Friday, President Trump confirmed that he’s picked State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to replace Nikki Haley as our UN Ambassador, and William Barr to fill the empty space created by both the departure and the presence of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Both seem to be solid choices, and it will be interesting to see how the liberal media manage to slime them, considering Nauert is herself a former journalist and Barr already served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, whom they’ve just spent the past week demanding that Trump emulate.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strossel made a great point: you can tell Barr must be a pretty good choice for Attorney General based on how many Democrats immediately started demanding that he recuse himself from anything important.
Ainsworth responds to reader comments
From David S:
Your note, "there have been unintended consequences from all the Democrats’ anti-Russia hysteria, notably Trump’s decision to put in place 'arguably the harshest set of policies toward Russia since the fall of Communism.'”
OK, but what does this say about Trump? Here is a POTUS who allows his policies towards one of the three major powers on earth to be influenced by domestic charges that he presumably knows to be false. Not an inspiring display of fortitude.
Excellent point, and I do not disagree --- if Trump actually has done this. My point (as opposed to that of the VANITY FAIR writer) was that we will NEVER KNOW how Trump’s policies might have been affected by the “Russia” thing, or if they were at all. For that, we’d have to travel to an alternate universe in which the Mueller investigation and cries of "Russia Russia Russia!" didn’t exist, and we can’t do that, much as we would like to. Only then would we be able to see what Trump’s Russia policy would have been. The left keeps injecting politically-motivated accusations and speculation into our sensitive balancing act with other world powers (that’s happening right now with Saudi Arabia as well), designed to weaken the President’s hand no matter what he decides to do.
I enjoy your informative articles like this one. But I have a suggestion. Quit referring to the Left as “liberals” or “progressives”. Those are titles they conferred on themselves and wear with pride. Perhaps better to call them what they are, leftists, socialists, are a similarly accurate name.
I wasn’t sure if this note was in reference to my commentary about the VANITY FAIR article (because I don’t think those terms appear in it), but Darrell is right that the terms “liberal” and “progressive” really don’t fit the mindset we have today on the left. In fact, I generally avoid using those words to describe leftists, and if the word “progressive” appears, it’s typically in quotes or is preceded by a qualifier such as “so-called.” A classical liberal believes in reason and free speech in a way that applies much better to modern-day conservatives than to those on the left, who seem to have “left” those concepts behind. And the left’s desire to return to New-Deal economics, race-consciousness and ridiculous sexual puritanism is hardly progressive, much as they like to use that word to describe themselves.
Thanks to all who write and who appreciate my observations!
It’s been an extraordinary week in Washington, watching so many political rivals of both parties set aside partisanship to honor the late President George H.W. Bush. Despite his notorious primary battle with Jeb Bush, President Trump not only attended the elder Bush’s funeral, he went out of his way to welcome and accommodate the family, from providing Air Force One to transport Bush’s body to inviting the Bush family to stay at Blair House, the presidential guest house, and giving them a personal tour of the White House Christmas decorations.
Meanwhile, reporters alternated their coverage of the funeral between lamenting the passing of Bush’s ability to be gracious and bipartisan, and relentlessly slamming Trump for any little thing that might be interpreted negatively. Like CNN…
And the Huffington Post, where Trump was savaged as a phony Christian simply because his lips weren’t moving during the reciting of the Apostle’s Creed. Of course, if his lips had been moving, they would’ve accused him of reading from the program and then attacked him as dumb for moving his lips when he reads. (Note the correction at the end, showing that the HuffPo editors who assailed Trump for allegedly not knowing the Apostle’s Creed didn’t know what it was themselves.)
Stop for a minute and let this turn over in your head: The media (the self-appointed moral consciences of politics) are relentlessly attacking someone who’s going out of his way to be kind to his political rivals at a funeral because he…Trump…doesn’t understand how to behave appropriately during solemn occasions and doesn't meet the high standards of bipartisan politeness and gentility they claim to miss so much. Yep, “lowering the tone of political discourse” is all Trump’s fault. You know, just like the national debt.
Congratulations to the students of Wheaton College in Illinois for setting a new low standard for snowflakery. They felt so “unsafe” due to the words of guest speaker Ryan Bomberger that the student government sent an email condemning him to the entire student body. Bomberger had pointed out that Planned Parenthood targets minority communities to promote abortion (true), and that by partnering with pro-abortion groups, Black Lives Matter was proving that not all black lives, such as black lives in the womb, matter to them (obviously true.)
The letter denounced Blomberger for his “offensive rhetoric” surrounding the topic of race that
“made many students, staff and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented and unsafe…” The student leaders promised to partner with other student organizations to “provide spaces for continued dialogue” and quoted the school’s Community Covenant to “seek to affirm the worth of all human beings as unique image-bearers of God” (Yes, Wheaton is a pro-life, Christian liberal arts college, but it sounds as if its student leaders might be leaning a little more toward the liberal side than the Christian side.)
Here’s what the letter didn’t mention: Bomberger is black. He was conceived when his mother was raped, and is only on Earth today because his mother refused to abort him and he was adopted. As for not allowing others to be heard, he finished with a 25-minute Q&A, then hung around for another half-hour talking to people, some of whom were hostile to him. He added, “I was primarily presenting a perspective of those who are never heard, always underrepresented, and are actually unsafe — the unborn.” He asked if Wheaton students are being “taught to fear or taught to think?” I assume that like students at many colleges these days, they’re being taught to fear to think.
The student leaders who wrote the letter also failed to quote the Covenant verbatim: “Uphold the God-given worth of human beings, from conception to death, as the unique image-bearers of God.” Not only do all lives matter, including those in the womb, but all the words of the Covenant matter, including “from conception.”
But even without that phrase to make it crystal clear, how can anyone truly “seek to affirm the worth of all human beings as unique image-bearers of God,” and then be pro-abortion?
Here’s a scary sign for the health of the publishing industry, and for literacy in general: Barnes and Noble released its annual list of the 20 best holiday gift ideas. It includes mittens, a Buddha board, Mickey Mouse speakers, several kinds of socks…and only one book.
Even worse, it suggests that the people at Barnes & Noble don’t even know what the best gift book of Christmas 2018 really is:
Latest Dispatch from the Cutting Edge of PC Lunacy: An elementary school principal in Elkhorn, Nebraska, in the name of being “inclusive and culturally-sensitive to all our students,” banned candy canes from class because their “J” shape might make people think of “Jesus.” Funny, I’m suddenly thinking of “Judgmental Jerk.” The only students who would feel excluded by allowing candy canes would be students with diabetes.
Naturally, that wasn’t the extent of the insanity. To make all students feel “included,” she also banned everything remotely connected to the most popular holiday of the majority of students, including Christmas trees, Santas, Christmas songs, Christmas movies, making ornaments as gifts, reindeer, things that are red and green, and “Elf on the Shelf.” I guess elves are in the Bible now. For the record, gingerbread people, polar bears, penguins, snowmen and yetis (abominable snowmen) were okay. There's some abominable reasoning.
I’d say, “Heaven help those students,” but she probably banned any mention of Heaven, too.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending: angry parents contacted Liberty Council for legal help. Liberty Council threatened a lawsuit over this unconstitutional hostility against Christians. The school responded that the ban was not sanctioned by them. It was lifted, and the principal was put on administrative leave and apologized. I’d like to think that her heart – or even better, her brain – grew three sizes that day.
And Twitter torpedoes yet another celebrity: comedian Kevin Hart had barely been named as the host of the next Oscars when he withdrew under fire over some comments and jokes about gays dating back to 2011 and earlier. Hart deleted the tweets, and he previously said those comments don’t reflect his thinking now. But that wasn’t enough for the gay activists, who demanded that he apologize and make amends to “affirm LGBTQ people.” The Academy insisted that Hart comply or they’d drop him.
Hart withdrew instead. He tweeted that “you LIVE & YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE” (Well, some people do.) He said he loves everybody, he works hard to spread positivity daily, and that people should stop searching for reasons to be angry and negative.
Naturally, the response to this from the LGBTQ activists was angry and negative. Hart responded, "I chose to pass" on hosting the Oscars. He said. "The reason I passed (is) because I've addressed this several times. I've said where the rights and wrongs were. I've (said) who I am now versus who I was then. We feed into the Internet trolls and we reward them, I'm not going to do it, man. I'm going to be me, and stand my ground." Three cheers for that sentiment!
I know this will be tough for him in Hollywood, but on the bright side, if he likes spreading positivity, he’d hate hosting the Oscars. Hollywood awards shows have become notorious as places where beautiful, rich, famous people in clothes that cost more than most people's cars give each other golden trophies while whining about how awful America is and how oppressed they are. As host, he’d be expected to slam Trump and Republicans for four hours, and afterward, critics would pan him, Republican fans would turn on him, and Democrats would complain that he wasn’t mean enough. Losing the Oscar hosting gig was like dodging a bullet.
I now expect gun control activists to attack me on Twitter for using a phrase containing the word “bullet.” Fortunately, like Kevin Hart, I plan to ignore their whining and keep on spreading positivity!
On a serious note: I think this story, like many in the news, illustrates a fundamental difference between leftist secular humanists and Christian conservatives. Leftists attack conservatives for voting for someone like Trump, despite him having things in his past of which we don’t approve, or his occasional comments that make us flinch. They don’t seem to get that we understand there has only been one perfect person ever on Earth, and that was 2,000 years ago. All of us make mistakes, yield to temptation and fall short, which is why we need Grace and forgiveness. We believe in a higher power that wipes the slate clean when we truly repent and seek forgiveness.
Secular leftists believe that humans are “perfectable” if you can get them to live exactly the way secular leftists think they should. They also believe the highest power is government, so they want it to be all-powerful to enforce their standards of perfection on people, through the carrot-and-stick (but mostly the stick; leftist governments are notoriously bad at providing the people with carrots, or other food.) As Kevin Hart learned, there is no “forgiveness” from them; you can be destroyed over something you said 10 years ago that no longer meets the left’s current ever-changing standards, just as your gravestone can be desecrated for doing something 150 years ago that’s politically-incorrect today.
And what are the fruits of these two competing world views? Personally, I feel a deep sense of contentment and thanks in knowing my sins are forgiven, but also am inspired to try to do better each day to be worthy of that grace. To see an example of how things works out when unforgiving leftists try to play God and use government to force people to live the way leftists think they should, check out the rubble of the Berlin Wall or the rioters setting fire to Paris.