Those Democrats who were paying attention had a pair of wakeup calls in the last few days. First was the vote on border funding. Today was President Trump’s dramatic crossing into North Korea.
Most Democrats did not believe there was an emergency at the border. Now it is apparent to everyone. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill while the House passed a more partisan bill on a party line vote. President Trump threatened to veto it. Sensing that she could lose, Nancy Pelosi had the House vote on the Senate bill. She realized that holding up aid over partisan bickering was a losing strategy.
Trump crossing into North Korea was a perfect illustration of the power of incumbency. Democrats should realize that they have a very hard fight in front of them. Twenty incumbents have run for reelection since 1900. Fifteen were successful. Taft and Bush faced strong third-party challenges. Hoover lost because of the Great Depression, Watergate damaged Ford and Carter was hurt by the Iran hostage crisis.
Advocating policies that only appeal to the hard left and demonizing Trump 24/7 will not bring victory. Many Democrats realize that but the ones making all the noise just don’t get it.
There will be many more debates but they won’t have the impact of this one.
Joe Biden – He defended himself when under attack, spoke well with no gaffes and related to people by talking about his personal tragedies. Some analysts are making a big deal about when he said his time was up and stopped talking. That will soon be forgotten.
Pete Buttigieg – He came off as a poised, veteran politician not a 37-year-old small town mayor. 2020 may not be his year but he definitely has a solid future.
Kamala Harris – She was poised and articulate. She twice took control when everyone was talking at once.
Kristin Gillibrand - With all but one front-runner in the debate, it would be hard for any second-tier candidate to break through. She is emulating Hillary Clinton by being shrill and annoying.
Bernie Sanders – He answered many of his questions with the same rant against business. He also thought that he could reassign justices and fill the Supreme Court with liberals.
Marianne Williamson – If there were a prize for kookiest candidate, she would have easily won.
Andrew Yang – He came off as a tech nerd. His main issue is giving every American $1,000 per month.
Overall, the biggest winners were Biden, Buttigieg, Castro and Harris. The biggest losers were O’Rourke and Sanders.
We got to see ten of the Democratic presidential candidates on stage last night. In trying to judge winners and losers, I am only looking at how they might appeal to voters.
Joe Biden – His name didn’t even come up once. It is surprising that nobody took a shot at him.
Julian Castro – He has a compelling personal story, is well-spoken and has more charisma than most.
John Delaney – Talking about attracting blue collar workers back to the party will resonate with some. He sounded a lot more reasonable than most of the other candidates.
Tulsi Gabbard – Her military experience, youth and attractiveness will appeal to some.
Amy Klobuchar – She represented the traditional liberal Democrats and could take off if Biden falters.
NBC – The moderators mainly asked softball questions and sounded more like politicians than journalists.
Beto O’Rourke – Castro is Hispanic, thoughtful and well-spoken. O’Rourke pretends to be all three.
Elizabeth Warren – She was the only front-runner present. It was hard to distinguish her from the other candidates. That’s not a good sign.
The other ten speak tonight. This should be interesting since all the other front-runners will be there.
Bernie Sanders announced his education plan today. He would forgive all student debt, roughly $1.6 trillion. He previously said that the federal government should spend $47 billion more per year on education. He would pay for it by adding a tax on all stock, bond and derivative transactions.
People are certainly entitled to their opinion. The problem is that Sanders doesn’t even understand the basics of economics. Recently he seemed confused over the difference between revenue and profit. He claims this is a tax on Wall Street. There is no way they could afford it so the costs will be passed along to investors.
I guess I am one of the fat cats he hates so much. I am retired and live on a modest income. I supplement it through investing. This would probably cost me $2,000 to $3,000 a year.
There are too many people like Bernie Sanders who rely totally on their political ideology and prejudices to make policy. Sometimes facts do come in handy.
Joe Biden had another gaffe earlier this week. He was talking about a time when civility and a desire to work together hadn’t yet disappeared. Unfortunately, he used an arch-segregationist as an example. I suspect that the Socialist left was more upset about the idea of civility and working together than Biden’s poor choice of words.
