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In an upstate New York TV blitz alleging that the media is “the most powerful and corrupt institution in America” seeking to “smear” GOP candidates and protect their own “chosen candidates,” a conservative Super PAC is asking voters to “send a message to the media bosses” who are corrupting American journalism and give them a “miserable election night” bydefeating Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
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In addition to focusing on Schumer as President Joe Biden’s “chief enabler”—complete with news footage of various Biden foreign and domestic policy fiascos—the strikingly vivid two-minute spot features an image of the far-left Democraticrepresentatives known as the “Squad,” led by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), and charges: “Schumer made a corrupt bargain with left-wing extremists to not run a primary against him if he pushed far-left positions.”
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The ad then lists Schumer’s close ties to radical groups that he has “never had to denounce,” which seek to “defund the police” and “destroy the New York City Police Department.” It also targets Schumer’s “dark money alliance with notorious anti-American billionaire George Soros, who funded all the lawless prosecutors like Alvin Bragg” (a controversial soft-on-crime New York City district attorney). It also ties Schumer to opposition to school reform and parental rights, as well as the destruction of women’s sports and childhood education with “gender lunacy.”
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The ad, which launched on Thursday, August 25 on nightly news programs in the Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse markets,is set to run through next week.
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“Our ad is a template for all Republican candidates because every single Senate Democrat—Mark Kelly(D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Maggie Hassan(D-NH), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NM)—agreed to vote with the far-left wing of the party so long as they didn’t have to face a primary,” said George Landrith, Chairman of Frontiers of Freedom Action(FFA),the group who ran the ad.
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“Any one of them, as the 50th Senator, could have stopped the Biden agenda—but they didn’t, because they put the wishes of the far left above the wishes oftheir constituents. They essentially said, ‘Don’t primary me, and I will vote your way,’” Landrith said.
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“Most people in these states still find it hard to believe these Senators became extremists,” Landrith continued,“but when you explain why they were so frightened of a well-financed primary challenge, they understand.”
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“The corrupt media’s firestorm of attacks on Republican candidates is coming in the fall, and the only way to stop it is to get ahead of it,” Landrith said,a theme echoed by an ad released by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) this week, which attracted attention for taking aim at the corruption of the corporate media.
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The first minute of the New York ad focuses predominantly on the media for trying to “crush dissent” and hide corruption,after displaying headlines about media scandals and smears—including its handling of the China Virus leak, censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, promotion of the Russian collusion hoax, coverup for Hillary Clinton’s email scandals, and refusal to report on Biden’s blackmailing of the Ukrainian government. The ad also lists other political smears, like those against General Michael Flynn, students at Covington Catholic High School, and parents protesting anti-Americanism in their local schools.
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The FFA ad goes on to blame the media for electing Joe Biden “by letting him run “from his basement” and “covering up his incompetence and ill health.” The ad also deems him to be “the worst president in modern history,” and features videos of Biden falling up the stairs on Air Force One and taking directions from the Easter Bunny at a White House event with the headline “EASTER BUNNY RUNS WHITE HOUSE EVENT.”
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The spot then quickly switches to a photo of Schumer as “Biden’s chief enabler” and shows footage of a gleeful Biden and Schumer at a White House signing event for legislation that the GOP and most economistssay will drive inflation higher.
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“First, you have the networks and newspapers. Second, you have the left-wing extremists like Chuck Schumer who run the Democratic Party. We are saying they are one and the same entity,” Landrith charged.
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“Our ad changes the false media narrative from the supposed imperfections of GOP candidates to the massive national disadvantage of Democrats. Every single Senate Democrat is imperiled by their Biden identification, and especially by their corrupt bargain with the leftists that have taken over their party,” Landrith said.
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Landrith is also optimistic that by focusing on the media’s deliberate one-sidedness—from its partisan coverage of this month’s Mar-a-Lago raid to itshabitual protection of Democratic candidates and politicians—the ad could elicit turnout from moderate or independent voters concerned with media corruption and the radicalism of Schumer’s agenda. “It’s very important to control the word ‘extremist,’” he said.
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Additionally, the ad notes the Biden-Pelosi-Schumer attempt to push a radical takeover of elections—as well as efforts by other Democrats to alter the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, American citizenship, and the Electoral College—represents a“scorched-earth rule-or-ruin” attack on longstanding American democratic institutions.
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“The GOP has never gotten across to the people how those bills would have destroyed the secret ballot, putDepartment of Justice bureaucrats in charge of our elections, abolished citizenship rights, packed the Supreme Court into irrelevance, radically changed the U.S. Senate, and made a few states the only thing that mattered in presidential elections by abolishing the Electoral College,” said Landrith.
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The spot’s release comes nearly two months ahead of the November 8 midterm elections, as Democrats amp up their fight to retain their control of Congress. Though Schumer himself at the moment is not regarded as politically vulnerable going into the fall midterms, FFA notes that some segments of the New York population—particularly upstate New York—might be receptive to attacks on Schumer’s startling record of radicalism. Just as ad campaigns in last fall’s New Jersey gubernatorial race (another deep-blue state) yielded far closer results than initially anticipated, FFA hopes that it can help to replicate the close matchup with this week’s spot.
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“New Jersey could have a GOP Governor today if the D.C. establishment wasn’t so cautious,” Landrithstated. “Republicans need to stop playing defense and expand the Senate map.”
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As Election Day draws closer and Democrats continue to accelerate their attacks against Republican candidates, FFA’s ad could help to expose Schumer’s radical agenda in a way the mainstream media has failed to do. And should it succeed, FFA’s strategy could prove instrumental in holding Schumer and other far-left politicians across the nation accountable for the first time in recent memory.
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READ THE ORIGINAL AMAC EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE BY SEAMUS BRENNAN <<HERE>>
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August 25, WASHINGTON, DC – Asking New Yorkers to “send a message to the media bosses, to the networks and newspapers that are the most corrupt institutions in America” by defeating “their chosen candidate,” FRONTIERS OF FREEDOM ACTION, a Super PAC, has launched an upstate New York TV media blitz against U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).
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The 120 second TV spot is playing in New York‘s four major upstate media markets (Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester ) starting Thursday and continuing through Wednesday of next week. The ad features news headlines that its sponsors say backs up the allegations.
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“Every single allegation is backed up with on-screen news stories and headlines. We also have a fact sheet on our website,” said the group’s chairman George Landrith. “We cite specifics about why for the media bosses Schumer is their chosen candidate.”
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MAJOR UPSTATE PUSH: 2-MINUTE SPOT ON BUFFALO, SYRACUSE, ROCHESTER NIGHTLY NEWS
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Quotes from George Landrith:
“THE CORRUPT MEDIA’S FIRESTORM OF ATTACKS ON REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES IS COMING IN THE FALL AND THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IT IS TO GET AHEAD OF IT.”
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“THIS CHANGES THE MEDIA NARRATIVE FROM IMPERFECTIONS OF GOP CANDIDATES TO THE MASSIVE NATIONAL DISADVANTAGE OF DEMOCRATS BECAUSE OF THEIR FAR-LEFT LURCH AND AGENDA.”
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-EVERY SENATE DEMOCRAT IS IMPERILED BY THEIR BIDEN IDENTIFICATION AND THEIR CORRUPT BARGAIN WITH THE LEFTIST EXTREMISTS THAT HAVE TAKEN OVER THEIR PARTY —- “DON’T PRIMARY ME AND I WILL VOTE YOUR WAY”
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“– FIRST, YOU HAVE THE NETWORKS AND NEWSPAPERS. SECOND YOU HAVE THE LEFT-WING EXTREMISTS LIKE CHUCK SCHUMER WHO RUN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. WE ARE SAYING THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME ENTITY,” says super PAC Chairman
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THE AD SAYS SCHUMER is —
“MEDIA’S CHOSEN CANDIDATE”
“BIDEN’S CHIEF ENABLER”
“MADE CORRUPT BARGAIN” WITH PROGESSIVE LEFT TO NOT TO RUN A PRIMARY AGAINST HIM
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“SCHUMER GETS FREE RIDE FROM MEDIA” SO NEVER HAS TO DENOUNCE EXTREMISTS WHO WANT TO DEFUND THE POLICE, DESTROY NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SUPPORT SOFT-ON-CRIME PROSECUTORS.
