Posted tagged ‘Democrats and Trump’

The Russian Conspiracy Theory Boils Over

February 17, 2017

The Russian Conspiracy Theory Boils Over, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, February 17, 2017

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The so-called scandal involving former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Iran-Contra, Watergate, proof of presidential fascism, a cynical money-making scheme, and a pro-Russian spy thriller all rolled into one, according to the increasingly deranged rants of howling left-wingers and their truth-adverse confederates in the mainstream media.

Despite this relentless barrage of fake news and smears, President Donald Trump pushed back against the orchestrated campaign against him yesterday at what is sure to go down in history as The Best Presidential Press Conference of All Time as he gave the mainstream media the beat-down it deserves. (See transcript.)

“To give you an idea how Trump’s press conference went, afterwards, the press corps demanded a safe space,” Ann Coulter tweeted of the 77-minute long White House event, Trump’s first solo presser as president. “I wish this press conference could go on all day.”

“The public doesn’t believe you people anymore,” a ferocious, animated Trump told the assembled press corps. “Maybe I had something to do with that. I don’t know. But they don’t believe you.”

“This whole Russia scam that you guys” are pushing on people is “so you don’t talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks.”

“The public sees it,” he said. “They see it. They see it’s not fair. You take a look at some of your shows and you see the bias and the hatred. And the public is smart. They understand it.”

“I didn’t do anything for Russia,” he said. “I have done nothing for Russia. Hillary Clinton gave them 20 percent of our uranium. Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember with the stupid plastic button that made us look like a bunch of jerks.”

A mewling Chuck Todd of NBC was offended by the president’s conduct at the press conference and tweeted, “This [is] not a laughing matter. I’m sorry, delegitimizing the press is un-American[.]”

Perhaps he shouldn’t have signed on to the effort to delegitimize President Trump.

Todd, of course, is one the members of the media out to get Trump.

He recently said the invented Flynn-Russia crisis is “arguably the biggest presidential scandal involving a foreign government since Iran-Contra.”

Disgraced former anchorman Dan Rather, the poster child for journalistic malfeasance who humiliated himself a decade ago with his proven lies about George W. Bush’s military service record, couldn’t resist hopping on the bandwagon in order to create the illusion he is relevant.

He gravely pontificated that “Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now. It was the closest we came to a debilitating Constitutional crisis, until maybe now.”

This manufactured mass hysteria directed against Trump, a democratically elected president, in order to drive him from office continues. It feeds on itself. It infects. It multiplies. It smothers.

This un-American mobocracy threatens to snuff out American democracy itself if not contained.

Calls for President Trump’s impeachment, removal from office by the Senate or by military coup, and assassination are growing on the Left as it comes to grips with the fact that the Chief Executive is deadly serious about protecting America and rolling back President Obama’s poisonous legacy.

No claim or statement is too crazy, lawless, undemocratic, or barbaric for the Left as it desperately tries to keep the borders open to Muslim terrorists, Americans groaning under the chains of Obamacare, businesses buried in red tape, and the welfare state ballooning.

Exhibit “A” from the magical land of fairy dust and unicorns is communist mockumentary director Michael Moore.

In the complete absence of evidence, Moore called Trump a “Russian traitor” and said he should vacate the White House. “We can do this the easy way (you resign), or the hard way (impeachment).” He also called for Trump to be arrested.

Todd, Rather, and Moore are far from alone.

On Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity held up an interview CNN’s Wolf Blitzer did with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) as an example of the media’s “abusively biased coverage, this false narrative.”

“If members of the administration are essentially conspiring with Russia either through the campaign earlier or now in the administration itself, I mean, look, Wolf, that’s the definition of treason,” Moulton said. “This is a very, very serious affair.”

