Permanent outrage and hysterical doom-mongering do not attract moderate voters.
John Fund writes: The good news for Democrats is that the apathy of many of their voters — which contributed to Hillary Clinton’s losing in November — is gone now that Donald Trump is president.
“We have never in living memory seen an electorate as fired up and angry and engaged as they are right now, Ben Wikler, Washington director of the left-wing group Moveon.org, told RealClearPolitics.
The bad news for Democrats is that the fires of protest could burn so brightly that they alienate moderate voters and threaten any Democrats who decline to throw gasoline on the fires.
The anger of the liberal base is such that “a firestorm of criticism . . . awaits [Democratic lawmakers] when they don’t stand up to Trump,” Wikler says. As for primary challenges for Democrats who won’t confront Trump at every turn: “Everything is on the table.”
It certainly has been when it comes to the ceaseless efforts to delegitimize Trump. As soon as the election was over, state recounts were mounted, with the approval of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, angry demands were made that members of the Electoral College go against the results of their state votes and dump Trump, and wild charges were hurled that Russian hacking swung the election. FBI chief James Comey, an Obama appointee, was accused of tilting the election against Clinton, and blue-collar voters in the Midwest were smeared as “racists” who were easily manipulated by Trump.
John Fund continues:
…Both Bevin and Hampton are Tea Party activists who have never held elective office. Hampton’s path certainly represents triumph over adversity. Born in Detroit, the 57-year-old Hampton and her three sisters were raised by a single mom who lacked a high school education and couldn’t afford a television or a car.
But Hampton was determined to better herself. She graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and worked for five years in the automobile industry to pay off her college loans. She then joined the Air Force, retiring as a Captain.
Source: National Review Online
From our mailbox: Today, the National Review Institute, National Review‘s sister organization, opens it’s biennial Ideas Summit in Washington, D.C.
Special segments of the Summit will be LIVE streamed on the Corner for free — watch Rich Lowry and Jeb Bush, Jim Geraghty and Marco Rubio, John Fund and Carly Fiorina, and Heather Higgins and Bobby Jindal discuss why the future is conservative, and more!
First live stream starts today at 4:25 p.m. EST with Jeb Bush. Don’t miss it!
Full schedule is below. Click on the event to watch.
Thursday, April 30
One of Eight Voter Registrations Is Flawed
Another James O’Keefe John Fund update: …A Pew Center on the States study in 2012 found that one out of eight voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date, or a duplicate. Some 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead.
So O’Keefe decided to take some of the 700,000 “inactive” voters the Voting Integrity Project says are on the rolls in North Carolina, the site of one of the nation’s most hotly contested Senate races, and see just how easy it would be to obtain a ballot in their name. Sadly, it was child’s play as his video demonstrates….(read more)
Whether history will be cruel or kind to the political career of Harry Reid remains to be seen, but in the short term, one thing is for sure, the blame for Democrats’ upcoming election defeat will be served generously to Harry, in multiple helpings. Judgement day is almost here. Until as recently as a week ago, I was too superstitious and too cautious to predict that the Tuesday’s election will firmly close the book on the Reid era. Now that Tuesday is almost here, I’m throwing caution to the dogs. It’s half-past Reid-O’clock. Time to chill the champagne, unwrap the cigars, put sparkly icing on the cowboy cupcakes, and light the candles. Harry’s days as senate majority leader are in the final twilight. The show’s almost over. I get emotional just thinking about it, don’t you?
It looks as if Harry Reid is at high risk of losing any Senate leadership role after Tuesday’s election.
Reid said Saturday that it’s all up to Iowa to determine whether he keeps his job. He told Democratic donors that if Republican Joni Ernst wins her victory, it “would mean . . . that Mitch McConnell would be leader of the United States Senate.”
“Reid indicated to the newspaper that ‘other Democrats would only get their chance to lead the caucus if they pried the title from his cold, dead hands’.”
Given that Sunday’s Des Moines Register poll shows Ernst with a seven-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley, Reid can be forgiven some nervousness.
“But this year, at a news conference held in September, Reid declined to clarify whether he would stay on as minority leader if his party lost the majority.”
