“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” —George Washington (1789)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Sanders Takes NH but Dems No Closer to Consensus Candidate
- Is Klobuchar’s Momentum Real?
- Evangelical Support for Trump Still Baffles Media
- Can Trump Win 20% of the Black Vote in 2020?
- Virginia’s Model for Both Sides of Gun Debate
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Socialist Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democrat primary last night, taking in almost 26% of the vote. Nipping at his heels came Iowa caucus winner Pete Buttigieg with 24%, followed by the surprising late-surging Amy Klobuchar, who garnered nearly 20%. The slumping Elizabeth Warren and the “most electable” Joe Biden limped in at fourth and fifth place, respectively. Biden quickly jetted out of New Hampshire even before the polls closed, hoping to find greener pastures in Nevada and South Carolina.
The good news for Democrats is that, unlike in Iowa, voters turned out in higher numbers, matching 2008 totals and running well ahead of 2016. However, the bad news for Democrats is that President Donald Trump also had a good night, setting a GOP record in the New Hampshire primary with more than 120,000 votes and demonstrating that voter enthusiasm for Trump has grown significantly in a state that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by just 0.4%.
As the Democrat candidates shift their focus to Nevada and South Carolina, a clear division has formed within the party. It doesn’t appear it will be resolved anytime soon, either, given that none of the Democrat primary states are winner-take-all. The division is between the socialist candidates like Sanders and Warren versus the “old guard” liberals like Biden and Klobuchar. Buttigieg is trying his best to straddle both sides. This dynamic will allow these candidates to stay in the race longer, preventing the party from coalescing behind a clear front-runner. Additionally, late-coming Michael “Moneybags” Bloomberg will factor in the primaries going forward and the candidates may find themselves duking this out all the way to a contested convention.
It has also become patently obvious that the Leftmedia is seeking to influence the Democrats’ choice of candidate. While Sanders has consistently polled at the top of the Dems’ list of candidates — borne out by his strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire — the Leftmedia has attempted to prop up more “electable” candidates like Biden out of concerns that Sanders’s socialism makes him unelectable. It’s not a bad read, but the problem is it threatens the party’s ability to build a coalition behind the eventual nominee strong enough to take on Trump.
Exactly one year before yesterday’s New Hampshire primary, we profiled Amy Klobuchar and her candidacy for the Democrat presidential nomination. Since then, we haven’t had a lot to say about her because, frankly, she’s been part of the Democrat background — just one of what was at one point a bloated field of 29 candidates. Just eight now remain, and Klobuchar emerged Tuesday with a strong third-place showing in the Granite State.
As our Thomas Gallatin writes today, the real message from New Hampshire might be that many Democrat voters are still looking for an alternative to Bernie Sanders-style socialism. Joe Biden’s sinking ship doesn’t appear to be the rescue vessel they want. Pete Buttigieg is no moderate, meaning he may not be the Sanders alternative either. So, voters are looking at the “Minnesota nice” senator.
And why not? After all, this is the woman who boasted in the fifth Democrat debate, “I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends.” Case closed, right?
In the New Hampshire debate last Friday night, Klobuchar was the lone candidate on stage to raise her hand as being opposed to socialism. She’s the favorite of religious Democrats. And Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argues, “Klobuchar … is a Sanders alternative who offers a genuine trade-off — she’s running on a less ambitious agenda, but that consists almost entirely of being careful to avoid politically unpopular positions. She’s for taking action on climate change, but not for a fracking ban. She’s for a public option and price curbs on prescription drugs rather than an expensive Medicare-for-all program. She’d do a better job than Sanders of appealing to swing voters.”
But as our Louis DeBroux put it last month, Klobuchar “is campaigning for an economy-destroying policy of net-zero emissions by 2050 and a ‘more robust public option’ in healthcare. In other words, socialized medicine.” She also supports eliminating the Electoral College, ending offshore oil drilling, and banning semiautomatic rifles. DeBroux remarked, “It is a testament to how far left the Democrat Party has veered that Klobuchar could be considered a centrist.”
