I am not into conspiratorial theories and I do admit that the headline is a bit provocative. BUT these are unusual times and the loyal opposition – as we once called the out party – seems to have discarded the “loyal” adjective.
It started with the efforts to upset the 2016 election by having the Electoral College to break faith and elect someone other than Donald Trump as President of the United States. Failing at that, the newly formed #NeverTrump Resistance Movement tried to have Congress block Trump’s inauguration – although that is not in the purview of Congress to do such a thing. It was an act of nutty desperation.
Even before Trump took the oath of office, the calls for impeachment were voiced from the radical left within the Democratic Party. Never has it been suggested that a President be impeached BEFORE he took office. It would have been more understandable had California and New York – the epicenters of Trump hatred – led an effort to secede from the Union as the Democrats did when Abraham Lincoln was elected. Only this time there would have been no effort to stop them.
In the early days of the Trump administration, certain figures in the intelligence and law enforcement leadership elevated the Resistance Movement to the level of a bit of a d’état. Remember, former FBI Director James Comey admitted under oath that he leaked documents in order to have a special counsel named – and why would you do that unless you wanted to build a case for the removal of the President?
This led to the dubious Russian collusion investigation that fell short when Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Trump & Co. did NOT conspire with the Russians – and he further refused to allege charges of obstruction of justice. With that strategy in shambles – and the soiled hands of the coup plotters being investigated by the Inspector General – Democrats took advantage to launch more investigations of Trump than the mythical Medusa had serpents as a poisonous hairpiece – including a faux impeachment effort.
They have called for virtually every member of the Cabinet to resign at one time or another – most recently Attorney General Robert Barr.
Having failed to block both the seating of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as justices of the Supreme Court, they now want to reclaim a liberal majority by calling for the impeachment of Kavanaugh. There is nothing … absolutely nothing … that Kavanaugh has done since assuming his seat on the high court that would remotely justify an impeachment.
Rather, the Resistance Movement Democrats want to re-do the confirmation hearings – just as they are now trying to re-do the Mueller investigation. They say Kavanaugh lied under oath – which they had alleged during the hearings. They say that the FBI failed to follow up on accusations that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a couple of drunken frat parties during his days at Yale.
(I must stop and digress. Are they kidding? We do not know if it is true or not. Kavanaugh denies it. BUT … a college kid gets drunk and whips out his wang at a frat party??? Or maybe it was just “mooning” – a kids craze as long as I can remember. Even if true, it hardly warrants even a discussion of impeachment. Oh! For the record … I never did. It is sort of like a gun. Don’t pull it out unless you intend to use it. I do have to confess, however, that a group of my classmates and I did “moon” the girls’ dorm one night. So, enough of this salacious digression.)
Kavanaugh went through one of the most thorough investigations and hearings in American history. Do you recall how the hearings were extended because the Democrats said the FBI had not finished looking into all the dark corners. The further investigation found nothing new except a phony accusation trumped up by discredited attorney Michael Avenatti.
So, now the Democrats are AGAIN saying the investigation by the FBI was insufficient. As long as they do not get the results they want, Democrats seem determined to go over the same ground in endless pursuit of something that does not exist.
The Democrats primary objective is not oversight. It is not seeking the truth. It is not upholding the rule-of-law. It is to use … abuse, that is … the power of Congress to disrupt and unseat the duly elected government of America. It is a raw and dangerous attempt to regain the power they lost in the 2016 election.
So, there ‘tis.
As my high school teacher repeatedly admonished, you first have to define terms before engaging in debate. So, we shall.
According to an online dictionary, “emolument” means “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.” That seems simple enough.
In terms of the Constitution and the presidency, the person in the White House is barred from receiving “emoluments.” This is what the revered document has to say on that subject.
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
The Founders referred to it as the “Nobility of Title Clause.” If you stick with the language, it is obvious that those enacting the Constitution were most concerned with folks serving in ANY public office being coopted by a “King, Prince, or foreign state” through the granting of titles, offices, presents or … that funny word, emoluments. It says nothing about receiving things of value – including a business purchase – that is within the United States. You know … from folks who are NOT kings, princes or foreign governments.
It seems to apply to any American who holds “any Office of Profit (paid) or Trust (pro bono).” That seems to include every state and local official in addition to federal officials—not only elected and paid, but those volunteering on all sorts of boards and commissions seem to be covered.
Contrary to the Democrats political interpretation, the Title of Nobility Clause does not preclude our public officials from having successful businesses before, after and even during their tenure in office. They are barred from accepting bribes or anything of value in return for an official vote or decision. And in such cases, there has to be a direct relationship between the “gift” and the public official’s action. There is no evidence that Trump is basing his decisions as President by who is staying at his properties.
If the Founders had intended that every officeholder – and especially the President – had to divest themselves of all private business interests – they would ALL have been in violation of the Clause. When George Washington was President, he still owned his slaves and a working farm – and he occasionally travelled back to Virginia to tend to it. That would be like Trump spending a few days each month at his old office in the Trump Organization.
Public officials have businesses was the standard practice at the time the Title of Nobility Clause was drafted – and many of our colonial leaders were doing business or selling crops to foreign governments while they were in office. Surely, the Founders did not mean for that Clause to put them all out of business. You need to recall that they viewed public office as a temporary service by people from all walks of life – people who had and needed income from their businesses. The Lincoln law firm did not cease to exist when he was President.
Perhaps the most egregious offenders – if it is, indeed, and offense – are all those congressional lawyers whose law firms still promote them as ex officio, emeritus or “of counsel” on the letterheads – even as they do business with foreign governments and enterprises. Many local officials with law firms are still running them. If you check out those so-called “politically connected” law firms, you will find that they are raking in millions from foreign interests. How about a Citgo (Venezuelan) gas station seeking a zoning change in Chicago? Or a French company needing permits to build a high-rise in New York?
If there was ever a case in which the Title of Nobility Clause had any justification, it might have been in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation, which was receiving millions upon millions of dollars from foreign states when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and a prospective future President. Those were blatant efforts to buy access and influence. If you disagree, just check out the donations to the Foundation AFTER Hillary lost the presidency and her husband’s major cling to fame was his association with pedophile Jeffery Epstein.
President Trump is not running his business – nor is he taking a salary from it. It is NOT an emolument if some foreign business group stays at his Trump Tower in Washington at normal rates – which are normally very high – any more than if Washington – George, that is –had shipped some tobacco from his farm to France.
It is not a violation of the intent of the Title of Nobility Clause to have a bunch of American servicemen stay at a fancy resort in Scotland at below-market prices. Why force these men and women serving the nation to double up at Motel 6? It is our tradition to give service personal discounts and even freebies.
It is a good practice for our public officials to refrain from taking things of value from anyone – not just kings and princes – but that does not apply to businesses that provide legitimate goods and services to the general public.
The Democrats can make a political issue of all this because they know they will get the support of much of the elitist anti-Trump media to assist in misinforming the public. They can even take the President to court to create yet another phony dog-and-pony show. BUT when the dust finally settles, Trump will win because the Democrats are just wrong on this one. The Title of Nobility Clause has never been invoked in its more than its 130 years.
So, there ‘tis.
Perhaps the political class is starting to realize that we the people are sick and tired of the rhetoric warfare in which differences of opinion are consolidated into warring camps. It is bad enough that politicians are victims of strategic character assassination. As in any “war,” the people are propagandized into evil incarnate.
During World War II, we had to temporarily hate the German people, the Japanese people – and the same during the Vietnam War. The fact that we have good relations with these nations today gives hope for our own contemporary people-to-people hatemongers will find tolerance and acceptance in the future.
In recent days, there has been a rising call for civility. The family of the late Senator John McCain has launched a civility project to encourage people to reach out to what is unfortunately dubbed “the other side” in reasonable dialogue. Even the strident talking heads on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have been talking about toning down the rhetoric.
“Morning Joe” regular Eugene Robinson, of the Washington Post, said that no one on the left believes that all Trump supporters are racists – and assumedly not sexists, xenophobes, homophobes and all those other pejoratives so often heard emanating from the left-wing of the Fourth Estate.