But Reid may also not even remain minority leader after Tuesday, though Democrats around him exude inside-the-Beltway loyalty to him in public. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 ranking Democrat and a man known for his ambition, told Meet the Press last month that Reid had a lock on the majority leader’s job. Read the rest of this entry »
James O’Keefe documents the problem in North Carolina, where the Senate race is close
…O’Keefe had a Brazilian-born immigrant investigator pose as someone who wanted to vote but was not a citizen. Greg Amick, the campaign manager for the Democrat running for sheriff in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), was only too happy to help.
Greg Amick: Here’s a couple of things you can do. You do not have to have your driver’s license, but do you have any sort of identification?
Project Veritas investigator: But I do have my driver’s license.
Amick: Oh, you do. Show ’em that and you’re good.
PV: But the only problem, you know, I don’t want to vote if I’m not legal. I think that’s going to be a problem. I’m not sure.
Amick: It won’t be, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Amick: As long as you are registered to vote, you’ll be fine…(more)
[Order John Fund’s book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk“ from Amazon.com]
[VIDEO] Guerrilla Filmmaker Reveals How Voter Fraud is Both Easy and Condoned in Colorado: James O’Keefe Strikes AgainPosted: October 22, 2014
James O’Keefe, the guerilla filmmaker who brought down the ACORN voter-registration fraudsters in 2010 and forced the resignation of NPR executives, politely disagrees. Today, he is releasing some new undercover footage that raises disturbing questions about ballot integrity in Colorado, the site of fiercely contested races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the governorship.
“We know people in other states with better integrity safeguards have cheated using the cover of these methods.”
— Secretary of State Gessler
When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.
The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing. He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.” Read the rest of this entry »
Premeditated: A new election law leaves the door wide open for abuse in hotly contested races
John Fund writes: Perhaps the most hard-fought Senate race this year will be Colorado’s showdown between Democratic senator Mark Udall and Republican congressman Cory Gardner. The RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race shows Gardner holding a lead of 1.3 percentage points. The outcome may determine control of the U.S. Senate, and the margin of victory could be less than the 11,000-vote margin by which Democratic senator Michael Bennet was reelected in Colorado in 2010.
[Also see: John Fund’s Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy]
But there is a significant difference in this year’s Senate race. In 2013, a new Democratic state legislature rammed through a sweeping and highly controversial election law and convinced Democratic governor John Hickenlooper to sign it. The law, known as House Bill 1303, makes Colorado the only state in the country to combine two radical changes in election law: 1) abolishing the traditional polling place and having every voter mailed a ballot and 2) establishing same-day registration, which allows someone to appear at a government office and register and vote on the same day without showing photo ID or any other verifiable evidence that establishes identity. If they register online a few days before, no human being ever has to show up to register or vote. A few keystrokes can create a voter and a “valid” ballot. Once a ballot cast under same-day registration is mixed in with others, there is no way to separate it out if the person who voted is later found ineligible. Other jurisdictions that have same-day registration, such as Washington, D.C., treat the vote as a provisional ballot pending verification. Colorado immediately counts the vote.
“We have uniquely combined two bad ideas, both of which open the door to fraud and error along with creating huge administrative headaches,” warns Republican Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state. Along with the liberal Denver Post (the state’s leading newspaper) and a few Republican clerks from the state’s largest counties, Gessler fought passage of the law.
[Order John Fund’s book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk“ from Amazon.com]
Wayne Williams is the clerk of El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city. He says HB 1303 was sold as a way to “modernize” elections and increase turnout, but it’s fixing a system that wasn’t broken. In 2012, Colorado was among the top three states in the turnout of eligible citizens. Its number of registered voters that year climbed 13.7 percent, well above normal population growth. At the same time, the state’s online voter-registration system processed 250,000 changes submitted by voters, ensuring a more accurate and less duplicative record of the electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court Battle AheadPosted: July 16, 2014
The White House is refusing to allow political adviser David Simas to respond to a subpoena from House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa.
“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our nation’s Constitution by this president.”
— Darrell Issa, in a statement late Tuesday night
National Review‘s John Fund reports: White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston says Issa has no power to compel Simas to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning about whether the office he runs has been engaged in improper political activity in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from such activities as campaign fundraising and explicit political support.
Eggleston cited a new opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that cited precedents going back to Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon of executive privilege being asserted against testimony by White House aides.