From his perch at a glossy, content-free fashion magazine, MSNBC reject Keith Olbermann huffed and puffed. “I call for the immediate indictment of Michael Thomas Flynn on charges of and his immediate arrest on suspicion of violation of the Logan Act,” he said invoking a long-forgotten statute from 1799 under which no one has ever been convicted. Trump should be named as Flynn’s “unindicted co-conspirator,” he added.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) conspiracy-theorized that Trump is using the Flynn saga to privatize intelligence-gathering and help his friends on Wall Street make money off it. Trump plans to ask Stephen A. Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, to conduct “a broad review of American intelligence agencies,” the New York Times has reported.

“Now what he’s doing is naming another Wall Streeter to go in like a corporate takeover of the intelligence community, clearly with the intent of creating a chilling effect upon these intelligence professionals, who are trying to help America to understand how our security may have been compromised in our relationship with Russia,” Markey said.

Riot-cheerleading Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who claims the Reagan administration flooded the nation’s inner cities with crack cocaine, was overjoyed at Flynn’s ouster, describing him as “a liar and someone who cannot be trusted.”

“I’ve always believed that there has been collusion between the Trump outfit here, and Russia and the Kremlin. So I believe this is the tip of the iceberg … the strategy and the plot, to defend Russia and to work with Russia, is part of who Trump and his organization is,” Waters said.

New York Times columnist and hyperbole junkie Thomas Friedman accused Flynn and Trump of participating in some weird, ill-defined international conspiracy. “After the Russians did not respond harshly to the eviction of their spies and diplomats, Trump actually tweeted out some positive encouragement of this. Did the two of them cook this up all along?”

“And it gets … to two other issues,” Friedman continued. “The first is, we have never taken seriously from the very beginning Russia hacked our election. That was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our very democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”

Radical kook Chauncey DeVega, who calls Trump a “fascist authoritarian,” hyperventilated at Salon that the president is “a traitor to the United States” and so are all who back him.

Trump’s “voters and other supporters who do not denounce him are also traitors, and any Republican officials who continue to back Trump are traitors as well,” he wrote, as visions of sending patriotic Americans to die in forced labor camps danced in his head.

PJMedia’s Michael Walsh calls what’s happening in the country “a rolling coup attempt” and he’s right.

Make no mistake about what’s happening here: this is a rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the “Resistance” in order to overturn the results of the November election.

This escalating offensive against Trump kicked up a few notches after Flynn, an arch foe of Islamofascism, was forced out of his critically important advisory role Monday night by what is shaping up to be an East German-style Ben Rhodes-centered deep state cabal.

Flynn, a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, fell on his sword reportedly for allegedly making contact with a Russian envoy. The White House claims Flynn resigned after admitting he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

It’s not as if we know what actually happened with Flynn and the Russian or Russians at this point, or if there was any contact at all. News reports don’t quote any on-the-record sources.

And despite the lunatic ravings of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bill Kristol, David Frum, Sally Kohn, Joan Walsh, Hollywood celebrities, and many others, there is no credible evidence whatsoever that Trump had anything to do with the hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee or that Trump colluded with Russia in whatever may or may not have transpired.

Without proof all of this screaming about Flynn and Trump and their supposedly nefarious connections to Vladimir Putin is just noise.

It could be (and likely is) completely made up.

Fiction is, after all, what Ben Rhodes, now identified as a major player in the plot against the president, specialized in when he worked in the Obama White House. Rhodes bragged to the New York Times about duping Americans by creating a media “echo chamber” to promote the botched, unenforceable nuclear nonproliferation agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that will actually end up helping the mad mullahs who want to kill us all get the bomb. Rhodes became a misinformation-manufacturing servant of a hostile power while betraying his fellow Americans to help an Islam-loving president cozy up to the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.

But as we keep learning more and more about Rhodes and Obama’s post-presidential sabotage apparatus, there was a small victory for common sense as the FBI announced it sees no reason to do anything about the Flynn case because there’s nothing there.

The FBI is still investigating the Russian saga but won’t pursue charges against Flynn “barring new information that changes what they know,” CNN reported last night. Although Flynn stumbled at times during FBI interviews, investigators believe Flynn was “cooperative and provided truthful answers.”

And that can’t be bad.

What Happens Next?

January 18, 2017

What Happens Next?, PJ Media, Roger Kimball, January 18, 2017

swearingintrumprehearsalJanuary 15, 2017: a rehearsal of President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

What we may be witnessing is a national reconfiguration — Piereson calls it America’s fourth revolution — in which the elite, pantywaist consensus of the Left is giving way to something more traditional, more manly, more rugged. I don’t expect this transition to be painless or to happen without a measure of hysteria from the skirling feminized cadres of the disintegrating consensus.  But unless they succeed in destroying Donald Trump in the opening months of his administration, they are destined, like the Whigs of yore, to recede into querulous obscurity.

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Those who are ignorant of history, George Santayana remarked, are condemned to repeat it. It’s not quite true, of course.

Santayana’s elder tradesman, Heraclitus, was right when he said that you cannot step into the same river twice. Whether or not you know anything about it, history, that great river, keeps meandering on. It does not double back.

But Santayana’s oft-quoted remark does have a salutary invigorating effect. Much like that “self-evident half-truth” (as the philosopher Harvey Mansfield put it) that “all men are created equal,” Santayana’s admonition might well exert, on susceptible souls, the goad to learn more about mankind’s adventure in time, which is a good thing. There are patterns to be observed, continuities (and discontinuities) noted, metabolisms of power registered and understood. So even if Santayana overstated the case, the failure to study history — for a culture as well as for individuals — is a sort of existential threat.

Or, to put it positively, a study of history is a prophylactic learning experience.

One of the things one learns, I believe, is that Karl Marx was not always wrong. For example, when he amends Hegel’s declaration that history repeats itself, Marx notes “he forgot to add, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

It tells us something about Marx that the only two choices he he can envision are tragedy and farce. Is there no tertium quid?

Perhaps we are about to find out.

Hysteria tends to feed on itself, so it is no surprise that the #NeverTrump/#AntiTrump brigades have been vying to outdo one another in histrionics. Hundreds of thousands of protestors are about to descend upon Washington, D.C., to dispute the results of an open, democratic election. In many cases, the antics remind one of nothing so much as a distraught toddler who follows his mother around the house and falls down in a tantrum whenever he has her attention. It’s funny when it’s a two-year-old. When the source of the tantrums are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, it is still funny, but also pathetic.

Still, it is worth noting that the minatory rhetoric seems to increase in volume daily. One example: a group called “DisruptJ20” aims to “shut down the inauguration.” David Thurston, a spokesman for the group, stated: “We want to see a seething rebellion develop in this city and across the country.”

Does he have any idea what he is talking about? What about the long tradition in this country of the peaceful transfer of power? “We are not in favor of a peaceful transition of power,” Legba Carrefour, another “DisruptJ20 representative, said. He added: “[W]e need to stop it.”

What are we to make of such melodrama? Are we living through a reprise of 1968? Or, as some have suggested, of 1860, when the country descended into civil war?

As I write, 47 Democratic congressmen have announced that they plan to “boycott” the inauguration (John Lewis doesn’t count: he boycotted when George W. Bush was elected, too, as no Republican is “legitimate” for that race-baiting charlatan).

Meanwhile, we are told that the legacy media are preparing for “war” with Donald Trump, with reporters “put on a war footing.”

Of course, you see something of this every time a recognizably conservative figure wins the presidency. It happened to Reagan. It happened to W. If it seems more extreme this time around, it is partly because Trump and his coalition are offering much stiffer resistance to the forces that would destroy them.

The Left blamed Hurricane Katrina on George Bush. He ought to have done a King Canute and humiliated them into silence. Instead, he meekly retreated. Trump doesn’t do meek retreat and neither, I suspect, do those who put him in the White House. As Victor Davis Hanson noted in City Journal a few days ago, “one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives”:

After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists — usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders — red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns.

