Evening Edition - June 29

Less than 4 minute read

June 29, 2019

It’s long been said that people who heard the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy debate on radio thought Nixon won, and those who saw it on TV thought Kennedy won.  Well, Joe Biden might have a similar problem.  Those who watched Thursday’s debate on TV thought Biden ended the night battered and a bit bumfuzzled, but still standing.  But those who read a word-for-word transcript of what he said might think that the fight should’ve been stopped before he suffered permanent brain damage.

For instance, what he had to say about gun control seemed a bit garbled live, but I tend to be forgiving of public figures who make slips of the tongue, since I know it’s a simple human error everyone is subject to and that opponents and the media (same thing if you’re a Republican) love to make a federal case out of it. In Joe’s case, though, when you actually read what he said about guns, it’s not a slip of the tongue.  It’s more like a tongue getting caught in a ceiling fan.  His comments sound like someone took a gun grabber group’s pamphlet and tossed it into a Cuisinart.

Kyle Smith at National Review uses those comments to set up an intriguing column on how Biden is blowing his big advantage (being seen as the only moderate, electable choice) by chasing after the far-left Democratic primary voters that all the others are courting.  Smith has some surprising numbers that illustrate just how small that faction is, even as a percentage of Democrats, despite its overpowering influence on the party, the primaries and the media.  They’re like a mouse squeaking through Led Zeppelin’s amplifiers.

I warned all rational voters that they will need to start paying attention and showing up to vote in smaller local elections because radical leftists are targeting those elections to get people into office with a handful of votes, there to undermine the entire system (like the recent elections of leftist district attorneys who immediately announce “reforms” that amount to no longer prosecuting a long list of crimes.) 

By the same token, the radical far-leftists can only control the primaries and oust moderate incumbents with socialist firebrands if more reasonable voters fail to show up at the polls.  Note that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who thinks she now runs the entire House, is only in office because supporters of incumbent Joe Crowley didn’t think they needed to show up for the primary, which she won with only 15,897 votes to his 11,761.  And in that deep blue Bronx district, whoever wins the Dem primary wins the general election.  So she would not be in office if it weren't for fewer than 16,000 primary voters in a district with nearly 692,000 residents. 

Smith makes another good point: Biden’s strength was actually that he was the most “generic” Democrat possible.  But the more he flip-flops to far-left positions like free health care for illegal immigrants and taxpayer-paid abortions to win the primary (which shouldn’t even be necessary, considering most Democrats oppose those positions, if they’ll just show up to vote in the primaries), the less he looks like a safe, generic choice and the more Trump looks like the only normal option.  (I’ll bet it pained the editors at National Review to have to okay a sentence calling Trump “normal.”)

This also reflects on something I’ve warned people about for years: pay no attention to any polls that pit Trump or any other candidate against an “unnamed opponent” from the other party.  No ballot ever included the option of “Unnamed Democrat” or “Unnamed Republican.”  As soon as a name is attached, voters have to assess a human being with a long record of decisions, experiences, opinions and mistakes.  At that point, all bets are off.  In that sense, as long as Joe Biden is Joe Biden, he never had any hope of slipping under the radar as “Generic Democrat.”  



One more reason to love Candace Owens:  If you’re going to engage in political theater, as AOC did this week, you have to expect someone will pull back the curtain, expose the fake props and backdrop, and parody your histrionics.  Enter Candace…


Thursday night on Martha MacCallum’s FOX News show THE STORY –- after the first Democratic “debate” but preceding the second one –- I was asked about the stunning change in the Democratic Party over a relatively short time. That premise echoed the comment from a reader that came in to my website Thursday evening…

From Bobbie:

“As I ‘try’ to watch the Democrat debates, I feel sick that one of these people could be the next President of the United States. What has happened to our nation? How can they have these views?”

Even many Democrats share Bobbie’s concern this time around. Of all the candidates, the relatively obscure John Hickenlooper seems to be the only one actively advising against using the “socialist” label. Keep in mind, though, that the main difference for 2020 is that this time, “progressives” ADMIT they are essentially socialists who want to remake America so the government runs everything. Democrats have traditionally wanted the government (as in, themselves) to run everything; they just didn’t call themselves “socialists.”

For example, presidential candidate Barack Obama shared the goal of today’s socialists of having a government-run, single-payer health care system. It’s just that he needed an interim step to get there, and Obamacare was designed to be it. (We might not know this if someone hadn’t captured his candid remarks on video.) Today, after a run at the failed system, Democrats feel free to campaign on the single-payer idea. And, as they find themselves competing to see who can go the farthest left, they’ll expand coverage to illegal immigrants and even, according to candidate Julian Castro during Wednesday night’s “debate,” abortion services for the trans community. Very important to get that in.

