Elections

Don’t Laugh at Stacey Abrams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Triumph of Diversity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demographic Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chief of Staff Reconfiguration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communications Makeover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Changing Dynamics of a Campaign in Lockdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) greet each other with an elbow bump before the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine COVID-19 and Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Elections

The U.S. Senate Is
the Heart of the Problem

In the annals of representative government,
it was a bad week for Americans. 

Donald Trump was elected in 2016 on a platform that, broadly, called for draining “the swamp.” The definition of swamp, for the most part, was left to the listener, but generally, it was assumed to represent the established interests that dictated federal policy toward the ends of a few, and away from the benefit of the country.

This week, the depth, breadth, and scope of the swamp made itself clear. 

It started with the unraveling of the case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn. The FBI initially had accused Flynn of violating the Logan Act—an 18th-century statute that has never successfully been used to prosecute anyone, not in the least because of its dubious constitutionality. Ultimately, Flynn was charged with lying to federal agents—a process crime but hardly treason.

This week, it was revealed that members of the Obama Administration, many of whom had no real role in counterintelligence operations, repeatedly unmasked (that is, requested their identities and activities from intelligence gathering sources) Trump’s incoming staff—including Flynn.

This is damning for at least two reasons. First, the very day former Vice President Joe Biden, and others, received this classified intelligence, it was leaked to the press—a violation of both the law and Flynn’s Fourth Amendment rights. And second, it gives further credence to the claim that Flynn was railroaded by the FBI into a guilty plea so the agency could continue their Russian collusion investigation into the Trump campaign—despite having basically no evidence to support it. 

This is hardly a one-off for the Obama Administration, whose director of national intelligence lied to Congress about spying on American citizens. That was before John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, spied on Senate staff and broke into their computer files. And, of course, Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, used the Espionage Act to surveil journalists from Fox News and the Associated Press. And let’s not forget the time they eavesdropped on the phone calls of members of Congress.

It has also become clear how the Obama FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on the Trump campaign, altering evidence, and repeatedly lying to the FISA court to obtain illegal warrants.

It’s transparency—and the attendant accountability—that swamp dwellers fear the most.

It’s part of the reason that, when FISA was reauthorized in the Senate this week, it was done with the inclusion of moderate reforms. The reforms were largely due to the efforts of Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) who relentlessly has been doing the spadework to fix the nation’s spy powers since last leading the efforts in 2015. Thanks to Lee and his collaborators, the FISA court will now have at least a measure of accountability and transparency.

But there is still work to do. An amendment to forbid the FISA court from authorizing surveillance of American citizens (thus forcing the National Security Agency and the FBI to go through the traditional courts to get a warrant) from Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) failed. So, too, did an amendment from Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to require a warrant before allowing the NSA to snoop through the browser and search history of individual Americans.

One of the senators who voted against requiring a warrant for internet-snooping, ironically, was served with one of his own just a day later. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) had his cell phone seized by the FBI as they continue to investigate allegations that the senator profited from classified information regarding the coronavirus, making several stock trades following an intelligence briefing that netted him up to $1.7 million. His brother-in-law, working at the federal National Mediation Board, made similar trades.

The swamp? It really is as vast and wide as you think.

The Interests

But it doesn’t just operate in the shadows. In fact, there is an element of the swamp that is quite overt: what former House Speaker Sam Rayburn called “The Interests.” And those Interests claw at anything that goes against the conventional narrative. That narrative is, of course, set by the nomenklatura in D.C.

This was also on display this week in just the latest attempt to shut down debate on a question that the D.C. interests oppose—but that resonates broadly outside of the Beltway.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) followed up on his case against the World Trade Organization by introducing a resolution to withdraw from the multinational trading body. 

Hawley’s argument basically distills to this: trade is good—particularly bilateral trade, where the United States works out agreements with individual countries. But multilateral trade agreements and trading bodies, on the other hand, harm U.S. interests, our workers, and our sovereignty, because they are too easily captured by mega-corporate interests, and our economic adversaries—particularly China.

As former Senator Jim DeMint said recently,

The WTO, like so many other entities corrupted by Chinese and global corporate influences, governs international trade like little dictators. This isn’t free trade as Americans understand it; it’s just corruption and cronyism.

Americans intrinsically understand this. It’s why job losses and the trade deficit remain key concerns in opinion polls regarding China.

But you know who doesn’t understand this? Or, more cynically, does understand it, but doesn’t care? The Senate. 

Nearly as soon as Hawley introduced his resolution under a mechanism designed to bring it to the Senate floor automatically, the powers-that-be brought it to a halt. Hawley’s office was told that the Senate’s parliamentarians—the smartest staffers in the Senate—uncharacteristically made a mistake and gave Hawley the wrong information, rendering his efforts moot. Oops! Too bad. No vote for you. 

Sadly, this is not unique. Similar moves were made in the House against Representative Thomas Massie’s (R-Ky.) efforts to force a resolution of disapproval vote against the war in Yemen. The Interests protect nothing as fiercely as their right to engage in endless war, unconstrained by Congress.

It’s not necessarily the outcome of these votes that scares the establishment forces in Congress. They know they can beat them. Rather, it’s the debate and the fact of the vote itself. Votes are clarifying. They create a record. They tell you what your elected representatives really think when pressed to take a stand. 

And it’s that kind of transparency—and the attendant accountability—that swamp dwellers fear the most.

In the annals of representative government, it was a bad week for Americans. We’ve been lied to, told to mind our betters because we “just don’t understand how trade works,” and had our rights manipulated by a government intent on spying on us. 

But it was a bad week for the swamp, too, whose motives and moves were on display for an increasingly disillusioned public. If you’re going to drain the swamp, you have to know where to pull the plug. That, at least, is becoming a bit easier to see.

 

Elections

Comparing the Credibility of Blasey Ford and Reade

If the self-professed women’s advocates were less hypocritical, they would give the same treatment to Creepy Joe Biden that they gleefully inflicted on Brett Kavanaugh.

That crackling sound Joe Biden is hearing is not the Rice Crispies in his cereal bowl. It is the sound of ice slowly starting to give beneath his feet.

Two recent articles prompted this piece—one by Cathy Young and the other by Monica Hesse. Unsurprisingly, both Young and Hesse conclude that Christine Blasey Ford is more credible than Tara Reade. Unsurprisingly, I disagree. 

It’s not complicated. By every imaginable measure, by any conceivable standard, Tara Reade’s allegation that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her is far more credible than Ford’s.

Passage of Time

Given the passage of time, there is no possibility for a solid factual determination of what happened in either case. In Ford’s case, the event occurred (if it occurred at all) when both she and Brett Kavanaugh were teenagers, 36 years earlier. 

Biden’s alleged assault on Reade occurred 27 years ago. Events that might have occurred 27 years ago between adults in a work setting, however, are easier to establish and remember than events that might have occurred 36 years ago between teenagers at a summer weekend party involving alcohol. 

Thus, here Reade is a few points ahead of Ford in terms of credibility.

Knowing the Alleged Perpetrator

Many on the Left gloss over the fact that to this day no one has established that Kavanaugh and Ford actually knew each other or even met. In nearly 20 months, not a single journalist has produced one shred of evidence that Kavanaugh and Ford were ever even within one mile of each other. This should be an insurmountable stumbling block—but nothing will stop the partisans.

Young dismisses this difficulty with a breezy “it’s a fact that they traveled in the same social circles.” This sleight of hand raises its own questions. Is it a “fact,” and what, exactly, were their social circles? 

Ford went to Holton-Arms School, which was not a Catholic prep school. Ford was also two years younger than Kavanaugh. A two-year age difference is nothing for adults—but it can mean a great deal to 17- and 15-year-olds. Kavanaugh was a rising senior in the summer of 1982—it is easier to see him socializing with rising seniors from nearby Catholic girls’ schools than with a 15-year-old rising sophomore from a relatively distant non-Catholic one.

Nor is it apparent that their social circles, however defined, were the same, or even that they overlapped much. Is it possible that they met somehow somewhere at some social function? It is not impossible—but Ford’s supporters bear the burden of proof on this. One must assume they have searched under every rock and tree, and came up dry. 

Tara Reade, on the other hand, worked for Biden. It is clear, then, that they met, and met multiple times.

This factor is overwhelmingly in Reade’s favor.

Motivation

Blasey Ford’s motivation to lie was always clear—she is a committed Democratic partisan. There was good reason why she erased her entire social media trail before “coming forward.” There was good reason why she hired the particular set of lawyers who represented her. There was good reason why she contacted her congressional representative and then Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and not someone else. Blasey Ford surely understood the explosiveness of her allegations and their potential impact on the Kavanaugh confirmation. All her protestations to the contrary were bunk, and only highlight her dishonesty.

Deborah Katz, Ford’s lawyer, said last year:

[Kavanaugh] will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him. And that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.

Young (and others) explain this inconvenient admission by arguing the audio quality is poor, and what Katz actually said was “That is part of what motivated Christine in discharging her civic duty.” (Italics added by Young.) But even if, arguendo, Katz said this, it changes nothing in our understanding of Ford’s motivation to lie—a partisan hit job on a conservative Supreme Court nominee, dressed up as a “civic duty,” is still a partisan hit job. 

We should not forget the rage and the despair progressives felt at the prospect of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018, or the lengths to which Democrats were willing to go to obstruct and sabotage it. What are a few more lies in the service of their greater cause? 

For all the overwrought pathos from every Democratic senator on the Judiciary Committee about the supposed sacrifices Blasey Ford supposedly made in coming forward, she did alright for herself. She went from an obscure psychology professor to being a hero to the Left. She raised nearly $1 million for “personal security.” A memoir and many paid speeches surely await her. She is no victim for speaking out.

Now consider Tara Reade. She is a Democrat with no obvious motive to lie about the Democratic nominee. It is certainly not obvious what her motive to lie could have been in 1993 as she surely could not have anticipated Joe Biden would be her party’s nominee in 2020. 

In sum, whatever one thinks of the ultimate truth of the allegations themselves, Blasey Ford had a clear and obvious partisan motive for lying, while Reade did not. 

This factor, therefore, is also overwhelmingly in Reade’s favor.

Witnesses

Every single witness named by Blasey Ford contradicted her story in every detail and in all details. Blasey Ford’s friend Leland Keyser—who at the time of the confirmation hearings took the position that she supported Ford, but had no specific recollection of the events in question—now explicitly denies that the party described by Ford ever happened or that she ever met Kavanaugh. 

Keyser is a Democrat. She could have stuck with “it might have happened, but I can’t recall the specifics, even though I believe Christine is telling what she believes is the truth.” But Blasey Ford’s friend (probably now a former friend) is unequivocal that the events Ford describes did not happen. Keep in mind that Leland Keyser was Blasey Ford’s sole “witness” as to whether she and Keyser had ever met Kavanaugh.

Blasey Ford’s parents did not attend the hearing when she testified. The media glossed over this—yet it is highly significant. The people who know Christine Blasey Ford better than anyone refused to lend their presence or name to the Kavanaugh hit job or to enhance their daughter’s credibility by being there. A strong inference is that they were torn between their love for their daughter and their own private certainty that her story is fabricated.

Tara Reade has five contemporaneous witnesses to whom she told her story, in varying degrees of detail. 

Biden defenders often focus on the fact that she didn’t tell every detail to her brother. But it is silly to expect that she would have told all the gory details to every person in whom she confided, perhaps especially a brother. (Democrats certainly never applied this requirement to Blasey Ford.) How many women use sentences like “My Boss, Senator Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.), pinned me against the wall, pushed his hand under my dress, and then inserted a finger into my vagina” in conversations with their relatives and friends? Expecting this kind of specificity from every Reade witness 27 years later is absurd.

The substance of Reade’s story—as told to multiple people—has remained consistent all these years. No witness has come forward to contradict her. The best Biden could do was to trot out a few ex-staffers with “Joe Biden never did anything like that to me,” or “I never saw anything like that.” 

This factor, therefore, is clearly in Reade’s favor.

Documentary Evidence

It is remarkable that in Blasey Ford’s case, there actually was documentary evidence. The problem for her was that Kavanaugh’s calendar from 1982 supports his version of the story—and contradicts Ford’s. It was not definitive proof, but it certainly raised additional questions about Blasey Ford’s story. It is something.

