Politics

Politics

Profiles in Cowardice, Alinsky-Style

By 3.2.15

For all the accusations that House Speaker John Boehner has been engaging in partisanship by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it is the Obama administration and congressional Democrats who are making a partisan issue of Netanyahu’s speech.

The Obama White House has gone in full Alinsky mode on Netanyahu — whether it’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioning Netanyahu’s honesty, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claiming the speech would be “destructive” to U.S.-Israeli relations, or Secretary of State John Kerry admonishing Bibi for supporting the War in Iraq. Kerry’s admonition is precious considering that he too once supported the same war. But no matter. Netanyahu is the target and he has been frozen, personalized, and polarized. 

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Obama’s Historical Ignorance and Disdain for the Faith

By 2.10.15

Barack Obama has one final year to realize that the National Prayer Breakfast just isn’t a good venue for him. Obama’s track record at the annual function has been little other than disastrous, and another president—one with a more hostile media and a less dedicated constituency—would have been ruined already by previous catastrophes.

Obama’s problems with the National Prayer Breakfast began in earnest in 2012, when the keynote speech at the affair was given by author Eric Metaxas. The speech Metaxas gave in advance of Obama’s own address was a tour de force and an indictment, though a polite one, of Obama’s position on abortion and other social issues as decisively anti-Christian. Metaxas stole the show and left Obama giving a speech that had been thoroughly repudiated from the same podium just minutes earlier, about how Christianity included essentially the same moral framework as Hinduism or Islam.

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Politics

Smearing Scalise

By 12.30.14

In 2002, current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was a 36-year-old rookie state legislator trying to make a name for himself as an opponent of middle-class tax increases and corrupt legislative slush funds used by Louisiana’s worst political actors to buy votes. Scalise railed against such public sector abuses of taxpayers to anyone who would listen, and his advocacy ultimately gained him notoriety and the approval of the voters in suburban New Orleans; in 2008 he was elected to his current position with an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote.

But one of the speeches Scalise gave during his barnstorming days in the legislature has now returned to haunt him, likely thanks to some Democrat party smear merchants and a lightly-read left-wing Louisiana blogger looking for street cred.

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Mary Landrieu Lost Because Racism, Obviously

By 12.8.14

In the end, Mary Landrieu actually did a little better than expected. With polls showing her down as many as 26 points to Bill Cassidy less than a week prior to Election Day, the final 56-44 result in Cassidy’s favor almost reads as a moral victory on her part.

But U.S. Senate seats are not won on moral victories, and thus Saturday marks the end of Landrieu’s eighteen-year stint representing Louisiana on Capitol Hill. Many wags are calling it the end of an era—namely, that of the Southern Democrat as a mainstream political entity. With Landrieu’s loss, there is no longer a viable Democratic Party anywhere in the Deep South with the apparent capability to win a statewide race of any major importance or capture a majority of a state legislative body. Of former Confederate states, Democrats now hold Senate seats only in Virginia and Florida.

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Five Ways Congress Should Respond To Obama’s Executive Amnesty

By 11.25.14

In the aftermath of Thursday’s debacle of a speech, in which our president crossed a Rubicon of his own making and transformed himself into a tin-pot ruler of Third World quality, the incoming GOP Senate majority and the soon-to-expand Republican House majority are faced with a stiff challenge as the current Congress ends and the new one is sworn in next year.

What Obama has done—asserting the right to legalize millions of trespassers and squatters against the expressed wishes of Congress and in contravention of settled federal law by use of what he and his minions term “prosecutorial discretion”—cannot stand. GOP leadership on Capitol Hill needs to overreact to it in order to set an example. Sure, amnesty is atrocious policy, for all kinds of reasons. The real issue at stake, however, is the poisoning of our constitutional system of checks and balances by a president who believes, after saying two dozen times the opposite, that he can invent for himself the power to overturn federal law by fiat.

