“In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The crass political calculus behind Virginia Democrats’ play.
- Klobuchar is hoping to be the “moderate” alternative to coastal extremists.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear over the weekend that he’s not going anywhere, continuing to deny now what he initially admitted to — that he was one of the individuals pictured in the infamous racist 1984 yearbook photograph. And it’s looking like Northam’s entrenchment is a calculated decision based upon two factors.
First, the second accusation of sexual assault leveled against Democrat Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax will almost certainly lead to his exit. Politically speaking, multiple accusations is almost always taken as evidence of guilt and in the court of public opinion due process is nonexistent. In another indication that Fairfax is almost certainly done, on Friday he lost the support of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which issued a statement calling for him “to step down from his position.”
Second, a resignation by Northam would have the domino effect of taking out Virginia Democrats’ number three man, Attorney General Mark Herring, due to his admission of having engaged in the same “racist” behavior as Northam. It’s noteworthy and beyond hypocritical that as the governor insists he’ll stay because the state needs someone “who has courage and who has a moral compass” to revive the “level of awareness for racial issues in Virginia,” he also suggests Herring might need to think about stepping down.
That’s a political calculation, too. As we noted last week, should the Democrats choose to stand on their loudly proclaimed principles, they would effectively hand the reins of power in an important purple state over to the Republicans.
Clearly not willing to lose their tenuous hold on an increasingly significant state, especially in light of the 2020 presidential election, Virginia Democrats have decided that maintaining an immediate hold on power is more important than exposing themselves to the political blowback for being hypocrites on one of their biggest “social justice” issues. The fact that Virginia law does not allow its governors to serve consecutive terms may also have played prominently in this calculation, as Northam is essentially a lame-duck. In other words, he can be thrown under the bus by any future Democrat gubernatorial candidate.
The lingering question is, how will Northam and Herring’s decision to remain impact Virginia’s House and Senate elections later this year with Republicans holding a slim majority in each? Could the significant gains Democrats garnered in 2017 evaporate? It appears this is a risk the party is willing to take.
The Democrat 2020 presidential field just keeps getting bigger. Perhaps they learned an unexpected lesson from the 2016 Republican field of 17 — flood the campaign trail with scads of candidates in order to get various interest groups and constituencies invested in the outcome. We’re still 11 months from the Iowa caucuses and there are now nine Democrats in the running.
The ninth, Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar, showed her stern upper-Midwest stuff by announcing her candidacy Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis with temperatures just above single digits and surrounded by snowflakes — and we mean the white stuff falling from the sky, not the whiny leftist constituent. Already the fifth female member of Congress to jump in the 2020 race, Klobuchar believes her niche is the slightly more moderate Midwestern alternative to the brash coastal Democrats pushing the Party to the extreme Left. “We are always going to need immigration enforcement,” she said recently while explaining why she would not join calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That isn’t to say Klobuchar is actually moderate. She cosponsored the resolution outlining the Green New Deal, for example, and she’s warmed to the idea of Medicare for All as something that “should be considered.”
Meanwhile, is Klobuchar really “Minnesota nice” as she claims? Not if you believe anonymous reports of her “demeaning” and “cruel” treatment of staffers. The Washington Free Beacon notes, “Klobuchar’s behavior, which has been an open secret on Capitol Hill for years, led former Sen. Harry Reid to rebuke her in 2015. Klobuchar’s reputation has also allegedly made it difficult to recruit aides for her campaign.” Highest staff turnover rate in the Senate between 2007 and 2016? Amy Klobuchar.
Then again, temperament and character are apparently no longer qualifications for the highest office in the land, so there’s that.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board opines, “As a woman, she ticks the identity-politics box. Yet she doesn’t carry the baggage of Elizabeth Warren (who impersonated a Native American), Kamala Harris (whose zeal as a prosecutor is passé), or Kirsten Gillibrand (whose politics have ‘evolved’ faster than the flu virus).”
Maybe Klobuchar’s message that “we are all tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding” will resonate with some portion of Democrat voters not quite willing to go full leftist.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Trump Can Build a Wall Without Congress — The president has several options to break what has become an inexcusable stalemate.
- Cuomo’s Condemnation of His Own Making — The New York governor has the gall to appeal to his faith regarding abortion legislation.
- Video: Who Gets the Credit for the Booming Economy? — The next time Barack Obama tells the American people to thank him for the success…
- Video: Venezuelans Send Message to Americans — Venezuelan protesters in DC give advice to young people in America who want socialism.
- Humor Video: Do You Have Offended Dysfunction Disorder? — Comedian JP Sears wonders if you suffer from being a nice person or inner peace?
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY
- If life seems better lately, it’s not just your imagination. “The public’s quality of life has improved sharply in the past two years,” Investor’s Business Daily reveals. The IBD/TIPP Quality of Life Index, which averaged 53.7 when Barack Obama was in the Oval Office, is now appreciably higher at 59.3. Trump isn’t just making America great again; he’s making life better again.
