Elections

Unmasking Joe Biden’s Mental State

What impact will Biden’s mental faculties have on the election?

Sleepy Joe,” as Donald Trump likes to call him, will be the 46th president of the United States—assuming you trust CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post. At 77, Joe Biden has a lifetime of dubious political experience, most notably as vice president to Barack Obama. Yet he was hardly the strongest candidate the Democrats had to offer this year.

Though not as insufferably entitled and tainted by sleaze as Hillary Clinton, Biden suffers from one additional, major flaw: his evidently waning mental faculties. Many believe that Biden’s lapses are not simply the slowing down of senility, but the beginnings of dementia.

Diagnosis at a distance is a dubious endeavor and one that psychiatrists normally eschew. All the rules have been broken, however, since Trump took office, with a constant stream of “expert” analyses of the president as a narcissist or psychopath. 

In Biden’s case, the signs of mental dysfunction are readily apparent to anyone who has an elderly relative with memory problems and failing concentration. Political rivals, commentators, and the general public should not jump to conclusions, but Biden certainly shows a serious degree of cognitive decline that would be worrying for anyone, let alone for someone seeking the keys to the White House.     

Is Biden in the early stage of dementia? The Alzheimer’s Society describes the following signs and symptoms of this disease: 

  • Failing memory for recent events and experiences; 
  • Difficulty in concentrating, planning or organizing (e.g. making decisions, solving problems or performing a sequence of tasks);
  • Communication problems, such as inability to follow a conversation or failing to find the right word; 
  • Impaired visuospatial skills: difficulty in judging distances (e.g. on stairs) and in seeing things three-dimensionally;
  • Loss of orientation to time and place.

Biden does not consistently display all of these anomalies. Problematically, though, basic factual errors and wrong words are becoming more and more frequent. Here are some examples of his tenuous grasp of pertinent detail:  

  • Campaigning in Iowa for the Democratic candidacy in August 2019, Biden asserted “we choose science over fiction,” followed by the punch-line: “we choose truth over fact”
  • At the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, “poor kids,” he exclaimed, are “just as talented as white kids.”
  • In September 2019 at the Workers’ Presidential Summit in Philadelphia, Biden claimed that tax credits “would put 720 million women back in the workforce.”
  • At a rally prior to Super Tuesday, he stumbled on the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created by the . . . you know, the thing!”
  • At the South Carolina Democratic primary debate, he told the audience of “150 million fatal shootings” since his opponent Bernie Sanders had voted for gun manufacturers’ exemption from liability.
  • In his home state of Delaware in July, he erroneously welcomed folks to “Kingswood Community Center” after an awkward pause he realized his mistake, but somehow made it worse: “Actually that’s the one I used to work. It’s a joke . . . You know where you were.”

These constant fumbles can all be veiwed on the unforgiving internet, and they are excruciating to watch. He also becomes irritable when challenged, another sign of faulty cognition. In Michigan, he told a man who had criticized him on gun control: “You’re full of shit.” At a New Hampshire rally in February, he reacted to a woman’s doubts about him standing up for workers, snapping “you’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.” Imagine the furor if Trump had abused a female voter like that. The other day, Biden called a black reporter a cocaine junkie after the latter had suggested cognitive testing.

Arguably, some of Biden’s apparent mistakes betray an underlying attitude towards race. In May he told a black radio host that if you are African American and considering voting for Donald Trump, “you ain’t black.” This suggested a sense of ownership of an entire racial group by their white saviors in the Democratic Party. 

Compounding this, last week in an interview held by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, Biden said that there was great diversity of opinion among Latinos, unlike among African Americans. He tried to explain away both these remarks, but to some, they were revealing of a mind that has lost its political discipline. Candor comes with disinhibition. 

Some supporters attribute these gaffes to stress (although that is not very reassuring for a would-be president). In a recent Zogby poll, the majority of respondents believed that Biden has dementia, including one-third of all Democratic voters. It seems probable that he has mild cognitive impairment, a condition that tends to progress to dementia sooner or later.  If he were to take the Montreal Cognitive Function Test, the electorate would have a better idea of whether he is fit to lead.  

But the Democrats don’t want him tested, either by a neuropsychological instrument or by open political debate. 

The coronavirus lockdown, therefore, has been timely and beneficial for Biden. Locked away, he has been spared from addressing mass rallies, with the likelihood of underwhelmed audiences and far from full venues. He has not been aggressively questioned or faced the press. He refused an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News. Now his people appear to want to cancel the three televised debates, a norm of U.S. presidential elections for decades.

Meanwhile, his grandstanding adversary has been deprived of his most effective means of campaigning—mass political rallies in towns and cities across the nation. By comparison, Biden has reached those who bother to listen by facing his computer camera in a windowless home basement. But even with a script to follow, Biden repeatedly blunders. He finds using Zoom confusing; at times he seems to even be wondering where he is. 

What impact will Biden’s mental faculties have on the election? Of course, the Democrats simply want to oust Trump at any cost, and Biden is merely an acceptable figurehead for the ascendant hard Left’s campaign, a kind of Trojan horse for an American experiment with totalitarian government. 

Much will be made of Kamala Harris, who will effectively succeed him from day one and govern the country as the White House goes woke. While reclined, sipping tea in the Oval Office, Biden will really have lasted less time than the ninth president, Willian Henry Harrison, who served just 31 days before he died of typhoid pneumonia. 

For the first time since broadcasting began, there may be no presidential debate. The Democrats know that Biden would be at risk of a catastrophic performance under pressure from Trump, who would pull no punches. Opinion polling shows that the American people like Biden more, the less they hear him speak. So he will be prevented from speaking at all. The New York Times has blatantly supported this tactic, leaving Trump to shout into the wind.  

Democrats think that they’ll win the election in November without any debates, without a convention, without public rallies, without a real campaign, and without voters visiting polling stations. To have any chance, Trump must unmask the man whose cognitive deficits surely make him unsuitable as commander-in-chief in a dangerous world.  

A President Biden could not ably govern or make cogent decisions. His misreading of an emerging conflict could cause rapid escalation and needless loss of life.

How can Trump best do that? Three ways. 

First, constantly query Biden’s condition and demand cognitive tests. Release his own test result and challenge him to do likewise.

Secondly, ensure that the debates are held, with or without Biden. In his absence, use a cut-out figure wearing the familiar black mask.  

Thirdly, counter every platform point, every comment, and every policy statement by Biden with clear, hard, undeniable facts. Demonstrate Biden’s subversive ideological bearing, his corrupt nature, his kowtowing to China, his shady dealings for the financial benefit of his son Hunter’s career (whose usurious credit card business imposed rates from 24 to well over 50 percent APR, making economic life perilous for the most marginalized people in society). A Trump War Room needs to work 24/7 doing nothing less.

In other words, unmask Biden. 

Elections

War Chief Republicans or Reservation Chief Republicans?

Will GOP leaders settle for the poor wages of compromise like Black Kettle? Or will they refuse to compromise with those who wish to destroy us and fight politically, even to the end, like Tecumseh?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the coming election and what people on the Right will do depending on the outcome. If President Trump wins, will they go back to the failed strategy of trying to compromise with the Left even though we would finally have the power to restore America? And if Trump loses, will they slide back into the role of playing lackeys—giving away the keys to the national house?

At the same time, I keep returning back to a single thought: which Republicans will be war chiefs and which will be reservation chiefs?

What is a war chief and what is a reservation chief? People who don’t live west of the Mississippi as I do may be unfamiliar with the distinction. As a rule, war chiefs were American Indians who refused to submit to displaced from their tribal lands—whether by other Amerindians or by Americans. The war chief chose war and its attendant ills over submission. 

The reservation chiefs, often without being prompted, sold off tribal lands that were not theirs to sell for cheap trinkets: beads, whiskey, and buttons rather than risking conflict.

When I think of the reservation chiefs, I think of those who sold Manhattan to the Dutch for $24 worth of beads, or men like John Ross or Elias Boudinot who just accepted the idea that their people, the Cherokee, should passively submit to being removed from the Southeast to Oklahoma. I think of the Chiefs Black Kettle and Little Raven who bowed their heads and passively submitted to being removed to reservations chosen not by them but for them. I’m sure many of these men thought that what they were doing on behalf of their people was necessary, even praiseworthy.

When I think of the war chiefs, I think of those proud American Indians who fought back against their displacement, who refused to give up their traditions, who attacked despite overwhelming odds. 

When I think of war chiefs, I think of Metacom, the Wampanoag chief who realized the folly of his father’s accommodation with the Puritans. Even though it was too late, he still fought the fight to retain his ancestral lands. I think of Tecumseh, the Shawnee Chief who spent his life trying to unite the tribes of the Old Northwest to eject the invasion of my equally courageous and brave ancestors who were displacing them in their lands. I think of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse who, though they were ultimately doomed, resisted their dispossession and land loss rather than be a party to it.

What was the difference between the reservation and war chiefs? Maybe the former thought their lands were going to be taken anyway, right? Why not get the best deal possible if defeat is inevitable? Why submit to the indignity, the pain, the suffering, and loss if the material results are the same—or perhaps even worse? (And they often were.)

The answer is in the immaterial value of resistance.

There is a reason Crazy Horse, and not Elias Boudinot, is the subject of a massive stone monument dedicated to his memory. There is a reason children in the public schools, especially American Indian children, know who Tecumseh is; and it is the same reason they probably have never heard of Little Raven. Because what Crazy Horse and Tecumseh bequeathed was a gift to their descendants: the gift of knowing that the pride was unbroken, the gift of knowing that they knew how valuable their patrimony was and that they were willing to go to great lengths to defend it and pass that pride on to their descendants.

This immaterial principle of a psychological and emotional patrimony, an inheritance of pride is why Texans praise and know the names of the heroes of the Alamo like Davy Crockett and not the leader of the massacred prisoners of Goliad. It is why young Israelis know who Eleazar ben Ya’ir was and not the names of those who collaborated with the Romans in the destruction of Judea. I could go on, but these people, these other various examples like the Amerindian War Chiefs are the ones who—even in defeat—won a victory for their causes and their posterity.

