Have you ever wondered what disgraced former deputy FBI directors do after trying to stage a coup and lying under oath? Apparently, they give talks about “protecting democracy” at top-rated institutions of higher learning. Indeed, this last Thursday the University of Chicago invited former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe to join a panel of partisans to discuss the Jan 6 “insurrection.”
McCabe was fired as the deputy FBI director for leaking sensitive information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then lying about it under oath. He also took part in spying on the Donald Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.
The dossier he used to obtain the surveillance warrant was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and, in an ironic twist, was itself the product of Russian disinformation. McCabe and his allies in corporate media justified all sorts of similar illegal and undemocratic tactics to discredit and attempt to unseat President Trump.
Of course, neither the University of Chicago nor McCabe acknowledged the irony in him discussing the integrity of “democracy” in America on Thursday evening. In fact, what McCabe said at the University of Chicago event on Jan. 6, 2022 is even more shocking than his invitation to speak in the first place. Below are four of the most appalling assertions and policy proposals McCabe made at the public event.
McCabe likened conservatives to members of the Islamic Caliphate: “I can tell you from my perspective of spending a lot of time focused on the radicalization of international terrorists and Islamic extremist and extremists of all stripes… is that this group shares many of the same characteristics of those groups that we’ve seen radicalized along entirely different ideological lines,” he said.
McCabe went on to describe the rise of the Islamic caliphate in Syria and how Islamic extremists were radicalized across socioeconomic, educational, and racial lines, likening it to the “mass radicalization” of the political right across demographics. That’s right, according to McCabe a grandma who shares a Federalist article on Facebook and your uncle with a “Let’s Go Brandon” coffee mug are in the same category as a jihadist who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.
“Political violence [is] not just confined to the Capitol,” McCabe asserted. “It’s going on in school boards around the country. It’s going on in local elections. It’s happening, you know, even to health-care workers.” According to this politically protected former FBI no. 2, the “political violence” occurring recently at school board meetings and during local elections is a “very diverse and challenging threat picture.”
McCabe said moms and dads who stand up for their children’s health and education at school board meetings in ways Democrats disagree with are very dangerous. So dangerous that it is actually “essential” we have a “rapid and complete response by law enforcement at the state, local and federal level to this sort of political violence…”
Holding America’s parents “accountable” is not enough for McCabe. He wants to make sure that federal agencies also put “out that message that this sort of conduct that both horribly victimizes individuals, but also serves to undermine our democratic process” is “considered a threat to national security [that is] not tolerated.”
“I’m fairly confident,” McCabe said, “[that] the FBI [and other agencies] have reallocated resources and repositioned some of their counterterrorism focus to increase their focus on right-wing extremism and domestic violent extremists. And I think that’s obviously a good idea.”
But McCabe wants more. McCabe asserted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to stop merely focusing on the “fringes of the right-wing movement,” in order to “catch this threat” of the “right.”
“Are you going to catch this threat if your focus is only on the traditional, right-wing extremist, those groups that we know about, the quote-unquote, fringes of the right-wing movement?” asked McCabe. “And I think the answer to that is no.”
“It’s entirely possible that when the intelligence community and the law enforcement community looks out across this mainstream,” McCabe continued, “they didn’t assume [on January 6] that that group of people — business owners, white people from the suburbs, educated, employed — presented a threat of violence, and now we know very clearly that they do.”
McCabe wants to get around constitutional obstacles that restrict the abuses of federal agencies. He explained that the path to granting the feds more power to spy on and punish “extremists,” a.k.a. conservatives, is by implementing federal penalties against “domestic terrorism.”
A measure like this would grant domestic agencies the intelligence capabilities of the international terrorism-focused National Counterterrorism Center. It would, McCabe says, “give investigators the ability to begin investigating when folks are plotting or planning or organizing to use violence for the purpose of coercing the population or influencing government…”
Joshua Geltzer, President Joe Biden’s advisor on “countering domestic violent extremism,” made the same proposal in a 2019 hearing before a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. In his proposal, Geltzer suggested that we need to “polic[e] [tech company] platforms to remove not just incitement to violence, but also, the ideological foundations that spawn such violence.”
McCabe claims these proposed federal laws against domestic terrorism can be implemented without infringing on Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech. That seems quite impossible, however, given Geltzer is proposing government oversight of social media, for example.
It is even more difficult to believe when you consider that Democrats are not going after real domestic terrorists and have literally defined parents speaking out at school board meetings as national security threats. As McCabe said himself, to Democrats, the extreme right is the mainstream right.
Ironically, one of McCabe’s last remarks was a proclamation of equality under the law. “Whether you are a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter, right, left, or otherwise, we should all be able to agree on the principle that no one is above the law,” stated McCabe.
“… [F]rom the lowliest trespasser on January 6, up to the highest-ranking government officials who may have been aware of a plan that would ultimately lead to violence in the Capitol––those people should be held accountable, period,” he announced. “And if we can’t do that, that is just another sign that we are becoming a non-functioning democracy.”
Ironically, McCabe’s firing for repeatedly breaking the law was expunged from the record only because he settled with a partisan Biden Department of Justice. If no one is above the law, as McCabe claims to support, then he would be in jail. Of course, McCabe is above the law. Only dissenting conservatives, in his view, deserve the suspicion and wrath of unelected federal agencies.
Disturbingly, the University of Chicago does not care about national introspection post-January 6, 2021. If it did, it would not have invited McCabe, of all people, to speak about “protecting democracy.”
UChicago allowed McCabe to spin lies about what truly happened one year ago and filtered student questions via Zoom, refusing to ask him any tough questions. Consequently, McCabe was given a platform to teach young, impressionable college students without question that the federal government should be weaponized against fellow Americans whom leftists brand as “extremists.”
To the elites in America — Democrats like McCabe, university administrators, and professors – January 6 is the key to labeling their political opponents as dangerous, “white supremacist extremists” and enacting new policy accordingly.
America’s universities are now indoctrination machines that shape the minds of the next generation. Academia openly exploits its power and rewrite history to serve their illiberal agenda.
Sadly, McCabe’s dishonest version of January 6 is happily accepted by the academic elites who invited him Thursday night. His frighteningly despotic views and policy prescriptions will likely be accepted and implemented by his young listeners.
Stacey Abrams and I have a lot in common. We’re both proud Southerners. We both hail from the only two states with schools that beat the Crimson Tide this season. We both think Joe Biden made the wrong VP pick. We both believe we won gubernatorial elections. Of course, only one of us is right on the last point — but as an Aggie, I respect the power of a healthy self-esteem.
We now have one more thing in common: We both skipped the Biden-Harris phony election-reform show in Atlanta. Not that I was invited: What would a three-term major-state governor who presided over historic expansion of voting (and minority-group participation in voting) know about elections, anyway? But Stacey Abrams was invited. And the fact that she didn’t come tells you just how dead-on-arrival the White House’s elections agenda actually is.
The motivation for Abrams’s no-show is twofold. Not more than two years ago, she was openly campaigning to become Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick, transparently attempting to leverage liberal media into forcing him to pick her. It didn’t work, and now she has an opportunity to return the snub. She’s drawing with her an array of Georgia-based left-wing advocacy groups, who have declared that they too will refuse to attend the president and vice president’s Atlanta event — on the grounds that the White House has been too slow, and too tentative, in advancing their agenda.
The second element to the absenteeism is the fact that the president, the vice president, and their elections agenda are profoundly unpopular in Georgia. Stacey Abrams is campaigning for governor there (again), and wants to win (she would say again to that too), and there’s no compelling reason for her to tie herself to the negative-ratings deadweights that helm her national party.
Even without the officeholder unpopularity, the fact is that Georgians — like most Americans — are reasonably happy with their elections, and also reasonably happy with the post-2020 legislation that has addressed many of the process flaws exposed in that cycle. The fact that the Democrats and the progressives have talked themselves into an elections agenda that doubles down on those flaws, and introduces more uncertainty into the elections system, only highlights their disconnect from the lived reality of ordinary Americans.
(Another sign of that disconnect: trying to hold a political rally in Georgia on the very morning after the Dawgs broke a forty-one year national-championship drought. It’s political malpractice on a level so appalling, it could only be exceeded by sending Paul Finebaum to Guantanamo. Now that I write that, I fear the vice president will convene a task force to make it happen.)
Of course, they’re also disconnected from one another. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were also in Atlanta, Georgia to give the progressive base exactly what it has been demanding for years. The progressive base, instead of pocketing the small victory, is sabotaging the moment by staying away. We already knew this was a movement that doesn’t have what it takes to govern — the president’s disastrous 2021 was proof enough of that — and now we have evidence that it also doesn’t have what it takes to win.
That’s good news for Americans, in Georgia and beyond. Even though the president and vice president are in Atlanta advocating for a truly terrible agenda, that agenda isn’t going to happen. They can’t lead their own movement. But even if they could, Americans want nothing to do with it. When you’ve constructed a political fantasy too far out even for Stacey Abrams, you know it’s time to pack it in.
“Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now.”
That was the headline over the editorial of 1,000 words in The New York Times of Sunday last.
On first read, I thought the Times was conceding its obsession and describing its mission. For the editorial began by bewailing yet anew the “horrifying” event, “the very real bloodshed of that awful day,” the “once-unthinkable trauma.”
Still, a year later, said the Times, “the Republic faces an existential threat,” as the “Capitol riot … continues in statehouses across the country, in a bloodless, legalized form that no police officer can arrest and that no prosecutor can try in court.”
“We should stop underestimating the threat facing the country. … (our) democracy … is in grave danger.”
What the Times is saying is that the electoral reforms being enacted democratically in red states — requiring voter IDs, for example, and subject to judicial review — are a Republican continuation of the Capitol riot.
Why cannot our liberal media let it go? Why does the distortion and hysteria about Jan. 6 seem to grow with each retelling?
Now, undeniably, as I wrote in a column the next morning, Jan. 6 was “The Worst of Days for Trump & Trumpists.”
“The worst of the day’s events for Trump came when a segment of a friendly crowd of 50,000 he just addressed concluded its march down the Mall to the U.S. Capitol by smashing its way into the building and invading and occupying the Senate and House chambers.
“Members of Congress were forced to flee and hide. A protester, an Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop. Vice President Mike Pence, who was chairing the joint session, was taken into protective custody by his Secret Service detail. Doors were broken open. Windows were smashed, and the building was trashed …
“What Americans watched was a mob occupation and desecration of the temple of the American Republic.” I added, “And the event will be forever exploited to discredit not only Trump but the movement he led and the achievements of his presidency.”
That last line understated what an obsession Jan. 6 has become for the nation’s establishment and media elite.
The left cannot let go of Jan. 6. Indeed, it has fixated upon, exploited and exaggerated the riot to discredit and destroy the Trump presidency in the history books and to prevent Donald Trump from ever running or being elected president again.
Though Trump was exonerated by the Senate of the impeachment charge brought by Nancy Pelosi’s House, the House select committee wants to try Trump again and again in the court of public opinion and wants President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to find some crime with which to charge and convict him.
There are other reasons the left cannot let go of Jan. 6.
Democrats have no other issue on which to run this November.
The Biden presidency has produced an uninterrupted string of disasters: the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, the Texas border crisis, inflation, an explosion of gun violence and murders setting records in Democrat-run cities, failure to produce an adequate federal response to the delta and omicron waves of COVID-19.
Again, Jan. 6 was a riot, involving assaults on Washington and Capitol cops and the disruption of a formal congressional procedure to validate the electoral vote victory of Joe Biden.
But was Jan. 6 really the planned coup, the terrorism, the sedition, the armed insurrection, the attempt to overthrow the U.S. government?
Was Jan. 6 really comparable to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, during each of which 3,000 Americans went to their deaths in an hour’s time and major wars followed — as Vice President Kamala Harris said yesterday?
If so, why, a year after Jan. 6, 2021, has no one been charged with inciting a rebellion, sedition, treason, armed insurrection, plotting a coup, or a takeover of the government of the United States?
Thus far, all the charges prosecuted and punished are consistent with a riot, which is what Jan. 6 was. Comparisons of this three-hour mob action to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are almost sacrilegious.
Was that QAnon shaman occupying the chair in the Senate chamber really the moral equivalent of Mohamed Atta ramming an airliner into the World Trade Center or Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto plotting the Dec. 7 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?
Another reason for the left to paint up the horror of that day is that the perpetrators of Jan. 6 were not the radical left who battled cops and burned and looted Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee and scores of other cities in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing.
They were the “deplorables” of Trump, the populists of the American right, against whom any slander is justified.
Question: If the left is so terrified of Trump it feels it must prevent him from even running again, by imposing a criminal conviction, what does that say about the left’s belief in American democracy?
What does that tell us about the left’s trust in the people?
Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has been caught using social media to steer voters to fake news sites that give favorable coverage to him while disparaging his Republican opponent, retired business executive Glenn Youngkin.
According to published reports, McAuliffe’s campaign has spent well into six figures on the project, utilizing a campaign tactic that is increasingly frowned upon by political commentators and news officials who consider it dishonest.
McAuliffe’s campaign purchased Facebook ads that redirected viewers to third-party websites that have all the appearance of local news outlets but which in fact publish purposefully slanted stories and what some reports described as “partisan propaganda.”
One site, reportedly operated by the McAuliffe campaign itself, is a Facebook page called “The Download Virginia,” launched in June 2021. Though the name resembles that of an online news outlet, according to Fox News it has not published any posts or photos and has little more than 100 followers as the election entered its final week. An analysis of data on the Facebook Ad Library Report projected spending of nearly half a million on ads distributed by the page since it was launched.
A July advertisement including positive comments about McAuliffe’s views on small business linked to an article published by a third-party website called the Virginia Dogwood, a website designed to like a local news outlet claiming to publish “credible, fact-based reporting.” In reality, the site was operated by Courier Newsroom, a group founded and funded by progressive billionaires supportive of the big government socialist agenda who reportedly include George Soros, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and several Hollywood movie producers. After it began operating, the Courier site network was allegedly purchased by the group Good Information Inc., a company whose stated mission is to fight “disinformation” by investing in local news companies but who, at least one published report said, shared overlapping donors with those involved in getting the Courier Newsroom project up and running.
Up to this point the Facebook ads, Fox estimated, have been viewed by as many as 3.5 million potential voters and others while McAuliffe, himself a former Virginia governor, and Youngkin slug it out in what most expect to be the closest election the commonwealth has seen in some time. The latest polls have the two in a dead heat.
The McAuliffe campaign also did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment, but the network reported that two advertisements that linked to another faux news page recently as last week were disabled after the network made inquiries.
A three-judge federal panel has tossed out the legislative district maps passed by the Democrats who control the Illinois State Legislature and signed in law by Democratic Gov J.B. Pritzker because they violate the principle of “one person, one vote.”
The decision is a stunning rebuke to those who hoped to use the legislature’s map-making authority to plunge the GOP into permanent minority status in Illinois. The court found the maps, enacted through the signature of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker even before the final U.S. Census data was available, created districts that were too dissimilar in population to be allowed to stand.
The court did not, as the Illinois Republicans who sued to have the redistricting plan overturned hoped would be the case, order the creation of a bipartisan commission to redraw the lines, Capitol News Illinois reported Thursday. Instead, it mandated the use of a second set of maps approved by the governor later in the year as a “starting point” for a new effort a line drawing, one in which those who had challenged the process that produced the disputed lines could participate.
In its decision, the court rejected the idea legislative maps could be found to be unconstitutional just because the majority party drew the lines to protect its interests. “To be sure, political considerations are not unconstitutional and courts are reluctant to wade into, much less to reverse, partisan maps, including those that amount to political gerrymanders,” the judges wrote, citing a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court case. “And we are not so naive as to imagine that any party in power would decline to exercise levers available to it to maximize its opportunity to retain seats in the General Assembly.”
Politics in Illinois is a blood sport. The first plan the Democrats who control the legislature drew and Pritzker approved was intended to eliminate as many GOP-held seats as possible. It was a naked exercise in political power, an explicit attempt by one major political party to destroy the viability of the other. The court likely looked askance at Illinois Democrats’ use of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to do this rather than waiting on the final numbers, whose release was delayed until mid-August by the pandemic.
Waiting until they had the final numbers, the Democrats argued, would have conflicted with a requirement in the Illinois Constitution that maps be produced by June 30. While true, that complaint ignores how, if the deadline passes without maps having been approved, the constitution provides for the creation of a legislative committee formed for the specific purpose of producing new maps. And, because it is officially bipartisan, allowing the process to go to the commission level would boost the GOP’s opportunity to influence the outcome.
The lawsuit challenging the lines filed initially by the Republican leaders of the General Assembly urged the court to declare the maps unconstitutional and, Capitol News Illinois reported, “because no constitutional maps had been enacted by June 30, order the formation of the bipartisan commission required under the Illinois Constitution.”
A second lawsuit filed by a group of Hispanic voters in the Chicago area represented the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund asked the court to declare the maps unconstitutional and for the court itself to order a remedy.
“The June maps are unconstitutionally malapportioned, and the September maps are illegal in a different way which is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment in terms of the racial gerrymander,” MALDEF staff attorney Ernest Herrera said the court made clear the Democrats’ maps are illegal.
Herrera’s concerns suggest the fight against the maps will continue. State GOP leaders nonetheless called the decision a “victory. Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a joint statement issued after the decision that “The court’s ruling validates all the concerns that were raised during the Democrats’ unconstitutional attempt to gerrymander Illinois.”
The three-member panel’s decision, which may yet be appealed, applies only to the plan for redistricting the Illinois General Assembly. It does not touch on the constitutionality and legality of the proposed congressional map that, despite Illinois losing one congressional seat due to reapportionment, would boost the Democratic delegation to 15 seats from 13 while the number of Republican seats would be reduced from 5 to 2.
There is no schadenfreude in seeing the Left destroy everything it touches—because its claws tear all of us as well.
What was the purpose for the insane opposition of the Left between 2017 and 2021? To usher in a planned nihilism, an incompetent chaos, a honed anarchy to wreck the country in less than a year?
No sooner had Donald Trump entered office than scores of House Democrats filed motions for impeachment, apparently for thought crimes that he might, some day, in theory, could possibly commit.
Foreign Policy published an article by a liberal Obama Administration lawyer outlining all the ways to remove an elected president as soon as possible—including consideration of a military coup.
The FBI and the entrenched bureaucrats at the Justice Department continued their prior failed efforts during the campaign to seed the lies of the fabricated Steele dossier and Fusion GPS. A 22-month-long and $40 million hoax ended with the special counsel himself, a doddering Robert Mueller, swearing under oath that he essentially knew nothing about the dossier or Fusion GPS—the twin catalysts that had prompted his very own investigation.
Fired FBI Director James Comey—a lion on Twitter, and a lamb when under oath—on over 240 occasions testified to the Congress that he either did not know or could not remember, when asked details about the collusion fraud that the philosopher G-man had helped perpetuate.
No one worried about the weaponization of government. So, we went right from the nefarious legacy of John Brennan (who lied under oath to Congress twice), James Clapper (who lied under oath to Congress once), James Comey (who leaked confidential presidential memos), Andrew McCabe (who gave false testimony to federal investigators), Lisa Page (who was fired from the special counsel’s legal team for various unprofessional conduct), Peter Strzok (about whom there is not enough space to detail his transgressions), and the now convicted felon Kevin Clinesmith onto the next round of impeachments.
Two of them followed. Neither was conducted by a special counsel. There was no array of witnesses, no prosecutorial report. Much less were there formal charges of a specific high crime or misdemeanor, or bribery or treason, as specified by the Constitution.
In the end, both farces ended in trials—but not before the Left had established lots of baleful precedents. Impeachment is now simply a tool to embarrass a president in his first term when he has lost the House. A Senate trial could hound an innocent president, even as a private citizen out of office. And a chief justice need not preside over the Senate trial. If and when Joe Biden loses the House, the Left should applaud any attempt to impeach him—given it established the new model of opposition.