“This hearing seeks to examine a political office embedded within the White House which, under Democratic and Republican administrations, has had a controversial role of coordinating political campaign activity for the president at taxpayer expense.”
Issa responds that in a case brought by congressional Democrats in 2008 against the Bush White House, a federal judge found that the idea of absolute immunity of a White House official from a congressional subpoena was “unprecedented” and held that presidential aides are “not absolutely immune from congressional process.” Read the rest of this entry »
Via NRO staff:
President Obama’s behavior and verbal petulance is now opening him up to ridicule…a dangerous place for a president
For National Review Online, John Fund writes: Members of the White House press corps are rarely puzzled the way they are about President Obama right now. As Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post put it: “What exactly is going on with the leader of the free world?”
Dan Pfeiffer claim: The White House is willing to endure “some short-term press turbulence” for the larger goal of letting the president roam where he wishes.
To all appearances, Obama has gone rogue. For example, his speeches have become snappish and undignified. “So sue me,” was Obama’s response to Congressional complaints that he has exceeded his executive power, even though the Supreme Court has unanimously slapped him down on that front a total of 13 times in the last two years.
Aides are putting a happy face on their boss going “rogue”
Obama’s frustration with Congress also isn’t designed to win him any leverage on Capitol Hill: ”Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.’”
Angry black woman: Are you sayin’ the Democratic Party don’t care about the African-American community?
Bulworth: Isn’t that OBVIOUS? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see ANY Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what’re you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you’re not gonna vote Republican!
At the same time that Obama is lashing out at his critics, he is appearing increasingly detached when it comes to the crisis on the Mexican border. During a visit to Denver for a political fundraiser last week, he was captured in photo ops shooting pool, having a beer with strangers, and shaking hands with a guy wearing a horse mask. The next day he visited Texas, where he dismissed calls for him to visit the border by claiming he didn’t do photo ops.
“The only way we’ll ever get President Obama to visit the border is to have the Democratic National Committee hold a fundraiser there.”
— Reince Priebus
It’s amusing to watch the strange new respect Democrats are mustering for Eric Cantor. Xavier Becerra was on Morning Joe lamenting how Eric was just the sort of responsible Republican who wanted to get things done. I think Hugh Hewitt is right that Dems like Becerra don’t want to fix immigration so much as have the issue. But I do think the White House really does want a big immigration bill as part of their effort to pad his legacy. That’s why they are in overdrive to claim that, in Dan Pfeiffer’s words, “Cantor’s problem wasn’t his position on immigration reform, it was his lack of a position.”
A White House aide notes that Lindsey Graham won his race running away and he’s far more associated with immigration reform than Cantor was. This of course leaves out the fact that Graham is a much better retail politician than Cantor. It leaves out that Graham saw the threat coming years ago and wisely panicked early about a tea-party challenge. And it leaves out that Graham was in a seven-way race. If he’d had a single opponent, like Cantor (or Cochran), who knows how differently things would have played out.
“If there’s one takeaway on the immigration issue from Cantor’s defeat it’s that sweeping comprehensive legislation is not going to happen any time soon. I would say 2017 is the earliest it would be considered. That’s good news.”
Now, I actually think there’s a grain of truth to Pfeiffer’s point. As John Fund notes below, Cantor’s biggest problem was that he seemed insincere, elitist, aloof, and concerned about agendas not connected to his district or his base. He held a fundraising meeting at D.C. Starbucks on primary day. Some of this was driven by his personality. Read the rest of this entry »
For NRO, John Fund writes: France has decided to ignore pleas from the U.S. and its other NATO allies and go forward with a $1.7 billion contract to sell two helicopter carriers to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. “The contract has been paid and there would be financial penalties for not delivering it,” a French official told Reuters on Monday. “It would be France that is penalized. It’s too easy to say France has to give up on the sale of the ships. We have done our part.”
The French decision makes a mockery of the attempt to impose sanctions on Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea in March, the first forcible shifting of borders in Europe in more than 60 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Iowa Refers 80 Cases of Voter Fraud to Prosecutors
Ignoring the fact that voter ID laws were declared constitutional in a 2006 Supreme Court decision written by John Paul Stevens, the Court’s then most liberal justice, Biden is continuing the fact-free assault on anti-voter fraud measures.
“…five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges….”
When such laws aren’t “hateful” they are “unnecessary.” The Brennan Center for Justice says “voter fraud is essentially irrational” so it almost never happens. Voter fraud is so rare “you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than find a case of prosecutorial voter fraud,” insists Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the liberal Advancement Project.
Well, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation disagrees. Not a state known for its hateful politics, Iowa’s DCI wrapped up its investigation this month and has referred more than 80 cases of voter fraud to county attorneys for possible prosecution. Since the investigation was initiated by GOP Secretary of State Matt Schultz a year and a half ago, five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges. Read the rest of this entry »
From Russia with Euphemisms
Hannah Arendt coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe the galling normalcy of Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Eichmann. Covering his trial in Jerusalem, she described Eichmann as less a cartoonish villain than a dull, remorseless, paper-pushing functionary just “doing his job.”
The phrase “banality of evil” was instantly controversial, largely because it was misunderstood. Arendt was not trying to minimize Nazism’s evil but to capture its enormity. The staggering moral horror of the Holocaust was that it made complicity “normal.” Liquidating the Jews was not just the stuff of mobs and demagogues but of bureaucracies and bureaucrats.
“To read Anne Applebaum’s magisterial Gulag: A History is to subject yourself to relentless tales of unimaginable barbarity…”
Now consider the stunted and ritualistic conversation (“controversy” is too vibrant a word for the mundane Internet chatter) about the Soviet Union sparked by the Winter Olympics. The humdrum shrugging at the overwhelming evil of Soviet Communism leaves me nostalgic for the Eichmann controversy. At least Arendt and her critics agreed that evil itself was in the dock; they merely haggled over the best words to put in the indictment.
What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the Soviet Union?
John Fund writes: We didn’t need the Olympics to be reminded that Vladimir Putin still has a soft spot for his nation’s defunct Communist system. In 2009, Russian state television aired a documentary called “The Wall.” It detailed how, as a KGB major in Dresden in 1989, he faced down a crowd of East German dissidents who tried to storm the local KGB office and steal its files.
“Putin succeeded in persuading the crowd to fall back,” the documentary’s maker gushed.
Russian state television had aired another program claiming that Putin brandished a pistol and told the crowd: “This is Soviet territory and you’re standing on our border. I’m serious when I say that I will shoot trespassers.”
Putin has never lost his Commie-stalgia. In 2005, he used his “state of the nation” address to tell Russians that “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. . . . As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy.”
If that weren’t enough proof, the Sochi Olympic Games opened last Friday with a lavish choreographed tour of Russian history. The 20th century was depicted as a time of rapid industrialization, symbolized by a hammer and a sickle floating above the performers. There wasn’t even a hint of the horrors of Stalinism or the deaths it caused.
John Fund writes: As recently as 1998, New York State’s Republican party controlled the governorship, a United States Senate seat, and the mayor’s office in Manhattan. Today, it is greatly diminished, with its sole beachhead of influence in the state senate, where it shares a majority with four independent Democrats.
In contrast, the Working Families party (WFP), a 15-year-old left-wing, union-fueled group with just 20,000 members, now holds the whip hand over much of the dominant Democratic party in New York — and is already spreading its wings to other states. The WFP not only was a major force behind Bill de Blasio’s victory for mayor last November; it dominated the rest of the election, too. “They propelled all three citywide officials in New York City into office, and have a huge chunk of the city council allied with them,” says Hank Sheinkopf, a leading Democratic consultant who has worked for Hillary Clinton. “They are a real force.”
Undercover agents were able to vote as dead people, but election officials are attacking the agents
John Fund writes: Liberals who oppose efforts to prevent voter fraud claim that there is no fraud — or at least not any that involves voting in person at the polls.
But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.
The Board of Elections, which has a $750 million annual budget and a work force of 350 people, reacted in classic bureaucratic fashion, which prompted one city paper to deride it as “a 21st-century survivor of Boss Tweed–style politics.” The Board approved a resolution referring the DOI’s investigators for prosecution. It also asked the state’s attorney general to determine whether DOI had violated the civil rights of voters who had moved or are felons, and it sent a letter of complaint to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Normally, I wouldn’t think de Blasio would give the BOE the time of day, but New York’s new mayor has long been a close ally of former leaders of ACORN, the now-disgraced “community organizing” group that saw its employees convicted of voter-registration fraud all over the country during and after the 2008 election.
Indiscriminate charges of racism do more harm than good, as Martin Luther King well knew
John Fund writes: Would America be better off if the Outrage Industry went on a diet for New Year’s?
We just spent much of December quacking and arguing way too much about the views of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the Duck Dynasty reality-TV series. Most of the attention focused on Robertson’s harsh, mean-spirited comments about gays and on the subsequent, short-lived decision of the cable network A&E to suspend him. But people saved plenty of ire for his comments, offered in an interview with GQ magazine, that when he grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” and that African Americans in that era didn’t have complaints about white people.
That’s an invitation to call Phil naïve, blind, or a liar. But such descriptions weren’t enough for Jesse Jackson, who said: “These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’” He wasn’t the only prominent liberal to go way over the top. MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson said Robertson and Duck Dynasty were “part of a majority-white supremacist culture.” Read the rest of this entry »
The War on Conservative Minorities
Racist and sexist attacks on women and minorities are acceptable, if the targets are conservative.
John Fund writes: Members of both political parties use sharp elbows to rough up and discredit the opposition, but the media are supposed to call “foul” on the worst abuses. But when the media are ideologically opposed to conservatives — especially minority conservatives — the abuses sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Take what happened last week to New Hampshire state representative Marilinda Garcia, who announced she would challenge incumbent Democratic representative Annie Kuster in a highly competitive district that has switched party control in three of the last four elections.
Democrats were clearly rattled by the 30-year-old Garcia’s entry. Democratic-party communications director Harrell Kirstein said she would inevitably be part of a “reckless race to pander to the same extreme right fringe of the Republican Party that forced the federal government shutdown.” He called her a “loyal rubber-stamp” for the “irresponsible” agenda of former GOP house speaker Bill O’Brien.
Tough but in bounds.
But then prominent Democratic state representative Peter Sullivan, a self-described leader of the legislature’s “progressive” bloc, entered the picture. Using his Twitter account, he compared her unfavorably to O’Brien and conservative state representative Al Baldasaro this way:
She’s Al Baldassaro [Sullivan misspelled his name] in stiletto heels, a lightweight and O’Brien clone.
Bill O’Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia
She is a right-wing, homophobic, anti-worker shill for the Koch Brothers.
Sullivan’s sexist comments drew fire from some blogs. Twitchy.com noted that describing Garcia as a male lawmaker in “in stiletto heels” suggests she’s merely masquerading as a woman and that Sullivan, with the Kardashian comparison, was “not-so-subtly tying Garcia to a woman who rose to fame as the star of a sex tape.” GOP state representative Jane Cormier said her Democratic colleague “owed all women an apology for bringing sexist and demonizing remarks into the political process here in NH.”
Garcia has a “pretty significant political résumé,” Cormier pointed out. She was elected for the first time in 2006 and currently serves on the House Finance Committee. Previously, she served as co-chair of a House caucus and as a majority whip. In 2010, she received a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. As an accomplished harp player, she is an adjunct professor of music at several universities.
“Mistakes were made….I don’t recall” and other surefire clues
John Fund writes: The late columnist William Safire once said that a good clue that someone in Washington was engaged in “an artful dodge,” i.e., a cover-up, was that they used the phrase “mistakes were made.” Safire defined it as a “passive-evasive way of acknowledging error while distancing the speaker from responsibility for it.”
The phrase became infamous when both Richard Nixon and Ron Ziegler, his press secretary, deployed it to explain away Watergate without explaining who did what and when or whether any ill motive was involved.
Astonishingly, the Internal Revenue Service resurrected the Nixonian expression within hours of its clumsy revelation that it had targeted tea-party groups and other organizations with “patriot” or “9/12” in their names. “Mistakes were made initially,” the official IRS statement on May 10 read, implying that the mistakes ended after a short “initial” period. We now know that the scandal and cover-up unfolded over a three-year period, and the IRS publicly acknowledged them only after the 2012 election was safely past.
Here are some other clues that a Washington cover-up is going on.
1. No one seems to be able to name the players.