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“The media is always demanding GOP denounce extremists but will never hold Democrats like Schumer to that standard.”
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CHUCK SCHUMER IS POSTER BOY FOR DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATES IN BLUE STATES WHO SOLD THEIR POLITICAL SOULS TO THE LEFT TO AVOID A PRIMARY-ESTABLISHMENT
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BLUE STATE SENATORS COULDN’T RUN UNLESS THEY
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VOTED FOR BIDEN’S FAR LEFT AGENDA
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SCHUMER IS A GREAT BLUE STATE OPPORTUNITY FOR GOP
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“NEW JERSEY COULD HAVE A GOP REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR TODAY IF THE DC ESTABLISHMENT WASN’T SO CAUTIOUS”
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TV Spot says MEDIA IS AMERICA’S MOST CORRUPT INSTITUTION COVERED UP 1) China virus leak, 2) Hunter Biden laptop scandal, 3) illegal wrongdoing by Clinton and Biden, 4) FBI harassment of political dissenters, 5) never apologized for two years of its Russian collusion hoax, 6) promoted smears and civil rights violations against conservatives, 7) phony impeachments and show trials, 8) covered up Biden’s ill health and incompetence by letting him run from basement.
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SCHUMER AS BIDEN’s “CHIEF ENABLER”
HUGE SPENDING BILLS CAUSING SHATTERING INFLATION AND RECESSION.
SHUT DOWN PIPELINES, DROVE UP GAS PRICES
CAUSED FOOD SHORTAGES EVEN BABY FORMULA
AND OPPOSING SCHOOL REFORM.
SCHUMER RECKLESSLY THREATENED BY NAME SUPREME COURT JUSTICE KAVANUGH
SUPPORTS POLITICIANS WHO VIOLATED THEIR OWN LOCKDOWNS ABD DESTROYING BUSINESSES (Pelosi, DeBlasio, Cuomo, Newsom)
DESTROY WOMEN’S SPORTS AND CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WITH GENDER LUNACY (Pictures of Lia the swimmer and drag queens at kindergarten)
HIS “SCORCHED-EARTH” “RULE-OR -RUIN” ATTACK ON AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
WILL DESTROY –
THE SUPREME COURT
THE SACRED SECRET BALLOT (No voter ID, unlimited vote harvesting and mail-ins & DC bureaucrats’ takeover of elections)
CITIZENSHIP (Open borders)
US SENATE (Add new states, no filibuster)
ELECTORAL COLLEGE (Elections decided by a few counties in a few states)
IMPOSE ANTI-CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS TEST FOR FEDERAL OFFICE
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SCHUMER AS “CHOSEN CANDIDATE OF LIBERAL MEDIA BOSSES” MEANS GOP CAN TAP INTO “PEOPLE’S FURY” AT THE MOST POWERFUL AND CORRUPT POLITICAL FORCE IN AMERICA–MEDIA BOSSES WHO ARE “COVERING UP TRUTH ABOUT THEIR CHOSEN CANDIDATES”
“NO LONGER REPUBLICANS VS DEMOCRATS BUT MEDIA BOSSES VS. AMERICA.”
IDEOLOGUES AND POLITICAL HATERS
MOST OF ALL, SEND A MESSAGE TO THE MEDIA BOSSES
TO THE NETWORKS AND NEWSPAPERS THAT ARE THE MOST CORRUPT INSTITUTIONS IN AMERICA
THEY ARE THE OPPOSITION PARTY — THE 2022 ISSUE.
THEY WILL SMEAR ANY OPPONENT AND SHUT DOWN CAMPAIGN ADS (Conscience, Truth, Fair Play mean nothing)
THEY SEEK TO CRUSH DISSENT
SO GIVE THOSE WHO HAVE CORRUPTED JOURNALISM A MISERABLE ELECTION NIGHT
DEFEAT LIBERAL EXTREMIST CHUCK SCHUMER
MAKE THIS A WAVE ELECTION (“Nationalize” the election)
ELECT NO DEMS
NO LIBERAL EXTREMISTS
SEND A MESSAGE
Republicans learn that a midterm victory won't come easily
Today caps off the worst week yet for Republicans in the 2022 campaign cycle. Their troubles began with Senate passage of the Chips and Science Act on Wednesday, July 27, and culminated in the Kansas pro-life rout on Tuesday, August 2. Before last week, the party was riding a red wave to victory in November’s elections. Now, one month before the campaign begins in earnest on Labor Day, aimless Republicans must fend off a Democratic Party that is playing offense.
Yes, the fundamentals continue to favor the GOP. Voters do not like this economy. They blame President Biden for inflation and supply shortages. The president’s job approval rating is 39 percent in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls. Republicans are enthusiastic, Democrats less so. Nancy Pelosi’s days as speaker of the House are numbered: The FiveThirtyEight model gives the GOP an 80 percent chance of winning the lower chamber of Congress.
Yet Republicans want more than control of the House. No one wants to repeat the gridlock, frustration, debt crises, shutdowns, and sequester that roiled the country when Democrats held the White House and Senate between 2011 and 2015. If Republicans gain only in the House, Biden won’t feel as much pressure to triangulate off the GOP Congress. He will be able to count on Senate Democrats to confirm his executive and judicial branch appointees. He will turn Kevin McCarthy and the MAGA Squad into foils and scapegoats. The media will be happy to play along.
The GOP needs a full-spectrum victory if it wants to stop the left and shock Democrats into abandoning Biden. The data and events of the past week suggest that the party has a way to go. For starters: Republicans have enjoyed a modest lead in the congressional generic ballot since January. Now the ballot is tied.
Meanwhile, according to FiveThirtyEight, the GOP nominee leads in only one of six key Senate races. The lucky Republican is Ted Budd in North Carolina. He’s ahead of Cheri Beasley by 1 point. The other Republicans are either close behind (Adam Laxalt in Nevada) or far gone (Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania). The GOP needs to net one seat to win Senate control. If the election were held at the time of writing, the party would lose three.
I know, I know: Most of these races are tight. Surveys this far out are unreliable. There is time for Republican challengers to define their opposition. How candidates react under pressure to unknown events in the coming months will be important. Polls of registered voters or all adults do not consider the widespread GOP enthusiasm that will be reflected in polls of likely voters this fall. And state-based polling has been notoriously off since at least the 2014 cycle.
Still, there is no denying that Republicans are acting less confident than just a week ago. The reason? They have been surprised and shell-shocked. Senate leader Mitch McConnell pledged that Republicans would block the $280 billion Chips and Science Act of 2022 for as long as Democrats tried to reach agreement among themselves on a big-spending reconciliation bill. Republicans mistakenly assumed that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was opposed to reconciliation because of inflation. To be fair, he said exactly that on July 14.
On July 27, 17 Republicans voted to pass the Chips Act, subsidizing U.S. semiconductors for reasons of national security. Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he had reached a deal with Manchin on a climate, health care, and tax bill absurdly known as the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Regardless of whether the deal holds, the Senate Republicans had been outmaneuvered. “Looks to me like we got rinky-doo’d,” said Sen. John Kennedy. “That’s a Louisiana word for ‘screwed.'”https://659b56ca16f539d2f2f5e86f3a679aa6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Then, on August 2, voters in Kansas rejected an effort to overturn a state court’s ruling that the Sunflower State constitution guarantees a right to abortion. Similar referenda allowing state legislatures to regulate abortion have passed in West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana. But this was the first such initiative put to the ballot since the Supreme Court held Roe v. Wade unconstitutional. Kansas voted for Donald Trump by 15 points in 2020—and voted to maintain a state right to abortion by 18 points in 2022.
Kansas was a defeat for the pro-life movement. It also scared Republican strategists, whose eyes bugged out at the huge Democratic turnout in the middle of the summer. The GOP consultant class was leery of abortion politics to begin with. Now it is all but guaranteed to steer its clients away from a debate over the issue.
This is the wrong response. Too many Republican candidates won’t defend their stance on abortion and provide counter examples of pro-choice extremism. Afraid of what the party’s pro-life ultras might say, Republicans opt for reticence and mixed messaging on abortion rather than offering measures that command public support.https://659b56ca16f539d2f2f5e86f3a679aa6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
“Imagine thinking that what it will take to win the people’s support after this historic [Supreme Court] victory on the human right to life is to ignore it all together and put all your chips on economic issues,” wrote veteran conservative activist Gary Bauer on August 3. “Go on the campaign trail and talk about carried interest, semiconductor shortages, and misuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Follow the lead of presidential nominees Dole, McCain, and Romney, who rode social issue silence all the way to second-place finishes in national elections.”
Here, then, is the Republican dilemma: The party’s Senate candidates are weak, it has no economic message beyond lamenting inflation, and its fear of the social issues leaves it exposed. “Without an answer to the left’s attack, Republicans in extremely winnable races will lose—and badly,” warned social conservative leader Frank Cannon, who urged Republicans to get behind laws banning abortions after the fetus has a heartbeat and after it is capable of feeling pain. “Now we are in the democratic era of the abortion debate,” Cannon went on. “Republican members of Congress can no longer act like the decision is out of their hands.”
Nor can Republicans act like the outcome of the 2022 election is predetermined. They may have thought that the Democratic majority would collapse under its own weight. They learned this week that it won’t.
For a few weeks now, public polls have shown the gap narrowing between the GOP and the Democrats on the critical question of which party the American people like to see control Congress after the next election.
Having led consistently for most of the year, sometimes by as much as double digits, GOP consultants pronounce themselves largely unconcerned. The new polls, they say, are a measure of the views of all adults, not likely voters. As such, they believe, the pollsters conducting those surveys probably oversampled Democrats and soft Republicans by so much as to account for the shift.
They might want to consider revising their analysis. Yes, President Joe Biden’s job approval is below 40 percent. Yes, he’s underwater in 48 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Yes, the Republican Party is showing surprising strength on issues that have been difficult for it in the past. One recent survey showed the GOP leading the Democrats by 4 points among voters asked which party was better equipped on the issue of education.
None of that may matter. The surfeit of economic bad news may not be enough to allow the GOP to seize control of Congress without having to fight for it. A recent Rasmussen Reports poll of 2,500 likely voters conducted from the end of July through the beginning of August showed the GOP lead on the generic ballot test had been cut to three points.
The firm, while reputable, has a reputation – rightly or not – for producing results that skew to the right. Therefore, its pronouncement that “If the elections for Congress were held today, 46% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 43% would vote for the Democrat” with a plus/minus 2 percent margin of error should have the Republican consultant class rewriting its strategy for the summer and fall.
The generic ballot test does not predict outcomes, but it is a good gauge of how the electorate is trending. On Election Day in 1994, the GOP – which was about to make its biggest single election gains in the U.S. House in nearly 70 years – lagged the Democrats by a few points. What should have conservatives worried is not the margin, but the trend – which suggests that intensity among Democrats in the electorate is rising to a point that it is close to matching that of the Republicans.
One would think, and we’re still waiting for the poll to be released, that the successful package of a multi-trillion-dollar spending bill that includes tax hikes, tax breaks for people buying luxury cars and enough money for the IRS that is can more than double the number of auditors in its employ would drive support for the Democrats down.
It still might but something has happened to energize a demoralize left who’s seen its political aspirations dashed on the rocks by the Biden administration’s ineptitude. What it may be is the general inability, perhaps even unwillingness of national Republican leaders to articulate what the party’s next moves will be following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs, which turned the authority for regulating abortion back to the states. According to Rasmussen Reports, “The so-called ‘gender gap’” has widened in the latest findings, with men (50%) now eight points more likely than women voters (42%) to prefer Republican congressional candidates. The gap was six points last week.”
That’s easy to explain given the amount of time the supporters of abortion rights have spent mischaracterizing the Dobbs decision, especially to younger and suburban women likely to vote in the next election. Telling them the court’s ruling will lead to a ban on abortions everywhere, even when an unplanned pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, is a powerful motivator despite it not being true.
“In response to this, Republican leadership has come up with their own brilliant strategy to counter the left’s argument. They plan to say absolutely nothing. Instead, when cornered, federal Republicans will vaguely gesture towards the state legislatures and then reflexively pivot to a diatribe about gas prices and inflation,” Frank Cannon, the founding president of American Principles Project recently wrote in The American Conservative.
Nature abhors a vacuum. So does politics. The failure to craft a response to Dobbs is creating the perfect storm for abortion rights supporters to gain the upper hand and keep it. The Rasmussen Reports analysis says what remains of the GOP’s lead “is mainly due to greater partisan intensity.”
According to the poll, “87 percent of Republican voters say they would vote for their own party’s congressional candidate, while 82% of Democrats would vote for the Democratic candidate. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 39% would vote Republican and 36% would vote Democrat, while 8% would vote for some other candidate and 18% are undecided.”
Playing into the scenario in which the failure to come up with any vision of what life in America will be like after Dobbs, “Voters under 40 favor Democrats by a 13-point margin, 49% to 36%, but 50% of voters 40 and older would vote Republican if the election were held today.” Younger voters are already primed to vote against GOP interests but need a reason. The GOP’s silence in response to a barrage of misinformation may be enough.
The survey of 2,500 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on July 31-August 4, 2022, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
A new media analysis of U.S. voter registration data shows that more than one million voters have reregistered as Republicans over the last year. That number, while dramatic on its own, might just be a glimpse into the changes that are ongoing in the national electorate.
No one will know until the next election whether this high number of voters re-registering as Republicans – and it’s important to note that not every state requires or even allows a voter to select a party affiliation when registering – reflects a changing attitude among the American electorate or an underhanded effort by progressives to interfere in the GOP’s nominating process.
While that sounds conspiratorial, it’s important to note that no less an authority than The New York Times reported Monday that the more Trumpian candidate in the race for the GOP nomination for governor of Illinois – State Sen. Darren Bailey – had seen his campaign’s aspirations boosted “by an unprecedented intervention from (Illinois incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B.) Pritzker and the Pritzker-funded Democratic Governors Association, which has spent nearly $35 million combined” attacking Bailey’s opponent in Tuesday’s GOP primary as being insufficiently conservative.
The voter registration study conducted by two reporters working for the Associated Press using data provided by L2, a political data firm, concluded the 1.7 million voters who changed their party affiliations over the last year constitute a “definite reversal from the period while Trump was in office when Democrats enjoyed a slight edge in the number of party switchers nationwide.”
“Statistical modeling of the data revealed that of the 1.7 million voters over 1 million registered as Republican, while only 630,000 registered as Democrats – a massive shift in new partisan allegiance from the Trump years,” the website Mediate reported in its coverage of the story.
Whether this is a plus for conservatives specifically or the GOP generally has yet to be determined. Looking at the numbers and where they come from, most of the change appears to be happening in the suburbs in battleground states like Wisconsin and Georgia that, while typically more conservative than the cities they abut gave a majority of their votes to Joe Biden rather than Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The AP analysis attributed the switch to voters becoming “increasingly concerned about the Democrats’ support in some localities for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, the party’s inability to quell violent crime, and its frequent focus on racial justice.” Perhaps, although that sounds like the kind of political shorthand a liberal might use to explain what was going on without having to delve into the issue too deeply. There’s indeed been an anti-lockdown component to some primaries already ended – and the prolonged closure of public schools in New Jersey and Virginia may have had a profound impact on the 2021 gubernatorial and state legislative elections in New Jersey and Virginia but that’s only part of the story.
What’s notable on the list of factors is what is missing. There’s not a single economic issue on it. Taxes, spending, jobs – issues that voters consistently say are at the top of the list of things they care about – are, in the AP analysis, not driving the shift among voters leaving the Democrats for the GOP.
That’s hard to believe, especially for anyone old enough to remember Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign for president where his consultants posted a sign on the headquarters wall to remind him and themselves that “It’s the economy, stupid.”
The areas where voters are switching also include counties “around medium-size cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Des Moines, Iowa,” as well as “areas like Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland”. These are all places where Biden’s mismanagement of the economy is hitting home hard. The president may like to brag about the number of jobs he says have been “created” since he took office but, as any reasonable person understands intuitively, most of those are jobs that existed before the lockdowns were imposed and which came back first in states led by GOP governors.
Voters like these are the ones most likely to feel the pinch of higher gas prices, the pain of doing more with less at the supermarket and the challenge of rising interest rates present to existing homeowners and those looking for a new place to live.
In a statement to the AP, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel voiced excitement over the prospect Biden’s blunders will result in her party making significant gains in the next election. The president and the Democrats, she said, “are woefully out of touch with the American people, and that’s why voters are flocking to the Republican Party in droves,” adding she believes “American suburbs will trend red for cycles to come.”
According to the AP, of the roughly 1.7 million Americans who changed their party affiliation over the past 12 months, two-thirds became members of the GOP while the others went the other way. While probably not enough to shift the outcome of a national race these changes, if they are a legitimate reflection of changing voter sentiments and not an effort to ensure conservative nominees are chosen to run in places where a more moderate member of the GOP could easily win, the movement of one million voters who were formerly Democrats, independents or members of third parties into the GOP is significant enough to determine the outcome in contests that may be especially close.
If that’s true, it’s still not likely to make the difference in which party controls either chamber of Congress next January but it could have an impact on the size of the GOP’s margins of majority in the House and Senate, if, as expected, the Republicans take back Congress. This will have an impact on the confirmation of judges and what legislation actually makes it to the president’s desk, it sets up a meaningful contrast between the two parties that will likely influence the outcome of the 2024 presidential election no matter who the major party nominees are.
In Fairfax County, Virginia, changes set to be approved May 26 would punish ‘malicious misgendering’ at the same level as assault and battery.
For those who scoff that Florida’s new education law bans “non-existent” gender indoctrination, let the tale of Fairfax County, Virginia serve as a wake-up call.
Fairfax County’s school board has long prided itself on leading the way for the nation in cutting-edge education policy and curriculum. As the tenth-largest district in the nation, it holds disproportionate sway over other school boards.
In 2015, the Fairfax school board blindsided parents with changes to its non-discrimination policy, followed by a sweeping expansion of the sex-ed curriculum and new rules governing student offenses and penalties. This is not an isolated policy. In Wisconsin, three middle-schoolers have been accused of “sexual harassment” for using biologically accurate pronouns to refer to a fellow student.
Fairfax’s proposed changes, set to be approved May 26, have hit a new low. Legally meaningless offenses such as “malicious misgendering” and “outing related to gender identification” would be now punishable by up to “Level 4” sanctions. It’s the last level before penalties for drug dealing, rape, and homicide.
Level 4 is the punishment meted out for assault and battery, drug consumption, theft, and arson. These penalties may be applied even to kindergarteners and include, at their worst, expulsion at the behest of the school board.
This barrage of ideological punishment is accompanied by the school board sex-ed committee’s latest, unanimous April 2022 vote to move instruction on gender identity down to elementary school. This puts the Fairfax school system entirely out of step with the Virginia State Standards of Learning on Family Life Education (sex ed).
But this is nothing new. In 2015 Fairfax school board proposed moving instruction on gender fluidity and identity down to middle school from high school, as well as sweeping expansions of the sex-ed curriculum on gender and sexuality. The board and superintendent claimed they were required to make these changes in order to align with new Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). When other mothers and I combed through the SOLs, we discovered this was a flat-out lie: there was not even a reference to these controversial new sexual concepts.
The Fairfax County School Board continued to steamroll families in 2018, when it voted against overwhelming community input to change the terminology of biological sex to “sex assigned at birth.” As I served on the sex-ed committee for more than years, I saw firsthand the determined effort to move teaching on sexuality to lower and lower grades, and to work around parents who might disagree—a trend mothers and fathers all over the nation are noting as well.
The 2019 blue wave in Virginia, when national LGBTQ advocacy groups including the Human Rights Campaign and the Victory Fund poured millions of dollars into our local races, resulted in further erosion of parental rights in Fairfax County. The new Transgender Policy (R2603.2) establishes a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary support and gender transition team for Fairfax County students.
This team can be formed and operate in secret, without the parents ever being made aware. The policy dictates that parents may be involved in a child’s gender transition team “if the student is willing.” It further stipulates that “a persistent refusal to use a student’s chosen name and pronouns constitutes discrimination”—again, a sanctionable offense for students and teachers alike.
At the state level, Fairfax ideologues are backstopped by their close ally in Richmond, the Senate Education Committee. Powerful members like state Sen. Janet Howell, who twice has used her election committee seat to gerrymander opponents out of her district during her campaigns, treat parents and students alike with staggering arrogance. The education committee is notorious as the graveyard of bills promoting curriculum transparency and accountability.
Taken as a whole, these actions and others by the Fairfax school board over the last several years constitute an ideological and dangerous overhaul of policy, curriculum, and standards that have little to no basis in law, but threaten very real harm to children. Two pending lawsuits in Virginia defending the rights of teachers are addressing these very questions of pronoun use.
But in the meantime, these actions by the Fairfax School Board have set the stage for children to be encouraged to transition in secret, and for children who might persist in using biologically accurate pronouns to be dealt criminal-level penalties.
For those who look at Florida and say “but no one is teaching these things in kindergarten,” let Fairfax be a cautionary tale. Our school board not only plans to teach them, but to expel the pint-size “criminals” who might resist.
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg has declared the left ‘stagnant,’ but what she really means is that it’s miserable.
Dear Abby: I’m a liberal Democrat and my entire political party is full of insufferable nags. What do I do?!
That was the entire point of New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg’s article this week wherein she fretted that normal Americans are perhaps drifting to the political right because the left has become so indefensibly annoying.
“For those who get most of their politics online, this can be what the left looks like — a humorless person shaking her head at others’ insensitivity,” she wrote. “As a result, an alliance with the country’s most repressive forces can appear, to some, as liberating.”
Without saying it outright, Goldberg was getting at the left’s defining qualities today. Its allies have become so miserable, so toxic, so angry and weird that it’s repulsing voters. They call people “racist” for any reason at all. They push for the sexualization of children in public schools. And they shut down all discourse that threatens their delicate ideology.
Look what’s happening with the Elon Musk-Twitter drama. A billionaire wanted to buy a publishing company — not something unheard of — and it was an unnecessarily drawn out, messy fight for him to do it because the left wing and Democrats believe they alone dictate what counts as fair discourse.
Goldberg declared the left “stagnant,” but what she really means is that it’s miserable. It’s stuck in a rut because its activists are singularly motivated by negative emotions now. What do they talk about these days? Persecuting Trump supporters who were in Washington on Jan. 6, Covid as a means of controlling the populace, and “equity” for anyone who claims to be oppressed (i.e. the Democrat voter base).
“When the left becomes grimly censorious, it incubates its own opposition,” wrote Goldberg. “The internet makes things worse, giving the whole world a taste of the type of irritating progressive sanctimony…”
She says this like it’s a problem created by the right, or even unassuming independents who must not be able to distinguish between the “online” left from the real left. It’s not. It’s people like Goldberg who wanted to teach children about transgenderism and how it sucks to be white. That people were repulsed by their weird fixations isn’t their own fault. It’s the fault of the left for being so creepy, unhappy, and maladjusted.