Of the January 6 debacle, we were not told that it was a riot involving lawbreakers who would be punished. Instead, we were lied to that it was an “armed insurrection,” a “coup,” and “a rebellion” of massive proportions.
Our esteemed retired military and civil libertarians who had damned the mere thought of using federal troops to quell the prior four summer months of continuous rioting were suddenly happy to see 25,000 federal soldiers patrol Washington to hound out fantasy second-wave insurrectionists. In Animal Farm fashion, there were now to be good federal troops deterring mythical violent domestic extremists, but bad federal troops who should never stop real, ongoing mayhem in the streets.
It mattered nothing that “armed” in the case of January 6 meant that no firearms were used or even found among the protestors. No one was charged with conspiracy, insurrection, or racketeering. But many were placed in solitary confinement without specific charges being filed—to the utter delight of liberal groups like the ACLU and human rights organizations.
The FBI—recently known mostly for spreading Hillary Clinton’s campaign collusion hoax—found no premeditated grand plot. The remaining media narratives were also untrue: Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was not murdered, but died tragically of a stroke the next day. Five persons were not “killed.” Four who died were Trump supporters. Only one of the five deaths occurred at the hand of a known other—a 14-year military veteran, unarmed, 110-pound female Ashli Babbitt. She was fatally shot while attempting to enter through a window of the Capitol by a law-enforcement officer—to the frequent approbation of the left-wing commentariat. The officer’s name was hidden for months from the public—something conspicuously uncharacteristic in other cases where law enforcement officers are involved in shooting unarmed suspects.
Videos surrounding the entire melee still have been repressed. They likely will never be released. That infamous day remains in dire contrast to the prior 120 days of continuous rioting, looting, and arson. In the election-year summer 2020, federal courthouses and iconic buildings were torched. Nearly $2 billion worth of property was destroyed and 28 were killed.
Yet current Vice President Kamala Harris rallied the public to help bail out the arrested. And the architect of the “1619 Project” reassured Americans that crimes against property like arson and looting are not really violence per se. The weeks of “spontaneous” mayhem magically vanished after November 3, 2020. Note that esteemed medical professionals argued that BLM protestors who flooded the streets were exempt from quarantine, social distancing, and mask requirements, given their higher morality. There are now good riots and bad ones, and noble sustained silence about a noble officer who lethally shoots an unarmed suspect, and noble immediate outing of an ignoble officer who lethally shoots an unarmed suspect.
These were merely the main media distortions and fixations over the last four years. We forget the daily craziness such as a president’s calls to foreign heads of state routinely leaked or the FBI director passing on confidential memos of private presidential conversations to the liberal press, or the “whistleblower” who was not a whistleblower as much as a Democratic operative. The media nadir came when the press bellowed that Trump had overfed a fish.
An array of retired four-stars damned their president as Hitlerian, Mussolini-like, and deserving an early exit from office. Their superior morality naturally excused them from abiding by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The New York Times falsely identified a minor Trump Administration bureaucrat (“anonymous”) as a major conservative truth-teller—once he thrilled the media by lying that a large, morally superior, inside cabal was devoted to obstructing the implementation of a president’s orders. Everyone from Hillary Clinton to an active FBI lawyer bragged of joining the “Resistance,” with plenty of conspiratorial retro-accusations that the 2016 election was “rigged.”
All that was a warm-up for the plague year in which Donald Trump was blamed for every COVID death. His medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci was deified, due largely to his coy opposition to the president he was supposed to serve.
Both the current president and vice president had, less than a year ago, urged Americans not to be vaccinated, given their own reluctance to take a “Trump” vaccine. At least the anti-vaxxers had consistent opposition to the experimental inoculations; in contrast, the anti-Trumper anti-vaxxers merely saw sabotaging the 2020 vaccination program as necessary to be in a position to claim it as their own in 2021.
What did all that madness achieve? Mostly, the first election in U.S. history in which over 100 million ballots were not cast on Election Day. Strangely, with such an avalanche of ballots, the usual error rate of absentee balloting dived from around 2-4 percent to 0.2-0.4 percent. You see, when we suddenly must count tens of millions more paper ballots then it becomes easier, not harder, to spot errors.
So, the Left won its Pyrrhic victory.
The nation was done with the demonized Trump and now the Left controlled the presidency, and both houses of Congress. Somnolent Ol’ Joe Biden from Scranton pledged to heal the nation as he overturned his predecessor’s supposedly disastrous policies and went on a rampage of slandering his opponents. If Donald Trump was once damned as non compos mentis, the same media and academic accusers kept mum as Biden shuffled, fell, went mute, slurred words, and went off on angry, disjointed, and incoherent riffs.
What followed was a concerted effort to destroy the Trump record: the greatest level of combined annual natural gas and oil production in any nation’s history, record low minority unemployment and near record peacetime, general unemployment, a border secure and illegal immigration finally under control, and a New Middle East in which Israel and its Arab enemies concluded neutrality pacts. China was put on notice for its past mockery of global norms. Inflation was low, growth was good. “Stagflation” was still a rarely remembered word from the past.
And again, what was all that Pavlovian nihilism to achieve?
Within eight months the following was finalized: Joe Biden utterly destroyed the idea of a border. Some 2 million were scheduled to cross illegally in the current fiscal year. The sheer inhumanity of deplorable conditions at the border surpassed any notion of the “cages” Donald Trump, in fact, had inherited from the humanitarian Barack Obama.
A war almost immediately broke out in the Middle East, once Biden distanced the United States from Israel and rebooted the radical Palestinian cause.
The Taliban defeated the 20-year effort of the United States in Afghanistan, in the most humiliating withdrawal of the American military in over 45 years. Tens of billions of dollars of abandoned military equipment now arm the Taliban and have turned Afghanistan into a world arms mart for terrorists. Iran is emboldened and speeds up its nuclear proliferation efforts. China brags that the United States has been Afghanistanized and will not defend its allies, Taiwan in particular.
At home, gas prices have soared. Prior trillion-dollar deficits now seem financially prudent in comparison to multitrillion-dollar red ink. The nation is more racially polarized than at any time in the last half-century. A bleak and venomous woke creed has outdone the hate and fear of the McCarthyism of the 1950s, as it wages war on half the nation for various thought crimes and the incorrect idea that the United States was, is, and always will be a kind and humane place.
More will likely have died each day from COVID by year’s end during the Biden first 12 months than during Trump’s last 12 months. That statistic perhaps might have been meaningless had Biden himself not demagogued the idea that a president is strangely responsible for all pandemic deaths on his watch.
But then again, Biden had warped the pandemic narrative only after he had inherited the Trump vaccination program (17 million vaccinated by Inauguration Day). Biden was wrongly and prematurely convinced that vaxxes were a permanent prophylaxis to any sort of COVID variants that would simply disappear once he took office. Depending on the occasion, Biden claims none, or just 4 million, were vaxxed until he took office, as truth and fantasies waft through his cloudy cognition.
