June 19, 2017: Liberals Self Injure | Witch Hunt Heretics | Happy Marriage Day
1. The Left's Big Gift to the Right
The shooting of a Republican congressmen last week might have been a moment for all to acknowledge that political partisanship has become too toxic on both sides. We’ve seen not one sign, however, that the Red Media is taking responsibility for its own contributions to the hate fest. In fact, quite the opposite. But, sadly, through self-inflicted wounds -- i.e. the comedian Kathy Griffin holding the head of a decapitated Trump -- the Left has made it all too easy recently for its opponents to be self righteous.
The missteps continued this weekend with a New York Times editorial. The paper of record started with good intentions. It threw the Right a bone and conceded that, yes, the shooting of Steve Scalise had been motivated by too much hate speech on the left about Trump. Then it pointed out that the Right, of course, had to own its own hate speech. But The Times chose an unfortunate example to illustrate the case.
The paper wrote there was a straight line between the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011 and an ad by Sarah Palin targeting Democratic congress people (actually, their districts) through the crosshairs of a gun. But that story’s connection to the shooting had been discredited, even by The Times itself.
The Red Media pounced. National Review called the editorial “libelous.”
Let’s be blunt. In its zeal to create moral equivalencies and maintain a particular narrative about the past, the Times flat-out lied. There is simply no “link to political incitement” in Loughner’s murderous acts. The man was a paranoid schizophrenic who first got angry at Gabby Giffords years before Palin published her map.
After The Times error, which it corrected, the Red Media found Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, an official of the Nebraska Democratic Party, who wrote a Facebook post saying about Scalise and the shooting victims, “the very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.”
Even though she was a volunteer and even though the head of the state’s Democratic party asked her to resign, the Red Media went nuts. The Washington Free Beacon’s headline was “Nebraska Dem Party Official Mocks Republicans After Scalise Shooting.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner went with: “Nebraska Dem official mocks GOP shooting victims: ‘Having a hard time feeling bad for them’.”
RedState stood back and noted that the Democrats as a whole were now on the defensive -- deservedly so. It argued that the Left has made its hatred of Trump too personal and not about the policies he is pushing. And then there are the semantics:
Some are not satisfied that Democrats have done nearly enough to calm their rhetoric or their seething base. Just calling themselves The Resistance is part of the problem. To many of us The Resistance refers to the underground movement formed in France during World War II to fight the German occupying forces and the Vichy government. Such a name cannot help but instill a sense of war and encourage violence.
The Democrats deserve to be on the defense over their “resistance” rhetoric.
2. Witch Hunt Heretics
Most on the Right continued to bash Special Counsel Robert Mueller all weekend, reinforcing Trump’s framing of the situation as a “witch hunt,” but we did notice that not everyone was on message.
For example, at least some were baffled by the denials of a Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, that his client was under investigation. A Hot Air contributor wrote this about Sekulow’s combative performances on the Sunday morning talk shows:
How the hell did Sekulow go from “There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period,” on “Meet the Press” to “I can’t read the minds of the special prosecutor” on “Fox News Sunday” within a few hours? All he seems to be saying, really, is that Trump hasn’t received formal notice that Mueller’s looking at him. But since when is formal notice a prerequisite to a probe? This feels a lot like Sekulow’s trying to spin an anodyne fact, the lack of notice, into a much broader, unsupported claim that Trump isn’t under suspicion to give him political cover.
Also, RedState was having none of the president’s attack on the deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller. When the president tweeted this -- “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt” -- Red State wrote this headline: "In a Panicky Tweet, President Trump Lies About Rod Rosenstein” and then added: The President of the United States is off the rails this morning. He’s tweeting about Russia and the investigation into Russian influence during the 2016 election.”
Also Worth Noting:
The Rasmussen Report’s Daily Presidential Tracking poll indicated on Friday that 50% of likely U.S. voters approve of Trump’s performance as president. (This was gleefully retweeted by the president.) Of course, Rasmussen has historically produced more favorable polling for Republicans but there was “good news” elsewhere. The Gateway Pundit was more than overjoyed to show a screenshot of an informal online CNN poll, which revealed that 70% of Americans believe Trump should not be investigated for obstruction of justice.
3. Local Politics: When the Left Can’t Win Over the Left
On Sunday, Salena Zito of The Washington Examiner reported from the political front lines of the Adams County, Pennsylvania, where she found that the biggest challenge for the local Democratic chair isn’t winning over Republicans, but members of her own party. The progressive activist wing is a drag on her efforts, Zito writes:
It spends much of its oxygen consistently mocking anyone who supported Trump. That might go over well in Manhattan or the Washington Beltway, where there would be no societal consequences for holding those positions.
Yet, that kind of rhetoric has large societal consequences here, where the majority of registered Republicans, some Democrats, and a healthy number of Independents not only voted for Trump, but also heavily-favored Sen. Pat Toomey, Rep. Scott Perry, and every other GOP candidate down-ballot...
[Local Party Chair Marcia] Wilson is emblematic of interviews with other heartland Democrats in Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky who feel their biggest challenge to winning back voters is the sidestepping of the message coming from national Democrats and developing one they believe will help them win again.
4. Mixed Cuba Reaction
There was a split reaction to Trump’s decision to rescind his predecessor's decision to soften relations with Cuba. LifeZette seemed to celebrate along with Cuban exiles in Miami.
Miami Cubans waving enormous American flags and Trump banners erupted in shouts of joy outside the theater in Little Havana as President Donald Trump announced that he was canceling the Obama administration’s “one-sided deal” with the Cuban communist regime and demanded the release of political prisoners.
“I’m very happy,” said Ingrid Carvajal, founder of Miami-Dade Citizens 4 Trump, after the speech. “I cried when I heard what Donald Trump said, because I said to people, ‘This is what he’s gonna say,’ and people said, ‘He will never say that.’ And I said, ‘This is what he’s gonna say, this is a man of his word.'”
Meanwhile, Townhall noted that the White House announcement is making the wrong people happy. It “has delighted hardliners on the island, who say it reveals the long-held U.S. aim of imposing American will on Cuba and justifies their wariness toward Washington.”
What We’re Watching:
PBS reported that a number of Republicans representatives were also not happy about the reversal.
5. Happy Marriage Day
Some on the Right didn’t just see Father’s Day as an opportunity to praise dads everywhere, but also to extol the virtues of marriage on the whole. Mona Charen of National Review wrote:
We make a big fuss about mothers in our culture. Think of how often politicians offer sympathy to “heroic” single moms who are doing such an amazing job… That much having been said, this Father’s Day is a good time to remember that fathers are crucial to their children’s happiness and success.
Here is a small sample of what good husbands/fathers do for their relations: 1) Their wives are healthier, wealthier, and happier than single or divorced women; 2) their daughters are less likely to have eating disorders, be dissatisfied with their appearance, have behavior problems, have a child out of wedlock, or suffer from depression; 3) their sons are less likely to drop out of high school, get in trouble with the law, or drink to excess.
Fathers perform this magic and more — but the key is marriage. The faithful bond between spouses transforms guys into men who earn a lot more money, keep their children safe and happy, and uphold neighborhoods and communities.