Iowa Rep. Steve King was stripped by fellow Republicans of his committee assignments for his controversial comments about white supremacy and Western civilization (note: he claims his comments were taken out of context and misrepresented), but he will not be censured by the House. The move to censure him was quietly and overwhelmingly shelved – ironically, after top Democratic leaders pressed fellow Democrats to drop it.
Democratic leaders reportedly feared that if they set a precedent of such harsh punishment for controversial speech that it could come back to bite them if Republicans started pulling up things they’ve said and demanding censure votes for those, too. Which is easy to imagine, considering some of the things that have been said just in the past two weeks.
Sounds as if Democrats have learned something from the boomerang that hit them after they wholeheartedly jumped on the “MeToo” bandwagon and demanded that all accusations of sexual harassment and assault should be believed – until the fingers started pointing at them.
Tucker Carlson of Fox News had an interesting segment last night on Texas Senate loser and inexplicable Democratic Presidential frontrunner, Beto O’Rourke.
O’Rourke seems to have a lot of things he feels passionately about, but can’t quite articulate why. One thing he has no use for is walls. In a new interview with the Washington Post, he compared a border security wall to the evils of the Berlin Wall and the walls around World War II Japanese internment camps. But there is a big difference (aside from the Japanese internment camps being built by Democratic icon, Franklin Roosevelt): those walls were built to keep innocent people IN, not to keep intruders out.
O’Rourke also declared that if we build a border wall, “You will ensure death. You and I, as Americans, have caused the deaths of others through these walls." He wasn’t exactly clear on how a wall ever caused the death of anyone other than Humpty Dumpty. But one of his supports tried to make sense of that statement by claiming that the wall would be in the easiest, most traveled parts of the border, which would force people wanting to enter the US illegally to go to the more dangerous, remote areas to get around them, and they might die, and that would be on our heads.
First of all, thanks for acknowledging that walls work. But would we really be "forcing" people to break in at a more dangerous point if made it harder at the easy entry points? If some people choose to risk their lives to enter the US illegally, is it our fault for not making it easier for them to break our laws? By that logic, since doors and windows are our homes' easiest entry points, shouldn’t we take the locks off them so that burglars can come right on in rather than "force" them to risk injury by climbing a ladder to break in through the attic?
With that kind of reasoning, I’m starting to suspect O’Rourke must hate walls because he once skateboarded head-first into one. Incidentally, that is the only way that walls kill anybody.
Congressional Democrats might think walls are immoral, but they sure love grandstands. For instance, Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to think she has the power to cancel President Trump’s State of the Union Address on the questionable grounds that the leader of the House has to invite him there to speak and the patently false claim that security services can’t guarantee everyone’s safety, what with them being so decimated by the government shutdown (that’s ALL TRUMP’S FAULT, of course.) It was a blatantly self-serving hunk of political hooey wrapped in a veneer of piety, much as you might stick a bitter pill inside a meatball in hopes that the dog will swallow it.
I hate to sound cynical, but I think the real reason she doesn’t want Trump giving a State of the Union Address is that she doesn’t want him to have a massive public forum to speak directly to the American people and explain why he’s making a stand for border security that the Democrats are desperate to prevent, and to do so without Jim Acosta and the other members of the anti-Trump Peanut Gallery constantly interrupting. The security excuse is as bogus as the Democrats’ claims that they really support border security (just no measures that would actually insure it), or that they oppose a wall because wasting tax money is so offensive to their frugal natures.
In fact, vital federal security services are not cut during the partial shutdown. SOTU security is handled by the Capitol Police (fully funded) and the Secret Service (fully funded, and they’ve been planning the security for this event for months.)
And as of yesterday, the estimated cost of the government shutdown surpassed the $5.7 billion that Trump asked Congress for in the first place, so the Democrats can no longer even cite the laughably feeble excuse that they’re blocking a border wall because it’s a waste of money. They’ve now wasted more money on the shutdown that it would have cost to fund the wall, and the total is rising every day.
Of course, Trump will not cancel his SOTU Address, but there are a few creative suggestions for altering it. Some conservatives suggested doing it from the White House, to deprive the Democrats of camera time while emphasizing all the money he was saving taxpayers as his opponents let the expensive government shutdown drag on.
Ben Shapiro also offered an idea to give the speech from the border, surrounded by Border Patrol agents who have to deal with the problem of illegal entry every day.
Or Trump could call one of his rallies in a swing state and give the SOTU in front of 50,000 or so supporters who now have good jobs and rising wages.
I think those are all fine ideas. But I wouldn’t endorse Trump giving the SOTU speech in the format he’d probably like most: a series of 500 Twitter tweets.
Could this be considered a “crack in the wall”?
Interesting exchange heard on Fox News: The Democrats are trying to appear reasonable by saying that if Trump will just cave in and reopen the government, then they’ll discuss border security with him. Mollie Hemingway pointed out that the American people have been promised for years that if we let Congress pass one immigration reform after another, they’ll get to border security later, and they never do. She said it’s time for them to do their Constitutional duty.
Brett Baier responded that it’s unlikely they’ll do that with the 2020 election to distract attention. But he observed that according to politicians, we’re always “one election away” from solving problems. I’d add, “Or from Congress doing its Constitutional duty.”
In light of all this, I have a new nickname for the current crop of wall-averse Democrats: “The Wimpy Democrats.” I don’t mean they suffer a severe lack of testosterone, like Gillette wants its customers to. No, I mean like Wimpy from the old “Popeye” cartoons:
"We will gladly give you border security Tuesday for legalizing another 11 million illegal immigrants today!"
The IRS announced that during the current partial government shutdown, returns will be accepted and refunds will be paid, but there will be no new audits. If this is meant to panic Americans into demanding the shutdown end, I don’t think it’s gonna work.