Blasey Ford had no documents (or anything else) in support of any detail of her story from 1982. She has refused to provide her psychiatrist’s notes from 30 years later. Could it be that those notes contain inconsistencies with her verbal testimony or other statements? Otherwise, why not produce them? At a minimum, Ford’s refusal raises questions about her overall credibility.

Documentary evidence in support of Tara Reade’s story is in Biden’s papers. We must make the logical inference from Biden’s refusal to open his records. Biden’s buddies at the University of Delaware are in charge of his archive—and are we certain we can trust them to produce relevant documents, and not destroy any inconvenient ones?

Biden’s letter to the secretary of the Senate requesting documents regarding Tara Reade’s sexual harassment complaint was very narrowly and carefully phrased—but Reade’s complaint was not styled or titled as a “sexual harassment complaint.” Nor did Biden ask for release of records relating to other women who might have filed complaints against him.

This factor, therefore, is also in Reade’s favor.

Credibility and Reputation of Accuser

It is beyond doubt that Christine Blasey Ford lied about many things. 

At a minimum, she lied about her “fear of flying” preventing her from coming to Washington to testify (despite regularly flying cross country, to Hawaii, and other international hotspots). Blasey Ford (and her lawyers) were playing games, using her supposed “fear of flying” as an excuse to delay and drag out the process. 

Blasey Ford also lied about adding a door to her house because of the psychological “trauma” she suffered in 1982—the real reason (it came out weeks later) was that she was converting part of the house into a sublet apartment.

Tara Reade, on the other hand, is available any time to anyone who is willing to listen to her. She has yet to be caught in an overt lie.

Regrettably, Rachel Mitchell, who questioned Blasey Ford, did not ask about Ford’s high school nickname “Party Girl,” or about her reputation for binge drinking in high school. Is it relevant? It is especially relevant in this case, where no physical evidence exists, the documentary evidence contradicts her story, all the witnesses Blasey Ford named denied the events happened, and all we have is Blasey Ford’s foggy memories. Her personal credibility and reputation are shaky at best.

Young questions Tara Reade’s credibility based on a few strange posts of hers about Vladimir Putin. Young says:

Further doubts about Reade’s credibility are raised by her bizarre posts about Vladimir Putin, hailing not only his leadership but his “sensuous image,” “combination of strength with gentleness” and “reverence for women.” The issue is not that Reade is a Russian agent; it’s that she seems to be, to put it politely, an oddball.

The problem with Tara Reade being an oddball based on her admiration for Putin is that most of the Democratic Party is in that same oddball boat. Until very recently, most Democrats, from Barack Obama on down, had a fairly favorable view of Putin. Only when it became useful in the context of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax did Democrats flip from Putinophilia to ersatz Putinophobia. Tara Reade is no more of an oddball than any other Democrat.

The totality of circumstances on this factor favors Reade.

Consistency of the Story Over Time

Blasey Ford’s story evolved over time. Crucially, it evolved as investigators were discovering serious factual inconsistencies that could not be explained easily—such as the year when the events supposedly occurred (Blasey Ford shifted her story from mid-1980s to 1982), distances between the country club and the house where the party supposedly took place, the interior and layout of the house (no house that fit the description could be found), how she got there, and how and when and with whom she left. There were mentions in the press that she received a “recovered memories” treatment from her psychiatrist—a treatment that is now widely regarded as charlatanism.

Blasey Ford’s (and her progressive allies’) explanation for all this is that she suffered such a terrible psychological trauma that it is understandable that her memories would be foggy (and wrong) on many details—but the “essence” of her story, as Joe Biden would later say, is real. Perhaps women find it perfectly normal that Blasey Ford can’t remember key details? After I published this piece about the Kavanaugh confirmation in October 2018, a woman emailed me, mentioning her own experience:

I was sexually molested when I was 12 years of age (58 yrs ago), I remember every disgusting detail. I ran home, told my parents immediately, I told my husband of 51 years when we were dating, told all my close friends and family and our daughter. What Ms. Ford has testified to is beyond any reason or logic

A foggy memory is a convenient construct for explaining away inconsistencies—but it’s one thing when someone’s memory is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s quite another when the entirety of a case is based on a woman’s foggy memory.

Tara Reade does not claim foggy memory. Reade does not claim to forget details, nor does she change them to fit the evolving media narrative.

Considering the totality of the circumstances, this factor is overwhelmingly in Tara Reade’s favor.

Reputation of the Accused Respecting Women

Until the confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh had a spotless reputation. Multiple background checks over many years have never uncovered even a shred of impropriety. That reputation had to be torn down—and the vehicles for that, aside from Blasey Ford herself, were Julie Swetnick (and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who is now wearing orange), and Debbie Ramirez.

Conservatives owe Avenatti and his client a debt of gratitude. Were it not for his peddling of the fantasy that Kavanaugh, at age 17, organized and led a teenage rape gang that raped countless college women on multiple occasions, who can say how it all would have turned out? Would Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said “enough, already,” without Swetnick and Avenatti? Would Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) have channeled his inner Margaret Thatcher without those two scam artists?

The Ramirez story was never intended to be believable—only to add just enough bad odor to the entire sordid confirmation affair for just enough people to say, “yeah, that Kavanaugh fella . . . maybe there’s something there, maybe, just maybe, he ain’t quite the straight arrow he pretends to be.”

In brief, three decades after graduating from Yale, Debbie Ramirez spent several days examining her memories and consulting with friends and her lawyers, and concluded that it was possible that while she was drunk out of her skull in her dorm, Kavanaugh’s friend produced Kavanaugh’s penis for her to touch. Despite an exhaustive media investigative effort that rivaled the search for the elusive Higgs Boson, no confirmation of this ludicrous “incident” was ever unearthed.

But the media and the Left latched onto Ramirez precisely because there were just enough optics there to create a stain on Kavanaugh’s reputation, with or without corroboration.

To say that Biden’s reputation is less than pristine would be an understatement. Joe Biden is in a class all his own with his long, squalid history of inappropriate groping, fondling, touching, and kissing women and young girls. 

The internet is filled with countless “Creepy Joe” videos and photos of Biden, doing things that would be fatal for any Republican politician. If he worked for a private employer, he would have been summarily fired ages ago. There are multiple formal complaints of unwanted groping and touching, attesting to Biden’s true attitude towards women (at least seven such complaints, besides that of Tara Reade). 

Recently, it came to light that Biden likes to discuss 14-year-old girls’ breasts with them, seconds after meeting them. (That is from 2008, incidentally, when Biden was 65.) “Creepy” does not begin to describe Biden—who obviously considers himself entitled, and no doubt is not sorry for anything, deep down inside.

Biden’s defenders (and Blasey Ford’s supporters) point out that despite all that unwanted groping, fondling, sniffing, and kissing, Biden hasn’t been specifically accused of sexual assault before. That is true—but Ramirez’s allegation was nothing like Blasey Ford’s either, though that  never stopped Democratic partisans from finding that there were “patterns of behavior.” It is easier to believe that a career groper/fondler/sniffer/kisser committed assault, than it is to believe that Kavanaugh, who has never been accused before September 2018 of even looking improperly at a woman, is guilty of assault.

On this factor, Tara Reade wins by a mile.

Reaction of the Accused

As discussed in more detail in this excellent John Nolte article, when Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations surfaced, Kavanaugh demanded an immediate opportunity to address and refute them, and produced every document he had relating to the allegation. 

Biden refused to say a word for five weeks, and continues to deny access to his senatorial papers. I have little doubt that full access to all of Biden’s papers (wherever they may be hidden—University of Delaware, National Archives, the Senate basement) will expose even more past misconduct. This is likely the reason he is so terrified of giving the public access. 

Kavanaugh’s insistence on his absolute innocence saved his nomination, and for that reason enraged Democrats, who expected him to take the “maybe Blasey Ford misunderstood something, and I am really sorry if something happened” tack. Hesse writes:

While still maintaining his innocence, Kavanaugh could have gone for nuance instead of histrionics, perhaps striking a serious tone about the complicating factors of youth and alcohol in matters of behavior and memory. Something like, “I have no memory of doing this, and I truly believe I am innocent and incapable of such a thing. But I did drink to the point of stupor, as many of my friends have told the news. Nobody wants to know what happened more than I do. Please launch a full investigation; I’ll help however I can.” It would have awarded us so many opportunities for discussion; it would have been such a moment of humility and grace.

No, it wouldn’t have been. Hesse refuses to grasp the fact that when a man is innocent, he needs no nuance, nor does he care about “many opportunities for discussion.” An innocent man doesn’t hide behind faulty memory or complicating factors. Kavanaugh knew he was innocent, and he said so in no uncertain terms. The Left hated it, but thanks to his powerful, unequivocal defense based on his absolute innocence, just enough Americans didn’t buy Ford’s accusations to give Republican senators the backbone they sorely needed. 

On this factor, Tara Reade wins hands down.

In the Final Analysis

Many Democratic politicians and left-leaning journalists are today twisting themselves into multi-dimensional pretzels, trying to explain why they so uncritically accepted Blasey Ford’s weak, inconsistent, contradictory, and uncorroborated story, but refuse to extend the same courtesy to Reade. One concocted narrative is that Blasey Ford’s allegations are somehow more credible than Reade’s. 

They are not. 

If the self-professed women’s advocates were less hypocritical, they would give the same treatment to Creepy Joe Biden that they gleefully inflicted on Brett Kavanaugh. But the ice is starting to crack—whether he wants to or not, Joe Biden will be unable to resist an investigation of some sort for much longer. Creepy Joe may be about to reap the whirlwind.

Elections

Joe Biden Is Cooked

Apart from the accumulated limitations of the former vice president’s performance as a functioning candidate, there are other problems already clawing at him or waiting to pounce. 

Despite polls showing that he leads President Trump in key states and in the country overall, there remains something seriously missing and not credible in the putative presidential nomination of Joe Biden.

The polls are never accurate with Trump, and there is both a reticence by his supporters to identify themselves and some sampling errors by the main polling organizations because of the unusually high numbers of people this president draws to the polls in his support who are not otherwise frequent voters. 

The real test of these matters is how the people vote, and the country saw Joe Biden come in fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, and descend to 11 percent in that state’s Democratic primary. Generally, no candidate in either party is nominated who loses badly in New Hampshire. 

It did not require a resurrected Alexis de Tocqueville to observe that Biden’s sudden emergence from punch-drunk Palooka on the ropes to the anointed nominee in two weeks was not entirely spontaneous. In a formidable display of professionalism, the Democratic Party elders carried him to the finish line on March 3, knocking Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren out of the race and obtaining endorsements of Biden from three of them.

With Bloomberg spending $937 million in a few months to collect just five delegates from American Samoa—the costliest pursuit of votes per capita in world history—there was no one else to snatch the nomination from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who would have lost all 50 states (but not the District of Columbia) to Trump with his Marxist nonsense. 

Biden won most of the Super Tuesday primaries. Once reestablished as the Democrats’ leading candidate, he is now awash in the endorsements of the Obamas, Clintons, and Sanders himself. But this is still the same person who got 11 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. 

The putative nominee was just getting into high gear as a human gaffe machine when the coronavirus pandemic mercifully rescued him from much direct exposure to the public and confined him to a little podium in his basement in Delaware, from which he skypes a somewhat moderated number of malapropisms and amnesiac lapses to the Trump-hating media.

More Troubles for Biden Await

Apart from the accumulated limitations of his performance as a functioning candidate, there are other problems already clawing at him or waiting to pounce. 

There is no reason to believe that the issue of his and his son’s involvement in questionable financial activities in Ukraine and China will not return. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has assured President Trump and his representative, Rudolph Giuliani, that he will look into the matter of Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas firm. The Bidens deserve the presumption of innocence but, to use the clichés of the public relations business, the optics and externalities are not great. 

