What a Week
There were a few more announcements last week in the Democrat 2020 sweepstakes. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio let us know that he is so dedicated to his city that he has decided not to run for president. Please, Bill, don’t do us any favors. He could be sincere, or maybe his recent exploratory trip to Iowa had something to do with it. In his key-speech appearance there, he attracted the grand total of 14 people, and half of them fell asleep during his presentation. In one of the most creative political spins of the season, his aides swore that the low turnout was really de Blasio’s preference for “intimate settings.”
Beto O'Rourke ended the suspense. He channeled his inner Springsteen, set world records for hand gestures per minute, and challenged Barack Obama for the most frequent use of the word “but” in a half-hour stump speech. And I’m still not sure if it’s Beeto, Bayto, or Betto. I mean, how can you vote for someone when you don’t even know how to pronounce his name? At least with Barack, everyone knew that the accent was on the second syllable.
And then there was Kirsten Gillibrand, who changed her status from having an exploratory committee to being a real candidate — and dozens of Americans cared. Her campaign theme is that she is the “Brave One,” primarily based on her #MeToo involvement — ironic given the sexual-harassment controversy swirling around her Senate office. As a New Yorker, she might have done a bit more research before adopting her slogan. She would have discovered that “The Brave One” was a movie that debuted about 10 years ago starring Jody Foster as the New York female vigilante killer equivalent to Charles Bronson in “Death Wish.” Just sayin’.
The negative congressional vote on Trump’s emergency declaration was one of the most hypocritical actions in recent memory, but not for the reasons you are hearing from the media. Unlike the head fake the media is promoting, the issue is not that Trump is toast because some GOP senators “defied” him. It’s worse than that. Congress wrote the emergency-powers bill with good intentions — to give presidents the powers to act in unusual emergency situations where it might be impractical to go through the normal processes.
But in classic congressional fashion, the law was written vaguely so that Congress would not have to take a tough stand on what it intended the law to cover. So we now have a constitutional jump ball. Trump has been given congressional approval to do what he did, but the specifics on funding were left out of the law, and only Congress can appropriate funds. Yet another set of circumstances fueled by Congress’s unwillingness to make difficult decisions that is heading us to the Supreme Court.
Frankly, if I were a GOP senator, I might have voted no as well — not because the action in unconstitutional, but because I thought it was bad politics. Democrats have taken advantage of the law before, and will try to do it again, but I might not want to hand them a leg up on precedent when a President Elizabeth Warren decides that gun violence is an “emergency” and dispatches the feds to confiscate my weapons.
Politically, it is also a push. The media wants you to think the GOP is turning against Trump, but Trump could turn that around by portraying himself as the strong outsider who only wants to protect America. Rather than deal with trivia, or the dancing on the head of a constitutional pin, it would be nice for once if all parties, Trump and Congress, got serious about addressing the insanely broken immigration system in its entirety. It is the height of hypocrisy for Congress to pass an indecipherable law and then challenge someone’s interpretation of it. Do your job instead, and take a stand.
To show how far off the reservation the Left has gone in its hate-Trump and identity-politics efforts, I give you the mosque shootings in New Zealand. The shooter was clearly evil — there’s no other word for it — and posted a 75-page manifesto that actually blasted Trump for not being enough of a white supremist.
That didn’t stop the media and the far Left from blaming Trump for not condemning white supremacy strongly enough, and therefore inspiring the shooter to attack Muslims. Cited were the “Trump Muslim travel ban” that never existed and the old and highly inaccurate “quote” from Trump following the Charlottesville incident — that Trump thought there were “good people” on both sides.
Always left out is Trump’s preamble that he condemned white supremacists and Nazis in the strongest terms. The good people he was referring to on the Right were those peaceful protesters who simply believed that the Confederate statues in question belonged in the public space as part of the historical record. To equate that to support of mass murder is beyond insane. The only thing worse is the far-left activist who confronted Chelsea Clinton, accusing her of also inspiring the Neq Zealand mosque shootings because she condemned a Muslim congresswoman for her anti-Semitic statements.
Many of the kids apparently didn’t even want to go to college, or just wanted to party once they got there, but that didn’t stop the parents from committing crimes to try to ensure that their kids got into some elite schools. Amazing, but it’s perhaps the single most illuminating scandal about the state of millennial parenting today — it’s all about the parents.
Forget what the kids may have wanted. One of the worst things that can happen to a college student is to be placed in an environment where they are destined to fail. And if the kids of the perpetrators were not qualified to be at certain schools, the irony is that getting them in was the worst disservice the parents could do to them. Oh, and the parents might go to prison because of it, or at least destroy their careers. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Finally, we are getting incredible revelations about the origins of the Christopher Steele dossier and the involvement of Obama’s Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton investigation. The dossier was the key element in the FISA applications and in getting the special counsel appointed. And it was phony. In fact, the entire “Russian collusion” angle was created out of whole cloth by Hillary operatives as an excuse for their blowing it and glommed onto by the entire Obama DOJ apparatus that was scared silly its role in the Hillary investigation would surface.
It was panic caused by the shock that Hillary lost. And what would have been a résumé enhancer turned into potential legal jeopardy. The odds of the question being called remain low because everyone knows that if the dominoes are tipped, it will eventually wind up on Obama’s doorstep, and no one wants to be the one that destroys the reputation of the first black president. Disappointing, but maybe it will get to the truth of the Trump investigation, or at least eliminate the overhang of collusion that is still with the administration.
Democrat congressional committees will find other things to investigate since they are convinced it will weaken Trump and raise their personal profiles (equal goals in today’s environment). I have wrestled with the issue of transparency on all these matters for over a year, but I still come down on the side that calls for full transparency of all things Trump and Hillary — the Mueller report, transcripts, and FISA applications. Get it all out, and take appropriate remedial action. It’s the only way to have a chance of restoring faith in our institutions of justice.