Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A tide of contempt is corroding our politics

Jeff Jacoby is correct below but fails to note where the great blasts of contempt are coming from:  The Left.  Conservatives just look on in amazement. Only Trump blasts back

What feels different today is how contemptuous political enmity has grown. Candidates, activists, and pundits are no longer content to ascribe bad motives to their opponents or predict bad outcomes if they prevail. Increasingly they see those on the other side of the political divide not as fellow Americans with whom they differ, but as "deplorables" or "losers" whom they despise.

For most of American history, it was suicidal for candidates to sneer derisively at half the electorate. In 1884, a surrogate of James G. Blaine, the Republican presidential nominee, publicly libeled Democrats as the party of "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" — i.e., alcoholics, Catholics, and disloyal ex-Confederates. Newspapers trumpeted the insult in headlines the following day, enraging Irish Catholic voters and fatally wounding Blaine's campaign. Rough-and-tumble politics was one thing, but to openly scorn a huge swath of the electorate was intolerable.

Those old norms are dead. Gallup reports that now even the most basic institutions of American life — religious organizations, the economic system, higher education, the scientific establishment — are seen by partisans "not as beneficial and necessary, but as part of an effort by the other side to gain advantage and to perpetuate its power."

It is commonplace to decry the polarization of American society. But what makes it so dysfunctional isn't that we have sharp disagreements. It's the caustic contempt with which those disagreements are expressed —the determination not just to win political arguments, but to savor the tears of those who lose them.

More than ever, voters need to say no to candidates who traffic in defamation and disdain. But we have pulled down the guardrails that used to keep American politics within broad bounds of decency and respect, and no one seems inclined to put them back up.



Alan Dershowitz to Mark Levin: Democrats Are Using Soviet Tactics to Take Down Donald Trump

On the latest episode of "Life, Liberty & Levin" on Fox News Channel, law professor Alan Dershowitz completely destroyed the Democrats' impeachment case against President Donald Trump. "They're searching for a crime... There is no case for bribery," Dershowitz told Levin.

Host Mark Levin asked Dershowitz about the meaning of "bribery." It has, he said, specific meaning. "It doesn't mean everything. It just doesn't necessarily mean this. What does it mean?"

Well, Dershowitz explained, "There are four criteria... We know it when we see it." For example, "when you pay a government official corruptly to perform an illegal act or an act that is motivated by money. But it can't operate when you're the president of the United States and you're conditioning or withholding money in order to make sure that a country isn't corrupt, and you're asking them to investigate. That just doesn't fit any definition of bribery — common law definition of bribery, statutory definition of bribery. However you define the constitutional word bribery, it just doesn't fit."

So, what are Democrats doing, then? "What they're trying to do is what the KGB under Lavrentiy Beria said to Stalin the dictator -- I'm not comparing our country to the Soviet Union, I just want to make sure it never becomes anything like that. Beria said to Stalin: 'Show me the man and I'll find you the crime.' And that's what some of the Democrats are doing. They have Trump in their sights. They want to figure out ways of impeaching him, and they're searching for a crime."

"First they came up with abuse of power," Dershowitz went on to say, "[which] is not a crime, it's not in the Constitution. So now they're saying bribery but they're making it up. There's no case for bribery, based on... even if all the allegations against the president were to be proved, which they haven't been, but even if they were to be proved, it would not constitute the impeachable offense of bribery."

Dershowitz also wondered why Democrats were allowed to get three expert-witnesses, and Republicans only one. Prof. Jonathan Turley did a fantastic job, he said, but this discrepancy alone is reason for concern. "You know, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper number 65, the greatest danger would be if impeachment turned on the number of people each party had.* If impeachment turns on the fact that the Democrats now have a majority in the House but not in the Senate, that would be a complete abuse of what the framers had in mind."

It goes without saying that Democrats couldn't care less what the framers had in mind. They hate the framers. They despise them. They were "slaveholders!" "Racists!" "White men!" The only reason their so-called expert witnesses referred to the framers every now and then during their testimony was to give their coup against President Trump some legal backing.

"Alexander Hamilton is misquoted all the time. He used the word 'political,' but he didn't say the process should be political; he said the crimes -- treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors -- are political in nature. But the process should be non-partisan. Nobody should be impeached and removed unless there is an overwhelming bipartisan consensus," Dershowitz explained. "I'm not making that up. I'm quoting Congressman Nadler when Bill Clinton was being impeached."

Dershowitz is right. Democrats are making it up, and they are copying Soviet tactics to get rid of President Trump. It's truly a shocking sight to behold -- and that's precisely why it's so important for all conservatives to stand by the president against this Democrat coup.

*Federalist Paper No. 65 can be read here. The literal quote is: "... there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt."



Lawmakers Map Out Conservative Solutions to End Poverty

Instilling a sense of expectancy, personal capability, and American exceptionalism are keys to lifting individuals out of poverty, two conservative lawmakers said Thursday at a policy forum at The Heritage Foundation’s headquarters on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., both spoke at Heritage’s 2019 Antipoverty Forum, an annual gathering of researchers, educators, and government staffers and officials organized by the leading think tank.