Special counsel John Durham will be along some time in the next few months with indictments (or not) in the origins of the fraudulent Trump-Russian collusion outrage. It was clear from the December report of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz that there were many illegalities and improprieties in the FISA aspect of the matter: internal espionage, conducted under the spurious rubric of a counterintelligence investigation against a major party nominee and then a president-elect. Ample evidence exists that Biden was present when these matters were discussed with President Obama. That doesn’t make Biden guilty of anything, of course. But if there is a slew of indictments over activities that he was aware of, it isn’t a great election year image-builder either. 

And then there is the Tara Reade affair. This is a responsible, credible, stable person. A Democrat, whose friends say they remember how upset she was when she left the employ of then-Senator Biden in 1993 claiming she had been raped by him. This isn’t a dippy Blasey-Ford rerun with a pseudo-anonymous frequent flyer who hates flying and has no corroboration of any kind and who can’t remember where an incident stopping far short of rape 36 years before had occurred, as in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Nor is it a recording of an 11-year-old bawdy comment unconnected to any act or plaintiff, as with candidate Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tape that almost killed his 2016 campaign. This is a real rape charge from a substantial person.

Reade’s is a serious allegation from a believable woman with some corroboration and a consistent story. Biden has avoided all comment, and the anti-Trump media with whom he converses from his virus-shelter basement haven’t got around to asking him about Reade (showing their customary no-holds-barred professional impartiality). 

The Democrats embarked en bloc in the Kavanaugh nomination battle over two years ago on the credo “believe all women,” and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that her former patron, President Bill Clinton, should have resigned because of his sexual advances on various women. 

Of course, this is not a sustainable position and we can’t just take a woman’s word for the assertion that a sex crime was committed many years before because she says so. We have to end this practice of career destruction by mere denunciation. But this, too, could profoundly shake the Biden campaign, which has not been conducted to this point by a tidal wave of well-earned popularity.

Another Nominee Waiting in the Wings?

There is an aura of otherworldly unreality about the Biden candidacy: a man who got 11 percent of the vote in New Hampshire is effectively the party’s nominee a month later, and takes to his basement to avoid exposure to the media while he and his backers ignore several impending problems, any one of which could blow up his candidacy. Yet there are polls from ostensibly serious polling organizations claiming if the election were held today, Biden would defeat the president. 

I believe that all of these supplementary problems will blow up during the spring and early summer. At that point, Biden could do the honorable thing and stand aside and ask his delegates to support a more presentable candidate than himself, well to the right of Sanders. After such a shuffle, when the delegate selection was over and too late for Sanders to restart his campaign, someone like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could be nominated.

There is some precedent in the Democratic Party for former unsuccessful contenders for the highest office effectively nominating more promising candidates. 

In 1912, with the convention deadlocked between Missouri’s House speaker Beauchamp Champ Clark and New Jersey governor and former Princeton University president Woodrow Wilson, three-time unsuccessful presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan threw his weight behind Wilson, who was nominated and elected (as the Republicans were split between President  Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt). 

In 1932, legendary media magnate William Randolph Hearst, who had once entertained some political ambitions, permitted Franklin D. Roosevelt to be nominated by causing his own candidate, House Speaker John Nance Garner of Texas, to withdraw in Roosevelt’s favor, in exchange for the vice presidency (an office Garner memorably disparaged in scatological terms).

Unless Biden comes out of hiding and takes some serious positions and looks and sounds like a leader, and can neutralize the Ukrainian, Durham, and Reade issues, his utility will have been to deny the nomination to Sanders and keep the place warm for a more plausible candidate. Whatever some polls say, this candidate cannot defeat the incumbent, unless Trump takes complete leave of his senses and starts to live up to the Democrats’ hideous caricature of him as a monster who incarnates corruption and incompetence.

Elections

The Sour Revolution of Bernie Sanders

The genuflection of Bernie Sanders to the establishment represents the ultimate defeat of his “revolution” and the possible collapse of the progressive movement for the foreseeable future.

Truly transformative social movements usually complete cycles. They start with a crisis, build momentum, organize, gain power, and then institutionalize. The French Revolution combined intellectuals, peasants, and convicts into a force that the mighty King Louis XVI and his professional army could not stop. Their effort culminated with the king’s execution on the guillotine in 1793.

After this, the various revolutionaries had to face the question of which vision of that revolution would be imposed. Many of them did not survive that stage of their revolution. Like their former king, many of them were guillotined and, eventually, all of the elements they detested about the monarchy were restored under Napoleon Bonaparte.

This cycle isn’t unique to the history of France and, indeed, it’s the template for most “revolutions.”

What American progressives have learned through their own bitter experience but seem to forget every time is that their revolutionary program is incompatible with the organizational interests of the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, the 2020 version of  Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dutifully endorsing the approved DNC candidate—predetermined as it was—may have sounded the death knell for his movement.

The legions of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youth who knocked on doors and phone banked for Sanders in 2016 will be eight years older in 2024, regardless of who wins this year. The candidate himself will be 82 years old during that coming election cycle, having already undergone heart surgery once during this past campaign. Worse yet, his strategy of appeasing his Democratic colleagues has prevented any viable alternative from developing and there is no figure capable of being his successor.

Radicalism: Farm to Table  

After withdrawing from the race in 2016, Bernie Sanders started a political action organization known as Our Revolution, based on the title of his book (also coincidentally a 1905 book collection of essays by future Bolshevik Leon Trotsky). This was supposed to be the foundation for supporting progressive organizing across the nation, headed initially by Bernie’s veteran adviser Jeff Weaver.

Bernie’s 2016 staffers objected to Weaver’s leadership on the grounds that his strategies for television-based publicity were outdated. By 2017 Weaver was booted out in favor of Nina Turner, a former state senator from Ohio. Turner was more popular among the Bernie base than Weaver due to her frontline appearance as his surrogate, but in substance the group was neither revolutionary nor populist in its structure.

The chairman of Our Revolution was Larry Cohen, a former union boss from the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Besides Turner, other Democratic ex-politicians on the board included Jim Hightower and Lucy Flores. In 2018 Flores and fellow Hispanic activist Catalina Velasquez departed Our Revolution over a rift with Turner and adviser Tezlyn Figaro over support for the DREAM Act. Flores would also later accuse Biden of touching and kissing her inappropriately during an appearance during her run for lieutenant governor in Nevada.

With total revenue each year from 2016 and 2017 approaching $3.4 million it would be expected that Our Revolution made a massive splash, but its 2017 federal 990 tax disclosure listed salaries and wages as accounting for $1 million in expenses, more than any other category. The only candidate who was a direct recipient of funds in 2017 was Justin Fairfax, who would be elected Lt. Governor of Virginia and is best known for being accused of sexual assault during Virginia’s political crisis in February 2019.

The charade of the Democratic primary season is over, and progressive activists and volunteers are waking up to the truth that Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Joe Biden has deflated their prospects as he runs away with the loot.

Our Revolution also made $100,000 in grants to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee—a PAC that, rather than support Sanders or his fellow progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in 2016, had decided to urge frontrunner Hillary Clinton to “adopt” Warren’s policies. Most of Our Revolution’s grants, however, went to branches of the organization in Texas, Wisconsin, and other states with almost $250,000 going to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Then in 2018, the year of its first midterm election, Our Revolution PAC had the chance to change the Democratic Party and nudge it to the left. Yet according to public records, their expenditures amounted to a paltry $10,254 on five candidates—all in red-state congressional districts, and all of whom were defeated—compared to the $100,000 paid to the PCCC and over $187,000 in total compensation for Turner. This is in contrast to the more well-known group, Justice Democrats, that cultivated successful Democratic challengers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Another often ignored node of the senator’s web of organizations is the Sanders Institute, a nonprofit think tank headed by his step-son David Driscoll, who earned $110,006 in salary in 2018. Yet this think tank publishes hardly any content at all, with much of the “Research and Reports” section occupied by Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs department reports from the late years of the Obama administration and archived documents from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

It has a booklist that functions as advertising space for books by Sanders and supporters like Cornel West and Bill McKibben as well as various mediocre Democratic politicians like Rep. Rosa DeLaura (D-Conn.). Like the CEPR and the Real News Network, the Sanders Institute has Hollywood actor Danny Glover on its board of directors.

Will the Ducklings Follow?

The 2020 primary cycle offered the full range of emotions for Sanders supporters—including the euphoric high following his Nevada victory, the anger at the irregularities and blatant tampering in Iowa, and the incredulity of watching a moderator flout his denial of a sexist remark to Elizabeth Warren to his face.

But with the onset of the coronavirus quarantines freezing the race after Joe Biden’s victories in Florida and Arizona, they were forced to face the inevitable prospect of their candidate withdrawing without the race running its course. The three-year quest to seize the Democratic Party from within was no longer feasible.

Many of the organizations that built their activist strategies for 2020 with the goal of booting retrograde candidates had counted on Sanders or a similarly radical candidate like Warren winning. Just one month ago the Sunrise Movement, an environmental radical group, was “mobilizing to stop Joe Biden.” Their sister movement IfNotNow blockaded Biden’s headquarters before the South Carolina primary. Most famously an activist for the pro-illegal alien group Cosecha was told by Biden to vote for Donald Trump after he demanded deportations end in November 2019.

These three organizations are members of the Momentum Community, a shadowy group of overlapping activist groups centered around the Ayni Institute in Boston. On April 9 a coalition of eight groups, among them IfNotNow and Sunrise, signed a letter to Biden giving a list of demands for their support. Complementing it was an op-ed by Waleed Shahid in The Nation, communications director of the Justice Democrats, the electoral group that had backed Ocasio-Cortez and other insurgent Democrats in 2018. The letter was distributed by NextGen Climate America, another major climate activism group led by billionaire and former Democratic candidate Tom Steyer.

But that very same day Steyer was endorsing Biden while talking about the need for the presumptive nominee to reach out to climate activists like those working for his organization. If NextGen was demanding new concessions from Biden in exchange for an endorsement, why were its president and director simultaneously delivering his? The mixed messages from progressive groups in responding to the Biden endorsement dilemma show a disconnect between the rank and file members and organizational leadership.

While Sunrise’s leader and co-founder Varshini Prakash has stated that it is already “engaging” with the Biden campaign, local chapters tweeted that they were not endorsing the former vice president. While Sanders’ endorsement of Biden is a full-on betrayal, one could argue that Prakash and Sunrise are no better given their past shaming and mockery of rival candidates like Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg for insufficient commitment to their agenda.

Like O’Rourke, Biden has received donations from the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $50,000. While there hasn’t been a total admission of defeat by the letter’s signatories, even Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas held back from declining to support Biden in an interview with The Hill, saying they were focused on Congress.

The Whinging Wallflowers

The above examples do not necessarily reflect the voting base that supported Sanders in 2020, and currently there appears to be a mutiny among voters and high-profile activists.

Sanders’s former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray has vocally rejected endorsing Biden. Similarly, political activist Shaun King released a five-point demand list for his endorsement that included ones like admitting that Biden is “the architect of mass incarceration.”

Many #NeverBiden voters have coalesced around former Young Turks commentator and comedian Jimmy Dore, who daily vents his disillusion with Bernie Sanders, and there has been a revival of the movement to support a progressive third party such as the Movement for a People’s Party headed by ex-Bernie staffer Nick Brana or the Green Party.

But the clock largely has run out for these efforts in the current election cycle. The hard work needed to create an alternative in the form of gaining ballot access, raising campaign funds, and increasing voter recognition has been neglected in order to focus on entryist campaigns to take control of the Democratic Party. While this has moved the party’s message to the left, the leadership remains completely unchanged.

Biden was first elected to public office in 1970, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) career began in 1976 as a DNC official), and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was first elected as a state assemblyman in 1975. Schumer and Pelosi are not threatened by grassroots revolt, because their positions largely are chosen by colleagues, not voters.

For those who consider themselves anti-war, Medicare for All progressives this year will be more than a repeat of past disappointments. The genuflection of Bernie Sanders to the establishment represents the ultimate defeat of his “revolution” and the possible collapse of the progressive movement for the foreseeable future.

The charade of the Democratic primary season is over, and progressive activists and volunteers are waking up to the truth that Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Joe Biden has deflated their prospects as he runs away with the loot. The years of following their Pied Piper of Vermont have left them with nothing. No accomplishments, no power, and no future.

