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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Let’s teach Hillary to say “Radical Islam”

Let’s face it – it must be hard to be a Democrat politician these days. How they’re all able to paper over the world’s biggest problems takes a healthy dose of strong nerve.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we should give them credit for being so good at it. Democrats have the hardest time simply articulating facts, as was amply on display during Saturday night’s presidential “debate,” where Hillary Radical IslamHillary Clinton refused to utter the term “radical Islam” even after Friday’s night’s heinous terrorist attack in Paris.

That’s not the only suspension of logic that occurred in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner reports, “The early questions devoted to Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris were largely defined by Clinton's refusal to use the phrase ‘radical Islam’ and Sanders' insistence that climate change was a bigger global threat than the Islamic State. ‘In fact,’ the Vermont socialist added, ‘climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.’”

What can you say? Wow. People are getting shot, blown up and beheaded across the world and Sanders thinks the earth is warming because of it. Nice call, Bernie.

Antle says the tone of the second Democrat debate was much more combative than the first. Whereas Bernie Sanders had previously said “we’re all tired of hearing about Hillary’s damn emails” last month in Las Vegas, this time he was more in a mood to fight (though not over the emails) with her.

Perhaps it’s due to his stagnant position in the polls – or maybe it’s because he was feeling crustier than usual over Hillary’s attempts to one-up him on the socialism dole.

Whatever the reason, the three-candidate debate (the other body being equally wacked out Martin O’Malley) was a snooze fest that CBS ended seven minutes early. When you’ve already given away everything, collapsed the economy and gutted America’s military defenses, what else is there to say?

(The comparatively small audience size was indicative of America’s level of interest, too.)

Needless to say, any of the Republicans should relish running against this group. But never underestimate the power of the Left to turn out their people on Election Day – or mail in fraudulent ballots before it. There’s a lot of hard work ahead in choosing a principled conservative to carry the Republican banner.

And then get him (or her) elected.

Republicans take to Twitter to react to Hillary, Bernie and Martin

In contrast to the Democrats, the Republicans had no trouble in tweeting on the subject of radical Islam during the event.

Their responses were predictable.

Jeb Bush: “Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism.”

John Kasich: “@HillaryClinton has consistently failed to understand the depth of the ISIS threat. We need @JohnKasich's leadership.”

Carly Fiorina: “We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth...Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.”

Donald Trump: “Why won't President Obama use the term Islamic Terrorism? Isn't it now, after all of this time and so much death, about time!”

Marco Rubio got in his digs as well on Sunday.

Hillary’s politically correct pandering on the subject teed up an easy one for the Republicans. There’s little doubt that 2016 will once again be a foreign policy/national security dominated election.

Democrats aren’t helping themselves with independent voters by failing to label the enemy. It makes them look weaker than they already are.

Friday’s terrorist assault also likely means there will be plenty of chest beating by Republicans in favor of a greatly expanded military role, though it’s hard to see how a no-fly zone in Syria or expanding the navy is going to protect against isolated terror cells.

If anything, the policy both parties should be talking about is what to do about the refugee situation created by the wars in the Middle East.

Erick Erickson writes, “If we cannot exercise discernment and discretion in letting in refugees from Syria, we should let none of them in. It really is that simple.”

That’s a subject I’d like to see addressed in the next Republican debate (December 15 in Las Vegas, hosted by CNN/Salem Radio). We’ve already heard plenty about rebuilding America’s military to provide greater capabilities across the ocean.

How about what should be done to protect us in our shopping malls, theaters and restaurants right here at home?

Ben Carson’s “Where’s the beef?” problem

Heading into the latter half of November, Ben Carson remains a solid second (according to the Real Clear Politics polling average) in the Republican presidential race.

He’s done so, up to this point at least, without offering many policy specifics.

Donald Trump’s main criticism (other than the most recent “pathological” rant, of course) of Carson is that being a world-renowned surgeon does not provide the type of experience necessary to be president. Trump reasons being an “okay doctor” is not the same as running a business where you have thousands of employees and deal with a host of issues ranging from real estate acquisition to legally terminating employment.

Businesses run more like the government, in other words. Though theoretically, the People are supposed to be the CEOs of America’s corporation. It hasn’t worked out that way.

At any rate, even Carson’s supporters would likely agree he needs to add beef to the bun.

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Mr. Carson has more duty than most to outline such a plan—both because he has no voting record, and because his past policy prescriptions are so varied. Many Americans date their first notice of Ben Carson to that prayer breakfast in 2013, when he criticized ObamaCare in front of the president.

“In fact, the surgeon has spent 15 years writing a string of best-selling books and giving interviews that feature policy ideas…

“In fairness, there are many issues on which Mr. Carson is consistent and clear: tort reform, the need to cut spending and repeal ObamaCare. In fairness, there are many issues on which he is not.”

Strassel points out that because Carson has no voting record, there’s no way to tell exactly how he feels about the details of his various ideas. For example, she says Ben’s finally settled on 15% for his flat tax rate, but gives no specifics on how he will administer his proposed “rebate” for the poor.

As we’ve gotten to know Carson over the months, there’s much to like about him personally. People are responding to his fight against political correctness and are sympathetic in his battle for fair treatment at the hands of the media. But with most of the other candidates introducing detailed roadmaps on how they’d handle the office of the presidency, Carson must produce more.

It’s not enough to speak in broad generalizations about issues and promise to convene smart people to hammer out the details once in office. The “trust me” argument only gets you so far.

Ted Cruz named names in where he’d cut the federal budget and brought out a well-received tax plan. Carson needs to do something similar.

Paris attacks demonstrate danger involved with apathetic immigration policy

Finally today, in addition to their obvious national security implications, the Paris attacks bring the all-important issue of immigration to the forefront.

Several Republicans indicated the attacks vindicated their stances on the issue.

Ben Schreckinger of Politico reports, “At the Sunshine Summit Republican gathering (in Orlando, Florida), Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal all tied the attacks to immigration on Saturday and raised the prospect that agents of ISIL had slipped into the United States already or could do so if the administration proceeds with plans to allow in Syrian refugees. On the campaign trail in Texas and South Carolina, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz did the same.”

The Politico article hinted it was in poor taste to speak on the attacks so soon after their occurrence and the candidates were using the tragedy for personal gain.

Nonsense. The attacks shine a bright spotlight on a matter that begs discussion. The fact the Democrats want to continue to ignore it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be brought up on the campaign trail. The candidates need to talk about it while people are paying attention – now, they are.

One last note concerning Trump and immigration: Many have criticized The Donald for his proposal to deport all those in this country illegally. They’ve said Trump’s plan is impractical, expensive and inhumane.

I would argue Trump himself realizes that deporting many millions of people cannot be accomplished, but he’s only proposing such a thing as a starting point of negotiations.

Trump the deal maker knows you never begin negotiating with your final position. By starting at the extreme it makes him more likely to get concessions in other areas such as sealing the border (building a “beautiful wall”) and instituting a national employment verification system.

He’ll be much more likely to get what he wants on issues where there’s a consensus. Meanwhile, it will make him look “humane” by conceding the point on deportation while also achieving great policy success on proposals that can be implemented reasonably quickly.

The Donald also may be starting at the extremes to make other candidates more palatable in the general election, such as Ted Cruz.

Just a thought as we begin another week in the Republican horse race.

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