How can we quantify the value of this gift to posterity? We can’t.

But I can tell you, how we speak of Republican leaders in decades to come—even if we are defeated and submerged by the globalist “march of history”—will in large part depend on whether or not they choose to be War Chief Republicans or Reservation Chief Republicans. On every issue.

The Left has made it very clear what they want to do with us and our patrimony. They want to abolish the family. They want to swamp our nation with third-world colonists regardless of our desires, making them citizens as soon as possible, so that they can rule this country permanently. They openly state their plan is to keep their governing coalition united by demonizing white men, describing them as super oppressors in terms of wealth, income, and status. They openly state it is their goal to target and destroy the history, monuments, and memories of these super oppressors and have been carrying it out with zeal. They want to continue the process of outsourcing our jobs. They will do nothing to stop the importation of drugs into this country because this would require them to secure the border; and so tens of thousands more Americans will die from drug overdoses—the progress of which has been halted for now by the Trump Administration.

Will Republicans be Reservation Chief Republicans, selling our patrimony cheaply—the patrimony that belongs to all American citizens: whether they be black, white, Asian, Hispanic, male, female, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or agnostic—for the cheap Chinese trinkets of globalization? Will they be Reservation Chief Republicans, allowing the MEET Complex—that body of leftist occupied institutions: Media, Entertainment, Education, and Tech—to continue to poison the American mind and soul in exchange for profit and sordid programming?

Or will they be War Chief Republicans? Will they tell the truth and fire back at their opponents—even if they are called sexists, or racists, or homophobes? Will they fight for the right of Americans to have decent paying work and dignity—even if their opponents call them nativists and bigots for it? Will they put American First, even though our illegitimate globalist elites bare their teeth at them?

Will they settle for the poor wages of compromise like Black Kettle? Or will they refuse to compromise with those who wish to destroy us and make us strangers in our own country and fight politically, even to the end, like Tecumseh? That’s the question of our day.

Elections

Obama Defends Mob Rule

The former president effectively said that mob rule in what he thinks is a good cause is itself desirable and good.

President Barack Obama’s address at the funeral of Representative John Lewis in Atlanta on Thursday, for the most part, was a moving tribute to a courageous pioneer in the civil rights movement. The total immersion in beatific praise that was accorded to the congressman throughout his prolonged itinerary between his physical death and actual burial was doubtless substantially deserved. (It does not allow for his dismissal of President Trump as “illegitimate,” and other reflections that were unseemly coming from a man so much praised for his graciousness and civility.)

But embedded in Obama’s eloquent eulogy were reflections on the current political condition of the United States that were untrue and could incite unjustified violence. It is certainly right and necessary to credit all those Americans who fought for human rights and took great physical risks, and suffered in many ways as John Lewis did, and to praise them for their courage and for their idealism. 

Without the great national achievement of civil rights, the claim of the United States to be a beacon of democracy and racial equality would be a fraud. And it is a part of the just recognition of that achievement that it should not be artificially minimized in service to current political arguments.

This is precisely what the former president was doing when he urged his listeners 

to be vigilant against the darker currents of this country’s history with the whirlpool of violence and hatred and despair that can always rise again. Bull Connor may be gone. But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans. George Wallace may be gone but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. We no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar to cast a ballot. But even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting.

He added that he knew that “this is a celebration of John’s life. There are some who might say we shouldn’t dwell on such things. But that’s why I’m talking about it. John Lewis devoted his time on this earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best in America that we are seeing circulate right now.”

In this passage, the president implied that it is a routine matter for white policemen to kneel on the wind-pipes of African Americans and strangle them. Of course, it is not and it is because all of the United States and the entire world were horrified by the video of what transpired in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 that the late upheavals occurred. 

The former president effectively assimilated the disgusting racist brutality of 1960s Birmingham, Alabama public safety commissioner Bull Connor with the comparatively restrained actions of federal officials preventing mobs from tearing down statues to some of the great statesmen of American and world history and burning down the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, including its occupants. And he assimilates the reservations of the current administration to the clearly problematical implications of a huge transfer from individual physical voting to mail-in ballots, despite rich precedents of fraud and incompetence, to the systematic bigoted disenfranchisement of African Americans.           

Although there are many (including myself) who think that Obama was not a successful president, there has never been the slightest suggestion that he was anything but a very intelligent man, and there is no doubt that he understood clearly the implications of what he was saying at the Lewis funeral. He knows from his own experience and his remarkable career better than almost any other person could the great strides that America and especially its African American population have made since the early days of the civil rights movement 60 years ago. He knows that it is outrageous nonsense, and in these times grossly irresponsible, for a former president to imply that the worst aspects of racial discrimination and official violence are apt to return. 

And Obama certainly knows that the violence that he alluded to in recent weeks was not generated by peaceful protesters defending themselves against official oppression. The half-billion dollars of arson damage and the hundreds of millions of dollars of looting and pillaging in Minneapolis in the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd have absolutely nothing to do with the nonviolent pursuit of civil rights for which John Lewis was justly praised.

Since President Obama appears to have taken at least partial control of the Biden campaign, which is being conducted by the Democratic partisans who control 90 percent of the national political media—all in the absence of a physically and intellectually viable presumptive nominee—his stance must be taken as a semi-official position of the Democratic Party. 

The Democrats, through their last elected president, are declaring urban terrorism, arson, manslaughter, pillaging, and the destruction of federal government monuments and buildings all to be justified protest. The former president effectively stated that mob rule in what he thinks a good cause is itself desirable and good. 

And this may be assumed to be the content of his call for “our children to grow up in a democracy—not just with elections, but a true democracy, a representative democracy, a bighearted, tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America of perpetual self-creation.” This, presumably, is what Obama thinks he detected in weeks of mindless urban rioting and vandalism in June and July. It was certainly “vibrant,” but not at all “big-hearted, tolerant, or inclusive.”  

Two days after Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee that it was a shocking state of affairs when one of the two great historic political parties could not bring itself to declare its opposition to mob violence, the official former leader of that party effectively declared the Democrats’ sympathy for mob violence. It is perhaps slightly comforting to know that toward the end of his remarks, President Obama expressed his contentment that recent events have “taken our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” 

One of the positions widely adopted by the rioters whose conduct so invigorated the former president is that Washington, Jefferson, and Madison in particular were slaveholders undeserving of the admiration they have received from posterity. Of course, the American ethos was compromised at the outset by the acceptance of slavery, but both Washington and Jefferson were aware of its moral shortcomings; Jefferson called it “a fire-bell in the night.” The other principal founders, including Adams, Hamilton, and Franklin, were abolitionists and saw that slavery needed to be addressed. 

To the extent that he approves of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, President Obama creates some distance between his own views and those of Antifa and the more radical sections of Black Lives Matter. This is a small consolation, and the episode shows how terminally morally and intellectually decayed the Obama-Clinton-Biden Democratic Party has become.

Elections

American Greatness Gives Joe Biden a Cognition Test

What could possibly go wrong?

In poll after poll after poll, voters in battleground states agree that Joe Biden isn’t all there mentally. The “4Esoterics”—Judah Friedman, Lewis Fein, Ben Boychuk, and Chris Buskirk—thought it would be a public service to ask the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to submit to a cognition test of their own design.

It took six tries but they finally got it—sort of. Watch the video below and see for yourself how “Biden” performed.

Special thanks to the great Ben Stein for being the great Ben Stein.

Elections

‘No’ to Males in Female Sports,
Say 75 Percent of Voters

This new polling data provides a strong indication that American voters agree males are not females—not least of all in the swing states Trump will need to beat Biden.

Terry Schilling has a hot tip for politicians: “Voters hate the idea of biological males competing against female athletes in women’s sports.” Schilling is the executive director at the American Principles Project.

American Principles Project and SPRY Strategies released polling results this week from 10 presidential election battleground states. In the July 2020 survey, on average 74.8 percent of voters said, “No” and only 25.2 percent said, “Yes” when asked: “Should boys and men who say they identify as transgender be allowed to compete in girls’ and women’s athletics?”

The state-by-state responses to this question: Arizona 69.2 percent “no,” 30.8 percent “yes”; Georgia 76.86 percent “no,” 23.14 percent “yes”; Iowa 74.37 percent “no,” 25.63 percent “yes”; Kentucky 80.57 percent “no,” 19.43 percent “yes”; Michigan 77.88 percent “no,” 22.12 percent “yes”; Montana 73.46 percent “no,” 26.54 percent “yes”; North Carolina 75.46 percent “no,” 24.54 percent “yes”; Pennsylvania 74.56 percent “no,” 25.44 percent “yes”; Texas 75.49 percent “no,” 24.51 percent “yes”; Wisconsin 70.95 percent “no,” 29.50 percent “yes.”

Powerlifter Beth Stelzer, founder of Save Women’s Sports, commented by email, “This should not be a political issue, but it has become one. It is clear that the American public does not want males in female sports. The question now is, will the politicians support girls and women or the males who claim to be us?“

As the November election approaches, many are waiting to see whether President Trump will come out in support of protecting sports for girls and women, in opposition to the Democrats’ “gender jackpot” agenda. 

In a 2019 tweet, his son Donald Jr. wrote that allowing males in female sports “will destroy women’s sports and everything so many amazing female athletes have worked their entire lives to achieve. I couldn’t care less how you identify, but this isn’t right.” 

This new polling data provides a strong indication that American voters agree, not least of all in the swing states Trump will need in order to beat Biden.

In addition to the sports question, the survey also asked likely voters about their views on issues including Black Lives Matter, removal of statues, and local state races. Respondents gave a resounding “No” to the question: “Should children who say they identify as transgender be allowed to undergo physical sex change surgeries or chemical treatments while they are under the age of 18?” 

State by state details from the American Principles Project and SPRY Strategies polling are available here: Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The methodology for the survey can be viewed here.

Elections

If the President Wants to Win, He Needs to Do Better

Threatening tweets are no longer passing muster. Just the opposite: They make Trump look weak when he fails to follow through with action.

As a brief internet search will quickly confirm, I have spilt more than my share of ink defending President Trump against the incessant, and incessantly blatant, lies of his enemies. And I remain committed to voting for the president come November.

Yet, as of now, I can’t imagine that I will bring with me the enthusiasm I had in 2016. 

Today, not quite four years after Trump’s historic victory, America is now in its fourth month—its fourth month—of its transformation from a (relatively) free country into an internment camp. All of this because of a virus the majority of whose hosts are asymptomatic and whose overall mortality rate, at approximately 0.1 percent, is about that of the seasonal flu. 

By the arbitrary decrees of power-hungry, politically motivated governors and mayors, Americans have had their lives radically subverted: economically, psychologically, and socially, Americans of all races and ages have been immeasurably harmed. 

The mask, that most dehumanizing symbol of fear, of subjugation, and of social alienation, is now a staple of everyday life.

This historically unprecedented state of affairs occurred in Trump’s America. 

But so, too, did something else.

On the eve of summer, as fears regarding the coronavirus were beginning to ease as it became increasingly obvious that “the curve” had not just been flattened but crushed, Trump’s enemies—America’s enemies—proceeded to execute a campaign of mass lawlessness and violence in well over a hundred cities throughout the country. 

The “fundamental transformation” of the country for which the Left has long ached was given new life as monuments to Euro-Christian civilization (including monuments to abolitionists, black and white) were razed by generously funded, well-organized mobs of street vermin.

The White House itself—the place where the president and his loved ones reside—was under attack.

And yet, while we can thank God that the First Family is safe, it’s been more than a little demoralizing for millions of us that Western civilization’s malcontents, its mortal nemeses, continued, and continue, to act with abandon. 

From the “law and order” president, his supporters deserve more than threatening tweets. 

President Trump assured voters a few years ago that he would use the resources of the office of the presidency to make America great again. 

He promised to do so. 

He didn’t say that as long as Democrats and Republicans agree to go along with him that he’d make America great again. 

He most emphatically did not say that because of our “federalist” system of government, or because it is a Democrat-controlled town, that there was nothing that he could do, say, about lawlessness in the streets of Chicago. To the contrary, he held up the Windy City as an illustration of the worst of Democratic Party politics with which to juxtapose what he was offering as an antidote. 

Think about this: If it is respect for “federalism” and/or resistance on the part of Trump’s adversaries that accounts for why he’s done nothing to stem the rising tide of blood in our (admittedly mostly blue) cities, then what will change after November if he is reelected? 

If, nearly four years after having been elected to the presidency, Trump can’t deliver on his promise of law and order today, then why should anyone believe him when he assures them that if only they reelect him, he will so deliver tomorrow

If, as many of us know, Democrat politicians, their fellow-partisan apologists in the fake news industry, and such deep state bureaucrats as Anthony Fauci have labored tirelessly to inspire fear over a virus that doesn’t warrant an iota of the energy that’s been expended upon it; if, as many of us know, the unscrupulous have aimed all along to exploit this coronavirus to destroy the Trump economy, punish Trump’s supporters, and inflict upon all fellow Americans as much economic, domestic, psychological, and social devastation as possible; and if, as many of us know, these same bad actors encouraged and incited panic and uncertainty by encouraging, subsidizing, and organizing the mobs of thugs that have taken to America’s streets—if, as we see,  they have been spectacularly successful in doing all of this in order to get rid of Trump come November, one question remains.

Would the president’s loyal supporters be better off not voting for him or the Republicans?

If voting Trump guarantees that the Left will continue on this same rage campaign, then wouldn’t those of us who want an end to the mass hysteria over this cold virus, a return to normalcy, just be better off not voting for him?

The lawlessness and other malaise that Trump and the GOP assure us the Democrats will visit upon America exists now, under a Republican president and Senate. Moreover, if I’m correct about the Democrats’ plan—and I am—then in the event that they assume power in November, “the virus,” along with the internment of the country that they’ve executed, will almost certainly become a thing of the past, and virtually overnight. So too, am I confident, will the mob’s continuing attacks on our country relent.

The Democrats’ ultimate objective, after all, is to make Trump a one-term president. They want Trump not just to leave, but to leave in utter disgrace, to leave as a fluke, an anomaly, and to be remembered as both a bad dream and an example to any other would-be “outsiders” who may be delusional enough to think that they won’t suffer Trump’s same fate if they decide to run for “the highest office in the land.”

To this end, they are working around the clock to ensconce in the popular collective consciousness an indelible link between the Trump administration and the chaos that seems to be swallowing the nation. If only Americans vote Donald Trump out of office in November, normalcy will be restored! This is the idea.

And in order to remain in power once they get it, the Democrats in Washington, D.C. and the corporate leftist media, no doubt, will labor just as diligently to, in fact, restore some sense of normalcy. 

As I said, Trump will have my vote again. His enemies have proven themselves time and time again to be my enemies, for they are the enemies of America, Western civilization, and Christianity—the enemies of all that is True, Just, Beautiful, and Good. 

Still, and while I’d continue to bet (along with the big gamblers who, unlike fake pollsters, have skin in the game and who are wagering on a decisive win for Trump) that the president and the Republicans will be reelected in the fall, it’s also possible that not everyone who formerly supported them will do so this time. Or, if they will, it will be minus the excitement that animated them four years ago. 

Trump must do better. The internment must end. Through the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause in the Constitution, Trump can rein in these oppressive blue-state politicians and reopen the nation’s economy. 

He must. 

Through the Insurrection Act, he can squash whatever violent rebellions may arise on the scene in the future and/or resolve to defund, not the police, but blue states that are defunding their police departments while allowing punks to terrorize the law-abiding and peaceful. 

Trump and his Republicans must do these things. Threatening tweets no longer pass muster. Just the opposite: They make Trump look weak when he fails to follow through with action.

For the sake of the country that I know the president loves, it is imperative that he acts, and acts now

US President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on June 11, 2020. - Trump is travelling to Dallas to host a roundtable with faith leaders and small business owners.
Elections

It Is Time for Trump to Ask America to Think Big

Many of the president’s economic and cultural accomplishments have been erased by the virus and riots. It is now time to reach deep in the American soul to where aspirations dwell.

America is depressed. The combination of the Chinese coronavirus and racial unrest has left many Americans searching for ways to avoid the news. Donald Trump’s popularity has suffered—not because he is responsible for these problems but rather because they happened while he occupies the nation’s highest office.

What Americans need now is a jolt of positivity and optimism. Many loyal Trump supporters have lost hope for America and fear that even if the president wins four more years, it will not matter. To make matters worse, some supporters don’t even have clarity as to what the president’s 2020 message is. 

I would like to suggest that it is time for the president and his campaign crew to start to Think Big! That was the title of one of his books, written over a decade ago, and one that had a profound impact on me. The premise of the book, the line that resonated with me, was, “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, Think big!”

This is exactly what candidate Trump challenged America to do in 2016. He struck a chord then and tempted Americans to dream of a better future as Ronald Reagan had done decades before. I have met thousands of people who voted for the first time in their lives in 2016 because Donald Trump captured their imagination and shared a vision for America they had not previously seen. 

So, while the campaign slogan for 2016 was “Make America Great Again,” allow me to offer a variation for 2020: Make America Dream Again!

To that end, I offer some suggestions for a platform that might inspire such dreaming:

Make our kids love America again: Parents are worried about their kids’ future. They fear their children will become the next generation of arsonists and thugs, unpatriotic, and lacking in regard for our country. Many parents, particularly in these difficult times, are overwhelmed by the daily stresses of life and are barely keeping it together. They have very little remaining energy left at the end of the day to teach their children history or inspire them to love America properly. 

The recent rioting and vandalism taking place across America offers an opening to counterattack and turn a negative into a positive. The president can point to the attempts to erase our nation’s history by telling parents, “we will get our kids to love our country again!” Midwestern parents, in particular, will respond to this kind of message. This will be a declared culture war against academia that for decades has been teaching from a curriculum that “cancels” America while touting globalism. 

Promote a gap year, before entering college, to serve in an American domestic peace corps to solve problems in our country: We need a new call to service in America. When I speak to audiences there is a massive enthusiastic response whenever I float the idea of having young people serve their country for a year before entering college. I believe that if we can create a national gap year program for 18-year-olds across the country to help us tackle poverty, opioid addiction, and other problems we can focus on fixing America’s structural challenges. This concept has been floated by others and I believe it would receive broad support. 

Set a goal of America being completely self-sufficient in critical supply areas by the end of Trump’s second term: When you poll Americans and ask them if they want to be dependent upon other nations for our critical economic components, they consistently respond 4-to-1 across party lines with an emphatic “no!” A “Marshall Plan” should be launched to produce medicines, oil and gas, critical technology, and other key supply chain components here at home, making America as self-sufficient as possible. The Chinese coronavirus demonstrates how our adoption of Ricardo’s comparative advantage places us at a national security disadvantage. 

Create a military-style war room to address urban crime and failing schools: President Trump should announce a 24/7 war room designed to address urban conflict and crime. Cities such as Chicago are allowing the slaughter of their citizens in the streets. A centralized action plan to address the problem would show Americans that Trump is willing, within his constitutional bounds, to step in and take charge where local leadership has failed and to call out that failed leadership. Citizens of the most violent neighborhoods would positively respond to this position. 

In places where crime “succeeds,” schools fail. Schools in cities like Baltimore should be staffed with federal personnel if necessary to help teach kids to read and write. Too many children are being “left behind” by local teacher’s unions. These two ideas pair nicely with the criminal justice and opportunity zone victories of the past few years. 

Rebuild the American family: The president should set the ambitious goal of cutting the number of fatherless homes in America by half. We should not tolerate kids growing up without fathers and we should no longer subsidize the practice in perpetuity. Polling suggests this issue is a winning one in Midwestern states. And the president should develop a set of policies that make it easier to form new families and that encourages those families to have children. With a total fertility rate of 1.74 children per woman—the replacement rate is around 2.1—America needs more kids. While virtually every regular citizen agrees with the importance of family, almost no politician dares to speak of it. The Democratic Party will not support the traditional family, making this free-range for the president. 

America is resetting. Many of the president’s economic and cultural accomplishments from the past few years have been erased by the virus and riots. It is now time to reach deep inside the American soul to where aspirations dwell. As an example, when the president spoke to a Students for Trump audience this past week (a special project of Turning Point Action), his two loudest applause lines were “We are going to Mars,” and “ Space Force is created!” It made the students feel like they were embracing the unique and decidedly American frontier spirit. 

It is time for Americans to think big. I ask you, Mr. President, to ask every citizen to make America dream again. As much as your reelection campaign could use the theme, our nation needs it now more than ever.

Elections

Why A Newsom Recall Could Succeed

Californians may yet defy the skeptics, and confound the professionals. They may send this embodiment of Democratic Party dysfunction to an early retirement.

There isn’t a political professional to be found in California who believes the current attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom will succeed. With petitions approved for circulation and a deadline of November 17, recall campaign volunteers are trying to defy the momentum of history.

To recall a sitting governor in California today, based on the voter turnout in the November 2018 state election, proponents need to turn in 2 million signed petitions in order to yield, after verification of signatures, addresses, registration status, eliminating duplicates, etc., a net total of 1,495,709 validated petitions. Without millions to pay professional signature gatherers, this is considered impossible.

Except it’s not impossible. Not with the power of the internet and social media. Skeptics should consider only two factors: Are there more than 2 million California voters who would sign a recall petition? The answer to that question, undoubtedly, is yes. The second question is more to the point: Can the recall campaign find 2 million voters in California willing and able to sign a recall petition?

To this second question, the professionals would have an immediate and unequivocal answer. No. But they are mistaken. In today’s fraught political environment, in this season of heightened political awareness, in this digital era, Gavin Newsom is one viral video away from seeing his name on a recall ballot, in a special election to be held in early 2021.

Newsom, to his credit, is taking the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign more seriously than the thousands of members of California’s conservative establishment elite, who remain skeptical. Around the time recall petitions were approved for circulation by the California Secretary of State, Newsom released an official statement in response:

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM’S ANSWER TO RECALL STATEMENT: WARNING: THIS UNWARRANTED RECALL EFFORT WILL COST CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS 81 MILLION DOLLARS! IT IS BEING PUSHED BY POLITICAL EXTREMISTS SUPPORTING PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HATEFUL ATTACKS ON CALIFORNIA. In 2018 California voters elected Governor Gavin Newsom by historic margins. As Governor, Newsom is working to 1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians’ health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires. Our budget is balanced. Our fiscal reserves are unprecedented. Our economy and employment are historically strong. Yet a handful of partisan activists supporting President Trump and his dangerous agenda to divide America are trying to overturn the definitive will of California voters and bring Washington’s broken government to California with this recall effort. The last thing California needs is another wasteful special election, supported by those who demonize California’s people and attack California’s values. Do not be fooled—California’s police officers, firefighters, first responders, public school teachers, health providers, and business leaders all STRONGLY OPPOSE this costly recall. DO NOT HAND OVER YOUR SIGNATURE, YOUR SUPPORT OR YOUR PERSONAL, PRIVATE INFORMATION TO THIS DESTRUCTIVE RECALL SCHEME.

Who Is the “Political Extremist?”

To lead off by calling the recall proponents “political extremists” who are “supporting President Trump’s hateful attacks on California” is unfortunately typical not just of Newsom, but of all Democrats. They always start by smearing their opponents. But Newsom goes on to defend his record, and every point he makes invites vigorous rebuttal.

Newsom claims to be “working” on five big projects to: “1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians’ health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires.”

An objective examination of Newsom’s performance on each of these five projects yields withering criticisms. His drive to increase funding for public education is a gift to the teachers’ unions, who have monopolized public education. For over a generation, they have emphasized leftist indoctrination over genuine education. Their failures have been especially felt in California’s low-income inner cities. Teachers’ unions protect bad teachers and disruptive students, they shut down any attempts to introduce alternatives such as charter schools, and they never saw a tax increase or budget boost they didn’t like. By all means, governor, give them more money.

As for California’s need for “secure” health care, Newsom has not done anything to lift the restrictions on the number of nursing graduates coming out of California’s colleges and universities. He hasn’t even signed a waiver to permit independent contractors to continue to work for clinics and hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. And he’s willing to spend hundreds of millions to provide free health care to illegal aliens, which, even if motivated by compassion, ignores the challenges facing millions of working citizens who still cannot afford health care in California.

And then there’s “improve water, roads, and bridges.” Where? Newsom continues to try to fund “High Speed Rail,” wasting billions, instead of improving the infrastructure Californians actually need. Has Newsom ever said a word about reforming CalTrans, the state department responsible for implementing road improvements, where additional billions are squandered? Has he done anything to reform CEQA, California’s disastrous Environmental Quality Act, which ties any attempt to improve roads up in the bureaucracies and courts for years, costing additional billions?

When it comes to “housing affordability and homelessness,” Newsom’s record is a corrupt joke. His solution to housing affordability ought to be to deregulate the process of building new suburbs and building infrastructure. Instead, since California’s state government has made it impossible for developers to sell affordable homes and still make a profit, Newsom has conned voters into passing tens of billions of dollars in bonds. These billions are used to pay Newsom’s cronies, who are building “affordable” housing at an average cost well in excess of $500,000 per unit.

As for California’s homeless, instead of providing cost-effective shelters in low-cost areas of California’s beleaguered counties, Newsom, along with all the Democratic mayors, have allowed the homeless to take over downtown areas and choice neighborhoods throughout the state. By the tens of thousands, these homeless squatters openly consume hard drugs, steal to support their habits, harass working residents, and often suffer from terrifying mental illness. Does Newsom challenge any of the laws and court rulings that prevent the state from helping the homeless? Of course not. He wants to build “supportive housing” instead, on expensive real estate. Newsom’s performance on California’s homeless crisis epitomizes cowardice and corruption.

Point five in Newsom’s description of his priority projects is to “prepare for wildfires.” This is laughable. Has Newsom ever acknowledged that poor forestry management is the reason California is experiencing catastrophic wildfires, or that droughts just as severe as those in recent years have occurred for centuries

Has Newsom made any credible attempt to allow timber companies to selectively harvest mature trees, many of them dying, in exchange for also clearing away underbrush? That deal would cost taxpayers nothing. Has Newsom admitted that most of the stress on the forests is because the trees have become too dense due to fire suppression, preventing healthy trees from getting enough nutrients? Or will he keep on bellowing “climate change,” and use that mantra to tighten the screws of the regulatory state?

When it comes to political solutions, Newsom is the extremist. 

He is a puppet of the teachers’ union, an organization with extremist views passed on to California’s captive youth through the public school system. He is a puppet of extreme environmentalists, a powerful lobby that effectively fights any attempts to build cost-effective transportation assets or housing subdivisions. He is a puppet of crony developers who rely on subsidies and tax breaks to build a handful of ridiculously expensive “affordable” or “supportive” housing units, solving nothing. And he is a puppet of the “compassion brigades,” who think letting people kill themselves on the streets with heroin and methamphetamine is respecting their “lifestyle.”

Newsom’s Comeuppance Is Inevitable

While the “projects” Newsom touts as his accomplishments merely reveal him to be a dangerous fraud, what he states next offers clues to his dismal political future. He claims: “Our budget is balanced. Our fiscal reserves are unprecedented. Our economy and employment are historically strong.”

Now we know Gavin Newsom isn’t this stupid. He submitted his statement against the latest recall effort in June. Newsom knew perfectly well that California’s 2020-21 budget is now forecast to have a $54 billion deficit. As for “fiscal reserves” that are “unprecedented”—really? How much? At best, $18 billion, much of which will be consumed this fiscal year, and which in any case is nowhere near the $54 billion the state government will need next year.

More to the point, Newsom’s “historically strong” economy was on thin ice before the pandemic wreaked catastrophic damage on it. 

Has Gavin Newsom ever stuck his neck out and explained that by most credible estimates, the unfunded pension liability for California’s state and local government agencies now tops nearly $500 billion? Where does he think he’s going to find all that money? Has Newsom ever suggested that maybe, just maybe, California’s public sector workers might accept lower pension benefit accruals at least for future work? Of course not. Public-sector unions, along with tech billionaires, own Gavin Newsom.

Instead of focusing on these economic challenges, and calling for meaningful reforms to public education, housing policies, environmental regulations, and how we help the homeless, Newsom spouts Black Lives Matter slogans. He says nothing as the legislature decides to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus—one of the bravest human beings the world has ever seen—from the state capitol rotunda. To be exceedingly generous, and at best, this is useless posturing.

If Gavin Newsom weren’t a coward and a puppet, deserving to be recalled, he would tell the truth: People with low incomes in California will be helped, regardless of the color of their skin, if California’s cost-of-living is lowered through regulatory reform, and the schools are improved by standing up to the teachers’ unions.

Eventually, the majority of Californians will understand these truths and Newsom will be swept into political oblivion. Don’t feel sorry for him. The coiffured aristocrat will merely retire to one of his wine estates, enjoying that life of hereditary privilege and obscene wealth that he so readily condemns in his public statements.

Californians may yet defy the skeptics, and confound the professionals. They may send this embodiment of Democratic Party dysfunction to early retirement.

Elections

Don’t Count on Biden To Collect China’s Debt to the United States

With an existential confrontation looming, we cannot afford or accept a leader concerned with China’s “safety” above our own.

Most Americans vividly recall Barack Obama’s expansive, unsolicited apology tour throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America on behalf of the United States. 

Having barely assumed his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, Obama’s flagrant equivocations on American greatness were embarrassing at best and treasonous at worst. His prostrations had a long-lasting impact on America’s positioning on the world stage—an impact that necessitated the emergence of a leader like Donald J. Trump, who has reversed course through boldness in action and strength of will.

Opposite the president’s boldness and strength on the global arena is presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Following his boss’s lead, Biden as vice president took an equally apologetic tone with foreign powers, and in particular, with our chief adversary: the Chinese Communist Party. Biden even boasted about having had at least 25 hours of private meetings with dictator Xi Jinping—more than any other foreign leader.

As revealed by recent reports, Biden made controversial remarks at China’s Sichuan University in August 2011. He advocated increased U.S.-China cooperation, encouraging the CCP to expand its reach into American institutions while conveniently shrugging off human rights abuses and intellectual property theft. 

But the most telling sign of Biden’s priorities came in an exchange regarding China’s investment in United States Treasury notes. Pressed by an audience member on whether the United States would be able to “make good” on $1.17 trillion in U.S. bonds owned by China in light of our recent downgrade by Standard & Poor’s, Biden assured the audience, “You’re safe.”

Content with kowtowing to a murderous regime, a slightly-less-sleepy “Beijing Biden” neglected to mention the century-old Chinese sovereign debt owed to certain citizens of the United States—an amount, now equivalent to roughly $1.6 trillion, that China never intends to pay back.

China technically remains responsible for paying back its obligations to America. That debt never expires under international law.

Even today, American taxpayers pay China $72 million in interest on our bonds daily. We honor our word. Yet apologists like Joe Biden prioritize China’s interests and security over our own citizens’. They look the other way and allow the travesty to continue while the CCP mocks us, profiting from unfettered access to our markets while circumventing our financial rules and regulations. 

On the issue of sovereign debt, the American political, financial, and media establishment has been asleep at the wheel for decades, refusing to compel the Chinese government simply to meet its end of the bargain. 

The greater DNC—including RINOs, Wall Street, and the media—have all given China preferential treatment for decades in order to continue borrowing at low rates and forging deals with our deceptive enemy.

Thanks in particular to people like Bill and Hillary Clinton—who were well aware of the bond inequity yet continued to stuff their pockets through the corrupt Clinton Global Initiative—Barack Obama and comrades; and in particular, Joe and Hunter Biden, the CCP has thrived as U.S. taxpayers have shouldered the burden.

Biden’s words and actions in Sichuan are emblematic of this much larger issue: the way in which past administrations actively encouraged an America Last mentality and concerned themselves primarily with appeasing the murderous CCP. 

The appeasement continues, even after the coronavirus pandemic has opened the world’s eyes to something rotten in Beijing. Biden, if elected, has no intention of ever holding China accountable. He and his elite posse would rather see 20,000 Americans lose out on nearly $2 trillion rightfully owed than ruffle authoritarian feathers.

Fortunately, Donald J. Trump is now our president. And he is no appeaser. 

President Trump said it best when he declared, “America expects reciprocity.” Americans pay their bills, and China must do the same. The U.S. government should pay China with their own defaulted sovereign bonds instead of using the hard-earned tax dollars of Americans to do it. The president now has the opportunity to level the playing field and force China’s hand by leveraging our debt against theirs.

Just as America has kept our end of the bargain regarding debt obligations, President Trump has kept his end of the bargain by delivering America First policies for the American people. He is the only hope we have to recuperate the money owed by China to our bondholders—and we have full confidence that he will do just that.

More importantly, President Trump represents our best chance at defeating the evil empire across the Pacific.

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for China’s blatant disregard for the rules underpinning our international “rules-based” order. It is a vote for policies of appeasement and rapprochement. With an existential confrontation looming, we cannot afford or accept a leader concerned with China’s “safety” above our own.

Elections

‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden Is Sleepwalking Into the Presidency

As Americans search for a candidate who will keep the country safe and prosperous, they just might decide that Joe Biden is the lesser of two evils, as they did with Trump in 2016.

President Trump famously—and also cleverly and aptly—nicknamed former Vice President Joe Biden, “Sleepy Joe.” But if the president thinks he can keep America laughing at that nickname while doing very little himself to repair America as it burns, he is sure to hand Sleepy Joe the keys to the Oval Office.

Through all of his slurred words and endless reminiscing about his time as the vice president under his beloved “Barack,” Joe Biden has emerged as the idiot savant who will rebuild a broken America and turn it into the Progressive Promised Land in 2020. Or something. Biden will be Hugh Laurie’s Captain Ryan Clark to Trump’s rendition of Humphrey Bogart’s Captain Queeg.

We need to contend with the very real prospect that Sleepy Joe will sleepwalk his way right into the presidency—just as his rabid leftist handlers have planned.

Biden’s handlers love that he is, as Biden himself once quipped, a “vessel” for the Democratic Party. They can use Biden’s hapless public persona to disarm skeptical voters and to cover for the perfidy of those whom Biden would nominate to run his administration. Everyone already knows that Biden’s vice presidential pick will be his most important, as she will be the one actually running the country while Biden’s mind continues to atrophy. 

Biden’s Brain Trust

A Biden Administration would be chock full of three types of leftists: legacy Clinton staffers, Obama retreads, and a smattering of Bernie Sanders-loving Millennials. These individuals, though different in many respects, would form a collective and build a regime that would impose upon the United States the most left-wing vision of the future imaginable. Further, they would ensure that those groups who voted for Trump in 2016 are punished, disbanded, and perennially humiliated. 

In other words, Biden’s Brain Trust of über-leftists would build a dystopian, high-tech, totalitarian “progressive” state as President Biden fumbles about in public making one embarrassing statement after the other.

Do you think Biden’s current and historic public displays are disqualifying? How quickly we forget the verbal mazes through which former Republican President George W. Bush drove us—while his more informed staff of mostly unelected ideologues agitated for the Iraq War. Irreparable harm to the country can—and has—come from absent-minded presidents presiding over a staff of fanatics. A Biden Administration would be no different.

The Right continues to impugn Biden for “hiding in the basement.” They say that Biden’s handlers are keeping him away from the public because Biden’s mind is so badly addled that one misstep could cost him the election. All of this is likely true. The thing is, though, Biden doesn’t need to come out of his basement. 

Donald Trump is the president and the country is burning under his watch. You might not care. You might understandably believe that the cities being torn down right now are liberal ones that deserve to suffer the consequences of their poor voting choices and ideological rot. What bearing should any of that have on the rest of the country that is not rioting?

Well, for one thing, we are the United States. All Americans should care about what’s happening in places like Seattle and New York, just as the denizens of those cities should care about what happens to us. 

If left to fester—as President Trump shamefully told The Daily Caller he would do—the mob will become totally uncontrollable and their wrath will not spare the redder parts of America—especially as more Democrat voters flee the cities and move to Republican states. 

Dangerous Assumptions

Our economy is the worst it has been since the Great Depression. The coronavirus pandemic that has killed 120,000 people (and counting) and America’s foreign rivals are jockeying to pick us clean. Talk of a second civil war is practically mainstream. Meanwhile, President Trump frets over stadium crowd sizes and tweets that he is the “Law and Order” president (while doing little actually to enforce the law). Ordinary Americans see this as bad leadership from a president who vowed to be the best leader—the very best. 

The people who swung the election for Trump in 2016 normally vote Democratic. Don’t assume that they’ll simply stick by Trump. They won’t. Especially as their health, safety, and wallets are threatened by what’s going on in the midst of the Trump Administration. Failure to boldly act now to stop the riots and repair the damage will be the death knell for the Trump Administration (and the country). 

What’s more, Biden has been cobbling together the electoral coalition that propelled Obama to victory: young people and minorities. Unlike Hillary Clinton in 2016, Biden has shown an ability to galvanize these groups. The more Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the greater the chance that Biden can basically sleepwalk into the presidency this November. In another month, things will be so bad that it won’t matter if Trump acts forcefully to restore order. People will be tired of it and vote to make everything stop. The Obama years will suddenly be remembered fondly by more voters, as carnage and poverty overtake everything.

Plus, Hillary Clinton in 2016 was an unpopular figure, even on the Left. Joe Biden has enjoyed a reputation makeover during the last decade. On October 25, 2001, The Guardian’s Matthew Engel concluded that Biden was “on the eccentrically unpredictable wing of his party.” Both the democrats and the entire country have shifted leftward since 2001—something that few Republicans understand. Trump understood this shift, which is why he won in 2016. At some point in the last two years, though, Trump appears to have forgotten much of what accounted for his success in 2016. 

An Absurd Age

Don’t write off Joe Biden just because he says absurd things. We live in an absurd age. As the country burns and Trump fiddles, ordinary voters look for a leader with a message of prosperity and security. So far in 2020, that has not been Donald Trump.

The longer Trump dithers the more that Biden can simply outlast Trump’s bluster like all insurgents do. Trump must take decisive action to reaffirm the rule of law in this country. The longer he waits, the harder that will be. If he acts decisively, though, Trump can handily win reelection. If not, it’s over for Trump.

As Americans search for a candidate who will keep the country safe and prosperous, they just might decide that Biden is the lesser of two evils, as they did with Trump in 2016.

And if Biden is elected our 46th president, I suggest everyone learn Mandarin. And fast.

Elections

A Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Campaign

The country wants prosperity back and Trump is a great cheerleader. Joe Biden, by contrast, will be dominated by the extremes of his party.

When President Trump got a good look at the coronavirus in late January, and listened to the opening choruses of the Democratic attack on him as “anti-science,” he evidently concluded there was nothing for it but a two to three month shut-down followed by a declaration of partial victory in the public health crisis along with an exhortation to a massive and almost instantaneous economic renaissance coming to a head in late October. It is the boldest tactical political gamble that any American leader has taken since Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for a third term in 1940 on the policy of maintaining peace by arming the democracies fighting Hitler and ordering the largest peacetime arms buildup in history. 

Today’s Democrats, having advocated a shutdown until the election to maintain a depressed economy to hang around Trump’s neck, have caused their media puppets to recite ad nauseam rising incidences of the virus since most of the country has reopened. The nation was free to protest peacefully and riot together at close quarters but the Democratic Party and media have warned that the country is under a moral and medical obligation to revert to social distancing, masks, and other precautions. 

The increases in the numbers of those who have contracted the virus as the country has reopened are largely the result of conducting approximately 300,000 tests a day, and most of the new cases are cured. (The Democrats pretended Trump was serious when he told his rally in Tulsa on Saturday that he had asked his advisors to reduce the number of tests.)