One of the mainstays of left-wing commentary has been the broad-brush branding of Trump’s supporters in the vilest stereotyping imaginable. If Robinson were to watch MSNBC – and not only appear on the network – he would have heard several hosts and panelists saying that supporting Trump makes the person a racist by extension. Folks like Donny Deutsch, host of “Saturday Night Politics” (one of the worst political talk shows ever conceived by the left), made their rejection of civility very clear.
You cannot – emphasized Deutsch – say you like Trump policies but not his personality (people like me). You must take the entire package. If you are a Trump voter, then YOU are guilty of everything the left ACCUSES him – no matter how outrageous the accusations may be. This same theme was played out across the MSNBC line-up by folks like Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, MSNBC utility infielder John Heilemann and any number of other pop-up panelists.
Attacking Trump voters and supporters was not limited to the biased panels of parroting pundits but was part of the Democrat presidential candidate’s playbook. Beto O’Rourke led the assault on 40 percent of America to be quickly followed by such fellow struggling luminaries as Julian Castro, Tim
Ryan and Cory Booker.
Sorry Eugene, you just do not know what you are talking about. Or maybe you are just knowingly peddling a propaganda narrative – as usual.
Political incivility is largely a one-way street. Most of the venomous verbiage is directed at Republicans, conservatives and all those who disagree with the Democrats left-wing ideology – an ideology that is embraced and promoted in round-the-clock infomercials that the elitist east coast press passes off as news.
No, I am not absolving President Trump for his contribution to the acridity of contemporary political dialogue. I have never liked his pugnacious style and name-calling. I think he has done damage to the cause with his bellicosity. The problem of maligning the right is much bigger than him, however – and preceded his presidency. Unfortunately, he has given credence to Democrat complaints and provided a false appearance of equivalency.
It does not matter what side of the political divide you take up residency, the one thing that seems to unify most Americans – and should unify ALL Americans – is a disgust and repulsion of the degradation of political discourse. It is sad to note that false accusations, mendacious narratives and child-like name calling have supplanted serious political dialogue.
It has been evolving over the years. Back in the 1990s, President Clinton called out the trend toward “the politics of personal destruction.” Perhaps the beginning goes back to the mid-1960s, when “I like Ike” (President Eisenhower for those of you who went to school in more recent years) to “Tricky Dick” – a pejorative tagged on President Nixon by the Democrat he beat in the 1950 Senate race, Helen Gahagan Douglas.
One only need read and hear the words of our national leaders of generations past to see just how badly our current political language has been corrupted. The words of our Founders, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and others were eloquent and poetic.
We are told by the mavens of the media that both sides – Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals – use coarse language and personal attacks as a means of satisfying and solidifying their respective bases. The assumption is that supporters of one candidate or another – one perspective or another – relish the verbal mud wrestling.
That may be true – and even that is only “maybe” – of the fringe elements on the far left and right edges of the political continuum. It is certainly not the attitude of the vast majority of Americans on the rational left, right or in the middle. We are sick and tired of our national leaders communicating in ways that would bring parental correction if our children talked that way.
AND, we conservatives are particularly sick and tired of being maligned as cold, callous, heartless, inhumane, toxic human beings.
What is so hypocritical of the left is that they call on us all to be more civil while they continue to mischaracterize and malign those of us on the right with full abandon. The shallow lip-service call for civility — that was allotted less time than a commercial on MSNBC — was followed by business-as-usual brand bashing of Republicans and conservatives – and of course, Trump.
One cannot expect civility unless there is honesty. We can respect people with different opinions – even love them. All options for civility end, however, when we are unfairly and viciously maligned and demeaned – not by just another person, but by the major institutions of our society as a matter of form.
Political civility is not a grassroots phenomenon. It starts at the top and can only be stopped from the top.
So, there ‘tis.
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ihan Omar had to unpack their bags when the Israeli government declared them to be persona non grata. In the spirit that nothing negative in the world happens without President Trump being involved. You know … it was his fault that a nut-case shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, that the stock market declined for a couple days and that Jeffery committed suicide – and if it is discovered that Epstein was murdered, that makes Trump even more culpable.
Of course, Tlaib and Omar hit the airwaves in outrage that members of the United States Congress would be denied a visa for a semiofficial visit. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought it was a bad move on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But was it?
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East – unless you are inclined to believe that Turkey is still one. It is our most steadfast ally. However, that is not how the political twins see it. They describe the Jewish nation as a terrorist state. They accuse American Jews of using campaign money to “buy” the support of Congress.
Though both had promised Jewish voters that they would not support the BDS movement – which stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Yes, those ladies want the United States, our businesses and our people to boycott Israel, to hurt it economically by refusing to do business and to impose further damage by imposing sanctions. If those sound like the actions we take against our adversaries, you are not wrong.
They do not want to punish Israel. They want to destroy it. Neither has committed to the right of Israel to exist. They have described Netanyahu in the harshest terms. They do not want the United States to supply military equipment to Israel. They have never condemned the missile attacks by Hamas. They have referred to violence against the Jewish state as “protests.” They support policies that would reduce Israeli border security. They side with Israel’s enemies. In short, in terms of Israel, they are enemies of the state.
With Tlaib and Omar, their positions on Israel are not merely differences of opinion on matters of policies. Au contraire. They have a visceral and existential disdain for America’s ally in the Middle East – and more than a tinge of anti-Semitism in their remarks.
After being informed that they were on El Al Airlines’ no fly list – at least for this trip – Tlaib played the bleeding-heart card. It seems that she would be denied visiting her ailing 90-year-old grandmother in Palestine – possibly for the last time. She bled that heart for all it was worth in every interview. We could feel her pain.
I did sympathize with her. Family love is important. It should stand apart from politics, business and most other distractions. I sort of felt sorry for Tlaib and her grandmother. I am sure the old lady would have longed to see her famous and powerful grandchild. Grandmas are like that.
The Israeli government is not without heart. It offered Tlaib a humanitarian visa to visit granny. No official meetings. No pomp and circumstances. No organizing protests against the Israeli government. Just an American citizen visiting her grandmother in a distant land. This was the making of a Hallmark movie.
Then came the shocker. If you were expecting to see sweet pictures of Tlaib with her arms wrapped around her frail progenitor, you will be terribly disappointed. Tlaib would NOT be going to Israel under what she called oppressive conditions.
Apparently hugging grandma for possibly the last time was not that important after all. With her rejection of the offer, Tlaib demonstrated that the pathos of her public statements was nothing more than concocted political theater. I would suspect that grandma is heartbroken. She may never see her granddaughter again – not because Tlaib cannot come to her, but because she refuses.
And as far as the initial plan is concerned, what would make Tlaib and Omar think they would be welcomed in Tel Aviv after all the things they have said and proposed against the state of Israel specifically and the Jewish people generally?
So, there ‘tis.
One of President Trump’s hitherto most loyal AND effective defenders has raised the prospect that it may be necessary to replace Trump and Vice President Pence as the Republican standard bearers in 2020. In fact, he says that he no longer supports Trump’s re-election. WHAT??
Businessman and political wonk Anthony Scaramucci — who served a very … very very … short time as White House Communications Director — has been one of the most reliable and effective supporters, defenders and explainers of Trump the man and the President. Now he claims he has had enough of the Trump pugnacious personality.
Scaramucci was not always been supportive of each and every Trump idiosyncrasy – and has often publicly and privately advised the President to tamp down his rhetoric and his overnight tweets. That modest and well given advice is what gave Scaramucci enhanced credibility.
Scaramucci’s break with the President is fraught with much greater significance. He represents a portion of the Trump base that likes the policies but not the personality.
This does not mean that they embrace the left-wing Democrats’ corrosive corruption of the political atmosphere – their own version of hate-mongering. As bad as Trump can be, he is not nearly as bad as what the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement claims him to be – and the hateful attack on his supporters is unconscionable. Even in the so-called base, not everyone is drawn to Trump as much as they are repulsed by both the rhetoric AND the policies of the Democrats — and the dishonest partisan propaganda by the bubble-encapsulated east coast news media.
Scaramucci is not one of those false-flag conservative Republicans – the ones CNN and MSNBC employ to give a false image of balance. Those folks deserted the cause at the onset. They included the former chairman of the National Republican Committee Michael Steele, longtime conservative icon Bill Kristol and a range of so-called “Republican strategists” — including Steve Schmidt, Elise Jordan, Rick Wilson and Max Boot. In a small example of honor, some have formally switched parties, including “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC paid contributor and former Florida Republican Congressman David Jolly.
Scaramucci is a different breed. He has been a long-time personal friend of the President and for the past two years a faithful loyalist. Apart from a few snide comments by former Trump appointees, such as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly, no one from the inner circle has come out so publicly and so completely against Trump’s re-election as has Scaramucci.
Scaramucci is not leading a potential exodus of Trump supporters but is more likely reflecting the growing feelings of a significant segment of the 90 percent of Republican voters who currently support Trump. There is a measurable degree of soft support in that number.
Most of the 90 percent will stick with Trump in a General Election when the only alternative is a Democrat from the ranks of the 25-candidate field and the radical left policies they propose to inflict on the nation. The real question is how many of the 85 percent will stick with Trump in the face of a credible alternative in the primaries – and keep in mind, that number suggestions that 15 percent of Republicans are not tied to Trump. There are a lot of Republicans who would welcome the opportunity to have that choice.
Scaramucci’s call for a challenge to Trump could … that is, could … kick off a search for a credible alternative. It would not include the current challenger for the GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who has become a bit of a political joke after his humiliating Libertarian candidacy for Vice President in 2016. Former Congressman Mark Sanford is testing the waters, but he does not have the gravitas to defeat Trump. It would take a Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz type – and so far, none of them seem to be interested.
At this point, Trump looks unbeatable for the nomination to a second term, but if his prospects continue to fall for any reason – including an economic downturn or a plunge in his polling numbers — the currently inconceivable becomes conceivable – a serious challenge in the Republican primaries.
Unfortunately, Trump’s tweeted responses to Scaramucci’s statements could be seen as evidence justifying the turnabout.
Like a time-release capsule, Scaramucci’s opposition to Trump’s re-election could be a game changer as the future unfolds – or maybe not. But the mere fact that it raises the prospect of more primary challenges should be a warning to Trump to tone down the rhetoric. Time will tell.
So, there ‘tis.
While it is still early in the presidential marathon, we may be seeing the beginning of a trend that was predicted here – several times – over recent months. Just days ago, I wrote this:
“There are probably enough radical or gullible people in the country to keep either Sanders or Warren as a threat to Biden – but not both of them. There may be enough to actually overtake Biden and give the nomination to Warren. In that case, the big winner will be President Trump.”
Essentially, what happens to former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead as the field narrows and all those progressive votes begin to converge. I will be a problem for him.
Initially, it looked like Vermont’s socialist Senator Bernie Sanders would be the beneficiary. After all, he was the guy who almost took down the anointed one – Hillary Clinton. Based on that, and the fact the Democratic Party has moved to the left, Sanders had every right to feel that the voters would “feel the Bern.”
Instead, he now appears to have become old news – with emphasis on “old.” He could not have anticipated that an equally radical challenger would come on the scene – and in the form of a younger (not much, however) woman from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren.
Let’s look at the numbers.
According to the Quinnipiac polls, Warren has started to move away from Sander and is creeping up on Biden. In last months poll, Biden held a 34 to 15 percent lead over Warren – with Harris at 12 percent and Sanders at 11.
In the most recent poll, Biden drops to 32 percent and Warren moves up to 21 percent. Sanders actually moves up to 14 percent, but now far behind his main competition. That’s right. At this stage, it is not Biden who will end Sanders’ dream of residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is Warren.
Sanders was not the only big loser. In the presidential game of Whack-A-Mole, the once highly touted Kamala Harris joined the legion of single-digit candidates by dropping from 12 percent to 7 percent. Ouch!
Despite their popularity on the left-wing media circuit, such presidential hopefuls as Mayor Peter Buttigieg (moving from 6 to 5 percent), the frenetic Beto O’Rourke (holding at 2 percent) and Senator Cory Booker (doubling his scored from 1 percent to 2 percent) lead a field of candidates striving for a humiliating one percent.
It has been obvious from the start that once the predominately left-wing candidates start dropping off or losing gravitas, one of the radical progressives will benefit. There are enough far-left votes scattered among the contenders to swamp Biden. He may find that his floor is his ceiling. Time will tell.
So, there ‘tis.
The responses from the left-wing media to President Trump’s address following the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio were characterized by the word “but.” That is a conjunction word that is used to negate everything that was stated previously.
In this case it was used in such positive statements as “Trump did call out white supremacy, but …” “he did call these acts ‘domestic terrorism,’ but …
For the most part, Trump said everything they had hoped (with crossed fingers) he would say. It was both a compassionate speech and one that addressed both problems and measures to be taken. It was what we would expect of a President in such times.
The #NeverTrump media could not give up their obsession to spin all reports on Trump to the negative. They continued with their politically biased narrative that he was the culpable culprit. Within the bubble-encased east coast media, Trump caused, encouraged, incited, provoked, promoted the shooting in El Paso. That is their story, and they are sticking to it.
Trump could not have used better words in his role as counselor-in chief. He expressed the pain of the nation in well chosen words. He was unequivocal in his condemnation of the killers, the malignant causes they proclaim and the groups who really do encourage and condone such heinous acts of violence – and he did so by name.
He offered up the first steps of resolution by ordering the FBI to increase its effort to identify and disband the hate groups that radicalize these demented individuals. He called for greater effort in identifying the mentally ill who succumb to the violent enticement of hate groups – with measures to prevent them from obtaining a gun and expedited procedures to take guns away.
He called on the social platform industry to increase its efforts to remove those embedded sights that promote and incite hateful speech and actions. Tangentially, he pointed a finger at the producers of bloody violent games that are an amusement for most, but a stimulant for those with sociopathic propensities.
Trump noted his administration’s past actions against gun violence which included red flag laws to get guns away from the mentally ill and his Executive Order banning the sale of bump stocks.
All of this was largely brushed aside but the reliance on “but” reporting – segueing back to the old anti-Trump narratives. Folks like Beto O’Rourke – who has seen the tragedy in El Paso as his ticket to greater public attention – Trump is an existential threat to the nation. America will not survive if he is elected to a second term. That is Chicken Little on steroids.
Many reports and pundits conceded that Trump said he was open to legislative restrictions on guns – as long as they were not symbolic and would have positive results. BUT … he was not specific. To the biased media and the partisan Democrats, that meant he was not serious.
Trump’s lack of specificity allowed his media adversaries to continue that attack on guns, gun owners, the National Rifle Association and Republicans. Yes, the media did say some positive things about Trump’s speech, BUT they swept all that aside by piling on with negative interpretation and old narratives. It is no wonder that nothing gets done.
So, there ‘tis.
Democrats and their media allies spent the better part of two years falsely convincing much of the American public that Trump was guilty of criminal collusion with Russia and subsequently, obstruction of justice. You may recall how Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stated that he had seen the evidence among the documents that were provided to the Congress – although he was prohibited from sharing the details and the documents.
Democrats predicted – as fact – that Special Counsel would present the evidence. He did not – neither in his long-anticipated Report, his one and only press conference nor during his testimony before two committees of Congress.
Coming off the much hyped but ultimately disastrous congressional hearings with Mueller, Democrats are already looking for yet another bite at the apple. They are hoping to get former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify. They are now claiming that he will provide the evidence that failed to surface in the Mueller Report, the press conference and the hearings. They simply cannot accept that there is no there, there – at least in terms of criminal culpability.
What can be added that has not already been reported in the media ad infinitum?
Of course, the answer is “not much.” Many Democrats have long ago lost all hope of finding some smoking gun that will have the public clamoring for impeachment. But they have made some progress. Various polls suggest that public sentiment has shifted from 60 percent against impeachment to approximately 53 percent.
Democrats seem to believe that the more they can stage political performances with the same old script and the same characters, there is a chance that the public will bite on their stale bait.
So, how does McGahn fit into that strategy? A bit of retrospective will help.
As counsel to President Trump, McGahn was privy to Trump’s legal issues – official and personal. His more important role, however, was selecting all those conservative judges that Trump has been putting on the federal courts in record numbers – including two Supreme Court justices. But that is another story.
In terms of the Mueller investigation, McGahn is the person who advised Trump not to fire Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the chef at the Trump Tower.
Now this is where the plot thickens. Democrats contend that Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller– and they allege that such a command would constitute obstruction of justice. A more benign explanation is that Trump discussed such a possibility to gain McGahn’s legal advice. At any rate, despite every effort by Democrats to put words into Mueller’s mouth, the Special Counsel has refused — again, refused – to say that Trump is guilty of criminal obstruction. He left that decision to the Department of Justice.
The only thing that can be said for sure – factually – is that no one got fired. Mueller stated in his Report and subsequently testified that no one had hindered his investigation. In fact, Trump allowed McGahn to be interviewed by Mueller for more than 30 hours even though he could have claimed executive privilege to prevent such interrogation.
McGahn is mentioned 72 times in the Mueller Report – which in and of itself is not damning. To Democrats, that alone makes him an important witness. On the other hand, with so many references, it is unlikely that there is anything that McGahn can tell the Congress that has not already been summarized in the Report.
McGahn has shown no desire to testify and it is not certain that even a subpoena will get him before the committees of Congress. Even though McGahn is now a private citizen, Trump can exert executive privilege on information relating to McGahn’s days in the White House.
So far, McGahn is not responding to the congressional subpoena. Whether he will eventually be compelled to testify will have to be decided by the courts – and that could take months, even years to determine. But for now, McGahn appears to be the Democrats best chance to regurgitate the collusion and obstruction issues.
Maybe McGahn will testify before Congress. Maybe not. But in pursuing yet another staged event to put on the same production may be wearing thin with the public. It is starting to look like … excuse the expression … a witch-hunt.
So, there ’tis.
One of the central themes within the anti-Trump news media is the issue of Republicans – especially conservatives and evangelicals – who stick with President Trump. This issue is strategically designed to use Trump to wipe Republicans out of office across the board.
That is the proper mission of the Democratic Party. That is the nature of politics. You want your team to win. What has corrupted the process is the so-called news media becoming largely the communications wing of the increasingly left-wing Democratic Party. They have abrogated all devotion of journalism principles, ethics and traditions to serve as the propaganda vehicle of the progressive authoritarian class – a key component of the unprecedented effort to obstruct a duly-elected President of the United States under the banner of a #NeverTrump Resistance Movement.
That Movement, however, barely conceals its true purpose. It is to segue hatred for Trump into a broad-brush public enmity for Republicans in general – and conservatives more specifically. And yet the left agonizingly ponders why it is that so many Republicans – 90 percent according to recent polls – stick with Trump.
Folks appearing on left-wing media pretend to not know the reason, even though they do. It is just that the reason does not comport with their anti-Republican strategy to demonize literally half of America. Rather they utilize their self-righteous arrogance to discourage, intimidate and shame all those who do not accept their partisan views and mendacious narratives.
Many on the left pay lip service to “listening” to the American people – especially after their shock and dismay over the 2016 election that they – in all their self-proclaimed wisdom – never saw coming.
So, what is the reality of Trump’s hold on his voters that seems to elude the left at every turn? It deserves a detailed response even though there is a very simple overarching reason – that being, we like you on the left even less. We fear you and your policies more than Trump and his faults.
The left should ponder that for one moment. With all the criticism thrown at Trump – and some even deserved – we would still struggle through with Trump rather than have you and your kind in control of the government and our lives. It is the reason that the leaders on the other side of the aisle – and more specifically on the radical left – are actually less popular than Trump.
Of course, those polls do not get reported in the left-leaning media. Thanks to their one-sided reporting, trust in the American news media is at an all-time low. The ratings and circulation of the left-leaning press are tanking while more traditional and more balanced news outlets are either holding firm or growing.
One answer to your question of Republican loyalty to Trump is that we the people are NOT so easily fooled by your partisan reporting and biased interpretations of events. Your ginned up hyperbolic outrage at Trump and Republicans who do not pile on is itself, outrageous. Your credibility is no better than his.
Most Republicans stick with Trump – warts and all – because he better represents the direction we want for America. Yes, it is that old issue of personality versus policy. You might be surprised that many Republicans and conservatives do not like Trump as a person. You have made the case that he is petty, pugnacious, needlessly pugilistic, braggadocious and too often fact-challenged. Believe it or not, we get that part.
BUT – and that is a BIG BUTT – we see what he is DOING policy-wise – and even more important, what you on the extreme left WOULD DO if elected. In our view, policy will trump politics at every turn. Your devotion to the personality is petty politics – and downright hypocritical.
From day one, I have publicly expressed my wish that Trump was more like President Reagan. Just because I did not get my wish, however, does not mean that I will abandon life-long conservative beliefs to empower people with an ideology that I believe to be an existential danger to the Republic and to future generations.
Like many of my Republican and conservative friends, we see and lament Trump’s personality flaws, but they are not nearly as bad as your exaggerated interpretations of them. We also see through your consistently negative and highly dishonest spin. You doth complain too much – and thereby lose your own credibility.
And what we do despise about you on the left – and especially the Republican-hating cronies of the Fourth Estate – is how you so dishonestly demonizes us as racists, xenophobes, sexists, etc., etc., etc. It is character assassination of the worst kind – and when it comes to public figures who refuse to jump on your hate-the-right wagon, you engage in the unethical enterprise of the politics personal destruction.
Perhaps you on the strident left should be embarrassed to know that despite all of Trump’s faults, we dislike and distrust you even more. Ponder that for a moment. THAT is why so many good and decent Americans stick with Trump. It is YOUR fault.
So, there ‘tis.
Joe Biden remains the so-called front-runner in the various recent polls at 26 percent of the vote – and he has slipped from a 35 percent lead after the first Democratic Party debate. That is not necessarily good news for the former Vice President.
The significance of recent surveys is not just Biden’s numbers but the shift in numbers for other candidates – especially those in double digits. The relative upward improvement of both Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris has been widely reported but still underappreciated.
According to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Biden’s 26 percent lead is followed by Warren at 19% and Harris and Senator Bernie Sanders tied at 13 percent. Those four account for 71 percent of the responses. That is significant.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg garners 7 percent with former Congressman – and former superstar – Beto O’Rourke tied with businessman Andrew Yang at two percent. The remaining 16 or so candidates are at one percent or below – so low that none of them will be on the stage for the next debate at the end of July unless the Democratic National Committee changes the rules. This means that virtually all of them will be officially or effectively out of the race before Labor Day.
One thing we have not seen in polling is the voters second choice. In a multi-candidate race, that is an EXTREMELY important bit of information. Even with polling data, we can see a dark-hole effect in the race between Warren and Sanders. Most of Sanders probably terminal drop in the polls has been to the benefit of Warren. She was naturally Sanders supporters’ second choice – now first choice.
If you look at the three candidates giving Biden the greatest challenge – Warren, Harris and Sanders – they represent the progressive wing of the Democratic Party AND they cumulatively have 45 percent of the vote – with another 11 percent held by progressives Buttigieg, Yang and O’Rourke. Concentrate that into one candidate, and that person easily overtakes Biden – and that does not count the distribution of the remaining 18 percent of the vote currently held by the hopeless wannabes.
Where does that vote go?
Since only two or three of them represent more moderate – more accurately, less left-wing – positions, it is safe to assume that the numbers would break in favor of a Biden challenger.
If that sole challenger is Harris, Biden is in even deeper trouble. He currently holds 46 percent of the black vote. If Harris is seen as a serious potential candidate – and potential President – Biden’s support from the black community will most certainly decline in the primaries. One needs to recall that Hillary Clinton was holding onto the black vote until Barack Obama won the Ohio primary – which resulted in a seismic shift in the black vote to the black candidate.
If the sole challenger to Biden winds up to be Warren, Biden could hold much of his black support. For a few reasons, Warren is drawing only 8 percent of the black vote – the lowest of any of the four leading candidates who have reached double digits. But unless Biden can remarkably improve his black vote, it is hard to see how he would hold on against a flow of progressive votes going to his yet-to-be-determined progressive competitor – Warren, in this case.
Biden currently has a perceived advantage, but that is only if you do not look below the surface. His situation is like a long-distance runner who starts out at top speed to get to the front – but is sure to run out of energy before the race is over.
So, there ‘tis.