We hear a lot about the Democratic Party moving to the extreme left. That’s not entirely true. Most Democrats are either moderates or liberals. A minority are part of the extreme left. However, they are the ones making all the noise. In a recent poll of Democrats, most said they want a candidate that can win rather than an agent of change.
I believe that the extremists focus on causing disorder and disruption. The go out of their way to use inflammatory language. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the border detention facilities concentration camps. Don Lemon of CNN compared Trump to Hitler. They are just as willing to go after Democrats. They have targeted an incumbent member of Congress who votes with Ocasio-Cortez 96% of the time. While they may think of themselves as Founding Fathers starting a revolution, a comparison to the French Revolution is more appropriate.
There is a thundering herd of presidential candidates going after the far-left minority. Biden has the majority almost all to himself. He should appeal to that majority rather than trying to appease the minority.
All of us knows what the future will bring. Some are so desperate that they consult psychics and fortune tellers. The political equivalent is polls. It is about as accurate as the other two methods.
There has been a lot of excitement over polls that show most Democrats beating President Trump. In 2016, polls much closer to the election predicted that Hillary Clinton would win. We will all have to wait until November 3, 2020 to find out who wins.
Joe Biden today promised to cure cancer if he is elected president. Politicians have been making that promise at least as far back as Richard Nixon. The problem is that they are ignoring basic biology.
Cancer is not a single disease but a collection of several hundred diseases. It is not like a communicable disease in which a foreign substance, like a virus or bacteria, enters the body. Instead, it is caused when cells mutate. That is a natural process that occurs constantly. Nothing is going to change that. Of course, some substances, like cigarette smoke, can increase the likelihood of cancer occurring. Medicine can try to control cancer through early detection and better treatment. It is a painstaking process. A drug developed by the East Germans has been found to be effective with a type of lymphoma in just the last few years.
I am not questioning his sincerity. He lost a son to brain cancer. I don’t think there is anything more painful than losing a son or daughter. Cancer has changed my life. A few years ago, I lost the love of my life to it. Last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. I am in remission but it will come back some day.
Cancer is a horrible disease. We are making great strides but it will be long, hard fight to defeat it. We are fooling ourselves if we think there is a magic cure out there.
Theodore Roosevelt described his foreign policy using the phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick”. I guess the Trump foreign policy is “speak loudly waving the stick”.
The tariffs against Mexico would have gone into effect today. Fortunately, the two countries have reached an agreement. It is too soon to tell how long it will last.
I believe the two sides could have worked out their differences privately but that’s not President Trump’s style. He made it a public spectacle as he intimidated Mexico into submission. Clearly, he used a win-lose strategy. In reality, it was lose-lose. The rest of the world now sees that the United States as a bully that cannot be trusted.
This is another in a long list of occasions when he has put his ego before the needs of the country.
Joe Biden is ahead in the polls and is likely the best hope Democrats have to retake the White House. I think he made a huge mistake this week. He had been under fire for his longstanding support of the Hyde Amendment. It limits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. After defending his position, he suddenly changed his mind.
I believe it was a huge political mistake. There is a thundering herd of candidates on the extreme left. He is one of the few among the traditional liberal heart of the party. He should stake out that ground rather than chasing after the extreme. It makes him look inauthentic.
Donald Trump will go into the election with a united party and the advantages of incumbency. If a Democrat is going to win, he or she can’t make these kinds of mistakes.
We keep our precious constitutional rights by speaking out when someone is mistreated. This is particularly true with those that are unsympathetic. One such person is a Paul Manafort.
Normally a prosecutor’s job starts after a crime has been discovered. The Mueller team went after Manafort to get him to turn on President Trump. Not many of us could survive an investigation that had millions to spend and desperately wanted an indictment.
This is just the beginning of the outrage. A New York prosecutor is hell-bent on indicting people associated with Trump. Undoubtedly his goal is to after Trump himself. He has filed charges against Manafort. Even though the trial is months away, he had Manafort transferred to the notorious Riker’s Island jail. He is being held in solitary confinement. Doing this to a seventy-year-old man amounts to torture.
Many agree with me, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Probably the greatest threat to our liberties is a runaway prosecutor. This guy is clearly using the criminal justice system to wreak political vengeance.