Look at Florida. The hottest controversy there now is whether kindergarten teachers should be able to explain to students what it means to be “gender queer.” Leftists are adamant that they get to talk about sexual identity with kids. It’s dumb. Even a majority of Democrats in that state know it’s dumb.
Look at the reaction to the district judge in Florida who struck down the airline mask mandate. Leftists are furious that they can’t tell people to cover up their noses and mouths anymore (at least for now).
Look at the election of GOP Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. His central campaign theme was that public school kids shouldn’t be instilled with the idea that being white is an irredeemable sin. The left nearly needed an exorcism.
Look at your own encounters with these people. The funny thing about left-wingers is that they feel absolutely no reservation about showing up to a social function and popping off with their political opinions on race, sex, and equity.
Any normal person thinks to himself, “I’d rather not.” Leftists don’t. They see it as their duty to ensure that everyone knows how they feel (miserable).
You don’t like it? Tough.
Goldberg knows her movement is an emotional and mental mess. She just can’t bear to break the news.
They’re always angry. They’re always upset. They’ve lost their grip. Goldberg could have just said that, but instead, she whined about conservatives and independent Americans who aren’t into the gross and distasteful things that the movement she belongs to has produced.
“In the short term, however, it’s frightening to think that backlash politics could become somehow fashionable, especially given how stagnant the left appears,” she continued.
The left doesn’t “appear” anything. It’s undeniably vulgar, and fewer people want to be part of it. Maybe Goldberg should just admit it and stop making excuses for how awful the left-wing Democrat movement is.
Sunshine State challenges White House defense of trans hormone treatment for children
The Florida Department of Health slammed the Biden administration for promoting transgender treatments for minors, accusing the White House of “injecting political ideology into the health of our children.”
The Sunshine State on Wednesday released health guidelines that dispute the Department of Health and Human Services declaration last month that “gender-affirming” treatments, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and sex-reassignment surgery, are “crucial” for the well-being of transgender children. The Florida Department of Health says the latest medical research undermines the Biden administration’s claims about the practices, calling “into question the motives of the federal HHS.”
“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo said in a statement Wednesday. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
HHS did not respond to a request for comment.
Arkansas last year became the first state to ban hormone therapy for minors, but lawsuits from liberal legal groups including the American Civil Liberties Union have blocked the state from enforcing the legislation. Arizona and Alabama passed similar bans this year but also face legal challenges from the ACLU and LGBT advocacy groups.
The Florida legislature attempted to pass a ban on hormone treatment for minors this year but the bill has stalled. The Florida Department of Health guidance advises against hormone treatments for minors but does not enforce any restrictions on the hormone drugs, which are not approved by the FDA.
“Physicians may use guidance from different authoritative sources, including government entities and professional associations, in determining the best course of treatment for their patients,” Jeremy Redfern, the press secretary for the department, told the Washington Free Beacon.
The department noted that a 2015 paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry found 80 percent of people who seek transgender therapy lose their desire to identify as the opposite sex. A 2018 study in the American Academy of Pediatrics found that there is “low-quality” evidence in favor of transgender treatment for adolescents and that future research is needed to accurately assess the risks or benefits. Several other studies concluded there are no clear benefits of gender transitions for adolescents.
While the Biden administration has embraced hormone treatment for children—White House press secretary Jen Psaki called it “life-saving” during a press conference this month—other countries have moved to restrict the practice. The High Court in the United Kingdom ruled in 2020 that minors under the age of 16 need permission from a court to receive hormone treatment. France’s National Academy of Science in March warned medical professionals to exercise “great caution” in prescribing the treatments, citing the permanent health risks of hormone treatment and surgery.
To promote gender transitions for minors, the White House and HHS cited a study from an LGBT group funded by a hormone-drug manufacturer, the Free Beacon reported earlier this month.
Checking liberals and Democrats is apparently not listed among their job duties
By Fox News•
Now that the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings are complete, we have collected another fascinating exhibit of the leftist tilt of “independent fact-checkers.” Just try to find a single fact check on anything Jackson said. Try to find a single evaluation of any statement by a Democratic politician touting Jackson — from President Joe Biden to Dick Durbin and on down.
Checking liberals and Democrats is apparently not listed among their job duties.
On March 28, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates addressed Jackson’s qualifications. Bates claimed what speaks to the strength of her public record “is the multitude of fact checks from the press, from retired judges and from former prosecutors who have dismantled attacks brought by a small group of GOP senators.”
“Dismantling” Republican critiques is the job of the Fact Check community? That’s what it looks like.
Bates applauded the nation’s largest Democrat rags for their efforts. He touted The Washington Post Fact Checker article by Glenn Kessler titled “These Trump Judges Failed Hawley’s Sentencing Test for Jackson.” He also cited New York Times fact-checker Linda Qiu’s article, titled “Critics of Jackson’s Child Sex Abuse Sentences Backed Judges with Similar Records.”
FILE –The Washington Post has published at least 18 negative opinion headlines about Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in roughly three weeks and an editorial cartoon even portrayed him in a “dunce” cap. (ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
The Biden press aide correctly noted, “This was all on top of a raft of other fact checks already establishing that the basis of these criticisms was dishonest.” Democrats can float on a raft of “fact checks” attempting to censor or downgrade the reach of Republicans.
The targeting tilt was unanimous.
The Associated Press team offered three “checks” with a self-evident aggression: “Republicans twist Jackson’s judicial record,” “Republicans skew Jackson’s record on crime” and “Senators misrepresent Jackson on abortion.” Why they left “Republican” out of the third one is anyone’s guess.
Reuters offered two “fact checks” defending Jackson, claiming that it was “missing context” when she attacked loud anti-abortion protesters and that it was “misleading” to say she accused President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld of being “war criminals” when she complained terror suspects were tortured at Guantanamo.
CNN’s Daniel Dale offered one fact check on the “war criminals” complaint.
FactCheck.com offered three “checks” that energetically explained why Jackson was unfairly maligned, including her views on critical race theory.
Snopes.com wondered, “Was Ketanji Brown Jackson Drama Scene Partners with Matt Damon in College?” The verdict was “Research In Progress,” which shows you Snopes wants the clickbait before the research is even completed. That’s not a fact check at all.
It’s absolutely shocking that Bates didn’t bask in the glow of PolitiFact. Since March 22, these transparently partisan servants offered eight “fact checks” attacking conservatives and Republicans in defense of Jackson.
Add to that one bizarre attack on a Trump fan on Facebook with 2,700 friends. He was ruled “False” when he claimed the Kavanaugh hearings drew more live coverage than the Jackson hearings. That is “True,” and PolitiFact is “False.” Once they started throwing around shoddy rape claims, “The Price Is Right” and “The View” had to take a hike.
This is why Jacob Siegel of Tablet magazine proclaimed, “America’s new public-private ‘Ministry of Truth’ mainly serves the interests of the tech platforms and Democratic Party operatives who underwrite and support the fact-checking enterprise. This, in turn, convinces large numbers of normal Americans that the officially sanctioned news product they receive is an ass-covering con job.”
Joe Biden is one of the more complex men to ever be president. Is he, as his carefully crafted public persona suggests, a regular guy who rose from humble beginnings to the highest office in the land? Or is he a consummate insider, driven by a thirst for power and recognition?
It may not matter. Voters put him in office to do several very specific things—things which he is now failing to accomplish. If the current polling is any indication, the Biden presidency is dashing the hopes of his fellow Democrats who thought they were on the cusp of a period of transformational change.
Voters trusted Biden to provide stability, predictability and, above all else, competence. He offered the voters a choice between his years of experience in making the machinery of the nation’s capital work and his opponent’s inability to address effectively the most pressing issue of the day.