The truth is, there are no centrists in the Democrat primary. Even The Washington Post admits that “every major Democratic candidate is running on an agenda to the left of [Barack] Obama’s.” That includes Klobuchar. Regardless, her relatively weak organization in Nevada (February 22) and South Carolina (February 29) may mean New Hampshire merely provided her with 15 minutes of fame.
It goes without saying that the Democrat Media Complex is no fan of President Donald Trump. As numerous studies have observed, over 90% of the mainstream media’s coverage of Trump and his administration has been negative and often aggressively so. In fact, if one were to take the Leftmedia’s dubious characterization of Trump as the gospel truth, one would be hard pressed in distinguishing him from Adolf Hitler. Then with this over-the-top negative characterization of Trump, anti-Trumpers bash those who voted for him and support him as either unthinking fan boys or motivated by a sinister, immoral, and selfish ambition.
This straw-man tactic has been regularly applied to evangelical Christians in an attempt to shame them for giving 80% of their votes to Trump. The anti-Trump crowd falsely charges that evangelicals made a Faustian bargain when they voted for Trump and that they have made a mockery of their Christian faith.
What these anti-Trumpers conveniently dismiss or ignore is the reality of the massively divergent worldviews between the country’s two largest political parties. Christians are called by Jesus to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The anti-Trumpers blast Christians for employing that first principle of wisdom in how they voted. The fact of the matter is we are not primarily voting for an individual and his record but rather for the political platform and vision that individual espouses. Does individual character matter? It certainly does, but so does what the individual is proposing for the nation.
In 2016, evangelicals were faced with a difficult decision only because Trump was an individual with well-known moral failures. Yet, as far as Trump’s policy platform was concerned, there was little to object to and much to be encouraged by. So, the vast majority of evangelicals chose the candidate whose policy platform aligned most consistently with their own worldview values. And one of the biggest issues in this value system is the right to life.
With the choice presented to evangelical Americans, they were wise as serpents and made the best choice given the options before them. They recognized the implications of electing Hillary Clinton — her advocacy of abortion and ever-increasing government is a road to greater tyranny and loss of Liberty. A vote for Trump was risky, for it was unknown whether he would actually follow through on what he promised, but he has and by so doing has only strengthened his evangelical support. A good argument can be made that Trump, as deeply flawed and broken as he is, has been uniquely used by God to bring blessing to the country. This is what evangelicals were hoping for when casting their votes in 2016 and almost certainly again in 2020, perhaps in even greater numbers.
Grassroots perspective by Willie Richardson
If you want to get the black vote, all you have to do is give a small percentage of black people options. Options that are long lasting and meaningful like funding historically black colleges and universities. Options that promote the welfare of their families like opportunity zones. Options that are expensive in taste, but at a low price like school choice. Options that give a voice to the voiceless like the First Step Act.
Well, how about that! The Trump administration has met all of the basic wants and needs of the black community. Generational wealth. Check. Better education in higher performing schools. Check. Reuniting with a loved one who got involved in nonviolent offenses. Check. Providing higher learning for first-generation college students. Check. All the boxes are being checked, and leftists’ feet are to the fire.
Democrats have far too long had the black vote in their back pocket. It’s like snow falling in the winter in Antarctica. You know what you’re going to get.
Even Van Jones exclaims, “What [Trump] was saying to African Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he mentioned [historically black colleges and universities]. Our black colleges have been struggling for a long time. A bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them in real life in his budget. He talked about criminal-justice reforms. He talked about ‘opportunity zones.’ He talked about school choice.”
Jones continued, “We’ve got to wake up, folks. There’s a whole bubble thing that goes on, saying, ‘Well, he said s—hole nations. Therefore, all black people are going to hate him forever.’ That ain’t necessarily so. And I think what you’re going to see him do is say, ‘You may not like my rhetoric, but look at my results — look at my record,’ to black people. If he narrowcasts that, it’s going to be effective. Trump will never win a majority of the black vote. But he doesn’t have to. If he follows through on his current strategy, he has a massive opportunity to win a greater share of it in 2020 than the 5% to 10% that Republicans have received since 2008. If Trump gets even 20% of the black vote in swing states such as Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania, then Democrats will simply have no path to victory.”