- Shutdown part II? On Friday, a spending deal was reportedly being finalized. But now, according to the Washington Examiner, “Negotiations on a spending accord needed to avert a government shutdown [this coming] Friday have nearly collapsed, and Republicans say it’s because House Democrats are pushing for new limits on how many illegal immigrants agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain this fiscal year, including violent felons.”
- It’s almost as if we need a border barrier: “Illegal immigration across the southwest border is on pace for the worst year since 2007 — or the last time the country began a massive wall-building spree — according to new Homeland Security numbers. Four months into the fiscal year the Border Patrol nabbed nearly 201,500 people, compared to about 109,500 at the same point in the previous year. If that 84 percent surge holds, it works out to 733,000 immigrants crossing illegally for fiscal year 2019, which would be by far the highest numbers in more than a decade.” (The Washington Times)
- “On Sunday, after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) displayed her blatant anti-Semitism by tweeting that GOP support for Israel was ‘all about the Benjamins,’ and followed by accusing AIPAC of paying American politicians to support Israel, bipartisan condemnation of her remarks erupted, although no leading Democrats said a word about their colleague’s vile rhetoric.” (The Daily Wire)
- The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Democratic speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has appointed to the special committee on climate change members who have all received significant backing from the energy industry.” If it wasn’t for double standards…
- “Will Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ even get a vote?” the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio wonders. Right now, it’s not etched in stone. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hasn’t promised it will get time on the floor, and as of last week, she hadn’t even read the ambitious resolution.”
- On Friday, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker sat down before the House Judiciary Committee, even though he “doesn’t expect to remain in the job for more than another week, as the Senate is expected to confirm nominee William Barr for the position,” The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas reports. Here are “8 Takeaways From Acting AG Whitaker’s House Judiciary Committee Hearing.”
- Bracing for the worst: “U.S-backed Syrian forces say they launched a final push to defeat ISIS in the only remaining pocket of territory that the extremists still hold in the country. A large presence of American troops remain in Syria, but local forces fear what comes next if the U.S. completely pulls out.” (CBS News)
- Disgusting — and predictable: “Prosecutors initially included a charge of abortion against the Queens man arrested Friday in his pregnant girlfriend’s murder — but rescinded it because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new Reproductive Health Act.” (New York Post)
- Humor: Imaginary superhero Captain Planet criticizes Green New Deal for being unrealistic (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: “Democrats unveiled their latest version of the Green New Deal on Thursday, but despite some concessions to reality, this version is still little more than socialism masked as environmental policy,” The Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman observes.
- Policy: The GOP’s “sabotage” approach to ObamaCare is paying off. At National Review, Robert VerBruggen explains how “the Republican party, however ineptly and inadvertently, might have stumbled into a health-care policy that actually works.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Lara Trump: “President Trump’s special guests at the State of the Union address tell you everything you need to know about his policies and his love for America. While the Democrats often claim that my father-in-law’s agenda is only intended to serve the wealthy elite, his guest list showed that his true priority is helping ordinary Americans, especially those who have been ignored by politicians in Washington. The President’s guests were victims of anti-Semitism, families whose loved ones were killed by criminal illegal aliens just weeks ago, and people who suffered under our broken criminal justice system. These people are regular Americans who could have easily been your neighbors, friends, and coworkers — and they are the reason why this President continues fighting for our country that he loves so much.”
The Gipper: “For you see, my fellow Republicans, we are the change!” —Ronald Reagan
Demo-gogues: “We have a moral responsibility to protect God’s creation for generations to come. That is why today, we named members to the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laughably invoking “God” to justify her socialist “climate change” agenda
Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley responded: “Does God’s creation not include protecting babies as well Madame Speaker? A committee on that issue would be welcome.”
Well in that case… “As long as America continues its wickedness, the Iranian nation will not abandon ‘Death to America.’ … It means death to American rulers.” —Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Non Compos Mentis I: “We are standing on native land, and Latino people are descendants of native people. And we cannot be … criminalized simply for our identity or our status.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Non Compos Mentis II: “Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.” —Gov. Ralph Northam
The BIG Lie: “[Socialism] is a society coming together to increase the standard of living of our seniors. And that is pretty much the definition and the president’s attacking it.” —Sen. Jeff Merkley
Braying Jenny: “By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person.” —Elizabeth Warren
That’s sexist! “Women are the smartest of the sexes and they always have been. We would be a whole lot better off if women were running things — more things in this country — and I mean that.” —CNN’s Don Lemon
And last… “It’s amazing how many people seem to think jokes about Elizabeth Warren pretending to be Native American are more offensive than Elizabeth Warren pretending to be Native American.” —Allie Beth Stuckey
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher