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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Bullying by bullhorn is no way for leftists to win political arguments

How would you react if you were at a sporting event and suddenly everything stopped about halfway through the game and the players walked off the field?

Suppose an announcement then blares over the public address system, “Thank you for attending; the game has been called and a winner declared. Please get your tickets early for the next scheduled homestand Bullhorncoming up this Tuesday night against the….”

Would angry fans start tearing out the seats? Would pandemonium ensue? Perhaps a lot of screaming and gnashing of teeth?

Many conservatives are experiencing a similar feeling these days in listening to political commentators drone on endlessly about how badly this year’s midterm elections are supposed to go for the Republican Party. Here it is only the beginning of the last week of April and already there are so many doom forecasters out there calling for acid rain falling from the sky (for GOP candidates) on Election Day that it almost seems pointless to go on.

But why should Republicans quit when the “real” games haven’t even started yet? Heck, they still need to elect a new leader in the House, don’t they? John Feehery wrote last week at The Hill, “Politics is an unpredictable business, and no lead is safe in the minds of a fickle public.

“Here is my theory about this upcoming election: If the economy is perceived to be either strong or getting stronger by the majority of voters, Republicans will keep the House and expand their majority in the Senate.

“The reason has nothing to do about the efficacy of the Trump tax cuts. When the economy is strong, voters focus on cultural and social issues, which tend to cut better for the GOP. When the economy is weak, voters turn to the Democrats, because they figure they will find ways to spend money to take care of them.”

Well put; considering Feehery’s resume reads like a who’s who of Republican establishment-land (having worked for Dennis Hastert, Tom Delay and Bob Michel, among others), he’s got a keen sense of the ebbs and flows of politics. In closely observing politics myself for most of my own life I can say there’s nothing much about the “game” that’s written in stone.

If the 2016 election didn’t reveal this lesson I’m not sure what else would.

Feehery passed along an interesting personal anecdote to help demonstrate his main point – why Republicans need to remain “on the field” this year. His son’s little league baseball team was down at the end of a game recently and came up against the “mercy rule.” As the team’s coach Feehery decided to play the last inning rather than call it a game and head home defeated – and you guessed it, his little leaguers staged an epic comeback to tie the score.

It’s completely understandable how this could happen – I’ve witnessed it myself a time or two with my own kids’ teams.

My son’s team had a similar episode of late, though it was from the opposite perspective. They held a seemingly safe lead going into the other team’s final at-bat. Already short-handed with eight players the boys quickly got an out – but then all heck broke loose. As kids are wont to do, an overthrow hit one of his teammate’s glasses, causing the youth to shriek in pain and leave the game to receive stitches to close the gaping wound.

Henceforth my son’s team was down to seven players (the bare minimum allowable before having to forfeit) – two outfielders, three infielders, a pitcher and a catcher. The action from then-on looked like a comedy of errors and they almost blew the considerable lead – but in the end the team managed to get the final two outs and finish off the game. Afterwards the coaches told the boys how proud they were of them for not giving up when everything was going wrong and the pressure was on.

Is that so much different than the situation Republicans face now?

True, there have been a rash of retirements from the current House delegation -- including Speaker Paul Ryan. Also tangible is the Democrats’ confidence from reducing margins of victory (in GOP wins) from last year’s special elections to replace Republican congressmen (having departed to join the Trump administration). Then there was the senate special election fiasco in Alabama last December and a couple more Democrat triumphs this year to present the appearance of everything being lost for Republicans.

Like Feehery’s son’s baseball team the GOP looks to be down considerably heading into the critical part of the “game.” But there’s no reason to quit now. Republicans still arguably hold the advantage thanks to favorable House redistricting, only a few seats that seem certain to be lost and an economy that’s humming along under the guidance of the never-boring President Donald Trump.

In other words, all the conditions are ripe for a terrific “comeback” if Republicans would just extend the game.

Even the polls seem to agree. Julie Kelly wrote last week at The Federalist, “[L]less than seven months out, a strong undercurrent is pulling the Blue Wave out to political sea. A trove of new polling shows the once-formidable lead Democrats had in the generic congressional ballot is nearly gone.

“Wedge issues, such as gun control and immigration, are not working in Democrats’ favor. In fact, thanks to Trump even independent voters believe Democrats are using the children of illegal immigrants for political purposes rather than legitimately protecting their welfare. Although Trump’s job approval ratings remain underwater among Democrats and Independents, voters give him props for a number of achievements, not the least of which is a strong economy, proving it is politically possible to dislike a man but like what he does.”

In her article Kelly examines several of the most recent polls showing a consistent but narrowing Democrat lead in the generic congressional ballot. There are also a host of positive signs conservatives and Republicans should be pleased about, not the least of which is the public’s impression that Trump is having a beneficial influence on the economy.

All of this is taking place despite the media’s constant negative bombardment subconsciously steering Americans towards non-stories like porn actress/stripper Stormy Daniels, self-important glory-seeker James Comey and the ongoing Special Counsel (Robert Mueller) investigation which journalists are quite certain will result in collusion indictments any day now.

Meanwhile confident Democrats seem convinced that waving a “DREAMERS” banner and marching the Parkland students (led by snotty little brat David Hogg) in front of cable news channel cameras equates to instant gold in the voting booth. Unfortunately for Democrats, the polls don’t play it out.  

It’s still not cause for Republicans to get cocky, however. Kelly concluded, “Seven months is still a long way off and anything can happen, especially when the head of one’s party is impulsive and erratic. If Trump can hold it together, the Robert Mueller probe continues to lose support among Americans, the economy chugs along, and we look tough abroad, Republicans can keep control of the House until the next presidential election. At least for now, it appears that the hundreds of political influencers who bet Trump would ‘ruin’ the GOP and cause massive losses this November were dead flat wrong.”

As of late last week the Real Clear Politics average on the generic congressional ballot was down to Democrats +5.5. In addition to the multitude of James Comey sightings of late there was also quite a bit of media hubbub over a potential meeting between Trump and NORK dictator Kim Jong-un to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. The president’s Syria strike faded into the background as well.

Peace abroad will likely lead to more good feelings towards Trump – and hence additional good news for the prospects of Republicans heading into the fall. In contrast to the eight frustrating years of foreign policy fecklessness under Obama, it genuinely appears progress is being made in the international sphere.

The election “game” is far from over. If you factor in the left’s proven tendency to go off the deep end on cultural issues it’s even more evident there’s plenty of reason for Republicans to hang around with smiles on their faces until November.

Take what’s happened with coffee chain giant Starbucks, where leftist protestors converged last week to pin the “racist” label on the company because a white store manager called the police on two loitering black men who didn’t purchase anything and refused to vacate the premises. Kyle Smith wrote at National Review, “In ironic juxtaposition to the viral video of the two black men being confronted by police was a picture taken during the protest at the Philadelphia Starbucks Sunday by the [Philadelphia] Inquirer’s Michael Bryant.

“It captures Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif standing in front of a staffer, identified on his apron as Zack. Zack is not the employee who called the police last week. Khalif is yelling into a bullhorn despite being maybe three feet away from poor Zack, who is standing with his hands folded, patiently absorbing abuse for something he had nothing to do with. ‘Today, this space is now secure, secured by the people’ was among the announcements Khalif thought it necessary to make through his bullhorn.

“That photo, shared widely on social media, is the perfect American tableau for our demented political moment, when one guy feels entitled to yell through his bullhorn at another guy for an incident that didn’t involve either of them. In 2018 America, it’s as if just about everyone is either Khalif, absurdly overreacting to the latest news, or Zack, getting dragged into somebody else’s political controversy. At the Philadelphia protest on Monday, one man shouted to his fellow demonstrators, ‘What do we want?’ The crowd responded, ‘Liberation!’ ‘When do we want it?’ he cried. ‘Now!’ they answered. Sorry — Starbucks may be a great place to get a venti macchiato, but it’s not able to offer anyone liberation.”

Liberal snowflake-loving Starbucks is taking a big force-fed dose of the same politically correct medicine it’s been pushing on conservatives for decades. What comes around goes around, right? Cater to the leftist fringe and sooner or later they’ll be coming for you. It’s inevitable.

The Philadelphia Starbucks protest reminded me of last month’s “March for Our Lives” demonstration which I witnessed on a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia. The assembled crowd marched by our location holding signs and chanting slogans, clearly feeling better about themselves for having done something to register their displeasure with school shootings.

Just like the members of the crowd gathered outside of Starbucks in Philadelphia assuredly felt relieved for doing something about racism. In his article Smith noted that the incident in question took place at one of thousands (8000) of Starbucks stores and involved one Starbucks employee (out of 238,000). Does this imply all Starbucks workers are deceptive racists harboring hate? Or are the leftists just stupid?

I’ll take the latter alternative.

The left’s agenda will not allow radical groups to take a seat in order to make the Democrats they support look more mainstream ahead of this year’s midterm elections. When it comes to making the GOP and Trump look “normal” there’s nothing better than a gathering of leftists with bullhorns. 

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