Today Mike Pompeo was confirmed to be Secretary of State by the United States Senate. Is vote Monday out of committee though, was not without drama and a call for "normalizing Trump." I write about that and the committee hearing below.
- Mike Huckabee
Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (11 Republicans, 10 Democrats) voted to advance the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State to a full Senate vote. It was touch-and-go for a while, with Democrats and some recalcitrant Republicans threatening to block the nomination. But in the end, after many last-minute twists, the vote passed, largely thanks to Sen. Rand Paul switching his opposition to support and a rare bipartisan gesture by Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware, who switched his "nay" vote to “present” in deference to Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who was away to deliver the eulogy at his best friend’s funeral and would have had to return to DC to vote. Coons may be drummed out of Washington for placing human decency ahead of cheap, cynical political advantage, but he deserves a salute from the rest of us.
The opposition to Pompeo has been so nakedly partisan, it borders on the ridiculous. He’s been attacked as unqualified for being a Christian (a blatant violation of the ban on religious litmus tests for public office.) He’s been accused of being a far-right radical and war hawk (which didn’t seem to be an issue when the very same Senate confirmed him as CIA Director by a two-thirds vote.) He’s incredibly well-qualified, and he’s already made great strides on denuclearizing North Korea before he even has the job. The argument that Republicans blocked Obama doesn’t hold water. Republicans opposed Obama’s policies, but they mostly gave him the team he wanted (Paul even voted to confirm John Kerry as Secretary of State!) Yes, they blocked Obama’s SCOTUS pick, Merrick Garland, but that wasn’t a Cabinet appointee who would leave when the President does (or much earlier, if Trump’s history is any guide); that would have been an outgoing President tilting the balance of the Court for decades to come. Yet some Democrats felt pressure from their far-left base to deny Trump his nominee just because, as one put it, that would be “normalizing” Trump.
I’m frankly getting really sick of this nonsense about how we can’t “normalize” President Trump. First of all, he’s already been “normalized” by the voters, who elected him President in the absolutely normal way of awarding him 30 out of 50 states in the Electoral College. Second, this is coming from a political faction that’s spent the past 50 years or more trying to make “normal” into a dirty word. Suggest that there are any such things as societal norms that are positives, and they’ll brand you a racist, sexist, homophobic knuckle-dragger who wants to turn back the clock to the days of slavery and Jim Crow Laws (coincidentally, two institutions defended by the Democratic Party and fought by the Republicans.)
Finally, while they insist that Trump cannot be “normalized” as President (his tweets apparently make him too crude to hold the refined office in which JFK had an affair with a mob boss’s girlfriend, LBJ held Cabinet meetings from the toilet, and Bill Clinton…well, you know), here are a few things that they have “normalized” just in recent years:
Using the IRS, DOJ, FBI, NSA and other “nonpartisan” government agencies as weapons against political opponents.
Shouting down conservative speakers to silence them on college campuses.
Physically assaulting anyone whose views they disagree with in the name of fighting “fascism.”
Forcing everyone to pretend to believe that there are over 50 different genders, that you can change your gender just by saying so, and that men who claim to feel like a woman should be allowed to use women’s bathrooms and lockers and compete as women in sporting events.
Calling violent criminal illegal aliens “immigrants” who should be turned loose into the streets to prey on people again.
Branding Christians as unfit to hold public office and driving them into bankruptcy with ruinous fines and oppressive laws if they refuse to embrace same-sex marriage.
Forcing nuns to pay for abortion drugs.
Infantilizing college students until they need “safe spaces” with Play-Doh and crayons if they hear a viewpoint they disagree with.
Redefining 26-year-olds as “children” so they can stay on their parents’ health insurance…
Which they needed to do because the left also redefined 1% GDP growth as “the new normal,” and none of those adult “children” could find jobs.
And this is just a partial list!
All things considered, I’d say that America’s biggest problem is not that Donald Trump might be “normalized,” but that thanks to the people who are so concerned about what’s “normalized,” the word “normal” has lost all meaning.