The establishment GOP still has its knickers in a twist, but Trump and his supporters understand the wisdom of the old French adage:

Cet animal est très méchant,

Quand on l’attaque il se défend.

“This animal is very strange: when one attacks it, it defends itself.”

This is not to deny, as Andy McCarthy pointed out recently, that the Left tends to be better at shaping The Narrative, the public perception of political reality, than the GOP. Part of their success these last eight years has been the collusion of the Obama administration in furthering their chosen Narrative — on Benghazi, on the “bitter clingers,” on the “deplorables,” and more. That critical support — from the DOJ to the IRS to the EPA and the Department of Education — will be withdrawn in two days, two hours, and six five minutes.

The question then will be whether the legacy media, the Code Pink crowd, and the Deep State elite can sustain an effective opposition by themselves. At this stage, I think, it is an open question.

If Trump gets his cabinet picks, if he comes into office and unleashes a blitzkrieg of promised reforms, I suspect the opposition, after a period of fletus et stridor dentium (Matthew 13:50), will subside into pathetic irrelevance.

That’s a big “if,” I understand, but as of Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Trump seems firmly in command and poised to make America great again.

In his book Shattered Consensus, James Piereson points out that America has tended to have not a two-party system but rather a “one and one-half party system consisting of a ‘regime party’ and a competitor forced to adapt to its dominant position.” These competitors, he writes — the Whigs in the 1840s, the Democrats after the Civil War, and the Republicans in the post-war era — occasionally won national elections, but only after accepting the legitimacy of the basic political themes established by the regime party.

What we may be witnessing is a national reconfiguration — Piereson calls it America’s fourth revolution — in which the elite, pantywaist consensus of the Left is giving way to something more traditional, more manly, more rugged. I don’t expect this transition to be painless or to happen without a measure of hysteria from the skirling feminized cadres of the disintegrating consensus.  But unless they succeed in destroying Donald Trump in the opening months of his administration, they are destined, like the Whigs of yore, to recede into querulous obscurity.

It cannot happen soon enough.

Democrats hunker down for ‘permanent opposition’ to Donald Trump presidency

January 13, 2017

Democrats hunker down for ‘permanent opposition’ to Donald Trump presidency, Washington TimesValerie Richardson, January 12, 2017

kkkdemoProtesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members disrupt the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

For those stunned to see Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing disrupted by shouts, changs and protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members: Get used to it.

President-elect Donald Trump won’t take office for another week, but Democrats and left-wing groups have already laid the groundwork for a relentless four-year assault on his presidency, vowing to disrupt and discredit his administration long before he signs his first bill.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have a name for it: the permanent opposition.

“You’re going to have a permanent opposition, sort of a combination of the news media and the Elizabeth Warren hard left, and they’re going to attack every single day and they’re going to find something to attack all the time,” Mr. Gingrich said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“And Trump’s got to get used to the idea. ‘That’s OK, that’s just noise,’” Mr. Gingrich said.

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“This is dramatically different from what we’ve seen,” said conservative author David Horowitz, chronicler of left-wing movements and author of the 2012 book “The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics.”

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

Democrats have countered that Mr. Trump’s campaign statements in favor of policies such as repealing Obamacare and building a wall to stop illegal immigration from Mexico have forced them to mobilize before the Jan. 20 inauguration.

“While we don’t yet know the harmful proposals the next administration will put forward, thanks to Donald Trump’s campaign, Cabinet appointments and Twitter feed, we do have an idea of what we will be dealing with, and we must be prepared,” said California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

The Democrat-controlled California Legislature took the unprecedented step last week of hiring former U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. to fight Mr. Trump, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called his state a refuge for minorities who feel they are under attack by the still-hypothetical Trump administration.

Democrats say Republicans didn’t make it easy for President Obama, who had barely got comfortable in the White House before the tea party announced its arrival with a march on Washington in September 2009.

On the other hand, conservatives never tried to upend the 2008 Electoral College result by urging electors to defect, or called for his impeachment before he took office, or organized dozens of demonstrations to coincide with his inauguration.

All of that and more have followed Mr. Trump since his Nov. 8 election victory against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“You don’t criticize it in advance of it happening,” Mr. Horowitz said. “I’m amused at all these attacks on Trump as an authoritarian. Well, an authoritarian is a form of ruler. He hasn’t ruled anything.”

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have stayed largely above the fray in public, encouraging the electorate to give Mr. Trump a chance, but their top supporters are moving in another direction entirely.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, backed by the Democracy Alliance, a millionaire and billionaire’s club of top Democratic donors, launched on Dec. 15 its Resist campaign, vowing to marshal its resources behind an effort to “push back rapidly and forcefully against the excesses of the Trump administration.”

“We will organize in our communities and congressional offices. We will march in the streets and apply pressure through social media,” says the Resist post. “And we will forge ahead. We will stand up for progressive values and lay the groundwork for a progressive resurgence in the years to come.”

The center isn’t exactly a fringe group. It was founded by John Podesta, who ran Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and served as a White House adviser to Mr. Obama.

For Democrats, the strategy clearly has benefits. In addition to juicing fundraising, vowing to fight Mr. Trump has helped unify supporters and patch up fractures that emerged during the primary campaign between Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

On the other hand, promoting a state of never-ending political battle may come back to haunt the party. Swing voters may grow weary and ultimately tune out the constant anti-Trump outcry, as many of them did during the election.

Liberal comedian Bill Maher said Democrats cried wolf so many times in past presidential races that nobody believed their warnings about Mr. Trump.

Democrats also risk being associated with some of the more extreme elements taking part in the massive resistance to Mr. Trump. One example is RefuseFascism.org, whose organizers include Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers and Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

The group clearly has connections: It ran a full-page ad Wednesday in The Washington Post, signed by liberal celebrities such as Ed Asner, Debra Messing and Rosie O’Donnell, that urged millions to join a “month of resistance” with “protests that don’t stop” in which “people refuse to leave, occupying public space.”

On her personal Twitter feed, Miss O’Donnell told her 900,000 followers about her idea for resisting Mr. Trump — martial law. “I fully support imposing martial law — delaying the inauguration — until Trump is ‘cleared’ of all charges,” Miss O’Donnell tweeted.

Although the comedian failed to specify what official charges should prevent Mr. Trump from taking office, she did link to an image describing environments where military control of the civilian population “might be best.”

Dozens of groups are urging thousands to protest the Jan. 20 inaugural in Washington, leading to concerns about violence and vandalism that could deliver a public relations hit to anti-Trump groups such as Occupy Inauguration.

Republican strategist Mike McKenna called the uproar “sad and pathological.” “Politically, it is really a mistake,” he said.

“The longer they go without coming to grips about what has happened over the last eight years with respect to the dissolution of the Democrat Party as a national party,” Mr. McKenna said, “that’s not good for anyone.”

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

Send in the Head Clowns

January 6, 2017

Send in the Head Clowns, Washington Free Beacon, January 6, 2017

President Barack Obama, joined by, from second from left, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, to meet with members of Congress to discuss his signature healthcare law. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It takes time to adjust. The Democrats may be counting on inertia and the media to slow the Republicans down and force them into a defensive crouch. Worked in the past. But here’s the thing about Trump: He doesn’t play defense.

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Democrats have been in power for so long that they’ve forgotten how to oppose. Their party has been on a roll since 2005 when the botched Social Security reform, the slow bleed of the Iraq war, and Hurricane Katrina sent the Bush administration into a tailspin. The Democrats won the Congress the following year and the White House two years after that. And while they lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, Democrats still had the advantage of retaining the White House, a president seemingly immune from criticism, the courts, the bureaucracy, and large portions of the media. The correlation of forces in Washington has weighed heavily in favor of the Democrats for a decade.

No longer. The election of Donald Trump has brought unified Republican government to Washington and overturned our understanding of how politics works. Or at least it should have done so. The Democrats seem not to understand how to deal with Trump and the massive change he is about to bring to the nation’s capital. During the general election they fell for the idea that Trump can be defeated by conventional means, spending hundreds of millions of dollars in negative television advertising and relying on political consultants beholden to whatever line Politico was selling on a given day. This strategy failed Trump’s Republican primary opponents, but Democrats figured that was simply because the GOP was filled with deplorables. It was a rationalization that would cost them.

Republicans control the House, the Senate, 34 governor’s mansions, and 4,100 seats in state legislatures. But Democrats act like they run Washington. Nancy Pelosi’s speech to the 115th House of Representatives was a long-winded recitation of the same liberal agenda that has brought her party to its current low. Give her points for consistency I guess. Chuck Schumer is just being delusional.

Smarting from the failed nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Senate minority leader pledged to oppose Donald Trump’s nominee weeks before inauguration day. “If they don’t appoint somebody good,” he said on MSNBC, “we’re going to oppose them tooth and nail.” That would “absolutely” include keeping the seat held by the late Antonin Scalia empty, he said. “We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.”

I suppose it’s too much to expect a graduate of Harvard Law School to grasp the difference between majority and minority. Mitch McConnell was able to block Garland’s appointment because the Republicans controlled the Senate. The Democrats do not. And McConnell was able to hold his caucus together because he was on solid historical ground. Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas as chief justice failed in the election year 1968, and the so-called “Biden Rule” of 1992 stipulated no Supreme Court replacements during the last year of a presidency. Schumer himself, in a 2007 speech, expanded the waiting period to the final 18 months of a president’s term. Now, despite a record of calling on the Senate to confirm the president’s nominees—as long as the president is a Democrat—Schumer has adopted the strategy of no Supreme Court confirmations at all. How does he think President Trump will respond? By caving?

The Democrats, lead by head clown Chuck Schumer, know how bad ObamaCare is and what a mess they are in. Instead of working to fix it, they..

An attempt to filibuster the Scalia replacement may force McConnell to change the rules so that Supreme Court vacancies can be approved by a majority vote. And where would Democrats be then? Not only will they have lost the Scalia seat, they will be completely vulnerable should another vacancy arise in the next two years. And Schumer has a reputation for political savvy.

The blanket opposition to president-elect Trump extends to his appointments at large. Democrats can thank Harry Reid for allowing executive branch officials and lower-court judges to be approved by a majority vote. But the Washington Post reports that Schumer wants to prolong the confirmation process so that some Trump cabinet officials are not confirmed until March. The reason: “Democrats have been troubled by a lack of personal disclosure by Cabinet choices that they say mirrors Trump’s refusal to disclose personal tax information during the presidential campaign.” The presidential campaign that, in case the Democrats have forgotten, Trump won.

Reviving the issue of the tax returns makes little sense. It generates headlines but doesn’t move votes. And though it’s entirely possible that one or more of Trump’s nominees won’t be confirmed, I seriously doubt it. In every incoming administration there is a personal revelation or atrocious hearing that dooms a cabinet appointment. But hearings begin next week, whether Chuck Schumer likes it or not, and so far the quality of the opposition research against Trump’s picks has been remarkably blah.

Yes, the first duty of the opposition is to oppose. And I don’t expect the Democrats to roll over for Trump. But I am surprised by their hysterics, and by their race to see who can be the most obnoxious to the new president. They seem to have been caught off guard, to say the least, by their situation. Take for example their willingness to stand on a podium beside a sign that reads, “Make America Sick Again.” By embracing this message, such as it is, the Democrats associated not Trump but themselves with illness. Who on earth thought that was a good idea?

It takes time to adjust. The Democrats may be counting on inertia and the media to slow the Republicans down and force them into a defensive crouch. Worked in the past. But here’s the thing about Trump: He doesn’t play defense.

CNN and MSNBC Interviews with Incoming Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer

January 2, 2017

CNN via YouTube, January 2, 2017

 

MSNBC via YouTube, January 2, 2017