Now, more than a year later, with more people dead from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020, the voters are having second thoughts. Biden promised a comprehensive response to the pandemic, but has thus far failed to deliver. It may be beyond his or anyone’s reach, but he allowed the electorate to believe, aided by those who covered his campaign, that he could do it.
He’s also created a sense of “buyer’s remorse” among independents and others who believed his approach to governing would be moderate. Remember that, when pressed, Biden promised he would temper the radicalism of Bernie Sanders, AOC, “The Squad” and the activist groups that rallied to his side once it was clear he would win the nomination. “I am the Democratic Party,” he said at one point.
The American people are disappointed he has gone so far. Biden’s latest presidential approval rating hovers around 43 percent—not exactly a Nixonian number, but a far cry from the 60 percent or more who gave him high marks at the start of his term. The radicals who threw in with him, though, are likely equally disappointed because he has not gone far enough. They won’t say it, but they cannot understand why he has not put his political capital at risk and tried to rally the nation to his side in the important fights for Build Back Better, the abolition of the filibuster and the fulfillment of the Democratic agenda as set forth by the party’s left-wing leadership.
It may have been a fellow Democrat who delivered the knockout punch to Build Back Better, but there were others besides Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who didn’t like it all that much. Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) also threatened to withhold her vote unless specific changes were made to the legislation—changes the progressives in the House would have opposed.
Other Democrats in Congress had problems with the bill as written, but all that is inside-the-Beltway baseball. What Biden and company missed, as Build Back Better was going down, was bigger than the opposition of congressional Democrats: They never explained to the American people why the bill would make their day-to-day lives better.
Pollster David Winston has been following the progress of Build Back Better “in its various forms” for most of the year. He’s identified four key reasons why it stalled and then died. The most important reason was that voters outside the Democratic base “never believed” what Biden and others said about the bill—that it would “cost zero,” that it “would reduce costs for everyday essentials” and that it would “help relieve supply chain problems.”
Second, the tax hikes and spending increases, never popular with most Americans, made Build Back Better look like just another “government spending bill with too many unrelated spending priorities” that would not make things better.
Third, Winston says, voter concerns about inflation were “real, and were validated by official sources,” and that when the White House “tried to blame other factors for inflation and price increases,” it lost control of the issue.
Finally—and this is where the president’s missing-in-action approach to the bully pulpit was most damaging to his ambitions—Biden was never able to make the passage of Build Back Better a priority for the American people like Reagan and Trump did with tax cuts, and Obama did with health care reform. It was “too far left,” Winston observed, “for a center-right country.”
America does not want to be transformed, at least not yet. Build Back Better failed because it was ill-conceived, not because one senator opposed it. Joe Manchin may have twisted the knife, but Joe Biden put it in his hand.
Is America—and the world—prepared for what comes next?
On December 1 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. At issue is the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Judging by the media reaction, things did not go well for the pro-choice side. “The Supreme Court Seems Poised to Overturn Roe v. Wade,” reads one Bloomberg headline. “‘Roe’ is dead. The Roberts Court’s ‘stench’ will live forever,” reads the title of a Washington Post column. The headline of another Washington Post article puts it this way: “The question is not whether ‘Roe v. Wade’ is overturned—but how.” Pro-lifers hope so.
I remain unconvinced. It’s never a good idea to infer a final ruling from the content of oral argument. In March 2012 everyone walked away from arguments in NFIB v. Sebelius, judging the constitutionality of Obamacare, assuming that the health care law was doomed. They underestimated Chief Justice John Roberts’s creativity. The same thing could happen in Dobbs: Roberts may use his smarts and guile to persuade other Republican appointees that the Mississippi law can stand without overturning the right to an abortion in Roe. Such a ruling would be illogical. It would be a jurisprudential mess. It would further aggrandize the Court’s power to decide when and under what circumstances abortion is legal. It would look, in other words, like plenty of other Supreme Court decisions.
Whatever happens, I find I cannot escape the sense that America has reached an impasse, that it has arrived at a moment of transition, and not just on the matter of abortion. Whether one looks at politics, economics, or the world, one sees a realignment of forces, a shuffling of players off and on the stage, to prepare for the next act in the drama. The Trump presidency seems less like the harbinger of a new beginning than a spectacular climax to a historical epoch. If so, we are living through a sort of denouement, a working through of conflicts left unresolved. “It feels like the order we have all taken for granted since the end of the Cold War is badly decaying, and has gotten so fragile that it might well shatter soon,” wrote Damir Marusic of Wisdom of Crowds last month. Question is: What replaces it?
If the Court does overrule Roe next summer, America will have entered uncharted territory. Many states will ban abortion immediately. Others will legalize it for the duration of a pregnancy. Still others will restrict and limit the practice. Abortion will be a matter for legislatures—including the U.S. Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that abortion would become a major issue in next year’s midterm campaign, with unforeseeable consequences. Would a pro-choice backlash help Democrats? Perhaps. Then again, some of us thought that Texas’s fetal heartbeat law might help Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey. That didn’t happen.
Conversely, if the Court does preserve Roe, many conservatives and Republicans fear a pro-life backlash directed at the GOP infrastructure and conservative legal movement. No less an authority than former attorney general Ed Meese wrote in the Washington Post that the “success” of constitutional originalism depends on the Court’s ruling in Dobbs. Tension already is high within the conservative legal movement over former president Donald Trump, his attempt to remain in office, and the intellectual challenges from “common-good” constitutionalists and from advocates of judicial “engagement” over “restraint.” A disappointing ruling may not only deflate Republican enthusiasm, but also turn grassroots conservatives in more radical directions.
Either way, our constitutional system and its parties, ideologies, and politics will look different from before. And this change will happen concurrently with a transition in leadership. As of this writing, 19 House Democrats have announced their retirements. More will follow. It is widely expected that the 81-year-old Nancy Pelosi will retire after the midterm election, even if Democrats somehow keep the House of Representatives. Should we really expect the 82-year-old majority leader and 81-year-old majority whip to remain in their jobs? The belief that the 79-year-old President Joe Biden won’t run for reelection in 2024 is so pervasive that the White House scrambles desperately to calm Democratic nerves. For a party that maintains the allegiance of young people, the Democratic leadership class is disturbingly old. It will have to give up power. And the Democrats waiting in the wings are not what you’d call inspiring.
As these generational fights play out, both the Democratic and Republican parties face the internal challenges of their respective countercultures. The woke neo-socialist left and the national populist right disrupt and polarize, complicating the chances that the electorate will arrive at a non-crazy, common-sense politics of moderate reform and civil peace. The mindless controversies over outlandish personalities, the endless and sophomoric exchanges of social media call-out culture, distract attention from the new issues in political economy that ought to be the basis of policy discussion.
And these issues really are new. The air is so thick with neologisms that I barely can keep up: SPACs, DeFi, NFTs, BTC. It would be foolish to expect government to understand these innovations in finance any better than the rest of us. Meanwhile, millions of Americans have quit their jobs during the recovery. Inflation cuts into earnings. The political class has signed up the developed world for an “energy transition” whose costs dwarf potential benefits.
Congress is nowhere close to figuring out how to deal with Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google. And AI and quantum computing are coming down the pike. One doesn’t have to go the full Andrew Yang to recognize that the worlds of work, saving, investment, production, and trade look much different than they did just a few years ago. The problem isn’t identifying the change. It’s thinking about the change in constructive and original ways that promote human flourishing in the valued places of family, church, neighborhood, and vocation. There’s been work done in this space. But it hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Why? Because the loudmouths, grifters, cranks, and conspiracists drown it out.
Democracies can muddle through political and economic disruption. Foreign policy is different. The prospect of catastrophic miscalculation is real. President Biden’s foolish and botched withdrawal from Afghanistan looks more and more like a curtain-call for the post-Cold War era of American global leadership. It ought to be obvious that his retreat failed to improve American security. Russia and China have become more aggressive in recent months. Iran has accelerated its nuclear program. Belarus aimed its migration weapon at Poland. The Balkans fell back into bad and deadly habits.
China builds up its nuclear weapons cache as it sails a submarine through the Taiwan Strait. Russia shoots down a satellite as it builds up forces on the border of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s recent comments about Russia’s strong relationship with China are the most disturbing and underreported aspect of rising tensions in Eastern Europe. Putin and Xi Jinping seem to have assessed that America has become so decrepit, so inward-looking, so guilt-ridden and risk-averse that the moment has arrived to make the world safe for autocracy. Biden’s response is weak sauce. Holding a summit of democracies may be worthwhile. But it certainly is not a deterrent.
From the Court to Crimea, the past week offered glimpses of the different world we soon will be inhabiting. Not all the images are comforting. They remind us to temper our expectations, avoid rash judgments, and be modest in our presumptions. Above all, they remind us to think seriously about how best to preserve our traditions of freedom in these strange and darkening times.
Day by day, President Joe Biden grows more unpopular. His approval rating coming into office was north of 50 percent. According to a USA Today/Suffolk poll released earlier this month, it’s now at 38 percent. Yet congressional Democrats are willing to throw their seats away in the next election by sticking with his program.
In a rational world, the collapse in Biden’s approval rating—and of Vice President Kamala Harris, who’s at 28 percent, according to the USA Today/Suffolk poll—would send a signal to Capitol Hill that its current occupants need a course correction. It hasn’t because today’s Democrats don’t understand politics any more than they understand economics.
Biden’s decision Tuesday to release 50 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a perfect illustration. This administration has made several decisions throughout its tenure that make it harder to take advantage of the nation’s indigenous energy resources. America was a net exporter of oil when Biden entered the White House. Now it’s dependent once again on imports.
That’s driving up the price at the pump. A rational person would read that fact as a signal that we need a dependable increase in supply. “Drill baby drill,” if you will. Instead, the president is injecting a dose of crude into the marketplace in an amount so small it will not make a difference in the price. And, even if it does manage to bring the price down by a penny or two, it will probably last for less than a week.
What the Democrats don’t get is that their ideas just don’t work. Socialist regimes cling to power by tyrannical, totalitarian means—but as a way to organize an economy, socialism has failed in every place it’s been tried.
Somehow the leaders of the modern Democratic Party can’t seem to figure this out. They’d be happy to extend indefinitely the unemployment payments they increased during the lockdowns the government imposed in the hopes of slowing the spread of COVID.
There would not be enough space in this column to list every example of the Democrats’ distorted thinking. But the American people are waking up to the reality of the Biden presidency. If the Democrats want to survive as a political party that can win national elections, they’d be well-advised to make a change now.
If they don’t, they run the risk of descending into irrelevancy outside of a few states and major cities. Even there, though, the failure of their agenda is gaining notice. People are moving away from Chicago and New York and Los Angeles because—except for the Riordan years in L.A. and the Giuliani-Bloomberg decade in New York—Democrats are still trying public policy prescriptions that didn’t work in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s are still being tried. Now that Democrats are trying those ideas on a bigger scale, they still don’t work. And they’ve added brilliant new wrinkles into the mix—like defunding the police abolishing the pre-trial detention of criminal suspects.
You wouldn’t accept from your doctor the kind of results Chicago schools routinely offer parents regarding the education of their kids. You couldn’t. You’d be dead. Meanwhile, the city’s Democratic leaders continue to resist any alternative that could generate improvement, like expanded school choice.
The nation is split, badly, in many ways. These divides don’t just separate people according to race or income levels but by faith, by location and even by the way they understand the meaning of the American experiment. To many, including the big-government socialists who run the party today, it’s not worth saving. They believe it was compromised from the beginning and should be tossed out on the ash heap of history.
Fortunately, many others—including likely a majority of America’s 330 million people—believe the country’s best days are still ahead. While hardly perfect, if we work together, we can make things better for everyone.
That’s a message that starting to resonate with the electorate. Real reform is coming where it’s needed from the Republicans who, while hardly perfect, are nonetheless making considerable strides. Note the number of elected officials now on the scene who are something other than elite, middle-aged, upper- or upper-middle-class white Protestant men.
The incoming Virginia lieutenant governor is a black woman. The new attorney general who will serve alongside her is the son of Cuban refugees. The most powerful Democrat in New Jersey—Senate President Steve Sweeney—lost his seat to a truck driver who spent just $2,300 on his campaign. The winds of change are beginning to blow. The challenge for the GOP now is to develop a meaningful plan to create that change around which it can build back better a consensus supporting its efforts to lead the nation out of its doldrums and on to better things.
Now is the autumn of Democratic discontent
President Joe Biden practically begged a group of moderate Democrats visiting him in the Oval Office Wednesday to say how much money they are willing to spend on the massive “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill making its way through Congress. According to Politico‘s Playbook, he didn’t get an answer.
The 11 moderates, including Senator Joe Manchin and congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, insisted that Democrats agree first on how much revenue they will raise in taxes before settling on a price tag on a bill that would transform energy, health care, higher education, pre-K, and paid leave. A disappointed Biden assigned the moderates homework: Come up with something that will stop Progressive House members from killing the separate, $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package that already has passed the Senate and is scheduled for a September 27 House vote.
Best of luck. In another meeting Wednesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, pulled a Wendy Sherman and broke into tears while pleading that the reconciliation bill include an immigration amnesty (the Senate parliamentarian has said it can’t). Jayapal urged Biden to delay Monday’s vote or be prepared for Progressives to nix the infrastructure deal. Biden didn’t give in, but he did leave open the possibility that the vote won’t take place on September 27 as planned.
Yet any postponement would create new problems for the White House. House moderates have pledged to sink the reconciliation bill if they don’t get to vote for infrastructure first. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can afford to lose only three votes. And the Senate is tied, with Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema still cagey about what they want to do. And oh, by the way, Congress needs to fund the government before September 30 and raise the debt ceiling before mid-October. Is your head hurting yet?
Democrats have run smack into political reality, and it isn’t pretty. They spent months convincing themselves that a presidential election decided by 42,000 votes in three states, a tied Senate, and a 220-212 House (with 3 vacancies) is the same as FDR’s and LBJ’s supermajorities. Now they are just figuring out that the coalition that put them into office doesn’t agree on much of anything besides the idea that Donald Trump shouldn’t be in the White House.
Now the autumn of 2021 is turning into a reckoning for a Democratic Party that wanted to leverage a squeaker election into fundamental change. Like their predecessors in 1993 and in 2009, frontline House Democrats have to decide whether supporting a liberal agenda is worse for their careers than denying a president of their own party a legislative win. Either way, they lose.
Chance, guile, and missteps put the Democrats in this position. They hardly could believe their luck when Trump’s sour grapes cost the GOP two winnable seats in Georgia and handed Vice President Harris the tie-breaking vote in the Senate. What they forgot was that full control of government is a mixed blessing: Your partisans expect the sun, moon, and stars, while independents have no one else to blame when things go wrong. A Republican Senate might have given Biden a foil, and a reason to govern as the centrist he pretended to be during the campaign. Instead, he has no wiggle room. Thanks, Trump.
GOP leader Mitch McConnell made two decisions that complicated things further. First, he okayed Republican involvement in Senate infrastructure negotiations. Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute (where I work) writes that GOP participation began “as an effort to turn down the temperature on the filibuster, then after a while it seemed like it might actually have enough votes to pass, and at that point it became clear that it could also further divide the Democrats.” Senate passage of the deal heightened the contradictions within the House Democratic caucus and guaranteed unified Republican opposition to the reconciliation bill.
Second, McConnell got his conference to agree that any increase in the debt ceiling should come from Democratic votes alone. Democrats from swing districts and purple states have to own their party’s spending binge. It’s a subtle and somewhat cynical move (Republicans add to the debt, too). But it’s also politically shrewd. Nor is the economy really in jeopardy. This isn’t 2011. In the end, Democrats can and will raise the debt ceiling themselves.
President Biden’s degraded political standing is behind the Democrats’ troubles. Biden’s mixed messaging and missteps in the pandemic, the crisis on the border, the rise in crime and inflation, and the debacle in Afghanistan have caused his approval rating to plummet. He’s at 46 percent approval in the FiveThirtyEight polling average. Gallup has him at 43 percent approval—and at just 37 percent among independents. In bellwether Iowa, he’s at 31 percent. Progressives in ultraviolet districts can ignore these numbers. Moderate Democrats cannot.
Still, a weak president and disunited Congress may not be enough to guarantee the collapse of the Build Back Better program. Democrats recognize the need for a win, no matter how small. They assume it’s the only way for Biden to make up lost ground and prevent a Republican takeover of the House, and possibly the Senate, in 2022. But presidential priorities have fallen apart before. Trump didn’t get Obamacare repeal, Obama didn’t get cap and trade, and George W. Bush didn’t get Social Security reform. Biden already got the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan. That might be it.
What’s worse—abject failure or unpopular success? Trick question: Both options are horrible. If Democrats think this fall is bad, just wait until they have to live through the next one.
The back-and-forth over the so-called infrastructure bill working its way through the U.S. House of Representatives is helping perpetuate a myth that is distorting the people’s perception of where we as a country are. That perception is that there is, somehow, within the House and Senate and sprinkled throughout the Biden administration, a substantial cadre of moderate Democrats who are doing all they can to block a leftward lurch toward big-government socialism pushed by one wing of the party.
It makes for nice reading and it’s an easy story to write. Unfortunately, it’s inaccurate. As far as national politics is concerned, the Democratic Party has been running the moderates out for years. As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pointed out in a recent policy document that’s making the rounds, virtually every Democrat in the U.S. House and Senate voted for the budget outline produced by Senator Bernie Sanders—a self-identified socialist.
The Sanders document, which includes $3.5 trillion in new and higher spending, $3 trillion in new and higher taxes, and a host of radical regulatory proposals intended to roll back 40 years of deregulatory reform that started with Ronald Reagan, is a left-winger’s pipe dream. The only objections to it Democrats have had—Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema excepted—have centered on the cost, not on what the proposed legislation would do.
The division among Democrats is real, but it’s not based on ideology. All but one Democrat recently voted for a bill that would eliminate state restrictions on late-term abortions and codify the Supreme Court‘s decision in Roe v. Wade. Democrats are united on policy but opposed (or at least some of them are) to doing things that will cost them their seats the next time they run.
It’s not principle that’s keeping the Democrats apart—it’s politics. Why were Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer insisting on Republican votes to pass an increase in the debt ceiling? Because some members of their party who are up for re-election in 2022 need to be able to vote “no” on that issue—and they can only do that if a few GOP lawmakers can be persuaded to vote “yes.”
The “moderate” myth is useful for those Democrats who want to go home and pretend they fought against the largest expansion of government since LBJ gave us the Great Society. They’ll promise their voters they’ll continue to fight for pro-business policies and might even again earn the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But it will all be a fallacy. The Democratic Party has been taken over by people who take their cues from the British Labour Party circa 1960—not the free-enterprise entrepreneurs who built this great nation.
The polling, the Gingrich document said, “is clear and devastating” for those who think the federal government needs to be bigger and do more. “Americans in general favor Free Market Capitalism over Big Government Socialism by a huge margin (59 percent to 16 percent),” Gingrich wrote while, among so-called independent or “swing” voters, the advantage for those who oppose the Sanders/Biden agenda grows to 82 percent to 18 percent.
The infrastructure bill was held up because too many Democrats refused to risk their seats by voting for it. It’s not a “moderate” piece of legislation even if it was written with Republican support. It includes such intrusive measures as the establishment of a pilot program that is supposed to come up with the best way to tax cars and trucks by the number of miles driven.
The reconciliation package? Even worse.
As Gingrich and others have observed, the Democrats in Congress were all-in at the beginning when it counted—when the process of getting these bills through began. The framework for each mostly survives, whether or not any given bill emerges from the legislative process intact. What cannot be accomplished in a day will be pushed by Democrats for weeks, months and years. President Joe Biden has said he has it in mind to correct 40 years of policy mistakes that, in his view, hobbled this formerly great nation. Biden’s objective: Roll back the Reaganite revolution that brought America back from the brink. What a foolish objective—and certainly not a moderate one.
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
National Republicans have spent much of the last few months confounded by a challenge. Their opponents are attempting to compel them to choose between embracing Donald Trump and rejecting him. The former president’s shadow looms over everything—and will, until he announces his intentions for 2024.
A lot can happen between now and then. GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) need to go to the American people now with alternatives to what the Democrats are offering. Waiting on Trump to make up his mind or worrying about what he will say is a big mistake.
The Republicans came out of the last election in a much stronger position than many commentators are willing to acknowledge. They gained seats in the U.S. House and, were it not for Trump’s post-election temper tantrum, would have maintained their majority in the U.S. Senate instead of losing two seats in Georgia they should have easily won.
Trump’s campaign autopsy put the blame for the president’s defeat on a failure to manage the COVID crisis effectively. That may have been more perception than reality—since his inauguration, Biden has done little more than stick to the plan already in place regarding what to do after a vaccine was developed. Yet, having voted for the “moderate” Democrat who would “fix” the pandemic, many Republicans and Independents now find themselves incredulous at the speed with which he’s moved to the hard left.
Biden hasn’t been able to get his agenda through, but not because the GOP has pushed back persuasively. The GOP is benefitting from an ideological split among their Democratic opponents who, with the narrowest of majorities in both chambers, are led by two spectacularly unimaginative leaders. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are intent on getting everything passed in one or two bills. With the slim majority they have, that’s a bad strategy.
The GOP leadership needs to reflect on how long it can go before it must posit substantive alternatives to the Democrats’ radicalism. It needs to pivot and refocus the conversation on the most important issue: jobs and the economy.
While the economy is adding jobs, it’s not as many as most economists predict it should be. Republicans should find it galling that Biden claims the credit when his initiatives are job killers. The jobs we’re seeing the economy add were created under Trump after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act but eliminated because of the lockdowns that governors—most of them Democrats—kept in place far too long.
Instead of focusing on Washington, McConnell, McCarthy, RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel and the rest of the GOP leadership should direct the American people’s attention to the states. That’s where the contrast between the two parties really shows.
It’s the Republican states where jobs are coming back the fastest. The five states with the lowest unemployment rates in June 2021 have Republican governors and at least nominal GOP legislative majorities. The eight with the highest unemployment rate are led by Democrats. Republican leadership in the states is succeeding first because their economic fundamentals were sound to begin with. And second because the governors of those states, unlike their Democratic counterparts, had the good sense to suspend the unemployment bonus payments that allowed people to stay at home drawing checks rather than look for work.
In Arizona and Ohio, for example, GOP governors Doug Ducey and Mike DeWine just signed off on tax cuts that will improve the business climate and the outlook for family budgets already being squeezed by “Bidenflation,” with consumer prices already up by more than 5 percent over last year. In Mississippi, GOP leaders like House Speaker Philip Gunn are pulling together a plan to increase competitiveness and attract jobs by phasing out the state income tax. All this is happening at the same time that Joe Bidenand his administration are trying to raise taxes through the roof in the U.S. while getting the industrialized nations of the world to agree to adopt a growth-killing minimum global corporate tax.
The GOP has a compelling tale to tell. It’s a story of how one political party will, if given the chance, take the American people down a path leading to limited government, more personal choice in key areas of life like health care and education, lower taxes, incentives to grow the economy and new jobs while the other party is primarily concerned with making government bigger and then feeding its unending hunger through higher taxes. The choice could not be clearer, so why not talk about it?