The Trump administration has already prepared the way to receive even more support from the black community. The State of Union address laid everything out perfectly. Trump supports the Philadelphia fourth-grader, Janiyah Davis, and her mother, Stephanie Davis, for school choice. The president surprised Janiyah and her mother with a scholarship so she could attend a better school. She had been formerly on a long waiting list. The president also honored a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman, Charles McGee. During the Super Bowl a commercial aired that show the commuted sentence of Alice Marie Johnson by President Trump. The 63-year-old was released after serving 21 years of a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense and money laundering.
Trump is ahead of the black vote curve and if he can win 20% of the black vote in swing states, it’s a wrap for 2020. The black vote is actually simple. You must preach “pocketbook politics” in a way that is economically measurable. You must preach “social justice” in a way that benefits those who cannot defend themselves. Finally, you must preach “educational opportunities” in a way that black voters can see the benefits for their children. I am excited for this election!
Like all would-be tyrants, as soon as Virginia Democrats took power following the last election, they began an all-out assault on the right to keep and bear arms, unleashing a package of gun-control measures intended to strip Virginians of their right to defend themselves.
The newest proposed measures include a ban on “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, magazines holding more than 12 rounds, and sound suppressors (“silencers”). That bill passed the House of Delegates yesterday.
As a means of reducing mass shootings, such measures are worthless. According to the FBI, in 2018, just 297 of the 6,603 gun-related murders (4%) nationwide involved a rifle of any kind. In fact, knives (1,604) and fists/kicking (656) were used to kill far more often.
The progressive obsession with the AR-15 is rooted in abject ignorance of all things gun related. Though they refer to AR-15s as “assault weapons” and “weapons of war,” they are neither.
“AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” after the company that designed it. Furthermore, the Department of Defense defines an assault rifle as a “selective fire” rifle that can alternate between semi- (one shot fired per trigger pull) and full-auto (continuous fire). The AR-15 is semiautomatic, firing a .223 (or 5.56) round, which is smaller and less powerful than many hunting rifles. If we ban AR-15s, why not all hunting rifles and handguns? They are functionally equivalent.
Gun grabbers claim the AR-15 is especially “dangerous and unusual,” attempting to get around the Supreme Court ruling in DC v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” But the AR-15 is the very definition of “common use” — more than 15 million AR-style rifles are currently in the hands of American citizens, and more than a million more are sold each year. In fact, one in five new firearms sold in the U.S. is an AR-style rifle.
Yet far from America turning into the Wild West, as anti-gun hysterics claim, America has become more peaceful with the proliferation of firearms. Gun crimes fell to historic lows after the expiration of the 1994 ban on “assault weapons.”
In reality, full-auto weapons have been effectively banned for civilian use since the National Firearms Act of 1934, and there have been only two deaths by full-auto weapons in the last 40 years.
But in the grand scheme of things, this is all just semantics and details. The Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms, period, regardless of arguments and statistics.
Yet progressives seem incapable of grasping the meaning of “shall not be infringed.” For decades, Democrats have sought to erode or eliminate this most fundamental of human and American rights. They couch their assaults in terms like “public safety” and “commonsense gun control,” insisting that no one needs certain types of weapons for hunting and sport shooting. Untrue, but irrelevant. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with providing a firm check against the rise of tyrannical government.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson warned of the dangers of conspiring men and asked, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. … The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Is it any surprise the state seal for Virginia is an image of a robed Virtus (Virtue) standing, spear in hand, over the body of Tyranny? The state motto is “sic semper tyrannis,” meaning “thus always to tyrants.”
Jefferson was a native of Virginia, and it seems many of his fellow Virginians still have the fire of Liberty, and resistance to tyranny, burning in their breasts, judging by the 22,000 gun owners protesting at the state capitol recently. Or the fact that 141 counties and cities have declared themselves “gun sanctuaries.”
After the announcement of the proposed gun-control laws, Virginia gun sales nearly doubled, with nearly 70,000 gun background checks in a single month. Gun owners continue to show up at rallies, chanting “We will not comply!”
Gun owners are by nature peaceful and law-abiding. They seek peace, but are prepared to defend themselves and their families, whether from armed intruders or tyrannical government. That is a fact that Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrats in the state legislature would do well to remember.