A Weathervane Strategy

In the absence of a viable and articulate candidate for president, the Alinskyite strategists of the Democratic Party have forged an alliance with pestilence, the COVID-19 virus, and have handed their campaign to their allies in the national political media. The virus is represented as proverbially terrifying—no one is safe and it must be resisted by the discontinuation of as much economic activity as possible to facilitate tagging the president with both the illness and the resulting economic depression. 

The rest of the Democratic strategy is that of the weathervane: when revulsion at the killing of an African-American petty larceny suspect, George Floyd, by a white policeman in Minneapolis led to riots and then to arson and vandalism on a mighty scale—in ways having no more to do with George Floyd than with Peter the Hermit—the Democrats would only discuss racially bigoted police brutality and the fraudulent national self-accusation of “systemic racism.” There are a few lingering racists and racist attitudes, but everyone knows the immense, if belated effort the United States has made to extirpate racism, as two terms with an African-American president illustrated.

With more vehemence than ever, the wall-to-wall Democratic media are hammering the president on every issue and at every opportunity without pause or variation or any necessary connection to the facts. 

When the president, wearing leather-soled shoes at West Point, took the arm of the commandant in descending a metal ramp, it was intimated on the Democratic networks that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. When his campaign initially scheduled a rally in Tulsa (the site of a terrible massacre and burning of an African-American community nearly a century ago) on June 19, the anniversary of the emancipation of the last remaining slaves in the Confederacy, CNN’s Don Lemon cited it as evidence of Trump’s bigotry.

Democrats Are Bound to Corruption

The presumptive Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has dodged the issue of defunding police and just stuck with police reform and African-American rights. Apart from the vaguest hints of regret, the multi-city recourse to urban terrorism, arson, vandalism, looting, and the worst rioting America has known in more than 50 years was not much commented on by the Democratic leadership. 

The Democrats’ presidential nominee is bound hand and foot to the corrupt urban machines in the country’s great cities that generate most of his votes. 

Almost all the violence and the immense destruction that followed the death in Minneapolis occurred in Democratic Party strongholds where the riots were grossly mismanaged and sharp divisions quickly arose between the mayors and their chiefs of police. It was a shocking and brazen spectacle of incompetence and cowardice. In their fear-stricken placation of racial extremists and militant subversives, the spavined hacks who, for the most part, are the mayors of the country’s most important cities, have truckled to the rioters, ignored the riot victims, and effectively invited their police forces to work-to-rule (“blue flu”), or quit altogether. 

Cynical as the Democratic strategists are, it is hard to believe that they imagine this is not a risky approach. As one administration spokesperson put it, “Who are they going to call when no one answers 911, Dr. Phil?”                                                  

The president took the battle to all of his enemies on Saturday at Tulsa, in the return to his campaign after three months. The anti-Trump media are practically celebrating their victory already, as polls show an average lead of eight points for Biden. Most of the polling organizations are too liberal to be trusted and were proved mistaken four years ago. According to those polls historically closer to the mark, the gap is much narrower and barely greater than the advantage Hillary Clinton enjoyed four years ago with her large Democratic majorities in California, New York, and Chicago. 

Looked at with a little perspective, and given all that’s happened—the three month shutdown, unemployment reaching 20 percent, and rioting in most of the country’s large cities that was carried into prosperous business areas—Trump’s polls have held up fairly well. The rally in Tulsa was a test of his ability to pull crowds even with the Democratic propaganda machine virtually announcing that those who attended were signing their own medical death warrants.

Lines of Attack    

From the president’s standpoint, it could have gone better. After all the claims of 1 million ticket applications, there were approximately 6,000 empty seats in a 19,000-seat arena. Trump spoke for an hour-and-45-minutes, was repetitive in places, and introduced his supporting speakers and local Republican candidates too late in the speech. My impression was that there were a flubbed introduction and a couple of dangling sentences. 

But for what was essentially an extempore address of extraordinary length by modern standards, and by a speaker who was out of practice, it was a competent performance. While the live audience was a disappointment, over 5 million people viewed the Tulsa appearance on television and the internet, a respectable Saturday night total in June. 

He gave a clear hint of the line of attack that will be used against his phantom opponent. Biden effectively was described as a mental incompetent, a crook, and a weakling who would be dominated by the extremes that have gnawed away at the underbelly of the Democrats: the urban terrorists, police defunders, and autonomous zone leaders do regard the Democrats as their party. 

Trump made the point that he had achieved more for African Americans in three years than Biden has in 47 years at, as Trump implied, the public trough. He described the Democrats as the party of high taxes, slow economic growth, public disorder, welfare addiction, open borders, poor trade arrangements, and invertebrate vacillation before practically all foreign and domestic enemies. 

The ululations of almost inevitable victory Trump’s enemies are now emitting are nonsense. It is inconceivable that Biden could hold his own with Trump in a series of debates, and presumably the Republicans will be able to assure that the debates occur before a significant number of early ballots are cast or mailed. The result will largely depend on whether Trump’s gamble succeeds. 

Over 90 percent of those afflicted with the COVID-19 virus have minimal or no symptoms, and the 80 percent of people who do not have compromised immunity systems suffer only about one fatality in 7,000. The president knows that economics is half third-grade arithmetic and half psychology—the country wants prosperity back and Trump is a great cheerleader. 

If Trump has calculated correctly, he will return to the voters as the man who defeated the coronavirus pandemic, cut taxes, ended illegal immigration, and delivered unprecedented prosperity to the country twice in four years. No such candidate is going to lose to Joe Biden. It should be an entertaining example of what Richard Nixon, who flung the invective around fairly flamboyantly at times himself, called “a rock’em, sock’em campaign.” Bring it on.

Elections

As Rome Burns

At this rate, President Trump’s base stands to lose, no matter the election’s outcome.

 

As Dave Patrick Underwood lay dying beside his wounded colleague, a white van peeled away from the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California. His partner survived with three gunshot wounds and a shattered femur, but Underwood died at the scene on May 29.

Underwood was one of two federal protective contractors attacked while standing watch over the U.S. Federal Building during one of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have plunged the nation into chaos. His murder came just hours after Fox News host Tucker Carlson revealed why President Donald Trump continues to stay his hand against greater use of force to restore law and order.

“On a White House executive staff call just this morning,” Tucker said on the night Underwood died, “key domestic policy advisors Brooke Rollins and Ja’Ron Smith argued that it might seem ‘racist’ to say anything about the rioting in Minneapolis,” or elsewhere for that matter.

While Smith is your run-of-the-mill Washington social climber, Rollins is something far worse.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

From 2003 until 2018, Rollins was president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), a think tank aptly characterized by journalist Mark Hand as “a Koch-funded research and advocacy group.” A list posted online revealed Koch Industries, Inc. to be one of Rollin’s chief donors. Companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil also feature prominently in the donor roll.

Though it is billed as a think tank, there is actually very little “thinking” going on at TPPF. The organization has little in the way of ideology; it is merely a vehicle for securing corporate interests, from rolling back environmental regulations, progressive prison reform, and radically increasing immigration levels.

At a criminal justice and policing reform summit hosted by the Charles Koch Institute and Charles Koch Foundation in November 2015, Rollins heralded the coming revolution led by TPPF and its allies. “Now, we will begin to change the world, state by state, country by country, to put together what has been broken,” she said. Rollins was a prophet of things to come.

In February 2018, she stepped down as president of TPPF and took over as an assistant to Trump for strategic initiatives. She succeeded Chris Liddell and the role’s originator, Reed Cordish—a silver spoon real estate scion—in overseeing the Office of American Innovation (OAI) run by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The office functions as a policy platform through which Kushner promotes personal initiatives and establishment interests.

Formally, the existence of the OAI is superfluous. The National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council predate it by decades and essentially perform the same functions. That might matter if the OAI was not created specifically to bypass traditional policymaking channels by applying corporate pressure where it counts: the campaign coffers of lawmakers. It is an “administration” within the administration.

Cordish helped Kushner create the OAI in early 2017. This was around the time, within a month or so, that President Trump broke bread with the Koch brothers for the first time since taking office. It was also around the time Sebastian Gorka resigned from his post in the administration and warned: “forces that do not support the MAGA promise are—for now—ascendant within the White House.”

Cordish became close with Kushner through Ivanka Trump—Margaret Katz, Cordish’s wife, is a longtime friend of the first daughter. In 2017, he worked with Kushner and tech CEOs through the OAI to successfully intervene against Trump’s plan to crack down on visa worker programs that undermine the wages and job prospects of Americans. Cordish’s successors have all been cut from the same corporate cloth.

Liddell, a former Microsoft and General Motors executive who worked with Kushner in the OAI, succeeded Cordish in overseeing the office in 2018, around the time he was also appointed deputy chief of staff for policy coordination. Journalist Christina Wilkie called his rise through the ranks a “win for Kushner, who has emerged as the standard-bearer of the establishment faction of the Trump White House” opposing the “conservative wing”—that is, the wing that got Trump elected. Washington observers noted that the “White House’s tone toward Silicon Valley” softened during his tenure. Kushner, Politico reported, “led much of the outreach to tech CEOs with help from Chris Liddell” through the OAI.

Liddell ran the office as a shill for Silicon Valley and a policy neophyte. On May 1, 2017, Trump tapped him as the man to extend the olive branch to Apple, Google, Intel, Oracle, Qualcomm, and others. After the masters of the tech universe sufficiently warmed to its allies in the administration, the OAI rallied in 2017 to undercut the president’s crackdown on visa worker programs by applying corporate pressure from companies like Apple and Amazon. Many of those companies, run by CEOs not known to have much love for Trump, his 2016 agenda, or his base, now enjoy a seat at the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups round table. Most recently, these companies were able to use the OAI and its members to successfully carve out exemptions for the immigration ban.

Calamitous Criminal Justice Reform

Under Rollins’ leadership, the office transformed into a Koch-to-TPPF-to-White House pipeline. In all things, said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, “TPPF is thinking the way its donors want it to think.” Since Rollins took over, the White House appears increasingly aligned with the interests of TPPF’s donors.

It was from her perch in the OAI that she worked alongside Kushner on various soft-on-crime initiatives, conspicuously at odds with the popular law-and-order platform President Trump campaigned on to victory. An administration source noted that Rollins used the OAI to channel private sector pressure against Trump that ultimately forced him to perform what Reuters called an “unusual reversal” on his “zero-tolerance” policy at the border. Her influence has only grown.

When she and Kushner cobbled together the First Step Act, TPPF bragged that “D.C.’s latest criminal justice reform was born deep in the heart of Texas,” at their offices on the corner of Congress Avenue and East 9th St.

By January 2019, Kushner regularly met at the White House with the Koch network and its allies, including Rollins and Josh Treviño, the chief innovation officer at TPPF; John Hostetler, a former member of Congress and founding member of the TPPF-backed “Right on Crime” initiative; Brett Tolman, the former U.S. attorney for Utah; as well as Van and Jessica Jones of Cut50. Yes, that Van Jones—the one who recently said that denying you are a racist if you are white is like denying you’re wet if you are in the ocean.

In April 2019, Rollins appeared on “The Next Revolution” with Steve Hilton to laud the First Step Act as a “truly transformational effort to change our criminal justice system at the federal level, following what many of the red states around the country have been doing for about a decade, including my Texas.” But Rollin’s “wholesale relook” at reforming the system has manifested as a wholesale slaughter of innocents.

The First Step Act has been a setback for everyone who thought they were getting a law-and-order administration. For example, a prisoner taking full advantage of the law’s provisions could cut a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking in half, to less than five years.

Joel Francisco, an Almighty Latin Kings gang leader, was sentenced to life in prison for trafficking crack cocaine in 2005. But he was released from federal prison in February 2019 thanks to the First Step Act. With his newfound freedom, compliments of Kushner and Rollins, Francisco stabbed a man to death.

Francisco is not an outlier. Drawing on figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a former congressional staffer and public policy analyst who spoke to me on condition of anonymity found 77 percent of released drug offenders were arrested for a non-drug crime within nine years, and 34 percent were arrested for a violent crime. Those who voted for a president who promised to crack down on crime to keep their communities safe are rightly disappointed. Nevertheless, Rollins’ star only continues to rise.

She received a promotion this year with the help of Kushner. On May 14, Rollins was named acting head of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), a little-known but influential post that, curiously, has only been held by Bush administration alumni in the Trump Administration.

“Brooke is really Jared’s person. . . . I think that played a big part in it,” one person close to the White House told Politico. The DPC is the principal forum used by the president for considering domestic policy matters and it is now in the hands of a Kushner-OAI associate.

As Rome burns, the people who are helping to set the fires are consolidating more policymaking power unto themselves.

The Lose-Lose Election

Though they did not know it at first, Americans almost immediately became intimately acquainted with Rollins’ Koch-approved approach to crime. Behind the scenes, Rollins and Kushner continue to advise Trump to go soft on those engaged in violence across the country.

“The president has signaled that he would very much like to crack down on rioters,” Carlson said on June 1. “That is his instinct. If you’ve watched him you believe it. But every time he has been talked out of it by Jared Kushner and by aides that Kushner has hired and controlled.” Rollins is one of those aides for whom murder, mayhem, and madness constitute a small price to pay for the reforms that are in the interest of her backers.

A few hours after Carlson’s segment, before dawn on Tuesday, a retired African American police captain named David Dorn was murdered by looters while trying to protect his friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis. Dorn died in a pool of his own blood while a bystander broadcasted his final moments on Facebook Live. As another community grieved, Trump went along with the advice of Rollins and Kushner to hold back on invoking the Insurrection Act to end the riots.

The political calculus behind inaction is as cynical as it is simple. It’s also flawed.

Kushner and Rollins believe that Trump’s base will not flip for his opponent, no matter how badly they are abused and betrayed. “Where will they go?” Kushner reportedly likes to say.

This thinking runs on the assumption that Joe Biden would take someone like Stacey Abrams as his vice-presidential running mate. Because Biden is a senile cipher, Abrams would likely run the administration. Trump’s advisors believe an outcome such as this terrifies his supporters more than his failures disappoint them. In other words, the administration sees its base as a hostage.

But even Trump’s staunchest supporters see the administration’s strategy backfiring in real-time.

John Nolte, a fierce defender of the president at Breitbart, is convinced that “current polling trends for President Trump are terrible.” Nolte’s analysis doesn’t even include the latest problems for the administration. Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson reported that Kushner has been holding meetings to secure amnesty for illegal aliens “with a goal of getting it done before the 2020 election.”

Voters demoralized by lawlessness and amnesty might wonder what is the difference between a Trump Administration guided by Kushner and his allies, and a Biden Administration effectively led by an Abrams or some other woke leftist? Abrams wants to get rid of borders; Kushner and Rollins want to legalize mass immigration. It is also difficult to tell apart their views on crime and punishment—all point toward progressive policies. In fact, Kushner is reportedly already working with Rollins to pass reforms aimed at eliminating cash bail, with the unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death as the perfect pretense. We recently got a glimpse of what these “reforms” might look like.

The New York Police Department quietly released hundreds of looters, vandals, and rioters due to the state’s new bail reform law. The law eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges, including stalking, assault without serious injury, burglary, a variety of drug offenses, and even some kinds of arson and robbery.

During the first three months the law was in effect, New York’s jail population dropped significantly, Barnini Chakraborty reports. “At the end of 2019, the number of people jailed across the state was close to 20,000. By March of 2020, the number had dipped to 15,000.”

New York City Police Chief Terrance Monahan said “just about all” of the looters arrested would be released without bail. Oscar Odom, a former NYPD detective, told Fox News that thanks to bail reform, “99.9 percent” of the people arrested and released from jail likely went right back to looting. Most people would call this mayhem. But Kushner, with the cries of agony and the din of chaos far from his secure White House perch, insists with a straight face these reforms “make our communities safer and have made our system fairer.”

If President Trump continues to abuse and gaslight his base at the behest of his advisors, they are unlikely to vote for a Democrat. But there is a chance they will simply stay home in November. In the end, it will make little difference to people like Rollins and Kushner who will land on their feet and add their time in the White House to their résumés. At this rate, Trump’s base stands to lose, no matter the election’s outcome.

Elections

Senate Fumbles Chance to Hold Rosenstein Accountable

Either we scrap FISA or Rod Rosenstein needs to be punished for facilitating a fraud on the FISA court. If there are no consequences for this fraud, then the FISA process has become an unconstitutional joke.

Imagine being in a poker game with the former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. If you lay a heavy bet on a hand he knows to be weak, a condescending grin will connect one ear to the other. You can easily tell when he thinks you’re stupid because he expresses contempt with his signature giggle which is accompanied by a condescending lecture.

Rosenstein deployed his smirk and giggle frequently as puny senators asked their puny questions in a feeble pursuit of an “Aha!” moment during his recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oh, mistakes were made, he conceded. It may even be necessary for Attorney General William Barr to revise some procedures and protocols. Rosenstein easily batted away Senate concerns about the many lies in the FISA application used to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

After all, how was Rosenstein supposed to know he was being lied to by the FBI? As frequently as Rosenstein said he was “accountable,” his slippery answers evaded any responsibility for the Russian collusion hoax.

Rosenstein maintained a look of detached amusement as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) postured with “outrage,” knowing that the committee would never pin the blame on him. Rosenstein’s misconduct was low-hanging fruit in plain sight. But Republican senators were more interested in reading (for the millionth time) text messages from Peter Strzok.

Ernst Asks the Key Question

But one senator got close. Using her common sense, a non-lawyer from Iowa asked a question that caused Rosenstein’s smug smile to temporarily evaporate. He was impressed enough to compliment her on her “good question.”

It struck Senator Joni Ernst as odd that the FBI would continue a FISA warrant after it leaked that Carter Page was being surveilled. In April 2017, the Washington Post reported, “The FBI obtained a secret court order in October 2016 to monitor the communications of a former adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.”

The story goes on to quote Page’s response: “This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance . . . I have nothing to hide.”

The same month, somebody leaked the FISA surveillance warrant against Page, the FBI was scrambling to recover from a number of critical setbacks in its effort to pin Russian collusion on the Trump campaign. In January 2017, agents interviewed Sergei Millian, the primary subsource for Christopher Steele, and he disavowed the entire dossier. The FBI used undercover spies on several members of the Trump campaign, including George Papadopoulos, Page, and at least one “high-level” member of the Trump campaign, Sam Clovis. These contacts only further disproved their collusion hypothesis. Also in January, the president’s then-private attorney denied and later disproved the essential scene in the hoax: that he traveled to Prague to pay the hackers who stole the DNC emails.

So in the face of a collapsing factual justification for the Russia collusion investigation, why does it matter so much that Page knew about the surveillance? A target who knows his phones are tapped is unlikely to continue to generate candid evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

“So why continue to spy on Page?” Ernst asked. Rosenstein mumbled something about the FBI turning up new leads in the case that justified further surveillance of Page. Unfortunately, Ernst didn’t ask the next follow-up question which would have exposed the crux of Rosenstein’s misconduct: “Why didn’t you just have a couple of FBI agents interview Page instead of spying on him?”

On the face of what we are told, the FBI’s actions are illogical as a matter of investigative efficiency. It cost a lot of money and effort to apply for and renew warrants to spy on Carter Page. The month before the very first approved FISA warrant, Page had already figured out that the FBI was investigating his Russian contacts. So Page offered to sit for an interview with the FBI over those Russian contacts. The FBI ignored this offer in spite of the fact that Page published this offer in the pages of the Washington Post.

Page wasn’t a Russian spy. He was an American spy and the CIA used his trips to Russia to gather intelligence. As noted by the Justice Department inspector general, Page was so reliable that the CIA cleared him to receive sensitive operational information so he could better know what to listen for when he went to Russia. It’s precisely that fact that caused FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to doctor an email from the CIA so it appeared that the CIA told him that Page was not a source. Had the FBI revealed to the FISA court that Page was a willing and reliable source for the U.S. government, all spying warrants should have been denied as unconstitutional.

Rosenstein’s Lie

And this leads us to why Rosenstein is really at fault for the illegal Carter Page domestic spying operation. On page 90 of the FISA renewal application Rosenstein signed, the Department of Justice certified to the court that, “the foreign intelligence information sought by the authorities requested herein cannot be reasonably obtained by normal investigative means.” On page 100 of the original FISA renewal, Rosenstein certified that he found the application met the criteria and requirements of a FISA warrant.

Justice Department policy required the FBI to use the least-intrusive method for gathering information. It’s not just a matter of efficiency. These wiretaps and spying get to the most personal information available: Google search history, emails, texts, pictures, location data, even audio picked up through the target’s own phone. FBI agents with a FISA warrant could potentially listen to or even watch Page having sex with his spouse through his wiretapped electronics. It potentially allowed the FBI to drool over private pictures on Page’s phone. So it’s illegal and unconstitutional to spy when the information can be obtained through less-intrusive means.

Rosenstein should have known that Page wanted to cooperate. The September 2016 offer appeared in the pages of the Washington Post. Page’s April protestation that he had, “nothing to hide,” should have renewed interest in his voluntary cooperation. What’s more, as Ernst instinctively suggested in her question, once the secrecy of the spying was blown, there’s no longer any reason not to interview Page. Rosenstein immediately would have known the unconstitutional nature of the entire operation just by asking why the FBI wasn’t interviewing Page. That was the one thing his oversight should have caught. When he didn’t ask that question, it made his certification to the FISA court a lie.

We still don’t know much about the Russian collusion hoax. We don’t know the full extent to which the Obama Administration spied on the Trump campaign. One overlooked portion of the inspector general’s report on the Carter Page FISA application suggests that the FBI had a network of spies around and even within the Trump campaign, “In our review, we also learned that, in 2016, there were several other individuals who had either a connection to candidate Trump or a role in the Trump campaign, and were also FBI confidential human sources. Some of these sources were known to and available for use by the Crossfire Hurricane team during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Where Is the Accountability?

Thus, there were actually FBI spies in and around the Trump campaign that the Crossfire Hurricane team did not use or know. Just exactly how many investigations did the FBI launch to stop Trump?

Papadopoulos has suggested that the spying operations extended to other candidates, not just Trump. We still don’t know what the “insurance policy” was that Strzok referenced in his text to Lisa Page. Mueller’s team curiously never interviewed Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange as to what he says his source was for the hacked emails. We can only hope that if Assange is extradited to the United States, the Justice Department will not keep him in the same cell that was used to keep Jeffery Epstein safe.

And we can add to this list of mysteries the question as to why so many FBI lawyers and agents would go to so much trouble to keep a FISA warrant open on Carter Page. One thing we can know, however, is that if the FBI passed on an interview with Page and lied to keep his warrant going, it was using the surveillance to look at somebody besides Page.

After leaving the Justice Department, Rosenstein joined the former attorney general Sally Yates and former DNI chief Dan Coates at the prestigious King & Spalding law firm. That happy fate won’t act as much of a deterrent to anyone planning to cut corners on a current FISA spying warrant. If we’re going to move forward with a FISA process, need have to be consequences. Either we scrap FISA or Rod Rosenstein needs to be punished for facilitating a fraud on the FISA court.

If there are no consequences for this fraud, then the FISA process has become an unconstitutional joke.

Elections

Stormy Days for the President and the Republic

The president will stay the course and defeat the unholy coalition of improvident events and the shopworn Democrats who, in their desperation, have allied themselves with pestilence and mayhem.

No president since Abraham Lincoln has had such a relentless sequence of crises to deal with as President Trump has had. Franklin D. Roosevelt had constant overarching crises: the Great Depression and the recovery from it, the approach of a world war, and the war itself. But never in his more than 12 years as president, even when he grappled with the collapse of the financial system and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had severely damaged the U.S. Navy’s battle fleet, did he seem in the slightest beleaguered. Every day of his presidency, Abraham Lincoln was dealing with the horrible crisis of the secession of the southern states and the terrible war that ended the insurrection.

Some presidencies seem reasonably serene, like the folklorically resurrected Calvin Coolidge, who said little and spent little and did little. Dwight D. Eisenhower is remembered as the happy combination of the smiling, avuncular, golfing president of whom the nation twice said with their votes “I like Ike.” He was, after all, the victorious five-star general who conducted the greatest military operation in the history of the world and received the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in the West. The 1950s seem now as they seemed at the time, an era of peace and prosperity despite the regular threats of recourse to nuclear war coming from the leaders of the unlamented Soviet Union: Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev. Bill Clinton, coasting on Ronald Reagan’s immense economic boom and his almost bloodless and complete victory in the Cold War, as well as on the very competent foreign policy of the senior President Bush, had the most carefree time of any president since Coolidge.

We now know that President Trump is the only holder of his great office whose election was schemed against at the highest levels of the Justice Department and intelligence services of the preceding administration, and who was the subject of a spurious special counsel investigation set up even after it had been established that the grounds for it—a possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government—were known to be complete fiction. 

Fatuous Exercises

When that fraudulent enterprise collapsed, Trump was briefly the subject of the most ludicrous impeachment proceeding in American history. 

Andrew Johnson was impeached and came within one vote of removal because he ignored a statute that was completely unconstitutional. Richard Nixon had articles of impeachment reported out of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and, although he had mishandled the Watergate and related investigations, and some of his aides committed acts of perjury and obstruction of justice, he was a very distinguished and successful president and no convincing evidence has emerged these 48 years that he himself committed any crimes. He was traduced by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at a meeting of the judiciary committee on Wednesday. President Clinton probably lied to a grand jury about his extramarital sex life, but the United States Senate correctly concluded that his peccadilloes and subsequent lies about them did not reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors required by the Constitution for the removal of a president. 

The impeachment of President Trump was for abuse of office and contempt of the Congress, offenses that are not impeachable, are unspecific, and there was no probative evidence that he had committed them. The entire exercise was fatuous.

The teapot of that tempest was scarcely calm before his presidency was assaulted by the COVID-19 crisis and the consequent severe economic repercussions including the generation of nearly 40 million unemployed by a two-month shutdown. 

Just as the pandemic began to subside, a video of the brutal killing of African American George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis was universally circulated and we have seen how acute racial sensibilities have quickly escalated into national and highly destructive urban violence. The spectacle of world-famous streets of great American cities being trashed and torched horrified the nation and embarrassed it in front of the world. 

Fiction vs. Fact

Every time that President Trump’s position has appeared to be settling into normal incumbency, a new upheaval has arisen that has disturbed the politics of America.

No president since Coolidge (who didn’t promise anything except stability) has so thoroughly honored his pre-election promises as has President Trump. He has, as promised, drastically reduced illegal immigration, cut taxes, deregulated, revived the concept of nuclear non-proliferation for irresponsible states, shaped up the NATO alliance, withdrawn the country from hopeless Middle Eastern wars, spared the country the green terror, and ended oil imports and unemployment. He promised to drain the swamp—and is doing that—and as the waters descend the swamp-creatures are exposed and become psychotically aggressive in defense of their right to wallow and frolic in the public trough. 

In these latest freighted days, Trump’s enemies have been more overtly numerous and vocal. 

The Trump-hating media have descended to an hysterical level of partisan propaganda; if the ostensible reporting of CNN and MSNBC were presented as paid advertisements for the Democratic Party they would be rejected for breach of advertising standards. They instantly invented the fiction that the president had ordered that crowds in Lafayette Park be tear-gassed and subjected to fusillades of rubber bullets in order to clear his way to St. John’s church on Monday evening. This falsehood was repeated by the unrelievedly banal Senator Maizie Hirono (D-Hawaii) at the judiciary committee hearing on Wednesday.  

Washington D.C.’s Episcopalian bishop and Roman Catholic archbishop issued rabidly partisan and insolent statements about the president’s visit to “the president’s church” the day after the arson attack on it, and his and Mrs. Trump’s visit to the St. John Paul II Shrine on the anniversary of an interfaith agreement sponsored by the late pope the following day. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper read to the press a prepared statement that categorically opposed the use of the armed forces in any restoration of public order as the politicization of the military and criticized what he sarcastically described as the presidents “photo-op” at St. John’s Church on Monday, even though he himself participated in it. (He should be fired and presumably will be, at the latest when the urban violence fully subsides, but the sooner the better.) 

Meanwhile, former Defense Secretary James Mattis flipped his cork and wrote a churlish statement published in The Atlantic (which has been in a neck-and-neck race with the New Yorker throughout this presidential term for the “honor” of being the most Trumpophobic of American magazines). Mattis accused the president of deliberately dividing Americans. The conduct of both Esper and Mattis are disgraceful affronts to the president who had conferred such high honors upon both of them. Most news reporting and comment bore little resemblance to events as they unfolded.

Embarrassments Aplenty—for Democrats 

COVID-19 is ebbing and the riots have caused hundreds of thousands of people to jostle together at close quarters, which I suspect will fail to produce a marked upsurge of the illness; this disorder as it subsides may thus help to embolden authorities throughout the country to hasten the end of the shutdown. 

The most important events of this week, though not the most publicized, were economic and legal. Tentative unemployment figures for May came in more than 6 million below the totals that had been feared and the stock exchanges responded positively. The administration’s plans for a swift economic recovery are off to a good start. 

In an awkward and barely credible appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein acknowledged that he regretted having approved the counterintelligence operation conducted against the president. He feebly defended the plausibility of conducting Robert Mueller’s investigation, but it was clear that he had no response to the fact that those who agitated for it knew at the outset that there was no evidence whatsoever to justify such a lengthy and malicious harassment of the president. The attempts at aggressive questioning by Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), and Richard Durbin (Ill.) were pathetic. The exposure of the wickedness and lawlessness of the former administration’s senior justice and intelligence officials can only become starker.

These are stormy days, but the president will stay the course and defeat the unholy coalition of improvident events and the shopworn Democrats who, in their desperation, have allied themselves with pestilence and mayhem.  

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.