With Biden came not just woke polarization, stagflation, a subsidized ennui that erodes the work ethic, and selective nonenforcement of existing laws: Worse, still, we got a bankrupt ideological defense of these insanities. Critical legal theory, critical race theory, and a new monetary theory were all dreamed up by parlor academics to justify the nihilism.
Did America ever believe that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would trash his commander in chief as Hitlerian to journalist hitmen, or allegedly denounce news organizations as “terrorists,” or interrupt the chain of command on a prompt by the Speaker of the House, or warn the Chinese military that he believed there was enough instability in the White House to justify a promise to warn of any impending U.S. military action against Beijing deemed offensive? Was General Milley suffering from the very “white rage” he sought to ferret out?
With Biden, China is now omnipresent in the halls of power. A task of our chief COVID advisor, Anthony Fauci, seems to be to deny repeatedly that his stealthy funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan virology lab in China had anything to do with the likely accidental release of a likely human engineered and energized coronavirus. Americans still cannot even imagine that their government might have helped subsidize the plague germ that has wrought such havoc upon them.
Meanwhile the president’s son still owns a 10 percent cut in a communist Chinese government-affiliated financial venture, apparently due to his prior drug-addled record of financial mismanagement. The media still insists Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation,” while his paint-by-numbers art is auctioned off to foreign lobbyists expecting a return of the old days when Hunter and Joe grandly arrived on Air Force Two to do their bidding.
What did the Left leave as the proper model for conservatives now to deal with Biden?
Impeach him when he loses the House? Get a special counsel, lavish said counsel with $40 million, a dream team of right-wing lawyers, and 22 months to find real Chinese collusion?
Start seeding a conservative version of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and an “anonymous” whistleblower inside the Biden octopus?
Get retired four-star generals on TV to swear Biden is a Chinese “asset,” or have them retweet the idea of sending Biden supporters to China, or swear that he is a fascist? Bring back Woodward and Bernstein to find out whether Biden, Inc. ever paid taxes on all that Chinese and Ukrainian cash?
Call in the ubiquitous Dr. Bandy X. Lee from Yale to administer the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to prove that Biden can distinguish a camel from an elephant or a train from a bike or count backwards from five?
Will the Right prod General Mark Milley’s replacement to collude with soon-to-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy and call the Russians to warn them that Biden is demented, democracy is “messy,” Kamala Harris is crazy, and thus Moscow might need a warning from us about any Biden preemptive aggression?
And what of the people who voted for this change and the media that empowered it? In the latest Quinnipiac poll, known for its liberal affinities, Biden now earns a 38 percent approval rating. We should add a few extra negative points given media bias. Do they suffer buyer’s remorse or angst that they were lied to by the hard Left that Joe Biden was cognizant and not a mere vessel for a two-year push for overt socialism?
Meanwhile the media is reduced to explaining why an undocumented activist has an understandable right to chase a liberal Democratic senator into a public restroom, hector her, and then video her as she enters a stall to relieve herself and then post the grotesqueness on the internet—a felony in the state of the Arizona, though just part of the “process” for the president of the United States.
We could call the above insanity nemesis for woke hubris. Or maybe it is karma, “payback’s a bitch,” or “what goes around comes around.” But there is no schadenfreude in seeing the Left destroy everything it touches—because its claws tear all of us as well.
The effort to redraw congressional and state legislative district lines in Michigan may be upended after two alleged “independents’ serving on the 13-member of the commission overseeing the remap were exposed as Democrats.
Anthony Eid and Rebecca Szetela, both claimed to be political independents when seeking slots on the Michigan Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission but, according to a Washington Free Beacon review of their social media and campaign contribution, the two appear to be partisan Democrats.Normally, such things would be considered trivial, but an initiative approved in 2018 by Michigan voters marketed as providing a way to take the politics out of the redistricting process specifically created seats on the MICRC for four Democrats and four Republicans while setting aside five spots to be filled by non-aligned voters.
Eid’s social media includes posts supportive of Democrats including one that asserts he is “proud to live in a state that voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary” but not Republicans. Szetela has a history of contributing to Democratic candidates and reportedly addressed the Muskegon County, Mich., Progressive Democratic Women’s Caucus.
These activities are helping cast suspicion on the work of the MICRC which the voters who approved it intended to be an independent and balanced commission whose recommendations must have the support of at least seven of its members — including two Democrats, two Republicans, and two independents – before a new map can go into effect. According to The Center Square, a news website covering state politics, more than 9,300 Michigan voters applied to serve on the committee.
After the partisan history of Eid and Szetela became known, Tori Sachs, executive director of the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund, quickly called on both to resign. “The staggering dishonesty of these commissioners is now tainting the hard, important work of the other 11 members,” she said in a statement. “It’s time they resign before they fully shatter voters’ trust in this critical process as well.
”But trust in the process may already be on the verge of breaking. The group that spearheaded the petition drive to get the initiative creating the MICRC on the 2018 ballot, Voters Not Politicians, was, The Center Square reported, “funded mostly by liberal nonprofit organizations.
”Nearly two-thirds of the money donated to VNP came from two organizations: the Texas-based Action Now Initiative gave $5.1 million and The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based social welfare organization, contributed $6 million, The Center Square said, citing figures obtained from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Other donors identified by the news site included the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers ($500,000); the Open Society Policy Center ($100,000); and the National Redistricting Action Fund ($250,000), an affiliate of the Democratic Party chaired by former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder.
The stakes are high. Michigan lost a seat in the latest congressional reapportionment, conducted after the 2020 Census was complete. With the U.S. House of Representatives almost evenly split, control of Congress could again come down to a handful of seats in the 2022 elections, making every seat count.The ability to place a thumb on the redistricting scale in a state where the total number of seats will change could have a dramatic effect on the partisan balance of a state delegation. In Illinois, which also lost a seat in reapportionment, most of the population loss has been in the heavily Democratic Chicago area but the proposed remap currently under discussion would see at least one and perhaps more seats coming out of the Republican column thanks to a process known as gerrymandering.
The initiative that created the MICRC was supposed to prevent the districts in Michigan from being gerrymandered. The alleged presence of partisan Democrats on the commission masquerading as independents violates the spirit of what the voters appeared to want to do and deserves further investigation.
The nation’s colleges and universities market themselves to prospective attendees and their families as places where academics and inquiry combine to produce well-rounded students capable of advanced thinking and prepared for the world of tomorrow. The reality, a recently published database of campus incidents shows, is quite different.
The College Fix, a website sponsored by the Student Free Press Association that provides student journalists with the opportunity to expose the insanities and inanities that occurred regularly in contemporary higher education recently compiled a database of incidents showing the so-called “cancel culture” to be alive, well, and growing throughout American institutions of higher learning.
The organization’s work, it says, is the first real attempt to quantify the problem. According to The Fix, the intolerant, politically correct crowd who are both socially prominent and academic decision-makers on so many campuses can claim, at minimum, to have taken “650 scalps” over the past ten years.
Among the outrages large and small identified in the database are:
–A move by the University of Pennsylvania to rename its Alice Paul Center – named for a suffragette who was instrumental in securing the passage and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote – as the “Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies” to signal a “commitment” to LGBTQ “intellectual and political movements.”
–A public apology delivered in 2021 by the president of Muhlenberg College – a private college well known for its theater arts department – for a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” put on in 2010 followed by the deletion of all the photos of the performance from the school’s website.
–The expulsion from the University of Louisville (KY) School of Medicine of fourth-year student Austin Clark, allegedly over his expression of pro-life beliefs school officials labeled unprofessional.
–The dismissal of Hannah Berliner Fischthal, an adjunct instructor at St. John’s University in Queens, NY after she read a passage containing the N-word from Twain’s anti-slavery novel “Pudd’nhead Wilson” in her “Literature of Satire” class – but not before first explaining the context of the word and saying she hoped it would not offend anyone.
“What we have witnessed over the last decade is nothing short of a new Red Guard enforcing its cultural revolution on American college campuses,” said Jennifer Kabbany, editor of The College Fix. “This database stands athwart the campaign to condemn, erase and rewrite our shared history.”
The number of incidents cited in the database amount to roughly one per week for every week for ten years. The College Fix said updates would be made regularly as part of an ongoing effort “to document every example of targeting and suppression in an age of censorship, memory-holing, and soft totalitarianism.” What has been uncovered so far, the group said, is likely just the tip of a very large iceberg “but there are likely more examples out there, and much more to come.”
The Veep is down, the mayor is up.
It was all hands on deck last month at the home of Washington, D.C., powerbroker Kiki McLean, according to the irrefragable Jonathan Swan of Axios. Some of the Democratic Party’s most experienced and influential female political operatives—Donna Brazile, Jen Palmieri, Stephanie Cutter, Minyon Moore—gathered for dinner to discuss a germinating crisis within their party. “These were old friends getting together for the first time since the pandemic began, and celebrating a Democratic president after the Trump years,” Swan reports. “But the dinner had an urgent purpose.” Its object was to salvage the career of Vice President Kamala Harris. I hope there was plenty on hand to drink.
The brain trust arrived at two conclusions. First, Harris should emphasize her years as California’s attorney general, thereby reducing her exposure to the charge that the Democrats are soft on crime. Second, the poohbahs decided that much of the criticism of Harris’s job performance amounts to sexism. “Many of us lived through the Clinton campaign, and want to help curb some of the gendered dynamics in press coverage that impacted HRC,” a source told Swan. The problem with ascribing your candidate’s difficulties to “gendered dynamics,” of course, is that it doesn’t work. A candidate is truly “impacted” by their own attributes and competence. Sexism didn’t bury Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Clinton did—with a big assist from Robby Mook.
The subtext of Swan’s article, and much of the Harris commentary these days, is the 2024 election. President Biden is 78 years old. Professional Washington appears convinced that he will decide against running for a second term. Harris, as vice president, is Biden’s presumed successor. But the enthusiasm for her candidacy is not exactly overwhelming. Indeed, one of the most entertaining sideshows in the nation’s capital since January has been the steel cage match between Harris and her rival within the cabinet, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The prize is the Democratic Party. At the moment, Mr. Secretary can say—in seven languages—that he’s winning.
Recent months have not been pleasant for Harris. Her policy portfolio, consisting of voting rights and the southern border, has seen diminishing returns. Neither the unconstitutional “For the People Act” nor the anachronistic “John Lewis Voting Rights Act” is headed for passage. The Justice Department lawsuit against Georgia’s recent election reform is likely to be tossed out of court. Meanwhile, illegal immigrants continue to cross the border in record numbers. Immigration is Biden’s worst issue—thanks, Kamala—and the ploy to address the “root causes” of migration in Central America is diversionary and futile.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D., Texas) recently teamed up with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and called on the president to install Jeh Johnson, former secretary of homeland security, as “border czar.” It is unlikely that Biden will follow their advice—the rebuke of Harris would be too obvious. But Cuellar’s desperation is impossible to ignore. “Democrats would do well to remember that public opinion polling over the years has consistently shown overwhelming majorities in favor of more spending and emphasis on border security,” writes demographer Ruy Teixeira in his invaluable newsletter the Liberal Patriot. And Democrats would do well to remember Vice President Harris’s approval rating: It’s upside down.
Buttigieg, by contrast, is cycling his way toward a bipartisan success. It’s true that transportation wasn’t his first pick: He wanted, by all accounts, to be U.N. ambassador. But there was no way Harris was going to let Biden park Buttigieg in the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, where he could spend four years burnishing his diplomatic credentials and wining and dining the financial services crowd that funds presidential campaigns. The U.N. job went to a career foreign serviceofficer instead.
As it happens, though, the transportation gig is working out for the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg’s interviews are as gaffe-free (and as somnolent) as one might expect from someone who as a youth tested talking points in the mirror and dressed up as a “politician” for Halloween. The legislation with which he is most associated—the 2,700-page, $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework now under debate in the Senate—has a good chance of becoming law. And it’s popular.
Could Buttigieg leverage his experience managing a mid-level department into a winning presidential bid? Stranger things have happened, I suppose. What must keep Buttigieg up at night is his utter lack of appeal to the Democratic Party’s most important constituency: Recall the CNN poll from the summer of 2019 showing him with zero support among black voters. True, he tied Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucus. But Iowa doesn’t make Democratic nominees—South Carolina does. And Buttigieg placed fourth in the Palmetto State.
Then again, Harris doesn’t have much of a track record with black voters, either. She dropped out of the Democratic primary before the voting began, so it’s hard to judge her against actual results. Which raises this conundrum: How can the Biden Democrats succeed—or even exist—without Joe Biden?
Harris and Buttigieg, the two most prominent options in 2024, are gentry liberals with tenuous connections to working-class Democrats and suburban independents. It’s fun to watch them one-up each other. But Democratic professionals, including Kiki McLean’s dinner companions, must be wondering who else is on offer. Or might it be the case that President Biden has set up his heirs for failure on purpose, so that his party three years from now has no choice but to renominate his 81-year-old self? Sure, Joe Biden is a little crazy. But maybe he’s crazy like a fox.
Reports that Costco, one of the nation’s largest warehouse shopping chains, was no longer offering products manufactured by MyPillow to its members are being met with cheerful enthusiasm by progressives from coast to coast.
On Tuesday MoveOn.org, the leftwing group that pioneered the use of online petitions during the Clinton impeachment sent a message to its followers in which one of them, identified as “Dennis C.” of Tennessee, bragged about how an effort he started led to Costco’s decision to remove MyPillow products from its shelves several months ago.
“Within weeks, my petition grew to tens of thousands of signatures from people across the country, and over 250,000 MoveOn members signed onto my campaign in the following months. In April, I burst out in simultaneous laughter and tears of joy when I heard the good news that Costco stores stopped selling MyPillow products!”
MyPillow was founded by Mike Lindell, a conservative Minnesota businessman who transformed himself into a household name through a series of ads in which he pitched his products that appeared mostly on late night and cable television. An ally of President Donald J. Trump, Lindell campaigned vigorously in support of re-election and, later, was a major supporter of efforts intended to show the results of that election had been significantly tainted by voter fraud.
Lindell’s support for the controversial theory that the 2020 election was “stolen” by the Democrats has proven costly, as it led to the bedding products made by his company being “canceled” by Costco, which currently does not offer them for sale on its website.
When I learned that Costco was selling millions of dollars worth of MyPillow products, I was overwhelmed with confusion, disappointment, and anger. I love Costco and am a regular customer, but MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is a massive supporter of far-right political activity and pushes conspiracy theories, including those espoused by the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.
I didn’t want one of my favorite companies, Costco, helping right-wing extremists make millions of dollars—especially as the gravity of the attack on the Capitol grew more clear by the day.
That’s when I thought of MoveOn and—inspired by previous experiences signing petitions—decided to start a petition of my own in January.
Within weeks, my petition grew to tens of thousands of signatures from people across the country, and over 250,000 MoveOn members signed onto my campaign in the following months. In April, I burst out in simultaneous laughter and tears of joy when I heard the good news that Costco stores stopped selling MyPillow products!1
This would not have been possible without the help of MoveOn members and our collective power. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I encourage you and all MoveOn members to find something that motivates you to start your own petition.
It’s incredibly frustrating at times for me to be living in a “red” state and unsure of who else will share my progressive values. It’s also frustrating to see the national news about how Congress is often slow to act on such massive problems as the rising cost of health care, obstacles to voting rights, fixing racism in the criminal justice system, and implementing immediate action on climate change.
However, my incredible experience working with MoveOn’s team and the free petition platform made the process of promoting and winning my campaign a lot more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members who signed my petition and remember that each of us has the power to create change when we work together.
Start a petition
MoveOn member in Tennessee
The woke ice cream company veers into anti-Semitism
The left-wing ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced on Monday that it will stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank and East Jerusalem—or, as the company termed them, Occupied Palestinian Territory. In a move that perfectly captures how left-wing activism is increasingly bleeding into naked anti-Semitism, Ben & Jerry’s said that selling ice cream in the West Bank is “inconsistent with our values.”
We’re not clear how exactly removing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from grocery stores in the West Bank will benefit the Palestinians. The move appears to be primarily an act of guerrilla theater and a demonstration of base prejudice.
The most common expression of anti-Semitism on the left is the application of double standards to Jews and the Jewish state.
Look no further than Ben & Jerry’s partnership with Unilever, which acquired the ice cream company in 2000. There is no comparison between Israeli policy in the West Bank and the practices of the world’s greatest human rights abusers. Unilever happily does business everywhere from occupied Northern Cyprus to occupied Tibet and Xinjiang, home to Uyghur concentration camps. We won’t hold our breath for the ice cream boycott of China or Russia. But hey, there are no Jews in Xinjiang.
This sort of casual anti-Semitism is not a one-off for Ben & Jerry’s or its left-wing allies. The company defended its partnership with the anti-Trump and anti-Semitic Women’s March as three of its leaders, including the execrable Linda Sarsour, were pushed out thanks to their anti-Semitic remarks.
First, the social justice warriors at Ben & Jerry’s assured us the Women’s March had been “unequivocal” in its denunciations of anti-Semitism—even as it praised Sarsour for her “undeniably important” work. Then the company issued a mealy-mouthed statement that said little about the Women’s March but declared, “Ben & Jerry’s is neither anti-Semitic nor do we support anti-Semitism in any form.”
Monday’s move gave the lie to that blather, and we urge friends of Israel and the Jewish people to vote with their spoons. Morton Williams co-president Avi Kaner is leading the way: He said late Monday that his board would meet to discuss ridding its supermarkets of Ben & Jerry’s.
As the new Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, told Israeli reporters, “There are many ice cream brands, but only one Jewish state.”
Big Tech is not fighting fair in its push back against former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign to prevent it from censoring conservative opinions and opinion leaders, the American Conservative Union said, citing the recent suspension of its network on YouTube, an internet platform used for video sharing as a prime example of its misconduct.
The ACU, which is the primary sponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference called the recent removal by YouTube of a recent episode of its “America UnCanceled” posted on its CPAC NOW page censorship.
“YouTube censored CPAC because we stood with former President Donald Trump on his lawsuit against Big Tech,” ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a release, calling the action “another example of Big Tech censoring content with which they disagree in order to promote the political positions they favor.”
The episode in question included coverage of the former president’s attempt to mount a class action suit against tech platforms including Google, YouTube’s parent company. The ACU is a party to the suit, which is being brought on the former president’s behalf by the America First Policy Institute, a group he formed shortly after he left office.
Trump spoke Sunday in Dallas, Texas to the most recent CPAC gathering. That speech also could not be seen on the CPAC NOW YouTube page due to a one-week ban on posting the platform imposed on the organization when it removed the program, the ACU said.
When imposing the ban, the ACU said YouTube cited “medical misinformation” related to COVID-19 conveyed by the program as the reason for it but did not state specifically what the so-called misinformation was. In a statement, the group said it believed Trump’s reference to the possible therapeutic value of hydroxychloroquine as documented in what the ACU described as “sound medical research conducted by the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases & Urban Health and Saint Barnabas Medical Center” may have prompted the internet platform to take the action it did.
The use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus, which Trump often promoted while president, is controversial in many political, editorial, and medical circles.
“It is clear that YouTube censored CPAC because we stood with former President Donald Trump on his lawsuit against Big Tech,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “This is yet another example of Big Tech censoring content with which they disagree in order to promote the political positions they favor.”
In his remarks to the Dallas confab, Trump called the way Big Tech handles free speech issues, particularly expressions of opinion that conflict with the values of the founders of the major tech platforms “unlawful,” “unconstitutional” and “completely un-American.”
Trump used the speech to continue as well his crusade for an audit of the 2020 presidential election results which, he maintains, was tainted by fraudulent ballots. “The truth was covered up, and it had a giant impact on the election,” he said. “This must never happen to another party’s presidential candidate again. We are the laughingstock of the world.”
In a ghoulish turn of events, progressive legal activists are invoking Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s legacy in an attempt to persuade Justice Stephen Breyer to step down from the United States Supreme Court.
Speaking to CBS News about the 82-year-old Breyer, Demand Justice’s Brian Fallon said, “We want to avoid a repeat of the unfortunate situation that occurred last fall,” when Ginsburg—a liberal icon—died while a Republican was in the White House and a GOP-controlled Senate was able to confirm her replacement.
Justices are appointed to the Supreme Court for terms ending only upon their death, resignation or removal. The Founding Fathers wrote this provision into the Constitution to insulate the Court and its members from political pressure.
Ginsburg’s death after a long, valiant struggle with cancer produced a rare moment of bipartisanship in the nation’s capital. Republicans and Democrats alike praised the justice for her devotion to her work, her tremendous success as an attorney who championed equality under the law and her longtime friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, which proved that people with wildly divergent views could work together and be genuine friends.
That era of good feeling shattered shortly after President Joe Biden entered the White House. Progressives immediately started whispering about Breyer, a stalwart defender of the Court’s independence, needing to step down.
“There are a lot of people that were filled with regret after [Ginsburg’s] passing because she did not take the opportunity to step down when Barack Obama was president,” Fallon said on CBS News. He faulted Ginsburg for refusing to resign after the severity of her eventually terminal illness became known, which would have allowed the then-president to replace her with someone even further to the left. “We don’t want to have that situation reprise itself this time with Justice Breyer who is—the Court’s oldest justice,” Fallon told the CBS anchor.
As the Court has moved rightward, it has come under increased scrutiny from liberals and progressives who once accepted its decisions as binding and unassailable, at least when they liked the outcome. Nowadays, those progressives are enthralled with the idea that Congress can overturn rulings they consider incorrect, such as Citizens United v. FEC.
Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse has been especially hard on the justices. Recently he attempted to use his Senate subcommittee to demonstrate the influence of the “dark money” Citizens United set loose. He demanded that justices share their time and travel records so their critics could uncover any unsavory relationships between them and what Teddy Roosevelt called the “malefactors of great wealth.”
There’s an argument to be made that Supreme Court justices stricken with severe illnesses should step down. The Court faced a crisis after Justice William O. Douglass suffered a debilitating stroke and refused to resign even though his colleagues said he could no longer fulfill his duties. Breyer, by contrast, seems to be in the best of health and does not show signs of impairment or loss of enthusiasm for the job. He has no apparent reason to retire unless he himself has decided it’s time.
What progressives are doing now is unseemly and ugly. Were the shoe on the other foot, they might call it ageist and discriminatory. Some will, no doubt, suggest that conservatives would do the same. But liberals tend to advance their agenda and their candidates for elected office and the federal bench by saying they are better. They themselves ask to be held to higher standards.
The jockeying over federal judges didn’t begin with Trump. It started back in the 1980s when Ted Kennedy waded into the slime and ooze on a mission to destroy Robert Bork’s reputation along with his nomination to the highest Court in the land. Judging by what progressives are now saying about Justice Breyer, they’re still stuck in the muck.
The president’s ‘transformative’ agenda runs into reality
Sometime in the last week, Democrats looked at the calendar and realized that President Biden is in trouble.
My theory is that the moment of truth arrived on May 27. That was when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had to scramble to save one of his priorities, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, from falling apart. Then, on May 28, the proposed commission into the January 6 riot at the Capitol failed to clear the filibuster.
The panic started. You began seeing articles about the “summer slump” that afflicts presidencies. You started hearing that Biden can’t let negotiations with Republicans drag on. Before leaving for Memorial Day recess, Schumer told reporters that when the Senate returns he plans to hold votes not only on the constitutionally dubious “For the People Act,” but also on the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Equality Act, and two gun-control bills.
And that’s just what the House has passed already. The president’s $4 trillion American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan haven’t come to a vote in either chamber of Congress. They haven’t been put into legislation. The fate of these projects depends in large part on Biden’s ability to strike a deal on infrastructure with Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. The likelihood of a bargain? Not great.
For Democrats, the Biden presidency is an hourglass and the sand is running out. They have two years to enact the “transformational” agenda that, presto change-o, will turn Biden into the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And since they have incredibly narrow margins in the Congress—four votes in the House, a tied Senate—they have to remain unified. “That is a problem with the Democratic Party,” the activist Rev. William J. Barber II told the Washington Post. “What you see with Republicans—they stick together no matter what.” He must not see many Republicans.
It is still a problem with the Democratic Party, though, because Democrats agree on one thing alone: They oppose Donald Trump. They’re happy he’s not president. They don’t want him to be president again. Beyond Trump, however, Democrats are all over the place. They have Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on one side of the caucus and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the other.
The coalition that elected Biden is even broader, stretching from Cindy McCain to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. An alliance formed on the basis of opposition to one personality is never going to be ideologically uniform. Nor is it going to be stable. The Democrats face a similar problem as the coalition government that was agreed to in Israel this week: What do you do after the boogeyman is gone?
The Senate filibuster isn’t the Democrats’ chief obstacle. Coherence is. Biden is pretending he has 60 votes for the liberal wish list. In reality, he doesn’t have 50. So what does he do? He blames his party’s congressional majority of “effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.” He doesn’t ask why the majority is so small. He doesn’t rethink his plans. Instead, he amps up the rhetoric. He says Republicans are engaged in an “un-American,” “truly unprecedented assault on our democracy.”
It’s part of a strategy to browbeat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia into reversing his well-documented support of the filibuster and becoming the 50th vote for the “For the People” Act. More than 100 left-wing groups sent a letter to Schumer this week demanding that the filibuster be junked. As Rev. Barber told the Post, Democrats “need to let Manchin understand we elected Joe Biden—not Joe Manchin—to be president.”
Joe Manchin isn’t president, of course. He’s a senator from a state that gave Donald Trump a 39-percent margin of victory in the last election. Nor is it only Manchin who’s keeping the filibuster alive. Sinema, who won a narrow victory in 2018 in a state that went for Biden by some 10,000 votes in 2020, is too. And Dianne Feinstein seems to agree with them—at least when her staff isn’t around. There are probably several other Democratic senators who are happy to let Manchin and Sinema take the heat for a policy they privately agree with.
If you listened only to Biden, you might conclude that the 2020 election was a victory for the left. It was not. The election continued a three-decade-long partisan stalemate and, for at least two years, handed slight control of government to the Democrats. Why? Because the public disapproved of Donald Trump.
It is this failure to recognize the limited nature of his electoral mandate that has set Biden up for disappointment. “June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill,” he told the audience during his speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week. It more likely will be a month of frustration. The president’s long hot summer is just getting started.