MEANWHILE: Tuesday’s primary gives Amy Klobuchar major boost, puts Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren on 2020 life support (Fox News)
NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED: Donald Trump’s New Hampshire vote total more than doubles Barack Obama’s in the 2012 primary (Washington Examiner)
HISSY FIT: Trial team quits Roger Stone case in dispute over DOJ’s step to reduce sentence recommendation (AP)
DRILL, BABY, DRILL: Oil from federal lands tops one billion barrels as Trump eases rules (AP)
LOADED SWAMP: $100,001-plus salaries the norm in Washington, DC, for first time (Washington Examiner)
GOOD TREND CONTINUES: Illegal border crossings plummet for the eighth month in a row (Townhall)
LESSONS NOT LEARNED: Virginia House of Delegates passes sweeping gun-control bill (National Review)
SHENANIGANS GO BEYOND GUNS: Virginia House passes bill that would award electoral votes to popular vote winner (WHSV)
JUSTICE AFTER ALL? Jussie Smollett indicted by special prosecutor in Chicago (The Daily Wire)
AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON: Sudan to hand over Omar al-Bashir for genocide trial (AP)
POLICY: How to take on the deadly drug cartels that run the U.S.-Mexico border (The Federalist)
POLICY: Yes, David Brooks, the nuclear family is the worst family form — except for all others (Institute for Family Studies)
HUMOR: Biden gets huge turnout in New Hampshire by showing Trump rally on big screen (Genesius Times)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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- Video: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Donald Trump — Many people despise Trump. Others say he’s the best president in history. What’s the truth?
- Video: Man Runs Van Into Group of Trump Supporters — Think it made the mainstream news? You’d be wrong.
- Video: Bergdahl, Manning, and Vindman —The Left’s Heroes — Allen West scrutinizes the Left’s tawdry view of military “heroes.”
- Video: Why the Left Can’t Meme — Democrats confuse artful meaning with randomness because they can’t articulate conservative viewpoints.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “All socialism involves slavery. … That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labors under coercion to satisfy another’s desires. The relation admits of many gradations. Oppressive taxation is a form of slavery of the individual to the community as a whole. The essential question is — How much is he compelled to labor for other benefit than his own, and how much can he labor for his own benefit?” —Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
For the record: “Elizabeth Warren [on Friday] said that banning semi-automatic firearms will work. A few minutes later, Warren says that banning abortion does not work because people can still get abortions on the black market.” —The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra
Observations: “Imagine if, 30 years after winning the Cold War, America elects a communist as president. What a tragic farce that would be. The kind of thing that will baffle historians for centuries to come.” —Matt Walsh
Political futures: “For a supposedly dominant frontrunner, Bernie is not dominating. Basically, Bernie is floating, and Biden clogged up the moderate line. The only question is whether anyone will be able to Roto-root this thing before Bernie floats to victory.” —Ben Shapiro
Some kind of “front-runner”: “Joe Biden has run for President three times. In 1988, 2008, and again in 2020. He is yet to win a single delegate in a Democrat nominating contest.” —Sean Davis
Friendly fire: “I, personally, am very, very concerned about some of the folks who are running. I think, you know, if we run under a democratic-socialist banner in 50 states, I think we lose the industrial Midwest. I think we lose 48 states. I think we lose working-class union voters who have negotiated their private healthcare and want to keep it, and they don’t want to be forced into a public healthcare system.” —Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan
Grand delusions: “I refuse to suggest any Democrat can lose. I think we could run Mickey Mouse against this president and have a shot.” —Joe Biden, who seems bent on losing the nomination by destroying his “electability” argument
Tone deaf: “When you hear all these pundits and experts, cable TV talkers talk[ing] about the race, tell them, ‘It ain’t over, man. We’re just getting started.’” —Joe Biden (He’ll need to start eventually to have any chance.)
Jumping the shark: “Let me say tonight that this victory here [in New Hampshire] is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
And last… “Did you know: The California homeless population grew by around 21,306 people in 2019. This is more than the national increase in 49 other states…COMBINED! Mike Bloomberg just said that California is a model for the rest of the nation. Is this what he was talking about?” —Charlie Kirk
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis