Perhaps it’s a just part of our 21st century political reality where partisans fight over everything under the sun, but now Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on whose people are (or were) angriest – or even whether the others’ followers were angry at all.
With congressmen and senators back in their districts since recessing almost two weeks ago, Republicans especially have faced another wave of angry protesters during town hall meetings and public appearances. The scenes have become almost formulaic, like a bad romantic comedy movie.
Here’s the scenario: a congressman advertises an event; leftwing groups put out the word to their shock troops, people show up, make a lot of noise, don’t let the congressman say very much without interruption, earn dirty looks from people who are there legitimately concerned about something, the press eats it up and everyone leaves upset claiming they’re not being heard and Trump and the Republicans don’t care about them.
It’s become so commonplace and predictable since Donald Trump won the presidency almost six months ago that Republicans are now just taking it all in stride.
W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner wrote, “Liberals are calling it ‘resistance recess,’ but Republicans are guardedly hoping that the rowdy town hall meetings they're facing back home represent a harmless burst of left-wing activism triggered by President Trump, instead of a real warning sign for the GOP in 2018…
“Recent history doesn't give much of a clue as to whether the protests are a real sign of trouble for the GOP. While the Tea Party is one precedent for the town hall protests, demonstrations against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed to presage his defeat in the recall election or his bid for a second term. Antiwar activism against President George W. Bush did not have much electoral impact until 2006, the final midterm elections of his presidency.”
Having only viewed archived TV news footage of the massive 60’s protests I can’t say for sure whether today’s iterations bear any resemblance to the “classics”, but the “causes” these people are championing today don’t seem to compare to the “peace and free love” movements of the hippy baby boom generation.
With the healthcare issue apparently all-but settled and getting rid of the liberals’ precious federal subsidy-driven Obamacare seemingly beyond the Freedom Caucus’s grasp, leftists have moved on to endlessly bellyaching about other things like “climate change” and the Trump’s administration’s supposed rollback of environmental protections. Meanwhile Planned Parenthood continues to send out fundraising emails suggesting women are being oppressed -- but the “pu—y hats” that were so common in the days after Trump’s inauguration three months ago have practically disappeared from view.
Maybe it’s because women now recognize Trump hasn’t turned out to be the bane of all liberal women’s causes -- but more likely it’s due to boredom and the need for something else to cry and moan about.
Because there doesn’t appear to be any central rallying point for these unbalanced leftist people I can’t help but conclude their protests are nothing like the Tea Party mass gatherings of 2010. Though the Tea Party movement eventually grew into a larger conservative undertaking that encompassed a number of things – including to some extent social issues – the Tea Party was primarily a libertarian-driven cause focused on reducing government’s size, overreach and spending.
When in doubt, the protest signs give the purpose away. A quick Google search of Tea Party signs came up with “Obama Commander and THIEF;” “It’s not spelled SOCIALISM, it’s spelled DEMOCRACY;” “Taxed Enough Already” and “We came unarmed [this time].”
There were others that weren’t quite so sanitary, but generally the conservatives’ signage was clean and to the point.
In contrast a similar Google search of Trump protest signs brought up “You cannot unify with HATE;” “TRUMP Make America Hate Again;” “Pu—y Grabs Back;” and “Without immigrants Trump would have no wives.”
Again, there were quite a few more that couldn’t be re-broadcast on a family-friendly website, but you get the picture.
In their protest heyday conservatives in the Tea Party crusade often came armed with a pocket copy of the Constitution. A seasoned adult-driven movement, they held their rallies, cheered the speakers and left peacefully – and even cleaned up after themselves when they were done. They went home, organized voluntarily and without provocation and became a real political force, most visibly materializing in 2010, 2014 – and 2016.
In contrast, liberals and radical leftists today wear black masks to hide their identities and use pepper spray on anonymous targets. They’re young and stupid, the product of a pampered “snowflake” generation that was raised on political correctness and safe spaces. They come to disrupt, inflict fear and bar conservatives from speaking.
David French of National Review wrote yesterday, “We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws? If it is, then it’s time to grow a backbone, protect free speech, punish rioters, and expel those who disrupt the educational environment regardless of ideology. There should be no more sympathy or leniency for the lawless social-justice warrior than there is for the lawless neo-Nazi.”
French was referring to violent protests that occurred over the weekend in Berkeley, California, where leftists clashed with pro-Trump demonstrators and practically started an all-out riot.
From my observations of inauguration day in Washington I can say a lot of the these “professional” protesters couldn’t give a hoot about any particular message other than trying to instill terror in “average” Americans and exact as much property damage as the authorities will allow them to get away with.
The stark behavioral differences between Tea Partiers and this current vintage of leftist human outrage machines leads me to believe most of what’s going on now is phony, undoubtedly professionally sponsored and organized and will likely lead to nothing of substance at the ballot box.
It doesn’t take a sharp memory to recall the “protests” that occurred about a year ago this time where leftist crowds attempted to intimidate Trump rally supporters, waved Mexican flags and swore the world would come to an end if Trump won the presidency.
More than likely it’s the same people who are making all the noise now, too. This isn’t a movement; it’s not growing. “Resist” isn’t something to unite around because there’s no central cause to champion other than hating on Trump. It’s just as probable these outlandish leftists are only driving more rational liberals towards the political center rather than winning more converts.
Republicans may lose an election or two along the way but it’s important to remember the real core of the country still supports Trump’s message and will continue to do so as long as it isn’t diluted and mixed in with that of the failed GOP establishment.
Trump is his own best messenger. Here’s betting these protests won’t amount to a hill of beans.
Should President Trump make a deal with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire?
Now that Justice Neil Gorsuch is safely seated on the Supreme Court for the rest of his natural life – or at least until he decides to retire – attention turns to the next possible openings on the high Court. Since the political punditry took so much pleasure in talking about Court appointments for the past year and change, they’re hankering to do it again.
A lot of speculation surrounds Reagan-appointed 80-year old Justice Anthony Kennedy’s rumored retirement as the next best chance for the all-Supreme-Court-all-the-time chatter. But how about just turned 84 year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member of the Court?
Some believe our deal-loving President Trump should make Ginsburg an offer she can’t (or won’t) refuse.
Allan Smith of Business Insider reports on one such suggestion. “Chris Ruddy, a confidant of President Donald Trump, told Business Insider in a Monday interview that Trump should cut a deal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His proposition: Replace her on the bench with Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's choice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's vacated seat in 2016.
“Ruddy, who wrote about his opposition to the Senate's invoking the so-called nuclear option to help get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said Trump nominating Garland to the court would be a ‘huge move.’”
“Exchanging” Ginsburg for Garland would indeed be a huge move but it would also be an enormously stupid one. Ruddy calls Garland a “moderate, consensus Democrat,” as if the type exists anymore. Political party doesn’t figure in at all for membership on the Supreme Court, but judicial philosophy matters a whole lot.
When it comes to judging cases, you either believe in following the letter of the law and the Constitution and assessing the original intent of the Founding Fathers – or you don’t. That’s why there’s such a stark ideological divide between the originalists on the Court and the liberals who probably flip coins to decide issues or can be influenced by the quality of the coffee they drink on the morning of oral arguments.
If liberals located a “right” to an abortion in the Constitution they can probably find just about anything hiding in the “penumbras” of the document.
According to Wikipedia, the penumbra “includes a group of rights derived, by implication, from other rights explicitly protected in the Bill of Rights. These rights have been identified through a process of ‘reasoning-by-interpolation’, where specific principles are recognized from ‘general idea[s]’ that are explicitly expressed in other constitutional provisions.”
That’s fancy-speak for saying a Justice can pull a “right” out of his or her backside and then write a pleasing sounding justification for it in the official Court opinion. That’s exactly what Ginsburg has been doing since she joined the Court in August of 1993.
Ruddy’s suggestion is interesting but Trump doesn’t need to make a “deal” with anyone for his next Court appointment. Ginsburg is getting on in years and also has health issues (history of cancer and heart problems). For lack of a better way to put it, she’s also getting a little “nutty” recently in negatively commenting last year on Trump’s candidacy and insinuating just last week that she thought Sen. Lindsey Graham is a woman.
Ginsburg’s disparaging comments about Trump last year should arguably disqualify her from any Court matters dealing with the executive branch. But she would never recuse herself, I’m guessing. If these things keep coming up maybe Republicans should challenge her mental capacity to serve.
At any rate, Ginsburg – or nature -- will decide her own tenure on the Court. If Trump is patient he may very well get the opportunity to choose her successor, likely in his first term.
This is one occasion where the deal-maker should just bide his time.
Trump is succeeding in reversing disastrous Obama energy production crackdown
One of many things that irked me about former president Barack Obama was his penchant for taking credit for program achievements he’d actually opposed.
For example, Obama actually claimed his administration’s policies were responsible for improving the illegal immigration situation because he’d stepped up deportations; or that he advanced the economy because the unemployment rate came back down (while the workforce participation rate shrunk to record lows); or he combatted terrorism by ordering a record number of drone strikes.
But there was no bigger area of outright Obama phony glory-hogging than with energy production.
Economist Stephen Moore wrote in the Washington Times, “Renewable energy is at best one or two decades away from being a major energy source for the world, so until that happens, coal and natural gas will compete as low-priced, super-abundant and domestically produced energy sources for 21st century America.
“Nuclear power will hopefully continue to play an important role, too. For all the talk about the increase in wind and solar industries, they still account for less than 5 percent of our energy. Almost 70 percent comes from natural gas and coal.
“Coal isn’t dead in America. It is unleashed. As a Washington Times editorial put it very well recently, ‘The left gave up on the 100,000 coal workers in America more than a decade ago. Donald Trump has not.’ Remember this the next time Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi lecture us about how much they care about the working class in America.”
In the waning days of his administration Obama claimed American energy production drastically increased under his watch. This happens to be true but the vast majority of the boost was due to private investment in “fracking” operations in places like North Dakota and northern Colorado and had nothing to do with Obama’s policies whatsoever.
In reality Obama’s activist Environmental Protection Agency did everything possible to try and trip up energy producers. From declaring ANWR off-limits to further oil production to imposing a new hopelessly tangled permitting process for offshore drilling to placing vast swaths of federal land beyond the reach of energy producers, Obama cracked down on energy with gusto.
Meanwhile Obama and his environmentalist cronies dumped billions into boondoggle projects like Solyndra, creating a slush fund for Democrat contributors.
That’s not to mention the time, attention and resources devoted to promoting measures to combat first “global warming” and then the more politically palatable concept of “climate change.” Obama worked tirelessly to tie down American businesses under the guise of international cooperation while allowing the world’s largest polluting nations to go unchallenged.
President Trump is busy reversing these actions, as highlighted by Moore above.
There will be many who claim Trump was an accomplishment-free president during his first 100 days; but those who say so ignore the reality of people working all across the country in areas such as energy production. Trump should be proud – he’s making a noticeable difference…and leaving the credit to the people themselves.