“The thing that really took me from being a kid, failing out of school, being a son in a single-parent household, being a person mired in poverty, really becoming more, was this notion that it was possible,” Scott said in a keynote address to attendees.

“The one thing my mother never lost was this sense of hope and wonder that this world, this nation, could afford her child opportunity,” he said. “And she was right.”

All the agencies and programs that government tries to offer can’t replace instilling the American ideal in those who have been caught in a cycle of poverty, the South Carolina Republican said.

“If we don’t find a way to embed within all the things that we do this notion of wonder about who we are, why America is exceptional, if we don’t restore as a part of the basic fabric of our organizations, our legislation, of our efforts, that all things are truly possible for all people no matter where they are … we won’t get there,” Scott said.

He said that school choice and apprenticeship programs are part of the answer to help students rise above their circumstances to pursue an education and a productive place in society.

“If we remember the importance of who the child will be and help that child learn in the natural direction that they are predisposed to … you find yourself having success that is unrivaled,” Scott said.

School choice programs are successful not just because of the enriched education they offer, but how they instill virtues in students, he said:

If we’re going to have successful school choice [programs], it’s because those programs understand equipping the child not just academically, but keeping the embers of hope and dreams. I’ve worked on legislation and my team is working on legislation that helps us reform our safety-net programs so as to not have a clip on our program, so that we can encourage work.

We encourage prosperity, but we encourage the development of a work ethic that allows you to get a raise and keep that raise without having all your benefits fall off a cliff.

Johnson, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, the largest organization in the House’s GOP conference, said one practical way his colleagues are working on to bring families and  communities out of poverty is by incentivizing marriage rather than penalizing it.

Federal welfare policy disincentivizes marriage, according to a 2014 paper from Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation.

If a single mother who makes $20,000 a year marries a man who makes the same amount, Rector wrote, the couple will lose about $12,000 a year in welfare benefits.

“We believe our job is just to create the right policy framework, to unleash communities, to take the lead on this, to empower people,” Johnson said in formal remarks. “Fixing policies that discourage marriage ought to be at the top of that list. And I can assure you, it’s one of the top priorities of all the members of the Republican Study Committee.”

He said the group’s American Worker Task Force, which aims to implement policies that encourage and unleash workers, is set to release a report in March that explores reforms for higher education, the job market, tax and regulatory policies, and welfare programs.

“I think we believe that our public policy in this country [is] to always emphasize not only education but the virtue of hard work, because that’s a pathway out of poverty,” Johnson said. “And we believe public assistance ought to be reserved for those that are truly in need. And when we squander those resources, we hurt the people.”



Ted Cruz Is the Democrats' Bogeyman Again

by Stephen Kruiser

If this past weekend is any indication, Cruz seems to have regained his irritation mojo.

He pulled off a double-whammy with an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press when he steamrolled host Chuck Todd and then triggered CNBC’s John Harwood.

I really enjoy how Chuck Todd looks like he is about to burst a vein and Cruz is smiling and calm, waiting for the idiot to wander into his lair. The MSM is so desperate to cling to their Trump/Russia fantasies that they reach hysterical schoolgirl levels of ninny-ess at times.

The notion that Ted Cruz has now morphed into a Putin puppet is laughable, but he is getting under all the right people’s skin again. Here is the title to Jennifer Rubin’s latest crazy cat lady turn at the Washington Post:

It has come to this: Ted Cruz is Putin’s stooge

I’ll only share loony Jen’s conclusion here: "The words of a U.S. president and a U.S. senator matter, and one of the saddest things is that both are willing to enable an enemy of the United States. In comparison to this crowd, Obama was Winston Churchill"

Sure, Rubin’s op-eds are nothing more than cries for help now, and she’s easy to set off, but it’s just more fun when Cruz is the catalyst.

Rubin takes Cruz to task for not standing up to the president, which just means that he won’t fall in line with the MSM outrage talking points. Like Trump, Cruz exhibits no timidity whatsoever about hammering and dismantling the leftist narrative. With the president taking most of the heat for the past few years, Cruz is tanned, rested, and ready to resume his pain in the you-know-what status.




PREMISE: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining impeachable offenses before today's hearing (The Daily Caller)

VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION? Trump heads to court in fight over emoluments clauses (The Hill)

AN OVERLY OPTIMISTIC PICTURE: U.S. officials misled public about progress in Afghanistan: "The American people have constantly been lied to" (National Review)

NARRATIVE BUSTER: Border Patrol agent debunks viral video showing illegal immigrant scaling Trump wall (The Daily Wire)

UNFORTUNATELY, THE CASE IS STILL PROCEEDING TO TRIAL: A biased California judge dropped six of the 15 bogus charges filed against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt related to their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood (LifeNews,com)

SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION: Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims (Reuters)

FACING UP TO FIVE YEARS IN JAIL: First person charged under Florida "red flag" law found guilty (Fox News)

POLICY: Study confirms the healthcare dangers of a public option (Washington Examiner)


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