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The Lois Lerner Curve

By From the Sept/Oct 2014 issue

Corrupt countries, where the rule of law is weak and political pilfering is common, are poor countries. Entrepreneurs and investors cannot safely start or finance businesses in states that don’t respect property rights and honor contracts, or that use the levers of the government to go after political opponents. And it’s not as though America doesn’t have a corruption problem. On Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the U.S. comes in at number 19, behind most of the rest of the First World.

For anyone following the Lois Lerner scandal, that’s not surprising. What should be surprising, perhaps, are her defenders. Lerner tampered with IRS nonprofit applications, and revealed them only when an Inspector General was about to report on them. Then the cover-up began. The IRS put out a story that blamed the shenanigans on low-level Cincinnati employees. We were told that the IRS hadn’t picked on conservative any more than liberal groups. All lies. Then Lerner pled the Fifth, and her emails mysteriously disappeared. 

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Brit Hume Debates Brit Hume

By 11.18.14

Who doesn’t like Brit Hume? Outside of the anti-Fox foamers and the occasional cranks? He’s smart, experienced, and completely unafraid to speak his mind with considerable forthrightness and clarity. More than frequently he’s also right, something that can’t be said for a lot of people.

Which is just why his two Sunday appearances—the first on Chris Wallace show, the second on Howard Kurtz’s—confused. It was almost as if there were two Brit Humes debating one another.

Let’s begin with Brit Hume number one.The subject is President Obama’s impending executive order giving amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Wallace read a question from a viewer named Jim, who suggested that Republicans use the power of the purse to defund the implementation of the president’s executive order on immigration, as well as Obamacare. Send the bill to the president, who, of course, will refuse to sign it—resulting, presumably, in stalemate and a government shutdown. Hume responds:

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Twilight for Louisiana Democrats

By 11.12.14

It was a packed crowd at Huey’s, the downtown Baton Rouge watering hole named for the state’s most notable, if notorious, Democratic governor and senator, on Monday. But few in the crowd would have had much positive to say about the bar’s namesake. This was a Republican Unity Rally, and many of the state’s most prominent GOP politicians were gathered to show solidarity with Senate hopeful Bill Cassidy — who earned 41 percent of the vote in last week’s election, forcing Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu (42 percent) into a runoff.

The bar’s small stage was crowded with large personages: Sen. David Vitter and Gov. Bobby Jindal, leaders of the state’s two most prominent (and warring) factions; former congressman Jeff Landry, who will be running for Louisiana attorney general next year; state Sen. Elbert Guillory, a prominent black Republican now known for a very aggressive commercial opposing Landrieu.

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Run, Rubio, Run!

By 11.12.14

The word is that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will decide “within weeks” whether or not to seek the presidency. The dynamic young senator has been talked up as a potential presidential candidate ever since Florida voters sent him to Washington. However, if prominent pundits are to be believed, his White House prospects have been on a roller coaster: down when he voted for an immigration reform bill that angered some conservatives, up when he outlined an innovative new approach to dealing with poverty, and so on. Yet Rubio remains what he always has been: a top-tier candidate with a few vulnerabilities but numerous strengths that could make him the best candidate in 2016.

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Think Twice About Illinois’s Crony Republican Governor-Elect

By 11.7.14

With Bruce Rauner’s election in Illinois, the Republican Governor’s Association has checked this bluer-than-blue state off its Democrat tick list. It must feel good—but I’m less than sanguine. 

For the better part of a year, powerful Chicago Democrats have been whispering in my ear, extolling Rauner’s virtues. I heard similar insider political “chatter” about Barack Obama from these same Democrats long before he ran for U.S. Senate. Even the left-leaning Chicago Sun-Times suddenly changed its no-endorsement policy to back Rauner — and only Rauner — without even the basic formality of a candidate questionnaire or interview.

You see, for decades, Rauner, a wealthy venture capitalist and former chairman of private equity firm GTCR, donated millions to the Democratic Party to help defeat Republican candidates. That “investment” has paid dividends.

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