosevelt, continued the policies even as he wooed black voters with “relief” payments instead of jobs and denied black children afflicted with polio the opportunity to use his Warm Springs facility while his wife posed with them for campaign photo-ops.

Barack Obama took up FDR’s mantle and was even portrayed in a way that evoked his image on the cover of a prominent magazine. His proposed federal regulation of small farmers who sold at public markets was met with a letter of protest from a farmer who sold organic produce from his five acres at such markets throughout the Atlanta area where I was living. Under President Trump, businesses, including farm-to-table establishments, are thriving.

Breaking bread is a way for people to come together. Having a meal should not be a political act. Yet, liberals and the Democratic National Committee, beginning in 2015, encouraged “conversations” with family members over Thanksgiving dinner to point out how benighted they are to vote Republican. Now it’s OK to kick Republicans out of restaurants and your family gatherings.

Charles Murray, the author of Coming Apart, who is much vilified on our liberal campuses, could write an updated version of his book based on the new levels of exclusion that go beyond zip codes to businesses run by self-righteous, intolerant, well-to-do liberals. If we are “divided” as a nation as many say, it is not because of conservatives or what our president says. It is because of people like Wilkinson.

The Red Hen is off my places to patronize, no doubt to the pleasure of Stephanie Wilkinson. I am one person, without much financial clout.

So were the African Americans riding the buses in Montgomery, Alabama. The time has come for conservatives, and all Americans who value the freedom of association and policies of non-discrimination, to take a page out of the playbook of that boycott and others like it. This isn’t a fight that conservatives started, but it is one we must win. The branding, exclusion, and assaults must stop.

Photo credit: TKTKTKTK

Congress • Conservatives • GOPe • Post • Republicans • Technology

Mike Lee Backs Big Tech Crony Capitalism

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has long warned against the dangers of crony capitalism, which he defines as “an unholy union of big government, big business, and big special interests that twists public policy to benefit Washington insiders unfairly at the expense of everyone else.”

But last week, Lee spoke in favor of a dubious immigration bill, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which would give special privileges to Big Tech—no doubt the biggest beneficiaries of this “unholy union.”

The bill would scrap country caps on immigration visas and allow a few nationalities to take the lion’s share of visas. Lee said the bill was necessary to make the immigration system “fairer.”

“These per-country caps cause serious problems for American businesses and workers, and unfair hardship for immigrants stuck in the backlog,” Lee argued.

The businesses that have “serious problems” are tech giants, which rely heavily on foreign labor. Silicon Valley’s workforce is dominated by foreign workers. Sure enough,—a lobbying group funded by executives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley monopolies—tweeted out Lee’s speech, adding “This legislation is vital.”

Seventy-one percent of tech workers in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area are foreigners. The Lee-sponsored bill would drive those numbers even higher as Big Tech would be allowed to recruit even more foreign workers.

Big Tech embodies crony capitalism. Tech giants receive billions of dollars in government subsidies and maintain powerful lobbying arms to protect their interests. This is one industry that should draw Lee’s ire. Instead, he is one of Big Tech’s biggest champions.

Lee claims the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would make the system fairer, but it would do no such thing. It would reserve nearly all of our green cards for just a few nationalities. According to one estimate, Indians would obtain at least 75 percent of all employment-based visas under Lee’s proposal.

More importantly, the bill is unfair to American workers who would like good jobs with good wages. The bill directs those good jobs to foreign workers who don’t require a fair wage. If passed, expect lobbyists from other industries and countries to demand they get more visas as well.

The good news, for the moment, is Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another vocal critic of crony capitalism, blocked Lee’s bill. This may be a temporary hindrance, but it is reassuring that at least one critic of crony capitalism votes his principles.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is only the latest example of the conservative senator’s preference for the industry’s interests. Over the past few months, Lee has opposed antitrust investigations against Big Tech. In a March op-ed, Lee argued “antitrust law” is not the answer to Big Tech’s problems. In early 2018, Lee debated Fox News host Tucker Carlson about what to do with Google. Tucker argued that the state would be justified in regulating Google. Lee dismissed Tucker’s concerns about Google’s censorship and said the state is the real problem. The senator said the right way to fight back against Google was to “use another search engine.”

Fortunately, new senators such as Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are willing to stand up to Silicon Valley’s agenda, though they haven’t spoken out against the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act yet.

Lee used to critique Google’s power and its ability to manipulate the market. But those days seem long gone when he promotes Big Tech’s immigration priorities on the Senate floor.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Education • GOPe • Post • Republicans • The Left

All Out of Bootstraps

Somewhere along the line, the Republican Party earned itself the moniker of the “Stupid Party.” It has become painfully obvious, for example, that most congressional Republicans don’t want to repeal Obamacare. “And if that is the case,” as Byron York wisely asks, “the question is, why are Republicans trying?” Well, for show, naturally; but also, because they are either generally out of touch as a party, or actually benefit from not resolving issues that hurt everyday Americans, while claiming to want to solve them for appearances and votes.

The same principles apply to their failure to restrict immigration, and to their tax cuts—which, though purportedly intended to help Middle America the most, in reality were a far better deal for their corporate paymasters, many of whom used the windfall for things like stock buybacks rather than, say, hiring.

Now the Stupid Party seems determined to live up to its soubriquet on yet another issue.

Chiming in on the student-loan debt cancellation craze, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) has only bland orthodoxy to offer. “When you say #cancelstudentdebt,” he wrote on Twitter, “you’re saying a minority of people who had the advantage of obtaining a degree should have their debt paid off by hardworking taxpayers, 2/3 of whom don’t have degrees themselves, or already paid their own student debt off.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with what Crenshaw says here. And, certainly, individuals who major in multicultural basket weaving invite financial woes after graduation. But student-loan debt is a real problem. If one does not find his or her calling in a trade, one is faced with a growing number of entry- and mid-level jobs requiring a degree than ever before; nine in 10 jobs created in 2017 went to people with a college degree.

In all, 44.7 million Americans shoulder student loan debt, according to a 2018 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total student loan debt topped $1.47 trillion as of the end of 2018—dwarfing auto loans ($1.129 trillion) and credit card debt ($834 billion). Data from the Federal Reserve show the average monthly student loan payment is anywhere between $200 and $300. Not exactly a small chunk of change for most people starting out in life.

The issue does not merely affect young, dumb Millennials either.

Adults 60 and older are the fastest-growing group among student loan debtors, as they struggle to pay off their own loans or, increasingly, take on debt to send their children or grandchildren off to college. Data compiled for the Wall Street Journal by the credit reporting agency TransUnion show “student loan borrowers in their 60s owed $33,800 in 2017,” up 44 percent from 2010. The Journal adds that total student loan debt rose 161 percent “for people aged 60 and older from 2010 to 2017—the biggest increase for any age group, according to the latest data available from TransUnion.”

Crenshaw’s error, then, is an unwillingness—all too typical among Republicans—to cough up anything more than platitudes. For one reason or another, when faced with real issues and the revolutionaries who would exploit them, Republicans just reach back to recycled formulas and slogans that do not bother to account for new realities.

An Opportunity Not to be Missed
Senators Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), socialists in arms, have offered to cancel all or most student-debt, respectively. Just about any “solution” proposed by the Left, however, would create more problems than it would solve—in much the same way that the student-loan “debt bomb” was triggered by the federal intervention in the form of student-loan programs that have been very good for loan-servicing companies, college administrators, and tenured professors but not so good for students who are often cheated out of genuine education and then saddled with debt on top of it.

Republicans should not quit the field on this issue, if for no other reason than that those who attack the culture and have turned America’s young people into rabid leftists benefit from this scheme most of all.

Anthony Esolen recalls events on the day after the 2016 election in Ohio, when an Oberlin College student tried to steal wine from Gibson’s Bakery. “One of the workers at the bakery confronted him,” Esolen writes, “and a scuffle ensued both inside and outside the store, with the worker as the victim on the ground, pummeled by the perpetrator and a male friend of his, and kicked by two women, as some members of the fair sex are wont to do when their persons are not at risk.”

In the aftermath, Oberlin College went to war with the middle-class owners of Gibson’s Bakery. Oberlin’s dean of students distributed propaganda accusing the owners of racism. “She led a massive protest against the bakery, a protest that was cast entirely in the light of the recent election,” writes Esolen. “The school ordered its food supplier to cancel all contracts with them. Gibson’s, which has been a fixture in town for more than 130 years, lost business which they never recovered.” Oberlin is among America’s most expensive colleges, while the average salary of a dean there is $90,000.

Fortunately for the Gibson family, a judge and jury awarded them $25 million in punitive damages in their defamation case against Oberlin College. If Republicans were smart, they would capitalize on the moment, use it to illustrate how tuition, bloated by federal funding, not only saddles young people with unsustainable debt of questionable merit, but provides the very lifeblood for the cult of diversity that legitimizes the sort of insanity that confronted the Gibsons.

For starters, Republicans could propose an alternative way to deal with out of control student loan debt. They could begin questioning the worth of degrees from institutions such as Oberlin and whether encouraging more citizens to obtain them is actually even in the public interest.

Bankruptcy Revisited
Further, why not undo the damage done by the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005? That bill, naturally, was signed into law by George W. Bush, and made all education loans non-dischargeable absent a showing of undue hardship. Five years later, the Obama Administration eliminated the federal guaranteed loan program that allowed private lenders to offer loans at low interest rates.

Now only the Department of Education offers such loans, which amounts to a system of debt peonage to the federal government. This is an arrangement more akin to socialism than the “free market” principles for which the GOP claims to stand.

Revisiting BAPCPA could result in a restoration of common sense to the debtor-creditor relationship—it would certainly make lenders less inclined to hand out student-loans like candy. It wouldn’t abolish student-lending outright, but it would have the added effect of reducing the number of young Americans who are indoctrinated into anti-American, anti-Western currents; and, most importantly, the drop-off in enrollments could force students to reevaluate their college decisions and force universities to cut the fat or die, which would likely mean the end of “studies” programs and “diversity” departments that produce nothing of value.

Why not propose amending BAPCPA to allow bankruptcy but call it “loan forgiveness” (under certain circumstances for low income people who are unable to pay) and enact a restructuring of student loans so that colleges are on the hook. A recent audit of California State University revealed a trove of $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves. The university system kept that money hidden away, while raising tuition at its 23 campuses and lobbying for more government funds. They have the hook coming.

Apart from this quasi “loan forgiveness” scheme, why not throw in something like a voucher for trade schools? Create a pathway out of bankruptcy that might soothe, as a friend put it, the “pro-union socialist itch in a pro-America, middle class sort of way.”

Advancing the Bigger Fight
One conceivable response to Republicans taking up this issue might come in the way of Joy Pullman’s latest column for The Federalist, the essence of which is: “The student loan ‘crisis’ is hugely inflated.” But if this “hugely inflated” issue can be turned against Democrats—more broadly, against the Left—and used in our favor, why should we waste the opportunity?

Whether the issue is inflated or not is irrelevant when we consider that by taking it on, Republicans—more broadly, the Right—have a chance to make progress toward other goals we’ve long said we are pursuing but, of course, are goals we’ve mainly only whined about over the years. Now that we have more evidence than ever of the harm it does to the nation’s fabric, isn’t it time to start making headway on the final aim of toppling the subversive academic-industrial complex that is hostile to our way of life?

Universities should be held liable for unpaid loans. Vouchers for trade schools are a good idea. One caveat, perhaps, might be not to grant debt forgiveness to graduate degrees. Graduate students, presumably, are mature and discerning enough to know precisely what they are getting into when they take out loans. Assuming their field is not a worthless one, they will soon earn enough money to repay those loans with ease. If that is not the case, then we should do everything to discourage students from pursuing such frivolous pursuits.

All of this, of course, would only be the beginning, but it would give Republicans ammunition that would distinguish our arguments from the Baby Boomer bromides of long memory. If they haven’t worked so far, why should they be persuasive when conditions on the ground are even more complicated?

Those paying attention know that we are in a political war. Rather than formulating effective strategy in this fight, Republicans tend to abdicate the field to Democrats. The Stupid Party claims to fear socialism, yet does little to stop its ascendancy. It’s almost as if they don’t want to fight, let alone win. It’s time to elect people who have the stomach and the ingenuity to engage in the fight.

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

Photo Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Handout/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Immigration • Post • Republicans

How Romney and the Anti-Trump GOP Fueled the Border Crisis

The crisis at the southern U.S. border proves at least one thing to be true: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is more honest than Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and his fellow anti-Trump Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez, to her credit, has never tried to fool the American people or her constituency by suggesting she wants anything less than open borders. Lawmakers on the Left, including the roster of Democratic presidential candidates, have made it clear we must accept an unlimited influx of refugees from Central America. The treatment of migrant children, they tell us, is a national disgrace and an international scourge. Border patrol agents are criminals but the tens of thousands of Central American citizens illegally entering our country each month are not, they insist. Overflowing intake facilities are compared to Nazi concentration camps, and Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that sort of unabashed honesty—no matter how insane, dangerous, and historically illiterate it is—over the deceptive and duplicitous machinations of alleged “conservatives” like Romney. To her credit, AOC doesn’t pretend to be someone she’s not—staged and dated photo-op notwithstanding. Give me a truthful authoritarian over a phony conservative any day. At least we know who we’re dealing with.

The poseurs on the so-called Right have contributed more to the current immigration crisis than anyone on the Left, and for that, they should forever be banished from any position of power in the Republican Party.

After years of making empty promises and false threats about how to solve the country’s worsening illegal immigration problem, Romney and his NeverTrump accomplices sided with the Left (again) to undermine President Trump’s efforts to ease a crisis they just a few months ago denied existed.

Subsequently, they jeopardized our national security; overwhelmed federal resources; subverted the president’s constitutional powers; abdicated Congress’ own constitutional duty; misled the American people; and fueled a chaotic situation that endangers the lives of everyone involved, including migrants and the people responsible for securing the border.

Romney, a well-known flip-flopper, ran as an immigration hawk in 2012. He was for a border wall before he was against it. When he posed as the “severely conservative” Republican candidate for president, Romney supported a vague deportation plan for 11 million illegals, the hiring of more border agents and imposing obstacles for illegals to access education and employment opportunities. He blasted President Obama’s failed policies. “We will stop the flow of illegal immigration into this country, I’m convinced of that,” he assured us in January 2012.

Exactly seven years later, in his consolation-prize role as Utah’s junior senator, Romney voted with Democrats against stopping the flow of illegals, and instead opted to block progress on a border wall he once insisted we needed. In March, Romney joined 11 other Republican senators to halt Trump’s emergency declaration about the U.S.-Mexican border. Calling it only an “humanitarian crisis,” Romney blathered about constitutional boundaries and the rule of law as his excuse for thwarting Trump’s perfectly legal exercise of executive power.

Romney was joined in his weasel move by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Many defended their vote as a choice to forego a bogus “constitutional” crisis over solving a legitimate border crisis.

These open-borders Republicans were egged on by the same conservative commentariat that has offered little in the way of legitimate solutions to the immigration crisis. The editorial board of National Review encouraged Senate Republicans to overturn Trump’s declaration, of course, on grounds of “principle.” The defectors would show a willingness “to stand up for how our constitutional system is supposed to work—even when the underlying political objective is a worthy one, even when it means crossing a president of their own party, even when it is politically inconvenient,” the editors wrote on March 13. Never mind that they fail to understand the nature of executive power or the political power of the people who elected him to exercise it.

Apparently National Review’s editors want to play by long-abandoned rules of a Democrat-created administrative state and believe that, in doing so, they can win favor and prestige with other weak political actors and donors as the Left steamrolls the Right and laughs at our obsequiousness.

David French (naturally) hammered the president for months on the issue, arguing in January there was no national emergency on the southern border and that Trump’s threat to invoke the National Emergencies Act represented an abuse of power.

In February, French again downplayed the crisis at the Mexican border:

[Trump] is listing the problems on the border that have existed for decades and that Congress has enacted comprehensive statutory schemes (including funding civilian wall construction and civilian immigration authorities) to combat. Gang activity and drug-smuggling are grave problems, but they are crimes, not acts of war.

Yes, why would Americans consider the unfettered dumping of illegal weapons and deadly drugs into our communities by foreigners as an act of war against the United States?

Jonah Goldberg sniffed that Trump’s move showed “weakness, not strength.” Perhaps overlooking how the bogus Russian collusion investigation (which Goldberg eagerly touted) undermined the first two years of Trump’s presidency, Goldberg wrote, “powerful presidents enact their agendas through Congress, not executive orders. It’s why they usually manage to get their big-ticket items passed shortly after an election, when they can declare a mandate.”

Goldberg, too, minimized the chaos at the border. “President Trump has been wanting to message the crisis at the border as basically a scene from a Chuck Norris movie where the people are coming in to rape and pillage the country,” Goldberg weirdly explained on “Face the Nation” on March 31. “Democrats have not wanted to give him any credit for the fact there actually is a crisis at the border . . . but it’s not the crisis of the drugs and the guns and all that. It’s a humanitarian crisis.”

It is no coincidence that as anti-Trump Republicans and “conservatives” assured the world there was no crisis at the border and this was all a figment of Trump’s active imagination, attempted crossings surged.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the total number of illegals apprehended at the southwest border nearly tripled between January and May. And given the policy of privileging migrants traveling as families with children, the number of illegal family units more than tripled, and the number of unaccompanied children more than doubled.

Now Democrats and the media must acknowledge a crisis exists, even if their political motives for doing so differ from Trump’s. But there can be no doubt that so-called “conservatives,” motivated by their contempt for Trump but disguising it as some kind of lofty devotion to fuzzy principles, are as responsible as the Left for the current untenable situation at the border. Yet they remain as feckless and dishonest on the issue as ever, criticizing the administration while offering nothing in the way of a solution.

On Wednesday, after images of a father and his toddler daughter who reportedly drowned while attempting an illegal crossing went viral, Senate Republicans finally mustered the courage to take some action on the crisis, approving $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid. Romney voted for the bill, which still leaves out funding for a border wall and increased security measures.

There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on as to who is to blame for this mess, and most of it is directed either at Trump or House Democrats. But the complicity of Republicans in this debacle should not and cannot be overlooked. They deserve as much shame and scorn as anyone else.

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

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump • Elections • Greatness Agenda • Post • Republicans • the Presidency

Ron DeSantis is What the Trump Movement Should Be

Could the 46th governor of Florida go on to become the 46th president of the United States?

It goes without saying that the excruciatingly narrow Ron DeSantis victory in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race was one of the highlights of last year’s election cycle. But the victory did not end on election night; indeed, it had only just begun. DeSantis, more than any other Republican governor in the country, is showing the nation just how a Trumpian governor can operate in a massive swing state, with an astonishingly high level of success.

In a Perfect World . . .
Governor DeSantis’s tenure thus far has given us a good idea of what the presidency of Donald Trump would look like, if not for three factors: if the Democrats did not viciously hate Trump and everything he stands for; if the media were more fair in its coverage and held an objective viewpoint towards his actions; and if Republicans in the legislature were actually willing to work with him.

DeSantis thus far has done a good job of satisfying both traditional conservatives and populists. He immediately fired corrupt and incompetent Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel; appointed three conservative justices to the Florida Supreme Court (flipping it from a liberal majority to a conservative majority); pushed for greater cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials while banning sanctuary cities; and recently signed a law allowing teachers to carry concealed firearms on campus. And he’s only been in office for five months.

Despite championing so many firmly right-wing policies, DeSantis has also taken certain actions that, while not ordinarily considered “conservative,” have proven highly popular in his home state.

DeSantis has pushed for more than $3 billion in spending on environmental projects, including a restoration of the Everglades and water quality protection efforts, while also easing restrictions on the use of medical marijuana. Moves such as these have earned him bipartisan praise, and even glowing coverage from the media.

With his governorship, DeSantis has retained a strong following among conservatives, independents, populists, and even some Democrats. Combined with the genuinely fair media treatment he gets in Florida’s press, DeSantis enjoys astronomically high approval ratings—now sitting comfortably in the mid- to high-60s.

As a result, DeSantis is both one of the most popular governors in the country, and the most popular governor of Florida in over a decade. It’s no wonder, then, that his tenure as Governor has led some in the mainstream media to declare that Florida is now “Trump Country.”

From a Trumpian Candidate to a Trumpian Governor
Naturally, DeSantis’s rise has forced some in the media to scoff at the suggestion that he is governing as a pro-Trump Republican. One article at The Atlantic smugly suggests that upon being elected, DeSantis somehow abandoned the Trump mantle in favor of being a more “pragmatic problem-solver.”

But what this kind of coverage fails to note (perhaps deliberately) is that attempting to reach bipartisan solutions is, in fact, decidedly Trumpian. Both Trump and DeSantis are happy to present challenges to conservative orthodoxy if those challenges show respect for the governing decisions of the vast majority of the people who elected them. Both men respect the will of the people and their right to govern themselves within a constitutional framework.

DeSantis has even managed to tap into a significantly larger share of the minority vote than most Republicans—another thing he has in common with President Trump. The gubernatorial race tipped in favor of DeSantis when 18 percent of African-American women (roughly 117,000 out of 650,000 overall) voted for DeSantis over his African-American opponent, Andrew Gillum. Their primary motivation for this move was DeSantis’s support for school choice, thus leading them to be dubbed “school choice moms.” In a race that was won by fewer than 33,000 votes, this made all the difference.

President DeSantis?
The idea that DeSantis is suddenly shifting away from the Trumpian persona that he ran on in 2018 is rooted more in a fundamental misunderstanding of who and what Trump is than it is in the realities on the ground in Florida. DeSantis is embracing his identity as a new kind of non-ideological (which is not to say unprincipled) Republican and amplifying it as governor. With the media unburdened by irrational hatred and a burning desire to “get” him as they are with Trump, they tend to highlight both his bipartisan policies and his conservative policies in a more objective light. Things have been allowed to work and speak for themselves. As a result, DeSantis has been able seamlessly to thread the needle as a right-wing populist. He is now admired by a strong mixture of Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, populists, and independents alike. In what may be his most impressive feat yet, he has even earned the approval of the “Mikey” of right wing politics, Ann Coulter.

Perhaps this explains why the media is trying so hard to dismiss DeSantis’ Trumpian bona fides. They’d like to convince hardcore Trump supporters that DeSantis is somehow turning into a “moderate.” And the ultimate motivation behind such a false portrayal could not be more obvious, even if it is still rather far away.

If Ron DeSantis chooses to run in 2024, you would be extremely hard-pressed to find a single Republican who could match his record and broad appeal. Outside of the possibility of Donald Trump Jr. himself running and without the baggage of accusations of dynastic entitlement, DeSantis could very well be the most perfect successor to the Trump mantle—and, most likely, he would be the immediate frontrunner in the general election.

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