Castro said he wasn’t just for “reproductive freedom” but for “reproductive justice.” People on the left have a lot of cryptic terminology; everybody's supposed to know the exact distinction between these two terms.  But from the context, I gathered that “reproductive freedom” refers to choice in one’s decision to terminate a pregnancy –- even during or slightly after birth –- while “reproductive justice” refers to getting those services for free. A leftist would say that not getting something you want because you can’t afford it is “unjust.”


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Anyway, Martha introduced our segment, which also featured former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, with a few clips from Wednesday night’s “debate” --- I always put “debate” in quotes, because these things are nothing like actual debates --- to show how far left the party has gone. And it’s true, they are very, very far left, though some still employ euphemisms and code words while in campaign mode, especially regarding abortion. Elizabeth Warren, however, was blunt: “I would make certain that every woman has access to the full range of reproductive health care services, and that includes birth control; it includes abortion; it includes everything for a woman.”

That’s when Julian Castro tried to outdo her: “Just because a woman --- or, let’s also not forget someone in the trans community [big applause from audience], a trans female --- is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose.”

This is such a complex subject that I think perhaps even Castro was a little mixed up. I’m pretty sure that in his eagerness to one-up Sen. Warren, he said “trans female” when he meant to say “trans male.” A “trans” female is biologically male and does not have female reproductive organs and therefore is NOT going to be facing the choice of whether or not to be pregnant. No way, no how. Now, a “trans” MALE is and has always been biologically female, and –- if too much biology hasn’t been altered by hormones and surgery –- might possibly get pregnant. That’s what is going on with those silly tabloid stories about a “pregnant man.” It’s not really a pregnant man; it’s someone with female chromosomes who lives as a man but who got pregnant. That’s the reality, albeit ridiculously complicated.

But in Progressive World, a man pretending to be a woman can pretend to need coverage for abortion. Does that mean the taxpayers “pretend” to pay for it?

Goodness, getting into all this, I really share Bobbie’s dismay at where we are politically in 2019. Donna Brazile tried to put a smiley face on it, saying that in the Democratic Party, they have “a diversity of opinions, a diversity of views and, of course, a diversity of candidates.” I would agree that the stage featured a lot of diversity, but only in terms of gender and ethnicity, not so much of views. A government run by any of them and their minions would be essentially the same.

Martha played a couple of clips from 2008, with candidate Hillary Clinton saying that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” (“and by rare, I mean...rare”) and candidate Barack Obama saying that “there is no doubt that we have to get control of our borders. We can’t have hundreds of thousands of people coming over to the United States without us having any idea who they are.” Recall that both of them also claimed to be against same-sex marriage. Amazing.

As I told Martha, we’re seeing a dramatic shift in the Democratic Party. The first night’s “debate” was almost like an auction; let’s see who can outbid whom in the most left-of-center approach. That may work in the primary, but I truly believe there are a lot of Democrats who are uncomfortable with the party going this far left. Even before now, many have said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party --- the Democratic Party left ME.” If the Democrat primary keeps going the way it is, I think a lot more will be saying that in 2020.

Donna stressed that the Democratic Party is all about “solutions.” (I have to put that word in quotes, too, when a Democrat uses it.) That’s what I’m afraid of --- too many “solutions” with far, far too many unintended consequences.

She did admit that “this is a different party.” That’s for sure. “I mean, I’m a different person than I was 10, 20 years ago,” she said. “This is a different party,” she repeated for emphasis. “I’m just trying to explain to the FOX viewers and others that this is a very important period in our country where they want to see the Democratic candidates debate all these issues.” She said that Democrats might ultimately choose a more moderate candidate (right) or perhaps “someone further to the left than I am.” The good news, she added, is that they are having the conversation.

Hey, that’s just what Kamala Harris says whenever she’s asked a politically risky question: “I believe we should have that conversation.” The senator from California is in a position to gain a lot in these “debates,” as she, a former prosecutor, is articulate and fearless. I’ve seen her go too far to her prosecutorial side in Senate hearings, treating witnesses with undeserved disrespect. But right now, she’s obviously trying hard to be cool and likable. Don’t be fooled; she’s a leftist wearing a big campaign smile and she would very quickly take the country to places we do NOT want to go.