Elections

China Meddles in Our Election,
In Favor of Biden

Given this track record of complicity, obtuseness, and appeasement, it’s no wonder the commissars of the Chinese politburo prefer the ascension of their useful, timid toady Joe Biden to the presidency.

A hostile foreign power openly meddles in U.S. electoral politics, working to cast discord generally and specifically to smear one of the two remaining candidates for our highest office. If Democrats were consistent about the paranoia they fomented over the laughably small efforts of Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, they would now demand immediate action to counter this nefarious foreign threat.

Only, this time, the adversary is China, and the declared target of their open election interference is the incumbent President Donald J. Trump.

The editor of the Global Times of China on Thursday posted a public propaganda video attacking President Trump’s candidacy and the reporting of Fox News. Global Times serves as the explicit media mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, functioning today much as Pravda did for the Kremlin during the Cold War.

Global Times editor Hu Xijin proclaimed that “President Trump faces the huge risk of a domestic investigation” that will stymie his reelection efforts. The Chinese state media functionary also assailed Fox News’ investigation into the origins of the Wuhan Virus as an “unscrupulous manipulation.”

In reality, Bret Baier and Gregg Re’s piece merely built upon an earlier article in the Washington Post by Josh Rogin. Both articles cite U.S. intelligence sources and firsthand knowledge of American diplomatic cables from two years ago warning Washington that medical research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology into coronaviruses from bats lacked sufficient safety protocols, risking the deadly viruses leaking into the population of that city. Both Fox News and the Post validate the circumstantial, but nonetheless compelling, case that COVID-19 originated through an accident that was subsequently covered up by Chinese authorities, with disastrous consequences for the world.

In an attempt to divert attention, the Global Times’ “Hu Says” missive tried to conflate the rumor that the virus was developed as a bioweapon with the theory that the natural virus was present in their lab, and leaked. More ominously for America’s election decision, note the clear preference expressed by the de facto spokesman for the Chinese Community Party: they do not want Donald Trump reelected.

It’s really no mystery why, as the CCP at last faces an American president willing to stand up to the corrupt and exploitative regime of Beijing, in matters from trade to espionage. Still, it’s jarring for Americans to witness such bold, blatant declarations of electoral favor, in English and using U.S. social media platforms.

The natural question this Chinese meddling compels: what do they see in Biden that encourages them?

The stark reality of Biden’s near-half-century as a swamp dweller reveals a politician totally committed to multinational globalism that puts America’s interests last.

On China specifically, Beijing Biden has been appeasing and acquiescing to the Chinese Communist henchmen for decades. Starting back in 2001 during Biden’s Senate career, a bipartisan group of pro-labor liberals and anti-Communist conservative hawks opposed China’s candidacy for the World Trade Organization. But Biden vigorously supported China’s participation, commencing two decades of mercantilist manipulation that devastated America’s industrial core and eviscerated blue-collar manufacturing workers.

Fast forward to 2011, when Vice President Biden remained immune to the obvious carnage China’s exploitation and cheating wrought upon America’s heartland. In fact, Biden then penned a New York Times op-ed incredibly claiming, “I remain convinced that a successful China can make our country more prosperous, not less.” By that time, America had already lost a staggering 2.7 million manufacturing jobs to China since its WTO admission, per the Economic Policy Institute.

Then in 2013, Biden brought his son Hunter Biden along on an official visit to China aboard Air Force Two. Hunter met with top Chinese officials and 10 days later secured a license to do business in China. He then confirmed an investment from the state-controlled Bank of China, according to an NBC reporter on the trip. Peter Schweizer in Secret Empires reports how Hunter’s then-tiny firm reaped a windfall Chinese investment totaling $1.5 billion, making Hunter’s Burisma shenanigans in Ukraine seem like pocket change.

More recently, in an April 2019 campaign appearance in Iowa, presidential candidate Biden actually pontificated about China. “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks,” he said. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.” Even one of his Democratic Party rivals, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, pilloried that remark as “stunningly out of touch.”

Despite the harsh realities of the present pandemic and concomitant economic crisis, Biden still refuses to acknowledge the risks the Communist Chinese pose to America. When President Trump presciently restricted travel from China in late January, well before other countries pursued similar policies, Biden defaulted to the tired leftist playbook of identity politics, calling Trump’s protective preclusion “hysterical xenophobia and fearmongering.”

Given this track record of complicity, obtuseness, and appeasement, it’s no wonder the commissars of the Chinese politburo prefer the ascension of their useful, timid toady Joe Biden to the presidency. With their open meddling via the Global Times, China’s overlords make their choice clear.

Beijing’s preference will, in turn, surely crystalize the decision for many American voters now suffering dire fallout from the incompetence and malfeasance of the Chinese Communist Party.

Elections

Will the Republican Establishment Survive the Coronavirus?

There’s going to be less tolerance for the kind of Republican who would make things harder for working people by subsidizing the loss of their labor power to Central American migrants or wage slaves in China.

The big unresolved question of the Trump era is simple: What happens when Donald Trump’s presidency is over? Has the Republican Party really become more “populist,” or will the GOP revert to the neoliberal, neoconservative status quo?

The coronavirus has brought this question into focus like never before. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a supposed populist of the Left, dropped out in a humiliating and shameful surrender, right in the middle of an economic catastrophe that threatens to wipe out what is left of the working class he claims to champion. For his part, Donald Trump has not turned out to be, so far, as aggressive a populist as some might have expected.

President Trump will run whatever campaign he likes, but the playbook has practically been written for him: double down on the pro-worker, anti-globalization politics that won him his first term. Joe Biden, a barely conscious, Wall Street plutocrat—and a stooge for China, no less—is an obvious and easy foil.

Whatever happens this November, it is questionable whether the establishment politics that came before Trump will survive an unprecedented pandemic that is already testing the GOP’s commitment to “limited government.” The coronavirus has unleashed an enormous bi-partisan appetite for spending that is not likely to subside when the immediate health threat goes away.

The meltdown is only just getting started, but the signs of devastation are sobering.

Last week was Wall Street’s best since 1974, but that was cold comfort for 22 million Americans currently out of work. For perspective, that’s one-in-seven U.S. workers. Some predict the unemployment rate could swell to 30 percent, worse than the Great Depression.

When the full impact hits, will Americans tolerate austerity from their government? For the undeceived, the answer is obvious. Of course not. Especially when Wall Street is getting generous bailouts, how will admonitions to stick to “limited government” sound to millions of people living in destitution?

Republican Heterodoxy

The GOP has already signed on with a $2 trillion stimulus package, the largest in history, and the national debt is reaching its highest level since World War II.  At the risk of reading too much into historical parallels, Republicans need to prepare for the possibility that the coronavirus really is a crisis on the scale of the Great Depression, one which, consequently, will force lawmakers to reimagine the role that national governments play in keeping the economy working for regular people.

The Great Depression gave life to the New Deal. As Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looks for another quarter-trillion dollars to keep small businesses afloat, one Republican senator is looking far beyond that. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), the cerebral freshman and a leading voice of populism, wants to protect “every single job” in the country by having the federal government “cover 80 percent of wages for workers at any U.S. business, up to the national median wage, until this emergency is over.” He also wants to give businesses a bonus for rehiring workers.

Hawley’s Republican colleagues will balk at this plan as an incontinent breach of party orthodoxy—a socialist scheme, even. But the truth is that the “fiscal conservatism” of the Republican Party has long been a myth, and not just because of their failure of nerve.

It was President Reagan who exploded the debt, after all, and Trump has been as happy a spender as any president since. Thrift is hardly a virtue in Washington. It’s about priority. There’s always somehow cash to spend on pointless wars and corporate bailouts, but somehow there never seems to be enough for working people whose lives have become materially worse over the last several decades.

Goodbye (and Good Riddance) to Libertarian Politics 

The coronavirus crisis may vindicate one of the central ideas of Hawley and like-minded populists: at some point, the state has some kind of responsibility to the public good, a responsibility on which it alone has the power to make good.

At any rate, it is hard to see this crisis making Republican voters, who are increasingly poor, more tolerant of the kind of libertarian establishment politics that had already fallen out of fashion in 2016.

It was a certain neglect, a “laissez-faire” disregard for the role of government in public stewardship, that helped create the inequities of the social order that voters then rejected by voting for an outsider, a figure who promised finally to enforce immigration laws and put government muscle behind protecting American workers from globalization. If the inequities of that order were intolerable then, the stresses of the new financial crisis may tip the Jenga Tower over.

There’s going to be less tolerance for the kind of Republican who would make things harder for working people by subsidizing the loss of their labor power to Central American migrants or wage slaves in China. Myths about the benevolence of investment bankers, the all-provisioning power of the free market, and the necessity of government staying on the sidelines while ordinary people suffer, will fail to resonate when this crisis has run its course.

When the emergency passes, Republicans may find that the coronavirus will have left the mark of populism that Trump unleashed—and which figures like Hawley champion—on the party for good, perhaps even in spite of Trump himself.

Until now, Trump’s campaign has focused a great deal on socialism, rather than the globalization that he campaigned against in 2016, thanks to the tenacity of an establishment that has ridden his coattails with superficial endorsements of the “America First” agenda. At some point, though, the buck stops with the president. It was only days ago that the DHS was planning to hand out thousands more H-2B visas to foreign workers, right in the middle of the worst economic meltdown in generations.

If Americans are really heading for a depression, then running on an establishment message would be untimely at best.

But there are signs of a pivot already in the Trump movement. Charlie Kirk, who enjoys a rapport with Trump and his family, to the chagrin of those on the Right who think he is a sellout for the donor class, called for the suspension of all workers’ visas until the pandemic passes. This was a 180-degree turn from the very recent past.

As for the party, while it would be foolish to read the GOP’s stimulus spending as some willful shift in principle, it is possible that circumstance will force Republican leaders to chart an unprecedented course. There aren’t many reasons at the moment to find the “return to normalcy” being offered by Joe Biden and the Democrats very plausible.

Elections

The Boris Conspiracy

It seems the nutters are suffering with a bout of Boris Derangement Syndrome—an affliction the relentless symptoms of which Americans will find all too familiar.

It’s a crying shame the pubs are closed here in Britain. One of my favorite pastimes is whiling away hours listening to the cider-sodden theories of affable, and perhaps mental, people.

Those who clot outside the pub as the morning breaks aren’t usual, or boring. You wouldn’t call them ordinary. Less discerning newspapers call them “problem drinkers.” Which, on the head of it, is true. They imbibe problems.

Their skin has that “borrowed” quality hewn through decades of service to the sauce, and the repeated iniquities their vocation bears. They’re far better company than anyone with LinkedIn Premium.

They have better names and better stories. Dai “The Milk.” Wayne “Brains.” Their problems are of interest. They might fix that leaking head gasket, only for their latest squeeze to have been caught working to supplement her welfare check. Their lives are dirty and real. Each day a vignette, and far deeper in substance than the contrived waffle passing for modern literature.

These problems lubricate their days. Solved only when another shuffles in sight ready to occupy the remarkable energies of its host.

I do wonder if these problems are contrived to enliven an otherwise dull life. Most of us lead lives of quiet desperation. We are hardwired for story. Perhaps, some like to live theirs out.

Here in Great Britain, we call these noble rogues “characters.” The character is the warp and weft of a fraying fabric sanitized by smoking bans and the LinkedIn guy’s sourdough.

The great British pub, “dying on its arse,” as the character would say, harbors fewer such characters with each shutter of the doors. The smoking ban did it. Guardian-types who don’t like pubs and lose their erections in worry that someone somewhere might be connected beyond the realms of missionary, deemed the character, and his pub, a curiosity.

A character is someone you like, despite his very human misgivings, his mild madness. One character of a pub I used to frequent told me that not only was the moon landing faked, he doubted there was a moon to land upon. “All bollocks, if you ask me.” He also, in the smoking area, made conversation with a pigeon named Stephen. One could sense Stephen understood the vague mutterings.

The character, by definition, is benign. The ying to this yang is that of the “nutter.” Nutters look like characters on the surface.

Both are broken. One is enlivened, enhanced by his scars. Like the Japanese art of kintsugi, in which broken ceramics are reformed, the cracks joined back together with liquid gold. Each piece of art is unique, its scars a quality to display, not regret.

The litmus test to discern a nutter comes with words like “Zionist.” My unofficial research finds that anyone uttering such a word has an 87 percent chance of being mental, souring—a nutter.

Conspiracy theories, this week, abound. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, beat his 50-50 chance of surviving the coronavirus.

This news is too much for some to bear. After hoping in public that the prime minister would not see his unborn child, those on the conspiracy Left now claim it was all a hoax.

Yes. A cranky “news” website, The Dorset Eye, published claims that two doctors treating Boris were forced to sign the Official Secrets Act after doubting he had COVID-19.

Twitter, being Twitter, detonated. That’s despite the doctors in question being named as “Shirley Knott” and “Ashleigh Pullin.” Someone is a pullin’ your leg. Surely, not?

That website, which waffles on about “Zionists” and other made-up maladies, later added a note claiming the post as satire. Not before “Official Secrets Act” trended on Twitter.

And not before Andi Fox, the chair of Labour’s powerful ruling body, the National Executive Committee, retweeted the quite obvious nonsense.

Fox, an ally of the now-defunct Jeremy Corbyn, later claimed she made the post by accident.

Perhaps, the sight of Boris thanking by name each of the doctors and nurses he accredits with saving his life, was too much to take for those convinced Tories are evil, and puppets of “Zionists.” By which, of course, they mean Jews.

The nuttery creeps across the cognitive spectrum. Marcus Ball, a professional attention seeker, and anti-Brexit campaigner, announced he’d submitted a Freedom of Information request to St. Thomas Hospital to unearth the “truth” of Boris’s recovery which he deems “too perfect.”

It seems the nutters are suffering with a bout of Boris Derangement Syndrome—an affliction the relentless symptoms of which you’ll be all too familiar in America.

Yes, the prime minister’s opponents, much like those of the president’s, allege themselves to be of the smart set. Brexit voters, Trump voters, are easily fooled and easily led.

Remember the Russia story? Yes, it did happen. Swaths of people were Salem-ed with the tale Vladimir Putin had helped President Trump hoodwink past Hillary Clinton and into the White House.

Once in place, President Trump’s agenda apparently involved boosting the best American economy for fifty years, raising the lot of the worst-off, and reasserting America’s position as world leader. This was all a Russian plot. Or something.

I guess if one believes that, (and many British and Americans did and do) then the fable of Boris faking his illness is entirely plausible. After all, they laughed at Brexit and scoffed at President Trump.

The problem for the nutters is manifest. The Conservatives, and Boris, are more popular than ever. A full 54 percent would vote Conservative tomorrow. After this settles, President Trump looks likely to enjoy another four years.

And the virus which almost killed one, and threatened to derail the presidency of another, is flattening. This week, Austria and Denmark announced a slow thawing of lockdown freeze. Spain, too.

The Swedish “experiment” in not house-arresting millions of people and shuttering the economy, might just be vindicated. They might show us how to live post-lockdown.

The Swedes have a nasty habit of getting things right. And theirs is the only place in Europe right now where one can enjoy a pint. I’d bet their characters have a few things to say about all this.

Elections

What Democratic Party Rule Will Do to America

Just like COVID-19, the governing philosophy of the Democrats is rolling out of the coastal Democratic strongholds to infect the entire nation. And just as with COVID-19, if and when it does, nothing will ever be the same again.

Recent and ongoing events, historic by any standard, have emphatically refuted anyone who thought a black swan event could not possibly disrupt America’s 2020 election. Recent events might also suffice to remind us that yet another Black Swan event could transpire before the November election, creating additional political disruption.

Regardless of how America’s public health and economic fortunes withstand this current ordeal, most establishment media along with the social media monopolies are firmly in the camp of the Democrats. They will present everything that happens between now and November in a manner to favor Democratic candidates and harm Republicans.

It’s hard to win when nearly every special interest group in the nation is getting its pockets greased by policies supported by Democrats, and every one of them is using every financial resource they’ve got to elect more Democrats.

What’s astonishing isn’t that Republicans still cling to a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate, it’s that there are any Republicans left, anywhere.

With billions of dollars pouring in from leftist billionaires, multinational corporations, and public-sector unions, the Democrats have set ambitious goals. The liberal website Vox identifies no fewer than 11 U.S. Senate races they claim Democrats could take and unseat incumbent Republicans. The politically neutral Cook Political Report ranks four races for the U.S. Senate, in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina, as “toss-ups.” As reported in The Hill, “changing demographics” (along with a stupefying amount of out-of-state money) have put North Carolina in play.

And what about Montana, one of four additional states ranked by Cook as “lean Republican”? To the delight of the Washington Post and the New York Times, popular Democrat governor Steve Bullock recently decided to run against Montana’s incumbent freshman Republican Steve Daines. Can he win? With or without additional black swan events, he’s got the entire weight of America’s Democratic establishment behind him. But Montana voters need to think carefully about the choice they make in November.

California Illustrates the Consequences of Democratic Party Rule

Montana may have harsh winters, but these residents of the frozen north are spared the inclement consequences of Democratic rule. They are, along with residents of states like Oregon (except in Portland) and Vermont, living in societies that don’t have to shoulder the economic deadweight and social disruption created by Democratic Party policies.

They need to come to California, where Democrats wield absolute political power. Then they need to visualize these conditions in every city and town and county and school district in their own beautiful state.

The first thing to understand about California is that it is run by leftist billionaires in partnership with government unions. In exchange for pension benefits that were breaking the budgets of California’s state and local governments prior to the COVID-19 sparked economic crash, public-sector employees have become a Praetorian Guard for the super-rich in California. Their tactics are brilliantly deceptive.

The premise of California’s Democrats is that they are saving the planet from wealthy corporations and saving the people from racists and sexists. Both of these premises are wielded like bludgeons to silence anyone who tries to question their policies. But the policies they’ve enacted have ruined everything. The poor are trapped in poverty, the rich get richer, and the middle class is leaving.

A quick look at various aspects of life in California ought to make obvious the failure of Democratic rule. The teachers’ unions in California have negotiated work rules that make it nearly impossible to fire incompetent instructors. They’ve made it necessary during layoffs to retain teachers based on seniority instead of based on teaching performance. They’ve set it up so a public school teacher has a job for life after less than two years of classroom observation. Their war on charter schools has denied the vast majority of students access to innovative and promising educational alternatives.

Even worse, instead of focusing on fundamentals such as math and reading, California’s legislature, controlled by the teachers’ unions, now requires high school and college students to complete an “ethnic studies” course as a graduation requirement. Review the syllabus for these courses to get an idea of the world view of Democrats. California’s ethnic studies courses indoctrinate California’s straight white male students, who now constitute barely 10 percent of Californians under the age of 18, that they are privileged scions of the most hideous oppressors in the history of the world. At the same time, these courses indoctrinate the rest of California’s youth to believe they are disadvantaged victims, who deserve special treatment for the rest of their lives.

And to mitigate this historical injustice, every major institution in California enforces race and gender hiring quotas. College professors have to sign pledges to document their commitment to diversity. SAT scores are ignored in college admissions and are on the verge of being dispensed with entirely.

The destructive impact of divisive indoctrination and racial and gender quotas are impossible to overstate. At what point does a commitment to proportional representation in all institutions become intolerably destructive, when this commitment is heedless of massive and verifiable disparities in aptitude? At what point does it render these institutions irreparably compromised?

Fighting Racism, Protecting the Planet

If California’s institutionalized racist anti-racism and sexist anti-sexism weren’t bad enough, equally unsustainable is its commitment to “sustainability.” California’s environmentalist overregulation is the reason housing is unaffordable. State officials have declared vast swaths of land off-limits to development, supposedly because suburban sprawl causes excessive “greenhouse gas” emissions, with the consequence being skyrocketing prices for what remains of available land that isn’t restricted. They have enacted escalating mandates for energy efficiency now culminating in a requirement for homes to be “energy neutral,” producing as much energy as they consume; all of this greatly increases costs at the same time as it makes these homes uncomfortable to live in.

And hiding behind the pretext of environmentalism, cities and counties that are financial slaves to the insatiable, ever-increasing demands of the pension systems, no longer have budgets to pay for infrastructure.

It used to be that cities built the roads, developers built the homes, and homebuyers became a new source of tax revenue. No more. Now developers in California pay for everything, passing all the costs into the price of new homes. Making it much worse, where it takes weeks to get permits in places like Montana, it takes years to get construction permits in California; dozens if not hundreds of different permits, and just one denial will stop everything in its tracks.

And then there’s litigation by California’s robust ecosystem of environmentalist plaintiff attorneys, using the California Environmental Quality Act to tie development proposals up in court for years.

This is the way of life that Democrats are going to bring to the entire nation if they ever get control of the White House and the U.S. Congress. Buckle up.

Lockdown the Law-Abiding, No Laws for Homeless

The COVID-19 pandemic that has already killed thousands and crippled the economy shines further light onto California’s dysfunction.

Governor Newsom refuses to suspend AB 5, a hideous new law that prohibits independent contractors from working unless their employers formally hire them. This despicable power grab by unions had already put hundreds of thousands either out of work or into legal uncertainty regarding their future. Now it’s preventing hospitals from hiring part-time freelance nurses, among other things.

And in Los Angeles, where Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti has just advised residents to wear masks when leaving their homes to perform “essential activities,” the homeless population, numbering in the tens of thousands, has been subject to almost no restrictions.

The irony is spectacular. This health emergency has enabled a suspension of individual rights amounting to de-facto martial law, and yet Garcetti is still unwilling to remove the homeless encampments.

The entire homeless epidemic in California is a result of Democratic policies. It was Democrats who pushed for policies to empty the jails and prisons of “nonviolent” offenders, and then it was Democrats who successfully pushed for laws that downgraded property and drug crimes. It was Democrats who successfully pushed for laws that made housing prohibitively expensive to those who were marginally employed. It was Democrats who built “shelters” at a staggering cost in the middle of stable neighborhoods, putting zero behavioral requirements on those being sheltered (no sobriety requirement, no curfew, no background checks).

What did they think was going to happen?

And if California’s remaining voices of common sense suggested that instead of building “supportive housing” at an average cost to taxpayers of $500,000 per unit, that maybe there was some more cost-effective, feasible way to get the homeless into tent cities on less expensive land, they were branded as lacking “compassion.” Meanwhile, the stakeholders in the Homeless Industrial Complex—“nonprofit” developers with for-profit vendors, public bureaucrats and their expanding bureaucracies, attorneys, and consultants—all got to wet their beaks, while only a small fraction of homeless got a roof over their heads.

What COVID-19 and the economic misery that follows will enable is further industry consolidation. For the wealthiest Americans and for multinational corporations, this is a rare opportunity to expand and consolidate their positions.

California, with regulations atop regulations—ostensibly implemented to curb the power of big business—is the epicenter of big business. The big lie—alongside the lie that Democrats are the party of ordinary workers—is that regulations curb big business. The truth is regulations empower big business because small businesses don’t have the financial resilience to comply.

Come this November, in states like California, legalized election rigging such as ballot harvesting, absentee ballots, vote by mail, early voting, and same-day voter registration will all be enforced, with billionaire-funded operations to exploit them to the fullest. Expect a push to lower the voting age to 16, and continued efforts to expand the rights of noncitizens to vote. Let nothing surprise you.

And just like COVID-19, this is rolling out of the coastal Democratic strongholds to infect the entire nation. And just like COVID-19, if and when it does, nothing will ever be the same again.

This is life in California. One could go on, and on, and on, and on. It’s true, the Republicans aren’t perfect. Indeed, they are far from it. But Republicans are not Democrats, and that makes all the difference in the world. Wake up.

Elections

Coronavirus Consequences Coming into View

Democrats seeking electoral advantage from this crisis are in an untenable position.  Even in suboptimal circumstances, it is hard to see where any case can be made for mismanagement by the administration.

The new Democratic pre-electoral chorus is already audibly arising like a Wagnerian finale from the largely hidden choir. President Trump, they intone, bungled this and must be investigated for his incompetence which is costing countless American lives. Because of his negligence and stupidity, the country must be shut down for months to ensure an economic disaster entirely attributable (unsurprisingly) to the contemptible ineptitude of the Bad Orange Man.

CNN’s Brian Stelter, one of the battle-scarred, grizzled, veterans of the Long March of media Trump-haters, choreographically synchronized with the Washington Post, New York Times, and MSNBC, has already kicked off this new campaign, on the air and on the internet. He has gathered together the usual sampling of Trumpophobic media group-thinkers, and followed Saul Alinsky’s first rule, accusing the enemy of precisely what he and his comrades are doing. Stelter has gone forth to battle with the same grim earnest that he brought to the previous unsuccessful crusades for the Trump-Russia election rigging fable and the impeachment fantasy.

The pro-Trump media, outnumbered but victorious, will indeed have the effrontery to defend the president and join with the 60 percent of Americans who think that he has generally led well in this struggle against the coronavirus, despite an overly optimistic launch.

For so long Stelter has uttered the old stock phrases “walls are closing in,” and “the drip, drip, drip,” and the almost daily “bombshell” of each new damaging allegation (that evaporated overnight), that he could be operating on autocue as he storms out of the firehall again, tearing through the pandemic-deserted streets to assault the president on a completely spurious charge one more time. No one can deny the vigor and imperishability of the hate and vitriol that propels the president’s media enemies again and again, no matter how often they are mowed down by the facts.

Theirs is a bloodless re-enactment of the Japanese defense of Okinawa 75 years ago: the Japanese defense force of 120,000 took 113,000 dead and 7,000 wounded, one of history’s few large engagements where one side had a 100 percent casualty rate. It is mad, but it is bold, or as General Bosquet famously said of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War of 1854: “It is magnificent, but it isn’t war; it’s insanity.”

It isn’t very professional, either.

Even less forgivable is the campaign, already begun by New York Times hit-person Maggie Haberman to tear down the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is an indisputable expert doing an exceptionally capable job. Birx has an unblemished career of great distinction, being not only a respected medical doctor but a retired colonel and former ambassador. Her offense is not to slag off the president who has recruited her.

Aiding and Abetting Globalist Corruption

The same media outlets have been engaged in a scandalous attempt to represent the Chinese response to the crisis as brilliant and to accept Beijing’s claim to have eliminated the virus within its own borders, in embarrassing contrast (they suppose) to Trumpian floundering about.

In reality, the Chinese were inexcusably dishonest in withholding the proportions of the coronavirus outbreak; have not uttered a truthful word about it up to and including this week—as they claim to have had almost no further fatalities and none at all in the past few days; and were extremely negligent in not moving promptly to restrict outward travel and warn the world.

The same American media which have acclaimed the official Chinese performance with an adulatory hallelujah chorus have railed against President Trump for following the normal practice of identifying the coronavirus geographically. The subordination of the World Health Organization as a cheerleader for China’s odium and criminality will require that the entire leadership of the WHO to be sacked and replaced by people in whom it is possible to have some confidence.

By the time this horrible virus has ravaged the underdeveloped world—which is completely unprepared to deal with it and where the danger of horrific human devastation is the fear that dare not speak its name—the complacent support of the corrupt leadership of the United Nations and its agencies by African and Asian states may have abated.

In the aftermath of this crisis, China’s prestige will have been thoroughly besmirched and a number of states will have followed the lead of the United Kingdom in questioning the utility and efficacy of the European Union, which has provided no leadership at all.

Making Up for Lost Time

Without question, the United States lacked adequate preparation for a pandemic. There is no just reason for heaping abuse on the previous administration for not being prepared for what the country is now facing because it has not faced anything comparable since the Spanish flu a century ago. Nor is it just to hammer President Trump for his somewhat cavalier opening reflections on the coronavirus, as he was not at that stage being warned that it could achieve the proportions it is achieving, or that the virus was distinctly more dangerous than outbreaks of aggressive flu in the last several decades.

The charges of unpreparedness are based mainly on a lethargic start to testing; even three weeks ago it was necessary to send all tests, which only could be administered by appointment in hospitals, to Atlanta for evaluation. These complaints have been effectively answered by the swift development of immediate testing devices that can be administered anywhere by almost anyone and produce evaluations within 15 minutes.

The president made exactly the right decision on Wednesday in permitting the two Dutch cruise liners with coronavirus-infected passengers to land at Port Everglades, Florida, and to do “what is best for humanity.” It was an admirable gesture and is widely interpreted in the world as generous and respectful of the universal character of the fight against this disease.

Trump and his advisors have now prepared the country for 100,000 deaths, but that total will only occur if the incidence of New York ripples across all the heavily populated areas of the country and if California only peaks at the end of April.

Preliminary evidence, indicative and not at all dispositive, is that California is almost at its peak now. If this is the case, the death total will be far less than 100,000 and the country will likely reopen in May, if in stages, and the president will be deemed to have managed the crisis well and sustained and retrieved the economy well.

If the peak in California only comes late in April, however, the total number of fatalities could approach 80,000 and the country might not be substantially open for business until mid-June.

Tedious and Predictable Partisanship

Obviously, speculation is hazardous and these projections are rank guesses based on official statements of pandemic patterns. Even in a suboptimal circumstance, it is hard to see where any case can be made for mismanagement by the administration, especially by those who accused him of “racism” and “xenophobia” for stopping the direct flights from China, (e.g. Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trial balloon on CNN on Sunday about an investigation like that which followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was preposterous. In 2001, there had been some badly misjudged intelligence, by the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. In the coronavirus crisis, the president moved quickly to end direct travel from China and then Europe, saving many lives and giving the United States the lowest fatality ratio of any large country with a sophisticated medical system and reliable reporting except Canada and Germany.

The administration is taking fiscal and social advantage of the crisis in the national interest with desirable tax reductions and, finally, an infrastructure renovation program. This president is emulating the tactic of Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II in styling any legislation that involved official expense as a bill to assist members and veterans of the armed forces. If something of durable value can be legislated along with the measures necessary to strangle the public health crisis and rescue the economically vulnerable, it will be a commendable nugget in a rocky field. Pelosi’s investigation will not get far off the ground.

Elections

‘Dr. Win-the-War’ vs. the Mouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elections

Don’t You Wish Trump Said This?

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

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

My fellow Americans:

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

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

Obviously, this can’t go on very long.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elections

Jeepers Veepers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Sure Thing to Abandon Ship!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put Me In Coach!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of Bracing for Coronavirus, Democrats Focused on Impeachment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Complaints But No Solutions

Democrats remained mostly silent on the coronavirus menace throughout February. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partisan Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Elections

No Thanks: Biden Promises ‘Return to Normal’

President Trump, for all his flaws, has exposed the arrogance, ignorance, and failures of Washington’s ruling class. That’s why they’re desperate to oust him, even if it means replacing Trump with a man way past his prime who’s exhibiting more alarming behavior each day. There’s nothing “normal” about it.

If he wins the White House in November, Joe Biden is pledging a “return to normal.” And apparently Team Biden thinks that catchy slogan sounds like a promise instead of a threat.

Since announcing his candidacy last spring, Biden and his boosters have touted the former vice president’s ability to roll back the clock to the period of political appeasement that was interrupted by the unwelcome rule of Donald Trump. Biden, who has roamed the halls of power in Washington, D.C. for nearly five decades, claims only he can restore the nation’s capital to the comfort zone it had formerly been for him and his cronies, a place where mean tweets and spontaneous firings and “irregular channels” don’t frustrate the Beltway’s business-as-usual brotherhood.

“Joe Biden wants to take America back to a time before Trump,” cooed a headline in a lengthy puff piece on Biden in the July 2019 issue of the New York Times magazine. “For voters unnerved by Trump’s conduct in office but not necessarily seeking radical change, he offers vast experience, conciliatory instincts and an empathy rooted in personal anguish.”

Now, Biden’s view of what constitutes “normal” might be a tad out of whack after 47 years in national politics. After all, the Democratic front runner remains gobsmacked as to why anyone would question the propriety of his son’s profitable international business dealings while Biden worked in the West Wing.

And Biden’s recent interactions with “normal” Americans have veered from creepy to dangerously aggressive. At a campaign appearance in Michigan on Tuesday, Biden berated an autoworker, pointed in his face, and said he wanted to “go outside” with the man.

A Third Obama Term

But Team Biden, cocksure about their candidate’s totally-organic-and-not-manufactured Super Tuesday romp, is leaking names of possible members of a Biden cabinet.

Axios reported that several Obama/Biden alumni are being considered for top posts. Biden’s former rival, Pete Buttigieg, is rumored as a potential U.N. ambassador or trade representative to boost his foreign affairs cred before his next run for office. This totally-not-a-quid-pro-quo is in exchange for Mayor Pete’s unexpected exit from the race just 36 hours before Super Tuesday and his quick endorsement of Biden right before polls opened that day. Biden also has made similar offers to failed foes Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke, who recently backed Biden.

“Biden advisers describe a Return to Normal plan—a reversal of President Trump’s unorthodox, improvisational style. Biden wants known, trusted people around him—many from the Obama years,” wrote Jim VandenHei and Mike Allen on Monday. “Biden, a throw-back institutionalist, relishes an emphasis on governing, norms and restoring alliances. That includes respect for experts, and for the art and science of governing.”

The list, however, includes some of Obama’s most notorious henchmen, including National Security Advisor Susan Rice; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates (the signer of the first FISA application on Carter Page); communications advisor Anita Dunn; and Secretary of State John Kerry. Mike Bloomberg and Jamie Dimon, the chairman of JP Morgan Chase, could be offered top financial appointments.

Biden also is considering his options for vice president, a critical decision given his age and legitimate doubts about his cognitive fitness. He’ll have to appease the left-wing base of the party, including Bernie Sanders backers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). And he will almost certainly need to pick a female running mate. Possible candidates include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Stacey Abrams, who lost her run for governor of Georgia but claims she was robbed of the win, is also on Biden’s shortlist because she “electrifies crowds,” according to Axios.

Biden is earning the endorsement of some of Trump’s biggest enemies: James Comey, the disgraced former head of the FBI, and former CIA Director John Brennan have signaled their support for the former vice president. (Biden’s campaign, in the ultimate smackdown, rejected Comey’s support.)

A Return to the Status Quo Ante

So what, exactly, would a “return to normal” look like under President Biden? How would a mix of grudge-carrying Obama loyalists and untested socialist newcomers govern since it’s unlikely Biden actually will be in charge?

This is a shortlist of what Biden and company promise to revive:

A time when the news media fawned over a Democratic president, covered up his conspicuous corruption, and instead blamed any malfeasance on the underhanded machinations of his Republican foes.

A time when the permanent Beltway “expert” aristocracy, now exposed as hostile if not subversive to the broader interests of mainstream America, ran the show.

A time when it was not only acceptable but heroic for the president publicly to condemn the rulings of a federal court—including the highest court in the land—without demands for apologies.

A time when the plight of “kids in cages” was ignored.

A time when the political punditry class of the Left and Right wasn’t “exhausted” from doing their jobs, i.e., keeping close tabs on the White House, challenging the truthfulness of statements made by the occupant of the Oval Office, and questioning the travel expenses, furniture costs, condo rental agreements, Christian faith, or marital well-being of various presidential aides.

A time when phone calls between the president and world leaders remained classified information and, God forbid, were never exploited for political gain.

A time when daily press briefings were cordial affairs—devoid of sexist grandstanding and frequent outbursts by ostensibly objective journalists—with plenty of jocularity between the president’s spokesman and swooning members of the White House press corps.

A time when the Justice Department, State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, Director of National Intelligence, and a secret spy court operated clandestinely to execute a political hit job with nary a raised eyebrow from the media or a member of Congress.

A time when a British operative could act as both an FBI source and a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch while planting negative stories in the media weeks before a national election and no one considered it meddling or “interference.”

A time when a scandal-plagued president and his administration could claim they were “scandal-free” and the brainwashed news media regurgitated that provable falsehood as fact.

You get my drift.

When Biden-supporting Democrats and NeverTrumpers praise the idea that Uncle Joe will usher in an era of normalcy, they mean for them, not for you. After all, the Obama years weren’t exactly halcyon days for millions of working-class Americans or other Americans who actually believe in America’s founding principles.

Trump, for all his flaws, has exposed the arrogance, ignorance, and failures of Washington’s ruling class. That’s why they’re desperate to oust him, even if it means replacing Trump with a man way past his prime who’s exhibiting more alarming behavior each day. There’s nothing “normal” about it.

Elections

‘I’m More Qualified Than You To Beat Trump!’

Whatever happens, the Democratic Party will never exist again as a party with a sane, left-of-center orientation.

Our electoral politics are about to enter a kind of terra incognita, with an avowed Marxist dinosaur who spent a lifetime praising Communist dictatorships and brutal leftist tyrants all around the globe, as the most likely nominee of one of the major parties. 

When the history of the 2020 election is written, this suicidal choice by the Democratic Party’s primary electorate will be traced back to one central theme: the party’s singular obsession with Donald J. Trump. 

Beating Trump is a monomaniacal preoccupation with the Democratic electorate. Every candidate is viewed through that lens and that lens alone. The problem for Democrats going into the general election is that beating Trump, per se, isn’t an obsession with a majority of the voters—improving their own lives is more important. 

On the stump, Democrats barely mention job creation, for example—except for when they are talking about creating more government jobs. Reviving manufacturing or America’s industrial base is of no interest to them—killing private-sector jobs, like auto manufacturing jobs, or mining jobs, or traditional energy sector jobs, is in vogue. Displaced blue-collar workers can learn to code.

Terrorism is of no interest to Democratic candidates—they all condemned the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani. Crime or public safety? Ensuring racial proportionality in arrests and prosecutions is more important. Quality of education? As long as students are indoctrinated and transgender issues are properly addressed for all children eager to hop on the trend, it’s all good. 

With the exception of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders, who wants a Marxist revolution and whose paleo-Stalinist nonsense has now almost totally infected the Democratic Party, “beating Trump” is the only thing any of them seem to want to talk about.

Unserious Candidates, Sliding Leftward

Gallons of ink have been spilled, and countless gigabytes have been posted, debating which candidate can best “take on Trump.” Reporters collect quotes from attendees at candidates’ events on the subject of who can best beat Trump. Trump isn’t just living rent-free in their collective heads—he has put down deep roots and applied for permanent resident status there. 

At any Democratic debate, vanishingly little time is spent discussing job creation, or the job security that flows from a vibrant labor market, or energy independence, or people’s physical security in the face of crime in cities run by Democrats. The contestants just repeat some variation of “I am the one who can beat Trump,” coupled with “we need an economy that works for everybody, not just the corrupt billionaires.” Meanwhile, the cancerous ideology of socialism continues to corrupt the Democratic Party, dragging it further and further leftward.

Beto O’Rourke, the fake Texas Hispanic, burst onto the national scene with his losing campaign to unseat Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), despite spending a mind-bending $80 Million. Why was he most qualified to defeat Trump? Because he had the best ideas for keeping the economic expansion going? Because he had the best ideas for enforcing immigration laws? Nope. He could best defeat Trump because he could win Texas (even though he didn’t)! 

As Beto’s campaign sputtered, his unserious proposals (Confiscate guns now! No more tax exemptions for churches!) drifted further and further into la-la-land. On November 1, Beto saw the writing on the wall and scurried out of the limelight.

That’s the problem with being a self-funded billionaire—everyone around you will only tell you things you want to hear.

What about Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.)? Booker’s candidacy was “about the diverse coalition that is necessary to beat Donald Trump.” Booker was not the jobs candidate, nor was he the lower taxes candidate, nor the business creation candidate, nor the anti-crime candidate. Booker could beat Trump, he said, because he was the diversity candidate. It turned out, however, that Booker has always had a hard time pretending America is some post-apocalyptic hellhole of racism, poverty, and despair. Struggling in the polls and out of money, Booker dropped out on January 13—shortly before the Iowa caucuses. 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) ran as a one-issue “I’m a mom” candidate best able to defeat Trump, because, well, Trump is not a mom. “The future is female!” she proclaimed, erasing her two sons from that future. Anything other than the “I’m a mom” was either an afterthought or viewed through the prism of “family”—another word for “I’m a mom, and Trump is not, so that’s why I’ll beat him.” 

After panhandling for dollar bills in Iowa restaurants and gay bars, and only (just barely) qualifying for the first two debates, Gillibrand crashed and burned on August 28. The lesson—that a shameless panderfest to this or that identity group (in her case, a “distinctly feminist message that looked like a compelling counter to Donald Trump”) was not the way to go—fell on deaf ears.

A New Generation? Not Quite Yet

Julian “Latino Obama” Castro was yet another shiny object for the leftwing media. His prediction of whom the Democrats will nominate looks comical in hindsight:

Kennedy was 43 when he took office. Carter was 50 or 51. Clinton was 46 and Obama was 46 or 47. I think you’re going to have somebody from this group under 55 that emerges as a Democratic nominee. Because when I go out there, I hear very clearly that people want a new generation of leadership—a new face—whether I run or not.

Try not to bust your gut laughing—the likely Democratic nominee is actually a 78-year-old Marxist who had a heart attack after angrily yelling at the sky, as is his habitual practice, and his chief competitors are a 77-year-old cognitively-challenged denture-sporting ex-vice president, a 70-year-old screeching banshee from Massachusetts, and a 78-year-old gazillionaire who has a stent implanted in his heart and eats blood thinners and beta-blockers like they are candy

But what made Castro think he was unique enough to make him the one to defeat Trump? As Castro explained, “you have to be able to stand up to Donald Trump and to call him out.” Since every other candidate also promised to stand up to Trump and to call him out, Castro’s candidacy struggled in the low single digits for months. Following a few middling and borderline obnoxious debate performances, Castro’s campaign ended ignominiously on January 2, after desperate appeals for money.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a charisma-deficient boss from hell, told us she was the one most qualified to beat Trump because she was from the Midwest. Trump isn’t from the Midwest and has never lived there—but he won the Midwest anyway. Being from the Midwest certainly didn’t help Klobuchar in next-door Iowa much. 

Klobuchar’s entreaties to Democratic primary voters, that the financial math of Bernie’s proposals doesn’t add up were entirely correct—and also of entirely zero interest to them. The “I can beat Trump in the Midwest because I am from Minnesota” didn’t move the needle at all, and she’s now out of the running, too.

Coal billionaire Tom Steyer was best able to beat Trump, he said, because only he got the true religion of climate change. Apparently nobody around Steyer ever had the courage to gently explain to him that he will never, ever be president. Ever.

That’s the problem with being a self-funded billionaire—everyone around you will only tell you things you want to hear. You pay the bills. Having demonstrated that his robotic woodenness is matched only by Bloomberg’s robotic woodenness, Steyer’s odds of becoming the nominee were microscopic even before South Carolina. Spending $250 million (that’s one-quarter of a billion dollars, for you and me) didn’t buy him a whole lot of love—Steyer dropped out the night of the primary. He won’t be missed (except by ad executives).

Ex-Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been planning to run for president since he was in diapers. He even joined the military as a direct commission officer because he thought that a “served in the military” checkmark would help his résumé. (He’s in the wrong party for that.) His speeches and debate performances come straight out of McKinsey & Co. PowerPoint slides. 

In theory, Biden could have claimed the mantle of the candidate who is concerned about jobs, taxes, schools, and immigration. Instead, he has positioned himself as the “Barack-and-I” electability choice while adopting the lunatic fringe’s positions.

Buttigieg was a rarity—he did say many vacuous and unspecific words about some things that people actually care about—all that McKinsey consulting experience has taught him that real things matter more to people than abstract nonsense. Other Democrats might want to emulate that aspect of his campaign, if not the creepily robotic delivery. 

Buttigieg had a kind of “I can beat Trump because I’m twice as young as the tired old fossils standing next to me” vibe. Alas, even as a sort-of non-Bernie (despite having a genetic predisposition to Marxism) his campaign ran out of gas in South Carolina. In the language of campaign-speak, after “having internal conversations” about the future (which is never a good sign) Mayor Pete was out, so to speak.

Faux Left vs. Real Left

After back-of-the-pack results in no fewer than four consecutive states, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is over, and she knows it. Her rhetoric always came back to corporate greed, rigged systems, and corruption. The substance of her “plans” differed little from those of Bernie Sanders—government takeover or regulation of virtually everything, just without the socialist label. If she weren’t old and 1023/1024th white, Bernie would take her as a running mate.

So what made Warren so special? “She is a fighter.” She cannot possibly believe her own plans (unlike Bernie, who is a classic Marxist-Leninist useful idiot, and probably believes some of it). The leftists sense it—why buy an obvious fake, when the real thing is standing right next to her, red in the face, shrieking Marxist gibberish even louder than she is?

With her odds of becoming the nominee now a tiny fraction of a percent, and Warren herself “reassuring supporters” that she is in it for the long haul, expect her to drop out after Super Tuesday. Successful campaigns don’t need to reassure anyone—their success is all the reassurance they need.

Remember Kamala Harris? Perhaps she was most qualified to beat Trump because, as a senator from California, she knew about the tech industry, manufacturing, and farming? Perhaps she knew how to appeal to both urban voters and rural voters? Nope. She was most qualified to beat Trump because she was once a prosecutor, and she would not only beat him, but prosecute him afterward! 

Harris entered the race with much promise: relatively young, articulate, female, black, Indian, experienced (well, sort of) . . . she checked off all sorts of boxes. Schizophrenically, Harris could never make up her mind about whether she wanted to out-crazy the crazies on the Left, or try to compete with Biden for the “moderate” lane. 

Her prosecutorial attack talents were demonstrated in the first Democratic debate in June 2019, when she tore into Biden for (as it turned out) having the same views on school busing as she herself held. Her polls briefly climbed up to the mid-teens, but that moment turned out to be just that—a moment. By the fall, Harris’ campaign was circling the drain, its messaging confused, its organization in disarray. On December 2, the one-time “tough prosecutor” dropped out.

A Sad Parade

Among the slew of other “also-rans” it is worth recalling only Tim Ryan—remember him? Probably not. The congressman from Ohio naïvely tried to talk about things like jobs, manufacturing, America’s industrial base—in other words, things that normal people, in the Midwest and elsewhere, actually care about. Ryan’s problem? The Democratic Party has absolutely no interest in any of this. Democrats are much more interested in remote and mostly irrelevant abstract notions, like “environmental justice,” climate change, and transgender rights for 5-year-olds. 

Though he was not terribly exciting, Ryan sounded saner and more coherent than the clowns riding the Democrat clown bus—which meant, obviously, that he had zero chance. Ryan did make it into the first couple of debates, got no traction, and dropped out on October 24. If a tree falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?  That’s the epitaph for his campaign and the lesson or Democrats who want to talk about issues general election voters find compelling. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio got bored running his own city into the ground and decided to set his sights higher—on running the entire country into the ground.  At 6’5”, he was the tallest candidate, and, therefore, most qualified.  Selecting a candidate based on his height turned out to be a bridge too far even for loopy Democratic voters.  His candidacy deader than a doornail, de Blasio called it quits on September 20, and went back to screwing up New York City.

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, had a simple reason for why he would beat Trump: he, and he alone, really cared about climate change. Every other contestant cared, sure, but Inslee really, really cared. His polls in a permanent flatline, Inslee dropped out on August 21.

It’s difficult to know if we should laugh at all this, cry, or shrug indifferently.

John Hickenlooper, the ex-governor of Colorado, had no difficulty telling huge adoring crowds why he was most qualified to beat Trump: “I’m running for president because the only way to end the Trump crisis of division is with a leader who knows how to bring people together and get stuff done.” Actually, I’m just kidding—there were no huge crowds. In fact, there were no crowds of any kind for him. His poll numbers comatose, the Hickenlooper campaign finally collapsed on August 15.

Andrew Yang became the first semi-serious Asian-American candidate to run for president. He was most qualified to beat Trump because he was Asian, which meant that he knew many doctors, and like all Asians, he could do math better than Bernie. After New Hampshire, he must have done the math, said “adios, muchachos” to his supporters, and joined CNN.

