The Patriot Post® · Ugly. Squabbling. Slugfest.

By Gary Bauer · · https://patriotpost.us/opinion/64687-ugly-squabbling-slugfest-2019-08-02

Each of those three words was used in different press reports to describe Wednesday night’s Democrat debate, which I watched so you didn’t have too. You’re welcome. (I’m still recovering.) Here are some observations.

One of the most interesting moments happened before the debate officially started. A mic picked up Joe Biden saying to Kamala Harris, “Go easy on me, kid.” Some said Biden’s comment was disrespectful and demeaning to Harris, an accomplished woman. 

But more importantly, Vladimir Putin won’t go easy on Biden. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un won’t go easy on him. China’s Xi Jinping won’t go easy on him. 

If Biden wins the presidency, he will be seven years older than Trump was when he was inaugurated. While Biden showed more energy Wednesday night, he basically disappeared all last week to prepare for the two and a half hour debate. Trump routinely puts in 18-hour days.

Explaining complex public policy issues to young kids can be frustrating sometimes because they don’t understand all the intricate issues involved. But that doesn’t cut it for the adults on the stage Wednesday night. 

All of them made bizarre statements, including the “moderate” Biden, who said that fracking, coal and oil must be eliminated. His solution to climate change is to electrify the entire auto fleet. 

Fine. I’m not opposed to electric cars. But how are you going to power all those cars? Well, Biden called for the creation of 500,000 electric charging stations. That’s nearly three times the number of gas stations in the country. 

How long is it going to take to get half a million charging stations up and running? (By the way, electric cars currently make up only 2% of the entire auto fleet.)

We would probably need to double the number of power plants to charge all those cars, but how will those plants be powered without coal and natural gas? I guarantee none of the Democrats will champion nuclear power.

I don’t believe CNN asked one question about the economy Wednesday night. But what would they say? The Trump economy is doing a lot better than Obama’s. So there were virtually no job creation ideas on the table. But just like the night before, there were plenty of job destruction ideas. 

(Speaking of Obama, the repeated attacks on Obama Wednesday night stunned liberal reporters and party activists.)

What goes around comes around. Kamala Harris surprised Biden last month with forceful attacks on his civil rights record. He was more prepared for the hits Wednesday night.

But apparently it never occurred to Harris that someone might do the same to her. Some have suggested that Harris has a glass jaw. Even though she was a prosecutor, she does not react well in unscripted moments.

That was evident Wednesday night when Tulsi Gabbard landed a solid punch on Harris’s record. If it’s true that Harris withheld exculpatory evidence in a death row case, I guarantee we haven’t heard the last of that story. 

Kirsten Gillibrand got laughs when she was asked what she would do first as president. Her response was to “Clorox the Oval Office.” She must have been thinking of cleaning up after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Automation & Immigration

I want to give credit, however, to Andrew Yang for raising the threat that artificial intelligence and automation pose to American workers. He’s right about this issue. 

Yang noted that driving trucks was the most common job in 29 states. Well, three years ago, an automated self-driving 18-wheeler drove 120 miles and delivered 50,000 cans of beer. Technology is going to disrupt the workplace and displace millions of workers.

So why on earth is any political party advocating open borders and demanding we bring in millions more low-skilled workers? 

It makes absolutely no sense to continue mass migration, given the stress that puts on the social safety net, when we know we are going to have major employment issues in the years ahead.

Unfortunately, Yang lost it on climate change when he declared that we need to evacuate the coasts and relocate to higher ground.

Barr Reforms Asylum Rules

A key element of the Trump Administration’s immigration reforms is ending the concept of chain migration, which prioritizes family connections over other considerations like education or skills. This concept also applies in our refugee policy too. Earlier this week, Attorney General William Barr issued new reforms to change that.

Refugees can claim asylum in the United States if they are fleeing violence. But the case before Barr involved an illegal immigrant who entered the U.S. in 2011 and sought asylum because his father was involved in a dispute with a drug cartel. 

The father could reasonably claim asylum, but there was no evidence that the son was being threatened. Barr ruled that allowing any member of a family to claim asylum because one family member faced threats of violence was excessive, and that Congress never intended to “cast so wide a net” when it drafted the asylum law.

And there’s more. 

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency, is ordering immigration officials to enforce existing laws that require migrants to first take certain steps in their native countries before simply packing up and heading to the U.S. border to claim asylum.

In an interview with Breitbart, Cuccinelli said:

We … know that there are safe places in all of these countries to live. So we emphasize to our officers that they need to check and see if people [asking for asylum] attempted to relocate internally… Let me clarify that it’s not a new policy. This is my efforts to harness the information we have available and provide it to our officers and remind them of various requirements.

Graham Gets Tough

Speaking of asylum law, kudos to Senator Lindsey Graham!

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been trying to amend our asylum and refugee laws to address the crisis at the southern border. But Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have been abusing the rules to prevent a vote on his bill. 

They were literally not showing up for committee hearings in order to prevent a quorum and thus prevent the committee from doing its work. (I think we should dock their pay!)

So yesterday, Graham called up his legislation and forced a vote over the Democrats’ sanctimonious objections about “breaking the rules.” If the minority is going to abuse the rules, the majority has every right to change the rules.   

Of course, Graham’s legislation is dead on arrival in Pelosi’s House, if it somehow manages to survive a liberal filibuster.

Just one more reason why we MUST elect more pro-Trump conservatives to the House and Senate next year.