Bloomberg’s Billions, Biden’s “Barack-and-I” Electability

Mike Bloomberg doesn’t need to explain anything to anybody—his explanation for why he can beat Trump is loud and clear, available on every channel on every TV or computer screen. With his galactic-sized bank account, Bloomberg’s theory of the election requires no ability to understand complex nuances: he will abandon every belief he ever held, apologize for everything he ever did, and buy the nomination by running two billion dollars’ worth of ads about how he can “get it done,” then he will buy the presidency by running two billion dollars’ more worth of ads. 

And if it takes more money than that, that’s fine. After his catastrophic debate performance in Nevada, and his barely-passable debate performance in South Carolina, Bloomberg will soon be the guy wearing the t-shirt that says “I spent enough money on TV ads to buy Belgium, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”

It is hard to do justice to the Joe Biden campaign in one or two paragraphs. He cratered in Iowa. He crumpled in New Hampshire. He flubbed in Nevada, although (without a trace of irony) he called his very distant second place in Nevada a “comeback.”  He achieved a kind of zombie resurrection with his primary win in South Carolina—the first time he actually won anything in 33 years of presidential aspirations. His South Carolina efforts were characterized by a ramped-up output of bizarre pronouncements. 

In theory, Biden could have claimed the mantle of the candidate who is concerned about jobs, taxes, schools, immigration—issues about which ordinary Americans actually care. Instead, Biden has positioned himself as the “Barack-and-I” electability choice while adopting the lunatic fringe’s positions on open borders, foreign policy, transgenderism, climate hysteria, abortion, and most everything else. 

In the last debate, a caffeinated-to-the-gills Biden was perkier than usual, without the vacant stare of someone who checked out the day before. Aside from the debate, Biden’s mental collapse on the South Carolina campaign trail is worth a separate analysis. 

If I were Trump, I’d be hard-pressed to decide which challenger I’d rather face—a near-octogenarian perpetually-pissed-off Marxist who hollers and gesticulates madly when confronted by an inconvenient question? Or a near-octogenarian buffoonish “Mr. Electability” who remembers things that never happened, but can’t remember which job he is running to fill

It’s difficult to know if we should laugh at all this, cry, or shrug indifferently. Whatever happens, the Democratic Party will never exist again as a party with a sane, left-of-center orientation.

Elections

An Even Greater Second Term Requires a Big Staff Shakeup

The entire White House personnel dynamic needs to change in the president’s second term. It should be priority number one for him after his second inaugural.

It is amazing to consider how much Donald Trump has accomplished in his first term despite being under constant assault from the administrative state, the Left, and Democratic media propagandists from day one. It has to be one of the most successful first terms for a Republican president in generations, from tax cuts to judges, to overall economic numbers. This outsider came in and accomplished more in three years than the D.C. crowd accomplished in decades—above all exposing the system rigged against the American people and also highlighting the corruption and incompetence of Washington, D.C.

Now we have to accept that Trump will always be under attack while he’s in office—from the Left and the MSM—and there is nothing that can be done about that. But Trump certainly can do more to stem the tide of the attacks that come at him from within his own circle. In his second term, if he wants to be more successful or even just get some relief from the grind, Trump needs to focus more on staffing.

All of the kerfuffle about John Bolton’s book manuscript has highlighted, yet again, the Achilles heel of the Trump Administration: personnel.

Just think about how many of the problems we’ve seen unfold over the previous three years, especially in the Ukraine controversy, might have been avoided through better personnel decisions.

Think about the situation with the miserable human giraffe, James Comey. Trump could have, should have, fired Comey the very first day he was sworn in. He didn’t. And the decision to keep him on led directly to the witchhunt led by Robert Mueller and his partisan pack of wolves. The Trump team was advised, early on, to clean house at the NSC, but didn’t like it should have and here we are with Lt. Colonel Humpty Dumpty Vindman, Dr. Fiona Hill and others working to undermine the duly elected President of the United States. Repeatedly, time and time again people being brought in to testify against Trump were people that should never have been there in the first place.

How did this happen? First, let’s face it: Trump’s strongest selling point was and remains his status as an outsider. He is absolutely correct in denouncing the swamp and the status quo inside the D.C. ecosystem, which is rigged against the American people. But by being an outsider, there was a steep learning curve in understanding how to navigate the place. I can say with a certain amount of assurance that Trump knew enough to know that D.C. was very bad, yet he did not understand quite how bad. I think that he is firmly convinced now that D.C. is far, far worse than even he imagined.

There is a massive administrative state that is set firmly against Trump; he is an existential threat to its existence. But he did not fully understand that when it perceived him as a threat it would viciously attack and seek to destroy him, the duly elected head of the executive branch.

But add to that dynamic the fact that Johnny DeStefano was installed as the head of presidential personnel. I’ll be there first to tell you that Johnny is a nice guy, that you can have a few laughs over a drink with him. But conservative? Not even close. It’s hard to even define him as a moderate, but you can be absolutely assured that DeStefano is not America First. Never has been, never will be. He is an establishment Republican, a swamp creature. And for years he was running personnel decisions at the White House for the various departments and for ambassadorships (we have him to thank for Gordon Sondland).

Consider there were 7,000 Plum Book positions, of which a certain percentage were low-level appointees. How many rockstar America First types do you think were let through during DeStefano’s tenure? Not many.

This entire personnel dynamic needs to change in Trump’s second term. It must be the president’s top priority on the first day of his second term. He needs to appoint an America First ally at the Presidential Personnel Office and let that person clean house. That person needs to bring in his or her team and be empowered to audit every remaining appointee throughout the Administration. Decisions about who to fire and who to retain need to be based on that person’s recommendations and conversations with the president.

It is only in this way that Trump can then reshape his personnel so that he is absolutely in control of it. There should be no more unforced errors on the personnel front.

Now imagine Trump does this. Imagine this impeachment farce completely blows up in Democrats’ faces (which seems likely) and they are punished at the ballot box in November. Republicans regain the House, keep the Senate. and Trump starts placing more America First types inside the various departments and agencies. Just imagine what he could accomplish with all of those dynamics in place.

Elections

The Vindman Twins Are Creatures of John Bolton

The American people have the former national security advisor to blame for the presence of the self-serving brothers on the National Security Council staff.

During his four decades as an accumulator of power in the nation’s capital, a holder of high offices in the State Department, and finally a stint as President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton has been well known for his scrupulous attention to the hiring and firing of his staff.

He always has demanded unwavering personal loyalty as well as fealty to his own—not his president’s—policy agenda. He has performed the most rigorous vetting on all who have been selected to serve on his various staffs, both the small number of political appointees a political appointee such as himself is allowed to have as well as the more numerous personnel selected from the foreign service, civil service, military services, and intelligence agencies.

The extremes to which Bolton goes to enforce his Bolton-centric scheme of things were exposed dramatically in the episode of his handpicked choice as deputy national security advisor, Mira Ricardel. The latter had a well-deserved reputation as “Bolton’s Bolton”—that is, a screamer, a browbeater, and a toxic boss par excellence. Ricardel’s exercises in Attila the Hun’s management methods were so over-the-top that they attracted the displeased attention of First Lady Melania Trump, who took the rare step of publicly calling for Ricardel’s dismissal. Ricardel had denigrated and disparaged members of the first lady’s staff.

Notwithstanding the public denunciation of Ricardel by the first lady, a standoff ensued. Bolton never relented in his support for his hatchetwoman. Ricardel finally was pried away from her White House position in November 2018 at a moment when Bolton was out of the country and unable to barricade her office door.

This incident illumined in high relief that Bolton’s loyalties are never to his superiors but always to himself and to others only so long as they remain his sycophants.

The strange case of the Vindman twins (Alexander and Yevgeny) should be examined in the light of Bolton’s Roi du Soleil management style.

In July 2018, three months or so after becoming President Trump’s national security adviser, Bolton hired both Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as a Ukraine policy specialist for the National Security Council and his identical twin brother, Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, as deputy legal counsel in the NSC’s “ethics” office.

Bolton is totally responsible for this pair of unusual hires. There is no explaining this strange duo of appointments as something that the bureaucracy simply slipped over on Bolton. That is not Bolton’s way.

Anyone who has been involved in national security affairs in Republican administrations since 1981 knows that it is impossible that the Vindman brothers were given sensitive jobs in Bolton’s NSC without Bolton having become assured of their usefulness and loyalty to Bolton and his agenda. Both the Ukraine policy and the “ethics attorney” slots are of vast personal priority to Bolton.

On the face of it, it is very odd for any administration to hire a pair of identical twin Army lieutenant colonels to work at the very same time in the same office in any part of the government, much less on the elite, super-sensitive National Security Council staff. Concerns over conflicts of interest are magnified when one of the identical twins is an “ethics counsel” privy both to allegations and self-disclosures of sensitive financial data and any legally and ethically questionable actions by NSC staffers.

In Washington, if a person in Yevgeny’s position and with his political bias breaks the seal of the confessional, he doesn’t get excommunicated; he gets lionized in the mainstream media.

Given the bizarre situation Bolton had brought about with the twins serving in sensitive positions on his staff, one might have expected that Alexander and Yevgeny would have recused themselves from dealing with one another in any fashion that could be construed as a possible conflict of interests.

But the NSC is a particularly gassy precinct of the swamp, so expectations of prudence and “abundance of caution” between identical twin Army officers on the NSC staff of course were misbegotten.

So here we are. Acting on his own, without authorization, Alexander Vindman reported his jaundiced view of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to friends in the State Department and intelligence agencies whom Vindman—unilaterally and going over the head of his superiors—asserted had a “need to know.” This led directly to the “whistleblower” complaint that ignited the impeachment conflagration.

Alexander Vindman also conflated his policy disagreement with President Trump into an ersatz “ethical” concern, and he shared his version of the phone call with his preferred in-house ethics lawyer, his own twin brother. Yevgeny Vindman is not the only ethics lawyer on the NSC staff. Alexander could have exercised a prudent compartmentalization of the information he considered so sensitive as to require the impeachment of his commander-in-chief. But instead of avoiding involvement of his brother in this matter, reportedly his first recourse was to decide that Yevgeny had a “need to know.”

All of this happened under the all-seeing eye of John Bolton.

The Justice Department’s legal counsel issued an authoritative statement that the highly classified information Alexander, with his own spin and Yevgeny’s blessing, fed to his friend in the intelligence community, was in no way a matter for the jurisdiction of the intelligence community inspector general. Nevertheless, the IC’s inspector general took his own invalid action to cloak the Vindmans’ friend with “whistleblower” protection while the leaks to the mainstream media, the disingenuous interactions with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and his staff, and the histrionic impeachment farce ensued.

President Trump fired the insubordinate Bolton on September 10. During the week that followed, the “whistleblower” complaint emerged in the news, at first connected to a communication between President Trump and an unidentified foreign leader. On September 18, the Washington Post reported that Trump had made some kind of “promise” to the foreign leader. On September 19, the IC inspector general gave a secret briefing to Schiff and other congressional leaders. The same day, the Washington Post reported that the whistleblower complaint involved Ukraine.

The sanctimonious Alexander Vindman is suspected of perjury in his October performance in front of the House Intelligence Committee. Vindman had sworn in a deposition that he did not know the whistleblower. When, in an open hearing, committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) asked Vindman to identify the specific agency within the intelligence community employing the person with whom he had shared his version of the Trump-Zelensky call, Schiff interrupted the proceedings to say that Vindman was not allowed to answer the question because it would “out” the whistleblower. Schiff also is widely suspected of having lied when saying he does not know and has not had contact with the whistleblower.

Yevgeny Vindman reportedly is the NSC staffer given charge of reviewing John Bolton’s self-sanctifying memoir manuscript, which somehow leaked to the New York Times last week.

A Ukrainian-born immigrant who has contributed far more to the public good than both of the Vindman twins put together, Yakov Smirnoff, has a phrase that fits today’s situation: “What a country!”

The American people have John Bolton, and only John Bolton, to blame for the presence of the self-serving Vindman twins on the NSC staff. We have only Bolton to blame for empowering this gossipy pair and their confidants who have made a mockery of the common-sense security precept of “need to know.”